Blog Archives

My Congratulations to Barney Frank and James Ready…

This week Barney Frank became the first sitting US Congressman to be part of a same sex marriage. For that, he has my best wishes. This from the Raw Story:

Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) married his partner Saturday in his hometown of Newton, Massachusetts, making him the first sitting congressman to be in a same-sex marriage.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick officiated the ceremony between the 72 year-old Frank and his partner, James Ready, according to a statement from the congressman’s office. Frank met Ready in 2005, and the two have been seeing each other since 2007.

Many of Frank’s congressional colleagues turned out for the wedding, including former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, according to local media reports. In planning the event, Frank said he wanted to invite President Obama—who in May came out in support of same-sex marriage—but was worried the security detail would infringe on the ceremony.

This is sure a sign that we’re in the 21st Century.

A Zappadan Special: It’s Captain Beefheart Day

One year ago today Don Van Vliet, known to the many as Captain Beefheart, a musician (harmonica … referred to as “harp” as in the jazz expression), vocalist and visual artist, died of Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 69.

Beefheart’s ongoing relationship with Zappa, while not always cordial when he and his Magic Band competed with Frank, began before the creation of the Mothers, when they played together around Cucomunga, CA, and in the early Mothers recordings. He was often billed as a lead vocalist with Zappa.

Anyway, you can’t have Zappadan without remembering Van Vliet.

Here’s a piece from Beefheart and his Magic Band:
Ice Cream For Crow

Some details:

Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band; directed by Don Van Vliet (with much uncredited assistance from producer Ken Schreiber), cinematography by Daniel Pearl (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre); Don Van Vliet (vocals, harp), Gary Lucas (guitar), Jeff Tepper (guitar), Rick Snyder (bass), Cliff Martinez (drums); filmed on location in the High Mojave Desert near Lancaster, California; clip rejected by MTV USA as “too weird” upon release, now in the Permanent Film and Video Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, NYC; track taken from the 1982 Virgin album “Ice Cream for Crow”

And just to remember Frank as well, here’s a piece with them both:

Orange Claw Hammer

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?

200 Motels

If you’ve never seen 200 Motels or even if you have, the whole thing is here:

And if you don’t have time to watch a whole movie, here’s a song for today;

Frank with the Petit Wazoo Band…Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing:

3 Views of “Peaches En Regalia” – This Morning’s Zappadan Classic

This is Frank playing Peaches En Regalia in a Home Movie, not the new version by Dweezil that got his father installed at the R&R Hall of Fame. Enjoy:

OK… here’s Dweezil playing Peaches En Regalia in Milan in 2008:

And one more time: Here’s Phish playing Peaches En Regalia last week:

Zappa’s accomplishment as composer will continue to grow in the Music World for years to come…