R.I.P. Captain Beefheart – proof, if proof were needed, that you can still get a three-quarter page obituary in the Guardian and a mega obituary in the Daily Telegraph despite being “always cult rather than commercial” and being broke for most of your career…
Much like Vincent Van Gogh who only sold one painting in his life…
On the other hand I’ve always thought Van Gogh was a shit painter and I didn’t much admire Captain Beefheart’s music either.
But who knows?
It would be interesting to come back in 50 and then in 100 years time to see who are remembered as the great artists, bands and comedians of the 20th century. My bet is that they would be a big surprise to us.
In February 1968, Andy Warhol exhibited his first international retrospective exhibition at the Moderna Museet gallery in Stockholm. The exhibition catalogue contained the now long-remembered sentence: “In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes.”
The 4th century Vulgate version of the Bible translates Ecclesiastes 1:2 as “Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas”.
A loose translation today might be: “Everything means fuck all”
Very loose but true to the spirit.