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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:10 am 
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I want to start a discussion about this 45 rpm little curiosity.
Big Leg Emma sounds like nothing that the Mothers were doing back in early ’67. If I had a gun held to my head I would put my money on Billy Mundi playing the drums. It has his ‘feel’ all over it and in particular it has his trademark cymbal deadening technique (dum chu). You can also hear that huge china / crash cymbal that he uses on many tracks on WOIIFTM, the one that sounds like hitting a baking tray.
The sound recording is great; I’d love to have heard Absolutely Free sounding as good. BLE doesn’t suffer at all from being presented in glorious Mono either, it sounds really warm.
One thing that throws me every time though is when I tap along to or count along to the drum build after the second “Mamama, mamama, mamama, mamama, mamama, mamama, mamama, mamama, Emma”. It never sounds right? Like it's got one to many or one too few notes?
Perhaps it’s just me?

A really fun tune that has great horns from Bunk, bass from Roy, drums from The Oozer and typically hilarious vocals from both Frank and Ray.
What is there not to like about this song.

I doubt it was ever going to sell well upon release though was it? :|

Now the B-side.
This one is very peculiar. An early Zappa tune, but I have to confess to only knowing this version.
The sound recording on WDDMR is totally different to BLE. The drums are really muddy and play a strange accent on each bar. The main driving instrument seems to be an electric harpsichord. Don Preston?
This is track is just so odd and unique in the whole Zappa repertoire. It’s like he just said “Fuck it” and laid it down exactly as he wanted it there and then.
I wouldn’t even be surprised if Zappa laid down every instrument on the recording.
Great to hear him play some blistering guitar and the distortion sounds great.

Of all the early 45’s I’d like to own this one. Perhaps a treat to myself next Christmas? 8)

Thoughts and comments please :smoke:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:50 pm 
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Interesting comments. The vocals on Big Leg Emma: I thought JCB sang on this one, he certainly did that one on the concerts (see The Ark). There's clearly some discernable singing from Ray. But I have no idea who does the "she used to knock me out till her face broke out" as well as the more mumbly and humming parts. FZ? JCB? I suppose the drums may indeed be mostly (if not entirely) The Oozer. Which prompts me to ask: are there any songs from Mundi's tenure with the band where JCB does indeed share the drumming duties with him or did FZ really find it much more convenient to only use Mundi for all the drum tracks? The latter was certainly the case for WOIIFTM, but what about Abs. Free and parts of Uncle Meat?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:49 am 
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Thanks for the reply Ed.
I remember JCB somewhere saying that he used to sing BLE live but I have never heard it. I do have The Ark but only the old vinyl and that does not have BLE on it :roll:
Re the "she used to knock me out...." bit's, I have always thought that was Frank. Same with the "suck it to me now". Love those vocals. All lazy and sloppy.
Yeah, there's definitely only one drummer on the track and I'd bet both my testicles that it's The Oozer. In fact, it IS The Oozer
I think that JCB was brought to the front of the stage during that time and sang alongside Frank and Ray (and Roy) and also played the timpani. Think of King Kong from Tis the Season', that's Oozer on drums (unique style) and JCB doing the jungle rolls on the timpani.
For his presence at the front of the stage, think of the Bitter End from Sep '67. I know there is not audio but you get the gist.

Now, for my "who played the drums on what list";

Absolutely Free;
Plastic People Oozer
Duke of Prunes JCB
Amnesia Vivace JCB (?)
Duke Regains JCB
Call Any Vegetable JCB
Invocation Oozer
Soft Cell Conc’ JCB
America Drinks Oozer
Status Back Baby Oozer
Uncle Bernies Oozer
Suzy Creamcheese Oozer
Brown Shoes Must be both. Some very good drumming buried beneath all that stuff
America Drinks ?

WOIIFTM;
I would say all The Oozer. Incredible playing on Peace Corps and Hey Punk.

Uncle Meat;
Loads of percussion splashed about the whole album so only really addressing the “drum tracks”

Dog Breath, in the…. JCB first part, Oozer second part (Pound for a Brown section)
(Note, that bit may be called The Legend of the Golden Arches, I’m not sure as I have it on vinyl…..)
Sleeping in a Jar Oozer (this showcases his sound and feel completely)
Electric Aunt ? (Difficult to tell when it’s sped up)
God Bless America JCB
IU Whips it out JCB
The Air ?
Cruisin’ for Burgers Oozer (there’s that china crash cymbal again…..)
King Kong (studio) Again absolutely represents Mundi’s style. Think of King Kong on Tis the Season. That ¾ technique and those single press strokes – gorgeous.
King Kong (Flat bed) Not sure but I think JCB. The little drums rolls before it cut’s back into the studio sound more like Art Tripp however

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:27 am 
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thenoisydrum wrote:
Thanks for the reply Ed.
I remember JCB somewhere saying that he used to sing BLE live but I have never heard it. I do have The Ark but only the old vinyl and that does not have BLE on it :roll:
Re the "she used to knock me out...." bit's, I have always thought that was Frank. Same with the "suck it to me now". Love those vocals. All lazy and sloppy.
Yeah, there's definitely only one drummer on the track and I'd bet both my testicles that it's The Oozer. In fact, it IS The Oozer
I think that JCB was brought to the front of the stage during that time and sang alongside Frank and Ray (and Roy) and also played the timpani. Think of King Kong from Tis the Season', that's Oozer on drums (unique style) and JCB doing the jungle rolls on the timpani.
For his presence at the front of the stage, think of the Bitter End from Sep '67. I know there is not audio but you get the gist.

Now, for my "who played the drums on what list";

Absolutely Free;
Plastic People Oozer
Duke of Prunes JCB
Amnesia Vivace JCB (?)
Duke Regains JCB
Call Any Vegetable JCB
Invocation Oozer
Soft Cell Conc’ JCB
America Drinks Oozer
Status Back Baby Oozer
Uncle Bernies Oozer
Suzy Creamcheese Oozer
Brown Shoes Must be both. Some very good drumming buried beneath all that stuff
America Drinks ?

WOIIFTM;
I would say all The Oozer. Incredible playing on Peace Corps and Hey Punk.

Uncle Meat;
Loads of percussion splashed about the whole album so only really addressing the “drum tracks”

Dog Breath, in the…. JCB first part, Oozer second part (Pound for a Brown section)
(Note, that bit may be called The Legend of the Golden Arches, I’m not sure as I have it on vinyl…..)
Sleeping in a Jar Oozer (this showcases his sound and feel completely)
Electric Aunt ? (Difficult to tell when it’s sped up)
God Bless America JCB
IU Whips it out JCB
The Air ?
Cruisin’ for Burgers Oozer (there’s that china crash cymbal again…..)
King Kong (studio) Again absolutely represents Mundi’s style. Think of King Kong on Tis the Season. That ¾ technique and those single press strokes – gorgeous.
King Kong (Flat bed) Not sure but I think JCB. The little drums rolls before it cut’s back into the studio sound more like Art Tripp however


Thanks for these posts and analysis. UM and BWS are my two faves. I look forward to putting on UM soon and listening for your in-depth perceptions.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:44 am 
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Great stuff duchamp 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:19 pm 
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Regarding the live portion of King Kong on UM, it is JCB on the backbeat, plus then-newcomer Art Tripp for the subtle embellishments. FZ must've relegated JCB back behind the kit because he needed a solid R&B backbeat, since Art Tripp was then relatively inexperienced with rock rhythms. Tripp has credited JCB for teaching him all about the rock drumming. But yeah, the simple R&B beat is mostly JCB. Listen to Jean Luc Ponty's version of King Kong, where Art Tripp is the sole drummer and he plays in a brisk quasi-jazz 3/8 groove, totally different from JCB. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg3e312Svcw

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:47 am 
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Dead right, Ed

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:59 am 
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Tripp has also implied Mundi may be on "9 Types of Industrial Pollution" as well. Slowed down drum track, but if you sped it up, it may very well sound like the drumming at the end of "Sleeping in a Jar". Here's my theory: Zappa may have recorded the UM take of "Jar" as a rather long piece, then sped up the vocal bit by a minor third and split it from the jam, which in itself was slowed down (by a diminished fifth?) and overdubbed with Tripp percussion and double speed lead guitar. Now that I listen to "Pollution" sped up via diminished fifth (thanks Audacity!), it indeed reveals a guitar jam akin to "Get a Little"/"Sleazette", except with that acoustic tone and tons of weird chattering-teeth percussion. There is even a normal speed electric guitar bit hidden behind the "acoustic" sound. And there's more: the closing strains of the lead guitar on "Jar" do match up with the opening strains of "Pollution"! So there you are: "9 Types of Industrial Pollution" is basically a "Sleeping in a Jar" guitar solo.

As for "Electric Aunt Jemima", the basic sound is rather akin to the two tracks on the "Ruben & the Jets" vinyl where Zappa plays all the instruments himself. So maybe that's Uncle Frank himself drumming on that track?

Cruising for Burgers, I am still in two minds if it's Tripp or Mundi, but certain aspects of the drum sounds (like that china cymbal you refer to) are indeed a holdover from the WOIIFTM sound.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:12 pm 
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Location: Pouting for you? Punky Meadows, pouting for you?!!
My take on the early Mothers is typical enough. Frank had to start somewhere and got his springboard to recognition with those guys, but as he evolved as a composer, teaching parts by rote to musicians, some of whom had limited skill, was a hiding to nowhere. Even when he had Ian doing the rote teaching for him, the pieces were still not being performed to his liking. Then he gets involved in projects like Ponty's King Kong album and the contrast must have been becoming pretty stark.

I understand why FZ had to move on, but there's one side to his composition that went by the wayside that I wish he'd kept up with and that's the aspect that Ed's talking about here. A lot of the experimenting that FZ did with tape speeds may have been his early interest in musique concrete but a significant amount of it was also driven by getting a performance of what was coming together in his head by hook or by crook. I think it's easy to miss the significance of this - I'll call it junk music - aspect of his earlier work which gets lost in the discussion about his move on to using professionally skilled musicians.

I know he didn't give it up altogether, but there's a lot of that multilayered stuff in his earlier works which is nowhere near as prevalent later on.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:31 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
Tripp has also implied Mundi may be on "9 Types of Industrial Pollution" as well. Slowed down drum track, but if you sped it up, it may very well sound like the drumming at the end of "Sleeping in a Jar". Here's my theory: Zappa may have recorded the UM take of "Jar" as a rather long piece, then sped up the vocal bit by a minor third and split it from the jam, which in itself was slowed down (by a diminished fifth?) and overdubbed with Tripp percussion and double speed lead guitar. Now that I listen to "Pollution" sped up via diminished fifth (thanks Audacity!), it indeed reveals a guitar jam akin to "Get a Little"/"Sleazette", except with that acoustic tone and tons of weird chattering-teeth percussion. There is even a normal speed electric guitar bit hidden behind the "acoustic" sound. And there's more: the closing strains of the lead guitar on "Jar" do match up with the opening strains of "Pollution"! So there you are: "9 Types of Industrial Pollution" is basically a "Sleeping in a Jar" guitar solo.

As for "Electric Aunt Jemima", the basic sound is rather akin to the two tracks on the "Ruben & the Jets" vinyl where Zappa plays all the instruments himself. So maybe that's Uncle Frank himself drumming on that track?

Cruising for Burgers, I am still in two minds if it's Tripp or Mundi, but certain aspects of the drum sounds (like that china cymbal you refer to) are indeed a holdover from the WOIIFTM sound.


Very interesting observations about Pollution, Ed. I need to get the headphones out later and have a good listen to that piece again, it's been a while.
Which were the 2 tracks on Cruising that Frankie played all the instruments on?

PS - I'm loving all of this talk about Tripp, Mundi and the early drumming

polydigm wrote:
My take on the early Mothers is typical enough. Frank had to start somewhere and got his springboard to recognition with those guys, but as he evolved as a composer, teaching parts by rote to musicians, some of whom had limited skill, was a hiding to nowhere. Even when he had Ian doing the rote teaching for him, the pieces were still not being performed to his liking. Then he gets involved in projects like Ponty's King Kong album and the contrast must have been becoming pretty stark.

I understand why FZ had to move on, but there's one side to his composition that went by the wayside that I wish he'd kept up with and that's the aspect that Ed's talking about here. A lot of the experimenting that FZ did with tape speeds may have been his early interest in musique concrete but a significant amount of it was also driven by getting a performance of what was coming together in his head by hook or by crook. I think it's easy to miss the significance of this - I'll call it junk music - aspect of his earlier work which gets lost in the discussion about his move on to using professionally skilled musicians.

I know he didn't give it up altogether, but there's a lot of that multilayered stuff in his earlier works which is nowhere near as prevalent later on.


Interesting read, polydigm. That Junk music sure hit's my spot too :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:52 pm 
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To answer yr question:

Cheap Thrills
No No No

Needless to say, only bother with the original mixes, because Barrow and Wackerman are overdubbed on these two for the 1984 CD mix as well.

If you do have the Uncle Meat album copied to your computer, what you could do is to open Audacity (or download it and install it), then open "Sleeping in a Jar", elect Change Speed, put, say -15 to Percent Change. Then, open "9 Types", Change Speed, put 45 for Percent Change. As a result, you should have both of the tracks at the speed in which the basic tracks were originally recorded.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:44 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
To answer yr question:

Cheap Thrills
No No No

Needless to say, only bother with the original mixes, because Barrow and Wackerman are overdubbed on these two for the 1984 CD mix as well.

If you do have the Uncle Meat album copied to your computer, what you could do is to open Audacity (or download it and install it), then open "Sleeping in a Jar", elect Change Speed, put, say -15 to Percent Change. Then, open "9 Types", Change Speed, put 45 for Percent Change. As a result, you should have both of the tracks at the speed in which the basic tracks were originally recorded.


Thanks Ed, I've only got the album on vinyl so I'll have a listen soon.
As for UM, I'm probably never going to have the technology to get the vinyl onto my computer.....

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