Zappa.com

The Official Frank Zappa Messageboards
It is currently Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:32 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 40 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Zappa idols
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:19 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:40 pm
Posts: 6958
Location: South wales
Is this guy
Nick Lucas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sic_2r7-bHI
my guitar whats too make love too your mamma :wink:

Image

_________________
Arf you out of your fucking mind.Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:54 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:41 pm
Posts: 13803
Location: From some place in this area...
There is only one true Zappa Idol...

Image
Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse

Edgard Varese: The Idol of My Youth

By Frank Zappa

Article taken from Stereo Review, June 1971. pp 61-62.

I have been asked to write about Edgard Varese. I am in no way qualified to. I can't even pronounce his name right. The only reason I have agreed to is because I love his music very much, and if by some chance this article can influence more people to hear his works, it will have been worthwhile.

I was about thirteen when I read an article in Look about Sam Goody's Record Store in New York. My memory is not too clear on the details, but I recall it was praising the store's exceptional record merchandising ability. One example of brilliant salesmanship described how, through some mysterious trickery, the store actually managed to sell an album called "Ionization" (the real name of the album was "The Complete Works of Edgard Varese, Volume One"). The article described the record as a weird jumble of drums and other unpleasant sounds.

i dashed off to my local record store and asked for it. Nobody ever heard of it. I told the guy in the store what it was like. He turned away, repulsed, and mumbled solemnly, "I probably wouldn't stock it anyway... nobody here in San Diego would buy it."

I didn't give up. i was so hot to get that record I couldn't even believe it. In those days I was a rhythm-and-blues fanatic. I saved any money I could get (sometimes as much as $2 a week) so that every Friday and Saturday I could rummage through piles of old records at the Juke Box Used Record Dump (or whatever they called it) in the Maryland Hotel or the dusty corners of little record stores where they'd keep the crappy records nobody wanted to buy.

One day I was passing a hi-fi store in La Mesa. A little sign in the window announced a sale on 45's. After shuffling through their singles rack and finding a couple of Joe Houston records, I walked toward the cash register. On my way, I happened to glance into the LP bin. Sitting in the front, just a little bent at the corners, was a strange-looking black-and-white album cover. On it there was a picture of a man with gray frizzy hair. He looked like a mad scientist. I thought it was great that somebody had finally made a record of a mad scientist. i picked it up. I nearly (this is true, ladies and gentlemen) peed in my pants... THERE IT WAS! EMS 401, The Complete Works of Edgard Varese Volume I... Integrales, Density 21.5, ionization, Octandre... Rene Le Roy, the N. Y. Wind Ensemble, the Juilliard Percussion Orchestra, Frederic Waidman Conducting... liner notes by Sidney Finkelstein! WOW!

I ran over to the singles box and stuffed the Joe Houston records back in it. I fumbled around in my pocket to see how much money I had (about $3.80). I knew I had to have a lot of money to buy an album. Only old people had enough money to buy albums. I'd never bought an album before. I sneaked over to the guy at the cash register and asked him how much EMS 401 cost. "That gray one in the box? $5.95 - "

I had searched for that album for over a year, and now... disaster. I told the guy I only had $3.80. He scratched his neck. "We use that record to demonstrate the hi-fi's with, but nobody ever buys one when we use it... you can have it for $3.80 if you want it that bad."

I couldn't imagine what he meant by "demonstrating hi-fi's with it." I'd never heard a hi-fi. I only knew that old people bought them. I had a genuine lo-fi... it was a little box about 4 inches deep with imitation wrought-iron legs at each corner (sort of brass-plated) which elevated it from the table top because the speaker was in the bottom. My mother kept it near the ironing board. She used to listen to a 78 of The Little Shoemaker on it. I took off the 78 of The Little Shoemaker and, carefully moving the speed lever to 33 1/3 (it had never been there before), turned the volume all the way up and placed the all-purpose Osmium-tip needle in the lead-in spiral to Ionization. I have a nice Catholic mother who likes Roller Derby. Edgard Varese does not get her off, even to this very day. I was forbidden to play that record in the living room ever again.

In order to listen to The Album, I had to stay in my room. I would sit there every night and play it two or three times and read the liner notes over and over. I didn't understand them at all. I didn't know what timbre was. I never heard of polyphony. I just liked the music because it sounded good to me. I would force anybody who came over to listen to it. (I had heard someplace that in radio stations the guys would make chalk marks on records so they could find an exact spot, so I did the same thing to EMS 401... marked all the hot items so my friends wouldn't get bored in the quiet parts.)

I went to the library and tried to find a book about Mr. Varese. There wasn't any. The librarian told me he probably wasn't a Major Composer. She suggested I look in books about new or unpopular composers. I found a book that had a little blurb in it (with a picture of Mr. Varese as a young man, staring into the camera very seriously) saying that he would be just as happy growing grapes as being a composer.

On my fifteenth birthday my mother said she'd give me $5. I told her I would rather make a long-distance phone call. I figured Mr. Varese lived in New York because the record was made in new York (and because he was so weird, he would live in Greenwich Village). I got New York Information, and sure enough, he was in the phone book.

His wife answered. She was very nice and told me he was in Europe and to call back in a few weeks. I did. I don't remember what I said to him exactly, but it was something like: "I really dig your music." he told me he was working on a new piece called Deserts. This thrilled me quite a bit since I was living in Lancaster, California then. When you're fifteen and living in the Mojave Desert and find out that the world's greatest composer, somewhere in a secret Greenwich Village laboratory, is working on a song about your "home town" you can get pretty excited. It seemed a great tragedy that nobody in Palmdale or Rosamond would care if they ever heard it. I still think Deserts is about Lancaster, even if the liner notes on the Columbia LP say it's something more philosophical.

All through high school I searched for information about Varese and his music. One of the most exiting discoveries was in the school library in Lancaster. I found an orchestration book that had score examples in the back, and included was an excerpt from Offrandes with a lot of harp notes (and you know how groovy harp notes look). I remember fetishing the book for several weeks.

When I was eighteen I got a chance to go to the East Coast to visit my Aunt Mary in Baltimore. I had been composing for about four years then but had not heard any of it played. Aunt Mary was going to introduce me to some friend of hers (an italian gentleman) who was connected with the symphony there. I had planned on making a side trip to mysterious Greenwich Village. During my birthday telephone conversation, Mr. Varese had casually mentioned the possibility of a visit if I was ever in the area. I wrote him a letter when I got to Baltimore, just to let him know I was in the area.

I waited. My aunt introduced me to the symphony guy. She said, "This is Frankie. He writes orchestra music." The guy said, "Really? Tell me, sonny boy, what's the lowest note on a bassoon?" I said, "B flat... and also it says in the book you can get 'em up to a C or something in the treble clef." He said, "Really? You know about violin harmonics?" I said, "What's that?" He said, "See me again in a few years."

I waited some more. The letter came. I couldn't believe it. A real handwritten letter from Edgard Varese! I still have it in a little frame. In very tiny scientific-looking script it says:


VII 12th/57

Dear Mr. Zappa

I am sorry not to be able to grant your request. I am leaving for Europe next week and will be gone until next spring. I am hoping however to see you on my return. With best wishes.
Sincerely
Edgard Varese


I never got to meet Mr. Varese. But I kept looking for records of his music. When he got to be about eighty I guess a few companies gave in and recorded some of his stuff. Sort of a gesture, I imagine. I always wondered who bought them besides me. It was about seven years from the time I first heard his music till I met someone else who even knew he existed. That person was a film student at USC. He had the Columbia LP with Poeme Electronique on it. He thought it would make groovy sound effects.

I can't give you any structural insights or academic suppositions about how his music works or why I think it sounds so good. His music is completely unique. If you haven't heard it yet, go hear it. If you've already heard it and think it might make groovy sound effects, listen again. i would recommend the Chicago Symphony recording of Arcana on RCA (at full volume) or the Utah Symphony recording of Ameriques on Vanguard. Also, there is a biography by Fernand Oulette, and miniature scores are available for most of his works, published by G. Ricordi.

http://home.online.no/~corneliu/edgard_varese.htm

:wink:

_________________
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true Art and Science. - Albert Einstein

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:19 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:40 pm
Posts: 6958
Location: South wales
I know about Edgard Varese was thinking he may have had more this guy could had been the flavor of the month before discovering varese.

_________________
Arf you out of your fucking mind.Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:53 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 1:40 am
Posts: 3493
Location: The Blue Light
Image

http://www.soulwalking.co.uk/Johnny%20Guitar%20Watson.html

FZ loved his guitar tone.

_________________
Country music + Black music = Rock and Roll


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:04 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:14 am
Posts: 19069
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, CANADA
sabrinaIII wrote:
ImageFZ loved his guitar tone.

But, did he love his guitar titone?

_________________
You're probably wondering why I'm here
(not that it makes a heck of a lot of a difference to ya)
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:08 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 1:40 am
Posts: 3493
Location: The Blue Light
Don't you know, Trendmonkey was touched by greatness when Frank spoke to him? He's never been the same!

_________________
Country music + Black music = Rock and Roll


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:18 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:40 pm
Posts: 6958
Location: South wales
Mr Green got it correct has the book where this comes from.the page before says Edger Varese,Idol Of My Youth..


My Favourite Records

If you what to learn how to play guitar,listen to Wes Montgomery.you also should go out and see if you can get a record by Cecil Taylor if you want to learn how to play the piano.

You ought to look into the complete works of Anton Weber on Columbia(K4L-232),conducted by Robert Craft.thats four records.

Also Pierre Boulez conducts his own composition.Le Marteau sans Maitre.i don't know what label that is on,but it's the one with Boulez conducting.the one by Robert Craft has too many mistakes.

Also you ought to get Bartok's first,second and third piano concertos,which are very groovey
and a good dance too.
I have the version on Westminster(18377)by Edith Farnadi with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra.I've never heard any other version of the second and third piano concertos so i don't know whether or not that's the best recording.it might not even be available.i heard another version of the first at Andy Kulberg's collection of modern music.

Also, buy everything that you can by Igor Stravinsky and dance to it-especially L'Histoire Du Soldat,which means Soldier's Tale,and the Agon Ballet,which is a beautiful thing.

There's a record by Kadhenz Stockhausen on the Deutsche Gramophon label called "Gesang der Jungling"it's the Soung Of The Youths,Kontackte conducts) is on the other side.Buy that (DGG 138811)
I hope you spell all the names right because if any of these composers read Hit parade,and see a mistake,they're going too be Mad at you.FZ 1967.

_________________
Arf you out of your fucking mind.Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zappa idols
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:45 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:15 am
Posts: 1321
Location: Croatia, Europe
cleon wrote:
Is this guy
Nick Lucas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sic_2r7-bHI
my guitar whats too make love too your mamma :wink:

Image

omg! i didnt know that my guitar wants to kill your mama is also a parody
damn frank... :cry:

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zappa idols
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:58 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:36 pm
Posts: 8
cleon wrote:
Is this guy
Nick Lucas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sic_2r7-bHI
my guitar whats too make love too your mamma :wink:

Image


?!!? I have loved nick lucas for years. He is one of my idols as a guitarist and singer. Frank enjoyed or knew of him? That would make my day

_________________
www.myspace.com/seanryanwoodward


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zappa idols
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:30 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:40 pm
Posts: 6958
Location: South wales
CaullyFlowerHead wrote:
cleon wrote:
Is this guy
Nick Lucas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sic_2r7-bHI
my guitar whats too make love too your mamma :wink:

Image


?!!? I have loved nick lucas for years. He is one of my idols as a guitarist and singer. Frank enjoyed or knew of him? That would make my day
ov cusr He now,Frank WAS THE shisinit

_________________
Arf you out of your fucking mind.Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:23 pm 
Offline
Banned
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:37 pm
Posts: 1786
Coldplay

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:32 pm 
Offline
Banned
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:25 pm
Posts: 4071
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
Image

_________________
"If Frank Zappa cut a fart and mixed it to stereo, I'd buy it!" - jimmie d


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:49 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:40 pm
Posts: 6958
Location: South wales
Help, I'm a Rock wrote:
Coldplay
supid Cunt COLD SHIT GOT FUCK ALL TOO DO WITH THIS SHTI

_________________
Arf you out of your fucking mind.Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:44 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:10 am
Posts: 242
Location: Colombia
Do any of you know if he liked Spike Jones?

Image

_________________
my flickr


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:11 pm 
Offline
Banned
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:25 pm
Posts: 4071
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
patacon wrote:
Do any of you know if he liked Spike Jones?

Image

I believe that FZ mentioned Spike in The Real Frank Zappa Book. One would think that Frank probably loved Spike's presentation.

_________________
"If Frank Zappa cut a fart and mixed it to stereo, I'd buy it!" - jimmie d


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:52 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:28 pm
Posts: 2627
Location: in the tiny dirt somewhere
Tonight's secret word is:

Image

_________________
_________________Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:03 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:36 pm
Posts: 8
patacon wrote:
Do any of you know if he liked Spike Jones?

Image


Yeah, frank indebts his whole use of humour in music to spike jones period, in TRFZB. And he was no doubt influenced by spikes unusual use of percussion. Thats obvious

_________________
www.myspace.com/seanryanwoodward


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:37 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:10 am
Posts: 242
Location: Colombia
Image
Idol is too big a word, but i think John Cage was an influence.

_________________
my flickr


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:38 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 2243
Quote:
Idol is too big a word, but i think John Cage was an influence.


I've always been really interested in the relationship between Zappa and Cage; David Ocker says he can't imagine a composer who's less related to Zappa than Cage, and I agree (in the sense that much of Zappa's music sounds nothing like Cage's music) but Zappa's whole concept of music and composition seems a lot like Cage's. (Zappa even uses Cage as an example in his 'All About Music' section of his autobiography.)

At the same time, Zappa's relationship with Cage (I mean, how he talked about him) changed a lot over his career. At times he seemed respectful and fascinated (saying that Lumpy Gravy was very Cage influenced, 'Dead Air') at times very disdainful and mocking ('Judging from how you sang that, it must be John Cage composition, am I right?') and eventually to what seems to be a very, very conservative opinion ("I like his writings more than his music.")

It's always been very interesting to me. I think Zappa was very influenced, but was a little wary of admitting it because admitting Cage influence is just too pretentious. It was bad for his mileu.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:44 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 2243
Oh, wait, here are some of Zappa's idols;

Image
Anton Webern

(by the way, I was looking for a webern quote from Zappa and came across this interview; love it! http://sonic.net/~goblin/9zappa.html)

Image
Conlon Nancarrow

Zappa's synclavier pieces are very influenced by Nancarrow, especially, I think, 'Little Biege Sambo'.

Image
Igor Stravinsky

Zappa wrote two pieces in his memory, quoted his music incessantly, and Stravinsky probably influenced Zappa's sense of melody more than anyone else. (My opinion.)

I might have included Boulez, but Zappa's opinion of him wavers, like with Cage. There are a few Jazz guys, some I know some I'd assume...Dolphy, Mingus, Cecil Taylor for sure....


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:40 pm
Posts: 20
In the Yellow Shark rehearsels video, when Frank is trying to impart a sense of improvisation to the players, he cites John Cage, saying something along the lines of, "it all started with him."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:59 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 2243
warlarsen wrote:
In the Yellow Shark rehearsels video, when Frank is trying to impart a sense of improvisation to the players, he cites John Cage, saying something along the lines of, "it all started with him."


!! Really, really? That's fantastic, fantastic! Is this on that documentary style thing that came on after the video of the Yellow Shark concert?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:40 pm
Posts: 20
FeralCats wrote:
warlarsen wrote:
In the Yellow Shark rehearsels video, when Frank is trying to impart a sense of improvisation to the players, he cites John Cage, saying something along the lines of, "it all started with him."


!! Really, really? That's fantastic, fantastic! Is this on that documentary style thing that came on after the video of the Yellow Shark concert?


Yes, that is it.
I've always found it interesting that there is not much (if any) comment on record from the BIG modern classical guys (and gals) about Frank.
Probably because he helped shift more units for 'em than anyone else on the face of the planet. And Egos. The 60s FZ being but a child in comparison. And that he crossed over and made a living outside the system. And...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:12 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 2243
warlarsen wrote:
FeralCats wrote:
warlarsen wrote:
In the Yellow Shark rehearsels video, when Frank is trying to impart a sense of improvisation to the players, he cites John Cage, saying something along the lines of, "it all started with him."


!! Really, really? That's fantastic, fantastic! Is this on that documentary style thing that came on after the video of the Yellow Shark concert?


Yes, that is it.
I've always found it interesting that there is not much (if any) comment on record from the BIG modern classical guys (and gals) about Frank.
Probably because he helped shift more units for 'em than anyone else on the face of the planet. And Egos. The 60s FZ being but a child in comparison. And that he crossed over and made a living outside the system. And...


I agree! It is very strange. Some people who professed to liking him....well, of course Nicolas Slonimsky was a great friend of Zappa's. There' that section of Peefeeyatko where Zappa is chilling with Xenakis, which is certainly interesting. Alfred Schnittke also apparently liked 'Zappa's orchestral music'. Of course there's also Boulez...

then there's John Luther Adams, who claims Zappa as an early influence. And OTHER John Adams, who hates Zappa for whatever reason.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:30 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 5:11 pm
Posts: 2394
Location: Just N. of Boston, MA, USA
I suppose it'll always come down to these two guys, Iggy & Eddie.


Image

--Bat

_________________
Image<------PhotoArtWerk by debutante_daisy http://www.facebook.com/BatchainTheMovie


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 40 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group