Cannes is what people make of it. I doubt that Captain Beefheart was a regular visitor, but in this video of his band playing on the beach in front of the Martinez in 1968 he leaves a deep impression. The 69 year-old pioneer of blues rock died on Friday, December 2010 after a long struggle with multiple sclerosis. Critic Lester Bangs cited Beefheart as “one of the four or five unqualified geniuses to rise from the hothouses of American music in the Sixties”. The BBC’s late John Peel narrated a documentary on him. His influence reaches far beyond his own success as a performer.
His maverick style will continue to influence generations, and so Cannes can consider itself lucky to have hosted him briefly and that someone 42 years ago had the foresight to tape the show.
B&W photo: Jean-Luc Ourlin, courtesy of Flickr