An evening with Frank Zappa

By Taylor Martin

Reflector [1], May 3, 1974

Last semester, I planned to do a series of radio shows on WICR, about various rock personalities who interested me. I did a show on King Crimson, one on Fleetwood Mac and I started to plan one on the Mothers of Invention. Started was the word. Whereas I had interviews recorded with the members of the other two groups, I had only met a couple of the Mothers and wished to do a special with the Head Mother, Frank Zappa. I first thought to write Frank's label, Discreet Records, and then I talked with the head PR man, Bob Glassenberg. He told me that Frank did not do phone interviews, but if I told him it was for college, I might persuade him. Bob gave me Frank's home address and I proceeded to write him.

Two days later, I received a call from Frank's office, telling me that Frank would like to forego a phone interview, but that there was a man in Indy, who could tell me all the things I wanted to know. His name is Craig Pinkus. They said he was a lawyer and they gave me his phone number.

The next day, I called Craig's office, and found out he was out of office, in court. The secretary asked me my business, and I said that Frank's office called and told me to call Craig. The secretary said that Craig was a personal friend of Frank's and to say the least, I was impressed.

When Craig did call, we had a lengthy conversation and he suggested that I write out an outline of the show that I wanted to do, and send it to him. This I did do, and we have subsequently had several conversations about the show.

About a month ago, I found out from Discreet Records, that the Mothers were coming to Indianapolis, and I called Craig to find out the date and place. He said that they were playing the Convention Center, and that it would be April 24. He also said, "How would you like to meet Frank?"

I said, "What?"

He proceeded to tell me that he has a party every time that Frank comes to town and that it I wanted to come, he would add me to the list of guests. I literally was flabbergasted.

So, I went to the concert. [2] It was the usual rude Indianapolis crowd, who were disrespectful to the first artist on the bill. His name was Dion and he used to be part of the group known as Dion and the Belmonts. He was excellent, but of course what you expect out of a crowd, who were so wrecked, it was revolting.

When Zappa and the Mothers came out, it was beautiful. They told the crowd to sit down and the crowd did. Frank, during the course of the evening, did some new numbers, such as Pygmy Twilight and, of course Montana.

The highlight of the show was the medley of about 20 songs from his first three albums in the mid 60's. They included Oh No! from Weasels Ripped My Flesh, Let's Make The Water Turn Black and American Womenhood [3] from We're Only In It For The Money and the rest were from his first album Freak Out!. These songs included Hungry Freaks, Daddy, Return Of The Son Of The Monster Magnet, I'm Not Satisfied, and various others. To say the least: it was a fantastic concert.

After the concert, I trucked my little body over to Craig's house, whom by the way, I'd never met, and promptly introduced myself to Craig's wife. After about fifteen minutes, Craig arrived and introduced me to Frank Zappa. It was great, I was sitting at his feet, and reading his shoes and socks, which had nifty sayings on them, such as 'Kiss My Fingers' and 'Toes Go Here'. Frank & I talked about synthesizers, music, and sexually maladjusted persons, who ban Dinah-Moe Humm from the radio. I talked with Frank for a half hour and then, being I had class at nine a.m., I left. Frank was in town the next day, but it was hectic, so I did not see him again.

Frank Zappa is a musician and composer, who a hundred years from now will be fully appreciated by everyone for his art. He cannot be realized with a closed mind, and only after you learn what he is about, can you appreciate him. I appreciate him and I hope others will too. He is a true genius and master of the avantgarde, and after meeting him, a really nice person.

By way of note, the Frank Zappa special will be on WICR-FM in September. Sorry Seniors!

1. Reflector - Indiana Central College newspaper, Indianapolis, Indiana.

2. Concert in Indianapolis Convention Center, April 24 1974.
    Frank Zappa Gig List 1974
    10 Years of The Mothers Tour April – May 1974

3. This song is called Harry You're A Beast


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