Once a year, on and around Father’s Day, Wesleyan University radio station WESU 88.1 FM in Middletown, Connecticut puts on an Annual Father’s Day Zappa Marathon – Father’s Day with the Mothers – hosted by Psychedelicatessen’s Psychedelic Rick. Usually broadcast on each Sunday evening between 9pm-1030pm, Psychedelicatessen is described as “A mind trip through the musical vaults of NYC, San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Rio and beyond. FM Radio the way it used to be.”
Certainly, I wished I had had a station like WESU-FM in my community growing up (where top 40 AM Rock and Country stations dominated the audio soundscape – and FM, itself, didn’t appear until the late 70s by which time it sounded indistinguishable from it’s AM counterpart (so called “community radio” played endless hours of what Zappa would describe as “tired classical warhorses” like Bach, Mozart, etc). For me, and other Zappa freaks like myself, each release was a literal leap of faith as we laid down our cash, then hurried home to hear what new musical turns Zappa had taken. Seldom, if ever, have I been disappointed by a Zappa release (except, perhaps, for 1984’s ‘Francesco Zappa’).
The Zappa/Mothers fan of today has so many alternate avenues via which to sample Zappa’s music today – weblogs, internet radio, streaming audio, mixtapes, and the internet archive (from which the following audio streams can be found and downloaded).
Lastly, I end this post with an interview of Frank Zappa (circa 1971) by Robin Baxter of KPFA-FM in Zappa’s hotel room. It’s obvious that Baxter is completely unprepared and for this interview, and a slightly combative Frank Zappa takes her to task several times through the interview. Zappa discusses his classical musical influences, his orchestral and choral music as featured on his upcoming album and film, “200 Motels”. Other topics include his upcoming concert, the recent shakeups in the Mothers of Invention. FZ also loosely defines his art in terms of the continuity of life – I believe this is the first time his concept of conceptual continuity is discussed in an interview.