Zappa Does Floyd

This Chap …

… has a friend – no, no … it’s true. Now the friend isn’t ‘a chap’ per se – that’s an altogether different category – but this chap can absolutely vouch for him – in fact – he definitely falls into the category of ‘good egg’. He lives on Maui and makes his living from all things musical. Now, we do have a lot of respect and loving for each other’s musical tastes – but this chap is pretty sure that our respective record collections would look something like this …

He is more into the – well let’s use his own description ‘Funky, Groovin, Poetic Folk’ scene, whereas this chap of course is more your ‘English Progressive’. Nothing at all wrong with any of that – after all the likes of Fairport Convention whilst not sitting in the ‘English Progressive’ category does fall neatly into the ‘Funky, Groovin, Poetic Folk’ – yet it is this chap that counts ‘The Convention’ in his record collection and my music man does not.

As they say – it’s complicated.

Now of course Pink Floyd readily fits into the ‘English Progressive’ category – but – well Frank Zappa – not so much although this chap does count Hot Rats, 200 Motels, Joe’s Garage and Sheik Yerbouti amongst others in his collection.

My friend – the ‘egg most excellent’ – happens to be a big fan of Mr. Zappa – for example his solo performances more often than not, ends with a little ditty he calls ‘Hawaiian Napkins’ – which bears absolutely no relationship to this.

… in any way shape nor form! I mean if this can happen – and his last wife is known as ‘Famously Litigious Frank Zappa Widow‘ – you can see why a chap might want to tread carefully.

And of course, he is a musician, which means that he does respect great musicianship – so when I turned up on his radio show a couple of weeks ago – we rapped about The Beatles and Pink Floyd and The Summer of Love.

My man posted it to his site here and of course, this chap touched on it in this very publication … here.

Anyway, all of this leads to this fascinating read from Open Culture, recounting the time that Frank stood in with Roger and the boys to play Interstellar Overdrive. Excellent stuff – filed under ‘Worlds Colliding’.

Always loved Zappa’s cover versions — pretty eclectic. This one is pretty obvious —

But not, perhaps, this —

I am going to guess that this was recorded circa 1978/9 .. thinking ‘Ten’ here.

… and roughly at 2:16 – is that Woz on Sax?

And then there’s —

Then you get into the duets — Lennon being one — and there’s no end to it…

Would agree – a good collection – but the original post was centered around ‘appearing with’ – not ‘covers of’ – but sure – I’ll run with it!

(Shrugs) Have it your way, then. Don’t say I didn’t try to protect you…

I didn’t – and strictly speaking – neither did you!

That said – much more in keeping with the spirit!

  • TomE

    Saw Zappa and the Mothers twice, both times in a small (1500 seat) theater-in-the- round. It was in the late 60s.

    There may have been a set list before each show, but Zappa seemed to be spontaneously commanding the band through changes, almost daring them to keep up.

    And with a Zappa crew, you knew they did

    (Saw the Who in the same place.)

    • I assume the Who was at a different time?

      That said having them all on stage at the same time playing their own sets would be distinctly Dirk Gentlyesque … no?

      • TomE

        Would have been memorable, even historic. But no.

        The Who were just working through Tommy, though I didn’t know that at the time.

        • Graham Watson

          Saw what might have been the last performance of Tommy late one night at the Isle of Wight festival 1971? There I was on top of the stage right sound tower, running the newscaster, and… Long story.

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