My Friend - frank zappa?

10 views
Skip to first unread message

gipsy boy

unread,
Jul 16, 2005, 2:10:51 PM7/16/05
to
On My Friend (especially the CD mix that appears on First Rays...), you
can clearly hear someone say "How many wrongs..." near the very end.
Is that Frank Zappa? I know his voice well, and it really sounds like
him (at that age anyway). Anyone with the same thoughts?
I know Jimi visited The Mothers in the studio once - even though tbh
Zappa could never appreciate Jimi's music (that is to say, he never knew
it very well) - and even openly mocked him on We're Only In It For The
Money. But it does really sound like him there.

--
gipsy boy

Mad Dog

unread,
Jul 16, 2005, 6:37:56 PM7/16/05
to
gipsy boy says...

>
>On My Friend (especially the CD mix that appears on First Rays...), you
>can clearly hear someone say "How many wrongs..." near the very end.
>Is that Frank Zappa? I know his voice well, and it really sounds like
>him (at that age anyway). Anyone with the same thoughts?

No. Even before he got hurt in London, Franks voice was lower than that. His
falsetto doesn't sound like that either.

>I know Jimi visited The Mothers in the studio once - even though tbh
>Zappa could never appreciate Jimi's music (that is to say, he never knew
>it very well) - and even openly mocked him on We're Only In It For The
>Money.

Actually, Frank respected Jimi quite a lot. I've got interviews where he
comlimented Jimi's playing and his place in music history. Jimi visited FZ's
home and according to the witnii, they got along well.

>But it does really sound like him there.

I really don't think so.
>

axis in ladyland

unread,
Jul 16, 2005, 7:28:35 PM7/16/05
to
Actually, Frank respected Jimi quite a lot.

Hendrix may have been THE rock musician Frank had the most regard &
respect for from a musician's perspective. Numerous sources &
occasions.

Here's one early-ish take on Jimi from a June 28, '68 article written
by FZ himself:

http://wiki.killuglyradio.com/index.php/The_Oracle_Has_It_All_Psyched_Out

The Jimi Hendrix Phenomenon

Hendrix is one of the most revolutionary figures in today's pop
culture, musically and sociologically. His success is a curious paradox
in view of the historical prejudices outlined earlier. Hendrix is 24
years old. He dropped out of a Seattle high school in the 11th grade.
He was raised strictly by his parents: "They taught me to have
manners." He is reasonably sincere and humble: "We are lucky to be
listened to." He is apparently very happy with his commercial success.
Partly because it allows him to act out some of his childhood fantasies
(in his clothing, for instance): "I always wanted to be a cowboy or a
hadji baba or the Prisoner of Zenda..." His strongest appeal is to the
white female audience ranging in age from about 13 to 30, with the
highest concentration of victims between 19 and 22. "I just carry
advantages with me in my back pocket when I go off at a gig." His
charisma also extends to a white male audience, 15 to 25. He is
realistic about his market appeal: "The black people probably talk
about us like dogs... until we play." "When I see some of them in the
street, they say, 'I see you got those two white boys with you.'... I
try to explain to them about all this new music. I play them some
records. First I play Cream and when they say, 'Hey that's great, who
is that playing the guitar?', I tell them it's Eric Clapton and he's an
Englishman. Then I might play them some of what we do. Sometimes they
still think we're crazy." Hendrix's music is very interesting. The
sound of his music is extremely symbolic: orgasmic grunts, tortured
squeals, lascivious moans, electric disasters and innumerable other
audial curiosities are delivered to the sense mechanisms of the
audience at an extremely high decibel level. In a live performance
environment, it is impossible to merely listen to what the Hendrix
group does... it eats you alive (He is concerned about his live
performance image: "I don't want everybody to solely think of us in a
big flash of weaving and bobbing and groping and maiming and attacking
and...") In spite of his maiming and groping, etc., the female audience
thinks of Hendrix as being beautiful (maybe just a little scary), but
mainly very sexy. The male audience thinks of him as a phenomenal
guitarist and singer Boys will bring girls backstage for autographs.
While signing their scraps of paper, shoulder blades, handbags and
pants, Hendrix will frequently be asked: "Do you think of any
particular girl while you're playing, or do you just think of sex
itself?" Meanwhile, the boys will ask, "What kind of equipment do you
use? Do you get high before you go on stage?" The boys seem to enjoy
the fact that their girl friends are turned on to Hendrix sexually;
very few resent his appeal and show envy. They seem to give up and say:
"He's got it, I ain't got it, I don't know if I'll ever get it... but
if I do, I wanna be just like him, because he's really got it." They
settle for vicarious participation and/or buy a Fender Stratocaster, an
Arbiter Fuzz Face, a Vox Wah-Wah Pedal, and four Marshall amplifiers.


>But it does really sound like him there.

I really don't think so.

'Nay' also.

Mix

unread,
Jul 16, 2005, 11:28:49 PM7/16/05
to

"gipsy boy" <x...@x.pi> wrote in message
news:P4cCe.16125$Ta3....@blueberry.telenet-ops.be...

> On My Friend (especially the CD mix that appears on First Rays...), you
> can clearly hear someone say "How many wrongs..." near the very end.
> gipsy boy

That snippage was "How many roads..." which was a Bob Dylan reference. "How
many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?" was the
first line in Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind".


Mix

unread,
Jul 16, 2005, 11:35:35 PM7/16/05
to
I think it was Paul Carusoe.

"gipsy boy" <x...@x.pi> wrote in message
news:P4cCe.16125$Ta3....@blueberry.telenet-ops.be...

Mix

unread,
Jul 17, 2005, 1:57:54 AM7/17/05
to
Actually, that would be a good EH (or at least Dagger) compilation -- all of
the Bob Dylan covers they have in the cans. It has been alleged that Jimi
did record "Positively 4th Street", then there's "Like A Rolling Stone",
"Please Crawl Out Your Window", "Watchtower" and "Drifter's Escape". There
were so many takes of the latter two that...

Oh, wait. In order to compile and release such an album, EH would have to
pay Dylan royalties. Never mind. Sorry I even mentioned it.

"Mix" <nospamdo...@home.com> wrote in message
news:RfkCe.24826$zY4....@tornado.ohiordc.rr.com...

gipsy boy

unread,
Jul 17, 2005, 5:35:30 AM7/17/05
to
axis in ladyland wrote:
> Actually, Frank respected Jimi quite a lot.
>
> Hendrix may have been THE rock musician Frank had the most regard &
> respect for from a musician's perspective. Numerous sources &
> occasions.

I don't buy it. Have you read that article? It's full of cynism.
He was made fun of in We're Only In It For The Money, particularily in
one song of it, and that's a fact. Perhaps they were *only* making fun
of the whole 'hippie-culture' - of which Jimi was unfortunately an icon,
but there are some things there that just cut him personally, and
possibly cut whatever bond there was between the experience and the
mothers anyway.
The words Frank having 'respect' and 'regard' publicly for someone other
than his family, just don't seem right to me.

But as Mix pointed out, it's not even "How many wrongs"..so I'm probably
dead wrong.
Yet, I don't think Frank Zappa's voice was very low though, then (listen
to Absolutely Free, for instance)

--
gipsy boy

axis in ladyland

unread,
Jul 17, 2005, 5:47:30 PM7/17/05
to
> Hendrix may have been THE rock musician Frank > had the most regard & respect for from a
> musician's perspective. Numerous sources &
> occasions.

---I don't buy it.---

Well, okay.

---Have you read that article?---

Yes. One of the very first pieces that took a look at Jimi et al that I
ever came across, in fact.

---It's full of cynism.---

It's vintage Zappa. How much do you really know about Zappa, is what
I'm wondering?

---He was made fun of in We're Only In It For The Money, particularily
in one song of it, and that's a fact.---

Laughing at, or laughing with???

---Perhaps they were *only* making fun of the whole 'hippie-culture' -


of which Jimi was unfortunately an icon, but there are some things
there that just cut him personally, and possibly cut whatever bond

there was between the experience and the mothers anyway.---

I'm truly at a loss as to where you're really coming from with all
this, GB, unless you just aren't very familiar with Zappa & his often
peculiar sense of humor & extreme skepticism regarding almost
everything until (and often after) getting a good look at the target in
question with his own eyes and ears.

Don't have time to run down all the many, many sources---especially
many comments & observations by FZ in the years after Jimi's death (and
that Strat of Jimi's he had, from the Miami Pop Festival, iirc, for so
many years was one of his most treasured possesions, btw)---but here
are a coupla quick links/excerpts of regarding which (and so forth):

http://www.thebignote.com/archived/some_more_pt_iii.php

Frank & Jimi, APRIL 1967

The connection between Jimi and Frank started this month (although they
had not actually met). Frank Zappa had invented a character, Suzy
Creamcheese, who started to live a life of her own. Suzy Creamcheese
(nee Pamela Zarubica) arrived in England a few months before the
Mothers of Invention - who would come over in September 1967. By
coincidence, Suzy appeared on the BBC2 TV program "Late Night Line Up"
- which included the Jimi Hendrix Experience performing a live version
of "Purple Haze" (taped two days earlier in Kingsway, London).

* * * * * * * *

Frank Zappa admired Jimi, probably even more than Jimi admired him.
Their first actual encounter took place in the summer of 1967, when The
Experience returned to New York City after their success at the
'Monterey International Pop Festival.' Michael Whale reported for
Melody Maker (22 July 1967) that on 7 July 1967, "Off duty, Mitch spent
his time trying to hear Gene Krupa play in a bar uptown, and Miles
Davis and Dizzy Gillespie in the village. Jimi and Noel went down to
the village to see the Mothers of Invention at the Garrick."

Over the previous days, the Jimi Hendrix Experience had been recording
"The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp", Jimi's first song in which he used
a Wah-Wah pedal to great effect. According to Noel, Jimi had picked up
this pedal in England during June, just before the Experience set off
for America.

Zappa was also experimenting with this new device, as he told reporter
Steven Rosen: "I think I was one of the first people to use the Wah-Wah
pedal. I'd never even heard of Jimi Hendrix at the time I bought mine.
I had used Wah-Wah on the Clavinet, guitar, and saxophone when we were
doing "We're Only In It For The Money" in '67 and that was just before
I met Hendrix. He came over, sat in with us at the Garrick Theater one
night, and was using all the stuff we had onstage. Seems like every
time I went to Manny's there'd be some new gizmo that we'd try out, so
we were always into the hardware of the rock and roll industry" (Guitar
Player, January 1977).

In his entertaining autobiography "The Real Frank Zappa Book" (with
Peter Occhiogrosso - Poseidon Press, New York, 1989) Frank recalled:
"Later he [Jimi] came to visit our cubicle on Charles Street [near
Seventh Avenue] with his friend, drummer Buddy Miles. Jimi was wearing
green velvet pants -all decked out- on his way to a party with Buddy.
(The only thing that Buddy said was 'Hi, Frank,' after which he sat on
the couch, leaned back and passed out, snoring.) They were there for an
hour and a half. Buddy had a nice nap, and Hendrix ripped his pants at
the crotch while demonstrating a dance step. Gail sewed them up for
him. When it was time to leave he said, 'Come on, Buddy.' The snoring
stopped, and they left" (pp. 94-95).

A few weeks after Frank and Jimi first met, The Mothers of Invention
started to record "We're Only In It For The Money". The book "Viva
Zappa" takes up the story... "It also captures on vinyl much of the
craziness of The Mothers' shows at the Garrick Theater, (the Garrick is
on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village) and nearby, in the basement of
the Cafe A Go Go." Both The Fugs and Jimi Hendrix were performing at
about the same time [July 1967]. The Mothers' show, titled "Pigs And
Repugnant" (Absolutely Free), was a resounding success and the band
stayed for six months, playing two shows a night, six nights a week.
Anything might happen depending on the mood and on new arrivals, like
Don Preston and Bunk Gardner."

Many evenings gave rise to memorable incidents. One night a party of
uniformed Marines came in and Zappa persuaded them to mime the act of
killing. The audience could not believe their eyes as the furious
Marines mutilated a doll and insulted the Corps, all against a
background of free jazz. A black man at the front, just home from
Vietnam, broke down in tears and spoke of deserting. The show was often
grotesque or sexual. But, a fascinated audience always lapped it up.

"The Mothers played at the Garrick until the start of 1968 and (apart
from brief visits to Canada and LA) Zappa took advantage of his spell
in New York to produce four albums: 'Lumpy Gravy', 'We're Only In It
For The Money', 'Uncle Meat', and 'Cruising With Ruben And The Jets'.
'We're Only In It For The Money' (originally to be called 'Our Man In
Nirvana') was a skillful blend of The Mothers' music and Lenny Bruce's
lyrics. It was scheduled for release in September, but after The
Beatles made a vast cultural impression with 'Sergeant Pepper', Frank
realized the full extent of this new culture's potential."

So Zappa changed his plans and hired a young graphic artist, Calvin
Schenkel, to parody The Beatles' sleeve. Zappa and Schenkel substituted
female transvestite clothes for The Beatles' military uniforms, and
replaced the flowers with carrots and sliced watermelons [plus an
assortment of rotten fruit - Editor].

Paul McCartney for one was not amused, and the album's release was
delayed until the end of the year. But "We're Only In It For The Money"
established Zappa as both a force to be reckoned with on the rock scene
and as a sharp social critic. Eric Clapton dropped round... And Jimi
Hendrix, who borrowed Frank's Wah-Wah pedal back at the Garrick
Theater, posed for the inner sleeve. Clapton contributed some
incomprehensible vocals on one track ["Are You Hung Up?"], offering a
fair impersonation of someone who is thoroughly stoned, and is also
present on the song "Nasal Retentive Calliope Music," with the lines
'God! It's God! I See God!' (Ironic, given Clapton's nickname). Mayfair
engineer Gary Kellgren -who worked with Hendrix on "The Burning Of The
Midnight Lamp"- can be heard whispering in between several songs on the
album. There's even a "Hey Joe" pastiche on "We're Only In It For The
Money" - "Flower Punk," which is played in a faster tempo, more similar
of the Byrds and Love renditions of "Hey Joe."

Frank himself attended the Jimi Hendrix Experience recording session at
the Mayfair Recording Studio on 701 Seventh Avenue, New York, on 18
July 1967. Although his presence is unconfirmed, Zappa may very well be
one of the many people who made up "the Milky Way Express" for "The
Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice" [S020], contributing an
assortment of voices, whistles, cheers, et cetera.

http://www.thebignote.com/archived/some_more_pt_iv.php

JHE roadie Neville Chesters remembered the July 18th 1967 Mayfair
session well... "Quite a few people dropped in on that session. It was
a real shitty studio; it was about six or eight floors up in Midtown
New York, a pretty dreadful place. I remember a photo session came out
of that. It was the same day or later in the day of that session"
(UniVibes #18, May 1995, p. 18).

Chesters was referring to the photo session on the 18th that yielded
the inside cover of "We're Only In It For The Money" - the Sergeant
Pepper parody. Fortunately, this happening was also captured on 8mm
film - a glimpse of Jimi during the photo call by Jerry Schatzberg can
be seen in the TV documentary on Frank Zappa, entitled Biography
(released in 1994).

On February 24 1986, UniVibes interviewed Frank Zappa, and asked if he
ever played with Jimi Hendrix. Zappa replied: "I played with Hendrix
twice... One night he played in a club right next door called the Cafe
Au Go Go and we invited him to come and play with us. So we shared the
stage that time... And there was a jam session in Miami."

Mitch Mitchell in his book "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" stated: "We
did a couple of nights at the Cafe Au Go Go. I remember that because
Zappa and The Mothers were in the upstairs bit, the Garrick Theater...
I sat in with them once and I think Jimi may well have too..." (Pyramid
Books, London, 1990, p. 69).

Frank Zappa also attended one of the JHE shows at the Cafe Au Go Go.
Zappa told Noë Goldwasser in "Guitar World" (April 1987): "I thought
Hendrix was great. But the very first time I saw him [perform], I had
the incredible misfortune of sitting close to him at the Au Go Go in
New York City and he had a whole stack of Marshalls. I was right in
front of it. I was physically ill. I couldn't get out; it was so
packed, I couldn't escape. And although it was great, I didn't see how
anybody could inflict that kind of volume on himself, let alone other
people. That particular show he ended by taking the guitar and impaling
it in the low ceiling of the club. Just walked away and left it
squealing."

* * * * * * * *

Apart from rehearsing [with] The Mothers and the ten members of the
London Philharmonic, Zappa was also anxious to meet a band called
Tomorrow - who were, in Pamela Zarubica's phrase, "tight friends with
Hendrix", so a meeting was easily arranged. Zappa, Pam, Jimi Hendrix
and Jeff Beck went round to the flat where Tomorrow lived.

* * * * * * * *

As was reported in the issue of Disc and Music Echo of 30 September
1967: "Jimi Hendrix dug Zappa's guitar-playing at London's Albert
Hall." What's more, when Zappa noticed Jimi entering the venue, he
immediately went into a parody of "Hey Joe" (or "Flower Punk"
perhaps?).

http://www.songfacts.com/detail.lasso?id=2241

"Frank Zappa and the Mothers recorded a song called "Flower Punk" for
the album We're Only In It For The Money, it has the same tune as Hey
Joe, and almost the same lyrics, but this song is a dig at hippies."

http://www.hippy.com/php/review-388.html

"Flower Punk" is totally outrageous, again, another song poking fun of
the hippies. What's more outrageous is the song pokes fun at the song
"Hey Joe" (a song that Hendrix made most famous, but other versions
existed before him, such as The Leaves, and Tim Rose). The lyrics go
"Hey punk, where you going with that flower in your hand? Well I'm
going up to Frisco to join a psychedelic band". The song is twice as
fast as Hendrix's version of "Hey Joe", and there's that process of
slowing down the tape for the vocal tracks, so it sounds like Alvin,
Simon and Theodore are singing "Flower Punk".

***************************

It's true FZ was never into the drug scene, was often vocal (and pretty
judgmental) in his disapproval of drug use, and felt that losing JH so
prematurely was even more tragic in that it was related to drugs in any
way, but to say "it's a fact" that FZ made fun of Jimi on _WOIIFTM_
without some facts to back it up, or that he "cut him personally" and
possibly "cut...the bond between the MOI & the JHE based on ???? seems
kinda strange, to say the least. And Frank both expressed &
demonstrated his "respect" and uncommon "regard" for Jimi publicly as
well as in print many times, before & after his [Jimi's] untimely
death.

But no one's forcing you or anyone else here to "buy" anything or
anywhat anyhow...Take it easy, & peace, happiness, and all that other
good s*** as well, anyway.

axis

axis in ladyland

unread,
Jul 17, 2005, 7:23:15 PM7/17/05
to
p.s. Sorry, almost forgot---

---The words Frank having 'respect' and 'regard' publicly for someone
other than his family, just don't seem right to me.---

How about these words: 'Dweezil,' 'Moon Unit,' 'Diva,' or 'Ahmet
Emuukha Rodan'?

And have you read Moon Unit's piece on the ambivalence she still feels
to this day toward her father, and the complex reasons why?

Mix

unread,
Jul 18, 2005, 12:14:37 AM7/18/05
to
The answer, "My Friend", is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in
the wind.

I forgot about the Miami Strat.

"axis in ladyland" <animall...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1121642595.5...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

enorbet

unread,
Jul 18, 2005, 2:13:01 AM7/18/05
to
On Sun, 17 Jul 2005 03:35:35 +0000, Mix wrote:

> I think it was Paul Carusoe.
>

hehheh <G>

gipsy boy

unread,
Jul 18, 2005, 2:06:00 PM7/18/05
to
axis in ladyland wrote:

> It's true FZ was never into the drug scene, was often vocal (and pretty
> judgmental) in his disapproval of drug use, and felt that losing JH so
> prematurely was even more tragic in that it was related to drugs in any
> way, but to say "it's a fact" that FZ made fun of Jimi on _WOIIFTM_
> without some facts to back it up, or that he "cut him personally" and
> possibly "cut...the bond between the MOI & the JHE based on ???? seems
> kinda strange, to say the least. And Frank both expressed &
> demonstrated his "respect" and uncommon "regard" for Jimi publicly as
> well as in print many times, before & after his [Jimi's] untimely
> death.

First of all, thanks a lot for all this in-depth info. I feel rather
guilty you had to go through all that (hope it's been a rainy day there
too).

I was talking about the song "Flower Punk", indeed - not really about
the cover or anything as Frank and Jimi both get the same treatment there.
It does not only parodize hippie culture, near the end of it you can
hear a schizophrenic dialog going on in the head of the main 'guitarist'
of the song. I always took this as a direct insult aimed at Jimi
himself, maybe joking about his vocal skills, about his double-persona
on stage, etc.. It just seemed wrong, I always felt there was something
going on under the skin there. Like they had a row, and Zappa decided to
work it out in that song.

> But no one's forcing you or anyone else here to "buy" anything or
> anywhat anyhow...Take it easy, & peace, happiness, and all that other
> good s*** as well, anyway.

I hope that reads "stuff" :)

No offence meant, I'm not a native speaker so maybe I just picked a very
harsh expression for what I really meant. But I feel I am wrong now,
definitely..it seems like the respect was genuine; I wish I knew what
Jimi records he had in his possession.

I think I know Zappa pretty well, I mean..I wasn't talking out of my
socks (which is probably an expression that doesn't exist yet :-) ) I've
always felt that WOIIFTM kind of broke any bonds between JHE and the
Mothers (if you want my personal opinion I think it's just not Jimi's
kind of humour, showing lack of respect for things at random - often
becoming paradoxically your own imitator), but I seem to be reading into
things backwards again.
I am really dreadful when it comes to correct biographic information of
artists..I just follow their tunes, not their lives :)

Thanks for the info again,

--
gipsy boy

axis in ladyland

unread,
Jul 18, 2005, 4:36:01 PM7/18/05
to

gipsy boy wrote:
> axis in ladyland wrote:
>
> > It's true FZ was never into the drug scene, was often vocal (and pretty
> > judgmental) in his disapproval of drug use, and felt that losing JH so
> > prematurely was even more tragic in that it was related to drugs in any
> > way, but to say "it's a fact" that FZ made fun of Jimi on _WOIIFTM_
> > without some facts to back it up, or that he "cut him personally" and
> > possibly "cut...the bond between the MOI & the JHE based on ???? seems
> > kinda strange, to say the least. And Frank both expressed &
> > demonstrated his "respect" and uncommon "regard" for Jimi publicly as
> > well as in print many times, before & after his [Jimi's] untimely
> > death.
>
> First of all, thanks a lot for all this in-depth info.

Not a problem. Wish I could've given more; only 24 hours in a day,
though [shrug].

> > But no one's forcing you or anyone else here to "buy" anything or
> > anywhat anyhow...Take it easy, & peace, happiness, and all that other
> > good s*** as well, anyway.
>
> I hope that reads "stuff" :)

Oh, it's a direct quote from Jimi, closing a performance ("In From the
Storm" @ IOW). It does NOT read "stuff"---but that's all right. :)


>
> No offence meant, I'm not a native speaker

Ahh---that explains a lot.


> so maybe I just picked a very
> harsh expression for what I really meant. But I feel I am wrong now,
> definitely..it seems like the respect was genuine; I wish I knew what
> Jimi records he had in his possession.

I personally wish that he'd been interviewed by someone who might've
pressed him quite a bit harder as to specifics; Zappa knew more about
the notes, and the spaces between them, than possibly any other rock
musician (at least that I can think of off the top me head) around.
What did he think about "1983," for instance; or the studio
"Star-Spangled Banner"? Or Jimi's working methods, since FZ was one of
the few extremely knowledgable people who was privileged to observe JH
both behind the glass & before the console. What did he feel were the
more 'revolutionary' aspects of Jimi's playing/composing? Any tidbits
re: what FZ heard other players say about Jimi behind-the-scenes? Etc
etc etc...


>
> I think I know Zappa pretty well, I mean..I wasn't talking out of my
> socks (which is probably an expression that doesn't exist yet :-)

Hey, I like that.

> ) I've
> always felt that WOIIFTM kind of broke any bonds between JHE and the
> Mothers (if you want my personal opinion I think it's just not Jimi's
> kind of humour, showing lack of respect for things at random - often
> becoming paradoxically your own imitator), but I seem to be reading into
> things backwards again.
> I am really dreadful when it comes to correct biographic information of
> artists..I just follow their tunes, not their lives :)

That's where my focus is, too, GB. Just that in the case of someone
like JH, whose music I'm very seriously into, also interests me from
the standpoint of being a creative artist as well; that's the angle I
generally take when I'm dredging up bio info, and why something like
the Watercolor Exhibition catches my eye. I'm planning a trip to the
Rock & Roll Hall, in fact, in order to see them (perfect excuse to
finally get my arse to Cleveland & check it all out, too) whence the
exhibit commenceth.


>
> Thanks for the info again,

> gipsy boy

You are most welcome. Glad I could help.

axis

Mad Dog

unread,
Jul 18, 2005, 6:25:53 PM7/18/05
to
gipsy boy says...

>Yet, I don't think Frank Zappa's voice was very low though, then (listen
>to Absolutely Free, for instance)

According to Billy James in "Necessity is... (The Early Years of Frank Zappa and
the Mothers of Invention)", Ray Collins was the lead vocalist on Absolutely
Free. Granted, Frank sang when he wanted to, but in general, Ray was the LV for
the old Mothers stuff.

If you want to get a feel for Frank's vocals early on, check out the first
Mother's album (Freak Out). The lower voice in the opening of "Hungry Freaks
Daddy" is Frank. So is the line beginning at about 0:25 in Motherly Love -
that's Frank going in his upper register. On "You're Probably Wondering Why I'm
Here", Frank sings the "Bom, bom, bom" starting at 0:14. That's more typical of
his natural singing tone and I consider that to be a bass vocal. That's fairly
low. You can hear Frank's nasal tone on Trouble Comin' Every Day. That's how
he sang in the old days when he wanted to get above his natural bass/baritone.

After he was attacked in London, his voice dropped a half step. Check out
"Dirty Love" on Overnight Sensation, "The Torture Never Stops" on Zoot Allures
or "Bobby Brown" on Sheik Yerbouti. Those "get a good, get a good, get a good
job" fills on Bobby Brown are Frank's bottom end and they are in the basement.
Cranked up on my home system, that fill can make a shy man poop his pants. All
of these examples are a few octaves below the line you cite in "My Friend" and
the thing is, when Franks went nasal or falsetto, he sounded pretty distinctive.
I do not hear his distinctive vocal signatures on the line from "My Friend".
I've listened to all his stuff since the very beginning and got to see many of
the tours in more than one city. If pushed, I'd wager a fair amount of cash
that it was not him singing on "My Friend". but hey, I've been wrong before so
maybe you should pony up? I'm sure Eddie Kramer could clear this up.

Here's another tidbit - Frank was very stingy with his time. He was a bonafide
workaholic. For Jimi to be invited into his home is a big statement. Huge, in
fact. For Frank to say ANYTHING of praise about Jimi and his music is also
huge. Frank did not make a habit of praising pop musicians of the 60's - on the
contrary, he thought most of it was shit.

Your comments about Frank being cynical is obvious to all FZ affectionados.
Frank was a student of society and he considered his work to be anthropolical in
context. He loved to make fun of social conventions, particularly the fads of
youth. He intentionally came across as harsh, because he was trying to get
people to look at themselves.

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages