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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:01 am 
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How could you be Zappa fan, and not appreciate Vai? That would be like saying that Zappa picked shitty musicians to be in his band. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you have to like everything Vai has done. I don't. But, I most definitely respect him as a great musician. Not trying to speak for Frank, but I'm sure he did too.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:13 am 
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Philostopher wrote:
How could you be Zappa fan, and not appreciate Vai? That would be like saying that Zappa picked shitty musicians to be in his band.


Sometimes he did pick a few controversial ones: Allan Zavod, David Logeman anyone? Not "shitty", au contraire, deemed good enough by Zappa to be in his band for a few months. However, both get flack for not living up to the standards set by Duke/Mars or Bozzio/Colaiuta respectively.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:42 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
Philostopher wrote:
How could you be Zappa fan, and not appreciate Vai? That would be like saying that Zappa picked shitty musicians to be in his band.


Sometimes he did pick a few controversial ones: Allan Zavod, David Logeman anyone? Not "shitty", au contraire, deemed good enough by Zappa to be in his band for a few months. However, both get flack for not living up to the standards set by Duke/Mars or Bozzio/Colaiuta respectively.


I'll agree with you on that. Good point. Lowell George only had a several month tenure too. I'm sure he caught a lot of shit for following the original Mothers. I thought he was a great musician though.

*edit*
Plus, I will retract my original statement. You're definitely allowed to be a Zappa fan, and not appreciate Vai. Some people don't like chocolate in their peanut butter. Sorry for my biased comment.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:22 pm 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
Sometimes he did pick a few controversial ones: Allan Zavod, David Logeman anyone? Not "shitty", au contraire, deemed good enough by Zappa to be in his band for a few months. However, both get flack for not living up to the standards set by Duke/Mars or Bozzio/Colaiuta respectively.

Logeman is not controversial, imo. He wasn't in the band long enough to be compared to Bozzio or Coliauta. I always find it curious that the people who hate Zavod for The Volcano would never knock JLP, who FZ made fun of for wheedley deedley, which is basically the same thing.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:09 pm 
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I'm not too familiar with Zavod as I haven't seen him perform much. All I know is he isn't Tommy Mars and is hairy as fuck.

Logeman I have only heard of today. Even though YAWYI is one of my personal favorite albums I never noticed he played on there. I just assumed it was Wackerman who is a good drummer but I'm not the biggest fan of his. No live presence. He's no Terry.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:30 pm 
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I'm not sure how any Zappa drummer from Bozzio through Wackerman can be criticized too harshly. They all played the difficult stuff that Frank put in front of them and played it well.

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Last edited by calvin2hikers on Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:31 pm 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
Philostopher wrote:
How could you be Zappa fan, and not appreciate Vai? That would be like saying that Zappa picked shitty musicians to be in his band.


Sometimes he did pick a few controversial ones: Allan Zavod, David Logeman anyone? Not "shitty", au contraire, deemed good enough by Zappa to be in his band for a few months. However, both get flack for not living up to the standards set by Duke/Mars or Bozzio/Colaiuta respectively.


There was a quote from Zappa once about occasionally needing to have people in the band who were only competent, which I think referred to cases like those. Certainly they were not "shitty" though.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:01 am 
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The Forum Killed Arkay wrote:
I always find it curious that the people who hate Zavod for The Volcano would never knock JLP, who FZ made fun of for wheedley deedley, which is basically the same thing.


There are two differences though:

1) JLP played the electric violin, as opposed to Zavod performing on Yamaha DX7.
2) JLP added thickness to the written parts, Zavod was the only one to carry the written lines and consequently he sounded much thinner with the digital synth than the combo of Mars, Vai and Mann from '82 and the combo of Keneally, Mann and the horn section in '88.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:57 am 
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DX7, as thin as it is, can be thicker than a sole violin. I still have my DX7IIFD in the basement, but it needs some work. As for JLP adding thickness... I've always thought the reverse. He was adding a thin-sounding instrument into a thick section, thus thinning it out. So, this reduces down to Zavod being bad because of who he played with? That doesn't seem fair.
But, none of that addresses the fact that the volcano is a huge whack-off at the end of a solo to make the crowd cheer, just like wheedley deedley.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:30 am 
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Maybe it doesn't address, but I figure fans of the Feb-Sep '73 band are more willing to forgive the JLP wheedley if they like (as I do) his contributions to the written parts. What was Zavod good for anyway? Yes, he knew how to play the tunes, but he used a digital synth for replacing Mann's percussion, this plastic sounding fake marimba and that tympani preset. Okay, one saving grace there was: he still continued to use electro-mechanical pianos (Fender Rhodes and the electric grand) where most DX7 users would go with the mentality that one synth is enough and thus use the DX7 Rhodes sound (cue in Chicago's "You're The Inspiration").

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:28 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
Maybe it doesn't address, but I figure fans of the Feb-Sep '73 band are more willing to forgive the JLP wheedley if they like (as I do) his contributions to the written parts. What was Zavod good for anyway? Yes, he knew how to play the tunes, but he used a digital synth for replacing Mann's percussion, this plastic sounding fake marimba and that tympani preset. Okay, one saving grace there was: he still continued to use electro-mechanical pianos (Fender Rhodes and the electric grand) where most DX7 users would go with the mentality that one synth is enough and thus use the DX7 Rhodes sound (cue in Chicago's "You're The Inspiration").


To what extent was Zavod playing patches that FZ asked for?
If Zavod was playing 'thin' patches it's probably because FZ asked him to.
With the benefit of hindsight we can say that some of those 80's sound were a bad idea, but at the time they probably seemed like a wonderful way to pay one guy for replacing 3 others...
Zavod becomes the scapegoat for FZ's parsimony....


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:37 am 
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Well, Frank was in charge in terms of keyboard instrumentation wasn't he.

Just read an interview with Tommy Mars. Interestingly enough, when he was about to rejoin the '88 band, he clearly wished to play organ and piano rather than synths. But FZ didn't heed attention to such requests and arranged synthesisers to be in place anyway. Eventually Tommy left because he sensed the kind of dysfunctionality that would eventually pull the '88 band apart. And he was into art/painting more than music at that time.

http://wiki.killuglyradio.com/wiki/A_Mars_A_Day

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:00 am 
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With respect to Allan Zavod, I'm sure he played the midi keys / synth stuff because Frank told him to. Also, for the '84 band, Tommy Mars wasn't returning and they needed a replacement fast who was decent and available.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:33 am 
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tiboudre wrote:
With respect to Allan Zavod, I'm sure he played the midi keys / synth stuff because Frank told him to. Also, for the '84 band, Tommy Mars wasn't returning and they needed a replacement fast who was decent and available.


Initially FZ rehearsed with Brad Cole. Scott liked his piano prowess. He's the one that plays piano on "Be In My Video", not the best of FZ' songs, but I kind of like its parodic value. :) Needless to say, Cole probably got a better gig offer elsewhere (maybe Phil Collins?), so FZ had to get Zavod. Totally understandable. But one thing is certain: Scott Thunes liked Brad Cole. How would've fans liked him? We will never know.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:39 am 
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Maybe there was another reason. Perhaps Zavod was showing him or thing or two on the synclavier?
TT

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:14 pm 
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Anyway, let's talk about Chad Wackerman.

Here's Chad with Bill Watrous' big band. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhV5_tlskts

Definitely an accomplished jazz drummer. So why did he have such a weird drum sound with Zappa that was a total change from the '70s drum sound, last heard with the '80 band with Colaiuta (see "Buffalo" CD)? I reckon it was either because FZ wrote such peculiar drum parts for Chad to play and/or he engineered the drums to sound the way they did.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:27 pm 
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i think this debate is asinine but, great old video of the Watrous big band, 82 or around that time, great band.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:42 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjpZihqVY-g

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:59 pm 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
Well, Frank was in charge in terms of keyboard instrumentation wasn't he.

Just read an interview with Tommy Mars. Interestingly enough, when he was about to rejoin the '88 band, he clearly wished to play organ and piano rather than synths. But FZ didn't heed attention to such requests and arranged synthesisers to be in place anyway. Eventually Tommy left because he sensed the kind of dysfunctionality that would eventually pull the '88 band apart. And he was into art/painting more than music at that time.

http://wiki.killuglyradio.com/wiki/A_Mars_A_Day


Great interview. I love Tommy and I like how honest he is when it comes to Frank's music, what he likes and dislikes. Would have loved to have seen him with the 88 band. I wonder what he thought of Bobby Martin.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:14 pm 
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NuclearProstate wrote:
I wonder what he thought of Bobby Martin.


There is another interview where Mars mentioned Martin's audition and that Mars thought Martin would be a good utility keyboard player which is basically what he was.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:14 pm 
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pbuzby wrote:
NuclearProstate wrote:
I wonder what he thought of Bobby Martin.


There is another interview where Mars mentioned Martin's audition and that Mars thought Martin would be a good utility keyboard player which is basically what he was.

He sure nails the Whippin' Post vocal! imho He also scores movies and TV series like the one with his ex-wife Cybil Sheppard was in. Not Moonlighting, but the last one she was in. He can play the French horn better than any French horn players I know can.*


*So what if he's the only person I know that plays the French horn! :P

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:04 pm 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
why did (Chad W) have such a weird drum sound with Zappa that was a total change from the '70s drum sound, last heard with the '80 band with Colaiuta (see "Buffalo" CD)? I reckon it was either because FZ wrote such peculiar drum parts for Chad to play and/or he engineered the drums to sound the way they did.


I figure it's the technology. The way the instruments were captured at the source changed. And not for the better.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:57 pm 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
Sometimes he did pick a few controversial ones: Allan Zavod, David Logeman anyone? Not "shitty", au contraire, deemed good enough by Zappa to be in his band for a few months. However, both get flack for not living up to the standards set by Duke/Mars or Bozzio/Colaiuta respectively.

Ed, hold on to your small tiny horsies...

According to United Mutations, Logeman supplied drums for Mingo Lewis' 1976 jazz-fusion LP Flight Never Ending, one of my personal favorite albums of all time and an undeniably accomplished experiment in jazz-based rock music with mid-seventies synthesizers. If FZ ever actually heard the album, I would bet it played a big part in the decision to bring Logeman into the band.

I'm not trying to suggest that you were bashing everything about Logeman by any means, but I wanted to point out something in his work outside of the Zappa universe that still kicks ass :smoke:

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:20 pm 
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Buckalos wrote:
Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
Sometimes he did pick a few controversial ones: Allan Zavod, David Logeman anyone? Not "shitty", au contraire, deemed good enough by Zappa to be in his band for a few months. However, both get flack for not living up to the standards set by Duke/Mars or Bozzio/Colaiuta respectively.

Ed, hold on to your small tiny horsies...

According to United Mutations, Logeman supplied drums for Mingo Lewis' 1976 jazz-fusion LP Flight Never Ending, one of my personal favorite albums of all time and an undeniably accomplished experiment in jazz-based rock music with mid-seventies synthesizers. If FZ ever actually heard the album, I would bet it played a big part in the decision to bring Logeman into the band.

I'm not trying to suggest that you were bashing everything about Logeman by any means, but I wanted to point out something in his work outside of the Zappa universe that still kicks ass

Some can play nicely with others and some can't. It could be as simple as that. I figure if FZ asked you to "audition" for the band, he knew what sound he was looking for and must have had some reference in mind for asking anyone to audition for his bands.
All Mothers played good Mothers music for Frank in all of FZ/Mothers bands. They were or are all good Mother musicians, imo. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:43 am 
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You have to be at least be a very good musician to be in Zappa's band. Some are just better than others and some are far more diverse. Take Ike, good singer, great stage personality but I don't think his vocal ability comes close to Ray White or Bobby Martin but he was a character and had a humor in his voice Frank liked.

Just gonna throw this out there both SEX and Promiscuous aren't that bad. Promiscuous is throw-away but listenable and SEX has some funny moments (ironing board and those choruses). The worst song on TMFU is Stick Together and even then it isn't bad, just bland. Wayyyy underrated album, I listen to it lots nowadays. Valley girl is by far the worst thing on Ship, but it isn't bad. Maybe my dislike comes from the fact it is a silly little tune that most people know Frank by nowadays and it irritates me.

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