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The questions you ask yourself…

I’m discovering as I face brain surgery and it’s unknown consequences that I find myself asking questions about what I have and have not accomplished over the last 66 or so years. It’s not a pleasant experience, btw, only one that makes me realize how many things I REALLY wanted to do which will probably never be realized. I guess, however, that this is common to just about everyone.

(Sorry… this is much longer than I expected and it will not hurt my feelings if you sign out right now,   – Bill)

Starting with the basics:

  • I have a wonderful wife who is taking care of me when she also maintains a full time teaching job that keeps us supported and in our mandatory health insurance mode.
  • I have three impressive and incredible grown children, Cassandra, Penny and Will (who we call Buddy… I don’t know where “Will” came from), and four wonderful grandsons, 3 in Maryland and one in Connecticut. (Allow me to say while I’m in this particular note about how lucky I am to have my son-in-law Matthew Corrigan in Connecticut who has made sure Cassandra could be down here with me during all of this.)
  • I set out many years ago for a life in the Arts, something I really discovered while a prep-school student at Tabor Academy in Marion, MA.  Between painting and sculpture creation under Lou LaVoie, drama and theatre discoveries under Tom Weisshaus, ending as President of the Drama Club where i acted, but didn’t do much in tech theatre, I was poised to take off when I headed for The School Of Speech/Theatre Department at Northwestern University in 1964.

And just what did I do that I remember proudly?:

  • After I discovered systems analysis through an amazing engineer, art collector and professor, Dr. Gustave J. Rath, I created my first small theatre company, Systems Theatre, which applied this amazing intellectual technology to performance creation. Our first major production was an adaptation of Frank Zappa’s “Lumpy Gravy” which eventually played Chicago’s Performing Warehouse between sets by the two great bluesmen B.B. King and Albert King (who I got to give a ride home to later… wow!) When I ended up in NYC in 1971 I restarted Systems Theatre with some of the same people who were with me at Northwestern
  • There were a couple of plays that we did at Theatre at St. Clement’s, one of the really great off-off Broadway locations in the city. Well reviewed, well attended and most important to me was my adaptation of Thomas Merton’s “Original Child Bomb” which had gothic-y chants composed by a wonderful musician, Ed Roberts, who I had met when teaching for a year at Tabor. Ed and I went on to do several shows together… at St. Clement’s and other places. My greatest pride came in a project we did a little later:
  • Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark”, an opera for children, was presented at the Whitney

    The Whitney

    Museum of American Art, thanks to a contact I made with one of the most  influential people in my life and someone who I am so proud to call a friend today, Berta Walker. Berta was working as the Administrative Assistant to Steve Weil at the Whitney and was looking for children’s programming. Ed and I suggested doing “Snark” which we had just started working on and now we had a reason for pushing through. We opened to great reception at the Whitney and, a little bit later on, Berta and I produced it for a few weekends at a little theater on the East Side of Manhattan. Following that, it was taken to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, a major museum which had been started by Berta’s grandfather, where it was also successful.

  • My friend and former Northwestern student John Driver, who played the original Bellman in “Snark” had been writing a musical based on Samurai warrior Mushami called “Ride The Wind” with pretty much of a rock ‘n roll score and martial arts based choreography. This was during the time that “Kung Fu” was a big television show, and we thought we were really on something here, so Berta and I decided to produce it (the company we created was called Snarkophilus Productions after our big success). We started out aiming for Off-Broadway, but then the Bijou Theater, a little house at the end of Shubert Alley, became available and we booked it. We were now a Broadway show… albeit a very small one. My set design professor, Sam Ball, agreed to do the sets, which were built by Northwestern students and which I brought to New York driving a truck across country. A number of the actors who auditioned were folks I had known from the New Theatre Workshop, a small non-profit group which acted as a try-out location for new plays that writers were working on. I was their stage electrician for a year before they tore the theater down to build the CitiPlace Center on 57th Street.
  • Unfortunately, “Ride The Winds” didn’t pass the New York Times test and I was no longer a Broadway producer.
  • I had to work, so I took a job as Administrator of the Jamaica Arts Center in Queens, where I structured classes, set up concerts, scheduled movies and ran the books. It was there I met Elly, my current wife, who I hired to teach Photography in the class size darkroom I had built in the Center’s basement (I took up photography, too… something I really loved.)  Eddy came down and we did a little revival of “Snark” in Jamaica for the kids in Queens. When I was hired later on by The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, by their Board President (you can probably see this coming… it was Berta Walker), Elly came with me and we settled in on  lower Cape Cod. I helped the Work Center fund raise, grow and prosper over three years, then spent another three years on it’s Board. Elly and I however, moved down to the mid-Cape where we started a business that would keep us in debt and development for the next decade: Our photo studio, Photography Associates of New England Inc., and U-Design, Inc.
  • The appearance of the Apple Macintosh computer, the laser printer, a piece of software called Aldus PageMaker and things like scanners, modems, etc., inspired us to set up a rental-area business where folks would come in, rent space in a booth, and lay out, with our help, their ads and brochures. After a couple of years, we moved it to Hartford, CT… back in my home state. At one point we had U-Designs in three cities in CT (that was a mistake!) and we started doing more jobs for clients ourselves rather than booth rentals. We worked with major and minor companies, lots of non-profits, plus we offered desktop publishing classes. At one time we had a dozen or so employees. During this time I did no theatre, maybe a little painting, but not much (Elly was our painter and her work was wonderful.) While in Marlborough, however, I was recruited to be a Justice of the Peace, where I married several couples (I specialized in non-believers who I thought should have a person of their own.) I did start designing computer fonts at this time… still do it, especially my “picture fonts” which have been used on this blog many times. U-Design Type Foundry has attracted hundreds of buyers, for which I have great appreciation.

More recent years… “Things fall apart, the center does not hold” – TS Eliot.

  • We had built a passive solar house in Marlborough, CT, where we moved so Buddy could go to school there and we could lead the suburban life (eventually, we moved the last vestige of U-Design to Marlborough where it finally ended up in our house until it died.) I started going out and getting jobs as an Information Technologist at some larger companies, finally ending up at Computer Sciences Corporation, where I spent five working years. For most of that I was commuting to the Maryland-DC area every week to do a major piece of work for the Internal Revenue Service with a bunch of my colleagues. I made more money here than I ever had before. When my whole department was laid off after three years I even got six months of part-time work for the IRS itself to finish some of the project stuff.
  • Elly and I sold the Marlborough house and bought a historic co-op space in Old Greenbelt, MD, where I was still doing CSC work. Eventually, when there was no more work and a guy in his late fifties had a hard time finding IT jobs when the market was stuffed with lower earning young guys. I had to take early retirement which, thanks to CSC’s salary, brought me a higher Social Security than I had expected. Elly took a teaching job in Graphic Design at Hagerstown Community College in Hagerstown, MD, and we eventually moved to

    Ride The Winds

    Hagerstown, then Shepherdstown (our favorite) and now Harper’s Ferry. While I was living in Greenbelt, I got involved with two community theatres, the Laurel Mill Playhouse and the Greenbelt Arts Center. Amazingly enough, with the entrance to all of this I made by meeting Linda Bartash, I directed several plays and musicals. The highlight of these was a revival of “Ride The Winds” which I got John Driver to rewrite the second act for. It was well-reviewed in the Washington Post and local papers and I breathed a sight of final relief. I also, amid all the shows I did, had a really good production of that unusual musical “Urinetown” at Greenbelt, also a success.

  • I got involved with a new Community Theater in Shepherdstown, The Full Circle Theater, where I

    The Hunting of the Snark, in Shepherdstown

    became the House Electrician and ran lights on a bunch of shows, And then, can you believe it, I go to to do a revival of “The Hunting of the Snark” and Eddy, who was then living in Pennsylvania, came down from time to time to help my friend and music director, Ruth Raubertas, get our favorite opera for kids off the ground. Everyone seemed to like it, but this was my last chance to direct anything and I sank into an ongoing depression hoping I would get to do it again some day. I don’t think, now, that it will happen. I have to say, though, that I made a great friend of John Case who played the Butcher in that last production. John had a weekday morning radio show on WSCH 89.7FM on Shepherd University’s radio station and originally he invited me on for an interview and eventually I was on every Friday, which John started promoting as “The Bill and John Show.” I guess I did OK, since a few months later the station manager, Todd Cottgreave, gave me a show of my own on Saturday mornings which I called “Talk To Me” and which I made into a call-in production. I think the radio shows really saved my intelligence and ability to carry on while under depression.

So those are things I’ve been thinking about. What I haven’t discussed here is this blog, which is the major occupation of an old, retired guy’s day. I hope I can keep it going for years (as you can see, I love to talk)… if it has to cease, however, someone will put up a final post.

Time to feed the dogs.

Cynthia Huntington is a Finalist for a National Book Award

When the list of National Book Award nominees was revealed, I was pleased to see my old friend Cynthia Huntington nominated for her poetry book, Heavenly Bodies. Cynthia was a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown for two years while I was Director there in the 70s. I have kept an eye on her work for some time.

Heavenly Bodies, by Cynthia Huntington

Published by the Southern Illinois University Press, Heavenly Bodies has been described as a blistering collection of lyric poems, which give an intimate view of the sexual revolution and rebellion in a time before the rise of feminism. Heavenly Bodies is a testament to the duality of sex, the twin seductiveness and horror of drug addiction, and the social, political, and personal dramas of America in the 1960s.

Echoing throughout are some of the most famous—and infamous—voices of the times: Joan Baez and Charles Manson, Frank Zappa and Betty Friedan. Jinns and aliens beckon while cities burn and revolutionaries thunder for change.

Cynthia Huntington is the author of four books of poetry, including The Radiant (winner of the Levis Prize), The Fish-Wife, and We Have Gone to the Beach, as well as a prose memoir, The Salt House. A former New Hampshire State Poet Laureate, she is professor of English at Dartmouth College, where she serves as senior faculty in creative writing. She served as chair of the poetry jury for the Pulitzer Prizes for 2006.

I congratulate Cynthia sincerely for her current achievement and look forward to reading Heavenly Bodies (and perhaps pass it on to John Case for his Monday morning poetry program.)

We don’t have Frank Zappa to advise us anymore… but we do have Gail

Records on wheels, Toronto, sept. 24 1977

 

 

This is for all folks getting involved in politics and for women in particular. Gail Zappa calls up the spirit of her late husband, Frank Zappa:

 

 

Many of us have missed Frank for years and celebrate Zappadan every year. It’s nice to hear from Gail in this season of political madness.

 

 

 

Fun and games at the bottom of the New Hampshire list…

“Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.”

-Frank Zappa

John Huntsman, toiling at the bottom of the list in Iowa, is putting his effort into New Hampshire… and to do that he has released a video called “Unelectable” attacking Ron Paul (gee, you think he’d go after Romney instead of wasting his time on the Loser In Chief.)

Here it is:

:) :) :)

Farewell to Motorhead…

From  Noise 11:

Mothers Of Invention’s Jim Sherwood Dies Aged 69

by Paul Cashmere on December 27, 2011

Jim ‘Motorhead’ Sherwood from Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention died on Christmas Day at the age of 69.

Sherwood was the sax player and vocals and vocal sounds effects for the Mothers and played on the Zappa albums ‘200 Motels’, ‘Burnt Weeny Sandwich’, ‘Weasals Ripped My Flesh’ and ‘We’re Only In It For The Money’.

He also appeared in Zappa’s films ‘200 Motels’, ‘Video From Hell’ and ‘Uncle Meat’.

After the demise of The Mothers Sherwood occasionally got together with other ex-Mothers and performed as The Grandmothers.

Sherwood and Frank Zappa were childhood friends. They met in 1956. Jim was in the same class at school with Frank’s brother Bobby Zappa. Jim and Frank first played together in 1964 in Zappa’s very first band The Blackouts.

He joined the Mothers of Invention initially as a roadie and contributed sound effects to the first album ‘Freak Out’ in 1966. In 1967 he became a full-time member of the band.

Jim’s nickname was Motorhead, named because he was always repairing old cars, trucks and motorbikes.

Note: Motorhead also played tambourine on several pieces.

“King Kong-Legend of Golden Arches-Sleeping in jar” at The Beat Culb(Breamen,Germany,6 October 1968) Don Preston–keyboards Ian Underwood–keyboards and woodwinds Bunk Gardner–woodwinds Motorhead Sherwood–baritone sax Roy Estrada–bass and vocals Jimmy Carl Black–drums and vocals Art Tripp–drums and percussion Frank Zappa

Here’s today’s Frank Zappa video: Inca Roads

This was requested when I did an all-Zappa radio show last week… then I found this YouTube video:

Tomorrow is the last day of Zappadan… Frank’s Birthday!

The Death of Vaclav Havel and remembering his interaction with Zappa

Former Czech President Vaclav Havel died on Sunday in his country house in Bohemia… age 75. The artist/playwright who came into power on what was called the “Velvet Revolution” and created a democracy out of a Communist satellite was summed up by the NY Times:

A shy yet resilient, unfailingly polite but dogged man who articulated the power of the powerless, Mr. Havel spent five years in and out of Communist prisons, lived for two decades under close secret-police surveillance and endured the suppression of his plays and essays. He served 14 years as president, wrote 19 plays, inspired a film and a rap song and remained one of his generation’s most seductively nonconformist writers.

All the while, Mr. Havel came to personify the soul of the Czech nation.

Many people, however, are either unaware or forgetful of the brief relationship between Havel and Frank Zappa. This from the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Havel was a life-long supporter of The Plastic People of the Universe, the Czech underground, nonconformist rock band that fought against the Czechoslovak totalitarian regime.

Under the communist regime, the vast majority of western music was banned, yet the country’s dissidents and its underground movement widely circulated prohibited music that focused on free expression and human rights, such as The Velvet Underground and The Mothers of Invention, led by Lou Reed and Frank Zappa, respectively.

These two bands achieved huge fame in erstwhile Czechoslovakia despite being forbidden by the authorities, and they were favorites of Mr. Havel. The former president said these musicians were among his dear, personal friends.

In January 1990, Mr. Havel appointed Mr. Zappa as Special Ambassador to the West on Trade, Culture and Tourism, and cited Mr. Zappa as one of his many sources of inspiration. The two men were close friends before Mr. Zappa’s death in 1993, and the American musician was active in Czechoslovakia’s transformation back to a free-market economy.

Here are 4 Videos of the Zappa’s visit to the Czech Republic in 1990:

…and for today, here’s our music break … Frank Zappa is our Papa, recorded by Michael Kocab and musicians in Prague.

(Michael Kocab, composer of rock and classical music, singer, politician responsible for the withdrawal of the Soviet Army from Czech Republic in 1991. Member of the Czech Parliament, adviser of President Vaclav Havel, Leader of group Prague Selection and Prague Selection II (Prazsky Vyber)was also a close friend of Frank Zappa.)

Zappa sings Montana….

Frank Zappa performing in live MTV Halloween Concert in 1981…Montana:


Have a nice Sunday Evening… know I will.

Then we’ll have three more days of Zappadan.

1984: Zappa lectures at the Palace of Fine Art in San Francisco

From YouTube:
Frank talks about his upcoming release, his opinion on the synclavier and how he uses it to compose music . He talks with Charles Amirkhanian about his music and there is a small read done by Calvin the editor of the Pink Section of the San Francisco Chronicle about a small puppet show play written by Frank called “Fransesco” from 39.03 mins.

Enjoy that? Here’s today’s Music Piece:

From the album Francesco Zappa here’s Frank on the Synclavier doing Opus 1, No.4, 2Nd Movement Allegro:

Do you suppose Zappa was influenced by Spike Jones?

This doesn’t come up in any of the Zappa commentaries I’ve read, but I was playing some Spike Jones star, Hollywood Walk of FameSpike Jones collector pieces on YouTube last night and it dawned on me that they have much in common. Although Spike and the City Slickers were a big band comedy sound… and although Spike died just as Zappa was coming up, his presence on 50s television and in Movietone shorts would certainly have been experienced by Frank at some point.

Dancin’ Fool is one of the Zappa pieces that strike me as related to some of Spike Jones:

Someone commented on this one (12th Street Rag) by saying that Spike Jones was like a cross between Zappa and the Globetrotters. I like that comparison:


Any Comments?

Very Early Zappa… after the Watts Riots

In 1966 before Zappa and The Mothers ( before they became the Mothers of Invention after signing their contract with Verve Records) came out with the Freak Out album, they recorded a song based on the Watts Riots called Trouble Coming Every Day (later renamed to Trouble Every Day.)

He later added it to the Freak Out album.

Here it is:

Lyrics:

Well I’m about to get sick
From watchin’ my TV
Been checkin’ out the news
Until my eyeballs fail to see
I mean to say that every day
Is just another rotten mess
And when it’s gonna change, my friend
Is anybody’s guess

So I’m watchin’ and I’m waitin’
Hopin‘ for the best
Even think I’ll go to prayin’
Every time I hear ‘em sayin’
That there’s no way to delay
That trouble comin’ every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin’ every day

Wednesday I watched the riot . . .
Seen the cops out on the street
Watched ‘em throwin’ rocks and stuff
And chokin’ in the heat
Listened to reports
About the whisky passin’ ’round
Seen the smoke and fire
And the market burnin’ down
Watched while everybody
On his street would take a turn
To stomp and smash and bash and crash
And slash and bust and burn

And I’m watchin’ and I’m waitin’
Hopin’ for the best
Even think I’ll go to prayin’
Every time I hear ‘em sayin’
That there’s no way to delay
That trouble comin’ every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin’ every day

Well, you can cool it,
You can heat it . . .
‘Cause, baby, I don’t need it . . .
Take your TV tube and eat it
‘N all that phony stuff on sports
‘N all the unconfirmed reports
You know I watched that rotten box
Until my head begin to hurt
From checkin’ out the way
The newsman say they get the dirt
Before the guys on channel so-and-so

And further they assert
That any show they’ll interrupt
To bring you news if it comes up
They say that if the place blows up
They will be the first to tell,
Because the boys they got downtown
Are workin’ hard and doin’ swell,
And if anybody gets the news
Before it hits the street,
They say that no one blabs it faster
Their coverage can’t be beat
And if another woman driver
Gets machine-gunned from her seat
They’ll send some joker with a brownie
And you’ll see it all complete

So I’m watchin’ and I’m waitin’
Hopin’ for the best
Even think I’ll go to prayin’
Every time I hear ‘em sayin’
That there’s no way to delay
That trouble comin’ every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin’ every day

Hey, you know something people?
I’m not black
But there’s a whole lots a times
I wish I could say I’m not white

Well, I seen the fires burnin’
And the local people turnin’
On the merchants and the shops
Who used to sell their brooms and mops
And every other household item
Watched the mob just turn and bite ‘em
And they say it served ‘em right
Because a few of them are white,
And it’s the same across the nation
Black and white discrimination
Yellin’ “You can’t understand me!”
‘N all that other jazz they hand me
In the papers and TV and
All that mass stupidity
That seems to grow more every day
Each time you hear some nitwit say
He wants to go and do you in
Because the color of your skin
Just don’t appeal to him
(No matter if it’s black or white)
Because he’s out for blood tonight

You know we got to sit around at home
And watch this thing begin
But I bet there won’t be many live
To see it really end
‘Cause the fire in the street
Ain’t like the fire in the heart
And in the eyes of all these people
Don’t you know that this could start
On any street in any town
In any state if any clown
Decides that now’s the time to fight
For some ideal he thinks is right
And if a million more agree
There ain’t no Great Society
As it applies to you and me
Our country isn’t free
And the law refuses to see
If all that you can ever be
Is just a lousy janitor
Unless your uncle owns a store
You know that five in every four
Just won’t amount to nothin’ more
Gonna watch the rats go across the floor
And make up songs about being poor

Zappadan Tuesday Morning… Here’s one for David Turecamo

…as mentioned in his comment. Thd Freak Out version of How Could I Be Such A Fool:

…and here is the Ruben and the Jets version:

Really Early Zappa: Any Way The Wind Blows

From the Freak Out album, where most of us heard Zappa for the first time. A satire on pop music of the 50s.

And one more from the same album (wow, was he ahead of his time! This was before the Beatles did Sergeant Pepper):


Who are the Brain Police

Plastic People

Here’s a Saturday Morning of Zappadan piece:

1968

Zappa on the Music Business… a lecture:

On the 23rd of April 1975, Frank Zappa Lectured at the Gifford Auditorium, Syracuse University, along with George Duke and Captain Beefhart, about the Music Business and Music in general.

Fortunately it was recorded:

And here’s a song for the morning…

Can’t Afford No Shoes also from 1975 (from the last album made as the Mothers of Invention: One Size Fits All):

A Zappadan Morning to You…

My involvement with Zappa and his music goes back a ways…

In 1968 I was in my Graduate year working on my MA in the Northwestern University Theatre Department (which I got in ’69) and I was looking for something to direct for the Spring shows. I had been working with Dr. Gus Rath in the Engineering Department and Jack Burnham in the Art Department on developing a Theatre equivalency to “Art and Systems”, something Jack had been writing books and articles about and running classes in…Gus was a systems engineer and together they were combining creative expression with systems engineering discipline.

-
That was the year I organized the first of several Systems Theatre companies which I would work with in Evanston, Chicago and New York City.

-
Needing to find something for the group to perform, I decided to to adapt Frank Zappa’s LUMPY GRAVY  (which I had just been turned on to) for the stage. Now, 43 years later, I realize what a lack of knowledge I had… I tried getting hold of Zappa for permission to proceed and received no reply on several attempts… so I just went ahead and did it (something I must warn you theatre youngsters out there that you should NEVER do).

-

It was a successful production which was later repeated at Chicago’s Kinetic Playground (a major Rock N Roll hall – equivalent to New York’s Electric Circus) between live sets by Albert King and BB King, two of the world’s greatest bluesmen.

-
So that was my first Zappa involvement… and it just stuck.

-

Here’s the opening of Lumpy Gravy… a piece called Duodenum:

This was rereleased by Frank in 1984 with lyrics:

Zappadan Starts TODAY!

In our coverage of Zappadan, we begin on the anniversary of Frank Zappa’s death, Dec. 4th, and we’ll proceed to the date of his birth, Dec. 21. We’ll be working sort of backwards, so we’re going to begin with Frank’s son, Dweezil, and his band playing one of his father’s numbers: Black Napkins.

Also… here’s Dweezil’s upcoming schedule for those of you wanting to hear him live.

Hello Friends,
We’ve been busy making touring plans for 2012. In the past the early part of the year has been downtime for us but not next year! We are happy to announce a special run of dates in February that take us up and down the west coast of California as well as a brief visit to Arizona. We’re excited to be playing some new cities on this tour and look forward to making the shows memorable for all of you.

         Fri  10-Feb-12   San Luis Obispo, CA   SLO Brew
         Sat 11-Feb-12 San Diego, CA  House Of Blues
         Sun 12-Feb-12 Tucson, AZ   Rialto Theatre
         Tue 14-Feb-12 Anaheim, CA   House Of Blues
        Wed 15-Feb-12 Santa Cruz, CA   Rio Theatre                                                                    
           Thu 16-Feb-12 Napa, CA   Uptown Theatre
         Fri 17-Feb-12 Chico, CA   El Rey Theater
         Sat 18-Feb-12 Sacramento, CA   Crest Theatre

In our continuing effort to present the variety and depth within Frank’s musical compositions we are planning to premier more new material on this tour. More 60’s, 70’s and 80’s FZ! Of course we still have a good amount of the well known classics we’re ready to whip out as well!
Please keep an eye open and an ear tuned for other special announcements about additional dates, new projects and music that is coming soon as well! If we are able to do everything on our list, 2012 is going to be a very busy year for us and a good year to provide the “World’s Finest Optional Entertainment”!

See you on the road very soon!

DZ

BTW: interesting fact about Dweezil c/o Wikipedia:

Dweezil’s registered birth name was Ian Donald Calvin Euclid Zappa.[4] The hospital at which he was born refused to register him under the name Dweezil, so Frank listed the names of several musician friends. “Dweezil” was a nickname coined by Frank for an oddly-curled pinky-toe of Gail’s. At five years old, Dweezil learned that his legal name was different, and he insisted on having his nickname become his legal name. Gail and Frank hired an attorney and soon the name Dweezil was official.

Looks like I’m doing WINNERS AND LOSERS on WSHC tomorrow morning…

…since I haven’t heard from John Case. Guess he’s still in Canada. Oh well, this will round out my week.

I’m going over blues music and such here tonite… and making a list of political stuff to talk about in case anyone calls in to the show (Mark or Dino or Ralph).

By the way… you can listen to the show on line. Just go to http://www.897wshc.org and click on “Listen to WSHC Live”.  To call in to the show dial 304-876-5369 anytime between 7:30 and 9:00 AM when I’m on the air.

There’s also the chance that John will walk in during the show and I can turn over the reins and the door key to the real host of the show (and get some sleep on weekday mornings!)

We End This Year’s Zappadan with Dweezil…

…playing City Of Tiny Lights from the Zappa Plays Zappa tour:



I hope you have all liked our Zappadan coverage this year and we will be back with more next December 4th.

- Bill

And what would Zappadan be without Chunga’s Revenge?

Here’s a 1980 version (10 years after the original) recorded at Salt Lake City:

And don’t forget… tomorrow is the last day of Zappadan and it would have been Frank’s 70th birthday.

Zappa: Best Conductor Ever!

Frank’s musicians comment on Zappa’s Conducting:

- and -

From October 1969, Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd do INTERSTELLAR OVERDRIVE:

Have a nice Zappadan Sunday.

A Zappadan Saturday…

First:

The famous Mike Nesmith and Frank Zappa switcheroo from the Monkees:

then…

Inca Roads from the One Size Fits All album:

and finally… Here is the Zappa piece I use whenever I host the Winners and Losers show for John Case on WSHC, Elvis has Just Left The Building from the Broadway The Hard Way album:

(That’s my favorite.)

I hate to have to post this during Zappadan… but Captain Beefheart Died Today.

Don Van Vliet was an American musician and visual artist best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work was conducted with a rotating ensemble of musicians called The Magic Band, active between 1965 and 1982, with whom he recorded 12 studio albums. Noted for his powerful singing voice with its wide range, Van Vliet also played the harmonica, saxophone and numerous other wind instruments. His music blended rock, blues and psychedelia with free jazz, avant-garde and contemporary experimental composition.

During his teen years in Lancaster, California, Van Vliet acquired an eclectic musical taste and formed “a mutually useful but volatile” friendship with Frank Zappa, with whom he sporadically competed and collaborated. He died after many years suffering from multiple sclerosis. He was 69.

Zappa and Beefheart: Orange Claw Hammer, Live 1975.

From Cruisin’ with Ruben and the Jets…DESERI:

It’s 1968 and Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention are giving us an impression of a classic 50s Rock Band:

A Zappadan Gift to my friend John Case…

John’s been looking for Zappa’s TROUBLE EVERY DAY. Here’s the version from the FREAKOUT album:

…and for everyone else, here’s a rare one: Frank’s commercial for Portland General Electric… (ignore the French):

Zappadan only has 6 days to go… enjoy it while you got it.

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