Frank Zappa — Composer & Guitarist

In the above clip, an audio interview circa 1984, Frank Zappa talks about soloing on the guitar, his attitudes toward live performances, and his relationship with his audience (listen closely at the 7:05 point for a relevant opinion of Frank’s regarding the performing of his solos “note for note”). Quite enlightening.

In the clips below, a radio documentary about Frank Zappa’s bizarre relationship with Jazz, culled from various sources and interviews (some with Zappa himself, just before his passing) with various alumni (Arthur Barrow, Adrian Belew, Mike Brecker, George Duke, Bruce Fowler, Ralph Humphrey, Tommy Mars, Patrick O’Hearn and Don Preston), entitled, albeit, ironically “Jazz From Hell” (presented by Charles Shaar Murray for Jazz File, BBC Radio 3).

News of the initial broadcast caused a hubbub, of sorts, among a sinister group of listeners of Jazz File who, euphemistically, referred to themselves as “The Friends Of Radio 3” or “FoR3” who were up in arms over the station’s decision to devote an edition of Jazz File to Zappa’s work:

“If they put Frank Zappa on,” a FoR3 spokesperson warns direly, “they are likely to alienate jazz fans the way they have classical fans.”

Actually, it’s worse than FoR3 feared. The Zappa special in question, Jazz From Hell, which [Murray] wrote and will present, takes up three Jazz File programmes on successive Saturdays. That’s three occasions on which unsuspecting listeners risk exposure to Zappa’s unique musical universe. And all at the taxpayers’ expense!

Click here to read Charles Shaar Murray’s response to the hubbub his audio documentary stirred up.

Note: In order for this documentary to be allowed to be uploaded to YouTube, most of the FZ music had to be removed first. The original poster, ‘fruhko’, apologizes for the uneven editing, but the content is there. This editing also accounts for the shortened time duration.

I Am All Day And Night: The Music Of Frank Zappa

Remember Barry’s post “Odds & Ends” back at the end of January? One of the “Ends” he mentioned was the CBC Radio 2 – Inside The Music program, “I Am All Day And Night: The Music Of Frank Zappa” written and produced by Philip Coulter.

That interview…

explores Zappa as a composer, and is told through the memories of some of those who knew him best — family, his friends, and some of the musicians who worked with him. You’ll hear from Zappa’s wife, Gail Zappa, Ruth Underwood, the percussionist who first heard him at a famous concert at New York’s Garrick Theatre in 1967; Elliot Ingber, a guitarist in the early Mothers of Invention, and Joe Travers, drummer and vaultmeister of the Zappa archives.

Part Three of which has been copied and uploaded to YouTube (Thanks to ‘tomtiddler’) in the clip above (and in Parts 2/3/4/5).

Enjoy! Especially if you didn’t hear it the first time around!

Listen to Parts One and Two at the Inside The Music Audio Archives (while still available for re-listening).

Billion Dollar Baby — BBC Documentary


John Lydon (also known as Johnny Rotten) presents a profile of Alice Cooper — whose theatrical persona was perhaps America’s most significant ally with the British glam movement and who also influenced John’s own band, the Sex Pistols — on “Billion Dollar Baby: The Alice Cooper Story”, a BBC Radio 2 Documentary first broadcast in November 2002.

Two episodes of approximately 30 minutes each.

Part One:

Part Two:

Around the 6:40 point of Part 1, there’s an intriguing account of what Frank Zappa saw in, and attracted him to sign this initial Alice Cooper group to a record contract.