Does Humor Belong In Music?

The Recordings

Liner notes

Recording Engineers: Mark Pinske & Thom Ehle
Remix Engineer: Bob Stone
Remote Recording Facility: UMRK Mobile
Remixed at: UMRK

The Hammersmith-Odeon Album

FZ, c. September 26, 1984 ("Picture Disc Interview")

Yesterday's show? I didn't like it.

No, because we were requested to, uh, keep it, uh . . . See, ordinarily when we do a show we change the words to the songs based on what happened that day. My favorite show of the bunch here was the second show on the first night, where we changed everything. And that's when I enjoy the show. If I can laugh when I'm onstage because something creative is happening in that regard, that's when I really enjoy the show.

Yet last night's show was competent and it was tight and it was done because we are making a CD—Live At The Odeon Hammersmith. So, people from the company said, well, "You know, you can't just go around and change all these lyrics, the people wanna hear the real lyrics," and so I said, "Ok, play it straight." [...]

The concerts here at the Odeon Hammersmith were recorded for a CD which was going to be just a CD, now a vinyl album, and that'll be coming out sometime next year.

 

3. Trouble Every Day

Fredrik Johansson, May 25, 2016

At 4.47 Frank quotes Peaches for 10 seconds!

 

4. Penguin In Bondage

Bill Templeton, "The Music Interview With Frank Zappa," Music, January 25-February 6, 1985

You've always incorporated current fads and trends into your shows, at the Bayfront it was Laura Branigan . . .

Yeah, we had a lot of laughs with that.

How closely do you watch what's going on in music?

I don't! That was something that just happened that one night. That bit (from Branigan's "Self Control") was something that happened in the dressing room just before we went on stage and it just turned out to be the joke of the night.

 

9. Let's Move To Cleveland

The old geezer, alt.fan.frank-zappa, May 16, 2013

Why did Frank change the name of "Young & Monde" to "Let's Move to Cleveland"?

Pat Buzby, alt.fan.frank-zappa, May 16, 2013

FZ said he picked the title "Let's Move To Cleveland" because of the good audience they had in Cleveland when they played there in 1984. Keneally has said FZ still called the song "Monde" in 88 setlists.

FZ, interviewed by Den Simms, Society Pages, June, 1990

OK, well, the song . . . that's got an interesting history. In 1968 . . . I can't remember the guy's name, but he was a concert violinist. He asked me to write something for him, so I started writing a piece for violin and piano and that's where "Monde" came from. "Monde" is . . . I never completed the piece for violin and piano, but there was enough if a group of sketches for the thing, that I could, at the point where I had a band who could actually play it, I could build a stage arrangement out of the group of sketches that were originally destined for violin and piano. The first band that tried to play it was the band with Roy Estrada, Terry Bozzio, Napoleon and Andre Lewis. [...] And at that time, it was called "Canard du Jour".

[...] So . . . that didn't go very far, and the next time I had a band that was capable of playing it, it was the band with Vinnie as the Drummer.[...] "Monde" is a concept that was developed by Colaiuta. You know the drummer on the Tonight Show, Ed Shaunessy? [...] Ed Shaunessy is "monde". A guy who wears a leisure suit with an enormous medallion [laughter], that's "monde" according to Colaiuta. So, the title was "Young and Monde", the idea that a person could be monde before their time, OK? [...] And that's why we used to sing at the end "So young and monde", OK?

But, you talk about obscure, how ya gonna get that concept across to anybody, other than sittin' and doin' an interview like this? Um . . . "Kreeg-ah Bundolo" came about as a result of a conversation with Ike about the old Tarzan books, where all the fake native talk that they used to have in the books [laughter], y'know, like, that's the way that natives talk in Tarzan books. "Kreeg-ah bundolo. White man come. Fire sticks kill." [laughter] All that kinda stuff.

And then, "Bon-do-lay-boffo-bonto" was contributed by Ray White, who claims that it is a Swahili expression meaning "white people taste good" [much laughter], or "white people are good eating", or something, I don't know what . . . but, that was the joke that he contributed, so . . . we did that for a tour.

And then, "Let's Move to Cleveland", we got tired of singing "kreeg-ah bundolo" at the end of the end of the song, and it was just, like, the secret word would be, on those shows in '84, we would change what we would sing at the end of that song. It wouldn't always be "Let's Move to" something else. It could be anything. You get a bunch of syllables that'll fit that part of the song, and you just sing it. That audience in Cleveland was so good, that's the reason we sang it and the end of that performance . . . "Let's move to Cleveland".

Allan Zavod, interviewed by Avo Raup, July 16, 2003

Every night was a different program, but every night we always played "Cleveland", never missed a night. He was a great leader. He had to keep everybody happy in the band. The way you make them happy is you played a big solo every night, but made it different. He didn't say it but we made it different every night. I never played the same solo twice. I played it a hundred and fifty times but I never repeated the same solo, and him, too, always new. So it was always a new adventure every night. The only thing is we always played that one piece every night, every concert, but it was always different, so that's why he played it every night. Then he was inspired and he inspired me and I inspired him.

So after a couple of months I looked at Chad [Wackerman] and I went: you take with Phil here. So I played like in jazz, you play four bars, then drums will play four bars, then you come back and play eight bars. I used to love that about Phil Evans so I was doing that with Chad. It was my piece, whatever I wanted to do and it was working. Frank loved it, if it was going well, go with it. There was never any discussion, just a musical language. He never said: Oh, this is going well. You didn't have to speak it because music is a universal language so if it's going well everybody knows it without having to say it. I just pointed at Chad like this (shows). So he realizes I wanted him to play a major solo. So every day he's getting more and more drums, the drum solo is getting bigger and bigger, but that never made my solo smaller. I used to play piano and sometimes the bass, too and then Frank would play his solo. And it grew into this big beat. And how could he not play it every night. The drummer gets to play his solo, the piano plays a major solo, the bass plays a major solo, he gets to play a great solo. It was a jam, it was a jewel in the crown and it was an instrumental, it was meant to be. It had many different names. I don't know if that's one of my best solos but he liked it and he put on the album.

See also:

 

 

Research, compilation and maintenance by Román García Albertos
http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/
This page updated: 2017-10-03