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Sunday, July 18, 2004
The Secret hyphenated words were "-of-Invention"

Funny. My "mothers" comment on this blog has led to several attempts to censure me, has been claimed to have been "disgusting" at official DPLC Executive Committee meetings, and, without bothering to ASK, has been accused of causing several days of "depression" on the part of one candidate's wife, and has been presumed to refer to an original Oedipal urge fulfilled -- by those of low-minded imagination.

In fact, I was celebrating the birthday of the legendary band of one of my heroes, Frank Zappa, who founded his group, "The Mothers"  on Mothers Day 1964 -- forty years prior to my blog entry. I plead guilty only to having been too clever for my readership, who seem to consist entirely of anti-Hart "Democrats" steadfastly opposed to the First Amendment, to wit and/or cleverness, and to fair play, especially.

Happily, forty years after the formation of The Mothers, the same accusations of salaciousness by the morally timorous and/or low-minded seem to retain. But don't take my word for it. Here's the real skinny from elsewhere. Hope the depression lifts. And read some good books. Perhaps that will raise your imaginative quotient above gutter level, guys.

I guess old FZ remains ahead of his time. We miss you, Frank.  

"But Zappa also liked having an audience, and in rock he found not only that, but an environment in which he could explore new sonorities. His restless invention was evident in an unproduced early '60s pop opera titled ''I Was a Teenage Maltshop'' (narrated by high school buddy Don Van Vliet, soon to become Captain Beefheart) and such bands as the Muthers, Soul Giants and Captain Glasspack and His Magic Mufflers, the latter renamed the Mothers on Mother's Day, 1964. The ''of Invention'' was added later by nervous MGM Records executives, who thought the name otherwise too salacious."


"Zappa became interested in music early and pursued his studies in school, up through a six-month stint at Chaffey College in Alta Loma, CA. He scored a couple of low-budget films and used the money to buy a low-budget recording studio. In 1964, he joined a local band called The Soul Giants, which, over the course of the next two years, evolved into The Mothers, who played songs written by Zappa. The band was signed to the Verve division of MGM by producer Tom Wilson in 1966 and recorded its first album, a two-LP set called Freak Out!, which introduced Zappa's interests in both serious music and pop as well as his scathing wit. (Verve insisted on adding "of Invention" to the band's name.)"


"In 1964, Zappa joined the Soul Giants, with Collins (vocals), Dave Coronada (sax), Roy Estrada (bass), and Jimmy Carl Black (drums). Renaming them the Muthers, then the Mothers, he moved the band onto L.A.’s proto-hippie "freak" circuit (Coronada quit, replaced by guitarist Elliot Ingber). The band played clubs for two years, mixing covers with social-protest tunes like "Who Are the Brain Police?" In early 1966, producer Tom Wilson signed them to MGM/Verve and recorded "Freak Out!" MGM, wary of the band’s outrageous reputation, forced Zappa to add "of Invention" to the Mothers. Though Zappa advertised the album in underground papers and comics and earned critical respect for the album’s obvious musical and lyrical distinction, it ended up losing money."
Before you start questioning my Zappa credentials, reflect on the fact that I own the original US vinyl pressings of BOTH "Lumpy Gravy" AND "Cruisin' With Ruben & the Jets." 'Nuff said!

 "The present day composer refuses to die." -- Edgar Varese

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