The purpose of this site is to provide a little help to those that are looking for written material about Frank Zappa.
afka (at) afka.net
26 September. Rock, Counterculture and the Avant-Garde, 1966-1970 is a book by Doyle Greene, published in February 2016. "This book focuses on the Beatles, Frank Zappa, and the Velvet Underground from 1966 to 1970, concentrating on the Beatles' later years, Zappa's work with the original line-up of the Mothers of Invention and his early solo albums, and the course of the Velvets' career trajectory."
24 September. Guitar Techniques, issue 254, April 2016. "Martin Cooper looks at the genre-blending style of a formidable musician and a unique guitarist: the Mother of Invention, Frank Zappa."
19 September. British Prog, issue 67, July 2016. "See For Miles" is article about psychedelia transitioning into progressive rock. Trout Mask Replica references included.
17 September. Mojo '60s The Jimi Hendrix Special contains 8-page article "The Surreal People".
15 September. Rolling Stone, August 11, issue 1267. "Zappa Vs. Zappa" by David Browne. The children of the pioneering art rocker are locked in a feud over his estate and legacy – and the story goes back decades.
3 September. Knebworth House Open Air Festival, Stevenage, UK, program – September 9, 1978. Zappa. Zappa had a 1,5 hour concert there as a part of 1978 World Tour.
First on the bill was Zappa band, thereafter The Tubes, Peter Gabrial, Boomtown rats etc.
23 August. A set of Los Angeles Free Press issues from 1966:
Containing mostly Guambo ads and comments. The Mothers of Invention related content in Freep 1966 is now more or less complete.
22 August. Two very limited edition books (20 pcs) containing collection of interviews and articles appeared in Zappanale 2016 festival – Bizzare Pages.
21 August. One part more just arrived:
1996/7 - Bruce Fowler
14 August. Hello again. This summer's task was to collect all parts of Zappan perikunta (Zappa's heirs), magnum opus by Finnish writer Juha Rompponen. Between 1995 and 2000 not less than 24 articles were published in magazine Rytmi.
The task is almost complete – we have got 20 parts out of 24, of course with a help of our Finnish friends.
Today we added first 5 parts of this series:
1995/1 - Mike Keneally
1995/3 - Grandmothers
1995/5 - Steve Vai
1995/7 - Rykodisc
1995/9 - Jazz virtuosos
24 July. Frank Zappa was in Helsinki, Finland in September 21-24, 1974. Article and interview with FZ were printed in Intro, November 1974. The interview contains some unique info – Zappa met (again, 1st time it was a year ago) with Finnish bass player Pekka Pohjola, was very impressed by him and they planned to meet again in Christmas time to record new Zappa solo album.
22 July. "Frank Zappa likes Stravinsky: an interview", printed in November 23, 1973, The Varsity.
“In the early days I kept a bunch of people in the group 'cause I liked them and because they had good spirit in spite of the fact that they weren't great musicians. Jimmy Carl Black's one of them. He's not the greatest drummer that ever happened but he had a great spirit and he added a lot to the group. Don Preston used to make mistakes all the time in his parts but he also has one of those personalities that was just so right for the band. But I don't like to maintain that attitude anymore, I've been doing this for so long, I've been waiting for so long to get the right notes played every time, that I'm looking for people that not only have the right spirit, but get up there and do it – really play the notes.”
19 July. One important interview added more. "Poetic Justice", Musician, November 1991.
MUSICIAN: You don't miss playing guitar?
ZAPPA: Not really. I'm faced with a bit of a dilemma which is going to smack me right in the face on Thursday. I'm going to Czechoslovakia and Hungary, and I've been invited because they're having big celebrations. The last Russian soldier leaves Czechoslovakia on the 24th and Hungary on the 30th, and they want me to bring my guitar over and play. And I haven't touched it for years. I don't have any calluses! I don't know what to do with that fucking thing. And if I don't take it along with me I know a lot of people will be disappointed, but I know if I plug it in they're going to be even more disappointed, [laughs] 'cause I can't play anymore.
17 July. Probably the last interview with FZ. Cutting Edge, August, 1993. Once this interview was available at Packard Goose site. Now corrected and updated text is here – "Just when you thought it was safe".
Editor Jerry Ewing:
Cutting Edge was a magazine myself and Philip Wilding worked together on back in 1993, when we were younger and the world was a different place. Somehow we managed to persuade Frank's UK PR to grant us an interview, which was duly assigned to Philip, the magazine's resident Zappaphile. It would prove to be the great man's final interview (although a noted music magazine would later run one conducted previously, claiming it to be Zappa's final words). I recall the profound emotional effect it had on Philip, not least Frank's parting words, which still send a shiver of emotion through me to this day. This piece meant a lot to us back then. It still does today. I hope you enjoy it.
13 July. "Zappa: rock's futurist still having fun", interview made before concert in Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto. Printed in The Globe And Mail, November 16, 1976.
"You don't see me selling used cars, do you?"
Frank Zappa replied with a slight smile of tolerance on his face when asked if, after 12 years and more than 20 albums, he was finding life as rock music's most uncompromising futurist a little tedious.
12 July. Yugoslavian Džuboks, August 1980, with Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria, June 27, 1980 concert review.
10 July. Portuguese Musicalíssimo, September 1979. Contains 8-page article "A felicidade musical de um ideólogo infeliz" (The musical happiness of an unfortunate ideologist).
9 July. Syndicated in Canada article "Zappa Still Baffles His Fans". Taken from Montreal Gazette, December 26, 1973.
“There are four things you need to know to understand my music," Frank Zappa said. “You have to know about rhythm 'n' blues. You have to have a working knowledge of all Western art music over the past 100 years. You have to have a complete working knowledge of all my albums since 1964. And you have to have seen at least one of my shows at least once a year.”
7 July. British fanzine RDH Comix, September 1971. Featuring article by composer Robert Carrington – "200 Motels".
Zappa is preoccupied with music-theatre techniques reminiscent of John Cage e.g. Water Music and Music Walk. Here the whole process of musical performance is parodied and taken to absurd excesses. The act of pulling the bow across the strings of a violin becomes a ritualistic act. Thus theatre and concert hall are brought together by the fact that the musician is called upon to play two roles, the actor and the musician. It is this dual role which can transform a rather sterile and dead event into something more alive and exciting. It is this fact that Zappa is exploiting in his concerts. It is not the music he is poking fun at, but the dead serious aura of mystique which surrounds a musical performance. It becomes one in which the musician becomes too overawed with his own importance and loses his humanity.
6 July. Journal of Musicology, Spring 2015. Contains an article by Andre Mount about avant-garde and Los Angeles Free Press, including several pages on Frank Zappa.
The summer of 1966 marked a point of transition for the Los Angeles cultural scene, as evidenced by the pages of the Free Press. Despite the apparent success of the Concert Happening and the Homage to Arnold Schoenberg, the broader appeal of GUAMBO was more in line with Kunkin’s ambitions for the newspaper and community. The cultural torch was being passed to Zappa, much to the chagrin of various artmusic composers.
5 July. "Mothers Invent Sounds Worse Than Music" – one of the very first interviews with Frank Zappa. Published in Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, July 24, 1966. Here with original page scan and correct date.
They call themselves the Mothers of Invention. Consensus, a form of Group Confucius, has it that this alone will set Necessity back a few years. The Mothers advocate a form of music currently alien to all except members of the United Mutations of Los Angeles, whose congregation is a delicatessen on Fairfax Avenue.
4 July. Freak Out! review by Pete Johnson, "Popular Records: Pass Aspirin, Please". Printed in Los Angeles Times, August 7, 1966.
The Mothers of Invention, a talented but warped quintet, have fathered an album poetically titled ‘Freak Out’ (Verve V-5005-2) which could be the greatest stimulus to the aspirin industry since the income tax.
3 July. "The Mother of All Interviews, Part 1" and "Part 2, Belgian Waffles in Plastic" added. Of course you can find them anywhere else, but it is more convenient to find them here too with sitesearch.
2 July. "Frank Zappa (1988)" - interview by Kurt Loder, made for Rolling Stone and known as "Rolling Stone interview", was actually never published there. We got it from Packard Goose site and made some edits.
1 July. Radical Philosophy, July/August 2016. Review on CD Dance Me This by Ben Watson.
30 June. "Fuck Unions is what I got to say", the interview held by Co de Kloet Jr. in Sonesta Hotel, Amsterdam, on May 16th 1982.
28 June. One well-known interview more – "Sample This!", From Keyboard, February 1987.
26 June. Two syndicated articles/interviews:
- September 10, 1968, "The Mothers’ Musical Message Called Meaningful And Warped"
- October 19, 1975, "Frank Zappa: Blazing New Trails"
23 June. Review on Freak Out!, July 23, 1966, Courier-Post. Every article from 1966 is an interesting read.
11 June. Mix, January 2003. An 8-page article "We are the Mothers...and This Is What We Sound Like!"
17 May. Berkeley Barb, November 1, 1968. Contains article about 1968 presidental candidates BARBer Poll – Eugene McCarthy 460, Mike Shannon 274, Frank Zappa 190.
11 May. 200 Motels review in Billboard, November 20, 1971.
10 May. Polish progessive rock quarterly Lizard, March 2016. Contains two articles on Zappa, another article on Captain Beefheart and Zappa movie review.
- Relix, November 1979. Restored from Packard Goose - "Frank Zappa: He's Only 38 And He Knows How To Nasty"
- The Lumberjack, October 12, 1978. Studio Tan review. "With any luck, Frank Zappa may have his second top-ten album on his hands."
5 May. Zappa concert review in Towerlight, October 20, 1978.
30 April. French free fanzine Spliff, April 1981. Contains backstage story about Zappa having concert in Clermont-Ferrand, June 13, 1980. Full text included.
19 April. French free fanzine from Strasbourg – Intra Musiques. Three issues containing reviews of Frank Zappa & the London Symphony Orchestra and Jazz From Hell. Plus Trout Mask Replica quiz.
17 April. Zappa interview "Frank Zappa vs' The Bleeding Gums". Primo Times, December 1977. Restored from Packard Goose archive.
14 April. Swiss underground paper Hotcha, #12, August 1968. Contains German translation of Frank Zappa's article "The Oracle Has It All Psyched Out".
14 April. High Fidelity, September 1967. Not exactly enthused review on Absolutely Free.
13 April. Full text of Montreux concert reviews added.
12 April. Great stuff - Swiss underground paper Oeuf, March 1972, with two reviews of Montreux Casino concert.
- NME July 19, 1975 - One Size Fits All review
- Record Mirror February 4, 1978 - concert review
- Trouser Press, February 1979 - This Is Your Captain Speaking
- Trouser Press, February 1983 - In Search Of Captain Beefheart
27 March. French (mostly) bimonthly Rockstyle. Three issues 1994-1996, containing reviews of books on Zappa and CD reeditions.
27 March. Dutch teens weekly Hitkrant, January 1981, with gossip that Zappa would like to get Brian May from Queen.
27 March. Joes Garage II and III review in Sounds, December 29, 1979. I can't say that the critic was very impressed.
25 March. Japanese guitar magazine Young Guitar, September 1990.
24 March. Your Five Closest Relatives – 6th volume of Scott Parker's RECORDINGS OF FRANK ZAPPA series covers the live performance work of American Composer Frank Zappa from the fall of 1975 through to the spring of 1976 (aka the Zoot Allures band).
21 March. Finnish book Frank Zappan sävellykset, published in September 2015. Contains over 800 songs alphabetically listed, with comments on music, lyrics, performances
18 March. Listen to Frank Zappa – The Guide of Frank Zappa Discography, Japanese comprehensive guide to all 100 official Frank Zappa albums. Published in December 2015.
16 March. DRUM!, May 2014. "King of Styles Vinnie Colaiuta". Containg picture of Joe's Garage recording setup.
15 March. PFIQ #31, 1988. Do you remember "Master Ringo" and "Wonderful Tattoo!"?
15 March. The True World of New Rock – Japanese book of collected writings of Uekusha Jin'ichi. Published in 1978. Nice artwork by Yagi Yasuo.
14 March. Finnish Rytmi, January 1998. Part 15 (!!!) of series "Zappan Perikunta" (Zappa's estate).
13 March. Japanese monthly Music Life, July 1969. Four pages with pictures of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of I nvention.
12 March. The Poodle Diaries: A Guide To The Live Music Of Frank Zappa by W. Surface is a print on demand book available since May 2015. "All of this information is available on various sites online, but when the cloud evaporates and the interweb disappears, this will be a handy resource..."
11 March. Japanese Playboy, March 1994, with Japanese version of the Frank Zappa's last interview for Playboy.
9 March. Gold Wax #25, 1994. 7-page Zappa memorial article with band family trees.
8 March. Japanese record collector magazine Gold Wax, Summer 1989, issue #1. Contains translation of a great interview "Frank Zappa: Moving On To Phase Three". This interview was lost when home.online.no/~corneliu vanished. Restored now!
7 March. Spanish rock monthly Ruta 66 (Route 66), March 2016. Second part of the article "Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention 1970-72".
6 March. ¡Alucina! Mi Vida Con Frank Zappa is the Spanish translation of Freak-Out! My Life With Frank Zappa by Pauline Butcher. Published in February 2016.
5 March. Another Echo, September 1972, with two album reviews and nice pictures.
4 March. California Lutheran University's student newspaper The Echo, April 1970. Detailed article about Contempo '70, Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez and Frank Zappa.
2 March. Italian A, October 2015. 10-page overview article on Zappa "from Z to A".
1 March. Italian anarchist monthly magazine A, February 1994. Magazine's front and back cover forms an obituary to Frank Zappa.
29 February. L.A. weekly Open City, December 15, 1968, containing concert review. And what a concert! "Sharing the bill with Zappa and the Mothers of Invention was the rest of the talent from the Bizarre stable including Ethiopia, Wild Man Fisher, Alice Cooper, the GTO's and Ruben and the Jets."
22 February. Billboard magazine from April 8, 1995, containing nice two-page ad.
21 February. Playboy, April 1986, has a short article about PMRC and Frank Zappa. Thre is a very good background story by photographer Paul about this shooting. Why was Frank sitting with wafers and glass of milk?
20 February. Australian weekly Go-Set, July 21, 1973. Short interview vith Zappa, mostly about singing in German. Some nice concert pictures included.
20 February. Guitar World, March 2016. Article about Dweezil Zappa by Andy Aledort.
15 February. Guitar Player, March 2016. Cover story – The Unstoppable Dweezil Zappa.
14 February. Spanish veteran rock monthly Ruta 66 (Route 66), February 2016. First part of the article "Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention 1970-72".
12 February. Spanish weekly Babelia, January 30, 2016, with article "Zappa or sarcasm as one of the fine arts". Contains nice picture related to yesterday's Florida Flambeau article.
11 February. Florida Flambeau, October 12, 1970. Nice short interviews with Frank Zappa, Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan and Barry Oakley of the Allman Brothers.
9 February. The Rag, May 26, 1975. Review of famous concerts in May 20 and 21 in Austin, Texas. Live part of the Bongo Fury album was recorded there.
8 February. Berkeley Barb, June 24, 1966. Includes review of Freak Out! – "Rock’n’ Freak" – printed three days before album was released. This article is the earliest article on the Mothers Of Invention, what we have listed. Very important find!
7 February. The Real Porn Wars, edited by Clare-Elizabeth Bitakara'mire. This book starts with a preface by Tim Scott and contains transcript of the Senate hearings of September 1985, plus several additional articles and letters. Published by Gonzo Multimedia in February 2015.
6 February. ZaFTIG - The Zappa Family Trust Issues Guide, written by Ed Komara with Scott Parker. Available since May 2015.
30 January. Sarasota Journal, October 3, 1969. "Collegiate Survey Indicates Zappa And Wald Are Favourites." On the surface, Frank Zappa and George Wald don’t have much in common. Zappa, the zany Head Mother of the Mothers of Invention looks like the stereotype of a hippie, which he more or less is. Wald looks more like the kind of guy who delivers biology lectures at Harvard, which he does.
28 January. "On Tour With the Mothers of Invention." Very long article about Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention concerts in Milwaukee, St. Louis and Kansas City between October 20 - 23, 1971. Published in The Milwaukee Journal, December 5, 1971. Unique article and very good reading. Highly recommended!
24 January. German monthly Alte Mälzerei, March 1994. There was a Frank Zappa tribute day in Regensburg, with Baby Snakes movie and Muffin Men concert in program.
16 January. Interview with Frank Zappa – The Sunday Press, June 8, 1969.
14 January. Czech music monthly Rock & All, January 2016. Contains overview article on Captain Beefheart.
13 January. Interview with Jean-Louis LeRoux about conducting together with Frank Zappa at 100th anniversary celebration of Varèse and Webern in 1983.
12 January. Japanese monthly Player, May 2008. Contains original interviews with Dweezil Zappa, Steve Vai and Mike Keneally, eight pages in total.
12 January. Rochester Institute of Technology – Reporter, December, 1976, with Zoot Allures review.
11 January. Free monthly magazine Triad from Chicago, January 1977. Includes article and exclusive interview with FZ, 4 pages in total.
9 January. Finally, an overview page of Italian fanzine Debra Kadabra (1991-2006) is added.
7 January. Zappa And Jazz, book by Geoff Wills, published in October 2015. The overall consensus is that this book is highly recommended! We agree, Zappa And Jazz is one of the best reads in last years.
6 January. Japanese Rock Magazine, October 1979. Contains long translated interviews with Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart.
5 January. Thoroughly updated and revised – classical issue, Guitar Player, January 1977. Contains article by Frank Zappa "The Evolution Of The Guitar's Use In Pop Music" and interview by Steve Rosen.
4 January. "Relax, Frank. We ain't no liggers. A few of us just came to join in ..."'. Charles Shaar Murray on the campaign trail with FZ and the Folies Bizarre (i.e., the Mothers in Paris). New Musical Express, October 5, 1974.
3 January. Dutch underground biweekly Aloha, May 5, 1972. Contains results of the reader's poll (The Mothers of Invention voted as live act #1 and best band #3, 200 Motels as film #5) and exclusive interview with Captain Beefheart by Jeff Eymael – "Ik wil huilen als een weerwolf (I wanna howl like a werewolf)". Full translation is available.
3 January. The Daily Oklahoman, October 15, 1981. Contains concert review.
2 January. Premier Guitar, January 2016. Interview with Dweezil Zappa about his gear and new album Via Zammata'. "Nearly a decade after his previous solo album, Dweezil Zappa's new Via Zammata' takes inspiration from his ancestors – and his father, Frank – to create a wild mix of rock, metal, and pop that's uniquely Zappa."