Arguably rock's most eccentric character, Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart is best known for his ear bending avant garde gumbo of Delta Blues and Beat Poetry as heard on Trout Mask Replica.
This is something else entirely.
One story is that Beefheart wrote most of the album Clear Spot on an eight hour car journey from Boston to Yale.
I'd like to think he wrote this song passing my hometown in Connecticut at Exit 58.
With beautiful interlacing guitar work from Bill Harkleroad AKA Zoot Horn Rollow, this is Beefheart's most poignant love song.Ever.
My arms are just two things in the way
Until I can wrap them around you
You can make my sad song happy
Make a bad world good
I hate to hear other people hear me sing this song
If it reaches you before I do
Follow this song to I love you
That’s where I’ll find you
And my head is my only house unless it rains
Another fave from Clear Spot , "Too Much Time" sounds so accessible it could have been something Van Morrison recorded on Moondance, a mellow Memphis-styled R&B tune with a great horn section and lovely backing vocals.
Why did Beefheart record such a tame album three years after Trout Mask Replica? For one thing Warner Brothers brought in Van Morrison/Doobie Brothers producer Ted Templeman to guide Beefheart to do something a bit more commercial. Clear Spot cracked the Billboard Top 200 racing up the charts all the way to ...well, #191. So he failed miserably. But what a failure!