what is wrong with december?  it’s like life is closing up the fiscal year by taking last minute lives to meet its quota. yesterday it was blake edwards and today i lost a personal hero of mine– don van vliet, aka captain beefheart.

mr. edwards, though your career actually died with peter sellers, and though i find it hard to excuse you for “blind date” and “son of the pink panther“, and though i find you fully responsible for unleashing dudley moore on us, with gross disregard to human dignity and pride, i still loved you for everything you did with peter sellers, breakfast at tiffany’s, and, as a former teenager, for all the bo derek scenes in “10”, rest in peace…

captain, you’re another story:  you were peter sellers, you were charlie chaplin.  everything you did was genius.  john peel once said “if there has ever been such a thing as a genius in the history of popular music, it’s beefheart… i heard echoes of his music in some of the records i listened to last week and i’ll hear more echoes in records that i listen to this week”.    if you don’t know him, start with reading his wikipedia entry and “safe as milk“…  i think he was one of the most influential musicians of the last 50 years, bar none.  up there with the best– from hendrix, dylan, and lennon to miles, coltrane and monk.

rest in peace captain, you deserved it…

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