Thursday, May 2, 2013

Frank Zappa - Soup, old Clothes and the guitars from Hell

This post inspired by the inimitable Dot Stein (, who, on 9-19-10 said:

"… had a dream that Dweezil Zappa was putting Frank's face and logo on everything you could imagine: games, clothes, drinks, to make money. I woke up covered in a cold sweat."

Please enjoy the video:
Frank Zappa - Soup 'N Old Clothes

Frank Zappa - Soup 'N Old Clothes - MyVideo

... and my commentary auf Deutsch:

Dieses war ein Photo von meinen guten freund Jon Livzey und auch neben an meinen Projeckt was heisst The Guitar World According to Frank Zappa" Bitte Googlen sie: Doctor Noe's Gadget: Zappa's Inferno – "from an interview first published in Guitar World April 1987 on the occasion of the release of THE GUITAR WORLD ACCORDING TO FRANK ZAPPA distributed by Guitar Galaxy in association with Barking Pumpkin

Zappa by Noe the G. - Guitar World, April 1987
Zappa's Inferno

By Noë the G"

Best little-known Zappa recordings were produced by Noe the G, Founding Editor of Guitar World via Guitar Galaxy as a special audio cassette (remember those?):


[Posted to by Dave Lane on March 19 1996 [nostalgic internet message header :)], slightly edited and HTML-enhanced for readabilty and clarity by Bossk (R), and annotated by us and our chosen cast.]

Frank was #19 on my list of top twenty guitarists posted on Dario's wall three years ago(!). The pic on the German-posted video was from my good buddy and collaborator Jon Livzey, and relates to my collaboration with Gail, The Guitar World According to Frank Zappa.

Here is my top ten:

1. 1. Jimi
2. 2. Jeff Beck
3. 3. Jimmy Page
4. 4. Eric Clapton
5. 5. Eddie Van Halen
6. 6. Sandy Bull
7. 7. Elmore James
8. 8. John McLaughlin
9. 9. Jimmy Nolan
10. 10. Carlos Santana
11. 11. Stevie Ray Vaughan
12. 12. Albert King
13. 13. Joe Satriani
14. 14. Mike Stern
15. 15. Jaco Pastorius (bass guitar)
16. 16. Robert Johnson
17. 17. John Lee Hooker
18. 18. Merle Travis
19. 19. Frank Zappa
20. 20. Adrian Belew

and finally, harken back with me to an earlier post on Doctor Noe's Gadget:

FZ in GW April 87 P.2

This illustration is page 2 of my article on Frank Zappa Guitar World April 87 described here:

FZ in GW April 87 P.2

This issue contains my interview with Frank, available in text form at the link below:

Noe G. Zappa Interview Guitar World, April 1987

Zappa's Inferno

By Noë Goldwasser

FRANK ZAPPA'S FULLY-EQUIPPED HOME RECORDING STUDIO is where he'd most rather be. "I never go out," he says, though his Laurel Canyon home commands a panoramic view of Los Angeles. "I could be just as happy if all this" - gesturing toward the array of equipment that surrounds him in this devil's advocate's workshop-"were in Utah. Except for the fact that the hardware and technicians are available in the L.A. area, and the stuff can be serviced here." The fact is, all Frank really wants to do is work.
Whether he acknowledges it or not, Zappa has been admired by guitarists for years because of the sheer free-flying gonzo-ness of his solos within the otherwise-precise organization of his compositions. He's always been a real Mother of a player. As a bandleader, his draconian insistence on perfection has brought out the best in his players, especially the guitarists he has introduced to the world through his succession of hands: Lowell George, Adrian Belew, Warren Cuccurullo and Steve Vai all cut their teeth in Zappa's marching society.
We thought about this-your editor, Noe the G., and Associate Publisher Greg Di Benedetto-as we descended with Frank into the bowels of his private inferno-otherwise known as the United Muffin Research Kitchen (U.M.R.K.).
Our purpose was to plan the Guitar World According To Frank Zappa tape-a 34-minute collection of rare Zappa solos on a special GW audio cassette which this magazine will make available in the spring-and to talk about guitar stuff.
Well, Frank was perfectly poised to talk about guitar and to play us some of the hours of great solos he has on all those tapes in his vault. But as far as performing on the instrument, we were surprised to discover, the guitar guru has been getting his playing jollies from entering notes and manipulating them with his Synclavier. For various reasons you will hear in his own words in this interview, Frank hadn't played serious guitar in two years (the last recorded example of Frank playing will be available on our Guitar World According To Frank Zappa tape). He'd even lost his callouses!
But fear not, dear reader. Zappa had plenty to say about playing guitar and where the instrument is going. And, believe us, there's reams of guitar in Frank's vaults, which he continues to classify and release to the public as long as the demand is there, through his own Barking Pumpkin organization. The Shut Up And Play Yer Guitar collections did quite well worldwide, so you can expect more to be released in the future.
And we hear that since our talk with Frank, he's been building up his callouses and thinking about going back on the road with his guitar and a band. The moral: you can take the Zappa out of guitar playing, but it'll take a long time to get all the guitar playing out of Frank Zappa.

Noe Gold: Let me get a level on the tape recorder say, "The poodle bites."

Frank Zappa: The poodle chews it.

Noe Gold: Come on, Frenchie! Do you see a conceptual continuum between, say, "Call Any Vegetable" and Shut Up And Play Yer Guitar? Or between the Mothers 0f Invention and the Mothers of Prevention?

Frank Zappa: There are some links, yeah. The main drawback of the medium I'm working in is, until I got the computer I was locked into making music based on the assets and/or liabilities of the guys in the band. In other words, if you want to write something that's faster than what the guys can play, you can't hear it, because they can't play it that fast. Or if you want something for an instrumentation that you don't have in the band, then you won't hear it. But now that I can do it with a computer, that's not a problem anymore.

[read the whole interview here: