Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

Don Van Vliet and Frank Zappa: Two Peas In A Misshapen Pod

Gary Lucas, Please Kill Me!, 14 January 2021

Guitarist Gary Lucas found himself smack dab in the middle of two of America's musical geniuses, Don 'n' Frank. Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa were boyhood chums whose fates were inextricably linked, for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. Gary Lucas only learned the nuances of their relationship when he became not just Don's manager but a member of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band. The following is his remembrance of both men and a love letter to his mentor, Don Van Vliet. Fitting that it should run on what would have been the Captain's 80th birthday.

Total word count of piece: 6858

Subscribe

Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.