Florence Marly "Space Boy"

(—unreleased—)

Space Boy

Del Kacher's Studio
c. September, 1966

Florence Marly—vocals
Del Kacher—guitar, bass
FZ—drums, orchestration

Cosmonaut Sean, Space Boy, beware
Velarna is waiting for you out there
Don't cross the parallel of time and space
Or you'll die of love in a cruel embrace
Velarna is the queen and fate is her cold (?)
Velarna the lover, sex without soul
Sean! Space Boy, Space Boy.

Laughing at the danger in amorous jest
He soared through the space on his gallant quest
But there in ambush behind heaven's gate
Mysterious Velarna was lying in wait
Spellbound he looked into her blazing green eyes
She smiled and stirred her enticing thighs
Sean! Space Boy, Space Boy.

A thousand fires pierced his flesh
He pledged his love with tender caress
Fireballs and sunbursts showered them delights
Then the two lovers held a sacred rite
Her kisses were deadly, the cosmic night grew dark
She tightened her green arms around his heart
A sob of sorrow echoed to the sky
He sighed "I love you," then he died
Oh, Sean! Sean! Space Boy, Space Boy.

Then he was buried among the stars
The legend says wherever you are
You can hear on certain nights
A young man's calling from the heights
Velarna, Velarna, come back to me, my love,
Velarna, Velarna, Velarna, mon amour!
Oh, Sean! Space Boy, Space Boy.


Notes & Comments

FZ & Del Kacher's Recording

Patrick Neve

"Space Boy" is a rare track indeed. My knowledge of its origins are limited to the liner notes of the Mystery Box bootleg, of which it is disc three. It also appears separately, on the bootleg Beyond The Fringe Of Audience Comprehension.

The notes say:

"'Space Boy' is the rarest track in this entire box. It was recorded for the Curtis Harrington film 'Queen Of Blood,' words, music and vocals by Florence Marley. Orchestration and additional instruments by FZ and Del Kacher."

Biffy the Elephant Shrew, alt.fan.frank-zappa, September 18, 1998

It's got lots of super-spooky electronics—in fact, it would be perfect for the Halloween music thread—and the singer sounds like a poor man's Dagmar Krause or Lene Lovich. Here are the lyrics as best I can make them out . . . there are a few gaps, and a little of what's here is undoubtedly wrong; the spellings of the names Sean and Velana are my best guess.

Del Casher, interviewed by Willie G. Moseley, Vintage Guitar Magazine, January-February, 1997

Frank Zappa was from Cucamonga; he came by one day, said he'd heard about me, and said he wanted to record something for a singer who had a song about a Russian cosmonaut who was lost in space (chuckles). I used to get these strange requests all the time, and Frank's request was no different. In those days he wasn't a guitar player, so he asked me to play guitar and bass, laying down tracks using the Ecco-Fonic to get the spacey sounds, while he played on a snare drum I had in the studio. I think this was one of the first recordings Frank did when he arrived in L.A. He was very pleasant, and he looked as weird as the sounds we created, but boy, was he talented! When he played the drum, I knew something great was going on, and we enjoyed that session so much he asked me to join his new group. I politely declined because my studio schedule was beginning to happen.

Del Casher, interviewed by John Teagle, Vintage Guitar Magazine, August, 1998

Frank Zappa came to me in around '65—I didn't know who he was, he had a beard and everything—and he wanted some real wild sounds. And we did this little production together and I just dug the tape out about a week ago and I said, "Geez, I can't believe I did all this with the Ecco-Fonic!"

Del Casher, May 21, 2006

I produced the Florence Marly Space Boy with Frank in my Hollywood garage studio and then played guitar with the Mothers at the Shrine and the Whiskey in 1966. Later that year I developed and promoted the first wah wah ever with Vox for a 1967 release demo record and films at Universal Pictures...

Francisco Gentile, "The Casher Effects," The Resentment Listener, January 18, 2015

Del [Casher] recalls that in 1966 Van Dyke Parks was playing keyboards for the Mothers of Invention and suggested Frank Zappa to contact him for a studio audio production with actress Florence Marly. At that time Zappa discussed with Parks about some technical issue to solve in his own studio, and the latter recommended his friend Del Casher for this session Zappa had to produce for Marly while she was involved in the film Queen of Blood (directed by Curtis Harrington).

[...] Del tells how they first produce the vocal and guitar tracks with a large use of his Ecco-Fonic that gave the needed spacey sound. Later Zappa asked to play and record a drums track to be overdubbed, Del arranged for it and remarks how the Zappa first take was already rhythmically precise and fit to the piece. Frank as a drummer was a surprise for Del!

Here started a two month collaboration that brought Del to play guitar with the Mothers at the Shrine, the Whiskey-a-go-go and at the University of Santa Barbara in 1966.

Del Casher, to Javier Marcote, February 13, 2015

The Florence Marley project was never mentioned by Frank about it being for a Roger [Corman] film. All I know is that Van Dyke Parks recommended me to produce and play a song and I had a garage studio.

I met Frank around March of 1966.

Frank told me to make an arrangement for Florence. He told me his studio was being repaired in [Cucamonga].

[...] It was never mentioned the Florence Marley project was for Queen of Blood. The lyrics related to a Russian [cosmonaut] lost in space. I used my EccoFonic I invented to create bizarre space sounds that Frank loved. I made the arrangements and recorded all the parts. Frank overdubbed on a drum I had in the studio.

Greg Russo, Cosmik Debris: The Collected History And Improvisations Of Frank Zappa (The Son Of Revised), 2003, p. 48

The film "Queen Of Blood" required a vocal track, so writer/director Curtis Harrington tapped Frank and Del Kacher for the orchestration and additional instrumentation on the song "Space Boy." Produced by George Edwards, "Queen Of Blood" was about an expedition to Venus and Mars in the year 1990, and it starred Basil Rathbone, Dennis Hopper, John Saxon and Judi Meredith. "Space Boy" was written by Florence Marly (playing the title character) and utilized her vocals, and Ackerman and Cole provided its sound effects. It was not used in the film, as Leonard Moran supplied the entire soundtrack. The theme melody of "Queen Of Blood" would be used many years later in Zappa's song "Planet Of My Dreams."

Charles Ulrich, December 5, 2007

Today I watched Queen Of Blood [...]. Florence Marly's character is never called by any name—Velarna or otherwise. There is no character called Sean.

I don't believe the song Space Boy was ever intended for Queen Of Blood. [...]

I didn't notice the melody of Planet Of My Dreams anywhere in the film. I watched the opening sequence a second time, and it wasn't there.

Charles Ulrich, November 22, 2007

The imdb lists a 1973 short entitled Space Boy, written by and starring Florence Marly.

The sole user comment says:

This is without a doubt one of the most bizarre movies I've ever had the misfortune to view. I've seen it several times at the Ohio Science Fiction 24-hour movie marathons in Columbus, and it never fails to elicit laughs and groans from the audience. The plot is pretty basic: big-hair space-babe Velana(?) has the hots for Space Boy, who eventually dies/floats away/or something. Velana wears a nude-colored body stocking (which for a split-second gives the shock effect of total nudity) and the biggest blond fright-wig I've ever seen. I think of this film as a vanity piece for the aging star, singer and glamour-queen Florence Marly von Wurmbrand. (According to the database, she made this film only a few years before her death.) And you know the most amazing fact of all? This film was nominated for Best Short Film at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. Unbelievable!!

That sounds more like the song.

Except for the fact that the song's Velarna "tightened her green arms around his heart", whereas the short film's Velarna is "nude-colored". Queen Of Blood's (apparently unnamed) alien has green skin like the song's Velarna.

jaws3dfan, YouTube, May 31, 2011

A Short Promo Film/Music Video was released for "Space Boy" and can be seen annually at the Ohio Sci-Fi Marathon.

Charles Ulrich, January 2, 2015

Here's my take on it:

Florence Marly recorded the song "Space Boy" circa 1966. That original recording featured FZ on drums and Del Kacher on guitar and bass.

It's unclear whether the Marly/Kacher/Zappa recording of "Space Boy" was intended for use in the film Queen Of Blood. The chronology fits, but the names (Velarna, Sean) don't. Maybe it was just a side project of hers, based on the character she played in the movie. In any case, the song wasn't actually used in Queen Of Blood.

Florence Marly re-recorded the song "Space Boy" circa 1973 for use in the short film Space Boy. The new recording featured Louis & Bebe Barron (who did the music for Forbidden Planet). The instrumental backing is new, and I believe it's a new vocal track as well.

 

Queen Of Blood (1966)

Queen Of Blood

Also Known As:
Flight to a Far Planet (1966)
Green Woman, The (1966)
Planet of Blood (1966)
Planet of Terror (1966)
Planet of Vampires (1966)
Runtime: USA:81
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color (Pathécolor)
Sound Mix: Mono

Written and Directed by Curtis Harrington
Tagline: HIDEOUS BEYOND BELIEF with an INHUMAN CRAVING

Cast (in credits order)
John Saxon.... Allan Brenner
Basil Rathbone.... Dr. Farraday
Judi Meredith.... Laura James
Dennis Hopper.... Paul Grant
Florence Marly.... Alien Queen
Robert Boon.... Anders Brockman
Don Eitner.... Tony Barrata
Virgil Frye
J. Robert Porter
Forrest J Ackerman.... Farraday's Aide
Terry Lee (III)

Produced by
Samuel Z. Arkoff
Roger Corman (executive)
George Edwards (I)
Stephanie Rothman (associate)

Original music by Leonard Morand
Cinematography by Vilis Lapenieks
Film Editing by Leo H. Shreve

Other crew
Sharon Compton.... costume supervisor
William Condos.... make-up artist
Harold Garver.... sound
Gary Kurtz.... production manager
Al Locatelli.... art director
Carl Schanzer.... property master
Leon Smith.... set decorator
George Spier.... hair stylist

Production Companies:
Filmgroup
American International Pictures (AIP) [us]

Distributors:
American International Pictures (AIP) [us]

Markus Torpvret, plot summary for Queen of Blood (1966)

The year is 1990. An alien species makes contact with Earth through radio transmission, notifying of an imminent visit. Alien ship crash lands on Mars, and a rescue team is sent out from Earth. (The plot thickens! :) Eventually a surviving female is located and brought on to the human ship. The female is light green with an amazing hair-do. After some unsuccessful attempts by the human crew to feed her, she is more or less left to herself. (Ominous, is it not?) While most of the crew sleeps, the Alien female hypnotizes the astronaut on guard. When the crew awakens, she is sleeping, and the guard is DEAD! Brief examination shows that the Alien ate his blood. THE QUEEN OF BLOOD! Naturally, there is a lot of blood plasma on the ship, so they feed the alien using that supply. When they are almost home, however, yet another crew member is eaten, a fight breaks out, and the alien is accidentally killed before she can finish the third guy. Phew! The ship lands on Earth, finally! But there is trouble... The two remaining astronauts find a lot of eggs when they are about to leave the ship. Obviously the alien was a kind of bee-queen whose sole purpose was to spread their species to Earth, where there is a lot of yummy food... One of the astronauts tries to warn the arriving scientists of this danger, but they could not care less. Being scientists, they know what they are doing, so they collect the eggs and run happily along. The astronaut sums it up: "Well, at least I TRIED..."

 

Space Boy (1973)

IMDB

Directed by
Renate Druks

Writing credits
Florence Marly (as Florence Marly von Wurmbrand)

Cast (in alphabetical order)
Florence Marly (as Florence Marly von Wurmbrand)
Stuart Thomson

Original Music by
Bebe Barron
Louis Barron
Florence Marly (as Florence Marly von Wurmbrand)

Cinematography by
Jack Wallace

Don't Let Our Hens Get Astray

This is certainly a love/hate movie for Marathoners, but it's pretty amazing. Trippy as hell, with a clearly aged Florence Marly selling herself as a sex symbol, and Frank Zappa on drums- what's not to love?

Garage Sale Cineaste

Summary: Velana ( Marly ) digs Space Boy (Thompson) and wears a nude body stocking covered in jewels. Then Space Boy dies or something like that. The end.

Short take: Apparently this short has become a 24 Hour Sci- Fi Marathon tradition, which is probably the only reason it made an appearance because it honestly makes no sense whatsoever. Not only did it win an award at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, but it's caused a minor controversy because of its disputed association with Frank Zappa. I'm honestly not sure if he worked on the title song or not, and while I'm sure I could research further and offer some sort of explanation, that would involve way more effort that this piece of crap is worth.

 

Site maintained by Román García Albertos
http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/
Original transcription by Biffyshrew
Additions and corrections by Tomasz Michalak and Charles Ulrich
This page updated: 2016-03-10