Just Another Band From LA

Released: March 1972


  1. Billy The Mountain
  2. Call Any Vegetable
  3. Eddie, Are You Kidding?
  4. Magdalena
  5. Dog Breath

Frank Zappa (guitar & vocals), Mark Volman (lead vocals), Howard Kaylan (lead vocals), Ian Underwood (winds, keyboards, vocals), Aynsley Dunbar (drums), Don Preston (keyboards, mini-moog), Jim Pons (bass, vocals)

9 thoughts on “Just Another Band From LA”

  1. too much talking on this album … if you’re looking for music, you might be really disappointed. The lyrics are really funny, though.

  2. “Just Another Band….” seals up the whole “Flo and Eddie” era, until Frank revisited it in 1992 with “Playground Psychotics”. By the time this one came out, Frank was sitting in a wheelchair and ready to move onto his next, more instrumental phase. The pieces are all over the place in terms of source material, the obvious big feature of the whole album is “Billy the Mountain”, which is quite adventurous, but I understand why the previous reviewer brought up the “too much talking” criticism. When one listens to “Billy the Mountain” (or “Gregary Peccary” for that matter), the listener gets the impression that Zappa was creating some kind of surreal “radio play” for his audience, and one could only wonder what it was like to be in the audience and WATCH “Billy the Mountain” performed all the way through!! I think that the “Flo and Eddie” Mothers musicianship is much better on this album than on “Fillmore East”, even if I like the rawer feel of the tunes on that one better. One definitely should mention the unbelievably daring and shocking (even for Zappa) “Magdalena”, which is so upfront in its confrontation of incest, I cannot think of a single other example in the whole world of popular music that has EVER tried to tackle THAT subject with such unbelievable objectivity. One never gets the impression that Zappa is condoning incest, but what may be touching (if one could even use that word when referring to that song) is the part where Volman (I think) rants on about “I gave my sperm to this thing, and now….” As shockingly uncomfortable as it is to even DEAL with this subject, Zappa at least seems to want to UNDERSTAND, which is maybe the best thing about his much maligned sexuality in his songs. “Call Any Vegetable” kicks ass in this arrangement, and “Just Another Band” is probably far more important than “Fillmore East” in showing that this version of the Mothers were not only out for “big yuks” and laughs, they could also be capable of extremely complicated pieces and important social/human behavior commentary (which most praise only the early Mothers for). This is definitely a more difficult album to trudge through than “Fillmore” (mainly because of “Billy…”), but I think it is an important work worth revisiting from time to time.

  3. I really enjoy Billy The Mountain (although it’s been a few years since I heard it last) but aside from Magalena I can’t really get off on the rest of it. Same goes for the Fillmore album…just can’t do it.

  4. I dunno, this album is pretty cool. BTM has some great riffs in there and a pretty funny story. Hell, most people I know either quote Brown Shoes…from AF or BTM (or Studebacher Hoch, as many of them know it by). I love this version of Call Any Vegetable, Magdalena’s cool. Dog Breath isn’t as good as it is on Uncle Meat. Overall, I’d give it 4/5.

  5. First time i’ve heard this album I din’t enjoy it. Now I love every note of it!!!

    “Billy The Mountain”: Maybe too overlong, but funny. The “studebaker hoch” section is excellent!

    “Call Any Vegetables”: Rocking version. Very good.

    “Eddie Are You Kidding”: Not very good, I can probably live without!

    “Magdalena”: Funny and excellent musically

    “Dog Breath”: Best song of the album. The guitar solo is awesome!

    A 9!

  6. i was eleven years old when i first heard this album on my friend’s dad’s eight-track in 1972. i knew of frank because a muso that lived in the big hippie house i grew up in had a framed copy of chungas, and i thought it was a cool cover.
    anyway, i went out and bought jabfla (first lp i ever bought). and i’d love to say it was for the dynamic musicianship and frank’s brilliant guitar playing, but the truth is it was for the “don’t fuck around” out-chorus of billy the mountain. still, i “got” the music soon after, and have been an fz devotee since. sadly, while jabfla is a good album, it only rates about a 4/10 in frank’s canon.

  7. I first got this album about a month after PLAYGROUND PSYCHOTICS for the ‘origial’ version of ‘Billy….’. Well, I loved it all, especially ‘Billy,’ ‘Eddie, Are You Kidding?,’ and ‘Dog Breath.’ I could’ve done without ‘Magdalena’ the first time I heard it, but listening to the music more and the words less (then vice versa), I found that it was a great track in many ways, despite being offensive to many. Overall, an album worth mentioning (and eventually purchasing), but not worth praising as a masterpiece.

  8. Some of the best road trip music ever. We would fly down the highway singing along with Magdelena. Great stuff.

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