In earlier selections the NIHOF committee debated the merits of artists who never had success commercially be it because they were ahead of their time or just did not receive support from their label. In the case of Captain Beefheart there likely was no point in time (past, present or future) in which he could have been a commercial success. Quite likely, the Captain could probably care less.
Describing Captain Beefheart’s music was difficult to describe as he borrowed from multiple genres and utilized multiple instruments pushing boundaries and breaking musical rules as he went. All of this was combined with a wide vocal range and bizarre lyrics that added to a musical experience that was different than anything else going on around him. Those who have listened to his music usually follow in two camps; those who become fans instantly and those who are shaking their heads trying to figure out what exactly they just heard. Although numerous musicians cite him as influential, trying to calculate that influence often proves to be difficult.
The Bullet Points:
Country of Origin:
Why He Will Get In:
Frank Zappa’s induction could pave Beefheart’s entry.
Why He Won’t Get In:
The same reason as above. The Hall may feel like it has its resident “weirdo”.
Safe as Milk (1967)
Trout Mask Replica (1969)
Clear Spot (1972)
Shiny Beast (1978)
Our Five Favorite Songs as Chosen by Each Member of the NIHOF Committee:
Drop Out Boogie (From Safe as Milk, 1967)
Dachau Blues (From Trout Mask Replica, 1969)
Ella Guru (From Trout Mask Replica, 1969
When Big Joan Sets Up (From Trout Mask Replica, 1969)
Tarotplane (From Mirror Man, 1971)
www.beefheart.com (Tribute Site)