Frank Zappa Appreciation Thread


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 121 - 140 of total 217 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 27, 2009 - 09:53pm PT
His guitar wants to kill yo mama, too!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 28, 2009 - 08:51pm PT
The experience transformed him into a Seeker......

Lots of raunchy goodness from Frank. I once had group of classmates over for climbing slides in college and had left Joe's Garage Act 1 out about ten albums down in the stack. Fate would have it that a fairly proper premed picked it out!

Are you sure you want to hear this, I asked? A nod , a needle and out came The Central Scrutinizer and all ears were on the stereo. Most in the room were freshmen and FZ was entirely new to them. I just had to laugh at the situation as he lead into Crew Slut and the side was on!

Inking the deal at Ralph Spoilsport Motors
Feb 28, 2009 - 08:58pm PT
Ed H.. The kids eyes got wide because his mommy defeated him.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 14, 2009 - 06:53pm PT
Bumps on an oldtopangalizard!!!
pip the dog

Mountain climber
planet dogboy
Mar 15, 2009 - 12:35am PT
Ok, I’ve followed this thread forever – so now you have to endure my Zappa story:

[Massive Post Warning – Think PgDn Key]

My youngest brother (of many) and I need to go from alameda, ca to burlington, vt to attend the baptism of yet another brother's (of many)’s first (surprise!) child. And I (the atheist) have been appointed Godfather (for reasons as of yet unclear, though I will do my duty if required and send young Sean to CATHOLIC REFORM SCHOOL – where, like me, he’ll surely “get religion.” Well, if nothing else, he’ll likely get a great education and all of the basic tools to read the western canon. Like me.

So anyway – I kinda loose track of the date and so does my youngest brother/slob roommate. Then suddenly we remember -- but oh so late that the airfare for the two of us would be at that point on the order of $4,500(US$). We’re fooked.

So with the baptism (et al) like 3 days and change away, we decide to drive it -- in my POS car, as youngest brother’s POS is _really_ a POS. According to Yahoo Maps: Distance = 3065.93 miles. Time = 44 Hrs 50 Min (yeah, right, perhaps in an F15)

So off we go. Poorly organized, poorly packed, and like the three stooges forever dope slapping each other. I do the first “pitch” -- I drive from effectively the SF Bay Bridge to the Utah/Wyoming border, where I collapse into blessed unconsciousness.

So little brother takes the wheel. Somewhere kinda near Rock Springs. I think. Kinda, maybe. Well close.

OK, here I need to pause a moment and better define “Poorly organized, poorly packed”

[1] I had this thingamabobby that allowed me to patch a little CD player directly into an amp that had more horsepower than my POS car. Only we had failed to bring it. So we had 287 CD’s that we could not play.

[2] That left us with just what we could feed into the high end yet antiquated cassette deck/radio. And we just happened to have but one cassette tape, accidently in the trunk. And that was a Zappa mix (mostly “Joe’s Garage”) -- that the other brother (of many) now suddenly a parent (of many) had sent us -- well, me, actually.

Now I think FRANK! (my clan just calls Zappa ‘FRANK!') is great. I dig FRANK!. Though not so much as my then recently parented and then starving intern brother did/does. So I end up driving for like 20 hours listening to the same FRANK!. And I am like going, well, even more insane. Imagine that. Yet my littlest brother keeps popping our one damn tape in as he’s no big fan of what little AM one can pick up in, like, i dunno, say Wendover.

So we make “THE DEAL” – and this is actually important to this story (if you actually give a sh!t and are still reading this nonsense). And “THE DEAL” is this: for the remaining 2,000 miles (and god only knows how many hours) – little brother (and me) can only play FRANK once every 4 hours. That’s it. that’s “THE DEAL”

Got that? OK. So now I am unconscious with my head weaving above my own lap as little brother is howling across I-80 through Wyoming and then Nebraska. Fine, good, let’s keep moving here, for we’re morons and we’re gonna be late. And I’m the fookin’ godfather here and my clan is gonna slap the sh!t out of me if I am late.

So, well, most of you have done the endless road trip gig, so you know what I am talking about when I say that I’m strapped in on the passenger side, still unconscious, with my head like weaving around leaving this trail of drool all over my pants.

But I’m having this nightmare of FRANK! FRANK! FRANK! Like over and over again. And while I dug (and dig) FRANK! – well, with him like me, “a little dab’ll do ya” (my grandfather’s line – has to do with BrylCreem... nevermind)

So I’m having this endless nightmare based on the same endless soundtrack. And in this nightmare the car seems to be bouncing all over the road, like out of control. So I wake up, kinda. And the first thing I see is like 53 styrofoam coffee cups all over my legs and feet. The second thing I see is hail the size of… well, not quite golfballs, but damned close, hammering and cracking _my_ windshield on _my_ POS. And the third thing I see is my littlest brother with pupils the size of quarters and his head up against the windshield glass going like 93mph.

And, I realize, eventually, the car really is bouncing all over the road, and there really is hail almost the size of golfballs, and that neither of us could hope to see so much as the hood ornament. And we’re going, truly, 93mph. This is not just a bad dream with a good soundtrack.

So I yell “STOP! YOU (umm... 'moron', well, close enough)! And little brother is staring at me like he has been rolling on meth for days and days and isn’t quite sure if I actually exist and if what I am howling is actually real. “STOP THIS FOOK’IN CAR! – YOU (um, 'moron' – well close).

So he like wakes up and hammers on the brakes and we’re like going sideways on I-80 in Buttfookistan, Nebraska [tm: brother Dalgard]. This is truly un-good.

So, being still only half awake, I howl at little brother “Dammit, I thought we made a deal – THE DEAL – that we can play FRANK! only once every 4 hours. And little brother says to me “Yeah, I know, but all the radio stations keep playing the same thing, all kinda of buzzy with these alarm clock tones – over and over again. So I needed to just put FRANK! back in.

Then I start to actually wake up (little brother is still wired on 53 cups of truck stop ‘joe) and pop the tape out and actually listen to the radio.

"BEEEEEZT BOOOOONG DWAAAAP! This is a message from the National Weather Service (BEEEEEZT BOOOOONG DWAAAAP!)… This is A Tornado Alert."

"BEEEEEZT BOOOOONG DWAAAAP! Tornadoes have been sighted in the Kearny/Grand Island area. (BEEEEEZT BOOOOONG DWAAAAP!)

"If you are in this area, seek shelter immediately! (BEEEEEZT BOOOOONG DWAAAAP!) And so on, endlessly, like forever.

And little brother, all wired and lit up, says “You see – THAT is all they are playing on the radio no matter what channel I tune into – so of course I put in FRANK! in again. So what’s the problem?”

I’ll spare you the details that most of you have already figured out. Suffice to say we parked under an overpass and even there the car still rocked and rolled and got hammered. Only time I have ever seen a tornado all up close and personal. Nine people died that day due to tornados in that area code. One of them was this woman with CA plates on a white Bronco who stopped for a just a moment under "our" bridge, quick deemed us complete azsholes obviously on dope, then drove on. By the time we saw her Bronco again, it was all upside down and smooshed, and she was, well, un-helpable.

Eventually we ended up outside of Lincoln, in yet another variant of BigEarl’sStop’N’Flop – where the weasel behind the bulletproof glass said “it’s 11:36am – if you want a room now it will only be good until noon – then you’ll have to come back and pay for tomorrow. I just handed him my plastic and said “Check us in, forever -- then die.” He got at least the first two parts right.

By some small miracle we did in fact make it to VT -- just as the sun rose, just before “the service” in which junior got dipped into the clan's communal toilet bowl and, well, became clan. Me, I was so frazzled I don’t remember a moment of it. But my godson just turned 12 and he absolutely rocks. Excellent kid. Follows .10's without a hiccup. This is all my doing, of course.

But I just can’t enjoy “Joe’s Garage” the way I used to. Yet my godson digs it -- big time. As does his dad. Genetics, I guess.

Well, some things you just can’t explain... even in 30,000 words.

Yes, FRANK! was surely a genius.

My littlest brother and I surely weren’t and aren't.


Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Mar 15, 2009 - 01:11am PT
Frank would be proud and honored Pip!

Mar 15, 2009 - 03:44am PT
i find it often discomforting to be in the presence of his genious. he inspires me to rise to the challege of his music. but i feel like i'm engrossed in a "page turner" type of experience because there is something intriguing just around the corner that i won't want to miss. i typically turn away from crass, but he has found a niche in my psyche, as if by charm. i find this paradoxical. undismissably edgy, he had musicality in spades. i guess that's entertainment. but the thread speaks of "appreciation". if i missed it upthread, i'll repeat for emphasis: his testimony before the congessional hearings on decency in...rock music, was unequivicaly assertive and sealed my respect for the ages. i would not have wanted to be on the receiving end of his withering defense of the freedom of artistic expression. for his role in stuffing those wannabe culture police back in their proper place i am respectful and "appreciative".

Trad climber
electric lady land
Mar 15, 2009 - 11:22am PT
fz and the boys do
"the whipping post":

just got an album called
"rare meat" recorded by
fz in 62 before the mothers
in the studio he bought
from paul buff. definately
the early makings of what
was to come.

my crew always know him as
uncle frank.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 15, 2009 - 11:37am PT
This one seems apropriate.......just a smack of cynicism! LOL

Well I'm about to get sick
From watchin' my tv
Been checkin' out the news
Till my eyeballs fail to see
I mean to say that every day
Is just another rotten mess
And when it's gonna change, my friend
Is anybody's guess, so i'm
Watchin' and I'm waitin'
Hopin' for the best
Even think I'll go to prayin'
Every time I hear `em sayin'
There's no way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
No way to delay the trouble
Comin' every day
Wednesday I watched the riot
Seen the cops out on the street
Watched `em throwin' rocks & stuff & chokin'
In the heat
Listen to reports
About the whisky passin' `round
Seen the smoke & fire
And the market burnin' down
Watched while everybody
On his street would take a turn
To stomp & smash & bash & crash & slash &
Bust & burn
And i'm
Watchin' and I'm waitin'
Hopin' for the best
Even think I'll go to prayin'
Every time I hear `em sayin' that there's
No way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
Timid TopRope

Social climber
Paradise, CA
Mar 16, 2009 - 12:47am PT
I apologize if I'm mentioning topics covered by other's comments. Too lazy to read em all just now.

I've kind of stayed away from posting here on this thread due to various reasons, one primarily being that Frank went from proto punk-jazz rock (not to be lumped in with the fusion genre) to more accessible semi-jokey stuff and staying with that almost to his dying day. I noted the change in high school when my jock friends started quoting lines like, "Is that a real poncho or is that a Sears poncho?"

That said, he also continued to his dying day to be a thorn in the side of American society with a wit comparable to Mark Twain. I especially liked when he testified before Tipper Gore's "explicit lyric" hearings.

He also went to high school with and collaborated with probably my biggest influence, the visionary, Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vleit).

I remember those records you could order for a buck from the record jackets from Warner/Reprise's "Loss Leaders".
Besides the Mothers of Invention, there were samples of such luminaries as the GTO's (girls together outrageously, pre riot grrl), Wild Man Fisher, as Ed H and Dr F mentioned, The Fugs, Tim Harding, Tim Buckley and many other under-appreciated geniuses.

Steering it back; my all-time favorite Zappa will always be the double album, Uncle Meat with the classic, Peaches in Regalia and one whole side devoted to the King Kong variations. Completely blew my mind in the 9th grade.

RIP, Frank


Apr 3, 2010 - 06:10pm PT
Zappa Plays Zappa! Not to be missed!


Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Apr 3, 2010 - 09:13pm PT
Jack, one of our roomates at UCSB, tore down the back fence of our apartment on Del Playa, and built 7ft high replica of Billy the Mountain out of fence slats, chicken wire and paper mache. He put in a cave to see out of, and shoulder harnesses so he could get inside and walk around. He put various refereneces from the song all over the mountain, and wore it to the infamous Halloween party. When the police inevitably came to clear everyone out, he sat down in the middle of the street, and no one knew he was inside. That is Frank love for ya'.

"finally got if off, and my girlfriend cried, you got stink foot darlin'"

"Flakes, California has the most of them"

Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jun 2, 2010 - 09:55am PT
FZ and his music will be featured at the Ojai Music Festival. His wife and Ian Underwood will be appearing. Also music by Varese.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 10, 2011 - 02:34am PT
The lore of Southern California permeated Frank Zappa's music and self-image

A list of local place names that appear in the satirical songs of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention group would be long.

Frank Zappa was raised in Lancaster. <br/>
As a teen, he loved the avant-g...
Frank Zappa was raised in Lancaster.
As a teen, he loved the avant-garde electronic music of Edgard Varese -- as well as ’50s doo-wop and R&B.
Credit: (Los Angeles Times / January 9, 2011)

By Anthony Mostrom
January 9, 2011

It was a rare, early Hollywood television appearance for future rock music renegade Frank Zappa. Lean and hungry and unknown, the 22-year-old composer appeared on "The Steve Allen Show" in 1963.

He wore a pressed suit and thin tie, and short, well-greased hair — standard for those pre-Beatles, pre-psychedelic days. But Zappa was there to perform sounds on a bicycle with drumsticks and a bow (the bike belonged to his sister Candy).

Allen was no slouch in the world of beatnik-era hipness himself, but he couldn't help cracking one-liners during Zappa's noisy, atonal demonstration, and he kept pronouncing his guest's name "Zoppa." "Well, Mr. Zappa … I congratulate you on your farsightedness," Allen said. "As for your music, don't ever do it around here again!"

Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore — Dec. 21, 2010, would have been his 70th birthday — but his self-image and musical output from 1963 until his death in 1993 were soaked in the lore of Southern California, where he grew up.

A list of local place names that appear in the satirical songs of his avant-garde-meets-novelty-rock group, the Mothers of Invention, would be long.

Burbank, Downey, El Monte, Fullerton, Glendale, Hawthorne, Irwindale, Lomita, Newhall, Pacoima, Palmdale, Rolling Hills, Shadow Hills — he loved, hated and sang about all of them. In retrospect, it seems that Zappa and the Mothers played in other cities during their heyday in the late 1960s only because they had to.

Zappa was raised in Lancaster. He showed an early gift for music and started writing orchestral music at age 14. The first love of the culture-hungry teenager in the desert was the percussive, avant-garde electronic music of composer Edgard Varese. His second love was 1950s doo-wop and rhythm and blues, which inspired him to take up the guitar.

After high school he ambitiously pursued both, seemingly unrelated, passions. Only months after appearing on the Allen show, the young composer conducted his discordant orchestral works at Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles, after which an audience member asked, "Do you consider this to be music?" On the surviving tape, Zappa sounds defiant but, frankly, hurt.

Meanwhile, as an aspiring producer of rock 'n' roll records, young Zappa made frequent trips into Hollywood, hustling tapes of local bands he would record at his own Studio Z ("Record Your Band!") in Cucamonga. Some of these were bought by small Hollywood labels (Del-Fi, Donna, Emmy), and released as 45s. Today they're collectors' items. Few sold well, with the notable exception of Zappa's own "Memories of El Monte," recorded by the Penguins of "Earth Angel" fame.

If he had had the stomach to work for other people, he could have been a successful film composer.

On the Allen show he mentioned having recently composed the "score" for a low-budget film, "The World's Greatest Sinner," by cult character actor and director Timothy Carey ("My name is God Hilliard!"), now best remembered for his eccentric performances in early Stanley Kubrick and John Cassavetes films. When "Steverino" asked, "Who's in it?" Zappa stifled a laugh. "Tim Carey and a cast of a thousand people that he found down on Main Street someplace."

This, and the score for an ultra-cheap western called "Run Home Slow" (1965), hinted at Zappa's talent. The multilayered, virtuosic brilliance of his late-'60s masterpieces — hybrid rock-jazz-classical albums like "Burnt Weenie Sandwich," "Hot Rats" and "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" — were only a few years away.

In retrospect, one can see that as the '60s heated up in Los Angeles, Zappa was one of the artists who started the West Coast hippy scene when he released (or unleashed) the first Mothers album, "Freak Out" (1966), which told of a subculture in Hollywood of self-described "freaks" who wore their hair long and dressed in mismatched clothes from thrift shops.

It was a social revolution, and Zappa helped to create it, which was ironic for two reasons: He himself considered "freaks" (a small group of people who hung around Canter's deli in 1965-66) to be better and smarter than hippies, and he was strongly anti-drug his entire life. "I don't like bumping into furniture or vomiting on people" was his stated position on the issue.

One can't help thinking that the gadfly spirit of rock music's bad conscience — the intelligent older brother who sneered at love songs as well as rock-star arrogance — will be mocking and poking at youth culture for as long as it lasts.

One assumes he'd also laugh at the idea of his own high school, Antelope Valley High, being renamed after him (once proposed but shot down), or that there would be statues of him erected in town squares: in Baltimore, Germany and Lithuania.

But then, Frank Zappa laughed at a lot of things.

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times

can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Jan 10, 2011 - 09:17am PT
check out Dweezil's new compilation tribute album

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Jan 10, 2011 - 10:14am PT
Randisi where are you?

Trad climber
Jan 10, 2011 - 11:28am PT
"Help I'm a rock"

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 10, 2011 - 11:44am PT
"Gwen is a lonely single mother with an unusual passion for knitting and living with her young daughter Lola. When photography student Kirk asks if he can photograph Gwen in her home, Gwen only agrees after Lola's prompting. Kirk has ulterior motives though, and when Gwen finds out, she sets upon taking the upper hand in the situation."

Does that sound Zappaic? It should as it is the synopsis of Moon's 2004 short
film "Ugly" which she wrote and directed. It gets 5.9 out of 10 on IMDb.
That is probably fair although I give it a 7. It was the first and surely
the last premiere I will attend. I felt like such a dweeb being there.

Yeah, they made me model this...
Yeah, they made me model this...
Credit: Reilly

You used to be able to watch it on the American Film Institute site - haven't checked lately.

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Jan 10, 2011 - 12:58pm PT
Muffin Man.....feck yeah!

"....girl you thought he was a man
But he was a muffin
He hung around till you found
That he didn't know nuthin

Girl you thought he was a man
But he only was a-puffin
No cries is heard in the night
As a result of him stuffin."

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 10, 2011 - 08:01pm PT
Oh Debra Algebra Ebneezra Kadabra
Witch goddess, witch goddess of Lankershim
Cover my entire bodice, with Avon Cologna.

And drive me to some relative`s house, in East
L.A. (foogadah! ?)
(Just till my skin clears up)
Turn it to channel thirteen,
and maybe watch the rubber tongue, when it comes
from the puffed, and flatulent Mexican
rubbergoods mask.

Damn, now they are both gone!
Messages 121 - 140 of total 217 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews