captain beefheart

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the vliet home (former)

from captain beefheart posted in music by crabapple

The Vliet family lived at this home in Los Angeles when Don was born. He was an artistically-inclined child and began to paint and sculpt at the age of 3.

When Don was 9 years old, he won a children's sculpting competition organized for the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park by sculptor Agostinho Rodrigues.

During the 1950s, Don continued to work with Rodrigues, who considered him a child prodigy. Eventually, Vliet was offered several art scholarships, including one from Knudsen Creamery to travel to Europe and study marble sculpture for 6 years. The Vliet family was hesitant, and Don turned all the scholarships down.

At the age of 13, the Vliet family moved to the Mojave Desert town of Lancaster, CA. Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa would end up attending the same high school there.

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glendale hospital

from captain beefheart posted in music by crabapple

Don Glen Vliet (later Don van Vliet) was born in the Glendale Research Hospital on Feb. 18, 1941.

Don's father, Glen Alonzo Vliet, was a partner in a gas service station. Don's mother, Willie Sue Warfield, was a housewife.

Don would later transform into the performer that is Captain Beefheart.

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the trout house

from captain beefheart posted in music by crabapple

This house (more of a cabin, really) is where Don van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) coerced, bullied, and brain-washed the Magic Band into creating content for the 1969 album Trout Mask Replica.

For eight months, the band lived communally in this house and rehearsed endlessly. Only one band member was allowed to leave at a time to get food, which for a month consisted of one small cup of soybeans daily. Visitors to the house recalled the members looking "cadaverous" and that "the environment in that house was positively Manson-esque."

The bizarre rehearals meant that the band was able to record 20 instrumental tracks in a single six-hour recording session. Trout Mask Replica remains an influential album, despite it being unbearable to casual listeners.

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