Captain Beefheart, aka Don Van Vliet, died Friday. According to Entertainment Weekly, the avant garde rocker passed away at a California hospital due to complications from multiple sclerosis. He was 69.
The Captain, mostly remembered today as an icon from a certain time and place in American history, had command over an impressive four-and-a-half octave range. And while he had a vast working knowledge of a seemingly incongruous mix of genres — from acid jazz to modern classical — which he employed in his own blend of rock ‘n’ roll, truth be told, his unique fusion is best remembered as being, simply, true psychedelia.