… well I was born in the desert… came up from New Orleans… came up on a tornado sunlight in the sky… I went around all day with the moon sticking in my eye …
The gateway to Don Van Vliet is tricky. Though most souls subjected to his charming music will be electrified by the bluesy roots, it’s obvious he managed to DECONSTRUCT them whilst paying the uttermost tribute to the seed of all rock music. The opening track off Safe as Milk continues to haunt me to this day, the way the first lyrics are uttered (can anyone forget his/her first encounter with the vocals of Vliet?) and how the band kicks in. It’s so fucking groovy. He’d go on to experiment – not gratuitously – and literally tear the foundations of rock apart in a way never seen before, in a bizarresque yet honest fashion; to crumble down and become a sellout; to make a triumphant return and offer three beautiful, final albums. And then he’d retire and paint. Pretty good abstract meanderings, actually. And though his renovation of popular music and the brutal path which emerged from within is probably the “contribution” most memorials would technically masturbate about (and what would be more akin to my own exploration), Sure ‘Nuff ‘N Yes I Do, not his best achievement by any means, will always be what I think of when remembering this weird, exciting individual.
So, let his death serve as a vindication of his residues.