Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category

Gentle Giant’s “Funny Ways” – Brussels, 1974

A little something special for all you aficionados of Gentle Giant music. “Funny Ways” is the second track from Gentle Giant‘s debut album of the same name released in 1970. Vocals were provided mostly by Phil Shulman, with Derek Shulman joining in on the verses. Christopher Nupen, a classical music film director, had invited the band to record the 1974 concert in 16mm film in a Brussels film studio for the German television station ZDF.
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Best of Zappa In Australia – 1973 Tour

In the above clip (short as it is), Frank Zappa expounds on what an Australian concert goer might expect from one of the various shows on his 1973 Australian tour. For some FZ fans, this particular ensemble is their favorite incarnation of the Mothers (right next to the Roxy band).
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Zappa in the Thicke of it – May 30, 1984

In this interview clip, Frank Zappa makes an appearance as a guest on the short-lived talk show, Thicke Of The Night, hosted by Alan Thicke, on May 30th, 1984, promoting his upcoming tour, as well as a never filmed satirical video.

It didn’t surprise me that so much of middle America took to Thicke‘s wholesome image. We Canadians had been tuning out his afternoon talk show, The Alan Thicke Show, since it aired in 1980.

If they’ll swallow Alan Thicke (some network executive must have thought), they’ll swallow anything!

Berklee Interviews Gail

You know something? I was going to write a massive post related to this interview with Gail (mailed to me by many), but to be honest: I figured life is too short as it is. I’ll leave you with a couple of choice quotes though.
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FZ Interview – KYUU-FM San Francisco, 1984

In this three part KYUU-FM radio interview with Frank Zappa broadcast on May 17th, 1984 in San Francisco, California, Zappa talks about some his early guitar influences (Johnny Guitar Watson and Clarence Gatemouth Brown, for instance), the reasons which led to his decision to stop writing orchestral music after the Berkeley Symphony performance of his orchestral work at Zellerbach (and some of the ugliness of that world which he describes at length), his views concerning the usefulness and place of drum machines in recording music and concert performances, as well as other Zappa news circa 1984. This interview certainly reminded me how much Zappa became a bridge for me across so much of the awfulness which became known as 80s music.
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UG’s Semi-Orchestral Low Budget Memorial Barbecue

This month I have put together a special mixtape for Zappa/Mothers Die-Hards with many of my favorite instrumental, semi-orchestral, and orchestral Zappa works – many of which I’m mixing here for the first time – from some of the best of Zappa‘s individual bands to the Petit Wazoo Band to his Grand Wazoo Orchestra to The Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Orchestra to the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra to the Ensemble Modern to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to The Orchestra of Our Time to Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest & Cappella Amsterdam – punctuated with interviews by and about Zappa from Kent Nagano and David Ocker and Studs Terkel.
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Gil Scott-Heron – Me and the Devil (2010)

I recall the first time I ever encountered the work of Gil Scott-Heron, I was in my mid teens and I had just borrowed a load of records, among them his 1971 release, Pieces of a Man from the public library on a whim (I had never heard of him before). I did that a lot back then – borrow whole batches of vinyl records during the summer vacation and listen to albums all week long. When I got home and slipped Pieces of a Man onto the turntable for the first time, Gil Scott-Heron blew my mind, especially with spoken word and vocal jazz tracks like “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” and “Lady Day & John Coltrane” (all video clips below) to name just a few.
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Spotlight, Swedish TV, 1971

While in Stockholm, Sweden on December 4th, 1971 during a short European tour, Frank Zappa and The Mothers appeared on the Swedish TV show entitled “Spotlight“. The 34 minute broadcast had interviews with Zappa mingled with music clips from 200 Motels [“This Won’t Take Long”, “The Final Solution”, “Centerville”] and included performances of “The Air”, “Dog Breath”, “Mother People”, “You Didn’t Try To Call Me”, “King Kong”, and “Who Are The Brain Police?” from Palais Gaumont, Paris, France on December 15th, 1970.
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Frank Zappa – Sleeping In A Jar (Animated)

This piece of early animation set to “Sleeping In A Jar” excerpted from the Swedish TV program ‘Spotlight: Stockholm, Sweden‘ originally broadcast on December 4, 1971, begins and ends with Frank Zappa’s commentary on the possibility of the merging of music and animation mediums in advertising. Given the date, era and technology, it is truly amazing how much of a witting futurist Zappa was with MTV and music videos another ten years away, and the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web another ten years after that.

ALL ZAPPED OUT – Ben Watson Interview

Like him, hate him, despise him, abhor him – the one thing you cannot do with Ben Watson is ignore him. No matter what your position is when it comes to Frank ZappaBen Watson’s thought provoking, sometimes shocking, sometimes scurrilous perspectives are always bound to generate volatile responses among Zappa fans, especially hardcore Zappa fans (are there really any other kind? Ever heard of a casual Zappa fan?). (more…)