The Record Room / The Rubber Room / Archives / 07-08-2011 / Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned on Freak Out!

Topie: Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned on Freak Out! Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
December 20th, 2010 10:00 AM
Jon Cal Schenkel's "Plain Brown Wrapper" cover. I did the best I could with the scans provided!!


December 20th, 2010 10:11 AM
Jon ...and Decals, too, with the Straight/Reprise in the lower right.


December 20th, 2010 10:18 AM
andy rooney the dust blows forward and the dust blows back.




disc 16 of zappa's chronology blew me away (we're only in it for the money stuff).

on to disc 17.
December 20th, 2010 11:14 AM
IanWagner I had this ready for last Friday, but when I heard about Captain's passing, I held it back. There'll be another entry before the day is out as well.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/zaqe83

Chronology 1968 Part 5




On August 3rd, The Mothers were back in New York, to take part in the first annual Schaefer Music Festival in Central Park. Four nights later, The Who would headline.
Two different recordings are attributed to this date, presumably from two sets. These cannot be definitively nailed down to the Central Park date, and it isn't known if the band even played two sets on this night. It is likely that at least the first recording is from the Park show, however. These are also notable as the last recordings featuring Ray Collins as a member of the 60's Mothers.
This first set was recorded from the audience, in fairly good sound for the era. It captures another wildly improvisational Mothers performance, and more evidence of Zappa's confrontational relationship with New York audiences.
This is apparent right from the intro, where Zappa states "I'd like to tell you it's really wonderful to be back in New York, but...it's not! New York is no place for human being to live in...New York sucks!". He then mentions that there's been a request for Hang On Sloopy, but that they'll save that for later, when they get into "the heavy stuff".
After mentioning another request for Trouble Every Day, the show begins with a 9-minute jam on that song, with some searing interplay between Zappa's lead guitar and Ray Collins' harmonica.
A 3-minute noise and free-horn improvisation is next, seguing into Hungry Freaks Daddy and a 14-minute King Kong.
A percussion-centered improv is steered by Zappa after the 2-minute mark into a very nice version of Mr. Green Genes.
At this point, what has been a fairly "standard" Mothers show goes straight to the valley of the demented. Announcing the next section as "some bullshit!", the group perform a warped take on My Boyfriend's Back which becomes a separate variation entitled I'm Gonna Bust His Head, featuring Ray Collins as the voice of the "boyfriend".
There is a segue into the group's wicked mutation of 96 Tears, titled Tiny Sick Tears. Here, this features Collins' hilarious parody of blue-eyed soul singing cliches.
This section is so tightly arranged that it is likely to have been a regular live staple that simply hadn't been recorded to this point.
As the Tears vamp continues, Frank brings up an audience member to sing Hang On Sloopy, introduced under the name Billy Velvet. The first thing Billy says is a loud "TESTING, TESTING!", which leads Zappa to crack "He's dynamite, isn't he, folks?".
The "version" of Sloopy that follows, with Velvet tunelessly yelling the chorus and making up verses as he goes along, simply must be heard to be believed, and is one of the most entertaining moments from a 60's Mothers performance. At the two-minute mark, Velvet runs out of words, so Frank announces "That was the imitation white-people soul version of Hang On Sloopy, now we're gonna do the psychedelic version of Hang On Sloopy with Billy Velvet! As you all know, in order to perform psychedelic music, you have to put fuzztone on everything!". He then stomps on his fuzzbox and the group take the song out with a screeching chorus. Velvet, of course, misses the ending pitifully.
Following some audience jeering, Frank asks the crowd "You don't like the psychedelic version of Hang On Sloopy with Billy Velvet?...what, aren't you teenagers of something?". He mentions that Albert Grossman will be signing Velvet the following day.
A long section of audience requests follows. Frank considers playing a part of Lumpy Gravy, but decides against it when Wipe Out is requested. He says that they could technically play every request, but only if each member played a different song simultaneously (this would actually occur at a later show). He says the problem is that "it would sound like the psychedelic verion of Hang On Sloopy".
Wipe Out lasts a minute before Frank transitions into a fine version of Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder, which ends the main set. After loud encore demands, Zappa says they can only play for one more minute, and introduces Varese's Octandre. The band play perhaps the definitive Mothers version of the piece, and the show is definitively over.
The "second set" was taped from the stage, and features the usual muffled vocals, and unfortunately, muffled guitar as well. Don Preston's keyboard is far in the foreground.
The recording begins with some free flute playing from Bunk Gardner. Zappa asks the audience "How would Richard Goldstein interpret this performance?", referring to the then-popular Village Voice rock critic. He continues by hilariously noting "obviously, its jazz-rock...heavily influenced by Al Kooper". Frank continues this rap by interviewing Gardner on the artistic intentions of his solo. After this, he discusses Jimmy Carl Black and his fire-engine red drum set, describing him as "an amazing person...just look at his hair!" and that he "thinks New York sucks!".
Black begins to play unaccompanied, and Zappa remarks upon "the pulsating Cherokee Indian teenage rhythm". Art Tripp then joins in, introduced as someone who "thinks New York leaves something to be desired". The Help I'm A Rock riff then begins, and the recording becomes heavily distorted before the level is eventually adjusted. Zappa describes the song as "just like Simon and Garfunkel, man!", before embarking on an impressive wah-wah guitar solo excursion backed by electronic noise from Preston. After several minutes, Rock transitions into a new Zappa composition, Transylvania Boogie. This lyrical horn-oriented piece would remain as part of a medley with Rock throughout
1968, and would eventually be recorded as a separate piece in the studio in 1970, for the Chunga's Revenge album.
Somehow, Zappa steers this blazing jam into a very loose Baby Love/Big Leg Emma medley.
Zappa introduces Holiday In Berlin under the working title Shortly. He describes it as "a long, complicated instrumental song with a bunch of little units to it...sometimes we fuck it up". This is an expansive, 10-minute version of the piece, beginning at a measured pace before Frank picks up the tempo at about four minutes in.
Berlin ends with some possibly unintentional squealing feedback, and the tape then cuts into the beginning of Trouble Every Day, which is taken in an understatedly spooky, slinky fashion. This ends the main set.
The encore is the Orange County Lumber Truck Medley. The highlight of this is a truly mind-bending Don Preston organ outing, with major usage of pitch oscillation.
This ends another excellent 1960's Mothers performance, highlighting just how much of a truly impressive live band they were, and their inspiring musical and verbal interaction.
The Central Park recordings are the only surviving musical remnant of the summer tour, but at further stops in Milwaukee and Chicago, Zappa undertook a couple more extensive, and interesting, radio interview appearances.
(Edited by IanWagner)
December 20th, 2010 11:19 AM
Jon ...this is a great show, ladies and gentlemen. Grab it.
December 20th, 2010 02:04 PM
Jon Ah, nice, Will Hermes took my advice on "Beatle Bones 'n' Smokin' Stones" for his "ten Beefheart songs" article in Stone.
December 20th, 2010 04:13 PM
IanWagner Chronology 1968 Part 6

http://www.sendspace.com/file/a85el4


From some point in the late 1960's, a Zappa-narrated commercial for Hagstrom Guitars is extant. In this, Frank hawks the model and plays a small orchestral excerpt from Lumpy Gravy, claiming that the music was recorded with "35 Hagstrom guitars".
During the last part of The Mothers' August 1968 US tour, Zappa undertook more radio interview appearances, two of which are available on the collectors circuit.
In Milwaukee, Frank visited station WTOS to chat with DJ Bob Reitman. He begins by saying that it is nice to be in the city after being in New York for a week.
Reitman asks Frank about his first exposure to R&B. Frank talks about the soap operas his mother listened to and the influence they had on his own work. He then describes the typical 50's teenager in San Diego during his teenage years, and their various cars, in delightful detail. He particularly singles out friend Ernie Poncie for anecdotal survey.
The history of changing musical tastes among white teenagers is then described, with some true wisdom imparted along the way. Talking about white blues bands, he mentions laughing when he heard The Rolling Stones' version of Slim Harpo's I'm A King Bee.
The Mothers style of onstage improvisation is discussed, as well as the upcoming Cruising With Ruben And The Jets album.
In Chicago, on station WFMT, Frank was interviewed by writer/host Studs Terkel. This is one of the most extensive and interesting Zappa interviews available for study. Throughout, Terkel probes Zappa for explanations of his work and lyrics in particular, and Frank happily obliges, surely relieved to be treated as a serious artist.
Among the subjects discussed:

The response from audiences to the group's music and lyrics.
The lyrics and sonic and musical design of Who Are The Brain Police? and the concept of "plastic".
Frank's musical history, schooling, adolescence and early bands. This section is a crucial source of information on the Blackouts/Lancaster/Sun Village era.
The purpose of The Mothers. Frank describes the band as "friends", in an uncharacteristically warm fashion.
Edgard Varese, who Frank terms his "main man". His description of the troubles the composer had in getting the sounds in his head to be performed by musicians, and the problems in finding the correct equipment to do so, have direct bearing on Frank's own career.
The lyrics and intent of Brown Shoes Don't Make It.
The appeal of live concerts to mainstream audiences, and inferior sound quality of rock concerts in that era, as well as the problems in reproducing sound onto vinyl.
The meaning of the Concentration Moon/Mom And Dad/Bow Tie Daddy/Harry You're A Beast/What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body? sequence on the We're Only In It For The Money album.
The creation and meaning of Trouble Every Day.
Frank's feelings on the differences between the younger and older generations, and in particular, his thoughts on the damage done by the school system and the responsibility of the informed citizen. He declares that "stupidity is an epidemic".
The creation and execution of Lumpy Gravy. He describes the album as a "mixed media presentation". He talks about the musical qualities of the spoken passages, and the differences between his and John Cage's compositional methods. This moves into talk about Mothers stage improvisations.
In a discussion of Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance, Frank offers his thoughts on the possible fates of society and the likelihoods thereof. When Turkel asks him whether he would like to survive an atomic/nuclear war, Zappa says, unreservedly, "yes. I want to be a survivor of whatever, cause it's not time to leave yet!". He says that he feels everyone who is alive is already a survivor of "a whole series of atrocities that have happened all through history that very few people have taken the time of energy to rectify". Asked whether he thinks the lyrics of Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance will come true, he says "maybe", describing the song as a "positive approach from your buddies, the old ugly reminder, The Mothers Of Invention".

Immediately upon the band's return to Los Angeles, vocalist Ray Collins left the band. This would be the singer's final exit, with the exception of the brief Mothers "reunion" tour in mid-1970.
Collins' role in the band and Zappa's history is another unfairly overlooked one, in relative terms. Even such nonmusical figures in Zappa history as Cal Schenkel come up for more detailed discussion than Collins.
But the vocalist was a friend and collaborator of Zappa's since the beginning of the 1960's, the first vocal interpreter/mouthpiece for Frank's more melodic and R&B-pop leaning material. He was also a compariot in humourous terms. It was also Collins' telephone call that led to the formation of The Mothers.
Collins' voice was an invaluable asset to the Freak Out, Absolutely Free and Cruising With Ruben And The Jets albums, and his presence would be felt on the Uncle Meat and Weasels Ripped My Flesh albums as well.
Though Collins had exited the group several times before, and this could be partially ascribed to his own erratic personality, this last exit is in many ways understandable. His presence in recent Mothers live performances had been mainly reduced to that of shaking a tambourine, as Zappa's interest in instrumental improvisation continued to grow.
With the most talented and reliable vocalist in the group now gone, The Mothers would now primarily focus on their instrumental work for the rest of their existence in the 1960's.
Sometime shortly after the end of the tour and Collins' departure, the last documented sessions took place for two double album projects, both for eventual release on a new record label, a subsidiary imprint for Reprise, itself a subsidiary of Warner Brothers.
The second of these was Zappa's first outside production for the label, and the first would be The Mothers' own debut for the label, the "soundtrack" for their film Uncle Meat.
December 20th, 2010 04:20 PM
Jon Collins was a great and interesting singer, and an EXTREMELY funny guy. I like this subsequent era, though, where they're primarily an instrumental group -- that's where a lot of their most interesting compositions would happen. And of course it led the way for Zappa to become the primary singer in the group...

...great writing, as always. Fantastic.
December 20th, 2010 04:30 PM
IanWagner
Quote:
Jon wrote:
Collins was a great and interesting singer, and an EXTREMELY funny guy. I like this subsequent era, though, where they're primarily an instrumental group -- that's where a lot of their most interesting compositions would happen. And of course it led the way for Zappa to become the primary singer in the group...

...great writing, as always. Fantastic.



Thanks, man! Strangely, though, Zappa doesn't push his own voice in the 68-69 era, still feeling he wasn't a "singer". He only becomes the primary vocalist by default. The Zappa vocal style we think of as trademark to him only begins with Overnite Sensation. For the most part, he gives up on vocals until Flo & Eddie, at which point, the band becomes primarily a vocal-oriented outfit.
And after they leave, the band becomes instrumental-focused yet again, even after the release of Sensation.
Tomorrow, the Uncle Meat work acetate.
December 20th, 2010 04:36 PM
halleluwah
Quote:
IanWagner wrote:



Thanks, man! Strangely, though, Zappa doesn't push his own voice in the 68-69 era, still feeling he wasn't a "singer". He only becomes the primary vocalist by default. The Zappa vocal style we think of as trademark to him only begins with Overnite Sensation. For the most part, he gives up on vocals until Flo & Eddie, at which point, the band becomes primarily a vocal-oriented outfit.
And after they leave, the band becomes instrumental-focused yet again, even after the release of Sensation.


Reading that about Frank's apparent reluctance about his own voice makes me think of the credits on the inside of Uncle Meat:

Frank Zappa - Low-grade vocals
Ray Collins - Swell vocals

December 20th, 2010 04:37 PM
IanWagner Exactly.
December 20th, 2010 04:42 PM
IanWagner Also, it should be noted that the Frank voice we know didn't happen until after the 1971 Rainbow incident, where his voice actually lowered considerably due to the physical damage incurred. After that, he seemed much more willing to sing lead.
It is ironic, because I, and I'd wager most others whose first exposure to Zappa was his later, post-original Mothers work, kind of define him by his later singing voice, in terms of immediate recognition.
December 20th, 2010 05:01 PM
Jon
Quote:
kind of define him by his later singing voice, in terms of immediate recognition.


Yeah, totally. It's weird to hear him on stuff like Trouble Every Day in a different style -- more R&B-oriented, less, you know, "comedy."

CANNOT WAIT to hear the Meat work acetate. Been wanting to check that out. Looking forward to reading about it, too.
December 20th, 2010 05:08 PM
halleluwah
Quote:
IanWagner wrote:
Also, it should be noted that the Frank voice we know didn't happen until after the 1971 Rainbow incident, where his voice actually lowered considerably due to the physical damage incurred. After that, he seemed much more willing to sing lead.
It is ironic, because I, and I'd wager most others whose first exposure to Zappa was his later, post-original Mothers work, kind of define him by his later singing voice, in terms of immediate recognition.


It's interesting, because like I mentioned before, my earliest three Zappa albums I heard were Hot Rats, Sheik Yerbouti, and Weasels Ripped My Flesh. Frank obviously doesn't sing on Rats at all, but he's all over Sheik as a singer. "My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama" from Weasels was the only track I was familiar with where Frank was explicity credited as the lead vocalist on the sleeve, and that voice didn't really sound like any of the leads on Sheik, so I figured those all must have been somebody else. So it was quite a while before I realized that stereotypical 'Zappa voice' was actually Frank. (I think I thought it was Adrian Belew at the time, since he was listed alphabetically first, and I just assumed at the time the main singer was ALWAYS listed first.)

December 20th, 2010 05:11 PM
Jon Preparing for a 2+-hour car ride home from work. Taking with me:

- Jazz From Hell (which we've obviously not gotten to chronologically -- it's 100% synclavier)
- Trance-Fusion (one of the albums he was working on when he died -- all guitar solos and things, similar to "Shut Up And Play...")
- Yellow Shark (his final orchestral performance, with the Ensemble Modern)

So all VERY late-era Zappa, but also some of my favorite stuff. Gahh. 2+ hours.
December 20th, 2010 05:14 PM
IanWagner
Quote:
Jon wrote:
Preparing for a 2+-hour car ride home from work. Taking with me:

- Jazz From Hell (which we've obviously not gotten to chronologically -- it's 100% synclavier)
- Trance-Fusion (one of the albums he was working on when he died -- all guitar solos and things, similar to "Shut Up And Play...")
- Yellow Shark (his final orchestral performance, with the Ensemble Modern)

So all VERY late-era Zappa, but also some of my favorite stuff. Gahh. 2+ hours.


All great.
December 20th, 2010 05:47 PM
S Giacomelli
Quote:
IanWagner wrote:

Zappa introduces Holiday In Berlin under the working title Shortly. He describes it as "a long, complicated instrumental song with a bunch of little units to it...sometimes we fuck it up". This is an expansive, 10-minute version of the piece, beginning at a measured pace before Frank picks up the tempo at about four minutes in.


Thanks, man. Very cool to hear the different voicings on this version.
December 20th, 2010 07:28 PM
Jon
Quote:
IanWagner wrote:


All great.


They sure were. And I was totally right, two hours home. Stupid snow.
December 21st, 2010 02:05 PM
halleluwah

70 years ago today, Frank Zappa was born...to this couple pictured here.

Do something nice for him today. Check out some Edgar Varese or something.
December 21st, 2010 02:11 PM
Jon Was just listening to Varese the other night. You can see the influence VERY clearly in Zappa's own orchestral stuff.
December 21st, 2010 02:36 PM
IanWagner Chronology 1968 Part 7

http://www.sendspace.com/file/j5pvpf


In late summer 1968, the last known sessions for the Uncle Meat project were held at Sunset Studios. Art Tripp lent his percussion talents to several tracks.
Although the album was in effect now "finished", it would be the following spring before the results were issued. For one thing, the final new Mothers album on Verve would not be released until December.
Also, the Uncle Meat album was still in the process of conceptual development. In one 1968 interview, Frank Zappa mentioned that one of the band's upcoming releases would be a 3-record set entitled No Commercial Potential. He listed a few tracks that were later included on the Uncle Meat album.
The NCP project was originally slated to be a combination of the new studio material and audio snippets from the group and Zappa's past.
At some point, Frank decided to split the NCP/history concept off into its own entity, and keep the newer studio material as a separate beast. This latter project would be given the mantle of a "soundtrack" album to the group's work-in-progress film project Uncle Meat.
Part of the reason for this was as a way of drumming up interest in the film, so funds could be raised to complete it. This would occur, but not until another stretch of time had passed, and the album had been issued.
From some point between the completion of recording and the final selection and sequencing of tracks, a work-in-progress acetate has surfaced on the collectors market.
Though most of the tracks on the acetate would appear on Meat, a few did not, and these are among the items mentioned by Zappa in the previously noted interview. Thus, this acetate may be from the time when the project was still dubbed No Commercial Potential. All the tracks feature early rough mixes.
The acetate begins with a sequence that would appear as the second half of the first side of the Uncle Meat LP. This includes Dog Breath In The Year Of The Plague, The Legend Of The Golden Arches (both of these featuring much shorter edits), Louie Louie and The Dog Breath Variations.
Following this sequence is a small excerpt of the Meat track Project X, then a rough mix of Dwarf Nebula Processional March & Dwarf Nebula, which would be excised from the Meat project and eventually released on the Weasels Ripped My Flesh album in a shorter edit.
The next sequence features A Pound For A Brown On The Bus and shortened edits of Electric Aunt Jemima, Our Bizarre Relationship and We Can Shoot You.
The hilarious "If We'd All Been Living In California..." rant from Jimmy Carl Black, a highlight of the Meat album, is nearly identical, except for a concluding bit telling excised. In this, another present band member asks if the tape recorded has been running the whole time, to which Frank responds "No", and Black says "Don't worry about it".
The version of Ian Underwood Whips It Out only contains the spoken section, concluding with a long snork.
"All The Way Down The Tonsils" is an otherwise unreleased spoken piece (typically of a sexual nature), featuring overlaid voices treated to various levels of studio trickery.
The Air is a drastically shortened version, followed by Mr. Green Genes with a studio chat intro. A short and otherwise unreleased bit of Mothers vocal improvisation, featuring the high-pitched cackling of Roy Estrada is then featured.
The Uncle Meat Variation is shortened to just under a minute and a half, then Our Bizarre Relationship returns, repeating the excerpt heard earlier on the acetate, but also containing an excised bit where Suzy mentions that Elmer Valentine had given the group their first break by booking them at The Trip.
Sleeping In A Jar is nearly identical to its released form, but this is followed by another track eventually excised from the project, the "Cops And Buns" field recording from Apostolic Studios. This contains pieces edited from the final version issued on The Lost Episodes, and concludes with Zappa's mock-command for everyone to stop making so much noise.
The acetate concludes with a rough mix of the Kink Kong suite, concluding with the "3 Deranged Good Humor Trucks" section.
This acetate may compise part of a projected double or triple album, or it may be an attempt at a one-record distillation of the material into a We're Only In It For The Money-style single LP.
As an early alternate vision of Uncle Meat, the acetate is quite interesting, and a fine listen on its own terms.
December 21st, 2010 02:40 PM
Jon I have been trying to come up with a "Meat Acetate" / "No Commercial Potential" cover. Let's just say one is pending. I'm DYING to hear this.

December 21st, 2010 02:47 PM
IanWagner Killer, man! If you wanna come up with a Meat acetate cover at some point, that'd be great too.

I should mention to the faithful that this one is it for me this year. I'll be back with Uncle Meat itself on the first Monday of '11. But so ya'll will have something extra to chew on over the teenage holidays, Jon (MASTER OF UNFINISHED 60S ALBUM MASTERWORKS) will share an amazing project/object of his own, starting tomorrow. So, chew on his object.
December 21st, 2010 03:13 PM
halleluwah
Quote:
IanWagner wrote:
So, chew on his object.


:inshock:


:chew:
December 21st, 2010 03:14 PM
S Giacomelli
Quote:
IanWagner wrote:
Killer, man! If you wanna come up with a Meat acetate cover at some point, that'd be great too.

I should mention to the faithful that this one is it for me this year. I'll be back with Uncle Meat itself on the first Monday of '11. But so ya'll will have something extra to chew on over the teenage holidays, Jon (MASTER OF UNFINISHED 60S ALBUM MASTERWORKS) will share an amazing project/object of his own, starting tomorrow. So, chew on his object.


Awesome, thanks to both of you for your work! I will use this lull to upload the next chunk of Floyd Archives. Mayhap we can meet in Oct 69!
December 21st, 2010 03:38 PM
IanWagner Are your old Floyd posts still active? I somehow missed them all.
December 21st, 2010 03:43 PM
S Giacomelli
Quote:
IanWagner wrote:
Are your old Floyd posts still active? I somehow missed them all.


Dunno. I should re-do 'em all, since I found some upgrades...
December 21st, 2010 03:53 PM
S Giacomelli
Quote:
halleluwah wrote:
Anybody ever seen one of these in the flesh? I just had to Google it to find out what it even looked like.





Yes, I have. A repro came with the 4-disc MOFO.
December 22nd, 2010 09:57 AM
Jon THE HISTORY AND COLLECTED IMPROVISATIONS OF THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION.

In 1969, as the original Mothers began to dissipate and go their separate ways (which I'm sure Ian will cover in his chronology), Frank began to compile some of the best studio and live material of the original mothers for what he envisioned as a 12-record set called "The History and Collected Improvisations of the Mothers of Invention."

Frank first mentioned the set in an article in 1968 in Rolling Stone called "Mothers Day Has Finally Come," around the time Uncle Meat was finally released. He mentioned the titles of each of the 12 records which were, at the time:

1. Before the Beginning
2. The Cucamonga Era
3. Show & Tell
4. What Does It All Mean [no question mark]
5. Rustic Protrusion
6. Several Boogie
7. The Merely Entertaining Mothers of Invention Record
8. The Heavy Business Record
9. Soup & Old Clothes
10. Hotel Dixie
11. The Orange County Lumber Truck
12. The Weasel Music

This 12 record set -- also occasionally, in Frank's mind, called "No Commercial Potential" -- was planned, at first, to be issued through a "Mothers Record Club" via, of all things, Playboy Magazine. Presumably you'd sign up and get a new Mothers record every month for a year.

Compiling the set was no problem for Frank, of course. The problem was getting the record company to agree to release such a monumental set. Herb Cohen was apparently negotiating with Warner/Reprise to allow them to pull this off through Playboy. When this fell through, the idea of the set did not -- Frank continued to work on it in the ensuing years.

When the label wanted product in 1969 and 1970, for example, Frank took parts of the set and cannibalized them for the albums "Burnt Weeny Sandwich" and "Weasels Ripped My Flesh." This apparently reduced the number of discs to 9, because in 1971, a Reprise circular mentioned it again:

"Maybe you know (maybe you don't know) about our plan for the release of the 9-disc History & Collected Improvisations of the Mothers around Christmas or after the first of the year. Maybe if you're in the promotional areas of WB/Kinney entertainment factory and heard about this unprecedented release you might have scratched your head and mumbled to your buddies at lunch "... I never heard of these guys and I'm supposed to promote a NINE DISC HISTORY ALBUM ... I mean 'I HEARD OF THEM A LITTLE BIT', but I mean I never HEARD of them. ... I mean so who else ever HEARD of them and THEY SHOULD CARE? Some group dumping NINE FUCKING ALBUMS? During the depression and everything?"

Nobody knows what was going to be on these discs. Over the last ten years, portions of a few of the discs leaked to bootleggers. One, labeled "1 of 9 Mothers," leaked recently as "The Columbia Acetate." Here's a picture of the sleeve it sat in:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rk-dd/2432713881/

It purportedly contains an acetate of two sides of two different "History" discs -- one presumably the first disc, as it contains mostly early material, and another presumably one of the later discs, as it contains stuff as late as 1969.

Another, "The Weasel Music," featuring one side of disc 9, was found amongst the record collection of the late Neon Park, the artist who did the cover for "Weasels Ripped My Flesh." Interestingly, it does not contain one of the sides of the "Weasels" album -- it's an entirely different lineup of songs.

A final one, the "Artisan Acetate," turned up recently at an auction. It contains a variety of live material from the 1967-1969 period.

Gail Zappa claims that the "History" material has been picked apart and cannibalized by Frank himself over the years, presumably for such Mothers-related archival releases as "Mystery Disc," "The Lost Episodes," "You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore (Vol. 5)," and "Ahead Of Their Time," so no complete "History" is forthcoming from the Zappa family.

So of course, I've taken it upon myself to compile a version for your LISTENING PLEASURE.

What I've done is take the three acetates we DO have, supplement it with material from the aforementioned released sets as well as bootlegs of live shows -- it is presumed, for example, that "The Ark," a boot of a near-complete set from Sweden, was stolen from the Zappa vaults at the time and so was a likely contender.

What I've also done is create an EXPERIENCE for you, the teenage music listener. If you download the stuff I'm about to put up, and load it into your exciting teenage iTunes player, you will have a correlate experience to RECEIVING THIS BOX SET IN THE MAIL, perhaps after ordering it from your dad's ragged copy of Playboy magazine that he's rubbed his tiny sick pud all over, and SPLAYING IT OUT all over your teenage bedroom. It has been designed for YOU, the music listener, to be not only an audial but a visual experience -- each "sleeve" of each "album" has been designed individually to duplicate the experience of playing a VINYL BOXED SET. There is even a booklet that goes with it, containing many Mothers-related items including newspaper advertisements and articles.

So ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, for your EDIFICATION and ENJOYMENT over the next couple of days, "The History And Collected Improvisations of the Mothers of Invention."



* Note: Due to the historic nature of this compilation, some of the material probably criss-crosses with some of the stuff Ian's already posted. We apologize for this inconvenience, but honestly, you were probably gonna listen to some of this stuff twice anyway, right?
December 22nd, 2010 10:00 AM
Jon Here is the BOX LID (part one of an interview with Frank from 1967) and DISC ONE, "Before The Beginning," containing early Mothers and Mothers-related ephemera.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/x00z20


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