Three FZ Alumni Interviews



During the same week in April, 1996, while in Los Angeles, California, Juha Rompannen recorded several private interviews with Frank Zappa alumni.

On April 20th, Rompannen conducted his interview with Tommy Mars (first clip). Mars talks about his musical schooling, his time with Frank, synthesizer and keyboard technology and current projects. Mars is a keyboard player who played piano, organ and synthesizers in Frank Zappa’s touring and recording band between 1977 and 1982.

Remaining parts of interview: 2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9

On April 17th, Rompannen conducted his interview with Robert “Bobby” Martin (second clip). Martin talks about his musical development, early music career, his time with Frank and composer jobs. Martin is a vocalist and multi instrumentalist who sang and played keyboards, saxophone and french horn in Frank Zappa’s band during the tours of 1981, 1982, 1984 and 1988.

Remaining parts of interview: 2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12

On April 14th, Rompannen conducted his interview with Bruce Fowler (third clip). Fowler talks about his time with Frank, the movie business, the music scene, and his musical schooling among other things. Fowler is a trombone player that played in Frank Zappa’s touring and recording band during 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975 and also during Franks last tour in 1988.

Remaining parts of interview: 2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13

All three alumni are members of The Band From Utopia. Partly known under that name, The Mar Vista Philharmonic: No Forest Fire, released this year (2009) also features Tommy Mars and Bruce Fowler (Walt Fowler, Larry Klimas, Kurt McGettrick, Arthur Barrow and Vinnie Colaiuta).

I have No Forest Fire on order, as well as Strange News From Mars (Jon Larsen/Tommy Mars/Bruce Fowler) and The Jimmy Carl Black Story (Jon Larsen/Jimmy Carl Black) from Zonic Entertainment which I’ll review in future posts as they arrive in my mailbox.

Thanks to ‘YourArf’ for posting these interviews.

4 Responses to “Three FZ Alumni Interviews”

  1. Harmless Ted says:

    Thank you very much for these! Very interesting!

  2. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    Great find Urb!

  3. urbangraffito says:

    [quote comment=”5214″]Great find Urb![/quote]

    Thanks, Barry! I’m always on the look out for these little gems to share with my fellow Zappa freaks. I especially liked Tommy Mars interview. There is really so little out there from his point of view. Next to Don Preston and George Duke, Tommy is my favourite Zappa keyboardist/synthesizer player. I can listen to his renditions of “Pound for a Brown (On the Bus)” and “Little House I Used To Live In” all day long. His solos are simply brilliant.

  4. Chuck says:

    I found the Bobby Martin one surprisingly interesting. Seems like an interesting dude, if not a little maniacal. His breaking down and crying when he talks of Frank is also quite touching.

    Tommy Mars really just sounds like a music obsessive in whatever he does. His discussion on frank’s music are really fascinating. Shame one can’t more easily hear more of his playing.

    Great interviews!

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