Although Manassas only released two albums in their brief history as a band – the double album, Manassas, released on April 12th, 1972, and Down The Road on April 23rd, 1973 – the impact of these two albums is really quite undeniable. There are many who consider Manassas’ debut album somewhat of a masterpiece, and even though I wouldn’t go quite that far with that assumption, myself, Manassas were a very unique ensemble to say the least. As Stephen Stills comments in the above interview, he and his assembled musicians were able to accomplish a lot musically under the banner of Manassas. Continue reading “Sunday Big Note — Listening Session #23”
Recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the other original members of the Alice Cooper Group – Michael Bruce was the band’s guitarist, keyboard player and backing vocalist. In an exclusive interview by Nightwatcher for Nightwatcher’s House of Rock, Michael Bruce talks about his experiences as a member of the Alice Cooper Group (for the Zappa/Mother of Invention fan, though, one will find a lot of interesting historically relevant information – both in the interview, and on Michael Bruce’s website): Continue reading “Interview With Michael Bruce – The Original Alice Cooper Group”
Frank Zappa talks with guest host Joan Rivers on The Late Show on November 21st, 1986 about his parents, his children’s names, Valley Girl, his theories concerning the origins of AIDS, Star Wars, and what led up to the PMRC Senate Hearings. Some interesting historical background.
PZ: Is there any question you’ve never been asked that you would like to answer? ST: Probably. Actually, there is: Do you believe that it was a mistake to work with Frank Zappa instead of staying in San Francisco and continuing to attempt to get into the Conservatory of Music as a Conducting Major, also taking composition lessons with David Sheinfeld and playing in a band with your brother, Derek? Yes.
What I have now has very little to do with my previous musical endeavors. Without getting too metaphysical about it, I didn’t meet my wife through music or anybody having anything to do with my musical life. I might have a nice career teaching music somewhere, or playing piano in a nice piano trio. I have a good bass I like to play, I have a couple of bass amplifiers that I wouldn’t have otherwise. But I would trade all that for a steady classical gig. What I ended up with from my time with FZ was a hatred of professional rock music and most rock musicians. A despising of wasting my personal time with idiots who care nothing for me as a person. At least with a straight gig, I can come home to my lovely family. In ROCK, you have to stay away from all that you love for months at a time, and have people who you didn’t choose to be with (road managers, roadies, t-shirt people and truck drivers – both of the latter groups of people who are usually MUCH nicer to hang out with than the ‘standard’ rock associates).
I’ve been told by FZ tour managers that any of FZ’s musicians can be replaced easier than roadies. You want to spend your time with these types of people that shit on you whenever they want while you’re trying to play impossible bass parts and keep your head on straight while roadies are helping the other band members fuck with your head? IT IS NOT WORTH IT!
It’s got to be love, hasn’t it? Why else would someone bother to transcribe 200 of Frank Zappa’s tunes? For what other reason would someone dedicate himself for over 15 years to presenting his arrangements of Zappa’s music in the setting of a 17-piece jazz big band, and at a loss to boot?
A fantastic interview with the fantastic Ed Palermo – about music, about transcriptions, about his first time he saw the Mothers, about rehearsals, about his goals… (have you heard his latest album, Eddy Loves Frank?)
Once all the notes are down the way Frank Zappa’s band played them, then I think to myself: “Right, what do I want to do with this?” I wanted to use all the parts that Frank wrote but to juggle them around, to make it more interesting for me but mainly so that the hardcore Zappa fans can listen to it and be surprised.