For the Copycat Tribute to Frank Zappa, host DJ Xerox turned to Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus to work his DJ magic between bands on Wednesday, December 13 (eight days before Zappa’s birthday–the 21st); held, as usual, at Otto’s Shrunken Head. Little did he know that Phast Phreddie was a big Zappa fan in his wee lad days. It was Mr. Zappa’s influence that turned the kid from a teeny bopper into a freaked out hopper back around 1968. It was through Zappa that he was introduced to modern jazz, delta blues, greasy R&B, experimental art music and other non-Top 40 sounds. In short, it blew the young child’s fragile egg shell mind. The Phast Man attended one of the last gigs by the original Mothers of Invention, was in the house when Just Another Band From LA was recorded at UCLA’s Pauley Pavillion and actually got to meet Mr. Zappa once. However, The Boog got off the Zappa bus around the time Waka/Jawaka was released, as Zappa’s music seemed to become more self-indulgent. But the damage was done: Phast Phreddie could never listen to popular music the same way again. Thanks, Frank!
As per the Copycat template, three bands were contracted to play songs written by Frank Zappa mixed in with their own fine compositions. On this occasion, the bands were:
1) The Others of Intention was a group rounded up by our pal Michael Lynch to perform only Zappa songs for this occasion. The band played mostly compositions from Freak Out and We’re Only in It for the Money, plus “Willie the Pimp.” Michael Rafalowich played great guitar and everybody was jazzed by the virtuoso kazoo playing of Esther Crow.
—AKG is a much more progressive band that played “King Kong” and stuff like that. AKG even played several songs together, without stopping, much as Zappa’s bands used to do. AKG was very well rehearsed and, though it played a couple songs that the young Phreddie didn’t dig the first time around (ie., “Carolina Hard-Core Ecstasy”), it was a still a gas to listen to the band. The band’s drummer is Jungle Jim Chandler, who also works that gig for one of our favorite bands, The Twin Guns.
3) The 94 Nicks didn’t really show up, so its guitarist/singer Sam Braverman tried to go it alone. It may have been successful, who knows, as he played so damn loud you had to leave the room! However, the Boogaloo Bag writers think they may have heard a bit of “Peaches En Regalia” coming through the feedback at one point.
Instead of playing the usual cover songs as is the norm for a Copycat night, Phast Phreddie executed his own tribute to Frank Zappa in record-form. Every track aired has a connection to Mr. Zappa: songs he covered or goofed on, he was influenced by or had some sort of involvement with. For instance, the Tim Buckley track was played because Buckley and Zappa shared a manager at one time; Buckley was on Zappa’s Straight label; and in September 1972, at an Igor Stravinsky festival at the Hollwood Bowl, Zappa was the narrator and Buckley played the soldier for “L’Histoire du Soldat” (the young Boogaloo Omnibus was there!).
Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Copycat Tribute to Frank Zappa. If the reader does not understand the connection between a certain track and Zappa, feel free to leave a comment and it shall be made clear.
- Columbia Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Craft–Ionisation [from LP The Varèse Album] (Columbia Masterworks)
- Jean-Luc Ponty–King Kong [from LP King Kong: Music for Violin and Low Budget Orchestra Composed and Arranged by Frank Zappa] (Liberty; UK)
- Sugarcane Harris–A Little Soul Food (Epic)
- Frank Zappa–Tell Me You Love Me (Reprise)
- Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band–Abba Zaba (Buddah)
- The Sonics–Any Way the Wind Blows (Uni)
- Richard Berry and the Pharaohs–Louie Louie (Flip)
- Ruben and the Jets–Jelly Roll Gum Drop (Verve)
- The Sevilles–Charlena (J C)
- Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson–Gangster of Love (Keen)
- The Four Deuces–W-P-L-J (Music City)
- The Rotations–Heavies (Original Sound)
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience–Hey Joe (Reprise)
- The Mothers of Invention–Lonely Little Girl (Verve)
- Eric Burdon & the Animals–The Other Side of This Life (M-G-M)
- Tim Buckley–Grief in My Soul (Elektra)
- Flo & Eddie–Afterglow (Reprise)
- The Mothers of Invention–Dog Breath (Bizarre/Reprise)
- The Penguins featuring Cleve Duncan–Memories of El Monte (Original Sound)
- Gene Chandler (with group)–Duke of Earl (Vee Jay)
- Little Richard–Directly From My Heart (Specialty)
- Wild Man Fischer–Merry-Go-Round (Reprise/Bizarre)
- The Mothers of Invention–Help I’m a Rock – Third Movement: It Can’t Happen Here (Verve)
- Teddy and His Patches–Suzy Creamcheese (Chance)
- The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band–Help I’m a Rock (Reprise)
- Sandy Nelson–Caravan (Imperial)
- Johnny Otis and Orchestra–Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! (Dig)
- Andre Williams (Mr. Rhythm) and his New Group–Bacon Fat (Epic)
- The Mothers of Invention–My Guitar (Bizarre)
- Junier Mintz–Tears Began to Fall (Reprise/Straight)
- The Persuaders–Grunion Run (Original Sound)
None of these records are for sale. Some of them have links to the youtubes so you can dig them in the privacy of your own mind.