The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Birthday, Frank Zappa!

12-21-07 Happy Birthday, Frank Zappa!

There’s never enough I can say about how much I miss Frank Zappa.

By the way, thanks for putting up with me airing out my dirty laundry from 2002 over the last few weeks. Is Re-Venting a word? And this time up, the blogs get to be illustrated, something the original blogs weren’t. Also, I don’t think the “Comments” section existed, when I started blogging.

I periodically try to listen to lots of Frank Zappa – sometimes sticking to my ‘Verve’ favorites, sometimes stuck in the 70’s, 80’s…still don’t gravitate to “L.S.O.” much, however. Or “Francisco Zappa”. And it’s been ages since I played a bootleg LP of Mr. Zappa – they’re stored way down low – they’re hard for me to get to ‘em.

Probably the most fun in recent memory was discovering that his early 90’s CD mastering of “Sleep Dirt” had some vocals restored to some of those songs, effectively making them (real) “Hunchentoot” songs! So cool!

I think I figured out that I finally got as many of his Rykodisc re-masters as I absolutely needed – trying to replace Barking Pumpkin versions. It’s been a while since I got any interesting Zappa vinyl – it rarely turns up anymore. And it’s becoming prohibitively expensive (for rare stuff I do not already have).

A year ago or so, I lucked into a lovely FZ duplicate – a stock copy of the US Reprise “Dog Breath” single at the PCC swap meet, for 25 cents. I remember when the guys from Europe came to my house (Late 80’s / Early 90’s), they saw my 500+ Zappa LP’s and weren’t impressed (even with a near-full set of Japanese LP originals) – but they freaked when I showed them how many FZ singles I had – well over 100.

I have greatly enjoyed some of the mail-order FZ CD’s that one can get from the Zappa Family Trust – the pricey “MoFo” 4CD set is very nice indeed – but I hated the ‘polyvinyl-plastic’ packaging – I immediately removed the discs from it, putting them into paper envelopes that would NOT ‘interact’ with the discs. I learned my lesson long ago, “If you can smell the plastic, likely it will interact with vinyl” – I once had some really nice plastic 45 sleeves ‘cloud’ a bunch of nice 45’s – I still remember the smell of those plastic bags.

But it’s impossible to keep up with all of the ZFT releases; they’re not inexpensive, either. Still…bring on the 4CD sets for “Absolutely Free”, “We’re Only In It For The Money”, “Lumpy Gravy”…and a not-remixed “Cruisin’ With Ruben & The Jets” CD, my friends at the ZFT!

Happy birthday, Frank. We love your music – and (your) Music Is The Best!



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