Alien Orifice: Scott Thunes’s Complete Bass Line

“In 1988, Frank gave me no direction. None! He never said no to anything I did.” In that spirit, Thunes made the ornery composition “Alien Orifice” [Make a Jazz Noise Here] his own personal showcase of what a bassist could do in Zappa’s later live setting, rocking and reharmonizing this nasty piece with almost limitless dexterity and depth throughout.

In, an article by Bryan Beller. What a pity that the excellent homepage called The Scott Thunes Effect disappeared somehow*.  I wish I’d saved all those scores there.


The Scott Thunes Effect turned into the! Thanks Hugh for the info! Of course you’ll find Alien Orifice there.

Author: Balint


14 thoughts on “Alien Orifice: Scott Thunes’s Complete Bass Line”

  1. I’ve never heard the specific term “The Clamp”used in relation to Zappa. I think “The Clamp” is a general term that refer’s to a musician being told, “No, don’t play that.” and that what’s being referred to in the articles is instances where Zappa points out the musicians mistakes on stage. Yesterday I was listening to Stockholm May 7, 1982, during “The Blue Light”

    “The plankton, the krill, [to Tommy Mars] That sound effect is not there for the krill! That is not a krill fucking noise. Just because you got pooched this afternoon don’t mean you gotta put that noise in the back of the krill… The plankton, the krill, the giant underwater pyramid… second show of the tour, already he’s making up new parts to the song… the giant underwater pyramid, the squid decor.”

    If that ain’t the clamp, what is?

    I couldn’t find the “Alien Orifice” score referenced in this article. Is there a link I’m missing, or do you have to buy the magazine for that?

  2. Oh yes, I think you’ll have to buy it… Or: you’ll have to get in contact with Steve (do I remeber Your name well?), host of the S. Thunes Effect page (KUR link). That seems to be gone – hope that not forever.
    Hey, Steve, bring it back!!! 🙂

  3. [quote comment=”4800″]For some strange reason my comments always show up too late.[/quote]
    Not a personal thing, trust me. For some reason, your comments always wind up in the spam bucket (the official Akismet WordPress plugin), so I fish you out of there whenever I’m in the admin section. Must have something to do with your IP-range, or perhaps your email address?

  4. I love love LOVE Scott’s playing. He provided much needed attitude (musical and otherwise) to FZ’s 80s bands, IMHO.

  5. Hi, the scott thunes effect domain name lapsed and I wasn’t able to renew it in time – I tried to re-register it, but some buttmonkey has taken it over and told me it’d cost $1800 (that’s right, you heard right, eighteen hundred dollars) to buy it off them… so guess where I told em to shove it? that’s right

    I’d be interested in seeing how Bryan’s transcription differs from mine… he is a monster musician, so i’d hope he got it right

  6. Scott is the man!! What a huge set of ears.

    In fact — the bass chair in general , in the Zappa band — wow. that is where it all happens. And always a fascinating interview, read as many of his as you can, including the one in that book..i forget the name but he mentions it on his myspace page..

    His dedication to extricating himself from the nightmares of “Rok” and to properly raise a family instead are admirable, but the selfish side of me would love if he gets back into regularly playing live on some level.

    And in the 1988 nonsense, ya gotta side with Scott — he was the butt of a lot of abuse, and at the end of the mess — you had, roughly, Scott, Frank and Keneally on one side, rest of the band on the other. I’d have to pick the team Frank was on…

    Scott Thunes. While he doesn’t seem to have enjoyed it – he was KILLIN’ in the Steve Vai 93? 94? touring band. Just killin’. With the mighty Abe Laboriel the other 1/2 of the rhythm section (Abe has been McCartney’s drummer for a decade or more).

    Plus he has a stunning and talented actress/musician sister, Stacey, check her at youtube or

    Who could not love the guy?

  7. Following Andre’s thoughts on Thunes – and throwing it to Steve: – if you’re reading this. Don’t you feel like adding a few commens to this or that score on your page? It would be fun to us, non-readers too! Like in the prevoius homepage.
    (and: other bassist?… How about Tom Fowler? Will you not make a score of his playing or two? Or Barrow? But anyhow, your comments would be welcome there!)

Comments are closed.