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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

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

“Son Of Mr. Green Genes” performed by the original Mothers… Paris 1968

I ran this one last year and it was one of the most clicked on posts.

A couple of notes:

Ian Underwood does the brilliant baritone sax solo… much better than the solo on Hot Rats.

Look at the cover picture at the beginning of this piece… That’s Jimi Hendrix second from the right… live and in person.

A little more on Zappa and Hendrix (from http://wiki.killuglyradio.com):

Zappa and Hendrix

Sat in with the Mothers Of Invention while they were in New York. It was FZ that first introduced Hendrix to the “Wah Wah” effect pedal.

FZ recalls seeing Hendrix at the Cafe Au Go Go:

“I thought Hendrix was great. But the very first time I saw him perform, I had the incredible misfortune of sitting close to him at the Au Go Go in New York City and he had a whole stack of Marshalls. I was right in front of it. I was physically ill. I couldn’t get out; it was so packed, I couldn’t escape. And although it was great, I didn’t see how anybody could inflict that kind of volume on himself, let alone other people. That particular show he ended by taking the guitar and impaling it in the low ceiling of the club. Just walked away and left it squealing.”

–”Zappa’s Inferno, Guitar World” (April 1987)

” Hendrix is one of the most revolutionary figures in today’s pop culture, musically and sociologically. Hendrix’s music is very interesting. The sound… is extremely symbolic: orgasmic grunts, tortured squeals, lascivous moans, electric disasters and innumerable other audial curiosities are delivered to the sense mechanisms of the audience at an extremely high decibel level. In a live performance environment, it is impossible to merely listen to what the Hendrix group does… it eats you alive.”

–”Zappa, quoted in a Life Magazine interview, The Oracle Has It All Psyched Out, 1968, from Kevin Courrier, “Dangerous Kitchen: The Subversive World of Zappa“, ECW Press, 2002, page 145

“Some of the really good things that Hendrix did was the earliest stuff, when he was just ripping and brutal. “Manic Depression” was my favorite Jimi Hendrix song. The more experimental it got, the less interesting and the thinner it got.”

At the 1968 Miami festival Hendrix presented Zappa with the remains of his guitar. Zappa would subsequently rebuild the guitar and perform with it throughout the 1970’s. In 2002 Dweezil put the guitar up for auction, hoping it would make one million dollars, but it failed to sell.

On the 9th day of Zappadan my true love gave to me NUTRITIOUSNESS, DELICIOUSNESS and WORTHLESSNESS.

And a Zappa quote for the day:

Interviewer: “So Frank, you have long hair. Does that make you a woman?”
FZ: “You have a wooden leg. Does that make you a table?”

Zappadan, Day #7: Frank sings and plays “Cosmik Debris”…

… about eight minutes of Zappa’s best.

Enjoy.

…and you’ve been such a good audience, here’s an extra treat:

Jimmy Carl Black (The Indian of the Group) does Lonesome Cowboy Burt in 200 Motels:

Recorded Live in Paris, 1968: Son of Mr. Green Genes – Today’s Zappadan Selection.

This was made before Uncle meat was released in 1969 , which had Mr. Green Genes on it. The arrangement here is much closer to the Son of Mr. Green Genes that is on Hot Rats, but the band is the original Mothers of Invention – the short baritone sax solo by Ian Underwood is a standout.