Frank Zappa Pops Up and Says Hello

I went through a period in my mid-twenties where the music I most loved became bland and two dimensional. I was listening to mostly be-bop and Western classical music of the Romantic period. Then one day, the groovy noodlings of Messr’s Parker and Gillespie lost their allure and the pomp of Beethoven and Mahler just seemed childish. I was in India at the time and I guess the change of context affected my response to music. And it wasn’t a superficial relationship that changed, oh no.

Into the void stepped Mr Zappa. I had a copy of Joe’s Garage and We’re Only In It For The Money and Apostrophe/Overnite Sensation since childhood and was seriously into those records but was unaware of Zappa’s other material. In India and Nepal, you could get an amazing selection of tapes (oh yes, kiddies, you had to buy a tape and put it in your Walkman, back in the day) pretty chealy so I loaded up on Zappa stuff and listened to little else for a good few years.

Then, my taste cycled to Country and Bluegrass (!) Zappa became an occasional treat.

Anyway, last week I stumbled upon a Youtube drum lesson demonstrating Vinnie Colaiuta’s infamous Keep It Greasy groove and it led to me getting in to a bunch of old Zappa videos. Somewhat fortuitously, The Cruise Ship Drummer Blog’s latest offering is a transcription of Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow off Apostrophe. So listen to some Zappa here, and the go over to Todd’s site and learn how to play some sevens!

Cruise Ship Drummer – Transcription: Ralph Humphrey — Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow

Cosmik Debris is up first, a live performance with Ralph Humphrey on drums. The song is on Apostrophe/Overnite Sensation which had Tina Turner and the Ikettes singing BVs. George Duke is oooowie! on here.

Another track from the same record, a different band, Chad Wackerman drums here.

Here is a performance from one of my fave Zappa bands with Chester Thompson on drums, Ruth Underwood laying percussion and Napoleon Murphy Brock on vocals and far outness. Don’t know how well I’d do being attacked by a man in a gorilla suit…

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