New Musical Express


The New Musical Express (better known as the NME) is a weekly music magazine in the UK. Its focus is on guitar-based music and indie rock bands, and it is often credited as the starting point for many successful British bands. It was also responsible for the first UK Singles Chart. (...) In 2003 the magazine became the biggest selling music weekly in the UK, a position that it still holds.  (
The final print issue of NME was published in March 9, 2018. 

1966 October 14


America Calling
By ?, 1 p

 • At the home of Jeremy Clyde (of Chad and Jeremy) this week was the first annual Croquet match, sponsored by an American magazine. Gathered to test their croquet prowess were (on the U.S. team) Beach Boys Al Jardine and Bruce Johnston, Paul Revere and the Raiders (currently the most personally popular of all American groups), the Mothers of Invention (a freaky, wild, hilarious and inventive Sunset Strip group) and two fast-rising newer groups, the Buffalo Springfield and the Hard Times.

Representing Great Britain was the bulk of Hollywood's Anglo-American colony – Chad Stuart and wife Jill, Jeremy, publicists Derek Taylor and Andy 'Wipeout ' Wickham. The USA won !

Source: Fulvio Fiore


1966 November 4


(1) Burdon's New Animals Not Set Yet
By Keith Altham, p 2

(2) The Mothers of Invention "It Can't Happen Here"/"How Could I Be Such A Fool"

By ?, p 10

 (1) ... "Before returning to Britain I recorded some material with Frank Zappa, the leader of the Mothers Of Invention, who is regarded as the leading light on the 'freak-out' scene out there. I cut one number called 'Another Side Of Life,' which looks like it might escape in the U.S. shortly." ...
... "Zappa is a very interesting character – about 28 years old. He makes these weird movies and puts the soundtracks on them himself. He showed me one of a guy picking spots on his leg and another with a sequence taken by an infra-red camera of a guy necking with this typical Hollywood blonde all 'lipsticky' and 'high heely.' It's not meant to be entertaining so much as effective – and that it is!" ...

 (2) Some people might regard this as an hilarious mickey-take on modern group singing, because it's deliberately out of tune, with exaggerated gimmicks and weird effects.

To others, it will have more serious connotations, for it's one of those discs purporting to capture the hallucinatory effects of drugs.

Colleague Keith Altham regards it as dangerous – but, to those who aren't "with it," it could be regarded as a giggle. These remarks apply to both sides.



1967 September 9


On page 8 is September 23 Royal Alber Hall concert ad.



1967 September 23


The Mothers of Invention - tame but really great
By ?, p 4

  "Big Leg Emma" / "Why Don't You Do Me Right" (Verve)

After all the reports we've had from America about this group I was expecting a really sensational single. But what do we get? A send-up! It must be!

Just about every pop cliche from early Presley onwards is crammed in here. Written by leader Frank Zappa who thumb beats his ay through a lyric concerning "a big dilemma about Big Leg Emma."

Very professional and so delightfully corny it must be a hit, particularly as they'll be appearing in this country at the weekend.

Verve assure me it's the only available single they could issue that the BBC wouldn't ban!

FLIP: Sheer musicianship here with a taste of the excitement they create on stage. Growl vocal and dig that guitar. It's hypnotising!



1967 September 30


Mothers Woo In-Crowd
By J.W., p 14

 The forty-year-old Flower Children in the Royal Albert Hall's half-full audience for the British stage debut of America's Mothers of Invention last Saturday hung on every word of leader Frank Zappa, applauded every mind-shattering sound (even when it was a mistake), laughed at the crudest of jokes.

This was the greatest send-up (or down) of pop music, of the audience, America and the group themselves I've ever witnessed. As musicians they were fantastically good and the entire act was unbelievably professionally presented.

But, frankly, what was the point of it all? An entire concert of biting ridicule, both verbal and musical – however well one – is just a bore.



1968 May 25


Eric Clapton a Mother
By ?, 1 p

 [...] Meanwhile, Eric Clapton showed up to see The Mothers Of Invention at their Shrine Auditorium concert and ended up doing a guest set with them that set the audience wild. [...]

Note. The concert mentioned here took place on the eve of Mother's Day, Saturday, May 11, 1968.

Source: Fulvio Fiore


1970 March 28


Zappa Leads Way From 60's To 70's
By Allan McDougall, p 12


1970 May 9


Zappa - Outrageous Star
By Allan McDougall, p 11

 I WORKED for Frank Zappa's Straight Records in Hollywood recently. And the first time we met after his manager/partner Herb Cohen had hired me as national promotion manager for Straight – Zappa and I had a huge argument about love! (read more)



1970 July 4


Shrewd, But With A Lot Of Heart
By Richard Green & Allan McDougall, p 4

Bath - Hub Of World's Pop Talent
By Roy Carr, pp 12-13

[1] I met up with Frank somewhere in Sussex-by-the-Sea last week, the first time I'd seen him since I quit working for him at Straight Records in Los Angeles, seven months ago. He's changed a little since then, perhaps a nicer person now than I remembered -- much more relaxed, and much less obsessed with pushing his "Underground King" image. (read more)

[2] [...] only someone like FRANK ZAPPA could follow such a spot [Donovan], and together with his reformed MOTHERS OF INVENTION was a revelation. They must be THE best music band on either side or the Atlantic. It would take this entire page to review their contribution with credit.

Zappa Genius

I have been a great Zappa admirer ever since his first album and aJong with most of the audience it was the first time I had actually seen and heard him in person.

Zappa is a genius, with his musicians responding and interpreting his work with fantastic artistry and control. While his two singers camped about, drummer Aynsley Dunbar and multi-instrumentalist Ian Underwood were standout sidemen and perfect foils for Zappa1s very personalised guitar work. [...]


Source: Fulvio Fiore


1970 December 5


Metamorphosis of Frank Zappa
Questions by Richard Green, p 6

Zappa at his bizarre best
Show review by Roy Carr, p 6

 Surely only Frank Zappa could bring out such a side of Joni in public and he took delight in relating the incident to me when I called round to his London hotel for tea. He sat relaxed in slacks, open-necked shirt and sleeveless pullover with his legs crossed and feet resting on the coffee table.

“When we played the Fillmore last week, Joni Mitchell was in our dressing room and I asked her if she wanted to come on stage and sing with us,” he said. (read more

Source: Geir Myklebust (,


1971 January 16


Establishment Versus The Underground
By Richard Green, pp 14-15

  THE oversexed industrial vacuum cleaner, the voluptuous dance of the newts when they escape from the newt ranch and get into the concentration camp where the orchestra lives, the fake groupie house and the rancid boutique. Plus songs with titles like "This Town Is A Sealed Tuna Sandwich" and a 90-piece orchestra thrown in for good measure.

All of which adds up (as if you hadn’t guessed) to some of the incredible goings-on involved in Frank Zappa’s movie “200 Motels.” Pinewood Studios, where shooting begins in early February, are never likely to recover from the onslaught of the eccentric genius and his cohorts in the world of unpredictability.

After many years of suggesting, planning, hinting, stating, but never quite revealing, Zappa at last decided to hold a Press conference on Monday to calm puzzled minds for once and all. (read more

Source: Javier Marcote


1971 February 27


You don't always eat if you only play for fun
By Richard Green, p 14

 THE management of the Royal Albert Hall may deem much of Frank Zappa’s work to be obscene and a great many people obviously agree with that description, but these are not the type of audiences that Zappa seeks and his admirers (“fans” is surely too teeenybop a word to use in relation to his music) can often learn a good deal from him and the Mothers Of Invention.
While Frank and most of the group flew back to Los Angeles after the London concert fiasco, the British drummer, Aynsley Dunbar, stayed behind at his Essex home to rest before the band starts work again. (read more)

Source: Geir Myklebust (


1971 November 27


Frank Talking
By Roy Carr, pp 6-7

Frank reveals details of next film venture
By ?, p 2

As if you didn't already know... Frank Zappa is in town. In company with his Mothers, business manager Herb Cohen and a few friends, Zappa is primarily here to promote his first full-length and highly controversial movie "200 Motels" a double-album soundtrack and undertake a concert tour of European cities, which includes appearances at the Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park, London. (read more)




 He looks a bit like an identi-kit picture of our own most infamous anarchist Guy Fawkes, this much-vaunted, often-maligned rock guitarist who more than anyone else in contemporary music personifies the cult of the Unsuper Star.

The name is Frank Zappa and here he sits in his London hotel sipping dinner in the suitably unorthodox shape of a peach melba – having already returned the wine for a surplus of cork, floating about inside the bottle – and articulating instant copy on subjects as far apart as pornography and John Sebastian. (read more)


Source: Geir Myklebust (


  Zappa is not renowned for his appreciation of rock writers and their work, and he makes his point quite forcibly on the subject.

 “Mr. X comes over to do an interview. He has not seen a show or listened to the records, but he went to a place that has a large bunch of clippings, and he gains his information from what other guys wrote and they didn’t know. And then he comes and does an interview with you, and it perpetuates itself. I know this is an important factor in the way any artiste who is doing interviews gets portrayed to the public. (read more)



1972 September 2


Fearless Frank tells what he'll lay on you at the Oval concert
By Danny Holloway, pp 20, 29

Everything you always wanted to know about the Mothers...
By Ian McDonald, p 29

plus album reviews by Charles Shaar Murray - Waka/Jawaka, Zapped, Uncle Meat.
p 20

DANNY HOLLOWAY: What were you doing after the time of your accident?

 FRANK ZAPPA: I spent a month in the hospital with a cast on my leg in a wheel chair. Then I spent a lot of time hobbling around on crutches before they replaced the cast with a leg brace. I'm still wearing the brace and just recently I've been able to walk around without using the crutches so much. "Waka/Jawaka" was made in the studio while I was still in the wheel chair.

What group will you be bringing to England?

It's a group you've never seen before – 20 pieces including six reeds, six brass, two concert percussionists, one drum set, one electric bass, two guitars, keyboard and synthesizers, and an electric cello. It's really nice. The only names people will recognise from past associations will be Ian Underwood on keyboard and Ruth Underwood playing percussion one. Most of the people who are on the "Waka/Jawaka" album are in this group. We'll probably be billed as The Mothers. As far as recording goes, the next album will feature performances by the big band.

What songs will your repertoire feature?

 We have an advanced arrangement of "Big Swifty" from the "Waka/Jawaka" album which we'll be playing. As far as older, better-known material goes, we'll be doing "Penis Dimension", "Dog Breath Variations", "Uncle Meat" and "Revised Music For A Low Budget Symphony Orchestra".

 What we really have here is an electric symphony orchestra. Aside from the recognisable pieces which are rock-oriented, there are two or three semi-symphonic-type pieces, which are of a humorous nature simply because of the subject matter. But we're not going to have people jumping around on stage or falling down with tambourines and saying zany stuff – we're not supplying that this season. (read more)


1972 September 16


Zapped At The Oval
By Nick Kent, p 23

 NME's What's On Pull-Out has articles on Zappa, Hawkwind and Jeff Beck, all performing on the same day at "Rock at the Oval" festival.



1973 April 7


Bizarre goings on with Uncle Meat
By Roy Carr, pp 30-32

Zappa: nine-album set of Mothers out soon
By ?, 1 p

   (1) For that memorable hot summer night when, at the tender age of 16, Sharon Twynkletits had willingly surrendered her maidenhood to a pimply English drummer in the parking lot of the Whisky A Go Go on Sunset Strip, she had been an avid rock fan. (read more)

(2) FRANK ZAPPA'S long awaited nine-album set, tracing the history of the Mothers of Invention, will definitely be issued this year. It will come out on Zappa's new Bizarre label, distributed by Warner Brothers. But prior to this, an as-yet-untitled album by the new Mothers will be released – it includes one track on which Zappa and Jack Bruce jam together.

 The nine-LP history will be issued in three separate sets of three albums each. The first set deals with the events that led up to the formation of the Mothers, and comparisons of styles between the different Mothers lineups over the years. Second set concerns going on the road; it includes live recordings and exten sive dialogue. And set three com prises material that has never previously been issued.

Zappa and his current Mothers Of Invention group are at present touring America, but there are as yet no plans for them to visit Bri tain this year. Zappa told our U.S. corrspondent that, if and when they do come to this coun try, they will not consider playing either the Rainbow Theatre or Kennington Oval again.  

Source: Fulvio Fiore, eBay


1973 June 2


Zappa here for gigs in September
By Derek Johnson, p 3

 FRANK ZAPPA is returning to Britain in September, as part of a full-scale European tour. He will be bringing with him the latest Mothers of Invention line-up, a ten-piece band with whom he recently appeared in concert in New York. Dates and venues are at present being finalised by promoter Frederick Bannister, both for this country and Europe.

Bannister told the NME: "I have set up a deal with Zappa's manager, Herb Cohen, and I can confirm that the European tour is definite. What I don't know yet is exactly what he will be doing in this country. There will certainly be a major concert in London, but there is also the possibility of another date or dates here."



1973 August 25


By Charles Shaar Murray, p 5

“ZAPPA’S IN TOWN,” they said. “Wanna go along and talk to him?” Oh sure, sez I, always glad to have a chat with Frank. So off we go, cassette machine at the ready, to see what the Boss Mother is up to these days. Last time I’d seen him was last September, when he was in Europe to mastermind the Grand Wazoo tour, and he was still in his leg-brace and really not digging it at all. These days, he’s looking a lot better. He’s moving under his own power, and, as he opens up his hotel room door to let us in, his open shirt reveals an extremely healthy-looking tan. (read more)



1973 September 1

Penguins in bondage and other perversions
By Charles Shaar Murray, p 18

The Mothers “Over-Nite Sensation”
By Charles Shaar Murray

WHERE WERE WE? Oh yeah, Frank Zappa. Anyway, ol’ Frank is sitting in his hotel room above Kensington, disccoursing on this and that and demonstrating his new battery-operated practice amp. (read more)



1973 September 22

Frank Zappa / Wembley
By Charles Shaar Murray

FRANCIS VINCENT ZAPPA came to Wembley, played a two-hour set to a near-capacity audience, went down a storm and did two encores. (read more)




1974 January 26


Kicks in the ear
By Jim Smith, p 43

Zappa gigging in Hollywood
By T. K. McMahon, p 43

 Frank Zappa was ensconced in the Windsor Arms Hotel, Toronto – a place where only the very best people stay. You know what I mean: People like Rex Harrison or the Burtons. (read more)



Source: eBay


1974 April 6


Rock proms for Olympia - Beefheart fixed Dylan a possible
p 02

These Olympia Rock Proms concerts planned for July 1974 were cancelled. Other Beefheart performances in June 1974 mentioned in article were recorded by Virgin and are available as bootlegs.




1974 May 25

Mother's Day memories
By Barbara Charone, p 27 

 Frank Zappa celebrated the 10th anniversary of his Mothers of invention by stopping off in Chicago for a very special show. After all it was Mothers' Day, so why not bring out the plastic inflatable lady and really get it on? (read more)


Source: Geir Myklebust (


1974 September 14


The Great Brassiere Conspiracy
By Pete Erskine, pp 14-15

F. ZIPPER and Co. have, as you may know, given the gentleman's planned British tour the golden elbow. Zipper, manager Herb Cohen and various legal cronies blew in and out of London last Thursday to explain why. "Ordinarily," quoth Frank, bale, hearty, lean, lithe and paisley-shirted, "we come to England to play concerts to promote an album. This time I have the unfortunate duty to announce that we can't play in this country. (read more)


Source: ebay


1974 October 5


Relax, Frank. We ain't no liggers. A few of us just came to join in ...
By Charles Shaar Murray, pp 34-35, 54

CHARLES SHAAR MURRAY on the campaign trail with FZ and the Folies Bizarre (i.e., the MOTHERS in Paris)

WHY IS Stephen Stills not smiling? To be more precise, why are those noble, rugged features sporting an expression roughly equivalent to that of a man whose ankles are being attacked by a flotilla of evil-minded piranhas? Why, for that matter, is he wearing a green velvet jacket? (read more)

Same event in Melody MakerMonsieur Zappa's rock circus by Allan Jones.


[2]ANOTHER PLAYER apart from Jeff Beck, who’s at his best in written or ‘set’ situations is Frank Zappa. While fellow-Americans like The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Fish, Big Brother and Co., were getting into looser and looser forms and long, spaced jamming, Zappa began to exercise more complete control, sense of purpose, and sophisticated musical resource both in and out of the studio than anyone in rock had done before. (read more)

Source: harsmedia 


1974 November 23


How to sub and lay out a Frank Zappa Lookin' Back (II)
By Charles Shaar Murray, 2 pp

FRANK ZAPPA kicked it in the head and disbanded the Mothers in late 1969. "I like to play," he told Jerry Hopkins in Rolling Stone, "but I just got tired of beating my head against the wall. I got tired of playing for people who clap for the wrong reasons. I thought it time to give the people a chance to figure out what we've done already before we do any more." (read more)


Source: eBay 


THE ALBUM and movie of "200 Motels" erupted late in 1971. Both received near unanimous critical meat-axe jobs and both were ignominious commercial failures. United Artists, who released the movie, also issued the sound-track album, which they have now deleted for no doubt very sound commercial reasons. (read more)

Source: eBay 


1975 April 26


'What is a groupie?' asked his Lordship...
By Mick Farren, pp 28-29

Mothers albums nestle amongst the legal papers. A stereo system has been set up in front of The judge.
The scene is Law Court Seven. The topic: The Suppository Principle Of Culture. Adjacent matters of interest: dog continuity, The Groupie Papers, and the magnetic deviation of San Clemente.
Kids – be upstanding for Uncle Frank... (read more)

Source: Geir Myklebust (


1975 July 19


Frank Zappa - One Size Fits All (review)
By Charles Shaar Murray, p 18

 THE FIRST WORD of this review is "deteriorate." It means to Lose Your Magic.
(full text available @ Rocksbackpages)


Source: ebay


1975 November 8


Frank and the Captain: the reunion worked out
By Mick Farren, p 20

 AT LAST, from the long and stormy romance between Frank and the Captain, there has come a child. Of course, there has been other issue from this tempestuous relationship. There was “Trout Mask Replica“ and the magnificent “Willie the Pimp”, but never before has there been a fully fleded, cooperative album with (wait for it) double billing between Zappa and Beefheart. (read more)

Source: ebay


1976 January 3


By Miles, p 21

 You have just heard Captain Beefheart shattering glass objects with the astonishing pitch of his voice

Actually, it didn't work. However, something that did work was the re-uniting of THE CAPTAIN and FRANK ZAPPA a few months ago for a tour and an album, “Bongo Fury”. To mark the occasion, MILES recalls the duo's strange collaborations in earlier times. (read more)


Source: Geir Myklebust (


“Wanna see the best thing I got?” Yes my friends, it’s Francis Vincent Zappa talking about his clothes.

“Now this item was given its stage debut in Hawaii – I haven’t seen any reviews yet, but I’m sure the only thing they’re gonna write is what this sucker looks like under the lights.”

It’s a skin tight tube that branches into two, which would rate as a skin-tight jumpsuit. (read more)


Source: Geir Myklebust (


1976 December 4


Any Resemblance is Purely Conceptual
By Miles, p 16

 RUMOURS HAD been reaching London of Frank Zappa being locked out of his own studio and of enough writs flying between him and Herbie to stuff a mattress.

Frank’s new album “Zoot Allures” is out on Warner Brothers instead of Frank’s own DiscReet label – it was obviously time to find out the poop.

He was staying at the Playboy Towers in Chicago when I phoned – part of his 1976 World Tour – two months in the US and Canada and then on to Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and all through Europe in the early spring. (read more)


1977 February 19


Torture Mama & The Open Brain
By Miles, pp 40-41

Frank Zappa. HAMMERSMITH. “OH CHRIST!" sobbed someone near to me as Frank sloped on to the stage. It had been a long time. (read more)

Source: ebay


1977 March 5


Frank Zappa: O.K. Frank, Let It Roll …
By Chris Salewicz, pp 19-20

Is the conceptual continuity of your output macrostructure still operative?
"Yes," nods Frank Zappa solemnly.
So, in that case, this interview must be part of that?
"Yeah." He nods again. "Doesn't that give you a warm secure feeling?"
It makes me feel happy to know that I’ve become part of a pattern.
"Isn’t everybody? Remember, the pattern is what makes the wallpaper work."
(read more)


1977 May 7


Zappa sues previous licensees of Rainbow
By NME, p 3

 FRANK ZAPPA and two U.S. companies are claiming damages of about £250,000 from the former licensees of London’s Rainbow Theatre. But even if successful, it is unlikely that they would recoup that amount – because the company concerned, Sundancer, has gone into voluntary liquidation.

The action stems from an incident in 1971 when Zappa was dragged from the stage and broke his left leg, also suffering head, rib and hand injuries. His attacker was later jailed for a year, but Zappa was in hospital for six weeks and did not work for ten months. Zappa and the two companies with exclusive rights to his services are now claiming for loss of earnings during that period. No date has yet been set for the hearing.

In 1975, Zappa made an unsuccessful damages claim against London’s Albert Hall, because the management cancelled one of his concerts at relatively short notice. He has entered an appeal against that decision, which is due to be heard shortly.

Irrespective of these two actions, Zappa plans a return visit to Britain towards the end of the year. Although he had been apprehensive about playing here again, his last tour proved very successful – and as it had to be curtailed slightly he now wants to play further dates as soon as his commitments allow.


1978 January 7


Uncle Frank back in town
By ?, p 3

News item on page 3 and concert ad on page 2. Both advertising concerts in Hammersmith Odeon, London, in January 24, 25 and 26. Actually, an additional 4th concert in a row was added later for January 27. In the news is written, that there is a new band and the only familiar name is Roy Estrada. However, at the last minute Roy had cancelled from the tour [*].


1978 January 28


Stern Words In Knightsbridge
By Paul Rambali, pp 25, 45

 One final question then: does Zappa consider himself to be the arch cynic he is often painted as?

"Absolutely. And not only that, I think being a cynic is the only rational stance to take in a contemporary society. I would call it quite a compliment to be called an arch cynic; that almost sounds important. Definitely I'm cynical. Everybody ought to be cynical. You can't just go around believing everything everybody tells you ... (read more)



1978 February 4


I just wanna be an all-round entertainer
By Charles Shaar Murray, 2 pp

FRANK ZAPPA used to be the outside edge of weird – sometimes he was even as weird as he pretended to be – and even now, as he steps out in front of his all-new, all-young and mostly-pretty band at the Hammersmith Odeon, his appearance indicates that there's something about him which is not ... quite ... normal. (read more)


1978 April 1


The Kook Who Fell To Earth
Growing Up With Captain Beefheart

By Lester Bangs, pp 37-39, 41

Captain Beefheart is back. Where did he go in the first place, you might ask.

Which is not such an easy question to answer. Like many things to do with Don Van Vliet - who has been around in one incarnation or another for over a decade now and is considered by many people to be one of the few authentically avant-garde artists in rock - it may devolve to a simple statement that there is the world, and then there is the Captain, who even in his material and musical presence might just as well be broadcasting beast linguals through a foghorn on the dark side of the moon so far as the mainstream pop audience of ány era knows or cares. (read more


Source: eBay


1978 April 8


Not Funny But Frankly
By Paul Rambali, p 34

The Kook Who Fell To Earth
Growing Up With Captain Beefheart. Pt 2

By Lester Bangs, pp 25, 27

FRANK ZAPPA can be an erratic and frustrating – if not frustrated – old goat. He balances moments of cunning compositional splendour with a penchant for excessive debasement. (read more)


1979 February 24


A Tasty Change From So-so Soup
By Mark Ellen, p 47

 In the late ’60s, Zappa’s crusty operettas were known to warp impressionable young minds, while striking chords of primal panic in the ranks of the morally stable.

By ’74 (‘Apostrophe’), the Mudshark, the Poodle and all other spectres from his fetid fantasias no longer outraged, they merely amused. Despite his insidious contempt for the lame-brained, hung-up geeks that he reckoned constituted his audience, Zappa’s seedy demeanour had lost its ‘reactionary’ stamp.

On stage for this year’s panto in nasty pink shirt, buckled sandals and shapeless white strides, he cuts a perversely tame figure. The shock/horror mystique has long since been replaced by ‘total control’. (read more)


1980 November 1


Tales of transmutation from the Mojave Magic Man
By Paul Rambali, pp 33-35

'God-damn that beat!' Don Van Vliet slams out a foursquare tattoo on the dashboard of his blue Volvo estate. 'That mama heartbeat. That bom… bom… bom! Why do they do that? Don't they know it's bad for the heart? I would never treat my heart that way: I don't want my heart to attack me!' (read more)


1982 June 26


Frank Zappa: Valley Girl
By Danny Baker, p 25

 I see. 'Valley Girls', in the UK, are the type who having come to terms, and see nothing wrong, with their "boring" comfortable middle class, upbringing now live in run-down London boroughs amid a shambles of funky squalor. Ask for the toilet and they'll tell you to turn left at the drum kit. As you leave the room they'll shout out "Don’t worry about making any rude
smells!" and then giggle loudly at their "honest condour". It's a shame that to hear a perfect, faultless performance of a 'Valley Girl' in full flight you have, to wade through one of Frank Zappa's clumsy, dated songs. CBS should just release the girl vocal unaccompanied a stunning, merciless tour-de-France . . . no, Force – and then start a nationwide search for a male equivalent who could perform the same accurate assassination on zip-head Zappa and his abominable wry moustache.


1982 September 18


Extra Terrestrial Man
Kristine McKenna meets The Captain of the Mojave Desert, pp 15-16

Have you ever considered using a female musician in one of your bands?

I wanted to have Ruth Underwood and was going to use her on this album until Cliff Martinez came along. She's probably the best percussionist I’ve ever heard. She was in one band that was just atrocious though. She was just used as a kind of hood ornament – and you know who I'm referring to. That guy who looks like a fly's leg, Zappa. He's not even as hip as a fool. (read more)

Source: nothingelseon


1983 January 22


Zap It To 'em' Frank
By Mat Snow, p 33


Barbican Centre, London.

ONE OF tonight's joys was discovering how much my free seat would have cost me had I actually paid for it. At three quid a buttock I'd have felt a teensy bit foolish at the end of the evening. (read more)




1985 April 13


Frank Zappa: Thing-Fish (Original Cast Recording)
By David Quantick, p 31

 THERE MUST, it seems, come a time in every man's life when he feels constrained by the petty achievements of commerce and the limitations imposed by other people's expectations of him. In some men, this ennui leads to pretending to be dead and starting a new life in Australia; but in others, it results in making triple-album boxed-set musicals. Frank Zappa is clearly one of the latter.

‘Thing-Fish’, you'll thrill to hear, is a performance spectacle based on the premise that a secret potion has turned all the black people into potato-headed freaks in nun's habits and frocks, and killed all the homosexuals.

‘Thing-Fish’ is satire of the most heavy-handed kind. It is all very well being anti-racist and sort of pro-gay and anti-Moral Majority, but it does help if you have some good jokes to go with it. Writing a song called ‘He's So Gay’ and ending it with the chorus from ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?’ will serve only to suggest that you, the composer, are an idiot. Musically, ‘Thing-Fish’ contains no decent tunes, some very ordinary playing, and too much narration. Where does he get the money from?

Source: ebay


1986 August 9


Go Van Go!
By Kristina McKenna, pp 44-45

As far as my career in music, I think I'm in pretty good stead and that I did what I wanted to do - which is not to say that I'm finished with music. The only thing that stops a composer from thinking about music is: rigor mortis - and I still compose all the time. (read more)

Source: Twitter


1993 December 18


Sittin' In The Dock With The Crazed
By Mick Farren, pp 18-19, 43

Francis Vincent Zappa: 1940-1993
An appreciation by Edwin Pouncey, p 19

"Sittin' In The Dock With The Crazed" is a slightly edited reprint of interview by Mick Farren (1943-2013) previously published in the NME April 26, 1975.

"Mick Farren was the perfect candidate for the job. In the late '60s he led a Mothers-styled band The (Social) Deviants, was responsible for an astonishingly freaky solo album called "Mona: The Carnivorous Circus", wrote for revolutionary 'head' paper International Times, published volumes of science fiction and was responsible (along with cartoonist Ed Barker) for Nasty Tales, a UK 'underground comic' which fell foul of the authorities and found Farren and Barker in court on an obscene publications charge."


2011 January 8


Captain Beefheart
"He Always Did What The Hell He Wanted"

By Pat Long, pp 4-5

2015 April 25


This Week In 1975 - Frank's Wild Years
p 57


2016 April 15


p 6

 Short interview with Alex Winter about Zappa documentary.