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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2002 5:39 am 
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Location: Chicago, IL
Mine's actually kind of pathetic.  I pretty much ignored the name Zappa (with the exception of Dweezil and his tie-in's with the band Extreme) until Frank's death.  With all of the publicity (not that there was half of what SHOULD HAVE BEEN) at the time, I decided to find out what this man was about and rented BABY SNAKES from Blockbuster.  The next day I bought Apostrophe, Overnite Sensation and Baby Snakes.  A week later picked up another 3 titles.... continued doing so weekly until I got the whole collection and I've been obsessed ever since...   ::)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2002 5:53 am 
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Location: Ymir British Columbia
I had recently been introduced to Cheech and Chong by a friend who said you gotta hear this record with these funny guys. I thought it was a record of music with some funny banter or funny lyrics until I heard it. Then a couple weeks later the same friend said you gotta listen to this Frank Zappa guy, he's hilarious. I thought it would be another comedy album like C & C. I was brought in by the giggles but when I heard the music I was hooked.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2002 10:12 am 
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Location: Bothell, WA
I hate to admit it, but I started out with the "Valley Girl" 45 back in '82.  With "You Are What You Is" on the flip, I was a very amused 14-year-old.  My mom thought 'YAWYI' was hysterical - my best friend looked like he was going to break into a sweat as I evaluated his reactions to same.  He didn't pass the test - we weren't friends for much longer anyway.<br><br>I bought 'Ship Arriving...' and fell in love with "I Come From Nowhere", but was completely baffled by "Envelopes" and the post-"ritual sacrifice" portion of "Drowning Witch".  I kept the LP for a year or two, then fell out of favour with it and sold it...<br><br>...but not before I bought a cut-out of 'Orchestral Favourites', which I did not understand AT ALL.  I wound up shattering it down the street, frisbee-style, convinced that it was the worst shite I'd ever heard.<br><br>A few years later (1986), a friend sat me down and spun 'Sheik Yerbouti' for me, which he himself had just discovered.  That was the turning point for me.  We played 'SY' to anyone who would listen.<br><br>However, my first "born again" purchase was a sleazy Italian compilation cassette which had bits of 'Sheik Yerbouti', 'Tinsel-Town Rebellion', and 'Joe's Garage' on it - not a bad mix actually.  It got me hooked and from then on I had to have EVERYTHING.  I'm still working on it!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2002 3:05 pm 
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Location: AL
I must say that I was a late bloomer myself.....but the first song i heard was "Watermelon in Easter Hay"   I will freely admit it made me cry. That was the most beautiful guitar playing I had ever heard in my life! It still is. I have yet to hear anything more beautiful since then and that has been a long time!! ;D


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2002 5:41 pm 
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Location: Amnerika
The first time I heard Zappa was about 9 years ago while I was in college.  I had heard some of his stuff before but on this day I really HEARD what he was doing.  It may have been that joint on the Pennsylvania turnpike...but Willie The Pimp changed my life.  I've been hooked on Zappa ever since and try to turn on as many people as I can to his work.  I'd also have to agree with Jumbo...Watermellon made me cry like a baby first time I heard it (I'm pretty sure I was sober).  It was christmas, I was laying in the dark next to a lit christmas tree with blue lights and that song just spoke volumes.  It's the most beautiful thing I've ever heard.  I like all of Franks "ugly" music too.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2002 8:06 pm 
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Location: Wilmington DE
I can't remember how old I was or what year but it was mid 70's for sure. I was a kid and heard "Cosmik Debris" on the RADIO. Imagine that happening. Wasn't even Halloween. I remember not knowing what to make of this but I loved it. Unlike anything I'd ever heard. Except for an old copy of Spike Jones' "Tea For Two" which my parents had. I used to listen to that over and over. Now that's music to fire a kid's imagination.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2002 8:46 am 
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Location: berlin, germany
I was 15 or so and heard the Roxy and Elsewhere show at a friends house. that has changed my musical taste once and forever. have 200 zappa records plus 100 CDs now and think it is christmas and birthday and god knows what together expecting all this new vault releases :-)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2002 1:26 pm 
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Location: Sydney,Australia
1979 my 10th birthday, my parents had always bought me or encouraged me to spend money i recieved for birthdays and x-mas on records or books. Since it was the disco era :-* :-* and I didn't know any better I set forth to by my first disco record(whoopee). I found the title I wanted "Shake Your Booty" only it wasn't spelt that way :D :D :D Wow the guy on the cover sure looked weird. I bought it immediately, raced home and showed mum what I had just purchased. She smiled and said I could play it(thank the maker my parents were left wing irish hippy folk singing types). I loved it although it wasn't until years later that i understood it!! The only restriction mum put on me was that I wasn't allowed to play it when guests were over. She never said anything about corrupting the minds of the god fearing youth in our community in their own homes though :o :o :o


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2002 1:32 pm 
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One morning my Dad told me that Frank Zappa had died.  I didn't really know who he was but somehow I had heard the name.  I must have been 11 or 12 at the time.  (I find that most people are aware of the name somehow and generally associate it with a vague sense of "weirdness")  <br>Anyway... my dad seemed kind of sad and he mentioned that he had always been interested in Zappa but that he had never quite got around to listening to him.  After that, my dad picked up The Real Frank Zappa book and a couple of tapes and they just kind of sat around the house.  I don't even know if he ever even listened to the tapes.  But me being a kid and having a lot more free time than my Dad eventually got around to inserting the Bongo Fury tape into the stereo and listening to the first blasts of "Debra Kedabra" and hating it immediately.  Too weird for me.  I wasn't ready.<br><br>Fast forward one or two years.  The Meridian Arts Ensemble played 2 gigs at my high school.  I lived in a small desert community in California and this was part of a "community concert" program that allowed for profesional classical musicians to come and play for small towns that wouldn't otherwise get an opportunity to hear them.  The Meridian Arts Ensemble consists of a 5 piece brass ensemble and one drummer and they play contemporary classical music.  In order to cut costs for their tour the ensemble brings all their instruments except for a drum set which is to be provided by the venue.  Since the high school didn't really have a drumset and this is a very small town they had to use mine!  Me and my dad packed up the drumset and drove it to the gym.  Once there I decided I might as well see the show in order to see what a professional musician might do with my drumset.  The concert was quite a strange experience.  The audience consisted almost entirely of blue haired old ladies and their husbands (who appeared to be there reluctantly) and they tried to stay attentive while the MAE tooted out their particular brand of far-out classical music while the percussionist thrashed away at my drumset.  A large number of the audience left during intermission but to my surprise, I found that I was actually enjoying the music.  The concert ended with a performance of Zappa's T'Mershi Duween and Dupree's Paradise and let me tell you, I was not the same person when those songs were over.  I have never heard such beautiful music as hearing Dupree's Paradise being pumped out of those horns in that tiny gymnasium while a small crowd of grandmothers looked on.  And to my surprise (and probably even the ensemble's surprise) they received a big ovation.  I bought a CD of theirs (Smart Went Crazy) after the show and I vowed to learn more about Frank Zappa.  I listened to Bongo Fury again and I realized how foolish I was to hate it.  I read The Real Frank Zappa Book and realized that he also grew up in a small desert town and had a lot of the same frustrations and problems that I had.  I bought Strictly Commercial and by then I knew it was all over with.  I own most of the albums now and consider him the greatest musician/composer ever.  <br><br>When Zappa was a boy he heard the music of Edgare Varese and it changed his life.  When I was close to the same age I heard Frank Zappa and it changed my life.  I doubt that I will be a musician or a present day composer but whatever I do Frank Zappa will surely inspire me.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2002 5:07 pm 
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Location: Californey (the place ye ought to be!)
It was 1970, I was 14, and I had just started high school (tenth grade).  On the first day of school, I sat next to a girl in my English class who was carrying a copy of Mothermania.  I'd been curious about the Mothers, having seen the bizarre album covers (with no song titles listed on the backs, which was vaguely threatening--what are they hiding?) and read a few tantalizing snippets in rock books and magazines.  I asked the girl, who called herself Sadie, if this band was really good; she replied, "They're FANTASTIC."  I didn't need any more convincing.<br><br>I don't remember if it was that very day, but certainly within the week I was at the Fedco department store with my own mother, deciding which Mothers album to buy.  The one with the teeth on the cover looked like the best bargain: 2 LPs and a booklet for the price of a single LP.  While my mother went on to the grocery store, I sat in the car poring over the song titles and the weird illustrations of Uncle Meat.  Then, when I got home, I slipped the first disc onto my green plastic Emerson portable stereo.<br><br>Holy Christ.<br><br>I had never heard any chamber music before.  Nor had I ever heard any free jazz, 12-tone, or "classical" electronic music.  I had heard a little doo-wop, so I was able to latch onto the '50s parodies pretty easily.  But this music was way over my head.  And that's half the reason I was hooked.  I knew I had to dig deeper.  Thank you Sadie, wherever you are.<br>

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2002 11:47 pm 
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this might go on a bit, so bear with me . . . <br><br>ok, it would have been about 1975/76. i was at a boarding school in new zealand and belonged to a mail-order record club (they didn't have cds in those days). when we wanted to order a record we had to go to one of the teachers and get them to sign the order form. <br><br>this particular day i'd gone to the room of one teacher (a soft touch, since he was right into music) to get him to sign for deep purple's machine head (remember that one? the one with smoke on the water and its zappa reference?) <br><br>anyway, he tried to talk me out of that and into dark side of the moon, which had just come out, or deep purple in rock, at the very least. but i was adamant - machine head or nothing. so he wanders off to get a pen or something to sign the form, and while i was waiting i suddenly became aware of this weird music on his stereo. all i can remember is something about a mud shark and a white album cover with pencil on the front . . . <br><br>now forward 3 or 4 years: this same record club had a sneaky policy designed to sucker you into buying records you didnt want. it divided members into categories like "classical", "pop", "easy listening" and, if you were a bit more adventurous, "progressive" (where you got bands like yes, genesis, pink floyd and stuff) and they sent you a monthly catalogue with their selection of "record of the month" in the various categories. now, if you didnt send a form back saying you didnt want that particular record of the month, it got sent to you automatically. i'd been changing addresses a fair bit at that stage and missed about three or four months - when i finally caught up with my mail, i found i'd been sent all these "progressive albums of the month" - seals and crofts, roberta flack, bread (god knows how they determined what was "progressive") and one from a band that i thought i'd heard of somewhere before: the mothers of invention's one size fits all. <br><br>hooked? line and sinker!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2002 10:36 am 
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Location: St. Loomis
First time was when I was 10 or so.  I was coming back into my cabin late on a summer's night at sleepaway camp. Everyone was in their bunks half asleep.  My counselor was telling a weird tale involving a girl named Suzy, while playing what I learned years later was "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet" in the background.  What strange and enlightening dreams I had that night.<br><br>Years later I truly discovered FZ when I went off to college and the fellow (Mike) next door turned me on to a wide variety of unique music.  He had ALL of FZ released til then on lp. (1974)<br><br>My roommate that first semester had what probably was also his first encounter with FZ within a few weeks into the school year. <br><br>What I am about to tell is TRUE!<br><br>Mike and I were listening to 200 Motels, I think it was my first time hearing it.  So I didn't know what was coming either. I must confess that I don't remember the track name off hand, but there is a particularly "unconventional" perhaps atonal section that the orchestra plays which really could confuse someone who's musical idol is Elton John.<br><br>He comes stomping over from our (adjoining) room pissed off he has to hear this (he can't deal with the fact that he can't find the downbeat, I suppose) as he stands in the doorway he opens his mouth but Jimmy Carl Black takes the words out of his mouth and says "What the Fuck was that?!"<br><br>Needless to say he was speechless, he stood there stunned for about ten seconds and I don't think he spoke to us for a day or two... <br><br>True story...really...<br><br><br><br><br>


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2002 1:02 pm 
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It was halloween night, somtime in the late70's..i was 15, maybe 16.<br><br>I was ridding around with some friends in a car doing bong hits (it was the 70's so it was ok then)...somehow, someone had a tape of Apostrophe..<br><br>The very frist song i heard was Apostrophe,,the epiphanic impact was immediate...and permanent!!!

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2002 2:10 pm 
I had heard about him long before ever hearing any of his music. <br>Growing up in Ireland in the late 70s/early 80s you didn't hear anything other than top 40 fodder on the radio. I first took notice when I saw a photo of him testifying before congress RE the PMRC. I bought "Ship Arriving too late to Save a Drowning Witch" in 1989, politely listened to it and shelved it. Wasn't until I bought "Guitar" that I totally lost the mess and started to hoover up everything Zappa


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2002 12:39 am 
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Location: Amsterdam
I was first introduced to Zappa when he appeared on a tv show called VPRO PIKNIK in 1970. The show was shown on late night tv and I wondered who this guy was with the striped pants and those two clowns that did the vocals...A year later I saw the fillmore East album in the record store and thought wOW!!! that's the one to have!!! I soon learned all the lyrics and took the album to all the parties I went as a true Zappa preacher trying to get everyone listen to it!!! Well noone liked it though but my life changed a lot after this first buy!!!! From then on I did not miss a concert Zappa gave in Holland!!!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2002 6:35 am 
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It was probably sometime around 1985 or 86. CD players were starting to get to the affordable pricerange status, which meant even a poverty stricken college student like myself could afford the investment. That $110 was only the beginning, of course, since the damn thing didn't play any of the vinyl that had been accumulating. CDs being expensive little buggers, I thought over every potential purchase before buying, but I did like to try new musical experiences. One night there were reruns of the original SNL on tv, and I happened to catch the Zappa-hosted episode. At some point during the Rocky Horror inspired sketch, Larraine Newman expresses disbelief that Frank Zappa, the man who put out the album "Freak Out", never did drugs. The performance as a whole intrigued me (despite the fact the geniuses who edited the show cut out the freaking musical performances!) so during the next visit to the mall I bought Freak Out. <br><br>Boy was I disappointed. Only the crazy shit at the end appealed to me at all, and that was not the kind of stuff you could put on at any of the parties my crowd was having, so the disc got played maybe 3 times, and then was filler on the cd shelf. Somehow it was never resold to finance the purchase of some stupid Rolling Stones disc.<br><br>Fast forward a couple of years. I am in the back of a commercial van headed to Milwaukee from Chicago following a Jerry Garcia Band concert. All in the van are giddy with postadolescent reckless glee. Out of the speakers come the funniest songs, perfect for this particular ride. Bobby Brown. Dancin Fool. Cosmik Debris. It is Strictly Commercial, and I cannot believe this is the same Frank Zappa who put out that fucked up Freak OUt album. It was a memorable night, but I was a deadhead then, so it didn't take.<br><br>Finally around 96 or 97 I became friends with a guy who shared a lot of the same musical interests as me. Somehow the subject of Zappa  came up, and I said how I didn't know much about it but didn't really "get" it. He flipped and said he couldn't believe I wasn't into Zappa and proceeded to make a couple of tapes for me. Here's the kicker for ya, Mrs. Zappa, if you're reading this. Those couple of technically "illegal" copies (Roxy and Sleep Dirt, Weasels and Zoot Allures) led to my present state of complete immersion. I am nearing saturation, to the point where my Zappa collection takes up more space than any other artist in my collection. Some people get it right away, but there are others like myself who have a more roundabout path towards gaining this knowlege. I do know that had my friend not given me cassette tape copies from his collection, I doubt that I would ever have delved so deep into the Zappa catalogue.<br><br>And by the way, now I LOVE Freak Out. Who could imagine....?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2002 8:10 am 
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Location: scotland
I was five and i used to sit and look at the 'burnt weeny...'  album cover for hours while my dad listened to the album...it's still one of my favourites.....after a while i started to hassle him to put it on cos i loved holiday in berlin so much!  and it's been a life of sleazery every since!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2002 3:25 pm 
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Location: maine
I was a big Alice Cooper fan back in the early 70's. my older bother said that if I liked Alice I would like Frank. <br>  He let me have a copy of Weasles Rip my flesh. At the time I did't get into it. But about 4 or 5 years later, I heard Yellow Snow, and got a copy of Apostrophy. From than on I was hooked. I started getting every album I could. <br>  I still have the weasles album.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2002 1:08 am 
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Location: Upstate NY
1962<br>Me be born<br>1964<br>Me discover phonograph and Mom's Beatles albums<br>1970 <br>6 years after discovering Beatles they disbanded<br>1972<br>First time I heard Zappa, on the horrid SOME TIME IN NEW YORK CITY album by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band. I was only mildly amused. SCUMBAG got some play, mainly because I was a 10 year old boy and there's something funny about a SCUMBAG to a 10 year old. Still, I wasn't aware that FZ was incredible. <br>late 1972<br>Discovered other bands to replace the now divided and less significant Beatles. The Who, ELP, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Yes, Pink Floyd and Elton John are among those I decided were good.<br>1973<br>Discovered drug abuse and drinking, way too early, and hung out with the 'older' guys & girls. A friend of my sister (3 years older than me) tells me about Zappa. I am not too interested, but I play SCUMBAG for him, which he wasn't aware of. He goes home and returns quickly with OVER-NITE SENSATION - the new FZ album at the time. His deal? Let him borrow the John Lennon album with Zappa on it, and I could borrow the new Zappa album. Later than night, I listened to it with headphones, expecting the same sort of crap I heard on the John & Yoko album. Before the needle got as far as the Jean-Luc Ponty solo on FIFTY-FIFTY I knew I had stumbled into my next obsession. Being only 10 meant I had very little money. I taped the album on a cassette, and studied every sound. I looked at the different FZ albums in the stores, reading the strange and intriguing titles. Still, I wasn't able to talk Mom into letting me have the 5.98 I'd need to buy one.<br>1974<br>In a Zayre's department store, in Glens Falls NY (about 3 miles from where I am right now!) Mom said I could buy two 45 RPM records. I remember that I found a copy of The Beatles' HEY JUDE single, which I wanted to replace my old scratched up one. Then I looked through the other singles there to decide my other selection. I nearly bought the single of Elton John's BENNIE AND THE JETS, but then I saw the DiscReet label on another record. It was Frank Zappa! This became my first true Zappa purchase... DON'T EAT THE YELLOW SNOW / COSMIK DEBRIS.<br>1975<br>By the end of 1975 I managed to use my allowances, birthday money and Christmas money to get EVERYTHING of Frank's except LUMPY GRAVY, which was out of print. <br>1976<br>Found an import of LUMPY GRAVY from the UK.<br>2002<br>Here I'm is

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