EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY
FRANK ZAPPA and the MOTHERS of INVENTION
ZUBIN MEHTA and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
(Zubin and the Jets)
UCLA / Pauley Pavillion, Westwood (Capacity: 14,000)
To even begin to describe the concert would be futile even if I could recall every twist and turn in the compositions. This was a collaboration of Zubin Mehta, Conductor, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and composer Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention collectively and affectionately known as Zubin and the Jets. This was part of the “Contempo ’70” festival presentations of the L.A. Phil. Orch. Season.
The Mothers had just dis-banded so FZ got together a one-shot group for this major gig. Since Zappa wrote all the musical compositions it was basically a Mother’s concert with orchestra as Zappa’s concerts always had the ebb and flow and complexity of classical pieces anyway.
With this pre-cursor to; and pieces included of; the music of “200 Motels” – controlled mayhem ruled and the orchestral rock piece was a musical phantasmagorical well-organized stew of cacophony. That’s good by the way. I thoroughly enjoyed the Rock ‘n’ Classical Extravaganza!
Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan were in the audience that night and caught Zappa backstage, told him the Turtles dis-banded and that they’d like to join up; whereupon the new incarnation of the Mothers was born.
Coincidently, the next “road trip” post is about a FZ and the Mothers with Flo and Eddie concert!
Z was a visionary! His honest take on reality was always on the mark and expressed in a style that was inimitable. Zappa was informed, eloquent, highly satirical and outspoken and boy could he play guitar!
Back in the mid-sixties when we were all getting our drivers licenses the big deal was to cruise Hollywood and then make a stop at Wallach’s Music City because they had Listening Booths. We’d grab the Mothers’ Freak Out LP and play it over and over having a great time ‘til we could eventually sing along and about then we would be asked to leave.
It’s hard to imagine a world without Frank Zappa; the entire rock world needs a centered compass and FZ of all people provided that, whether he liked it or not. This was not a moral compass, this was a truth compass and for all the outrageousness he created, it was honest outrageousness and never a put on – however, that in itself is the allure of FZ and his music – right at the moment you think he’s “only in it for the money” for real; a spark of brilliance and explosive truth brings you back to the fact that he can have it both ways.
Personally, other than satire, I believe FZ was deadly sincere and serious about everything and I think that has been archived extensively. Any guy who stands up for basically, Freedom of Speech, and record labeling specifically at the PMRC Senate Hearings is total aces in my book!
FZ SENATE HEARINGS TESTIMONY
Lineup: Zubin Mehta and the L.A. Philharmonic, FZ and the Mothers
Setlist: My Boyfriend’s Back, I’m Gonna Bust His Head, Tiny Sick Tears, Agon, Call Any Vegetable (including Integrales), Blowing Discordant Sounds,
200 Motels* (including themes from Pound For A Brown, Oh No, Envelopes, Little House I Used To Live In, Tuna Sandwich, Redneck Eats, World’s Greatest Sinner, Holiday In Berlin, Inca Roads, Strictly Genteel, Duke Of Prunes, Who Needs The Peace Corps?, Pound For A Brown, Oh No, Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue),
King Kong* (including Integrales), Plastic People, Oh No/Orange County Lumber Truck (including My Linda Lou, Drum Solo)