Conversations with Jimmy Carl Black

An exceptional interview with Jimmy Carl Black by Calvin Krogh recorded at the Grand Café in Oslo in January, 2007, as well as a second interview in another hotel in Oslo later that August – and broadcast on Krogh’s new website. Now you can both play the interviews on site or download the edited sections (12 in total).

On the eve of his 69th Birthday (February 1st), having just been diagnosed with leukemia, Black was extremely open and vivid with his reminiscences. For instance, we learn how Black first becomes acquainted with Jon Larsen, his opinion of Zappa cover bands, Zappa Plays Zappa, playing with Captain Beefheart, Zappanale, Mike Keneally, and, of course, the source of his bitterness towards the ZFT:

JCB: And you know, I appreciated that out of Frank. I… to tell you the truth, man, I always loved Frank Zappa, man. Even with the lawsuits and all the fucking trouble and with all the shit and all that, it doesn’t even fucking matter, man. I still tried to get hold of him before he… you know, when I was getting ready to move over to Europe. 1992. I called Motorhead, and I said “Motor, would you do me a favour. Would you call Frank, or call Gail, and find out if it’s at all possible that I can call Frank.” I’d like to… you know, wish him good luck with his problems, and, you know. Basically, what it would have been at that time, was just “Hey, man. It’s been a pleasure knowing you. You taught me a lot.” And he did, man! I learned a lot of different things about music that I didn’t know.

CK: Hm… But what happened?

JCB: No… she said no. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t want to have anything to do with her. And the kids… the kids only know one side of the story. They don’t know our side of the story. You know, they only know her side… what she says. How bad we are. What could we have possibly done to them? We didn’t take any money from them! We didn’t steal anything from them! What could we possibly do to them? Say things? Say the truth? You mean you’re not allowed to say the truth? Fuck you, man! I will say the truth! I’ll tell you what happened! I mean, I’ll tell you the way I saw it happen! The way it happened to me.

These interviews are a rich source of oral history for any Mothers fan, in general, and Jimmy Carl Black in particular. A must listen.

Interviews are also available in transcribed text.

82 Responses to “Conversations with Jimmy Carl Black”

  1. Kevin Hoover says:

    Well, OK Jimmy. But I remember the Grandmothers show in Hayward, California on Halloween, 1981. I still have the orange poster for it.

    That was the night that Frank also played a concert carried live on MTV. My friend Eric was taping it with his newfangled VCR, a big honkin’ mofo of a machine. Once he got that rolling and I knew I wouldn’t miss the Zappa show, I drove over to this downtown club to see Jimmy and company who were playing at the same time.

    I distinctly remember how Jimmy, as the frontman, insinuated the performance with various snide remarks about Frank, claiming that Frank had ripped off his and Don and Bunk’s ideas and called them his own, and how he exploited them, kept them in a box and wouldn’t let them really rip on their instruments.

    The reason I remember this is so specifically is that for all the Frank-bashing, the Grandmothers proceeded to perform the songs as virtual note-for-note carbon copies of the Uncle Meat versions!

    I’m always disappointed when I go to a show and the band just “plays the album” with little or no variation. But in this case it was particularly annoying since Jimmy et al were railing about being repressed… and yet they slavishly replicated the music as it was done on the Mothers records.

    Had the term “WTF?” been around at that time, it would surely have inhabited my thought balloon to the exclusion of all else.

    Then I went back to Eric’s and watched Frank’s show, and of course the last thing he would do is just rehash some old album arrangement. There was no comparison between the shows in terms of power, creativity and certainly musicianship.

    I remember telling Eric of my cognitive dissonance over the Grandmothers’ show – what they said vs. what they played. If Frank was such a totalitarian about the music, why did they continue to perform it exactly his way?

    Point is, the Grandmothers marketed this dissident stance as part of their package. You have Jimmy going around the country making a living by talking smack about Frank, playing his music, suing him and so on.

    A decade or so later, Frank is dying, and the family is understandably protective and careful about who can enter his sphere of consciousness. Imagine that he was your husband or father. The people who tormented Frank as part of a half-assed career gambit were probably not very high on the list of those allowed in to occupy his remaining time.

    Jimmy could argue that the family should forgive the verbal and legal abuse and let him see Frank. They made a different choice, and one that wasn’t without justification.

    So, I just think Jimmy was being disingenuous, or exercising selective memory with the remarks cited above. I don’t question that he loved Frank. But during the show that I saw, love was not in the air. Rather, sneering condemnation of FZ ran throughout the entertainment package the Grandmothers were marketing. When you do that, you may forfeit certain privileges.

  2. urbangraffito says:

    I think Jimmy Carl Black (and all the other original Mothers) have a right to a certain bitterness. Any remotely objective perspective has to come to the same conclusion that they were all ripped off by Frank and the Zappa organisation. Zappa was not the Mothers. Yes, he was a very large part, but he never did keep his promise to them all when he asked them to play his music: “I’ll make you rich and famous.” Only Frank became rich and famous, while Jimmy did what every fucked over working musician does…he worked a series of killer day jobs to feed his kids, while Frank’s kids are still being fed from other people’s efforts. Yes, Frank was a musical genius. He was also a hard-nosed businessman who always got the upper hand. What does this tell you about Frank Zappa the person instead of the icon? It tells me he is a flawed individual, and having said that, the perfect man of our age, full of contradictions.

  3. voice on the wall says:

    i agree kevin, when they lost zappa which was the main drive then they lost direction with out zappa they could not continue. they hurt gails and franks feelings quite a bit. moon aint no dummy she knows how to think independently from there parents. on zappa.com there is an apology letter here is the link you have to scroll down a bit. Seems to me not all the people working with or for frank caught on to h is drive and independence. i read once that frank was the one who taught JCB how to play drums if its true or not i dont know that. There where very few people which got to know zappas or the real zappa iam sure if you hear your friends talking trash it leaves a trail in your heart zappa may not shown it but i bet he gave that some thought. Gail sure was hurt there where many cool times that she spend with JCB and Motorhead repairing there truck and in there garage drinking beer laughing and so on since they where going in and out the door at there house. http://www.zappa.com/whatsnew/news/index.html.

  4. voice on the wall says:

    the link is the letter of apology on zappa .com you have to scroll down a bit
    J

  5. voice on the wall says:

    urban you need to let me know where you get that information pls let me know that i love to read that. If frank was a good business men well
    iam not sure i dont think he was good business men if you would compare him to gene simmons (KISS) or mark knopfler he is low income. zappa was a men who however did most himself self financed and i dont remember him producing anything for some one else to make money. dylan tried to get him to produce an album that fell thru. I dont know if and how he invested his money and he may have had some other dealings i dont know about it. he was broke and gail started barfko
    and took out a loan glotzer management almost killed him finically.
    and i dont know if his projects like baby snakes 200 motels ever got him a reward. The money made from networking he spend and the 84 and 88 tour where losses. his records sold and most of that moeny went in to umrk. he build that from 1978-1979 and it was a multi million dollar studio. they where living for ever in on and the same house which they rebuild and remodeled. I dont know if that is a good bussines men or just a practical thinker. as far as i know there is no big guitar collection or any collection at all of something. I never heard of any big cars except for gails rolls zappa didnt drive a car.
    The kids where home and they had a staff and people on the payroll.
    I think he had 6 guitars and treated them like i tread my tools.
    he worked about 18 hours a day 7 days long well you should make some good money then. so please fill in the blanks i love to know .
    no im a clue less guy but the zappas compared to other musicians in
    la or ca or where ever arent that rich. If you look at the toto folks or peter cetera, or van halen i think zappa is low income comapred to them. let me know what you think. I estimate there worth after the sale to ryco at about maybe 20 mil. like i said i guess and how could i know

  6. urbangraffito says:

    In various interviews posted here on KUR, Gail has said that the word “mortgage” never came up in conversation in their household. This at very least means that money was not a cause for stress in their marriage (as it is for so many others, I’m sure). Sure, Frank Zappa never made the uber dollars that bands like Van Halen, Kiss, and musicians like Gene Simmons made, but neither do you ever hear of members of these bands complaining that they were ripped off financially by their bandmates, or had their own copyrighted material usurped without their knowledge or prior approval. Where do I get this information? Articles, interviews and (whenever possible) conversations with those involved. Yes, Zappa got screwed by Warner Bros and the Cohen Bros when he was hung up in court for so many years. Still, does this justify how he and his organization treated the other original Mothers? As Andre is often fond of saying, this isn’t about pointing fingers, or placing blame, but to look at the history of this great band objectively, and give credit when and where credit is due.

  7. voice on the wall says:

    thank you for responding, andre is prob. a very good musician but i dont like his anti DZ campaigning. Zappa quit the mother and not because of money. zappa quit touring i think he was just tired of bullshit as he him self called it. no one told him to quit playing guitar he hung it up himself.
    however that didnt keep a JCB; DP; MS; from continuing working in there own rights to continue with their musical employment, development and financial well-being. I have never heard ruth underwood or george duke saying any of them being screwed by frank or such . however george duke, ruth underwood, steve vai, robert martin and lots of other not named became after there time with frank very famous maybe not with a big name on stage but being the top notch experts in there area. george duke rose on his own after zappa to greater and better just one example. the problem was that JCB and the rest of the early mothers relied on frank for a lot and when frank broke the band up they had no further ways or in other words there level of independence with carrying on wasn’t there. and frank was no long there he was evolving in his own way. so i dont buy the story of poor JCB having to jobs to make money for the kids. frank did not keep any of the mother from evolving for themselves.
    he still brought JCB back for live performances and im sure he would found him something to do . the truth is that JCB could no longer fill the need as a zappa drummer since frank needed more professional personal.<<plus the good old friend movement dint fit any longer in franks live. however they remained friends till the lawsuit. A good ex-sample is beefheart frank help him out taking him on tour producing bongo furry but i never heard don saying
    he screwed me out of ideas. The music business as such is that when you collectively work on something or experience something together and write it in a song how do you figure out what gets what. As far as i remember they where payed if i remember correctly i would have to pull the book. makes sense to me why zappa went and bought a synclavier lol . here is how i see the zappa operation zappa goal besides creativity was to be independent. He wasn’t that much of a good businessmen or he was the best covered operation in the world if he would a been such a great business men he would have gone and got him self 3 blond bimbos singing its cold in the rain again lol produced them and made the money. using umrk to produce not quality mind opening music then producing bands and records for people. he was in my sense a men that believed in his values giving the once which consumed him the best he could give for his money.
    Sorry that JCB somewhere got lost but he didn’t have what it takes.

  8. voice on the wall says:

    and if he could have come up with something on his own which he did very later he would have not hung on to the mothers and made the grand mothers , he would have made something on his own.
    sorry

  9. Tjodolf says:

    That letter of apology was extremely uncomfortable reading. It reads like Gail’s lawyer wrote it. She can afford a lawyer, and they can’t, and just because she can, she forces them to sign a silly letter of apology – that’s my take on it, anyway!

  10. Matt says:

    To “voice on the wall”: keep this in mind–the Mothers of Invention were signed to their label as a group. When Frank broke up the band, only he remained signed to the label. Can you see where the bitterness would then come from?

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

  11. Birdman! says:

    I’m not sure what to make of an apology on a lawyer’s letterhead which itemizes the things you’re apologizing for in detail that would ordinarily be understood as a further insult. Like, “I’m sorry that I said, ‘your mother is a rotten smelling whore and I defecate in her mouth,’ and, ‘your sister blows the army, navy, airforce, and marines, and leaks a foul smelling discharge.’ I am also sorry for ridiculing the size, shape, smell, and lack of tumidity of your penis, and pretending to give birth to a stunted effigy of you on stage, nightly before an audience of hundreds.” I’d think, “Oh yeah. Thanks for being so specific, otherwise I wouldn’t have known what you’re apologizing for.”

  12. Paul Sempschi says:

    WOAH voice on the wall…

    Zappa was actually quite an amble businessman, if you read Barry Miles’ bio, he briefly mentions how he was able to get a greater percentage off the record sales by producing them himself… comparing him to Dylan, who let others handle that aspect and garnered a lower percentage, it was suggested that with Zappa’s higher percentage, he was indeed making as much as Bob re:record sales.

    The book also goes into detail about the purported conditions of the Mothers. That it was a company with employees, rather than a mutually owned company (like most bands). This allowed Frank to dictate the office hours (practice time) and made him+Cohen responsible for organizing pay rates and the bands (haha) royalties. I think Cohen had a lot to do with tuning Frank into the ways that he could weasel publishing credits, etc. from the band and deduct their paychecks (for missing rehersals), something somewhat unprecedented in any other rock band. And downright sleazy.

    Also, Frank disbanded the Mothers, that is, he laid them off. This would be the equivalent of your job going tits up one day and you now need to find another job (band), manager and record contract. Putting aside the Mothers’ popularity and how easy it would be for them to get into high paying gigs with beautiful record deals by a big label, the way they were fired was abrupt… again, from Miles’ bio, he announced that he had disbanded them AFTER the tour ended. Effectively, you hear that your job is gone while you’re getting ready for work. They had families, responsibilities and bills AND they depended on the expected income from THAT job.

    Also, there is a long list of alumni who say that Frank lifted their ideas without credit. The most palpable is Ponty who got into a legal squabble because Zappa claimed publishing credits on his lengthy violin solos. Then there’s DON PRESTON who was annoyed that Zappa took a section of a moog solo he did, called it “Lonesome Electric Turkey”, kept the publishing credit… Ray Collins also claims that he had scatted the lyrics to “The Duke of Prunes”, which is why PRUNE: Ray is written on the package, as a way to reassure Ray he would get credit… I can sort of see where the old lineup would get irked, remember Zappa’s linear notes for “Uncle Meat”, that the album is a collection of ‘in-jokes’, who do you think came up with those ‘in-jokes’? Zappa even parodies their role in his creation within 200 Motels, as the band worries about being constantly under surveillance and tape recorded… yeah, they were, for better or for worse.

    And then there was Flo and Eddie, who successfully sued for a publishing credit on all the add-libbed dialogue they did to carry “Billy the Mountain” and the groupie routine… and as for Don Vliet, well, I remember interviews where he claimed inspiration for everything from “Brown Shoes Dont Make It” (Jimmy Black’s Beefheart impression?) to the lyrics for “Willie the Pimp” (most likely the ‘hot rats’ scat at the end)… and we wont even go near the sleazy flip-flop he did with “Bat Chain Puller”, which incidently put the final nail in the coffin for Cohen, who snuck ZAPPA inc. funds to finance it…

    Miles’ bio, despite some obvious factual errors, is quite objective, informative and critical. He makes the comparison that Frank worked like Warhol, whereby, he created an environment that encouraged wanton insanity, so that he could derive ideas from them into his own work. However, as Miles notes, Warhol paid people for their ideas… another vampire, nonetheless…

  13. voice on the wall says:

    i dont think that gail used her money to bring them to her knees read what kevin wrote see JCB was singing on you are what you is … so zappa didnt close the door on him i think after they saw that frank was making good revenues some one talked them in to going to get a lawyer
    and sewing him because jimmy is way to good of a nature and frank would have given him if he asked. I sure the rift would have never been that ugly. and if you see how people market gail zappa and understand marketing then the grand mothers sure got a lot of attention suing frank.
    i lived a long time in the USA and i have see people going down by lawyers hard working people which where wrecked by people who
    which had no other purpose in mind then to sue them for what the have created. Off topic i once took a contract with a cable company as subcontractor and we hired a lady which was awarded 300k as a group law suite from a former employer and as she was working for she started fooling around with the guys there. ding ding ding rings a bell. i dont think zappa was a men who would have not given JCB the money he deserved or shared his money with the ex mothers and as far as iam concerned he would at least cut them a record for sale to their benefit. but there in the door approach and asking an unreasonable amount of money pissed him off not gail i think frank and there entitlement thinking . Anyways this is yellow snow from the past. if both made it to heaven iam sure they made up with each other and iam sure they have something good in store when they return. so we say in germany let there everlasting light shine and the astroid they are living on turn to a star one day. till then may their minds create us a new surprise till they are ready to reincarnate.
    they have to come back this time as girls so boys get ready :) love you FZ AND JCB

  14. Tjodolf says:

    Two thumbs up for Paul Sempschi!

    Birdman! – I interpreted it as legalese; GZ has a list of statements they will apologize for or get dragged to court for libel, and since they don’t get royalties from their own records, they don’t have the money to fight a libel suit. The resulting letter is unpleasant, insincere and has little bearing on how real people talk to each other. Your interpretation is pretty neat too, though!

  15. peter says:

    ugh, I had forgotten all about that legal letter of humiliation. Gail Zappa is a miserable woman.

    also, folks always seem to forget this: don’t ya think it pained the mothers to have sued Frank, instead of Frank doing the right thing?
    He LOST the suit. They WON. Well, sort of. It was settled out of court. Largely, I believe, so that Frank could keep his finances private.

    Repeat: Frank LOST.

  16. voice on the wall says:

    well that shows you after zappa quit being there daddy they lost the ability to continue being successful in the music business industry or they would have had the money to hire a lawyer and take care of the matter themselves royalties have nothing to do with it its called money management. or the ability to use their history to market them better.

  17. voice on the wall says:

    i dont know if gail zappa is as miserable as people make her on here.
    she is still in business and the music industry is as far as i know a rather
    tuff business to be in. i also think that the 5 main records of the early mothers didnt produce that much sales and royalties as the later produced records plus frank got to handle all responsibilities and organization and costs and studio rental lets not talk about that side and its all gails fault. maybe a good guy, bad guy game your are so naughty.

  18. Kevin Hoover says:

    Are we really qualified to make these kinds of character assessments? Do we really know that Gail is “miserable,” and that the Mothers were “pained?”

    It might be better to stick to what people do rather than what we surmise that they are, or how they feel, etc., which only they really know.

  19. Paul Sempschi says:

    Mind you, it’s not just Frank’s ‘publishing credit’ antics but also the way he fired the early Mothers (men who starved and worked like dogs for him- and high school friends like Motorhead, without warning or consideration)… I bet that helped to fuel a lot of the tensions and subsequent lawsuits, with the original lineup, at least…

    However, when I talk about royalties, it should be noted that there was also a law suit re:the usage of their recordings for the YCDTOSA series. Something he should have been mindful about, considering the hot water he got himself in previous litigation. One of the pretenses about his ire over the bootlegs was propgation of profit at the expense of the artist, that money should go where its due, funny how he continually neglected that ethic when it served him.

    And let’s not forget that the snideness went both ways, there was the Old Masters boxset which overdubbed new bass and drums over “Money” and “Ruben”… and the childish scribblings (blackened teeth) on band photos from that era.

    Then there was the ‘disclaimer’ that the original Mothers’ performances were interspersed into the YCDTOSA series (despite low fidelity), not because they were exceptional performances but as a novel pandering to fans who favour that lineup, whom he hoped that the series would “end that quaint little notion”.

    I also wouldnt shrug off the money made off those early albums. They have always been very popular and even after MGM discontinued them, they would make a mint after the rerelease in the 80′s.

    And if you are unsure about the “Gail-bashing”, I would I refer you to Tom Nordeeg (I believe that’s his name, a hired hand around the house) and the posthumous whitewash job that’s gone on with Mark Pinske’s engineering credits (… you cant blame his systematic deletion from the credits on Ryko alone).

    Those are pretty textbook cases of how Gail treats people.

    But as fans, I think we tolerate Frank’s mistreatment of the alumni to a degree because he was able to synthesize it all into such beautiful music. Not to cloud over it OR to canonize him, I completely agree, that we should accept it objectively as an aspect of a very flawed man.

    Sloatman and Dweasel prove to be less charming with those vicious traditions…

  20. voice on the wall says:

    what about tom nordeeg and mark be nice if you can tell i

  21. peter says:

    A quote from Kevin Hoover:

    Are we really qualified to make these kinds of character assessments? Do we really know that Gail is “miserable,” and that the Mothers were “pained?”

    It might be better to stick to what people do rather than what we surmise that they are, or how they feel, etc., which only they really know.

    Maybe not “we” but I’m okay with it.

  22. Joey says:

    voice on the wall says

    “and if he could have come up with something on his own which he did very later he would have not hung on to the mothers and made the grand mothers, he would have made something on his own.
    sorry”

    Does this also apply to DZ and ZPZ?

  23. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Joey:

    voice on the wall says

    “and if he could have come up with something on his own which he did very later he would have not hung on to the mothers and made the grand mothers, he would have made something on his own.
    sorry”

    Does this also apply to DZ and ZPZ?

    Although JCB was often forced to work day jobs to support his wife and six children, this didn’t stop any of his musical projects throughout the years. A brief, and hardly complete discography:

    Jimmy Carl Black

    1981 Clearly Classic
    1997 When Do We Get Paid
    2000 Secrets of Crater 6
    2001 Where´s The %§& Beer?
    2001 Drumming the Blues

    Jimmy Carl Black & Roy Estrada
    2003 Midnight Hamburger BEP on Inkanish Records

    Jimmy Carl Black & The Mannish Boys
    1987 Lil’ Dab’l Do Ya on Amazing Records

    Jimmy Carl Black & Arthur Brown
    1988 Brown, Black & Blue

    The Jack & Jim Show
    (Jimmy Carl Black & Eugene Chadbourne)
    1994 CD Locked In A Dutch Coffeeshop on Fundamental Recording
    1995 CD Pachuco Cadaver on Fire Ant FACD1007
    2001 CD Early Years
    2001 CD Uncle Jimmy’s Master Plan

    Farrell & Black
    1995 CD Cataract Jump Fritz Records, FR 952014-1
    1999 Black Limousine

    Jimmy Carl Black and the Extra Combo
    2001 Mercedes Benz

    Black, Pini and Jesdinsky Power Trio
    Live In Steinbach

    Holzhaus, Black and Teressas
    Just Got In From Texas

    The Keys
    1962 US 7″ Stretch Pants / A Matter of Time on Ultimate Records

    The GTOs
    1969 Permanent Damage

    Geronomo Black
    1972 Geronimo Black
    1980 Welcome Back

    Nolan
    1972 Vinyl No Apologies on Lizard Records
    1996 CD No Apologies
    This album also includes contributions from Roy Estrada and Lowell George.

    Big Sonny and Lo-Boys
    1979 In Heat
    The band had been called the Messila Valley Lo-Boys

    The Grandmothers
    1980 Anthology Previously Unreleased Material
    1981 Official Grandmothers Fan Club Talk Album
    1982 Looking Up Granny’s Dress
    1993 A Mother of an Anthology
    1994 Who Could Imagine?
    1995 Dreams on Long Play
    2000 Eating The Astoria

    Steve Terell
    1982 Picnic Time For Potatoheads

    Austin Lounge Lizards
    1988 Highway Cafe of the Damned

    Eugene Chadbourne
    1990 Chadbourne Baptist Church
    1997 Chadbourne Barber Shop

    Henry Vestine
    1991 Guitar Gangster

    Don Preston
    1994 Vile Foamy Ectoplasm

    Ant Bee
    1994 With My Favorite “Vegetables” & Other Bizarre Muzik
    1997 Lunar Muzik

    The Muffin Men
    1993 Say Cheese And Thank You
    1997 Frankincense Play Zappa
    1998 MufFinz
    1999 God Shave the Queen

    Various Artists
    1995 Wavelength Infinity: A Sun Ra Tribute

    Tom Shaka with JCB & Lars-Luis Linek
    1996 Blues Magic

    Behind The Mirror
    1998 Cockroach Albert

    Thana Harris
    2000 Thanatopsis

    Route 66 All Stars
    2001 Live All Stars
    2001 More Live All Stars

    Jon Larsen
    2008 The Jimmy Carl Black Story

    I’m sure many are still available at:
    http://www.myspace.com/inkanishrecords

  24. voice on the wall says:

    well then the success was missing in JCB live tuff to say. the marketing maybe he was still sing on you are what you is ? so they stayed friends
    beats me taking the easy way out :P

  25. metafunj says:

    It is strange that he would JCB sang on YWYI and then the next year was part of a show that depicted Frank in a negative light.

  26. voice on the wall says:

    called read between the lines meta :) and then think about it even we dont know much about the zappa kids moon zappa for instance is a very smart women she may act but she incredible smart she speaks a few languages ………… regardless of frank pulling her out a 8 grade there is always home schooling and daddy had the money. but i wanted to tell you JCB says in the interview that gail dint tell the kids the truth and i wonder about what he isn’t specific. i guarantee you there was somewhere a guy influencing JCB and the lawyer thing. i think 78-81 all records produced except apostro. where all well selling records.
    something stink dont know what maybe urban know more .

  27. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from metafunj:

    It is strange that he would JCB sang on YWYI and then the next year was part of a show that depicted Frank in a negative light.

    There are interviews in which FZ slurs JCB (Part two, approx 4:40):

    http://www.killuglyradio.com/2009/03/24/lost-kboo-airtapes-frank-zappa-interview/

    and interviews where JCB slurs FZ. So why would JCB wind up singing the lead vocals on “Harder Than Your Husband” from ‘You Are What You Is’?

    That’s show business, folks!

  28. metafunj says:

    I wonder if Roy and Frank remained on good terms. They toured again in 1975 and Roy did some pachuco vocals on some 80s albums like Man From Utopia.

  29. metafunj says:

    “You ain’t the devil. Where’s my lawyer?”

    Maybe it was the MOI lawsuit while Frank was sick in the 90s that seeled the deal between JCB and the ZFT

  30. voice on the wall says:

    i dont know how many suits there where be interesting to know how many. let me know

  31. voice on the wall says:

    which is the best zappa biography out there i have about 3 read 4
    so give me an idea

  32. Paul Sempschi says:

    A quote from voice on the wall:

    what about tom nordeeg and mark be nice if you can tell i

    http://bg.mixonline.com/ar/audio_complete_mark_pinski/index.htm

    which is a lengthy but insightful read, I used to be quite a studio buff and this made me drool with envy…

    The only two bios I’ve read are “Mother!” and Barry Miles’ job. I preferred Barry’s, to be quite honest, since he didnt suffer the rabid fanaticism inevitable with becoming a die-hard Zappa fan, he was able to put things in a more objective light.

    For example, when he wrote about the albums, they seemed like separate projects rather than the obsessive gathering of raw material for a large vault… I also found it interesting that he found “Turning Again” deeply offensive.

  33. Jamez says:

    A quote from metafunj:

    I wonder if Roy and Frank remained on good terms. They toured again in 1975 and Roy did some pachuco vocals on some 80s albums like Man From Utopia.

    Roy also appears on ‘Baby Snakes’ with Ms Pinky. Bearing in mind, he keeps popping up as a guest during the ’70s and ’80s they must have.

  34. Matt says:

    Steve Vai said that “We’re Turning Again” was the only Zappa song that ever offended him. The title of the song always confused me. Are the dead rock musicians of the 60s turning in their graves because the music of the 80s was so horrid? FZ seemed to be making fun of the 60s fans more than the 60s musicians.

  35. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Paul Sempschi:

    A quote from voice on the wall:

    what about tom nordeeg and mark be nice if you can tell i

    http://bg.mixonline.com/ar/audio_complete_mark_pinski/index.htm

    which is a lengthy but insightful read, I used to be quite a studio buff and this made me drool with envy…

    The only two bios I’ve read are “Mother!” and Barry Miles’ job. I preferred Barry’s, to be quite honest, since he didnt suffer the rabid fanaticism inevitable with becoming a die-hard Zappa fan, he was able to put things in a more objective light.

    For example, when he wrote about the albums, they seemed like separate projects rather than the obsessive gathering of raw material for a large vault… I also found it interesting that he found “Turning Again” deeply offensive.

    I have to agree, Barry Mile’s book is the best of the two. It is both well researched and makes excellent objective use of in-person interviews while other biographies do tend to get caught up with, as you said, the rabid fascination with their subject matter (often times it feels as though whole passages are lifted from one biography and dropped into another with only minor changes).

    Re: Vai being offended by “We’re Turning Again”. I think we can agree that Vai, particularly before he was hired by Zappa in the 1980s, idolized many of the musicians FZ referred to in that song. As it is, to me at least, “We’re Turning Again” is a cynic’s anthem, which takes a completely cynical view of the 60s peace and love generation, and how people today still have nostalgia for what FZ thought was “a load of crap” to begin with.

  36. metafunj says:

    Tommy Mars was also offended by that song. Steve was a huge Hendrix fan so I’m sure it bothered him how Frank trivialized his death in the unofficial recordings with the part about Jimi choking on his vomit. Maybe Frank censored himself when he released the song much later on the Mothers Of Prevention album. I always thought suicide chump was pretty insensitive too, although I guess the point is that many people talk about wanting to die for attention, but some people really mean it.

  37. Kevin Hoover says:

    This talk about We’re Turning again spurred a memory, and I dug out the ’80 Tour Book to verify it.

    Ka-ching! The lyrics to the song as listed in the tour book are lengthier and much, much more aggressive and graphic than the version that wound up on the album.

    You might wonder why Steve and Tommy would be offended at the the tune on FZMTMOP. You might not wonder that about the version in the tour book.

    It’s kind of rambling and almost cruel in juxtaposing hippie-dippy folly with the tragedies of the time. Was the tempering of the final version because of unusual pushback by Messers Vai and Mars? I have no information that that’s the case.

    It does have one funny joke that I wish had made it onto the album: a suggestion that (paraphrasing) if Jimi had to strangle on vomit, maybe it could have been our vomit.

    Anybody have anything on why the song changed so much ‘twixt tour and album? And which version did they do live? Both?

    I don’t have the will to retype all the WTA lyrics from the tour book, so here are scans: http://crushallboxes.blogspot.com/2009/06/kur-visual-aids-june-2-2009.html

  38. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Kevin Hoover:

    This talk about We’re Turning again spurred a memory, and I dug out the ’80 Tour Book to verify it.

    Ka-ching! The lyrics to the song as listed in the tour book are lengthier and much, much more aggressive and graphic than the version that wound up on the album.

    You might wonder why Steve and Tommy would be offended at the the tune on FZMTMOP. You might not wonder that about the version in the tour book.

    It’s kind of rambling and almost cruel in juxtaposing hippie-dippy folly with the tragedies of the time. Was the tempering of the final version because of unusual pushback by Messers Vai and Mars? I have no information that that’s the case.

    It does have one funny joke that I wish had made it onto the album: a suggestion that (paraphrasing) if Jimi had to strangle on vomit, maybe it could have been our vomit.

    Anybody have anything on why the song changed so much ‘twixt tour and album? And which version did they do live? Both?

    I don’t have the will to retype all the WTA lyrics from the tour book, so here are scans: http://crushallboxes.blogspot.com/2009/06/kur-visual-aids-june-2-2009.html

    The lyrics listed in the tour book truly shed a wider light on the version that eventually wound up on FZMTMOP. The former is far, far more cynical than the latter. I like it.

  39. Andre/Project Object says:

    A quote from voice on the wall:

    thank you for responding, andre is prob. a very good musician but i dont like his anti DZ campaigning. Zappa quit the mother and not because of money. zappa quit touring i think he was just tired of bullshit as he him self called it.

    Well thanks, I’m more of a struggling amateur who HANGS OUT with great musicians, but that’s another conversation entirely, sir.

    But let me set the record straight AGAIN. I’m not “anti- DZ”.

    1. I am anti ANYONE who sets out on a campaign to fuck with me, sue me, and frankly (heh heh) commit ANTI TRUST by trying to interfere with legal, interstate commerce.

    2. I speak up when people threaten the clubs my band plays.

    3. I will respond when people’s employees shove me, spit in my face, (ZPZ’s monitor guy, Ottawa July 2008), call me curse words when I have tried to keep a yes, heated exchange civil and free of curse words/insults (DZ’s tour manager, Montreal 2008)

    4. I will set the record straight when GZ is out there slagging me or people I love like Ike, JCB, Don, whoever.

    5. I will stand up for Frank’s brothers and sister. Gee – ask yourself where they are on all this– all I’ll say is you see them in videos having a great time at Zappanale 2002. They are too polite to jump into this messy soap opera, but None of them have seen ONE MINUTE of ZPZ live. Make of that what you will.

    Frank’s sister Candy/Patrice saw the “Joe’s Garage” musical and quite enjoyed it…but even tho’ she called ahead to reserve tickets…she had to pay for them when she got there. Wild shit, that.!

    People should really look for her cool little book “My Brother Was a Mother”. We are trying to find a creative way to do a 2nd printing of it — you KNOW we’ll let y’all know if that happens.

    So – I am probably anti a lot of stuff — but I don’t wake up and say “Let’s go after DZ today” Who’s got time for such nonsense?? I respond point by point to their totally fucked up, dark-energy-sourced behavior and personal attacks on me and my friends for a decade and a half.

    BTW – am I tripping — didn’t Zappa quit touring..because the 88 band fell apart? Is that the ‘bullshit’ you refer to?? Because by all accounts he was digging the 88 tour until all that — and had plans to come back for a 2nd leg on the US tour.

    A quote from voice on the wall:

    Sorry that JCB somewhere got lost but he didn’t have what it takes.

    Still no justification to not grant him ONE FUCKING LINE of R.I.P. respect on the zappa website, the guy who (according to JCB and others) introduced Frank to Adelaide Gail Sloatman.

    So– there’s a lot people don’t know. What I am happy about is….these folks keep showing their hand little by little. What they REALLY feel about the fans -and how quickly if you are not ‘on the good list’ you are thrown to the fucking dogs, like Ray White, the latest example.

    Add up ALL the stuff that is public — add up ALL that you know to be factual by what has happened publicly, the ticket fiascos, the various crap, the alumni who are speaking out recently etc.

    The picture will only CONTINUE to become clearer over time. Trust me on that.

  40. George says:

    Right on Andre.

    Despite what the apologist keeps saying, we are not anti Zappa, but like Frank, we are sick of the bullshit, that this time seems to constantly spew from GZ/ZFT. I have spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on tickets and travel to see ZPZ several times over the years. We had a great time, but my willingness to continue buying overpriced tickets is nearly at an end when promises aren’t kept and bands continue to be harassed when they want to play the FZ music.

    Keep it up Andre. We’ll try to make it up to Acme to see P/O with Ray.

  41. Roland says:

    Didn´t FZ owned a Jimi Hendrix guitar? Yes, he did!

    Reading the complete lyrics of “We´re turning again” makes me feel, that Hendrix is a metaphor for the 60´s music, like all the other mentioned bands. And the vomit line is just lyrical “hoopla” on how bad the music was for FZ at that time. I think. I hope.

  42. urbangraffito says:

    KUR endeavours to be a repository for the facts about FZ and the Mothers, as well as a site for entertaining (albeit sometimes also very heated) discussions concerned with all topics Zappa and related.

    Andre has never campaigned against anyone. He has consistently outlined the facts without any hint of belligerence. The same cannot be said of his detractors.

    I agree with you, Andre, that the “picture will only CONTINUE to become clearer over time.” The facts speak for themselves.

    Just as JCB’s interview reveals aspects of the man he may not have fully intended (his bitterness towards FZ, Gail, the Zappa Family in general) – it’s not our position to take sides, or judge who was right or wrong – rather, to get down the facts, from as many sources as possible, so that the FINAL PICTURE is as clear and truthful and succinct as possible.

  43. voice on the wall says:

    well i wait then for the final picture. i have not heard what happened to ray white and ike willis i know one thing that thr speculation about MK and ZTF was wrong and unless different i want care to take sides. how ever André you seem to me to be more an exploit artist then a genuine thinker you made the reporting about the ZFT your main responsibility.
    I remember the fax footnotes on gail zappas fax cover sheet and you blew that out of proportion and since iam a working men i have seen theses foot notes on many faxes so that wrecked your credibility with me . And then the DZ thin at the festival with AB this like chicken poop
    however its one way to get to make your self known and get publicity.
    DZ price for the oslo concert is fair iam ok with that priced at 56 euros
    Sheila alone is worth if she wear deep cleavage :)
    the dirty old men

  44. peter says:

    This is always proof positive to me from the Zappa Trust Defenders Camp. They use Andre’ as the whipping boy, as if he spends every minute attacking the ZFT. In reality, he pops his head up maybe 2 or 3 times a year. Those that overreact have something to hide. It’s a Mafioso method of intimidation.

  45. Andre/Project Object says:

    “Zappa Trust Defenders Camp”. ZTDC, I like that.

    Sigh.

    I am largely off these last couple week, just teaching a little , so I have time to get in here and have some fun. Yes– clearly most of the year I’m too busy to be on forums tho’ i LOVE The debate. Truth be told — most of my blogging and posting on forums is POLITICS….what I LOVE about this site is the honesty of the people, and the GREAT links to live stuff. The ZTDC people…um, whatever.

    Yeah, whatever “Voice On The Wall” dude….if that is your real name. If you knew anything about me — you’d know this ZFT crap is like 5% of my goddamn life. Most of my musical life is about PLAYING here at home in the mountains of North Carolina, gigging with original bands I am involved in, doing my weird solo recordings etc. A couple times a year (some years not at all) I do the Zappa thing.

    I had abso-fucking-lutely NOTHING to do with any speculation on MK/ZPZ. Mike is a dear dear friend and he knows I would never ever presume to speak for him or even quote him without permission, like ALL the guys.

    Also– this confuses me — you say “…fax footnotes on gail zappas fax cover sheet and you blew that out of proportion ..”

    Please explain!
    I am confused –?? What fax?? where/when did I respond out of proportion to what/when?? If there’s anything I’m OCD about it’s setting the record straight on my words and public views. Check out my last year or so of blogging from 3 continents — not one word about the ZFT that I can find..so, I dunno what your perspective is on this…

    http://tourtheplanet.blogspot.com/

  46. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    A quote from Andre/Project Object:

    Yeah, whatever “Voice On The Wall” dude….
    Also– this confuses me — you say “…fax footnotes on gail zappas fax cover sheet and you blew that out of proportion ..”

    Please explain!

    Poorly written troll bait, André — don’t waste your time over it…

  47. peter says:

    I know what the Wall character refers to. It’s the legalese at the bottom of many an e-mail one receives from businesses. The difference is that GZ uses this in threatening personal correspondence as well. And from what I understand, she makes her employees sign Confidentiality Agreements (meaning she will sue you if you ever tell the truth about her). Ugh!

  48. Kevin Hoover says:

    “I had abso-fucking-lutely NOTHING to do with any speculation on MK/ZPZ. Mike is a dear dear friend and he knows I would never ever presume to speak for him or even quote him without permission, like ALL the guys.”

    Andre, this an assertion as to what Mike “knows.” In the same sentence you say you would never ever speak for him.

    My point is, it’s pretty danged hard to have an informed conversation without relating information one has picked up in conversations with others.

    It’s OK to report information gleaned during interactions with our fave musicians, as long as it isn’t told in confidence. Then, if there’s an error or inaccuracy, you correct it. Standard operating procedure.

  49. voice on the wall says:

    Confidentiality Agreements (meaning she will sue you if you ever tell the truth about her). Ugh! common procedure in hollywood and on the higher level of live when you meet important persons so you still go a while to go keep moving ……………..:) by the way insulting my personality dont matter much to me. labeling or ZTFD is all bullshit to me
    for the most part iam not an investigator of gail zappas live or DZ action
    and or anyones doing at the ztf. However it tuff to satisfy anyone all the time. What i read here on this blog and what i have learned about live and what i know about what people do. What i read about the ZTF on here is most certainly not true or cant be true. GZ most certainly cant be that mean and ugly to people as she is described here she may have business rules and habits which you cant handle on your level because you dont understand the size of the operation she is running and for the most she will always protect herself and the once
    close to her so sad you arent close to her. SEE if gail make one demission it affects a lot a people not only the consumer when sehe releases a product there is a lot a more work involved then when i make a record or a recording. THERE IS KINDS OF MABO JUMBO ON THAT LEVEL. SHE ISNT FINANCED ITS HER MONEY AS FAHR AS I KNOW OR THE ZTF MONEY SHE WORKS WITH. ITS CALLED THE ZTF
    AND AIM NOT SURE IF GAIL AHS THE ALL SO SAY SO THERE ARE 4 MORE KIDS SO I DONT KNOW IF THEY VOTE ………… THIS TIME I SPECULATED ………………………..HOWEVER I CAN ALSO SEE THAT SICE FRANK IS DEAD PEOPLE OF ALL SORTS MAY HAVE TRIED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MISS GAIL ZAPPA THAT COULD HAVE WELL BEEN …….SORRY FOR THE CAPS

  50. Roland says:

    A quote from voice on the wall:

    Confidentiality Agreements (meaning she will sue you if you ever tell the truth about her). Ugh! common procedure in hollywood and on the higher level of live when you meet important persons so you still go a while to go keep moving ……………..:) by the way insulting my personality dont matter much to me. labeling or ZTFD is all bullshit to me
    for the most part iam not an investigator of gail zappas live or DZ action
    and or anyones doing at the ztf. However it tuff to satisfy anyone all the time. What i read here on this blog and what i have learned about live and what i know about what people do. What i read about the ZTF on here is most certainly not true or cant be true. GZ most certainly cant be that mean and ugly to people as she is described here she may have business rules and habits which you cant handle on your level because you dont understand the size of the operation she is running and for the most she will always protect herself and the once
    close to her so sad you arent close to her. SEE if gail make one demission it affects a lot a people not only the consumer when sehe releases a product there is a lot a more work involved then when i make a record or a recording. THERE IS KINDS OF MABO JUMBO ON THAT LEVEL. SHE ISNT FINANCED ITS HER MONEY AS FAHR AS I KNOW OR THE ZTF MONEY SHE WORKS WITH. ITS CALLED THE ZTF
    AND AIM NOT SURE IF GAIL AHS THE ALL SO SAY SO THERE ARE 4 MORE KIDS SO I DONT KNOW IF THEY VOTE ………… THIS TIME I SPECULATED ………………………..HOWEVER I CAN ALSO SEE THAT SICE FRANK IS DEAD PEOPLE OF ALL SORTS MAY HAVE TRIED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MISS GAIL ZAPPA THAT COULD HAVE WELL BEEN …….SORRY FOR THE CAPS

    FZ: You’ll hurt your throat, stop it!

  51. Kevin Hoover says:

    “And from what I understand, she makes her employees sign Confidentiality Agreements (meaning she will sue you if you ever tell the truth about her). Ugh!”

    What’s the source on that? Is it factual or a rumor?

    And has Gail ever sued anyone for telling the truth about her? Just wondering.

    BTW, confidentiality clauses aren’t uncommon in biznis.

    Look, I’m an “apologist!” Woo-hoo!

  52. Roland says:

    It´s getting more and more into it, that Gail Zappa is Yoko Ono, isn´t it?

  53. Kevin Hoover says:

    Yeah! Maybe she’ll do a cover version of “Don’t Worry, Kyoko.”

  54. metafunj says:

    Probably bitter about all the groupies Frank had and now all his work is all hersssssssssssssssssssss to dictate as she pleases.

  55. Actually Andre says:

    A quote from Roland:

    It´s getting more and more into it, that Gail Zappa is Yoko Ono, isn´t it?

    heh heh, perhaps.

    Except for the part where Yoko is a creative artist since nearly 10 years before she met John, did incredible free-jazz stuff in 1962-64, and who puts out pretty interesting albums to this day.

    Also the part where she DOESN’T piss away John’s estate chasing Beatles bands around the world….and she realizes, as a 5 year old would, that all those bands only guarantees interest in the official, original art.

    But — I know you were kidding and it’s damn funny!!

  56. George says:

    I talked to Joe Travers last year and asked him to please get more music out from the vault. He just shrugged and said “it was not up to him, it was all up to Gail”.

    Didn’t Dweezil try to sell that Hendrix guitar several years back on Zappa.com for some ridiculous price?

  57. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Barry’s Imaginary Publisher:

    A quote from Andre/Project Object:

    Yeah, whatever “Voice On The Wall” dude….
    Also– this confuses me — you say “…fax footnotes on gail zappas fax cover sheet and you blew that out of proportion ..”

    Please explain!

    Poorly written troll bait, André — don’t waste your time over it…

    I completely agree, Barry. Arguing with a troll is like dealing with a bad case of cooties: it might feel good at the time, but in hindsight, it’s just a waste of time…

  58. voice on the wall says:

    different views are always bashed.:) how ever i live in the land of trolls

  59. Joey says:

    MABO JUMBO says

    GZ most certainly cant be that mean and ugly to people as she is described here

    Why not? How could you possibly know how mean and ugly she has been?

    she may have business rules and habits which you cant handle on your level because you dont understand the size of the operation she is running

    “Your level?” What level is that? What’s there to understand? Just how big is the operation? As big as Dow Chemical? As big as the United States Navy?

    and for the most she will always protect herself and the once
    close to her so sad you arent close to her.

    Protect from whom? Protect from what? Are you close to her?

    Are you speaking from personal experience, or are you expressing your feelings?

  60. Paul Sempschi says:

    A quote from Actually Andre:

    A quote from Roland:

    It´s getting more and more into it, that Gail Zappa is Yoko Ono, isn´t it?

    Except for the part where Yoko is a creative artist since nearly 10 years before she met John, did incredible free-jazz stuff in 1962-64, and who puts out pretty interesting albums to this day.

    Interesting albums to this day, is that a dig on Joe’s Menage???

    Good points Joey, way to cut through all that rhetoric.

  61. voice on the wall says:

    here i have an honest request is there a way you guys can look in and on your hard drives and see if there is a picture of zappa anywhere from
    the 1988 tour when he played in munich i hope this doesnt violate the trademarks or something i like to have it i was at that show.
    thank you .

  62. Andre/Project Object says:

    A quote from Paul Sempschi:

    Interesting albums to this day, is that a dig on Joe’s Menage???

    No, not really. I’m just a big fan and defender of Yoko.

    But I forget-is “Menage” the one with the 11+ min of dialog that is hardly interesting the FIRST time though?? What was that ? The Purse? that should have been a FREE track in the universe I live in.

    Yeah — that was a ripoff IMHO, as are bits of some of the other releases. But the live wazoo stuff, the recent 1975 live CD with Norma, Buffalo, MOFO, Lumpy Money and even some of the Joe’s material – all fantastic, in spite of.

    Of course I’m glad that ANYTHING is coming out, and I still promote it all at my shows, but it could all be done so much better. But – hey — I don’t lose a minute of sleep – we’re lucky we get what we get, I figure.

  63. Andre/Project Object says:

    A quote from voice on the wall:

    different views are always bashed.:) how ever i live in the land of trolls

    Not at all. What I see is that all views and opinions are welcome — you just have to be ready to have said views/opinions subjected to scrutiny. It’s the internet.

    And if you are going to state things as if they are fact — people will vet them and respond as to where you are factually incorrect.

    If you are going to sing ONLY the praises of the ZFT (not ZTF BTW) without balance and clarification of the completely jacked-up, fucked-up, condescending, wrong-headed, clueless, misguided and possibly illegal behavior that comes with it — I for one will always be there to help you be aware of it.

    But like any Zappa fan I say “Different Views are Welcome!”

  64. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Andre/Project Object:

    A quote from Paul Sempschi:

    Interesting albums to this day, is that a dig on Joe’s Menage???

    No, not really. I’m just a big fan and defender of Yoko.

    But I forget-is “Menage” the one with the 11+ min of dialog that is hardly interesting the FIRST time though?? What was that ? The Purse? that should have been a FREE track in the universe I live in.

    Yeah — that was a ripoff IMHO, as are bits of some of the other releases. But the live wazoo stuff, the recent 1975 live CD with Norma, Buffalo, MOFO, Lumpy Money and even some of the Joe’s material – all fantastic, in spite of.

    Of course I’m glad that ANYTHING is coming out, and I still promote it all at my shows, but it could all be done so much better. But – hey — I don’t lose a minute of sleep – we’re lucky we get what we get, I figure.

    You know me, Andre’, I’m hardly a big defender of the ZFT, but from where I stand, their main problem appears to be consistency in the the quality of their releases.

    Live material like Buffalo, FZ/OZ, Wazoo and their 4 disc MOFO compilation (even uber Gail critic, JCB, had to concede how fantastic that set really was) show what great quality releases GZ and Zappa Records are capable of putting out if they choose to do so.

    However, the Joe series (Corsage, Domage, Xmasage) show what can happen when they do not put as much thought into an individual release (such as MOFO) and appear to compile it piecemeal. It winds up costing far too much, lacks the unity that MOFO had, and simply doesn’t rise up to the same standard that they set for themselves. That’s not to say that the tracks in the Joe series are not worthwhile. They most definitely are, with very few exceptions (such as ‘The Purse’ from Joe’s Xmasage, for instance).

    Still, Gail is no Yoko. I have yet to hear one of Frank’s or the Mother’s songs used to sell running shoes or any other consumer product. I suppose GZ and the ZFT do have a line they will not cross (that Yoko has long since crossed). Sure, they might have similarities, yet there are also striking differences, too.

    Complex women, both.

  65. Mark Pinske says:

    I would like to thank Paul Sempschi for defending my turf. I cannot tell you how awful of a feeling it is to have your credits struck off of the CD’s that Ryko re-did all because Gail ordered it. Except that there re-mastering sucked, ha,, ha. (God rest Bob’s soul!)
    I worked very hard on all of the recordings that I did for Frank and it is nice to read that somebody stuck up for my work. THANK YOU!
    Someday maybe I will write a book from the view of someone that was with Frank in the control room while we made these recordings instead of reading books about Frank by people who were not even there!
    Go Lifers! Frank really did love his fans.
    Best Regards,
    Mark Pinske

  66. Bálint says:

    A quote from Mark Pinske:

    Someday maybe I will write a book from the view of someone that was with Frank in the control room

    That would be fantastic!! !!!!!!

  67. Mark Pinske says:

    Somebody out there help me get a book deal and I will write about the hundreds of thousands of hours that I recorded with Frank. He was a true Genius. Anyone can get me at http://www.pinske.com.
    Thanks,
    Markman (The nickname that Frank gave me)

  68. Sharleena says:

    A quote from Mark Pinske:

    Somebody out there help me get a book deal and I will write about the hundreds of thousands of hours that I recorded with Frank. He was a true Genius. Anyone can get me at http://www.pinske.com.
    Thanks,
    Markman (The nickname that Frank gave me)

    Tommi, this is a mission for you!

  69. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    A quote from Mark Pinske:

    Somebody out there help me get a book deal

    Mark, how about “self publishing”? Here’s a couple of sites to get you started: Lulu.com, Blurb.com.

    I’m sure there’s more similar sites… I for one would order your book, pronto!

  70. Bálint says:

    This book would be really nice! And maybe we should find out some kind of strategy to spread the news in the blogosphere, maybe.

  71. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Mark Pinske:

    Somebody out there help me get a book deal and I will write about the hundreds of thousands of hours that I recorded with Frank. He was a true Genius. Anyone can get me at http://www.pinske.com.
    Thanks,
    Markman (The nickname that Frank gave me)

    As a twenty plus year micro press publisher, Mark, I suggest that self publishing is most definitely the route to go. Like Frank, you are in complete control of the material from the get go, the marketing, distribution, etc. The age of getting “a book deal” is long past. Most publishers are extremely conservative If what you say is true, you already have a niche product that no one else can possibly fill. They’ll want to see a inkling of profitability before risking dollar one.

  72. Mark Pinske says:

    Thanks for the tip, but, if I am going to do it, I would have to put full time into it instead of doing it while I am doing other projects. There is way too much to tell to do it as a hobby. I would want to do a good book that his fans deserve to hear about. Just like Frank always said, “projects can only be as good as what you put into them”. That is why it was always full time for both of us. We worked all day, everyday and it shows in the final results. I also learned from Frank that marketing and distribution are way TOO big to do yourself. That is why DiscReet Records, Bizarre Records, etc. all went out of business. When we formed Barking Pumpkin it was always with a major distirbutor like Ploydor, Capitol and CBS. He used to tell me about why doing it any other way was stupid. One of his many quotes about that was ” You have to have a lawyer in every state if you want to get paid for your records”! Frank was very smart about business.
    Best Regards,
    Mark Pinske

  73. Rob says:

    I also would love to read Mark’s book! Unfortunately, it sounds like the chances for its publication are about the same as seeing ROXY in my lifetime. Maybe if Oprah would endorse it…

  74. urbangraffito says:

    Publishing, like the recording industry, is in an incredible state of change now, Mark. The era of a few large record labels, and publishers, monopolizing the industry are over. Individual musicians now have access to home recording studios and software to put out their own CDs, just as the means of home publishing has also made a book such as yours within reach of anyone with the time to do it.

    Unfortunately, Frank did not live to see the full fruition of the internet. If he had, I’m sure he would have seen it’s abundant use for networking marketing and distribution. In the era Frank recorded, he was constantly at the whim of major distributors like Ploydor, Capitol and CBS (many of which interfered with one another’s business deals as we all well know). Now with mp3 and flac downloads, the teeth of these companies have finally been pulled, and placed back in the hands of the artists themselves.

    That said, it’s your book, it’s your idea. You can (A) hope for a book deal to fall in your lap (which almost never occurs without an agent – and an agent won’t represent you unless you’ve already published a book, or recorded a work); or (B) take the initiative into your own hands, prepare a few chapters, then publish a few excerpts in select publications to test the overall public interest in your idea.

    At this point, you are not empty handed when either you approach select publishers, or are approached by them (you’ll also have something to give prospective agent).

  75. Paul Sempschi says:

    Well if Grove published Miles’ “Zappa” and if Ben Watson could get a book deal… I’m sure there is a market for a Zappa memoir. Perhaps go to one of those publishing firms who specializes in rock journalism and pitch the book as both a down-to-Earth lessons in recording engineering technique and a behind the scenes look at one of the most idiosyncratic rock musicians/composers during the point by which he finally had the means of producing whatever he wanted musically.

    The Magician’s Apprentice is always a very compelling narrative.

    And the Pinske period is one of the more fascinating periods in Frank’s production. Beginning with a rediscovery of guitar solos and xenocricy and ending around the Havel meetings. Perhaps some keen insights into the PMRC hearings (AL + TIPPER GORE) ontop of a plethora of groupie road stories to lighten up the more ‘technical’ passages.

    If written properly, it should be a very saleable book. Not just with Zappa fans but for audiophiles. It all depends on how you market it to publishers. For them, I’d recommend calling up your own experience in the field and taking a “Zappa’s a crazy brilliant guy” approach.

  76. urbangraffito says:

    As a writer and publisher, many times people have asked me why I haven’t written and published a Zappa book. First of all, there is already a glut of Zappa and Mothers biographies in the marketplace. Anything I would write really wouldn’t add very much to all the information that is out there already. I might ghost write, but the essential idea would come from elsewhere. Miles ‘Zappa’ is a heavily researched biography, and Ben Watson’s book is a critical academic work – both took much time and effort to compile and complete. One also has to keep in mind that both these authors were filling a void with their books. Most of the Zappa/Mothers books I come across now are from smaller mid-range publishers. The thesis of such books need to be very narrow in order to be of anyone’s interest, most of all a publisher. I think with all the various publications in the marketplace, it would take more than just the strength of Zappa’s personality to sell a book idea.

  77. Matt says:

    There still is a void in the FZ bibliography: first-person accounts by those who worked with him (I don’t count the Nigey book as I feel that it’s badly written).

  78. Alex says:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    As a writer and publisher, many times people have asked me why I haven’t written and published a Zappa book. First of all, there is already a glut of Zappa and Mothers biographies in the marketplace. Anything I would write really wouldn’t add very much to all the information that is out there already. I might ghost write, but the essential idea would come from elsewhere. Miles ‘Zappa’ is a heavily researched biography, and Ben Watson’s book is a critical academic work – both took much time and effort to compile and complete. One also has to keep in mind that both these authors were filling a void with their books. Most of the Zappa/Mothers books I come across now are from smaller mid-range publishers. The thesis of such books need to be very narrow in order to be of anyone’s interest, most of all a publisher. I think with all the various publications in the marketplace, it would take more than just the strength of Zappa’s personality to sell a book idea.

    I agree. Like it or not, you have to admire the work Miles, Watson, even Michael Gray (Grey?) put into their books. Should I do my MA thesis on Zappa, it’s going to be focused on a particular theme, like his perceptions of nostalgia (in practice and in his own words, because as much as he seemed to hate nostalgia, “Village Of The Sun” delicately suggests otherwise), or his relationship with doo-wop or his combining of influences…etc.

    I don’t want to push my own work, but there’s plenty of unexplored turf in the world of The Kinks, who I’ve written about at length. (Not to brag, but my papers are cited on the Wikipedia articles for “20th Century Man” and “Got To Be Free.” Only a few really great books out there.)

    Matt? I agree on Nigey…it can’t be denied that she was around, but how important was she in the big picture? And that’s where my grievances with that book began.

    And thanks for the encouragement, Urban. I’ll just make sure to keep my friendly invites for a beer or good Indian food limited to you and Barry, should you be in the NYC area.

    And Markman – see what transcribing those tapes will get you. Who knows, that might be enticing to someone, somewhere.

  79. vince says:

    The Gray book is only good for the Pamela Z stuff….. oh, and that Dylan story.

  80. Mark Pinske says:

    Wow! You guys are getting me very keyed up here. I can’t thank you enough for posting your comments. I find it all very interesting. And yes, urbangraffito,, you are right! Times have changed and Frank of all people would have been the first to change with it. This I know to be true, we were changing with styles and technology everyday. Frank had the first keypex, the first drum machine and one of the first Synclaviers. Not to mention that we had the first Sony PCM 3324 digitrak multitrack in the states and I myself helped write the English manual. Thank you again for your input and please keep it coming.
    Markman

  81. Calvin says:

    The old url to the interview doesn’t work anymore, but you’ll find it at http://www.calvin.no/jimmy-carl-black-interviews.html

  82. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Calvin:

    The old url to the interview doesn’t work anymore, but you’ll find it at http://www.calvin.no/jimmy-carl-black-interviews.html

    Thanks for the heads up, Calvin. I like the new site. Especially the way you’ve laid out the interviews for visitors to either play or download. I’ve updated this post to include the new url, as well as the pic of you and Jimmy Carl. Once again, great interview. Now, I’m off to download those interviews of Jimmy…

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