Don Van Vliet (born Don Glen Vliet on January 15, 1941) is an American musician and painter, best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work was mainly conducted with a rotating assembly of musicians called The Magic Band, which was active between the mid-1960s and the early 1980s. Van Vliet was chiefly a singer and harmonica player, occasionally playing saxophone, bass clarinet and keyboards. His compositions are characterized by their odd mixtures of shifting time signatures and by their surreal lyrics, while Van Vliet himself is noted for his dictatorial approach to his musicians and for his enigmatic relationship with the public.
The Magic Band's early output was rooted in blues but soon began to draw on additional influences. 1969's Trout Mask Replica takes cues from free jazz and contemporary experimental composition. Frustrated with a lack of commercial success, and fed up with Van Vliet's paranoia and dictatorial nature, the group disbanded in 1974. After a brief flirtation with more conventional rock music — resulting in two albums that he has since disowned — Van Vliet formed a new Magic Band with a group of younger musicians and produced three albums that revisited the eccentricities of his earlier work. Van Vliet's music attracted a devoted following and his influence on fellow musicians, particularly those of the punk and New Wave movements, has been described as "incalculable."
Clear Spot is the seventh album by Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, originally released on LP in 1972 in a clear plastic sleeve.