Monday, December 3, 2007

Smell the Glove – December 7, 2007 (Updated)

Frank wasn't shy about mentioning his musical contemporaries in songs, or of plugging in their more appealing/revolting verbiage and musical hooks for non sequitur purposes.

The photo above incorporates two 1980s pop culture references – Michael Jackson's idiotic single glove fashion statement, and Spinal Tap's legendary but nonexistent "Smell the Glove" album. (Sorry it's such a crappy pic.)

Without even looking in Barry's Zappa Wiki Jawaka, I can easily think of a dozen or more rock stars mentioned in Frank's music, either by name or with musical quotes: Suzi Quatro, Peter Frampton, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Jimi Hendrix, Boy George, Michael Jackson, Joni Mitchell, Roger Daltrey, Janis Joplin, Donovan, Punky Meadows, Cream, Jeff Beck, Al DiMeola, Alvin Lee...

And what about the Beatles? Frank performed with John Lennon and Yoko that time, and Ringo played Frank in 200 Motels. When We're Only In It For The Money came out, there was some legal dispute over the cover, which riffed on Sgt. Pepper. Frank called Paul McCartney to see if he would let the Mothers put out their parody, and Paul said something like, "That's what we have lawyers for." Frank, as I recall, told Paul in so many words that actually, the lawyers do work for us and we can tell them what to do.

The weakest Beatle link would be George Harrison. No known contact. But George did mention Frank in his song, "Blood From A Clone." Can you think of two more dissimilar guitar players than Frank and George?

By the way, "Oh No" is about John Lennon, isn't it?

So anyway, for the December 7, 2007 Zappa's Grubby Chamber, I'll play lots of songs that include pop culture references, mentioning other musicians either by name or by hook.

Update, Friday night: 'Twas in October that Chocolate Bob, aka "Bob in Tempe" dropped off the entirely splendid interpretation of Frank's pouting rictus by artist Connie Fisher at the station. I told him it reminded me of an old John Lennon poster I have up in my office. I'm just getting around to taking a pic of them side by side, and here it is:
This week's post seems like the perfect place to have two of my favorite guys, John and Frank, side by side. Yes, that is a set o' Dweezil-signed Zappanties dangling from the Casio electronic sax-o-phone to the left, and to the lefter is a Joe Jackson "Beat Crazy" poster. On the right is the edge of the classic Asia poster as seen in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Thanks, Chocolate Bob in Tempe, Arizona!

OK, headed out the door to the studio to bungle a bunch of segues... see you on the radio!

3 comments:

Empire Hancock said...

"We're Turning Again" would be essential for this show, ditto the 1984 version of "Tinseltown Rebellion", and "Is That Guy Kidding or What?"

M-Chu said...

Kevin, my mentor in Frank, last Friday’s show, indeed everything went horribly right…again.

I enjoy every version of Peaches en Regalia, but the version from Tinseltown in which you played really is my all time favorite. Wait a minute. I don’t have any favorites.

And then there was Wild Love. Thanks to you, I’ve had the song in my head all week. And of course I've also had to entertain myself with the album’s follow-up, Yo’ Mama.

I’ll be listening to this week’s ZGC broadcast, just waiting for all that horribly delightful music. …meantime “he’s a little fond of chiffon in a restaurai ai ai ant. A restaurai ii ant”.

Thanks, bro.

Kevin L. Hoover said...

"We're Turning Again" would be essential for this show, ditto the 1984 version of "Tinseltown Rebellion", and "Is That Guy Kidding or What?"

Done and done. Excellent suggestions.

"I enjoy every version of Peaches en Regalia, but the version from Tinseltown in which you played really is my all time favorite."

Mine too. You know, I just noticed that I have bootlegs of Peaches by several other artists. If you don't tell anyone, I may play them after I exhaust the Smell the Glove theme.

But the show never works out as I plan, so who knows what may happen.