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As Captain Beefheart Don Van Vliet recorded a series of albums from the late 1960s to the 1980s which marked out new boundaries for the avant garde of rock music. He then abandoned recording in favour of painting and quickly achieved an almost equal reputation with his figurative and expressionist oil paintings. As a musician Beefheart has been associated with psychedelia free jazz and rock n roll but it is with the blues that he has the greatest affinity. His highly individual vocal style his surreal poetry and his efforts to take popular music into new territory have a character that has marked him out from his contemporaries. His enigmatic sayings and his increasing reclusiveness have both contributed to the fascination of the Beefheart persona. Mike Barness critical biography gives an assured survey of all of Don Villets work and an insight into the personality behind it.

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