Sunday, August 25, 2019


I see people debating Frank Zappa on social media a lot, but of course they are, he's an annoying genius. Inevitably, someone asks what album or albums they should check out, which is raw meat to the classicrocksplainers, who immediately show up in droves for the feeding frenzy that quickly devolves into the 'just list every Zappa album we can think of because we'd rather parade our knowledge than give a useful answer' approach. Well, I've got a useful answer of my own: do it yourself. But if you want, do check out this guest radio spot he and Captain Beefheart did in 1975 to promote the Bongo Fury album and tour, for which Beefheart briefly joined Zappa's Mothers and they laid down an underrated avant/R&B/contemporary classical stew (much better than any Zappa material with Flo & Eddie on it, take that classicrocksplainers). This radio show is revelatory, featuring some Bongo Fury cuts (I really like "Carolina Hard-Core Ecstasy"), but mostly made up of early Zappa recordings, experiments, live jams, etc. that took place before the Mothers of Invention were named as such, and man this stuff is raw and punky avant-madness, predating the LAFMS almost in full (not as much synth/electronic input, but it's creeping in the corners).

POSTSCRIPT: After listening to the whole 67 minute upload on YouTube, with a different tab up, the next video started immediately, Muddy Waters live at the Checkerboard Lounge in 1981 (the time when the Rolling Stones happened to drop in), and as Muddy's band went into the intro vamp and played it for several seconds, before any vocals came along, I didn't even bat an eye thinking it was still more early Mothers and/or Beefheart music. These Mojave Desert weirdos were a straight-up top-notch greasy raw rhythm & blues band! Respect due! 


paul said...

awesome tip. thanks for turning me onto this. keep up the curation--love your posts!

Charles Hodgson said...

Glad to see you back.
Was just reading some Blastitude back issues. There is nothing like it around now, would love to see a new issue, or something in print.

Larry said...

Love both of these comments, thanks to paul and Charles Hodgson for reading and writing in. (Feels strange not to "like" or "heart" your comments -- such antiquated technology this blog!) I agree Charles, to my disappointment, there is nothing like it around now. I don't think I have the energy, and certainly not the budget, for something in print (though it will always remain the ultimate goal). I am toying with doing it online for $5 a month ($30 a year) at There's quite a bit of new writing by me up there now, but for paying subscribers only, of which I currently have 0. I have not advertised for it yet (other than just now in this blog comment), something I am loath to do anyway, even if it's not outright asking for money. I know I deserve some money for the quality of my writing, but so do lots of other people out there, and they aren't getting it any time soon, so why should I?

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