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 November 4


The Mothers of Invention "It Can't Happen Here"/"How Could I Be Such A Fool"
By ?, p 10

p 10Some 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.



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)



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


 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 30-31

 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)


Source: 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 September 1


 No other Zappa content spotted than full page Over-Nite Sensation ad.


Source: ebay


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 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.


1974 November 16


How to write, sub, and lay out a Frank Zappa Lookin' Back
By Charles Shaar Murray, p 41

Great Rock Solos Of Our Time - Frank Zappa: "Nine Types Of Industrial Pollution"
By Fred Frith, p TGB24

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 


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


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)


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,  p ?

 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)



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)


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


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


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.