Questa volta non è uno scherzo d’Aprile. Don Van Vliet, il leggendario Captain Beefheart è morto ieri, 17 dicembre, all’età di 69 anni. A darne notizia un portavoce della Michael Werner Gallery di New York dove sono esposti alcuni dipinti dell’artista: “a complex and influential figure in the visual and performing arts and one of the most original recording artists of his time”. Van Vliet è deceduto in un ospedale del nord della California per le complicazioni sopraggiunte a causa di una sclerosi multipla che lo aveva colpito da tempo. Donald Glen Vliet era nato a Glendale in California nel 1941 e fra meno di un mese (15 gennaio) avrebbe compiuto 70 anni. Inutile ripercorrere la storia seminale di questa straordinaria figura del nostro tempo. Davvero inutile.

Tom WAITS: “He was like the scout on a wagon train. He was the one who goes ahead and shows the way. He was a demanding bandleader, a transcendental composer (with emphasis on the dental), up there with Ornette [Coleman], Sun Ra and Miles [Davis]. He drew in the air with a burnt stick. He described the indescribable. He’s an underground stream and a big yellow blimp. I will miss talking to him on the phone. We would describe what we saw out of our windows. He was a rememberer. He was the only one who thought to bring matches. He’s the alpha and the omega. The high water mark. He’s gone and he won’t be back”.

ZOLA JESUS: “Gave my brother my old, worn down copy of Trout Mask Replica before I moved as a thank you to introducing me to his music when I was far too young. Nothing he did was a mistake, there were no accidents in his music. Only sheer invention, passion… dear god, why does the world keep losing such important people? Who will fill their shoes? My heart is heavy for you, Don Van Vliet!”

AHMET & DIVA ZAPPA: “R.I.P. Captain Beefheart…sad day. Best Captain Beefheart moment. I was on the phone with him a few years ago and he asked me ‘what about a platypus in a briefcase?’ Love!”

CEDRIC BIXLER: some where out there, there is a spirit taking a long deserved break from this life we call humanity….and with out him making huge waves in the already boring waters of pop culture…many of us would just be clueless…thank you captain beefheart for everything from safe as milk to lick my decals to trout mask replica! you will be missed. RIP.

AKRON/FAMILY: “We wish you safe passage and return”.

The ZUTONS: “Will be missed by all fans across the globe”.

BILLY BRAGG: “There was only ever one Captain Beefheart”.