Napoleon Murphy Brock’s physical CD, This Is What Frank Zappa Heard, recorded live at the Red Noodle in Waikiki, Hawaii on September 9th, 1973 gives an example of what Frank Zappa heard when he was looking for a lead singer for the Roxy band. Available from CDBaby for $19.00 (US). Listen to brief samples here.
Warning: You’re about to enter a zone heavy with nostalgia. Take with a very large grain of salt.
In the late 70s and early 80s (yes, when Dinosaurs roamed the city streets wearing Walkmans and eating veggieburgers) – when a Zappa tour was an almost regular (if not annual) occurrence, and a Zappa fan might expect sometimes multiple releases from the maestro, and my own rabid obsession with the Mothers of Invention (and all things Zappa) was at least at a somewhat manageable level – myself and my fellow freaks had devised a method of determining the level of freakdom of a given Zappa fan by what albums they had in their collection. (more…)
On August 8th, 1973, Frank Zappa was alerted by his road manager, Marty Perellis, that an incredible band with an extraordinary lead singer was performing downtown to a standing room only audience … and that it might be wise that he come and see this for himself.
When Zappa went to the club and watched the show, he saw a young talent sing, dance, play sax, flute and keyboards, in a manner that clearly made it appear that he was having more fun than even the other patrons in the club.
After two hours of observing and listening to this young man and his very disciplined band of musicians, he introduced himself as Frank Zappa, and the young man introduced himself as Napoleon Murphy Brock. The next words out of Zappa’s mouth were, “You are my new lead vocalist.”
Me thinks Mrs Barry’s Imaginary Publisher is going to want this…
News from the Idiot Bastard, that might bring some tiny smile on your face:
…in December, Napoleon Murphy Brock will release This Is What Frank Zappa Heard – Just In Case You Were Wondering. Recorded live at The Red Noodle in Waikiki, Hawaii on 8 August 1973 on a TEAC 4-track reel-to-reel, the CD has been digitally enhanced and “will put you at the next table to where Frank was sitting, and you will experience what Frank Zappa experienced and what later was described as ‘the audition of a lifetime’”. By pre-ordering now, you can save yourself shipping charges, so you’ll pay just 15 Euros on its release. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more.
Gail Zappa should recognize that these music enthusiasts, like the initiators of the Zappanale festival in Germany, are not doing this to become millionaires. These friends of Zappa are ensuring that Zappa and his superb work do not fall into oblivion. Anybody playing around with the Zappa logo for T-shirt advertising or toilet seats should be given a warning, I agree. But anybody seriously performing this music should receive backing from the widow. After all, she is earning the performance fees. And her husband collected inspiration from all styles of music and interpreters and was himself a great plagiarist, before making something entirely his own.
Anyone who knows me, knows my affinity for Big Band Zappa, so whenever I get an opportunity to hear Ed Palermo Big Band arrangements of Frank Zappa’s compositions, it’s a real treat. Today was no different, when I uncovered Palermo’s February 6th, 2009, show at Five Towns College, Dix Hills Performing Arts Center, Dix Hills, NY (with guests Napoleon Murphy Brock, Bruce McDaniel, and John Tabacco) available for download.
In 2009, Unverschämtheit (Insolence) Vol. 2, is due for release. A particular focus of the album are songs with the woodwind phrase “Horny Hornz”. Estimated track of the album include: Heavy Duty Judy, Brown Shoes Do Not Make It, The Grand Wazoo, Tinseltown Rebellion, The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing, and Strictly Genteel. Recorded over the last 3 years at various concerts, including the band’s 15-year anniversary at Café Hahn, Koblenz.
On Tuesday, the 11th of August, 2009, in the St.Katharinen Kirche in Hamburg, Sheik Yerbouti will team up with Napoleon Murphy Brock for a “live and unplugged“ session that will kick off Zappanale #20. They will play the festival, itself, on Saturday, the 16th of August.
In the three clips above, Sheik Yerbouti with Napoleon Murphy Brock at the German club Objekt5, in Halle (Saale) on October 14th, 2008, perform “Village Of The Sun”, “Black Page #2″, and “St. Etienne”.
Sheik Yerbouti performed at Zappanale 4,5,8,10, and 14.
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