The man we know as Captain Beefheart died just before the New Year, and it's a fact that not enough people were made sad by his passing. Though many, both musicians and listeners, profess fierce loyalty to the man and his music, the work remains out of reach for lots of folks. An acclaimed album like Trout Mask Replica is a difficult listen, highly atonal and harsh. Many fans talk about hating Trout Mask at first listen, and then later having an epiphany that unlocks the record.
The upcoming symposium at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn may help unlock the genius's work. Organized by Beefheart's friend and guitarist Gary Lucas, this event will be part listening party for unreleased songs, part screening for live and rare footage, and part story-telling session from the many guests, all who have been affected by Don Van Vliet's music.
Guests include Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Richard Pena, Hal Willner, Danny Fields, and Glenn Kenny.