Having grown up on the Bible Belt of Western Canada where the only sources of musical entertainment for the longest time were the local Country & Western and adult easy listening radio stations, it’s hard to imagine such a place nurturing such a Zappa and Mothers freak as myself. That’s right, two stations on the AM dial. The rock music format did not even reach Northern Alberta until the mid-60s, and then, it was top 40 radio, and the usual repetitious one that so many are accustomed to with that particular format. FM radio wouldn’t even appear until the mid-70s. So, local record stores followed these top 40 stations as a guide on what to order, and likewise promoters on which touring acts to bring through town. Continue reading “Zappa & The Mothers – Does Geography and Media Influence Musical Tastes”
First presented at the 1958 Brussels Worlds Fair with 425 speakers placed throughout the famous Philips pavilion, the placement of the speakers and design of the building gave the spectators a feeling of being housed within a concrete, silver seashell. A giant model of the atom hung from the ceiling and the sound & imagery premiered to standing room only crowds and I can only imagine was a complete mind-blower to all who witnessed the spectacle. Varese is considered to be the “father of electronic music”, Henry Miller described him as the “stratospheric colossus of sound.” When Philips (Philips electronic company) approached Le Corbusier to design a building for the fair, Le Corbusier said, “I will not make a pavilion for you (Philips) but an Electronic Poem and a vessel containing the poem; light, color, image, rhythm and sound joined together in an organic synthesis.”
The Philips Pavilion was designed by Le Corbusier and (the architect – later composer) Iannis Xenakis. Modernizm!
The final (6th) part of these unreleasesd photo series (see our earlier post). From the Commodore Crush blog, with no Zommify Widget this time, but watermarks – read the accompanying text there also, hehe.
Here’s a nice – and long – article about and by graphic designer Dave McMacken, from Rock Pop Gallery (april 2010) – the following is a small part of the text:
That night I listened to a truly bizarre take of the scene that Zappa imagined. In fantastic detail, he proceeded to tell me the story of Over-Nite Sensation and that the cover painting was to be done in a formal, realistic “Dutch Master” style, with the objects in the painting to be portrayed as visual elements from the story. (…)
I took tight notes during this session – I wasn’t given a written assignment or description – and worked on this painting for 2 months, meeting many times with Frank to discuss the work in progress. I started with a pencil and it evolved as we went along, with Frank adding more as “more was always better”- it is really cool when the musical act is also the Art Director and owns the production company! (…)
When I was done with the project and my clients were happy, I looked back on the time I’d spent with everyone associated with Frank Zappa and realized that the experience would have a colossal effect on my work going forward. It indeed has lasted all of my life – I worked for Frank Zappa – there’s no need to say anything more.
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 futuristZappa 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.
In the 1970s, Richard Burke had a small photography studio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Recently, Burke rediscovered old negatives and has been scanning them. Most of them have never been seen. Images of Zappa, Jean-Luc Ponty, Sal Marquez and others (of course, we can forgive Burke for getting the dates and years wrong [it’s May 6th, 1973, at the Syria Mosque, Richard, not 1974] – he doesn’t have KUR’s database to fall back on). Continue reading “Richard Burke Photography – Frank Zappa”
With the recent news of an upcoming Zappa release, my thoughts turned to releases of days gone by – in particular, 1975’s ‘One Size Fits All’ and its magnificent album artwork. Zappa fans who only know of FZ’s albums through CDs, missed an era when his album covers were almost as anticipated as was his music. View the album artwork in the video above, along with the album’s first track, “Inca Roads”, or download the artwork here.