Sunday, April 27, 2008

Belated Appreciation For The Insanity Of Captain Beefheart

Here's a video incorporating Don Van Vliet's surrealist song titled Tropical Hot Dog Night (1978), posted by flowerpunkchip on YouTube:

For those who prefer, here's a more straight-up rendition:

Madness, on occasion, can be exquisite. -- MJ


Marc McDonald said...

I have this one on vinyl, but since my turntable is out of action, I hadn't heard this song in years.
Great tune. And a great reminder of Beefheart's genius for a lot of the casual fans who only picked up the "Trout Mask Replica" album and aren't sure what else of Beefheart's music they should explore.
I agree that insanity is involved, but the real madness is that Captain Beefheart had to quit the music business in 1982, reportedly because he felt he could better support himself with his paintings, rather than his poor-selling albums.
His artwork is wonderful, but I think it's a great tragedy that one of the true giants of 20th century music couldn't pay his bills with his brilliant music.
Meanwhile, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake sell tens of millions of their mediocre albums. It all makes me wonder if there really is a God.
I myself was introduced to Beefheart after seeing him perform on "Saturday Night Live" back in 1980. That was back in the days when SNL was actually a decent show and had the balls to take chances with obscure, non-commercial music.

Manifesto Joe said...

I understand that in his 60s he's become ill, bedridden by one report, and can no longer even do the abstract expressionist paintings, which are now highly regarded. It's a shame. We need more crazies like the Captain.