Touch Me There

Releases

L. Shankar—Touch Me There

Dead Girls Of London

 

The Recording Sessions—Shankar & FZ

Ralph Denyer, "2000 Mots," Sound International, April/May, 1979

Prior to the start of his February tour in Britain Zappa spent time in London producing an album by the young Indian violin virtuoso, L Shankar, who a lot of people heard for the first time on the two Shakti albums with John McLaughlin. Though completely acoustic, the first Shakti album has such intensity that it can be hard to listen through both sides in one go. It must be said that the music is superb and the display of technique quite dazzling. Surprisingly Zappa had not heard the albums. 'We were both working at a pop festival in Germany last summer and I met Shankar there. He came over to the trailer where I was sitting and we had a little jam session. I invited him to come and play with us in New York.'

Phil Palmer, who played guitar on the Zappa-produced album, had told me Shankar had moved away from the Shakti type of music. Zappa continued, 'Absolutely away from Shakti. He doesn't want to sound like jazz-rock. He hates jazz, which is one of the reasons why I like him. He just doesn't want to sound like that, he wants to be a pop musician. He likes pop music.'

What was that about hating jazz? "That's what his word was, he says he is not a jazz violinist. I told him that was great because I don't like jazz either.' Would he care to expand on that point? 'It's a matter of taste, I don't like jazz.'

FZ, interviewed by Michael Branton, BAM Magazine, October 5, 1979

I met him at a pop festival in Germany, when he was working with [John] McLaughlin. I think Shanker's probably the best violinist in the world; he's really incredible. We recorded the album in England, with an English rhythm section. Most of the compositions are his—I added a few lines and wrote the lyrics that are on the album, and I did the arrangements and orchestration.

FZ, interviewed by Dan Forte, M.I., November, 1979

I met [Shankar] a little over a year ago in Europe—he was working with John McLaughlin. [...] The reason I wanted to sign him is because I like the way he plays. But the stuff I like best—the classical Indian stuff—he didn't want to put on the album. Shankar insisted that he didn't want to make a fusion-jazz album—he wanted to make a rock and roll record. And this album is very good; it's got a lot of stuff that's' definitely going to hit the radio right where it lives.

FZ, interviewed by Ralph Denyer, Sound International, April/May, 1979

I used a lot of interesting stuff on Phil Palmer's guitar on the Shankar album. One of the things I did that he hadn't seen before was I put mics on the strings of the guitar (electric) to pick up the plectrum and finger noise to combine that with the sound of the amplifier and the sound taken by direct injection. And also taking that in stereo you get a real picture of a guy sitting there. If you listen through earphones the guitar player is sitting there playing right in front of your face.

 

Album Printed Credits

L. Shankar—Touch Me There

(LP, Zappa Records SRZ-1-1602, 1979)

Side One
DEAD GIRLS OF LONDON 5:21
(Music: L. Shankar, F. Zappa; Lyrics: F. Zappa)
WINDY MORNING (L. Shankar) 3:57
KNEE DEEP IN HEATERS 5:36
(Music: L. Shankar; Lyrics: F. Zappa)
LITTLE STINKER (L. Shankar) 3:20

Side Two
DARLENE (L. Shankar) 2:56
TOUCH ME THERE 3:01
(Music: L. Shankar; Lyrics: F. Zappa)
NO MORE MR. NICE GIRL (L. Shankar; F. Zappa) 8:09
LOVE GONE AWAY (L. Shankar) 3:33

MUSICIANS
L. SHANKAR: Acoustic and 5 string Barcus
Berry electric violin, vocals
and string orchestra
PHIL PALMER: Mandolin, acoustic and electric
guitars
DAVE MARQUEE: Bass
SIMON PHILLIPS: Drums
JAMES LASCELLES*: Fender rhodes, organ, acoustic
piano, synthesizer
JACK EMBLOW: Accordion on
"No More Mr. Nice Girl"

VOCALS
STUCCO HOMES: on "Dead Girls of London"
VICKY BLUMENTHAL: Chorus on "Dead Girls of London",
"Knee Deep in Heaters", "No More Mr. Nice Girl"
JENNY LAUTREC: on "Touch Me There"
L. SHANKAR: on "Knee Deep in Heaters"

PRODUCED BY FRANK ZAPPA

Basic Arrangement: Ron Frangipane
except for "Little Stinker" and "Darlene"
Basic Arrangement for "Little Stinker",
"Love Gone Away", and "Darlene" by L. Shankar
Recording Arrangements and Orchestration
by Frank Zappa, except for "Love Gone Away"
by Shankar and Ron Frangipane

Recorded at Advision Studios in London
Engineer: Geoff Young
Tape Operator: Peter Wooldiscroft
Overdubs at AIR Studios in London
Engineer: Steve Nye
Tape Operator: Tim Cuthbertson
Mixed at Townhouse Studios in London
Engineer: Mick Glossop
Tape Operator: Alan Douglas

Album Design/Photography: Carol Friedman
Photographers Assistant: Jonathan Pite

*Appears courtesy of Silverscales Records.

L. Shankar published by Ganesh Music, BMI
Frank Zappa published by Munchkin Music, ASCAP

Personal management: Joseph D'Anna/Mangia management

Special Thanks:
Joseph D'Anna, John McLaughlin, Ike Willis,
Bennett Glotzer, Nat Weiss, Peter Shukat,
Mike Abbott, Elaine Rein, Henrietta Levine,
Barcus Berry, Jeremy Lascelles, Jane Friedman,
Deborah Bein, Mark Birnbaum and all at Zappa Records.

I dedicate this album to my parents V. Lakshminarayana and L. Seethalakshmi

L. Shankar

 

Shankar—Touch Me There

(CD, Zappa Records CDZAP 50, 1992)

MUSICIANS
SHANKAR: Acoustic and 5 string Barcus Berry electric violin, vocals and string orchestra
PHIL PALMER: Mandolin, acoustic and electric guitars
DAVE MARQUEE: Bass
SIMON PHILLIPS: Drums
JAMES LASCELLES: Fender Rhodes, organ, acoustic piano, synthesizer
JACK EMBLOW: Accordion on "No More Mr. Nice Girl"

VOCALS
FZ & IKE WILLIS: "Dead Girls Of London"
VICKY BLUMENTHAL: Chorus on "Dead Girls Of London," "Knee-Deep In Heaters," "No More Mr. Nice Girl"
JENNY LAUTREC: "Touch Me There"
SHANKAR: "Knee-Deep In Heaters"

TITLES

DEAD GIRLS OF LONDON 5:23
(music: Shankar / lyrics: FZ)

Can you see what they are
Do you hear what they say
People it is sad but true
They dress really stupid but they think they're okay
And they've got no use for you
Oh the Dead Girls of London
Why do they act that way?

Maybe it's the water
Maybe it's the tea
Maybe it's the way they was raised
Maybe it's the stuff what they read in the papers
Keeps 'em lookin' sorta half in a daze
Oh the Dead Girls of London
Why do they act that way?

We're the Dead Girls of London
We think we are fine
We ain't hittin' on nothin'
But the boutique frame of mind

You see 'em dancin' at the Disco
Every night like a bunch of little robot queens
Makin' little noises full of fake delights
But they're really just so full of beans
Oh the Dead Girls of London
Why do they act that way?

LITTLE STINKER 3:20
(music: Shankar)

TOUCH ME THERE 3:03
(music: Shankar / lyrics: FZ)

Touch me there
Touch me there
Touch me there
I like it
Touch me there
Touch me there
Touch me there
Again

Touch me there
Touch me there
Touch me there
I like it
Touch me there
Touch me there
Touch me there
Some more

(repeat 1st verse)

NO MORE MR. NICE GIRL 8:16
(music: Shankar & FZ)

LOVE GONE AWAY 3:33
(music: Shankar)

DARLENE 2:56
(music: Shankar)

WINDY MORNING 3:57
(music: Shankar)

KNEE-DEEP IN HEATERS 5:38
(music: Shankar / lyrics: FZ)

I'm asleep
These heaters I'm using are really neat
I'm knee-deep in heaters but none the less
I'm rather cool
I'm sort of actually freezing too
No, I will be okay
I am not so cold that I cannot pay
Just give me some yogurt and dal
And I will sleep along the wall

La la la la la (etc.)

I'm awake
These heaters I'm using are really great
I used to be cool but I'm getting warm
I will be okay
My peacoat helps me look that way
No, I am not a fool
I bet you think that I cannot play
Just give me a bow and a string
And I will play you anything

Lyrics (c) 1979 Munchkin Music


PRODUCED BY FRANK ZAPPA

Basic Arrangement: Ron Frangipane except for "Little Stinker" and "Darlene"
Basic Arrangement for "Little Stinker" "Love Gone Away" and "Darlene" by Shankar

Recording Arrangements and Orchestration by Frank Zappa,
except for "Love Gone Away" by Shankar and Ron Frangipane

Recorded at Advision Studios, London
Engineer: Geoff Young
Tape Operator: Peter Wooldiscroft
Overdubs at AIR Studios, London
Engineer: Steve Nye
Tape Operator: Tim Cuthbertson
Mixed at Townhouse Studios, London
Engineer: Mick Glossop
Tape Operator: Alan Douglas
Digitally Remastered for UMRK by Bob Stone, 1990

Original Cover Design & Photography: Carol Friedman
1992 CD Repackaging: Tracy Veal Design

Shankar published by Ganesh Music
Frank Zappa published by Munchkin Music

Please write to Shankar in care of
LOLLIPOP MANAGEMENT
1230 Horn Ave (#201)
West Hollywood, CA 90069
310-652-8379

Special Thanks:
Frank & Gail Zappa, Caroline, Sam, Mark Holdom, Joseph D'Anna, Ike Willis, Nat Willis Peter Shukat, Mike Abbott, Elaine Rein, Henrietta Levine, Barcus Berry, Jeremy Lascelle, Deborah Bein, Mark Birnbaum and all at Barking Pumpkin Records

I dedicate this album to my parents V. Lakshminarayana and L. Seethalakshmi

Shankar


1. DEAD GIRLS OF LONDON 5:23
2. LITTLE STINKER 3:20
3. TOUCH ME THERE 3:03
4. NO MORE MR. NICE GIRL 8:16
5. LOVE GONE AWAY 3:33
6. DARLENE 2:56
7. WINDY MORNING 3:57
8. KNEE-DEP IN HEATERS 5:38

PRODUCED BY FRANK ZAPPA

Titles 2, 5, 6, 7 by Shankar and published by Ganesh Music.
Titles 1, 3, 4, 8 by Shankar and FZ (All lyrics by FZ), published by Ganesh Music/Munchkin Music.

The album was originally released on Zappa Records, 1979.

(P) & (C) 1992 Barking Pumpkin Records.

 

No More Mr. Nice Girl

Michael Gula

Oddly enough, there is a selection titled "No More Mr. Nice Girl" on the first Fowler Brothers CD. A different tune?

Composer is Mr. Albert Wing.

Glenn Leonard, April 20, 2013

i just noticed on my LP copy of "touch me there" there's a typo on the label "no more mr nice guy" not "girl." this is from a zappa records LP '79.

 

Van Morrison

FZ, interviewed by Michael Davis, Record Review, February, 1980

I heard something about a vocal having to be redone on his album.

Oh yes, a classic tale of showbiz stupidity. I was recording Shankar's album and he had written this tune and wanted some words to it. I was sitting in the studio, scribbling some words down when I got this phone call out of nowhere. It was Van Morrison who was shopping for a new label in Europe. I don't know Van very well but I asked him to stop by the studio and see if he'd sing this song. He walked in and took one take: fifteen minutes was all it took. He came in, sang the song and left. We paid him: he accepted the check. The check is cashed, cancelled and so forth.

So we go through all the trouble of mixing the record, getting it ready to go and we start hearing from Warner Bros. that they have Van Morrison under contract and there's no way that they'll let his voice appear on a record coming out on Zappa records. There's no way they're going to help me. Well, they're not helping me: the guy's singing on Shankar's album. Warner Bros. was so desperate to harass me that they were injuring third parties, namely Shankar.

Also, it's standard in the industry that if a person wants to play on somebody else's record, they do it and there's a little blurb that says so-and-so appears through the courtesy of . . . But Warners has no courtesy.

So negotiations went on and on; for two months I tried to reason with these people. The last straw was when Van Morrison's manager called me up and said he wanted half of the publishing for the song. Do you understand what this means? He doesn't publish it but he wanted half of the publishing on it. Van's manager had the nerve to call up and demand the publishing. I thought about it for a few days, then I called up the president of the company and said, "I'll give him the 50% if he can arrange for Warner Bros. to let it be released." And that didn't work. So we went back into the studio and I sang it.

So Van is still under contract to Warners?

He records inside the US for Warners and outside the US for Phonogram.

And it was recorded outside the US but for it to be released inside the US . . .

Yeah, isn't it sickening? The thing that's really bad about it is that you think of major corporations as being large impartial organizations. They're only interested in moving product. This thing with Warner' Bros. and myself is being conducted on a vindictive, small, personal kind of a level, specifically singling me out and coming right from Mo Ostin, right from the top. It's not an impartial thing; it's pure industrial hatred.

I guess the people on top don't like to be challenged.

Well, too bad! But wouldn't you think they'd have better things to do than make Shankar's life miserable. They don't even know him. They wouldn't even agree to having the vocal on there without Van's name on it. It wasn't that me putting Van's vocal on this song would injure his career. He was happy to have it out; it was a good performance. I don't see how it's infringing on their economic well-being.

jeffrey.j.rocca, December 15, 1993

On the LP release, Stucco Homes (a pseudonym) is given credit for the vocals on "Dead Girls of London," but on the CD release, FZ & Ike are given the credit. Van Morrison provided the vocals on the original version of this song, but withdrew the use of his vocal track because of some contractual or management dispute. Frank and Ike re-recorded the vocal track for the album.

Ben Watson, Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics Of Poodle Play, 1996, p. 365

Van Morrison had telephoned Zappa, asking if he would like to use his voice, and was duly recorded on it. When his manager got difficult, he was offered half the publishing, but permission was still not forthcoming. During the lawsuit Zappa had toured with a "Warners sucks" banner and had not maintained industry protocol to interviewers: according to Zappa, Mo Ostin of Warner Brothers personally scuppered the deal [Christopher Kathman, "Who Else But Zappa Still Plays For The Ugly People," Sounds, September 16, 1979, p. 3].

 

 

Site maintained by Román García Albertos.
http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/
Original transcription from the CD booklet
Corrections and additions by Román and Charles Ulrich
This page updated: 2017-10-07