Remembering Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart

Th first concert I ever photographed was Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band. They played at the Syria Mosque on October 15, 1972. Security was a lot loser back then I was able to get back stage and take a series of images from the wings before I got booted.

I miss those days and fondly remember the Captain standing next to me while the band played. He looked over at me and we exchanged nods and then he made his big entrance in that blue cape. It is a fond memory and I still listen to his music. Rock on Captain, we miss you brother.

I have edited this image using a new set of tools and like this version better is has more clarity and contrast.

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Captain Beefheart


Don Van Vilet

Don van Vilet grew up with Frank Zappa in southern California. He was an amazing vocal talent and for decades known best as Captain Beefheart. He was also a consummate painter and artist. This wasn’t something he started later in life, he began painting in high school and exhibiting as early as the 1960’s. This photograph was taken during a concert in Pittsburgh’s Syria Masque in 1973. You can buy a print of this image at my commercial gallery by clicking here.

© Richard Burke 1973-2012

Captain Beefheart...Don Van Vilet