Archive for December, 2014

Frank Zappa, The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAA 2014 Birthday Bundle, Zappa Records, December 2014

Frank Zappa, The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAA 2014 Birthday Bundle, Zappa Records, December 2014


On December 21, 2014 celebrated Frank Zappa with the sixth AAAFNRAA birthday bundle, a download only, irregular tradition started on 2006. This last episode includes three tracks performed by Zappa (one of them video) and a piece executed by 3NSAMBL3 (a Mexican classical guitars ensemble):

01. Down In De Dew – Alternate Mix
02. Freak Chouflée
03. Uncle Meat/Uncle Meat Variations (3NSAMBL3)
04. RDNZL (Palermo, 1982, Video Omen)

(full credits at

The alternate mix of Down In De Dew it’s a joy, and has already been released in 2014 as the B-Side to the Record Store Day 7″ single Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow. 3NSAMBL3 gave us a fresh and close-textured version of Uncle Meat (“una de las piezas del siguiente cd […], que está próximo a publicarse“). RDNZL from the Palermo riot concert is a precious shooting, though the video quality is far from perfect. The audio is very good, Zappa takes a great solo (included in the YCDTOSA5 RDNZL edit), Ed and Tommy have a funny keyboard/percussion conversation, and the Thomas Nordegg long sequence shoot concentrate a lot on Frank, sometimes when he is not playing nor conducting too, giving a sort of intimate, beyond the scene flavor to the whole cut. Even though the video quality is below the usual FZ standard, I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there that would be very happy to watch the whole Palermo Shooting!

Said that, track 2 is underground, psychedelic, acid-rock, Freak Chouflée music from 1966! But it has also a lot of historical interest, since it belongs to a rare line-up of the early Mothers of Invention. full credits are the following:

Live Recording from the Vault, circa 1966
Previously Unreleased
FZ: Guitar
Del Casher: Guitar
Don Preston: Keys
Roy Estrada: Bass
Billy Mundi: Drums
Jimmy Carl Black: Drums
Ray Collins: Tambourine

Transferred & edited by Joe Travers
from 1/4” Stereo Analog Tape
Mastered by Steve Hall 2003, Future Disc

And this is a short note from fellow zappateer Al Fresco:

Now, the guitars. The left one from speaker and first solo to me sounds FZ & the second one and right speaker guitar solo would be Del Kacher.

It’s a classic MOI combo with Del Casher (also known as Del Kacher), a Californian guitar player and electronics techie. On his web site, Del claims his role as innovator as far as guitar effects: he reports his use of his wah-wah pedal as early as 1967.

Del Casher on guitar and pedal effects, February 1967

Del Casher on guitar and pedal effects, February 1967


Del Casher surely was a fine musician since his early days, but what took the attention of Zappa was probably his technology skills too, being truly interested in any kind of innovation since his early days (see the Studio Z story and his relationship with Paul Buff).

Concerning his time with Frank Zappa, that is what Casher reports on his web pages:

Frank Zappa discovered that Del had unique pedals and echoes and asked Del to arrange, produce, and play the theme for a Roger Corman movie “Queen of Blood.” Immediately Frank Zappa asked Del to join his group “The Mothers” for appearances at the Shrine Auditorium and the Whiskey-a-Go-Go in Hollywood. Frank featured Del on his famous “Freak Out” performance that was aired on the David Susskind TV Show for ABC television. credits do not mention venue and date for this – apparently live – performance. It should not be the case of the Whiskey-a-Go-Go. On October 1966 Del Casher was with the MOI at this West Hollywood venue, but, judging from the following pictures, there was no keyboard player involved. The second image is a clip of the same shot available through the Casher web site, it shows Del’s sign on himself.

The Mothers of Invention at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go, October 1966

The Mothers of Invention at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go, October 1966


The Mothers of Invention at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, October 1966, clip from

The Mothers of Invention at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, October 1966, clip from


On his web site photo section, Del Casher has also included a Los Angeles Free Press clipping for a September 17, 1966 Shrine Exposition Hall show, maybe another guess for the recording venue.

Freak Out! at Shrine Exposition Hall ad, Los Angeles Free Press, September 16, 1966

Freak Out! at Shrine Exposition Hall ad, Los Angeles Free Press, September 16, 1966


Moreover, that is what Del Casher said to Charles Ulrich in 2005 (from the 1966 notes to the FZ Chronology available through the Information Is Not Knowledge web site):

After that [FZ] asked if I would play the Shrine auditorium in LA. There I met Van Dyke Parks, Roy Estrada, and I believe Billy Mundi and Don Preston later. I also remember Carl Black and Ray Collins but I believe Frank changed players according to availability.

From these elements it seems that September 1966 Shrine auditorium should be the most probable hypothesis. No matter of what the truth really is, Freak Chouflée is a real nugget and the collaboration with Del Cashier once again proves that Frank Zappa was all the time looking for new technical solutions and possibilities since his early days.


Freak Out! clip featuring Del Cashier

Freak Out! clip featuring Del Cashier


December 28 Post Scriptum (thanks Al Fresco):

Ray Collins on tamburine has been included in the Freak Chouflée line-up available at





Posted: December 19, 2014 in concert report, live concert photo, zappa
Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives

Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives


Rome, July 9, 1982: lick me, my first Zappa concert!

After 32 years I eventually managed to listen to it again in a fair audio quality, thanks to a mysterious audience (I guess) recording from the archives of an anonymous philanthropist.

This recording sounds slightly more clear than the old one I had from those very days, so thanks to such a gentle spirit, my 2014 zappadan has taken a sharp turn into 1982 and the music of the heavy chamber rock band with “Stefano” Vai, a truly tight one, having already toured together since almost one year (from September 1981) before this Rome performance.

I was into Zappa since my teens, and being 19, I was ready and longing to go live, towards the end of those reckless years. However there was one very thing I was sure of: I did not want to loose any moment of the performance, any quote or joke I knew Zappa would eventually put into the flow of the concert. That’s why I resolutely refused to participate to the ritual of the scented smokes, a social custom I was familiar with in those years. And it was a right move to enjoy the music, though in the most uncomfortable environment I ever had experience of as a concert venue. It was the dusty field of the city old slaughterhouse, with a fine white sand floating around all the time breathing was not easy. With his usual sarcasm Frank opened the show with this greeting:

Hello there Rome, welcome to the show tonight…
in this “most lavishly appointed area”…
We hope that you’ll be “comfortable” during the show…
because you’re gonna be here for at least two hours…
So relax!

It was the eighties and in a city like Rome there was nothing better than a decaying slaughterhouse to host a Zappa concert? It was just one of the many ill-fated circumstances of the 1982 Italian tour, some of them depicted in the Man of Utopia cover that, as told somewhere else in this blog, had been conceived in Rome in those days, at first for a 1982 live in Italy project.

Back to the Rome concert, we had an extra treat before the show: a one our long soundcheck. And we needed it, our willing suspension of disbelief for the rotten venue started as the music began. Something more of a soundcheck actually, in the case of RDNZL for instance Zappa asked the band to repeat a few times the tangled lick that occurs before the guitar solo (1:21 – 1:23 in the 1982 YCDTOSA5 version), could he be eventually satisfied? Anyways, the arrangement of the piece the band was going to play includes some parts with a slower tempo than those in the YCDTOSA5 version.

Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, soundcheck, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives

Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, soundcheck, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives


The shows was about to begin, and I was definitely ready to go!

The set list (notes via FZShows, v. 7.1) and the band:

The Mammy Anthem (q: Volare)
intros (q: Happy Birthday)
Dancin’ Fool
RDNZL (incl. Royal March from Aida) [keyboard solo on YCDTOSA5],
Advance Romance
Joe’s Garage
Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?
Marqueson’s Chicken
Easy Meat
Dead Girls Of London
Shall We Take Ourselves Seriously?
What’s New In Baltimore?
Broken Hearts Are For Assholes
Sinister Footwear
Stevie’s Spanking [parts on YCDTOSA4 and Video From Hell]
Tell Me You Love Me
The Closer You Are
King Kong (q: Arrivederci Roma)
Sofa [parts on YCDTOSA1]

Encores 1
No No Cherry
The Man From Utopia Meets Mary Lou
Strictly Genteel

Encores 2
The Illinois Enema Bandit

Frank Zappa: guitar, vocals
Ray White: guitar, vocals
Tommy Mars: keyboards
Chad Wackerman: drums
Ed Mann: percussion
Bobby Martin: hammond organ, alphorn
Scott Thunes: bass
Stefano Vai: guitar

Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives

Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives


For a detailed review I would recommend the one by Jason “Foggy” Gossard (available through the SHALL WE TRADE OUR TAPES SERIOUSLY? web site), even though I find myself a little bit more positive also about the first part of the show. It may be true that the peak of the guitar improvisation is to be found in Sinister Footwear and Stevie’s Spanking (the Zappa/Vai episode – partially included in Video From Hell – is 7:24 long), but I am also fond the Zappa’s solos for Marqueson’s Chicken and Easy Meat.

Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives

Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives


Anyhow, my memory still serves a great opener that brought me immediately beyond the fringe of my own comprehension. A new song with a nice quote of an Italian classic, that I was not even able to catch live, being so beyond without any chemical aid! Then Zappa brought the band behind him for the sarcastic greeting I told, and from now until Broken Hearts the set list is a perfect balance between heaviness and guitar improvisation, and pop songs from Joe’s Garage or about Boutique frame of mind or asparaguses and those hearts. I would like to give a short sample of this tense performance with Moggio, where the Steve Vai stunt guitar parts are clearly evident.


If you compare this sample with the YCTDOSA5 version of Moggio, you will notice a slight difference in pitch, probably due to the speed of the original tape recorder, a recurring issue for the guerrilla recordings of the pre-digital era.

We may consider closed the first part of the set at the end of Broken Hearts, where “several seconds of awkward silence after Frank’s “I knew you’d be surprised!”” occurred (as properly pointed out by Foggy) before Sinister Footwear could start. And part two of the set has a lot of powerful music to deliver: having already mentioned Super Sinister and Enduring Stevie, King Kong needs a special account. Madness, improvisation, a relaxed alphorn interlude and quotes from Arrivederci Roma are some the elements of this 15:35 version of the classic monstre from the 60’s. King Kong is a perfect and extended prelude to the last song of the set: Sofa, the right closer. My new tape (as well as most of those already circulating) includes only the fist encore, which is a sort of relaxed one, being based upon Strictly Genteel. And here again Zappa demonstrates a great control of setlists, segues and balanced entertainment in general: he brought the tension a little bit down with the first encore before the real finale, where The Illinois Enema Bandit could be the right vehicle for his last “imaginary” guitar solo.

When it was over I felt exhausted and perfectly at ease with such an audio gratification. It still remains the most intense live experience I ever had. Thank you Frank!

Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives

Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives


Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives

Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives


Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives

Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives


Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives

Mattatoio di Testaccio (Testaccio Slaughterhouse), Rome, July 9, 1982, Zappa live, slides by arrivederci.roma1, from the archives



a Zappadan Conceptual Continuity Cruise


Escher's "Relativity" in LEGO(R) by Andrew Lipson

Escher’s “Relativity” in LEGO(R) by Andrew Lipson


dedicated to the surrealistic memory of Dominique Jeunot (1959-2004)

Dominique Jeunot with Ben Watson at the International Conference of Esemplastic Zappology, on  January 16, 2004

Dominique Jeunot with Ben Watson at the International Conference of Esemplastic Zappology, on January 16, 2004


A classic start, first song, first album.
Hungry Freaks Daddy (Freak Out!)

Lyrics deals with some typical US amnesias, fact that brings straight to:
Amnerika (Civilization Phaze III)

This melody appeared for the first time in the background of:
That Evil Prince (Thing Fish)

Harry and Rhonda talk about the Evil Prince with Thing-Fish who remarks:
Next item de boy be inventin’ come under de headin’ o’ industrial pollutium!

It’s easy now to go trudging across:
Nine Types of Industrial Pollution (Uncle Meat)

Zappa talked about this piece with Bob Marshall, on October 22, 1988:

Bob Marshall: What are the ‘Nine Types of Industrial Pollution’? Because it seems these old institutions are running amuck with these old techniques, and they’re out of control. They clash with different media, different institutions, and different professions.
Frank Zappa: The funny thing about that song title is that, at the time that it was put on Uncle Meat, there was no such thing as a concern over industrial pollution. It hadn’t even been brought up as a topic. I put that on that song just as a joke after driving through New Jersey.
Bob Marshall: So, there were not nine, you had not categorized…
Frank Zappa: Here I could see nine on that one trip. There may be more.
Bob Marshall: The term was not in the regular media…
Frank Zappa: No.

And also, on the musical side, what follows is an interesting view from feetlightup for the forum.

I was listening to this on headphones the other day and heard some stuff for the first time. It seems that the basic rhythm track is a fairly simple slow blues track (bass, drums, organ), but with all of those percussion instruments dubbed on top, it sounds like it’s more freeform than it actually is! It’s also pretty clear to me now that Frank’s guitar is actually a fairly bluesy lead, but when sped up and superimposed over this background, it too sounds fairly “out there”. And GET THIS: Way in the background of one of the channels, the whole time you can hear (I think) Frank’s ORIGINAL guitar lead, played at normal speed! Just shows what you can do in the studio with some pretty basic ingredients and a hell of a lot of creativity.

An early move towards Xenochrony?
Friendly Little Finger (Zoot Allures)

From The Guitar World According To Frank Zappa cassette liner notes to this song:

[…] recorded in a dressing room at Hofstra University and over- dubbed at the Record Plant, Los Angeles, California; […] This is one of the earliest examples of a technique I developed called Xenochrony (strange synchronizations).

More about this subject in “WE ARE The Mothers… AND THIS IS WHAT WE SOUND LIKE!” (Mix, January 2003, Chris Michie):

Zappa dubbed the technique “xenochrony,” from the Greek words xeno (strange or alien) and chrono (time). As he explained, “In this technique, various tracks from unrelated sources are randomly synchronized with each other to make a final composition with rhythmic relationships unachievable by other means.” For example, in the case of the Zoot Allures track “Friendly Little Finger,” the solo guitar and bass were recorded in a dressing room on a 2-track Nagra and then later combined with an unrelated drum track for a piece called “The Ocean Is The Ultimate Solution,” with additional instrumentation scored to complement the newly produced time signatures. Xenochrony proved to be a powerful new compositional tool for Zappa, and he returned to it many times over later albums.

Let’s move then to such drum track in his first environment:
The Ocean Is The Ultimate Solution (Sleep Dirt)

And talking about the ocean:
Outrage At Valdez (Yellow Shark)

 Frank Zappa’s interest in the tank vessel accident on March 24, 1989, causing environmental disaster and worldwide protest came as a mild but not irrational surprise. His commitment lead to the friendship with Jacques Cousteau and to composing the soundtrack for a documentary, Alaska: Outrage At Valdez about the accident and its consequences in the Prince William Sound, Alaska (from the wiki jawaka article).

And from here, FNRAA, I would like to jump to the LSO, one of the most important, though controversial FZ orchestral projects, for a less known composition:
Sad Jane (London Symphony Orchestra Vols. I & II)

Is that a pun on Lou Reed’s Sweet Jane? Anyways, in the words of Frank Zappa (“Non-Foods: Not The Moody Blues“, Guitar Player, November 1983):

The last movement of “Sad Jane,” kind of a marching thing, is actually a transcription of a guitar solo from the Shrine Auditorium, 1968, that Ian Underwood wrote out back then, and I came across one day in a pile of papers. I played it on the piano and liked the tune, and proceeded to orchestrate it.

And for another example of this technique:
Big Swifty (Waka-Jawaka)

Again Zappa reports (from The Complete History Of The Few Last Weeks Of The Mothers Of Invention):

This piece (which comprises all of Side One of the HOT RATS Waka/Jawaka album) presents a theme in rapidly alternating time signatures, a few solos, and an out-chorus done up in a sort of Prom Night orchestration which suspends the opening rhythmic structure over a straight 4/4 accompaniment.
The restatement of the theme is actually derived from a guitar solo on the album which Sal Marquez took down on paper. After about an hour of wheeling the tape back and forth, Sal managed to transcribe this rhythmically deranged chorus (I don’t have the ability to do this kind of musical dictation, but, since Marquez had a full-bore education at North Texas University, he had it covered). After he’d written it out, we proceeded to over-dub three trumpets on it, and, presto! An organized conclusion for “Big Swifty.”

The title itself brings the cruiser straight into:
The Adventures of Greggery Peccary (Studio Tan)

Where “Big Swifty and Associates” is Greggery’s office. This adventurous piece includes the “Who is making those new brown clouds?” theme that occurs again in:
For Calvin and His Next Two Hitch-Hikers (The Grand Wazoo)

Zappa (from The Complete History Of The Few Last Weeks Of The Mothers Of Invention):

This is dedicated to Calvin Schenkel, a long-time friend who has been responsible to a large extent for anything graphic/visual associated with the M.O.I. (from album covers to billboards to the animated sequence in 200 Motels).
There are lyrics to this piece (which has already been recorded and is set for a fall release in the impending Grand Wazoo album), but we are performing an instrumental version for these concerts. The story depicted in the lyrics refers to a mysterious “Schenkel Mirage” which occurred while he was driving to work. The details are a bit deep, but perhaps you can use your imagination and extrapolate a situation from the text.

Also, Calvin steps in on Lumpy Gravy saying “That’s very distraughtening.”
Very Distraughtening (Lumpy Gravy)

Shortly thereafter, Spider says:
Everything in the universe is . . . is . . . is made of one element, which is a note, a single note. Atoms are really vibrations, you know, which are extensions of THE BIG NOTE, everything’s one note.

This is it, this is THE BIG NOTE, a central idea for the whole Zappa body of work. The composer was fascinated by unifying theories. Here is what he tells to the interviewer in The Frank Zappa Interview Picture Disk (pt.2, circa 1984):

Well … in physics they have this thing that they’ve been looking for – it’s the Unified Field Theory that explains the interrelationship between how gravity works and atomic energy and all this stuff – they’re looking for one equation that explains it all and makes it work because right now there’s contradictions. And … let’s just say that the book is like a Unified Field Theory that will hold together “Billy The Mountain”, “Greggery Peccary”, “Joe’s Garage” “Them Or Us”, “Thing-Fish” … all these different stories, it shows you how they work together to make one long, really complicated story. And the “Them Or Us” album is only one part of this major release that is coming out this year.

Them or Us (Them or Us)

That is a Black Page #2 guitar solo performed in Bolzano on July 3, 1982. Though edited as usual, a full version from a few days earlier show (June 26, Munich) is included in You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 5. YCDTOSA is a series of 6 double cds consisting of live recordings spanning Frank Zappa’s entire career. He started working on this project in 1988 and concluded Volumes 5 and 6 in 1992 (I’m particularly fond of this series and in the 90’s I used to maintain a special purpose document: “Cruising with YCDTOSA“, almost all infos are now conveniently available through the Information Is Not Knowledge web site).
In the liner notes he reports the “theoretical questions” he asked himself to compile the series. One of them is:

[6] will it give “conceptual continuity clues” to the hard core maniacs with a complete recording collection?

And there’s plenty of them of course. One of my favorite is in the FZ monstre piece “par excellence”:
King Kong (You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 3)

At 14:34, during the ’82 section, Denny Walley says “oh you want a kinder garden!”. Yes Denny Walley, in 1982! What really happen is that at 11:09 in Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow (YCDTOSA 1) Denny says: “oh you want a kinder garden” and this little fragment was inserted in King Kong (YCDTOSA 3).
Oh, talking about yellow snow, is the convenient moment to introduce the dogs topic, and the main carrier is:
Stink Foot (Apostrophe (‘))


But he (the Poodle!) also asks:
What is your Conceptual Continuity?

For more on the “Canine Continuity” subject I would suggest “The Secret Meaning of ‘Arf’: Canine Continuity in the Output Macrostructure” by Dominique Jeunot. A paper addressed to ICE-Z (International Conference of Esemplastic Zappology) on January 16, 2004. A reading which may also be considered an homage to Dominique, who abruptly left the building on December 2004. He was the President of France’s surrealistic Zappa fan club Les Fils de l’Invention.

Dogs of Zappaland unite, for the arf salute!

Evelyn, a Modified Dog (One Size Fits all)
Arf, she said

As Patricia would too. Patricia is a dog painted by Donald Roller Wilson that embellishes the Boulez conducts Zappa album cover.
Naval Aviation in Art? (The Perfect Stranger)

This short but dramatic piece would have been part of Läther, an album that could not happen in 1977 when it was conceived. Here is a 1977-1978 concert season press information:


Follow this Information Is Not Knowledge link for more.

And my pick is the title track:
Läther (Läther)

“A sensitive instrumental ballad for late-nite easy listening”, as described by Zappa for the I promise not to Come in Your Mouth incarnation included in Zappa in New York, a live album which also includes the anthem of the Zappaverse:
Sofa (Zappa in New York)

The piece was part of a larger number that The Mothers used to perform in the “Flo & Eddie Era”. A good take of the whole thing can be heard in the Rhino legalized boot Fire!”. It consists of: Once Upon a Time, Sofa #1 (as included in YCDTOSA 1), Once Upon A Time II (a short reprise of OUAT), Stick It Out and
Divan (Playground Psychotics)

Such era is very well known also for:
The Mud Shark (Fillmore East, June 1971)

This song is about the infamous Mud Shark incident at the Edgewater Inn in Seattle, WA (see also The Mudshark Interview on Playground Psychotics). Towards the end Zappa quotes on guitar:
The Little House I Used to Live in (Burnt Weeny Sandwich)

Just another monstre-song, that spans 1968-1978 and included a lot of episodes, here is one:
The Sheik Yerbouti Tango (Sheik Yerbouti)

A tango? What about it when it may bring funny smells?
Be-Bop Tango (Of The Old Jazzmen’s Church) (Roxy & Elsewhere)

This piece was part of a larger 1972-1973 number too (Farther O’Blivion), which contains parts of Greggary Peccary and of:
Cucamonga (Bongo Fury)

Zappa recalls in “The Real Frank Zappa Book”:

At that time there was a place called the Pal Recording Studio in (don’t laugh) Cucamonga, California. It was established by an amazing gentleman named Paul Buff.
Cucamonga was a blotch on a map, represented by the intersection of Route 66 and Archibald Avenue. On those four corners we had an Italian restaurant, an Irish pub, a malt shop and a gas station.
FZ purchased the studio from Buff in 1964 and renamed as Studio Z, it was the place where he started recording, editing and also over-dubbing!

Metal Man Has Won His Wings (Mystery Disc)
was recorded at Studio Z and features Don Van Vliet, later to be known as Captain Beefheart, lead vocalist for:
Willie the Pimp (Hot Rats)

Hot Rats is duly considered one of the most important FZ album and we are lucky enough to have access to two significantly different version of it, the first one released on cd in 2012 (the vinyl mix), while the second have been heavily remixed, edited and issued by Zappa in 1987. It also includes a revised version of an Uncle Meat piece, here in its 1988 rendition:
Mr. Green Genes (The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life)
Eat your greens
Don’t forget your beans & celery
Don’t forget to bring
Your fake I.D.

And talking about Uncle Meat, fake I.D.s and the Best Band:
Cruisin’ For Burgers (Make a Jazz Noise Here)
I must be free
My fake I.D.
Freeeeeees me

You can make such kind of noise, but consider its devilish side!
While You Were Art II (Jazz from Hell)

The synclavier orchestration for While You Were Out from an album that I believe includes a lot of jazz from hell, such as:
Canard du Jour (Shut up ‘n Play Yer Guitar)

that have been also another title for:
Let’s Move to Cleveland (Does Humor Belong In Music?)

Yet another monstre dated 1976 (as Canard), performed in 1982 (sometimes as Young & Monde) and later in 1984 and 1988 as Cleveland. Here are couple of 1984 solos from two different guitar albums:
Light Is all that Matters (Trance-Fusion)
In-a-Gadda-Stravinsky (Guitar)

And here we are, at Igor’s place. Zappa quoted Le sacre du printemps (Rite of Spring) by Igor Stravinsky also in:
Fountain of Love (Cruising with Ruben & the Jets)

The quote is concealed in the fantastic vocal closing.
Le Sacre appears also in:
Drowning Witch (Ship Arriving too Late to Save a Drowning Witch)
Amnesia Vivace (Absolutely Free)

This last piece is included in a three part suite (The Duke of Prunes, Amnesia Vivace and The Duke Regains His Chops) devoted to the:
Duke of Prunes (Orchestral Favorites)

And somewhere else (Plastic People) we have been told:
A prune is a vegetable . . . no, a prune is not a vegetable. Cabbage is a vegetable . . . makes it O.K.

So this is the time for:
Call any Vegetables (Just Another Band from L.A.)

Where a poodle question re-emerges!
Where can I go to get my poodle clipped in Burbank?

A matter of
Dirty Love (Over-Nite Sensation)
(Come on, Frenchie)

And Frenchie hits again in
Dinah-Moe Humm (Have I Offended Someone?)

however in its reconstructed & remixed version only! Patrick Neve (from the HIOS page at The Zappa Patio)):

Original version was 06:01. Extra 01:13. The extra lyrics are the following, starting right after the line “MMM … sounds like y’might be chokin’ on somethin'”:

Y’know, I’m gonna find me a horse,
Just about this big,
An’ ride him all along the borderline.
(Yess-s-s …)
(Do it, Frenchie!)
Hm, y’like horses?
(It’s coming … oh …)
(Oh, oh, oh, oh!)

Have I Offended Someone? Includes a lot of unique material (dig into it) and closes with a remixed version of:
Yo Cats (Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention)

that quotes:
Catholic Girl (Joe’s Garage)

Religion, yet another hot topic!
Dumb all Over (You Are What You Is)
Religious fanatics
On the air every night

When the Lie’s So Big (Broadway the Hard Way)
Religious fanatics
Around and about
The Court House, The State House,
The Congress, The White House

Meanwhile, on one of most famous lawns of the western phaze of civilazation:
I’d like to make her do a nasty
On the White House lawn
Brown Shoes Don’t Make It (Tinsel Town Rebellion)
Smile at every ugly
Shine on your shoes and cut your hair
Be a jerk—go to work

And talking about civilized jerks:
Let’s Make the Water Turn Black (We’re Only in it for the Money)
Early in the morning Daddy Dinky went to work
Selling lamps & chairs to San Ber’dino squares

This tiny episode deserves a deep insight, perk it up here:
Ronnie Sings? / Kenny’s Booger Story / Ronnie’s Booger Story (The Lost Episodes)

Let’s Make the Water Turn Black was a must in the 60’s and mid 70’s, then re-emerged in 1988. It was part of a larger number known also as The Orange County Lumber Truck Medley (Let’s Make the Water Turn Black + Harry, You’re A Beast + Oh No + The Orange County Lumber Truck). Parts are scattered all around the output macrostructure. Here are two takes:
Oh No (Weasels Ripped my Flesh)
The Orange County Lumber Truck (Part II) (Ahead of Their Time)

Ahead Of Their Time includes material later to be used for 200 Motels, such as The Rejected Mexican Pope Leaves The Stage and Undaunted and The Band Plays on that later become:
Dance of the Just Plain Folks (Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels)

Stories connected to 200 Motels belongs to Chunga’s Revenge too, such as:
Road Ladies (Chunga’s Revenge)

And talking about great movies, just another classic story:
Titties and Beer (Baby Snakes)

vaguely inspired to L’Histoire du soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) by Igor Stravinsky, a piece revisited here:
This Is a Test (Everything Is Healing Nicely)

Ali N. Askin in the album liner notes recalls:

On the night before the first day of rehearsals, he asked me to reorchestrate his Synclavier composition entitled Igor and arrange it for the Ensemble Modern.

Also, Christopher Ekman (via pointed out:

This is a theme from L’Histoire du Soldat which Zappa repeats, overlaps, transposes, twists, changes the backing for, and generally fiddles with any way he can think of. It’s nice and jaunty, and at a minute and a half, it can’t wear out its welcome.

EIHN is a hell of an album, full of less known gems, Román García Albertos has a very useful page to go deep into it (includes the original liner notes and the in-depth post by Christopher Ekman).

Back to the cruise, to complete the circle I still need to pass through The Man from Utopia and Francesco Zappa.
As far as the first one I would pick:
The Radio is Broken (The Man from Utopia)

I will not hook it to the previous EIHN piece, the criterion now is FNRAA, that is a free turn in drawing the Conceptual Continuity circle, to approach a bogus finale. The references to science fiction b-movies and his working title (Willing Suspension of Disbelief) have to be briefly mentioned. The first one as a typical recurring theme (like poodles or religion) that helps to keep the “output macrostructure” logically connected. The second as the classic state of mind necessary to enjoy fictitious stories or (in a broader sense) essential not to notice most of the disturbing effects of western society. If you understand such a mechanism you will have more chances to reach the truth that, as we already know, is not beauty! In dealing with the real world Zappa always want to SHOW us – the audience – what we have in front of our eyes but sometime have difficulties to recognize.

Closing titles with:
OPUS I, No. 1 1st Movement ANDANTE (Francesco Zappa)

This Circular Motion Cruise involves all Zappa albums, from Freak Out! to Everything Is Healing Nicely, and excludes most compilations, namely Mothermania and the three Old Masters Boxes, because they do not include significant unique material (the two Old Masters Mystery Discs have been later issued as a single cd). With the exception of Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa, a memorial tribute (also excluded), all these albums (those issued between 1966 and 1999) have been edited, sequenced and produced by FZ. Finally there is one more inclusion: Trance-Fusion, a guitar album issued in 2006, but still a full Zappa album to me. Almost full actually, being liner notes and cover out of his direct control (likewise some other late releases herein considered).

For every single album, I have chosen one song or composition, or “phonogram” (maybe better), using a (sometime straight, sometime loose) conceptual continuity criterion: the next song is always connected with the preceding for a musical theme, a topic or a tiny detail in the title or in the lyrics. Every album is represented by one single “phonogram” (with one exception), even if is a double or multiple disc set.

Of course lot more cruises such as this are to be conceived, try yours!

FNRAA: For No Reason At All

The first choice for a Conceptual Continuity reading:
Hey Hey Hey, Mister Snazzy Exec!
By Frank Zappa
Circular, September 20, 1971


Rock as compositional practice

Posted: December 5, 2014 in book, zappology
Giordano Montecchi, FRANK ZAPPA - Rock come prassi compositiva, Arcana, 2014, 144 pages

Giordano Montecchi, FRANK ZAPPA – Rock come prassi compositiva, Arcana, 2014, 144 pages


Arcana Edizioni has just published a new book by Giordano Montecchi, a musicologist and a teacher (see below for a short bio) who is been listening, studying, discussing, amazing people and having fun around Frank Zappa since a long time.
He was a prime contributor to the most important Italian conference devoted to Frank Zappa to date: Frank Zappa Domani, held in Tivoli (a little town not far from Rome) in 1999. A book with the same name has been edited from that conference by Gianfranco Salvatore, who also edited the new Montecchi book: FRANK ZAPPA – Rock come prassi compositiva (Arcana, 2014, 144 pages). Rock as compositional practice. The book extends the Frank Zappa Domani essay with the same title. Unfortunately the book has not been translated into other languages yet, so this blog asked Giordano and Arcana to reproduce an excerpt here, just to give an idea of it. Giordano has been extremely kind as usual, as well as the editor, and provided a short text and the truly stimulating bibliographical references and web-o-graphy for the book.



Focus on the orchestral Zappa is growing among present-day scholars, and sometimes you may get the feeling that questions like: “what is the best Zappa?” [1] circulate between the lines. It is an obnoxious question, in which dimly re-emerges the usual temptation to establish a genres based hierarchy that fatally contrasts with the idea of conceptual continuity claimed by Zappa, i.e. the total consistency of his work as a unified and continuous project, whose parts are the result of the same commitment, and have equal dignity, both those dealing with oral sex and those on the stands of the London Symphony Orchestra.
In this regard, Jonathan Bernard, perhaps the prime scholar of the music of Edgard Varèse, as well as the author of some of the most acute and revealing writings of the recent years concerning Zappa, expresses a thought to be fully endorsed, when he observes that if the author of Peaches en Regalia would be remembered for his orchestral production only, would ultimately result as a minor figure (“little more than a bit player”) of the twentieth century music.[2] This is mainly because Zappa abandons much of that formidable technical and linguistic arsenal for his orchestral music, including galvanizing sources of inspiration such as satire, sex, verbal violence, etc., whose amalgam makes his rock ensemble production so extraordinary. And yet the work of Zappa cannot be reduced to such a production only, just because the echoes and the effects of his serious compositions resonate everywhere in it, without the latter it is impossible to fully understand his music for rock bands. The orchestral compositions of Zappa, Bernard concludes, may perhaps reveal certain limits in his abilities, but their value lies in the fact that they have definitively influenced his more interesting and original music, which could not have been conceived in any other way.

Whatever one may think of the quality of these pieces, it is hard not to be reminded of such figures from our past and present as Charles Ives, George Gershwin, Henry Cowell, Harry Partch, John Cage, and La Monte Young: composers who were formed to some significant extent outside the academy, who either never acquired much in the way of formal training or eventually repudiated its lessons. In this sense, Zappa’s is a quintessentially American composer’s story.[3]

Whether or not the statements made in interviews were reliable, in all his life Frank Zappa had been repeating phrases like: “I like Chopin, I have Purcell, I have Webern, I have Varèse, I have Bulgarian music. I don’t listen to Rock and roll.”
Regardless of the public utterances of Zappa, his aesthetic concept and his criteria for judgment conveyed within a field and a practice like rock music – so far off and alien to certain premises that drove him (perhaps provocatively) to reaffirm that he was not a rock consumer, he had not been listening to the radio, etc. – have come to outline not one but a whole series of new and original answers to many of the most fascinating, but also distressing questions of contemporary composing.
Taking advantage of that uninhibited empiricism of experimentation, that is one of the most significant legacies of the United States music of the last century, Frank Zappa deals with improvisation, performance rites, editing and sound engineering with the same scrupulous and consistent approach with which he face the written page. Among all these different aspects, Zappa weaves a close-knit network able to integrate very different conceptions and practices each other, both belonging to the educated musical tradition , and to the new culture of media orality. All this while maintaining a concept clear from any ideological a priori; a vision that hooks the aesthetic judgment to the act of listening and claims the emancipation, or better yet the reinstatement of entertainment as a goal worth of absolute respect, on the aesthetic field too.
This resoluteness, such conceptual continuity reaffirmed in his own words, taken as a way of life and applied to his music, allows Zappa to subtract his creative action to the groundless experimentalism of a tamed avant-garde turned into academy, and to put together a real audience rather than fictitious, without thereby depriving his music of an artistic – and also intellectual – rigor that he considers as vital, and that, in different forms but in equal measure, is there whether it is a matter of Titties ‘n’ Beer or The Perfect Stranger.
The final question is whether Zappa managed to achieve its goal of restoring the long lost organic relation between the artist, who does not intend to give up his own individual research, and the socio-cultural context he is part of. We may outline this answer: being both far from esoteric and self-referential art pour l’art and from the rock stars big business, Zappa had been able to create an original language that speaks to a wide international community, interpreting the identity of such a group with exceptional boldness and authority, and feeding the corresponding social imaginary with a music that deserves to be told, understood and passed on as a creation of art.
To state that Zappa is essentially a “traditional” composer – as we have done in these pages – sounds like a paradox of course, but such a paradox explains precisely the ultimate meaning of that statement we already know very well: “the present-day composer refuses to die.” Zappa has done nothing but indicate a possible way, perhaps the way, to be successful in such an unquenchable challenge.

[1] Arved Ashby, Frank Zappa and the Anti-Fetishist Orchestra, «Musical Quarterly», LXXXIII, 1999, pp. 557-606; Michael Broyles, Mavericks and Other Traditions in American Music, Yale University Press, New Haven & London 2004.
[2] Jonathan W. Bernard, Listening to Zappa, «Contemporary Music Review», XVIII, 4, 2000, p. 94.
[3] Ibidem: 95.

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At the end of the book Giordano Montecchi provides a remarkable and updated list of bibliographical references and the list of the web sites quoted in the text. This blog believes they are of great interest and asked for such lists to be shared.
Here they are in the following. THANKS again to Giordano and the editor.

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Bibliographical References

Roberto Agostini, Luca Marconi (a cura di) Analisi della popular music, numero monografico della «Rivista di Analisi e Teoria Musicale», VIII, 2002, 2.
Anonymous, Absolutely Frank. First Steps in Odd Meters, «Guitar Player Magazine», XVI, 11, November 1982, pp. 114-21 (the name of the interviewer is not indicated).
Arved Ashby, Frank Zappa and the Anti-Fetishist Orchestra, «Musical Quarterly», LXXXIII, 1999, pp. 557-606.
Michail Bachtin, L’opera di Rabelais e la cultura popolare. Riso, carnevale e festa nella tradizione medievale e rinascimentale, Einaudi, Torino 1979 ( di Id., Tvorčestvo Fransua Rable i narodnaja kul’tura srednevekov’ja i Renessansa, Mosca 1965).
Jonathan W. Bernard, The Music of Edgard Varèse, Yale University Press, New Haven 1987.
Jonathan W. Bernard, Listening to Zappa, «Contemporary Music Review», XVIII, 4, 2000, pp. 63-103.
Jonathan W. Bernard, The Musical World(s?) of Frank Zappa: Some Observations of His “Crossover” Pieces, in EVERETT 2000, pp. 157-210.
Jonathan W. Bernard, From Lumpy Gravy to Civilization III: The Story of Frank Zappa’s Disenchantment, «Journal of the Society for American Music», V, 1, pp. 1-31.
James Borders, Frank Zappa’s “The Black Page”. A Case of Musical “Conceptual Continuity”, in: Walter Everett (edited by), Expression in Pop-Rock Music. A Collection of Critical and Analytical Essays, Garland, New York-London 2000, pp. 137-156.
James Borders, Form and the Concept Album: Aspects of Modernism in Frank Zappa’s Early Releases, «Perspectives of New Music», XXXIX, 1, 2001, pp. 118-60.
Georgina Born, David Hesmondhalgh (edited by), Western Music and Its Others. Difference, Representation and Appropriation in Music, University of California Press, Berkeley-Los Angeles 2000.
Pierre Boulez, Schönberg is Dead, in «The Score», 6, May 1952, pp. 18-22 (trad. it. Schönberg è morto, in Id., Note di apprendistato, Torino, Einaudi, 1968, pp.233-239).
Pierre Bourdieu, La distinzione. Critica sociale del gusto, Bologna, il Mulino, 1983 (ed. it. di Id., La distinction, Les éditions de minuit, Paris 1979).
Michael Broyles, Mavericks and Other Traditions in American Music, Yale University Press, New Haven & London 2004.
Paul Carr, Frank Zappa and the And, Ashgate, Farnham-Burlington 2013.
Eric F. Clarke, Subject-Position and the Specification of Invariants in Music by Frank Zappa and P. J. Harvey, «Music Analysis», XVIII, 3, 1999, pp. 347-74.
Brett Clement, Little Dots. A Study of the Melodies of the Guitarist/Composer Frank Zappa, Florida State University, 2004 (Master thesis); see also web-o-graphy.
Brett Clement, A Study of the Instrumental Music of Frank Zappa, University of Cincinnati, 2009 (PhD thesis); see also web-o-graphy.
Brett Clement, Modal Tonicization in Rock. The Special Case of the Lydian Scale, «Gamut. Online Journal of the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic», 6, 1, 2013; see also web-o-graphy.
Jean Cocteau, Il Gallo e l’Arlecchino, Passigli, Firenze 1987 (ed. it. di Id., Le Coq et l’Arlequin, Éditions de la Sirène, Paris 1918).
Nicholas Cook, Mark Everist (edited by), Rethinking Music, Oxford University Press, Oxford-New York 1999.
Carl Dahlhaus, Analisi musicale e giudizio estetico, Bologna, il Mulino, 1987 (ed. it. di Id., Analyse und Werturteil, Schott, Mainz 1970).
Michael Davis, Little Band We Used To Play In, «Keyboard Magazine», June 1980 (later in VV.AA., A Definitive Tribute to Frank Zappa, «Best of Guitar Player» monographic issue, III, May 1994), pp.12-23.
Michel Delville, Andrew Norris, Disciplined Excess: The Minimalist/Maximalist Interface in Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart, «Interval(le)s», I, 1, 2004, pp. 3-15; see also web-o-graphy.
Michel Delville, Andrew Norris, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, and the Secret History of Maximalism, Salt Publishing, Norfolk 2005.
Walter Everett (edited by), Expression in Pop-Rock Music. A Collection of Critical and Analytical Essays, Garland, New York-London 2000.
Steven Feld, From Schizophonia to Schismogenesis…, in Steven Feld, Charles Keil (edited by), Music Grooves, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1994, pp. 257-289.
Morton Feldman, Essays (edited by Walter Zimmermann), Beginner Press, Kerpen 1985.
Robert Fink, Repeating Ourselves: American Minimal Music as Cultural Practice, Berkeley-Los Angeles, University of California Press, 2005.
Dan Forte, Zappa, «Musician», 19, August 1979, pp. 34-43 (interview).
Michael Gray, Zapp! Vita, vizi, miracoli di Frank Zappa, Arcana, Milano 1986 (ed. it. di Id., Mother! Is the Story of Frank Zappa, Proteus Book, London 1985).
James Grier, The Mothers of Invention and Uncle Meat: Alienation, Anachronism and Double Variation, «Acta Musicologica», LXXIII, 1, 2001, pp. 77-95.
Martin Herraiz, O estranho perfeito. A música orquestral de Frank Zappa, Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio De Mesquita, São Paulo, 2010 (university degree thesis); see also web-o-graphy.
David Jaffe, Orchestrating the Chimera. Musical Hybrids, Technology, and the Development of a ‘Maximalist’ Musical Style, «Leonardo Music Journal», V, 1995, pp. 11-18.
Hans Robert Jauss, Apologia dell’esperienza estetica, Einaudi, Torino 1985 (ed. it. di Id., Kleine Apologie der Ästhetischen Erfahrung, Hess, Konstanz 1972).
Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser, Guida alla musica pop, Mondadori, Milano 1971 (ed. it. di Id., Das Buch der neuen Pop-Musik, Econ Verlag, Düsseldorf-Wien 1969).
Russell M. Kneer, «Russia’s Music Surviving Turmoil is Still Supreme», says Edgard Varèse, in «Musical America», New York, 23 dicembre 1922 (trad it. in VARÈSE 1985, p. 43).
Wolfgang Ludwig, Untersuchungen zum musikalischen Schaffen von Frank Zappa: eine musiksoziologische und -analytische Studie zur Bestimmung eines musikalischen Stils (thesis, Freie Unverisität Berlin 1991), Peter Lang, Bern 1992.
Bob Marshall, An Interview, in Apocrypha. Thirty Years of Frank Zappa (Great Dane Records GDR 9405/ABCD, 1994, 4 cd); see also web-o-graphy.
Don Menn, Matt Groening, The Mother of All Interview (Part One); Belgian Waffles in Plastic (Part Two), in VV.AA., A Definitive Tribute to Frank Zappa, «Best of Guitar Player» monographic issue, III, May 1994, pp. 56-87.
Richard Middleton, Studiare la popular music, Feltrinelli, Milano 1994 (ed. it. di Id., Studying Popular Music, Open University Press, Buckingam 1990).
Barry Miles, Frank Zappa. La vita e la musica di un uomo Absolutely Free, Kowalski, Milano 2006 (ed. it. di Id., Zappa. A Biography, Grove Press, New York 2004).
Giordano Montecchi, Aspetti di intertestualità nella musica rock degli anni Sessanta, in Rossana Dalmonte (a cura di), Analisi e canzoni, Università degli Studi di Trento-Dipartimento di Scienze Filologiche e Storiche, Trento 1996, pp. 39-57.
Giordano Montecchi, Contaminazione o nuova acculturazione? Lingue e tecnologie musicali nell’epoca del post-, in Carlo de Incontrera (a cura di), Contaminazioni. La musica e le sue metamorfosi, Teatro Comunale di Monfalcone, Monfalcone 1997, pp. 31-95.
Giordano Montecchi, Ritorno all’uomo. Zappa e l’Ensemble Modern, otto anni dopo, in Angelica 2000, Catalogo del Festival, Bologna 2000, pp. 131-39.
Giordano Montecchi, Zappa: rock come prassi compositiva, in G. Salvatore (a cura di), Frank Zappa domani. Sussidiario per le scuole (meno) elementari, Castelvecchi, Roma 2000, pp. 163-227.
Giordano Montecchi, L’oralità ritrovata: paradigmi di una sfida globale, «Musica/Realtà», XXIV, 71, luglio 2003, pp. 103-123.
Giordano Montecchi, Popolo, popolare, popolarità. Radici e slittamenti di un concetto instabile, in Alessandro Rigolli, Nicola Scaldaferri (a cura di), Popular music e musica popolare. Riflessioni ed esperienze a confronto, Casa della Musica-Marsilio, Parma-Venezia 2010, pp. 57-62.
Andre Mount, “Bridging the Gap”: Frank Zappa and the Confluence of Art and Pop, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 2011 (PhD thesis).
Tom Mulhern, Not Exactly Duane Allman, in VV.AA., A Definitive Tribute to Frank Zappa, «Best of Guitar Player» monographic issue, III, May 1994, pp. 24-36 (The 1982 Zappa interview had been already published in 1983 with a different title: Frank Zappa: “I’m different”, «Guitar Player Magazine», XVII, 2, February 1983, pp. 23-35).
Enciclopedia della musica, diretta da Jean-Jacques Nattiez, Einaudi, Torino 2001-2005.
Luigi Nono, Scritti e colloqui, a cura di Angela Ida De Benedictis e Veniero Rizzardi, 2 voll., Ricordi-LIM, Milano-Lucca 2001.
David Ocker, The David Ocker Internet Interview; see also web-o-graphy.
Walter J. Ong, Oralità e scrittura. Le tecnologie della parola, il Mulino, Bologna 1986 (ed. it. di Id., Orality and Literacy. The Technologizing of the Word, Methuen, London-New York 1982).
Max Paddison, The critique criticised: Adorno and Popular Music, «Popular Music», I, 2, 1982, pp. 2010-18.
Mario Perniola, Disgusti. Le nuove tendenze estetiche, Costa & Nolan, Genova-Milano 1998.
Thomas Phleps, Zwischen Adorno und Zappa. Semantische und funktionale Inszenierungen in Musik des 20. Jahrhunderts, Weidler, Berlin 2001.
VV.AA., A Definitive Tribute to Frank Zappa, «Best of Guitar Player» monographic issue, III, May 1994.
Walter Piston, Armonia, a cura di G. Bosco, G. Gioanola, G. Vinay, Edt, Torino 1989 (ed. it. di Id., Harmony, Norton & C., Inc., New York, 1987, 5a ediz. riveduta e ampliata da Mark De Voto).
William M. Price, An Original Composition, Symphony no. 1, Pollock and An Analysis of the Evolution of Frank Zappa’s Be-Bop Tango, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge 2004 (PhD thesis); see also web-o-graphy.
George Russell, The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization for Improvisation (1953), 2a ed., New York, Concept Publishing, 1959.
Greg Russo, Cosmik Debris. The Collected History and Improvisations od Frank Zappa (The Son of Revised Edition), Crossfire Publications, New York 2006.
Curt Sachs, Le sorgenti della musica, Torino, Boringhieri, 1979 (ed. it. di Id., The Wellsprings of Music, Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague 1962).
Gianfranco Salvatore, Storia di uno che amava il ritmo, in SALVATORE 2000b, pp. 111-162.
Gianfranco Salvatore (a cura di), Frank Zappa domani. Sussidiario per le scuole (meno) elementari, Castelvecchi, Roma 2000.
Murray R. Schafer, The New Soundscape. A Handbook for the Modern Music Teacher, Berandol Music, Toronto 1969.
Tim Schneckloth, Frank Zappa: Garni Du Jour, Lizard King Poetry and Slime, «Downbeat Magazine», XLV, 10, May 18, 1978, pp. 15-17, 44-46.
Arnold Schönberg, Manuale di Armonia, Il Saggiatore, Milano (1963), 2a ed. 1973 (ed. it. di Id., Harmonielehre, Universal Edition, Vienna 1911).
Arnold Schönberg, Musica nuova, musica fuori moda, stile e idea, in Id., Stile e idea, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1975 (ed. it di Id., New Music, Outmoded Music, Style and Idea, in Style and Idea, Philosophical Library, New York 1950).
David Schwarz, Anahid Kassabian, Lawrence Siegel (edited by), Keeping Score. Music, Disciplinarity, Culture, University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville 1997.
Derek B. Scott (edited by), The Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Musicology, Ashgate, Farnham-Burlington 2009.
Pietro Scuderi, Divertimento Ensemble [intervista a Sandro Gorli], «DK. Bollettino del Centro Studi Debra Kadabra», n. 20, Mestre, febbraio 1999, pp. 10-16.
Kasper Sloot, Frank Zappa’s Musical Language. 4th Edition, July 2012. A study of the music of Fank Zappa; see also web-o-graphy.
Christopher Smith, “Broadway the Hardway”. Techniques of Allusion in Music by Frank Zappa, «College Music Symposium», XXXV, pp. 35-60.
Philip Tagg, Popular Music. Da Kojak al Rave. Analisi e interpretazioni, a cura di Roberto Agostini e Luca Marconi, Clueb, Bologna 1994.
Richard Taruskin, Music in the Early Twentieth Century, The Oxford History of Western Music, vol. 4, Oxford University Press, Oxford-New York 2005.
Edgard Varèse, Composers Form Guild to Bring New Works to Public Hearing, «Musical America», 23 luglio 1921 (trad. it. in VARÈSE 1985, pp. 40-1.
Edgard Varèse, Espace, in Henry Miller, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, New Directions, New York 1945 (trad. it. in VARÈSE 1985, pp. 67-8).
Edgard Varèse, Il suono organizzato. Scritti sulla musica, a cura di Louise Hirbour, Ricordi-Unicopli, Milano 1985.
Ulrik Volgsten, Music, Mind and the Serious Zappa. The Passions of a Virtual Listener, Stockholms Universitet, Stockholm 1999 (thesis); see also web-o-graphy.
Florindo Volpacchio, The Mother of All Interviews: Zappa on Music and Society, «Telos», XXIV, 87, Spring 1991, pp. 124-36.
Ben Wall, Inca Roads. The Musical Worlds of Frank Zappa, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield 2011 (Master thesis); see also web-o-graphy.
David Walley, No Commercial Potential. The Saga of Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention, New York, E.P. Dutton, 1972.
Ben Watson, The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play, Quartet Books, London 1994.
Ben Watson, Esther Leslie (edited by), Academy Zappa. Proceeding of the First International Conference on Esemplastic Zappology, Saf Publishing, London 2005.
David Wragg, “Or any Art at All?” Frank Zappa meets critical theory, «Popular Music», xx, 2, 2001, pp. 205-22.
Allan Wright, Frank Zappa’s Orchestral Works: Art Music or “Bogus Pomp”?, University of Glasgow, Glasgow 2007 (Master thesis) ; see also web-o-graphy.
Michael S. Yonchak, Rehearsal Strategies and Stylistic Interpretations to Three Works for Wind Ensemble by Frank Zappa, University of Kentucky, Lexington 2009 (PhD thesis).
The Frank Zappa Songbook Vol. 1 (transcriptions by Ian Underwood), Frank Zappa Music and Munchkin Music, Los Angeles 1973.
The Frank Zappa Guitar Book (transcriptions by Steve Vai), Munchkin Music, Los Angeles 1982.
Frank Zappa, Them or Us, Barfko Swill, Los Angeles 1984.
Frank Zappa, Peter Occhiogrosso, Zappa. L’autobiografia, Arcana, Milano 1995, 2a ediz. (ed. it di Id., The Real Frank Zappa Book, Poseidon Press, New York 1989).
The Frank Zappa Interview Picture Disk, Limited Edition, Baktabak CBAK 4012, cd (1991?); see also web-o-graphy.
Frank Zappa, Hot Rats (transcriptions by Andy Aledort), Hal Leonard, Milwaukee 2001.
Frank Zappa, Apostrophe (‘) (transcriptions by Andy Aledort), Hal Leonard, Milwaukee 2002.
Frank Zappa, Overnite Sensation (transcriptions by Paul Pappas), Hal Leonard, Milwaukee 2010.
Frank Zappa, One Size Fits All (transcriptions by Addi Booth), Hal Leonard, Milwaukee 2011.

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ARF: The Home Of Frank Zappa Heritage Studies: (5/2/2014).
BARFKO-SWILL: (03/03/2014)
CLEMENT 2004: (28/02/2014).
CLEMENT 2009: (28/02/2014).
CLEMENT 2013: (22/02/2014).
DELVILLE 2004: (28/02/2014).
GARCÍA ALBERTOS: Information is not Knowledge (by Román García Albertos): (01/03/2014)
HERRAIZ 2010: (04/03/2014).
JARVINEN 1995: Art’s Comments! in OCKER 1995: (19/02/2014).
MARSHALL 1994: (25/02/2014).
MUNCHKIN MUSIC: (03/03/2014)
OCKER 1995: (03/03/2014).
PRICE 2004: (04/03/2014).
SCHOTT MUSIC: (04/03/2014).
SLOOT 2012: (22/02/2014).
TAGG: Philip Tagg: (01/03/2014)
THE ZAPPA PATIO: (01/03/2014)
ULTIMATE GUITAR: (01/03/2014)
VOLGSTEN 1999: (04/03/2014).
WALL 2011: (04/03/2014).
WRIGHT 2007: (04/03/2014)
ZAPPA 1991:,_pt.2 (26/02/2014)

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The Author

Giordano Montecchi, musicologist and music critic, is Professor of Music History and Musicology at the Conservatorio di Musica Arrigo Boito in Parma. He also taught for a few years Music and discography at the IULM University in Milan. As a scholar, he is devoted to the study and research of avant-garde and experimental music of the 20th century, both in the academic and in popular environments.
In addition to collaborations with music journals, newspapers and various music publishers, for which he wrote numerous essays and articles, he has been working as a freelance writer for music institutions and festivals such as Wien Modern, Teatro alla Scala, Festival d’Automne de Paris, Biennale di Venezia, Deutsche Grammophon, etc.
He also collaborates with The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. In 1998 he published Una storia della musica. Artisti e pubblico dal Medioevo ai giorni nostri, Rizzoli.
Furthermore, he created, organized and directed performances and music festivals devoted to new experimental music and multicultural tendencies.

When he was young he was a jazz pianist, however one day his music critic self said: “forget it”!

Giordano Montecchi (photo by Giulia Generali)

Giordano Montecchi (photo by Giulia Generali)

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