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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:28 pm 
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FZ/Mothers Early Recollections

I know this is long but I encourage all FZ/Mothers Fans to read this, thank you and enjoy!

As I have mentioned before, I began listening to FZ after hearing Overnight Sensation at 14. I had listened to Mothermania at 12, but only as a curiosity since it was a banned record in most households (it would have been like getting caught with drugs back then). But I had previous knowledge of the FZ and the Mothers through my older cousins who lived and LA and saw them perform in the earliest days. I remember them being at our house in either the late 60’s or 1970 for Thanksgiving, talking about the band very enthusiastically, I was awestruck by their hippie clothes and hair, they had the Hollywood/LA seen at its prime.

I talk to my cousin via E-mail from time to time and even though she has been out of the music seen for over 30 years and a born again Christian for many years, she is still pretty hip. I mentioned to her in a correspondence that I was going to see Frank Zappa’s son in ZPZ and she said that that was a name she had not heard for long time, I briefly explained the project to her.

Well I got an idea for the forum since their probably are not that many people around who had seen those early Mothers years and asked her for her recollections, her are our correspondences’.

Request message
******* - I have a little favor to ask if it not too much, as you know I am a big fan of Frank Zappas and his son Dweezil who currently is touring with his band Zappa Plays Zappa that perform his father’s compositions. I also regularly participate in a forum dedicated to FZ musical legacy in which the early days of the Mothers is recalled. The request would be for your memories of the early years that I know you and your brother were following and fans too. I know this might conflict with your current outlook, but I was hoping that you would be comfortable with recalling those times and writing it down. I hope you and yours are doing well, thank you for hearing me out, if you would ever want to talk give me a call.

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I don't mind at all, they're just memories. I wish I still had their albums, if I did I give them to you. One was called "Freak Out" I think. I had a couple and don't know what I did with them. Unusual songs to say the least. Anyway, I'll take the memory stroll and get back to you.

Response follow-up
I remember Freakout but I can't for the life of me remember the second album I got.

Anyway, the first time I saw them was at a hole in the wall kinda place over by Melrose, I think. So long ago now it's hard to remember. No seating and the lighting was pretty low. When the band first appeared they didn't come out on stage...........some of them came out of nowhere but out on the floor in an almost creepy way. Like coming from behind a curtain or through a door but in a slithery, sneaky way. Not scary though, just bizarre. I remember the guy I was dating at the time really liked them and that's why we were there, he said they came crawling out of the cracks in the wall. It did actually feel like that in a way.

It was apparent right away that they were of a menagerie variety as opposed to a main stream group. They wanted it that way and they liked it that way. Who else would write a song about urine left in a jar but them. I think they called it green numies or something like that. Wasn't that on the Freakout album?

I remember seeing Frank Zappa on the Johnny Carson show once. He came out barefoot and sat cross legged in the guest chair. Not your typical guest, that's for sure. He seemed uncomfortable to me and I think at some point he actually got up and just walked away. Never came back.

I'll write again as the memories come.

Follow-up
I will contact her brother and post in this thread whatever I receive from them.


Last edited by Plook on Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:04 pm 
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Well I copied and pasted the early album covers and liners and sent them to my cousin and she already responded with another correspondence as follows:


Nice. We now know that the real brain police isn't the establishment as it was in 1966, it's now the government (ha ha).

This really did bring back some memories, at least about this album. Wowie Zowie use to make me laugh,.........I think they were making fun of flowery love and, if I remember correctly, You Didn't Try to call Me had a great melody and I think I really liked this one musically.

I went to a concert once and saw Frank Zappa and his band and they played along side of Zubin Meta(?) and his orchestra. Now that was really something. Frank loved Zubin's music so this was very special to him. After the concert was over the orchestra was invited by Zappa to stay and jam if they wanted to and some of them did. What a contrast of diversity. Zappa and his group, obviously raw and rather untamed and the orchestra folks conservatively dressed and spruced up. It didn't matter when the jam started because it was just plain old good talented musicians melding together. I had forgotten about this until just now. See it did stir my memory.

Love,
*******


I can't wait to hear from her brother, unfortunately he recently had surgery, I hope he is up to it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:37 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:29 pm 
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good stories, thanks for posting these

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:59 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:20 pm 
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I saw a zappa show only once in Québec in 1984.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:05 pm 
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Always interesting to hear from people who were there at the time so thanks Plook.
Nice to be able to understand what the fuck she is typing too.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:12 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:42 pm 
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An eye-witness account of the Hague show, 9/17/72, from PaulB(unica):

My first Frank Zappa show was 09-17 1972 Houtrusthallen The Hague Holland. A weird venue not at all intended to have concerts there. The Hot Rats Orchestra was in the middle of the hall so the other half of the hall, behind the orchestra, was empty. Frank came on stage with help from some assistants because his leg was in plaster. He was sitting the whole concert on a barstool conducting the concert with his back to the audience. He would only stand up for guitar solos. The first thing he said was: "This hall sounds like a cave."

During intermission the orchestra played improvisations while the audience was getting beer. I recorded the concert but lost the tape and have no idea where it is now. Probably gave it to a friend to listen... that was more then 30 years ago.

(source: http://www.members.shaw.ca/fz-pomd/wazoo/gwrev.html)

See more of my FZ in Holland from my scrapbooks: http://zappa.radio6.nl/

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:29 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:54 am 
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KAPT.KIIRK wrote:
Zut_boF wrote:
I saw a zappa show only once in Québec in 1984.


Kool Zut, Do you remember any of the song's or group members? How big the venue? Ect? 8)
How old were u in 84? That yr. I turned 29 forever! I most likely saw the same tour! :mrgreen:
I was 19 years old and on 15000 places possible it had only 5000 persons. I have a bootleg of this show long time since i listened it. some joes garage songs, them or us album, think fish was on stage after the break. Chad on drum, Ike and Ray White was there and Scott Thunes i think not sure. i forget the others. :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:58 am 
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Zut_boF wrote:
KAPT.KIIRK wrote:
Zut_boF wrote:
I saw a zappa show only once in Québec in 1984.


Kool Zut, Do you remember any of the song's or group members? How big the venue? Ect? 8)
How old were u in 84? That yr. I turned 29 forever! I most likely saw the same tour! :mrgreen:
I was 19 years old and on 15000 places possible it had only 5000 persons. I have a bootleg of this show long time since i listened it. some joes garage songs, them or us album, think fish was on stage after the break. Chad on drum, Ike and Ray White was there and Scott Thunes i think not sure. i forget the others. :roll:


1984 11 08 - Le Colisee, Quebec, Canada
Black Napkins, Bamboozled By Love, Drowning Witch, Ride My Face To Chicago, Goblin Girl, The Black Page, Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up, In France, Alien Orifice, The Evil Prince, Joe's Garage, Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?, Sharleena, Whipping Post

FZ, Ike Willis, Ray White, Scott Thunes, Chad Wackerman, Allan Zavod, Bobby Martin,

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:08 am 
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My first Zappa concert was Nov.5, 1980 at the London Gardens, London, Ontario. Right next to the veggie market. The stage was more like a highschool stage. A screen for film/slide images and not much else, but lots of fun for $9. I don't remember the actual performance much, beyond being the Joe's Garage stuff, but the audience sure sticks in my mind. A fair number were rather.....over-medicated. There was a ditch running alongside the lineup, and I passed more than one person laying in it, zonked out, never to see the show. At one point, during the concert, a teenage girl, boogying in front of me, suddenly fell straight back into me, then hit the floor. Her boyfriend looked at me like I did something to her, but she was suddenly back up, wondering what happened. 3 or 4 minutes later, down she went again. This time her friend picked her up, carried her out, and I never saw them again. Can't buy memories like that!

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...and my second time was to hear the best band you never heard. 8)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:35 am 
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hot rats orchestra in 72? isn't it really the grand/petite wazoo orchestra?
i know hendrix's band was billed as the jimi hendrix experience when it wasn't, so i think this is the case.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:52 pm 
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I have not received any new memories from my cousins so I will relate my first Zappa concert:

It was the UCLA Pauley Pavilion during the Skeik Yerbouti Tour. We had riser seats near the stage (good view since every concert had a stage rush back then and you usually could not see) as we entered the arena with a soundboard track playing, the crush of people was incredibly hard to navigate. When we were getting close to the front the lights went out and the music began, the crowd constricted and it was difficult to move. The stage lights came on and a young band was playing and appeared to be maybe some kind of new wave group, bouncing up and down to a fast paced beat, an opening act? Security was yelling to take a seat we ended up sitting in the riser steps next to the stage about 25’ away along with a throng of people, all the step aisles were full, security was settling for getting everyone seated and sorting it out later. Suddenly there is Frank walking on stage (our side) and the band rolled into Peaches. Although I was a Zappa fan I was awestruck by his youthful shredding teenage combo and watching his guitar work from close range was like a spiritual awakening. Even though they played many classics during the show, the Sheik material that seemed so un-Frank-like blew me away. Adrian Belew was so animated, Tommy Mars and Peter Wolfs keyboard soaring to almost religious levels, Patrick O’Hearn strutting around the stage like a punker, Terry Borzios’ incredible drumming as if a mad man, and Ed Mann looking like a Pixy on speed in a leotard jumping and prancing around his percussion area was mesmerizing. The thing that struck myself and my friend Ron after we left was the fact that we knew we had seen something special and that FZ was probably one of if not the greatest living guitarist, I have never looked back since. The bonus was when the album came out and it is still at the very top of my listening list, I still get that feeling of that show when I hear it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:06 pm 
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manichispanic wrote:
hot rats orchestra in 72? isn't it really the grand/petite wazoo orchestra?
i know hendrix's band was billed as the jimi hendrix experience when it wasn't, so i think this is the case.


No, the The Hague 1972 gig was billed as Hot Rats Orchestra in the Netherlands as you can see on the flyers and ads, not as Wazoo.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:14 pm 
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I'm not old enough to have any early memories of the Mothers. :(

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:13 pm 
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calvin2hikers wrote:
I'm not old enough to have any early memories of the Mothers. :(

hey watch it! i wasnt born even before 88 tour, so keep that memories that you have and worship them :mrgreen:
(actually I was born in 89 :cry: )

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:38 pm 
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Really nice thread! I'll add this, hope its not going off topic-

I saw FZ on SNL when i was about 14 and that just blew me away, i really loved the I am the Slime performance. That christmas i was given a cheap Realistic 8 track stereo and with the little money i had went out and bought a couple of 8 tracks. Zoot Allures, Led Zeppelin's first album, and i think Areosmith Toy's in the Attic. I didn't know anything about music then, i just got bands i recognized, and somehow Zappa was one of them.

None of my friends at the time got why i listened to Zappa but i didn't care, Zoot Allures made total sense to me from the first listening. Uncle Meat was the next 8 track i got and that took me to a new world. My families idea of good music was Tony Orlando and Dawn which i remember was literally painful for me to hear, it was such a discovery to realize there was music that made me happy to hear.

At some point around then i heard a King Biscuit Flower Hour Show with Frank, all i remember from it was City of Tiny Lites, and that there was an audience participation thing with what Frank called an 'abuseature'. If anyone knows anything about this i love to hear it again.

The first show i caught was a few years later at the San Diego civic, really a great show, highlights were FZ's intro alone on stage playing Black Napkins, and am amazing rendition of The Torture Never Stops, using the halls PA speakers which were set up almost like a movie theaters on the side walls and ceiling. The effect was very 5.1 and at the time was mighty cool.

I did see FZ about 7 times in total, but the first show was the most memorable, we drove down to San Diego from Riverside, got lost on the way and panic ensued that we wouldn't make it on time, thankfully we did, and it was one of the best evenings of my life.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:16 pm 
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I recall that first SNL show making a big impression on me too and Zoot Allures was also my first Zappa album and I loved it from the start. I especially remember being tickled by the lyrics to Wonderful Wino - the part about the wino man losing control of his body functions on the roller headed ladies front lawn - I thought that was hilarious. I was also about 14 at the time.

I only saw FZ once -this being the spring of 1980 at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento. I remember them playing alot of songs that ended up being on YAWYI and some Joe's Garage stuff. I also remember Ike was wearing a football jersey (maybe USC?). If anybody has any tapes or pictures of this show I'd like to see/hear them.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:25 pm 
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KillUgly wrote:
I recall that first SNL show making a big impression on me too and Zoot Allures was also my first Zappa album and I loved it from the start. I especially remember being tickled by the lyrics to Wonderful Wino - the part about the wino man losing control of his body functions on the roller headed ladies front lawn - I thought that was hilarious. I was also about 14 at the time.

I only saw FZ once -this being the spring of 1980 at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento. I remember them playing alot of songs that ended up being on YAWYI and some Joe's Garage stuff. I also remember Ike was wearing a football jersey (maybe USC?). If anybody has any tapes or pictures of this show I'd like to see/hear them.



Kill - Here is what I found on your concert:

Frank Zappa's Band, March - July 1980
FZ, Ike Willis, Ray White, Arthur Barrow, David Logeman, Tommy Mars.

1980 03 30 - Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento, CA

Treacherous Cretins, Teenage Wind, Harder Than Your Husband, Bamboozled By Love, Pick Me I'm Clean, Society Pages, I'm A Beautiful Guy, Beauty Knows No Pain, Charlie's Enormous Mouth, Any Downers?, Conehead, Easy Meat, Mudd Club, The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing, Heavenly Bank Account, Suicide Chump, Jumbo Go Away, If Only She Woulda, I Don't Wanna Get Drafted, Joe's Garage, Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?, Dancin' Fool, Bobby Brown, Black Napkins


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:12 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:50 am 
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Zut_boF wrote:
I saw a zappa show only once in Québec in 1984.


I was there also! However, i can't remember much.

I was also at the Halifax Nova Scotia show of that same tour in 1984.

My first was Montreal 82.

I'll have to ask my sister about this because i think she saw the Mothers in 68/69 in Montreal..
I'll get back to ya!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:42 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:01 am 
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unica wrote:
manichispanic wrote:
hot rats orchestra in 72? isn't it really the grand/petite wazoo orchestra?
i know hendrix's band was billed as the jimi hendrix experience when it wasn't, so i think this is the case.


No, the The Hague 1972 gig was billed as Hot Rats Orchestra in the Netherlands as you can see on the flyers and ads, not as Wazoo.



i know, i was suggesting that they were IMPROPERLY billed.

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