Once a year, on and around Father’s Day, Wesleyan University radio station WESU 88.1 FM in Middletown, Connecticut puts on an Annual Father’s Day Zappa Marathon – Father’s Day with the Mothers – hosted by Psychedelicatessen’s Psychedelic Rick. Usually broadcast on each Sunday evening between 9pm-1030pm, Psychedelicatessen is described as “A mind trip through the musical vaults of NYC, San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Rio and beyond. FM Radio the way it used to be.”
Continue reading “The Mothers on WESU-FM’s Psychedelicatessen”
I recently came into possession of an audio clip of Frank Zappa as special guest on “The Johnny Otis Show” which ran on KPFA-FM, Los Angeles, circa 1970. During most of hour they spun old records, yet in this clip, a live-in-the-studio performance, Ray Agee is backed by Frank Zappa and Shuggie Otis on guitars. Frank tells a little story to start, then Johnny Otis urges Shuggie to lend Frank a guitar and they launch into an impromptu blues piece. A nice bit of audio history.
Leave Me Alone – Ray Agee, Frank Zappa, Shuggie Otis
In 1968, Tom Donahue interviews Frank Zappa about his life and work, while Zappa spins some of his favorite music ranging from surf music, doo-wop, jazz, the blues, to the works of Pierre Boulez.
The song selection is very informative for any fan of Zappa’s music, as one can easily trace the influence of all these styles on his own creative output, be it the cheesy harmonies of 1950s pop songs or the intricate percussive patterns of Boulez’s avant-garde classical compositions. The role that such songs had on Zappa’s own musical evolution is made all the more clear at the end of this hilarious program when a selection of satirical songs from the Mothers of Invention are also heard.
Zappa’s musical selection:
Agency Man – The Mothers of Invention
Handsome Cabin Boy [traditional] – A.L. Lloyd and Ewan MacColl
Grunion Run – The Hollywood Persuaders
Le Marteau Sans Maître – Pierre Boulez
When We Get Married – The Dream Lovers
Memories of El Monte – The Penguins
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat – Charlie Mingus
Lucy Mae Blues – Frankie Lee Sims
The Letter – Vernon Green & the Medallions
Daddy Daddy – Richard Berry and the Dreamers
Twilight – The Paragons
Florence – The Paragons
Florence Don’t Leave Me – The Paragons
Later That Night – The Mothers of Invention
I’ll Be Forever Loving You – The El Dorados
Cheap Thrills – The Mothers of Invention
Stuff Up The Cracks – The Mothers of Invention
Click here to listen to remaining three parts.
On February 10, 1986, as part of it’s fund raising marathon, KPFA dedicated an entire day of programming to the music of Frank Zappa, including the four hour long segment available for audio streaming (part one above).
Zappa joins Charles Amirkhanian, live in the studio to talk about his work and his fight against censorship, as well as to take part in an hour long panel discussion on gang violence and its relationship to rock music and Satanism. Zappa manages to insert his brand of sardonic humor into all the activities, be it personally promising donors will go to heaven, or urging the police to investigate the crimes committed by born-again Christians. The give and take with KPFA listeners during a call-in period following the panel discussions is not to be missed. Zappa also reveals a few nuggets of trivia including the origin of those crazy conversations found in the classic Mothers of Invention album, “Lumpy Gravy” and the meaning of the Chinese Kanji characters on the “Zoot Allures” album cover.
Musical selections include: Porn Wars, Outside Now Again, Tinsel Town Rebellion, Chunga’s Revenge, Jailbait by Andre Williams, Cocaine Decisions, The Dangerous Kitchen, The Radio Is Broken, Mōggio, Francesco Zappa, Dance Contest, The Blue Light, Sad Jane, Speed Freak Boogie, The Story of My Life by Guitar Slim, Teen Age Prostitute.