Don Van Vliet, aka 'Captain Beefheart', Dies

Don Van Vliet, who became a rock legend as Captain Beefheart, died today from complications from multiple sclerosis in California.

His passing was announced by the New York-based Michael Werner Gallery, which represented his work as a painter.

His Trout Mask Replica was Number 58 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In a 1969 review, Lester Bangs called Trout "a total success, a brilliant, stunning enlargement and clarification of his art."

American musician and painter Don Van Vliet, best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart, has died aged 69.

Van Vliet's death in California, from complications from multiple sclerosis, was announced by the Michael Werner Gallery in New York.

Van Vliet was "one of the most original recording artists of his time", the gallery said in a statement.

Don Van Vliet, the man known around the world as Captain Beefheart, died Friday (December 17), according to his manager. He was 69.

The cause of Van Vliet's death was not immediately known, though several outlets were reporting it was due to complications from multiple sclerosis, which he had battled since the 1990s.

Van Vliet was an accomplished avant-garde musician and visual artist, who along with a constantly rotating crew of fellow oddballs — his handpicked "Magic Band" — bent the rules, melded genres and thoroughly weirded out much of mainstream America for nearly four decades.

Musician and artist Don Van Vliet, who performed a complex brand of experimental rock under the name Captain Beefheart, died Friday. He was 69.

The Michael Werner Gallery in New York confirmed Van Vliet's death in California due to complications stemming from multiple sclerosis. The gallery exhibits his paintings.

Van Vliet was probably best known for the album "Trout Mask Replica," which was released in 1969 by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band.