Frank Zappa: New York & Elsewhere, 1980, Excerpts


In this 1980 Austrian TV Documentary, interviews with Frank Zappa are interspersed with concert footage from New York’s Mudd Club on May 8th, 1980 (“Mudd Club” and “Chunga’s Revenge“) and Upper Darby Township’s Tower Theatre on May 10th, 1980 (“Beauty Knows No Pain“) as well as an interview (of sorts) with hardcore fans (including Al Malkin) backstage at the Mudd Club. Despite poor video quality and bad overdubbing – it is still a great artifact of Zappa‘s 1980 tour and New York’s infamous Mudd Club which opened in October of 1978, quickly became a fixture in downtown Manhattan’s underground music and counterculture scene, until its closure in 1982.

Not Just Another DIY Musician: Louis Cole

Louis Cole is one of those young musicians who “get” the potential of the internet as a medium for getting your music out there. In the past, he’s collaborated with such people as Jack Conte of Pomplamoose fame (previously). Here they are, performing Passenger Seat:

A couple of months ago, blissfully bypassing any record label involvement big or small, Cole released his first, self-titled solo album, which I happen to like a lot. The album is available on iTunes here.

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An Interview With Lorraine Belcher

Andrew just published an interview he did with Lorraine Belcher, full of wonderful little nuggets such as this one:

He told me that his wife never made a sound during sex. This made him feel bad. One day, after he’d been on the road to a meeting in LA for awhile, he realised he’d forgotten something and turned around. When he got home he found his wife passed out on the bed with a potato carved like a dildo. He was originally very upset, since she’d apparently been so satisfied she had to take a nap! Then he asked her to tell him about the potato. She had apparently tried all the other vegetables and found the potato to be the most harmonious with the vaginal canal….pH balance, etc. It didn’t produce any kind of infection or discharge, and held up well. That’s why he wrote Call any Vegetable.

Check out the full interview here.

Frank Zappa – WBCN Interview, 1978

Frank Zappa stops by for an after gig radio interview at WBCN-FM, Boston, MA, on October 26th, 1978. Zappa apologizes for his lateness by producing a tape from the mixing board of the start of the prior night’s show of “Persona Non Grata” from North Shore Coliseum, Danvers, MA, followed by an interview. Another piece of fantastic Zappa history.

Zappa, Prague, & Prazsky Vyber – Then & Now

While researching tracks for the next KUR mixtape, I happened upon some historical footage of Frank Zappa’s visit to Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1990 – and a chance to reacquaint myself with the metal group, Prazsky Vyber, with which Zappa performed one of his last guitar improvisations, “Improvizance v A dur s Franken Zappou” with guitarist Michal Pavticek in 1991:
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Tunes, Treats & Torrents – The Grandmothers

The first version of The Grandmothers came into being in 1980, formed by original Mothers of Invention and Soul Giants alumni Don Preston, Jimmy Carl Black and Bunk Gardner. From almost the start, the group was a thorn in Zappa‘s side (who’d probably thought he’d seen the last of his former bandmates when he forced them into the cold when he disbanded the original Mothers in 1970) when Zappa himself became the target of the new band’s on-stage satire and was apparently particularly upset over a dummy of himself that was being used in various provocative ways. Thus began a pattern of the Zappa family and its legal minions fighting with various members of the Grandmothers over the right to perform and record original Mothers of Invention compositions. At one point in the early ’90s, the Zappa estate quashed a new recording deal for the Grandmothers with a major label that was unfortunately not interested in working with the band unless it was allowed to use the name of the Mothers of Invention.
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Frank Zappa & Ron Paul – American Fascism

In these two distinct interviews, 21 years apart – Frank Zappa on CNN’s March 28th, 1986 episode of “Crossfire”, and 2008 presidential candidate Ron Paul on the December 23rd, 2007 episode of “Meet The Press” – both men discuss the danger of America’s slide towards a type of theological, right-wing, corporate Fascism. Amazing how Zappa’s very idea of an American theologically based fascism brought him nothing but ridicule in 1986, while in 2010 we are currently living in the very world he had described. Zappa was most definitely a futurist in his own right.

Frank Zappa – My Guitar & Interview

In this fan-made video, Frank Zappa’s 1969 7″ Extended Version of “My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama” is combined with a Zappa interview by Bill Hewey on “What’s It All About” – recorded for the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. For Public Service (Religious) Broadcast, August 1979. Some really, really weird takes on Zappa’s point of view…

Frank Zappa — Cynic, Satirist, Social Anthropologist

Frank Zappa had been referred to as a lot of things throughout his thirty year career – some complimentary (genius, iconoclast, family man) and some not so complimentary (misogynist, anti-semite, misanthropist) – yet all one need do is listen to some of the myriad of interviews Zappa gave during his life (beginning with an excerpt from the Mark Radcliffe BBC Radio 1 Interview, above) and evidence becomes overwhelmingly clear: besides being a musician and composer, Zappa was a life-long cynic, satirist, and a social anthropologist:
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The Muffin Men @ Fairport & Elsewhere

In 2008, The Muffin Men – a British band, based in Liverpool, England which primarily plays the music of Frank Zappa – performed at Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, performing such Zappa classics as “Zoot Allures”, “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow” and “Black Napkins” (above) as well as “Road Ladies“, “San Ber’dino“, and “My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama“.
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