Frank Zappa - Your favorite Zappa moments?

Discussion on new albums, developing listening skills, critical listening to others' work, as well as TOMB members' MP3 links, online recording critiques

Moderator: cgarges

Post Reply
User avatar
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3290
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:15 am
Location: The Great Frontier of the Southern Anoka Sand Plain

Frank Zappa - Your favorite Zappa moments?

Post by ;ivlunsdystf » Tue May 06, 2008 3:52 pm

This week I am ripping my huge Zappa CD collection to mp3 and wondering how the hell to proceed, listening-wise. Please share your favorite Zappa moments to inspire me (it is a bit overwhelming to just start at the beginning and crank it up and start wading through the dense fog of Zappa's stuff)

I have a few of my own already:

The breakbeats (for lack of a better word) on "Regyptian Strut" where the bass and drums play out a beautiful, um, strut-type beat (Lather album)

The horn parts generally, and a trombone solo specifically, in "For Calvin and his Next Two Hitchhikers" (Grand Wazoo album)

Zappa's voiceover at the start of "Muffin Man" (Bongo Fury album) - he is going on and on about muffins and he cracks up and then keeps going anyway

Field recordings of fireworks/celebratory gunfire made from Zappa's back door on some new year's eve (Civilization Phaze III album)

The Adrian Belew impersonation of Bob Dylan in "Flakes" (Sheik Yerbouti)

and finally, Zappa coming out onstage at the start of a show in the late 1960s and announcing that a car with such-and-such license plates in the parking lot has its lights on; just letting you know in case this is your car... that's somewhere in the "Can't Do That Onstage" series and I think it's totally rad that he saw fit to include that bit of pointless esoterica on a live compilation

I could go on and on all day - others?

User avatar
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 406
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 9:57 pm
Location: Seattle

Post by johnny7 » Tue May 06, 2008 5:24 pm

Is that a real pancho, I mean a mexican pancho?
Or is that a Sears pancho?

re-cappin' neve
Posts: 652
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2003 2:17 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Post by junomat » Tue May 06, 2008 5:48 pm

good call on Flakes w/ Adrian Dylan.

first thing that comes to mind are the drums on Peaches and pretty much any Ruth Underwood marimba. Oh and Chester's Gorilla! CHESTER"S GORILLA!

but seriously, on "You Cant Do That On Stage Vol 2" during Room Service, Zappa is listing his requirements to Napoleon Murphy Brock for what he needs...

Here's how it goes:

FZ: You know where I can get some pussy?

NMB: Ah...

FZ: Never mind, look

NMB: This is very, this is very respectable hotel, you understand

FZ: Just send me up...

NMB: You tell to bring pussy in here?
NMB: We spray you with lace!

FZ: Oh, well...

NMB: Right in the face!

FZ: Oh, well...

NMB: You don't bring no pussy in this hotel!

FZ: Ahhah, okay...

NMB: Who do you think we are anyway?

FZ: Well, I guess you told me...

NMB: Are you a christian?

FZ: Am i... yeah, I'm a christian, sure!

FZ: Isn't everyone?

NMB: Ah, okay, you can bring...

NMB: Well you can bring some pussy in here if you're a christian

NMB: That's a difference...

FZ: Sure, if I'm a christian that means I get some pussy, right?

NMB: That's right, that's cool, if you're a christian

FZ: Okay

The "isnt everyone?" is my favorite part. Sorry. I am a bit of a Zappa freak.

User avatar
audio school graduate
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 6:17 pm
Location: Italy

Post by HotRats » Tue May 06, 2008 6:40 pm

First Post here. (Great magazine, anyway!).

As my nick name explains I'm a Zappa Freak! :)
I'm still studing his world, I own about 30 records...about 40% of his work.

Well, my favourite record, at the moment, is Roxy & Elsewhere, expeclially from Echinda's Arf of You to the end.

Echinda's is something incredible to my hears and heart. The way the musician play THAT music toghether, overdubs included, is...WOW! give someone like those guys to record!!! :D

...ok sorry...I've exceeded... You know I'm a zappa freak! 8)

I also love the choir at the end of Beauty Knows No Pain form You are what you is.

I love For Calvin from Grand Wazoo, Transylvania Boogie from Chunga's Revenge or the live versions of Andy and Inca Roads taken form The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life (I also love the title of this record!) is the Best.

User avatar
pushin' record
Posts: 287
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2004 1:18 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Post by Huntlabs » Tue May 06, 2008 7:04 pm

Joes Garage. It is all about Joes Garage for me. Catholic Girls. "with a tiny little mustache" Crew Slut.... Why does it hurt when I pee?

Such classics.
"Add water, makes its own sauce"

on a wing and a prayer
Posts: 5993
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:10 pm

Post by RefD » Tue May 06, 2008 8:28 pm

side A of Apostrophe.

that's about it.
?What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.? -- Seneca

Posts: 2333
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:21 pm
Location: Bed Stuy, Brooklyn

Post by rwc » Tue May 06, 2008 8:36 pm

zircon encrusted tweezers
Real friends stab you in the front.

Oscar Wilde

Failed audio engineer & pro studio tech turned Component level motherboard repair store in New York

zen recordist
Posts: 10861
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2003 1:26 am
Location: Charlotte, NC

Post by cgarges » Tue May 06, 2008 8:51 pm

I'm a real fan of The Best Band You Never Heard...

Of course, I think his autobiography is one of the greatest books ever written. I've probably bought twenty copies of it over the years because I buy it, read it, and then give it away to someone who hasn't read it, then repeat the process.

"And speaking of Helen..."

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC

steve albini likes it
Posts: 366
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:25 pm

Post by Tragabigzanda » Tue May 06, 2008 9:39 pm

The first entire Fillmore East performance is pretty much flawless, but especially the opening song, with the timpani and "ya ya, yayayayaya..." Really, all the Flo & Eddie stuff. And +1 on side A of Apostrophe, too.
Alex C. McKenzie

User avatar
zen recordist
Posts: 6739
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:44 pm
Location: criticizing globally, offending locally

Post by JGriffin » Tue May 06, 2008 9:45 pm

"We need some new shit...we've been doing this Lather stuff what, going on two tours now..."

"Take it down to C sharp, Ernie.." Whatchoo gonna do when the well runs dry... "Aww, listen to him go."

The "If she were my daughter I'd..." bit from Absolutely Free is brilliant.

Terry Bozzio, standing up behind his kit, gripping the mic with one hand singing -- and still playing a meaner groove than most drummers sitting down and giving it their full attention -- at the end of "Punky's Whips" from the Baby Snakes movie...
"Jeweller, you've failed. Jeweller."

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analog. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." ? Brian Eno

All the DWLB music is at

User avatar
audio school graduate
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 7:21 am
Location: UK

going down?

Post by stemwinder » Wed May 07, 2008 2:58 am

bobby brown, going down.

catholic girls, going, er, ......

joe's garage

User avatar
Jay Reynolds
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1604
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:48 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Post by Jay Reynolds » Wed May 07, 2008 5:18 am

Joe's Garage at the very end-"Rang tang ding dong, I am the Japanese sandman. Take eight, Vinnie..."
Also all the little spoken bits for Bald-Headed John-"I'll wave my bag and you wave yourn"
Live at the Roxy and Elsewhere- "Bebop Tango" where George Duke's scat-fragments morph into "Straight, No Chaser".
You Are What You Is-"Teenage Wind" before the 2nd verse where the redneck-sounding guy chimes in: "Opal you hot little bitch. You can take this pin and hang it in your ass. You ain't the Devil. Where's my waitress?"
Prog out with your cog out.

re-cappin' neve
Posts: 670
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 9:01 am
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

Post by bluesman » Wed May 07, 2008 9:22 am

"The Lightning Rod Man" with Captain Beefheart, Mmmm Mmmm Good!
"The digital future sucks the boils off my white ass." McHugh

User avatar
alignin' 24-trk
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:59 pm

Post by DMZ2000 » Wed May 07, 2008 11:58 am

All of "Uncle Meat". Absolutely. Such a great album. I may be partial to this one because I literally listened to it everyday in my 9th grade year of high school. I blasted this record out the window on halloween of that same time period. Somehow it captured the mood of people knocking on doors and grabbing candy.

I also like the dialog of Ian Underwood....the whole 'Frank said, 'Whip it out' ". then they blast into ''Ian Underwood whips it out".
Also, "Electric Aunt Jemima".
Hot Damn, I love Frank.
Dweezil is a hot son of a bitch too.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests