Frank Zappa — Composer & Guitarist

In the above clip, an audio interview circa 1984, Frank Zappa talks about soloing on the guitar, his attitudes toward live performances, and his relationship with his audience (listen closely at the 7:05 point for a relevant opinion of Frank’s regarding the performing of his solos “note for note”). Quite enlightening.

In the clips below, a radio documentary about Frank Zappa’s bizarre relationship with Jazz, culled from various sources and interviews (some with Zappa himself, just before his passing) with various alumni (Arthur Barrow, Adrian Belew, Mike Brecker, George Duke, Bruce Fowler, Ralph Humphrey, Tommy Mars, Patrick O’Hearn and Don Preston), entitled, albeit, ironically “Jazz From Hell” (presented by Charles Shaar Murray for Jazz File, BBC Radio 3).

News of the initial broadcast caused a hubbub, of sorts, among a sinister group of listeners of Jazz File who, euphemistically, referred to themselves as “The Friends Of Radio 3” or “FoR3” who were up in arms over the station’s decision to devote an edition of Jazz File to Zappa’s work:

“If they put Frank Zappa on,” a FoR3 spokesperson warns direly, “they are likely to alienate jazz fans the way they have classical fans.”

Actually, it’s worse than FoR3 feared. The Zappa special in question, Jazz From Hell, which [Murray] wrote and will present, takes up three Jazz File programmes on successive Saturdays. That’s three occasions on which unsuspecting listeners risk exposure to Zappa’s unique musical universe. And all at the taxpayers’ expense!


Click here to read Charles Shaar Murray’s response to the hubbub his audio documentary stirred up.

Note: In order for this documentary to be allowed to be uploaded to YouTube, most of the FZ music had to be removed first. The original poster, ‘fruhko’, apologizes for the uneven editing, but the content is there. This editing also accounts for the shortened time duration.

4 Responses to “Frank Zappa — Composer & Guitarist”

  1. punknaynowned says:

    hahaha!!!
    “If you have beer you have a choice. Twelve-bar blues or cowboy music. Polka?”
    -FZ

  2. krankheit says:

    Can anyone ID the speakers at the beginning after the narrator says, “Was he any good?”
    My guesses (and all but a few are just guesses)

    1) “the fine soloist that he was” – Preston or Humphrey?
    2) “we always felt that he went on too long” – sounds like Fowler
    3) “he meanders so much” – Kinda sounds like Belew?
    4) “Frank could play the blues” – Duke
    5) “overdriven thick sewer pipe” – Mars, obviously

  3. krankheit says:

    ^^ disregard all that, I’m an idiot and spoke too soon.

  4. Freki D says:

    if you wanted to see the vault explanied or showed by zappa

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbxIM9xHUfo&feature=related

    very nice vid..

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