Just a little message to let you know that “Hot Poop – The Blog” has been put to rest and will no longer be updated (as you might’ve guessed by now). However this doesn’t mean we’re no longer blogging! Please check out the new KUR blog at killuglyradio.com and adjust your RSS feed accordingly…
Year of the Freak: February (the weesa)
In honor of that special individual who has stuck by the freak through the long years of freakdom — be it a friend, a girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, mate, ex-wife or ex-husband (hey, you can’t expect everyone to stick around: twenty years is a very, very long time) — for helping to steal hub caps, for listening to those same favorite FZ/MOI albums and tracks over and over again, for hearing those same FZ/MOI anecdotes for the umpteenth time: this post is for you.
The weesa (she’s so divine)
On Being A Zappa Completist
So you’ve bought the entire “official” catalogue (and in the case of some of us more silver-tinged freaks, more than once, and in many different formats: vinyl, cassette, compact disc), what do you do now? Just sit back and listen and leave it at that? Or do go on to collect every different variation and remix of those albums available to the rabid Zappaphile, comparing each and every CD release to its vinyl era counterpart? Do you collect every available bootleg and field recording (a much easier task now with the advent of the internet than during the era of “tape trading” and snail mail – those Zappa completists are a very tenacious bunch, indeed). Where does one draw the line? Is there a line? At what point did this simple enjoyable pastime become an obsession of epic proportions? When did this freak I see in the mirror suddenly become a completist? Tell me, Doctor Barry, is there any hope for me?
Homage to a Freak
I first met Royce in the summer of 1977 at a second-hand record shop. Greg, the gray haired, pony-tailed, slightly obese proprietor had just gotten a mint vinyl copy of Mothermania, and had absent-mindedly promised it to both of us. His solution: to the highest bidder would go the spoils. Being that I was still in my teens, and Royce was about 12 or so years older and far more gainfully employed, he quickly outbid me and paid for the album. Dejected, I was just about to leave when he suddenly invited me over to his place to listen to the album while he taped it. “Sure,” I said.
By taping, I figured Royce had meant cassette tapes. But when we arrived at the house he rented with his girlfriend, Keri, I found out by taping he meant reel-to-reel tapes. Royce taped every LP record and 45 he had ever bought onto reel-to-reel tapes. I’d later find out why. His stereo was an elaborate mixture of different components, some German, some Japanese, some American. The sound it produced made me ashamed of my own little dinky stereo. I heard things on his stereo I never heard on mine. By the time we finished listening to Mothermania, I was almost glad that he had outbid me. Almost.
Given that I’d first discovered the music of Frank Zappa and The Mothers as an eight year old on my cousin’s turntable, I was a pretty cocky teen when it came to the music of FZ, and I was rather proud of my ever growing collection. Royce soon put me in my place, though, when he revealed his own private vault. On the main floor of the house his rented (and any other subsequent house he rented) was a room whose sole purpose was to store and protect of all the albums he collected over the years. Beyond a door secured with two deadbolt locks, and behind windows which had been blackened and insulated, was a room that was filled with at least five or six thousand albums (I never had the chance to actually count them). Among them were more Frank Zappa and Mothers of Invention albums than I even knew existed. All in mint condition. Official releases. Bootlegs. Royce was more than just a collector. He was a completist.
Over the rest of that summer and into the winter, Royce and Keri became not just fellow freaks, but good friends, too. I received my education in all things Zappa and the Mothers listening to their reel-to-reel tapes, and their sordid stories about the times they saw them live at the Kinsmen Field House here in Edmonton in 1970 and 1971. Or the years they saw Zappa live in Vancouver at the Agrodome and again at the War Memorial Gymnasium. “It was like Christmas whenever we got back,” Royce would say. “We’d always come home with brand new boots to tape.”
It was through Royce’s vault that I first discovered the works of various Mother’s alumni like Lowell George in Little Feat, Henry Vestine in Canned Heat, Jean-Luc Ponty, George Duke, Flo & Eddie, and Captain Beefheart.
Two years later, in 1979, when Royce and Keri got married, I had an old Serbian painter I knew paint a 4:1 scale copy of the cover of Shiek Yerbouti in oil on canvas as their wedding present. It cost a pretty penny, but it was worth every cent.
A Reader’s View, 2007
Another year is (almost) over, so as a reader of this site (for years now!!!), I’d just like to wish good luck and happyness to the Owners Of This Site, and a Happy New Year – to Barry’s Imaginary Publisher and Dr. Sharleena!
They might think they’re doing it for their own pleasure. Hah! How wrong they are. They are doing it for us! So what can I say after all these years, after all the things happened this year, etc. etc?
Just one tiny “thank you!”
Just one???? Nooooo! Thank you some more!!! :-)
And all the best for 2008!
We Dub Thee: Swedish KUR
Damn it’s cold over here.
Behold the new, snowy white 1024x768px-compliant lay-out for KUR, dubbed “Fronk Zippo version 1.0”. It’s still very much a work in progress, and you won’t be seeing it at the discography or the Gig List for the time being — we’re working on that. There will be more features available soon. Oh and by the way, we didn’t move our stuff to Sweden, though we are sure it’s a wonderfully liberal country! :)
As we’re still hunting down browser bugs, please do let us know if anything looks whacky. Thanks!
Let’s Move To Sweden
So, um, guys… what’s your screen resolution? At least 1024×768, I hope? Men at work, and all that jazz you know.
Shit & Fan: Make A Sentence
On December 11, at 11 pm Belgian time, we were sent an email from the Berger Kahn Law Corporation, carbon copied to one Gail Zappa. The subject line read:
Cease and Desist Infringements Re: Zappa Family Trust
Attached was a three page pdf document, outlining in fuzzy lawyer-speak how we are blatantly violating ZFT copyrights across the board here at KUR. You can view all three pages here: page one, page two, page three.
You can imagine our excitement — to get noticed by the ZFT!
The Honor! The Honor!
You know what: The Suits are right on all accounts.
To have transcriptions on our website of long-out-of-print magazine interviews with FZ, which took me many late hours to type out and at times translate? Dude!
To present snippets of FZ lyrics on our website which showcase his incredible sense for Conceptual Continuity? What were we thinking!
To have artwork of FZ releases up on our discography section, so that readers would know what their next purchase at Barfko Swill could be? Not done, period!
All kidding aside: we believe the material posted on this website would fall well within the definitions of “fair use” in the event of a lawsuit. However, we simply lack the financial means to fund such a lawsuit.
Can’t afford no shoes. Sigh.
Therefor: behold the new lay-out! It is, we hope, in compliance with the Cease & Desist letter so graciously sent to us by the ZFT.
It is also temporary. We have new plans for KUR. This is not the end, rather it is a new beginning.
Will you be joining us?
Favorite Obdew’l X Story — Buns & Blues
One of my all time favorite Obdew’l X stories is of a young Obdew’l X and Don Van Vliet sitting around Don’s house after school listening to the music that would be such a large part of both mens’ careers.
From Obdew’l X, Captain Beefheart and the Secret History of Maximalism
by Michel Delville & Andrew Norris:
When Obdew’l X and Don Van Vliet sat around after school eating pineapple buns (from the remains of Mr Vliet seniorâ€™s bread round) and listening to rhythm and blues records, they were indulging in an early form of maximalist synaesthesia, performing the basic tenets of an aesthetic philosophy and way of life which was, at various points throughout the next thirty years, to unite and divide their parallel careers as American maverick artists: Buns and blues, the listening body eating, this was an auspicious beginning.
What’s your favorite Obdew’l X story?
Rufus At The Circus
Dr Sharl and I went to see Rufus Wainwright last night at the Cirque Royal in Brussels.
Nuff said? :)
Seriously though, here’s one talented singer/songwriter if ever I heard one. To switch effortlessly from rock to folk to campy Judy Garland to nigh operatic arrangements — and to somehow keep it all together: that is not a small achievement. Yet Rufus pulls it off, with brilliance and exuberance.
… and a dash of subversive humor. I’m sure Wainwright would’ve brought a big fat approving grin on Zappa’s face — and rightly so.
Now where did I leave my earrings…
Remember Remember The 7th November
On this day…
- … 150 days of a Belgium without a governement, facing an unprecedented political crisis
- … in 1991 Frank Zappa announced to the world that he suffered from prostate cancer
- … at around 8:30 in the morning I had a minor accident, when a car bumped against mine, as I was getting out of the garage (just some scratches on the front bumper)
Can we fast-forward to November 8th please?
This week’s boot takes us back to Melbourne, 22 january ’76. Apologies for the rudimentary naming of the tracks (i.e. Track 01, 02 etc) but I haven’t had time to listen to this one yet myself! Besides, today’s my birthday so I’ve other things on my mind. Whew, that went fast…
Greetings From Ghent
The Magic Fingers Tribe came over for the weekend. The photographical evidence is overwhelming:
… and then on Saturday evening along came my pal Franky. We played some of our greatest hits:
Mrs Magic proved to be a fan:
… and so did Dr Sharl:
… and then — this is about 3 am — we decided to call SOFA on the phone. Big fun!
… and then we all sort of crashed.
Good times! Splendid times.
What’s that saying again, “misery loves company”? Aah yes, that’s the one. Earlier today my car decided it would be a good idea to drop dead on me, and thought the event would be even more exciting were it to occur while its owner was lost in the middle of nowhere. Well, mission accomplished, you worthless bloody ’93 build Renault Laguna piece of motorized French crap.
Luckily, Dr Sharl managed to call in a cab for me. The twenty minute drive home cost me 25 euro. Hint: don’t ever take a taxi in Belgium.
All this to present you with this week’s Friday Boot — on a Thursday: Columbus, Ohio, 23 May 1971. I’ll be off for most of the day tomorrow having the old git towed to the garage and generally throwing around money for no apparent reason.
Meantime: enjoy, and behave.
To all who have commented here, emailed us, or made a phonecall: it warms our heart to know you’re out there caring. It is often said that Music Is The Best — and it probably is. But right now, you guys are the best. Have a great weekend.
My apologies if this comes across as melodramatic, but I just wanted to post it. Bite me!