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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.

Gracie Slick interviews Frank Zappa…

… sometime in the early 80’s.

– and –

Frank Zappa on London’s Newsnight in 1983

… and for today’s Zappadan music, here’s Frank on lead guitar with full orchestra in 1988 doing Watermelon In Easter Hay

A Zappadan Evening Treat…

Just finished walking my dogs out in the cold… So what did I pick for Today’s Zappadan post?
Why, YELLOW SNOW… what else?

(Watch out where the huskies go… and REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR… 69 years ago today.)

Zappadan started yesterday… here is my first Zappa tribute:

Whipping Post:

45 Shopping Days Until Zappadan

And while we wait, here are The Persuasions doing an a cappella version of Lumpy Gravy:

It’s Frank Zappa’s Birthday… He would have been 69 today. Happy Zappadan!

This is being observed in several places, including a Public Radio station in Northern New Jersey. For info on WNTI’s coverage from 6 yo 7 PM today go HERE The show is being run by Spider Glenn and you can e-mail him for selection requests.

The site is pushing an iTunes Birthday Bundle HERE.

Here’s a strange video: “Blessed Relief” performed by the Jay Dittamo Band with video that most of you will recognize as having been drawn from the work of another genius, Ernie Kovacs:

…and, to take us in the direction Frank was going at the end of his life, here is The Black Page, an experiment on the Synclavier:

We miss you, Frank. Happy Birthday.

Next to the last day of Zappadan…

Looking out the window at two feet of snow and two cars to dig out, I get back into my recliner and, instead, listen to a 1980 recording in Paris, of Frank and his assembled band doing The Illinois Enema Bandit.

Here’s the breakdown:
Frank Zappa Palais des Sports, Paris, France June 11, 1980 (early show)
Frank Zappa (lead guitar, vocals) Incredible Guitar Solo!
Ike Willis (rhythm guitar, vocals) Lead Vocal
Ray White (rhythm guitar, vocals)
Tommy Mars (keyboards, vocals)
Arthur Barrow (bass, keyboards, vocals)
David Logeman (drums)

Getting Into Zappa’s Music…

Hey, Zappadan celebrators… I found a great site that analyzes Zappas music (called Zappa-Analysis and written by one Kasper Sloots.) As a sample of this site, go to for midi examples and sheetmusic transcriptions with commentary on Zappa’s earliest known compositions.

And here’s a piece you’re probably not that familiar wuth: Zappa does guitar solo on Heavy Duty Judy in Stockholm, 1988:

Zappadan Animation Deluxe: The Dental Hygiene Dilemma sequence in 200 Motels

Bye Bye, Jeff Simmons… (Simmons was uncredited as a writer on 200 motels and split with Zappa around the time this was made. Animation by Murakami Wolf Productions …Jimmy Murakami and Fred Wolf).

Bad Conscience: Han min noon toon han toon han
Good Conscience: No, Jeff!
Bad Conscience: Han toon ran toon ran toon fran min han toon ran toon nan toon fram
Good Conscience: No no no!
Jeff: Man! This stuff is great! It’s just as if Donovan himself had appeared on my very own TV with words of peace, love, and eternal cosmic wisdom . . . ! Leading me. Guiding me. On paths of everlasting pseudo-karmic negligence, in the very midst of my drug-induced nocturnal emission.
Good Conscience: Oh, I am your good conscience, Jeff. I know all. I see all. I am a cosmic love pulse matrix, become a technicolor interpositive!
Jeff: Okay . . . Where’d you buy that incense? It’s hip.
Good Conscience: It’s the same and mysterious exotic oriental fragrance as what the Beatles get off on.
Jeff: I thought I recognized it . . . Sniff, sniff . . . Mmm, what is that, MUSK? Sniff, sniff, sniff . . . mmmh!
Good Conscience: Jeff, I know what’s good for you.
Jeff: Right. You’re heavy.
Good Conscience: Yes, Jeff, I am your guiding light. Listen to me. Don’t rip off the towels, Jeff!
Bad Conscience: Piss off, you little nitwit!
Jeff: Hey man, what’s the deal?
Good Conscience: Don’t listen to him, Jeff, he’s no good. He’ll make you do BAD THINGS!
Jeff: You mean, he’ll make me sin?
Good Conscience: Yes, Jeff. SIN!
Jeff: Wow!
Bad Conscience: Jeff, I’d like to have a word with you . . . about your soul.
Good Conscience: No, don’t listen, Jeff.
Bad Conscience: Why are you wasting your life, night after night playing this comedy music?
Jeff: You’re right, I’m too heavy to be in this group.
Good Conscience: Comedy music . . .
Bad Conscience: Jeff, YOUR SOUL!

Oh . . .
Too heavy to
Be . . .

Jeff: In this group, all I ever get to do is play Zappa’s comedy music. HE EATS!
Good Conscience: Jeff!
Jeff: I get so tense!
Bad Conscience: Of course you do, my boy.
Jeff: The stuff he makes me do is always off the wall!
Bad Conscience: That’s why it would be best to leave his stern employ.
Jeff: And quit the group!
Bad Conscience: You’ll make it big!
Jeff: That’s right.
Bad Conscience: Of course!
Jeff: And then I won’t be SMALL!

Ha ha ha ha ha!
Ha ha ha!
Ha, ha, ha . . .

Jeff: Cough, cough. Ahmet Ertegun used this towel as a bathmat six weeks ago at a rancid motel in Orlando, Florida, with the highest MILDEW rating of any commercial lodging facility within the territorial limits of the United States, naturally excluding tropical possessions . . . It’s still damp. What an aroma! This is the best I ever got off! What can I say about this elixir? Try it on steaks! Cleans nylons! Small craft warnings! It’s made for the home! The office! On fruits!
Bad Conscience: This is the real you, Jeff. Rip off a few more ashtrays. Get rid of some of that inner tension. Quit the comedy group! Get your own group together. Heavy! Like GRAND FUNK! Or BLACK SABBATH . . .
Good Conscience: No, Jeff . . .
Jeff: Like COVEN!
Good Conscience: Peace . . . Love . . .
Bad Conscience: Bollocks!
Jeff: What can I say about this elixir?

Mark: Jeff has gone out there on that stuff!
Bad Conscience: He should have never have used the elixir and only stuck to the incense. Oh, Atlantis . . .
Mark: That was BILLY THE MOUNTAIN, dressed up like Donovan, fading out on the wall-mounted TV screen. Jeff IS flipping out. Road fatigue! We’ve got to get him back to normal before Zappa finds out, and steals it, and makes him do it in the movie!
Bad Conscience: You have a brilliant career ahead of you, my boy, Just GET OUT OF THIS GROUP!
Mark: Howard, that was Studebacher Hoch, dressed up like Jim Pons, giving career guidance to the bass player of a rock-oriented comedy group. Jeff’s imagination has gone beyond the fringe of audience comprehension. Jeff, Jeff, it’s me, the Phlorescent Leech!
Howard: Jeff, Jeff, it’s me, Eddie!


Mark: (right channel) Put it on your steaks, uh, send it overseas, […] ground, and put it on you surfboard so you won’t slip off. Try it on your [Jim Bean Boy], and on the, the red balloons, you can blow up all balloons with it. Put it on your . . . heh . . . on . . . on your pizza. Put it on your shoes, tie your mic with it, and fill up your tires with it.

Howard: (center) Use it to clean your swimming pool, sell it to your mother and tell her it’s a Rit tie-dye kit, you won’t even believe what’ll happen when you starch your shirt with it, ironing goes easier and your car windows never looked better in your whole life. Ladies and gentlemen, you can inhale it, and it makes your voice three keys higher, and you can’t even stand what happens when you put it on your hair, as hair tonic. Heh, heh. And if you ever tried it as a . . .

Jim Pons: (left channel) Soak your shirts in it, soak your teeth in it. Let it play the piano. Follow it around the block. Wear it instead of jeans. Bathe your puppies with it. Feed it to your ducks. Use it instead of chlorine in your swimming pool. Breathe it. Love it.

What can I?
What can I say about this?

Dupree’s Paradise: Classic Zappa Comps with Great Animation and Orchestra Conducted by Pierre Boulez

Lets start Wednesday with a really great recording of a major set of Zappa compositions conducted by Boulez set to an animation by Bruce Bickford (some used later in Baby Snakes). Animation was done in 1976, Boulez recording with the Ensemble InterContemporain was done in 1984.


Zappa performing Cosmik Debris in 1974

This is a great recording of a live studio performance. I hadn’t seen it before. It’s nice to find new experiences during Zappadan.

A Zappadan Monday – You Are What You Is

The visual quakity of this one sucks, but the sound is pretty good.
Frank Zappa Palais des Sports, Paris, France June 11, 1980 (early show)
Frank Zappa (lead guitar, vocals)
Ike Willis (rhythm guitar, vocals)
Ray White (rhythm guitar, vocals)
Tommy Mars (keyboards, vocals)
Arthur Barrow (bass, keyboards, vocals)
David Logeman (drums)

Two years later in Bolzano, Italy, he picks up the tempo on the same song… does it make a difference?

3 July 1982 Stadio Comunale, Bolzano, Italy
Frank Zappa’s Band 1982 European Tour:
Ed Mann – percussion
Tommy Mars – keyboards
Robert Martin – keyboards, tenor saxophone, vocals
Scott Thunes – bass, vocals
Steve Vai – guitar
Chad Wackerman – drums
Ray White – guitar, vocals
Frank Zappa – guitar, vocals

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.

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…

Here’s a long one to kick off a Zappadan Thursday…

I’m enjoying the Fourth Annual Zappadan. Are you?

Today I am proud to present one of my all-time favorites, Strictly Genteel… not the version with Theodore Bickel and Ringo Starr and the cast of 200 Motels, but one done with full orchestra by Frank and company at one of the Halloween shows in the 1980s. Someone once said that this song should be the World Anthem, and, you know, it has a lot to recommend it. Lord have mercy on the Fate of this Movie and God bless the Mid of the Man in the Street!

OK, OK… so you need to hear Bickel anyway. Here’s a very bad recording of the Finale of 200 Motels:

A Zappadan Morning for America…

… and the sentiment that first drew many of us to Zappa:

Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance   and   What’s the Ugliest Part of Your Body?

In 1968 I did my first real directing piece at a one-act program at Northwestern: a staged piece based on Zappa’s “Lumpy Gravy.” Of course, LG was released at the same time (and from the same recording sessions) as We’re Only In It For The Money”, and the end of that record, just played above, was the conclusion of the theatre piece which, unbelievably to the faculty folks who sat on my grade in the project, got the audience out of their seats to dance with the cast. We later took this production to Chicago’s Kinetic Playground (which Aaron Russo had opened, starting his dramatic rise in the late sixties and throughout the seventies), where it was positioned on the bill between performances by B.B. King and Albert King (were we a triumph among Kings?),  two guys it was a thrill to meet.

Anyways… thanks for the memories.

Pure Zappa for Zappadan – Black Napkins

This is from the (very long) video of Frank doing BlackNapkins at the Palladium broadcast by MTV. You can’t celebrate Zappadan without hearing the classic Zappa guitar work on Black Napkins at least once. Enjoy:

– and an UPDATE –

Dweezil Zappa plays Black Napkins… Like Father, Like Son:

Hope this starts your day off in a great way!

For a Zappadan Monday, Let’s Start Off With…

… Catholic Girls!

I get younger every time I hear this stuff!

A Sunday Morning in Zappadan:

Stop off at Fried Green Al Qaidas which is the official Zappadan site this year…

Something to wake up to. Planet of the Baritone Women:

For those who are celebrating Zappadan 2009:

The eighteen day period runs from December 4th, the date of Frank Zappa’s death, until December 21st, the date of his birth, and is a celebration of the man’s music, aesthetic, and attitude. This is the FOURTH YEAR that Zappadan has been celebrated and, in honor of the season, here’s one of my favorites: “Let’s Make The Water Turn Black”(1968):

…and another verion of the same piece by AlienFaceBill Rubin with a Zappa tribute video:

So now we’ve had a little bit of vocal teen-age heaven right here on Earth. Happy Zappadan.