(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Mothers of Invention

On the road…

 

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The Mothers of Invention emerged in 1964.  Frank Zappa had joined an R&B band, The Soul Giants, and had taken control, insisting that they play original music (mostly his) and change their name… a move that established them at the heart of the underground music scene in the late 60s.

But by 1969, the original line-up fell apart.  So in 1970, Zappa recast the Mothers:  drummer Aynsley Dunbar, jazz keyboardist George Duke, Ian Underwood, Jeff Simmons (bass, rhythm guitar), and three members of The Turtles: bass player Jim Pons, and singers Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, who, due to persistent Turtles-related legal and contractual problems, took the stage names “The Phlorescent Leech and Eddie”, or “Flo & Eddie.”

To celebrate the relaunch, Zappa conceived a film, 200 Motels— loosely described, “The Mothers of Invention go berserk in the small town of Centerville.”  The first theatrical feature (mostly) shot on video then transferred to film, it was released in 1971, and featured the band along with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Ringo Starr, Theodore Bikel, and Keith Moon…

And it featured a remarkable piece of animation, the seven-minute segment “Dental Hygiene Dilemma.”  Animated by Charles Swenson (who went on to do the animated feature Dirty Duck the following year, then [among other wonderful works] Rugrats), it has Donovan, the Devil… a kind of morality play that captures the fading of the flower-powered 60s into the crank-ed up 70s.

[TotH to John Shirley for the lead to DHD]

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As we remember to floss, we might recall that it was on this date in 1964 that Ron Thelin (member of the Diggers and contributor to The Oracle) and his brother Jay opened the first “head shop”– The Psychedelic Shop– near the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco.

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 3, 2013 at 1:01 am

A young Mother…

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The March 27, 1963 edition of The Steve Allen Show featured a 22-year-old musician playing the bicycle…  an inventive young man named Frank Zappa.

(Parts 2, 3, and 4 linked to the right on the YouTube page)

As we remark that the young Frank actually looks a little like today’s most famous singing cyclist, David Byrne, we might recall that it was on this date in 1962 that Ray Charles’ “I Can’t Stop Loving You” reached the top of Billboard‘s Hot 100.  Arguing that “there’s only two kinds of music as far as I’m concerned: good and bad,” Charles had overcome his label’s reservations (“you’ll alienate your fans”) and recorded Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music; “I Can’t Stop Loving You” was the first single from the album.  It held the #1 spot on the singles chart for five weeks (the biggest pop hit of Charles’s monumental career); Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music went on to become the best-selling album of the year.  Speaking just before Charles’ death in 2004, his friend and collaborator Willie Nelson said that “The Genius” “did more for country music than any other living human being.”

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