Torture orig. Version

8 views
Skip to first unread message

Andreas Klaer

unread,
Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

I hope i don't bore you with this ...

some months ago i bougth a Howlin' Wolf record (Chess label)
where's a song by HW called Smokestack Lighnin'.

To me it seems that the so called 'original' version of the torture
never stops (YCDTOSA) sound VERY much like that song, not to mention
that CB style of singing is similar to Howlin' Wolf's one.
(Of course, the lyrics are completely different, but the music is pretty
much the same)

As FZ mentioned in his real book, he and Don v. Vliet spent a lot of
time listening to HW, which might be a reason for this
sort-of-cover-version.

Miguel Amorim

unread,
Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

Right - on YCDTOSA Vl. 4, the version is kinda lifeless and raw, a
bit similar to the number you've mentioned performed by HW and
Hubert Sumlin, I guess. There' s the melody on the guitar.

But...FZ changed ENTIRELY the meaning of that song, with the
Cucamonga lyrical reference (IMHO)...Tank C in San Bernardino jail,
where FZ did time for the other location's bust (sting operation).
There's flies all green and buzzing, as you know... and the whole
"swamp" atmosphere to it on almost every other version of Torture,
not excluding the Zoot Allures version. Also, it changes from the
"swamp" type imaginary landscape to ... a kinda sexually obsessed
one, on several versions, very similar to Black Napkins in terms of
conception, as is almost all of Zoot Allures, IMO.

+---------------------------------------------------------------------
|..Miguel Amorim
|..Internet: mf...@total.net - or - mf...@geocities.com
|..http://www.geocities.com/BourbonStreet/delta/3065
|..http://members.trip od.com/~mfcam
|..Navigator.Eudora.Forte & Secret Agent.ws_ftp.NetTerm.mIRC.Trumpet
+----------------------------------------------------------------------

AJ Wilkes

unread,
Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

Miguel Amorim <mf...@bigfoot.com> wrote:
: On Sun, 08 Mar 1998 15:46:18 +0100, Andreas Klaer
: <kl...@irpsnc.ias.uni-stuttgart.de> wrote:

: >some months ago i bougth a Howlin' Wolf record (Chess label)
: >where's a song by HW called Smokestack Lighnin'.
: >To me it seems that the so called 'original' version of the torture
: >never stops (YCDTOSA) sound VERY much like that song, not to mention
: >that CB style of singing is similar to Howlin' Wolf's one.

: Right - on YCDTOSA Vl. 4, the version is kinda lifeless and raw, a


: bit similar to the number you've mentioned performed by HW and
: Hubert Sumlin, I guess. There' s the melody on the guitar.

: But...FZ changed ENTIRELY the meaning of that song, with the
: Cucamonga lyrical reference (IMHO)...Tank C in San Bernardino jail,
: where FZ did time for the other location's bust (sting operation).
: There's flies all green and buzzing, as you know... and the whole
: "swamp" atmosphere to it on almost every other version of Torture,
: not excluding the Zoot Allures version. Also, it changes from the
: "swamp" type imaginary landscape to ... a kinda sexually obsessed
: one, on several versions, very similar to Black Napkins in terms of
: conception, as is almost all of Zoot Allures, IMO.

To Andreas:

Yes, it is very similar to Smokestack Lightning - could also be attributed
to Denny Walley, who is a slidey/bluesy/smokestacky kind of a guitar player.

-JK-
'Denny Walley played with Zappa in two different bands.
In 1975 he didn't sing.
In 1978 he showed us why.
'

Bill

unread,
Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

The secret true meaning of The Torture is revealed at
http://adams.patriot.net/~billf/zappa/torture/index.html
--
Bill
billf_i...@patriot.net
(to e-mail remove "_ihatespam")

Patrick Neve

unread,
Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

On Sun, 8 Mar 1998, Andreas Klaer wrote:

> I hope i don't bore you with this ...
>

> some months ago i bougth a Howlin' Wolf record (Chess label)
> where's a song by HW called Smokestack Lighnin'.
>
> To me it seems that the so called 'original' version of the torture
> never stops (YCDTOSA) sound VERY much like that song, not to mention
> that CB style of singing is similar to Howlin' Wolf's one.

> (Of course, the lyrics are completely different, but the music is pretty
> much the same)
>
> As FZ mentioned in his real book, he and Don v. Vliet spent a lot of
> time listening to HW, which might be a reason for this
> sort-of-cover-version.

I haven't heard Smokestack Lightnin, but it sounds interesting. Is it
just the vamp and vocal tone that's the same, or does the vocal melody
actually follow as well?
As far as CB resembling Howlin Wolf in general, he is certainly
derivative, this is one of the most often made comparisons of Don to his
influences. I always thought of Don as sort of a mad prophet Howlin Wolf
on acid. I've also played Beefheart to blues fans who had never heard the
Magic Band and they've said, "Who's the Howlin Wolf sound-alike?"

**************************
http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~splat/whatever.html
(Whatever Happened To.. FAQ, tributes and related artists)


Andreas Klaer

unread,
Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

>
> I haven't heard Smokestack Lightnin, but it sounds interesting. Is it
> just the vamp and vocal tone that's the same, or does the vocal melody
> actually follow as well?
> As far as CB resembling Howlin Wolf in general, he is certainly
> derivative, this is one of the most often made comparisons of Don to his
> influences. I always thought of Don as sort of a mad prophet Howlin Wolf
> on acid. I've also played Beefheart to blues fans who had never heard the
> Magic Band and they've said, "Who's the Howlin Wolf sound-alike?"
>
> **************************
> http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~splat/whatever.html
> (Whatever Happened To.. FAQ, tributes and related artists)

I would not go so far to say that the vocal melody is similar but so is
the expression.

But as Miguel mentioned it is especially the Guitar that plays the same
melody as in Torture.

I can not compare the lyrics since it is hard for me with my poor
spinglish to follow a Howlin Wolf Lyric, not to talk about Cpt.
Beefheart.

For the comparison HW - CB :
Someone named Pete Johnson saiz in the linenotes of my Cpt. Beefheart
CD The Spotlight Kid / Clear Spot, that it was an eassy mistake to
compare CB as an blues artist. He mentioned that in his early years, he
covered a lot of all-time favourite blues songs.
I also think that CB has the ULTIMATE voice, especially for blues.

Andreas


Ach so:
JCB isn't on Beer anymore. Source: my Eyes.
He can be often seen and heard in the Stuttgart area in Germany
performing with a guitarist named Richard Farell.
He married a Girl at the beginning of the year and will move to bavaria.

JCB is a very nice guy to talk with, i helped him carring his equipment
to the car and talked to him and his wife.

JYOB

unread,
Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

Thank you Ben Watson, over analyzing Mr. Zappa again!

|Spider Gecko|

unread,
Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

Lesser composers borrow ... Great composers *steal*!

--
|Spider Gecko|
Usenet: alt.fan.frank-zappa
http://free.prohosting.com/~sgecko (now in selectavision)
-------------------------------------------
"It's been my policy to view the Internet not as an
'information highway,' but as an electronic asylum filled
with babbling loonies."
-Mike Royko

Andreas Klaer wrote in message
<3502AF...@irpsnc.ias.uni-stuttgart.de>...

MDec500157

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

>Subject: Re: Torture orig. Version
>From: Patrick Neve <sp...@darkwing.uoregon.edu>
>Date: Sun, Mar 8, 1998 13:49 EST
>Message-id: <Pine.GSO.3.96.980308...@darkwing.uoregon.edu>

>I haven't heard Smokestack Lightnin, but it sounds interesting. Is it
>just the vamp and vocal tone that's the same, or does the vocal melody
>actually follow as well?

No, it's basically the vamp. You should hear the original SL. Hosea Lee Kennard
is playin' this almost etherial piano line that compliments the guitars...you
gotta listen closely, but it's beautiful. You can practically hear Beefheart
embryos in there. And yeah, Don does sound likeWolf, but Wolf's phrasing is
much different than that on "Torture".

Mike

RDNZL88

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

In an interview I read (on this newsgroup) with Gail, she mentioned that she's
listening to alot of Howlin' woof these days.

AJ Wilkes

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

Patrick Neve <sp...@darkwing.uoregon.edu> wrote:

: As far as CB resembling Howlin Wolf in general, he is certainly


: derivative, this is one of the most often made comparisons of Don to his
: influences. I always thought of Don as sort of a mad prophet Howlin Wolf
: on acid. I've also played Beefheart to blues fans who had never heard the
: Magic Band and they've said, "Who's the Howlin Wolf sound-alike?"

Somebody once said he's a cross between Howlin' Wolf and Little Richard.
Which sounds ridiculous until you listen to the way his vocal lines
invariably end on an upward 'swoop', not dissimilar to LR.


-JK-
'?@
-

Miguel Amorim

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

On 9 Mar 1998 05:12:09 GMT, rdn...@aol.com (RDNZL88) wrote:

>In an interview I read (on this newsgroup) with Gail, she mentioned that she's
>listening to alot of Howlin' woof these days.

The interview is over 6 months old. For all you know, she could be
listening to Seal Fusion music.

John Henley

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

In article <6e0bf8$hh9$1...@cfs2.kis.keele.ac.uk>, AJ Wilkes
<u6...@keele.ac.uk> wrote:

> Somebody once said he's a cross between Howlin' Wolf and Little Richard.
> Which sounds ridiculous until you listen to the way his vocal lines
> invariably end on an upward 'swoop', not dissimilar to LR.

It's all descended from Mississippi Delta vocal stylings, both
secular (blues & dance music) and sacred (church songs & preach-
ing). Go seek out and listen to the recordings of Tommy Johnson.

John Henley
Austin TX

Dan The Kitti Man

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

In article <3502bc16...@news.total.net>, mf...@bigfoot.com gleefully
giggled...

> But...FZ changed ENTIRELY the meaning of that song, with the
> Cucamonga lyrical reference (IMHO)...Tank C in San Bernardino jail,

where there's only one shower and it don't apply to bobby

> where FZ did time for the other location's bust (sting operation).

um, mr. sting's operation? what bust? :)=3-<

> There's flies all green and buzzing, as you know... and the whole
> "swamp" atmosphere to it on almost every other version of Torture,

or is that flies Al Green? and buzzing?

> not excluding the Zoot Allures version. Also, it changes from the
> "swamp" type imaginary landscape to ... a kinda sexually obsessed
> one, on several versions, very similar to Black Napkins in terms of
> conception, as is almost all of Zoot Allures, IMO.

i was going to suggest it had more to do with the pedal steel than
anything else. but, there may have been flies all green & buzzing in
tank c.

or not.

--
/\_/\ Dan The Kitti man - http://members.tripod.com/~DanKittiMoo
( . . )
=;= "Take a trip on a rocket ship, baby, the sea is the sky"-ta

Martin Higgs

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

On 9 Mar 1998 03:34:35 GMT, mdec5...@aol.com (MDec500157) wrote:


(snip)


>l. You can practically hear Beefheart
>embryos in there. And yeah, Don does sound likeWolf, but Wolf's phrasing is
>much different than that on "Torture".

UK affz-ers (and our Dutch friends probably) might be interested to
know that Beefheart is on _The Old Grey Whistle Test_ next Saturday
morning,11:20am?, the 14th, on BBC 2.

Martin..............

http://users.powernet.co.uk/higgs/moc.html

A.B. Sea

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

He say, she say, I'ma tella you what...

>I hope i don't bore you with this ...
>
All men be cursed.
All men be cursed.
All men be cursed...


----------------------------------------
Mista Kurtz, he dead...

Paul Hinrichs

unread,
Mar 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/10/98
to

fin...@io.com (A.B. Sea) wrote:

a penny for the old kurtzucker.


Chris

unread,
Mar 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/10/98
to

mf...@bigfoot.com (Miguel Amorim) writes:
>On 9 Mar 1998 05:12:09 GMT, rdn...@aol.com (RDNZL88) wrote:
>
>>In an interview I read (on this newsgroup) with Gail, she mentioned that she's
>>listening to alot of Howlin' woof these days.
>
>The interview is over 6 months old. For all you know, she could be
>listening to Seal Fusion music.

Well...one thing we DO know is she's not listening to anything
from the vault.

-Chris (or the newsgroup)

Vladimir Sovetov

unread,
Mar 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/11/98
to

RDNZL88 (rdn...@aol.com) wrote:
: In an interview I read (on this newsgroup) with Gail, she mentioned that she's
: listening to alot of Howlin' woof these days.
Another funny CC link between Zappa and Howlin' Wolf is another
Wolf' song from 1974 - Watergate Blues! Yes.
Hey, body,
Have you heard the news
The folks in White House
They got a Watergate Blues.
--
Vladimir Sovetov | -Arf she said

Biffyshrew

unread,
Mar 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/11/98
to

Vladimir Sovetov wrote:

> Another funny CC link between Zappa and Howlin' Wolf is another
> Wolf' song from 1974 - Watergate Blues! Yes.
> Hey, body,
> Have you heard the news
> The folks in White House
> They got a Watergate Blues.

Funny, I was just listening to this two days ago...it's from _The Back
Door Wolf_, his last album, I believe.

Your pal,
Biffy the Elephant Shrew @}-`--}----
THE BRANDNEWBUG CONCERTOS info at http://members.aol.com/biffyshrew/biffy.html
"Somebody come up and giggle at you, that's a violation of your civil
rights..."

Vladimir Sovetov

unread,
Mar 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/11/98
to

Vladimir Sovetov (so...@home.kpbank.ru) wrote:

: RDNZL88 (rdn...@aol.com) wrote:
: : In an interview I read (on this newsgroup) with Gail, she mentioned that she's
: : listening to alot of Howlin' woof these days.
: Another funny CC link between Zappa and Howlin' Wolf is another
: Wolf' song from 1974 - Watergate Blues! Yes.
ooops, 1973

: Hey, body,


: Have you heard the news
: The folks in White House
: They got a Watergate Blues.

: --

Sam and/or Karen Rouse

unread,
Mar 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/11/98
to

In article <6e4sc7$jl6$1...@home.kpbank.ru>, so...@home.kpbank.ru (Vladimir
Sovetov) wrote:

> RDNZL88 (rdn...@aol.com) wrote:
> : In an interview I read (on this newsgroup) with Gail, she mentioned
that she's
> : listening to alot of Howlin' woof these days.
> Another funny CC link between Zappa and Howlin' Wolf is another
> Wolf' song from 1974 - Watergate Blues! Yes.

> Hey, body,
> Have you heard the news
> The folks in White House
> They got a Watergate Blues.

I'm not familiar with the Howlin' Wolf song, but those lyrics brought Led
Zeppelin to mind for some reason.

--
Sam and/or Karen Rouse
ro...@teleport.com

Dan The Kitti Man

unread,
Mar 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/12/98
to

In article <35045a2b....@news.io.com>, inf...@io.com gleefully
giggled...

> All men be cursed.
> All men be cursed.
> All men be cursed...
>

no, i really disagree......er no of course i would never disagree with
that.

would not durst.

Vladimir Sovetov

unread,
Mar 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/13/98
to

Biffyshrew (biffy...@aol.com) wrote:
: Vladimir Sovetov wrote:

: > Another funny CC link between Zappa and Howlin' Wolf is another

: > Wolf' song from 1974 - Watergate Blues! Yes.
: > Hey, body,
: > Have you heard the news
: > The folks in White House
: > They got a Watergate Blues.

: Funny, I was just listening to this two days ago...it's from _The Back


: Door Wolf_, his last album, I believe.

I have only couple of Wolf's compilations so couldn't confirm it. Sorry.
---

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages