Goodbye Captain Beefheart

There are rumors flying around the internet today that two influential musical giants have died – Justin Bieber and Captain Beefheart. Sadly, one is real. My heart goes out this morning to the entire Beefheart family.

Here, in tribute, is Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain” from his book, Leaves of Grass, published in 1900.

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; 20
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

And I know it may not be proper blog etiquette, but I’d like to congratulate myself for not taking the opportunity above to theorize as to how Captain Beefheart and Justin Beiber may have come to pass together. I had a few wonderful scenarios in my mind, but I chose not to share them, as I have too much respect for the Captain.

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  1. gomle
    Posted December 18, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I salute you, my Captain.

  2. Ted
    Posted December 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Well played, Sir.

    As for Don, I’ve hard it said that he tortured his musicians. He deprived them of sleep, fed them nothing, and threatened violence. The Magic Band was like a cult, and he was their Jim Jones. Who knows how much is true. He as a genius though. That cannot be disputed. Hopefully he’s in heaven now, with Zappa, and they’re playing soccer with Beiber’s head.

  3. Knox
    Posted December 18, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    If Bieber had sough the mentorship of Van Vliet, as opposed to Usher, we’d be living in a better world right now.

  4. Mr. X
    Posted December 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I think he looks kind of like Steve Cherry.

  5. Bob
    Posted December 20, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know why but I’ll bet the Captain would have liked Bieber. He would have an interesting take on him anyway.

  6. Posted December 20, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    If you haven’t watched it, the American Bandstand footage is incredible.

  7. Edward
    Posted December 21, 2010 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    If they were both still alive, I think it would have made a great body-switch movie, like Freaky Friday. I’d love to see what Don would do with Beiber’s body if given a chance in front of his audience.

  8. barbie arlinghton
    Posted December 24, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I’d respect Bieber if he’d cover Trout Mask Replica from start to finish.

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