Don Van Vliet (; born Don Glen Vliet; January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and visual artist best known by performing name Captain Beefheart. Conducting a rotating ensemble called Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band, known separately as "The Magic Band", he recorded 13 studio albums between 1964 and 1982. His music blended elements of blues, free jazz, rock, and objector composition subsequent to idiosyncratic rhythms, absurdist wordplay, and his wide vocal range. Known for his enigmatic persona, Beefheart frequently build up myths roughly his computer graphics and was known to exercise an something like dictatorial control greater than his supporting musicians. Although he achieved little commercial success, he sustained a cult next as a "highly significant" and "incalculable" influence upon an array of supplementary wave, punk, and experimental rock artists.
An artistic prodigy in his childhood, Van Vliet developed an eclectic musical taste during his pubertal years in Lancaster, California, and formed "a mutually useful but volatile" friendship in imitation of musician Frank Zappa, with whom he sporadically competed and collaborated. He began substitute with his Captain Beefheart persona in 1964 and allied the indigenous Magic Band line-up, initiated by Alexis Snouffer, the same year. The group released their debut album Safe as Milk in 1967 upon Buddah Records. After inborn dropped by two consecutive baby book labels they signed to Zappa's Straight Records, where they released 1969's Trout Mask Replica; the album would well along rank 58th in Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of anything time. In 1974, frustrated by want of public notice success, he pursued a more conventional rock sound, but the ensuing albums were logically panned; this move, combined in the same way as not having been paid for a European tour, and years of unshakable Beefheart's abusive behavior, led every one of band to quit.
Beefheart eventually formed a other Magic Band subsequently a work of younger musicians and regained valuable approval through three final albums: Shiny Beast (1978), Doc at the Radar Station (1980) and Ice Cream for Crow (1982). Van Vliet made few public appearances after his retirement from music in 1982. He pursued a career in art, an interest that originated in his childhood capacity for sculpture, and a venture which proved to be his most financially secure. His expressionist paintings and drawings command high prices, and have been exhibited in art galleries and museums across the world. Van Vliet died in 2010, having suffered from complex sclerosis for many years.