CFNY, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
October 2, 1978


Keith Elshaw: You know the big thing that everybody wants to know is what's happening with the Läther and all that stuff.


FZ: Well, here's what's happening. Warner Bros., being a crooked record company from that horrible place, the United States of America—you all know the details of how business goes down there—of course you guys right up here too, you got crooks here. But Warner Bros. has done something with my music that is not very nice—namely taking it and has not paid me for it. They've released one album called Live In New York, and they just released another one down there called Studio Tan, and they have two more albums that I delivered to them, Hot Rats III and Zappa Orchestral Favorites. And they haven't paid me for any of these tapes, and they haven't paid me any royalties on the tapes and they've been releasing the tapes. And the new Studio Tan album has this really horrible ugly cover on it, doesn't have any publishing information on it, doesn't tell who's playing on it, just has this ugly cover and the names of the songs.


FZ: I just signed a contract with Phonogram—that's finally done. And our first release on Zappa Records, which will be distributed by Phonogram, is coming out in January. It's called Martian Love Secrets.


KE: You know who I want to ask you about is Lord Buckley [...].

FZ: Well, I never met him. The tapes were brought to us—they were very rare tapes. Some of them were recorded in his living room, I think, 'cause you can hear an old four-engine airplane flying over the living room while he's doing one of his routines. And I heard some of his albums before, you know, in the '50s—he'd been around for quite some time. And when these tapes were made available to us—'cause he was dead at the time—those were released on Bizarre. I said, "Yeah, let's put 'em out," 'cause they're pretty funny.


Jeff Walderman: What I read in an article that you were down in L.A. with the Läther album and that you went onto some radio station which is an underground radio station which you happen to like there, and went on the air, gave advance publicity that you were going to come on the air with your Läther album and told everybody to record it and proceeded to do that.

FZ: That's right. That's what I did.

JW: Now, then I also read in the same article that Warner Bros. had taken this Läther album and split it up into two albums, one of which ended up as Zappa Live In New York.

FZ: No, that part's incorrect. The part about me going on the air and asking people to tape record it and have the Läther album for free is true. I did do that. And the part about Warner Bros. is incorrect, inasmuch as Läther was made out of four albums. Warners has released two of them already and they have two more that they're probably gonna release.


FZ: Wrote a song just the other day called "Jumbo Go Away" 'bout this girl with a head about the size of a rhinoceros that was chasing Denny around Detroit.


Guy On The Phone: I want to ask you one question pertaining to your album Burnt Weeny Sandwich.

FZ: Well, let's have it then.

Guy On The Phone: There's a long cut recorded live called "The Little House I Used To Live In," one of your all time favorites.

FZ: Alright.

Guy On The Phone: I'd like to know when it was recorded, and I'd like to know who plays the organ solo at the end.

FZ: I play the organ solo at the end and it was recorded in 1969.

Guy On The Phone: Where was that recorded?

FZ: The organ is in a studio in Los Angeles called Whitney Recorders. The guy that owns the studio is an organ freak and he has an old theater organ built into the studio.

Guy On The Phone: Really. So that's not a live cut.

FZ: That part of it is not live.

Guy On The Phone: Right, that part isn't, so there is some double-tracking in there and everything.

FZ: Well, actually what it is is some of the stuff was cut from the studio and some of it's live and it's intercut together and you can't tell where the live leaves off and the studio begins.


FZ: I don't use that one anymore because although it does have a pipe organ there are other things wrong with the other equipment that they have there and I haven't worked in that studio since that album.


FZ: The film that you're talking about has been showed to some of the more civilized places in the world [...]. It's been showed in prime time in France, it's been shown in prime time in Germany and in Switzerland, but not in Canada and not in the United States or any other place in the world. [...] There's two versions of it, one is 60 minutes and the other one is 90 minutes.


FZ: See, I'm the kind of a guy that if I get an idea, I'll take it as far as I can with the money that I have, and I've invested lot of my own money into starting film projects and video tape projects and most of them don't get finished. There's only three pictorial projects that I've started that have actually been done. The first was a short film called Burnt Weeny Sandwich, which has been showed on educational television in the U.S., and then the next thing was the feature 200 Motels. That's done, that's been out. And the third thing was a television show called A Token Of His Extreme, which I just got finished telling somebody else was shown in France, Germany, and Switzerland. And besides that I have two other films that are not completed. One of them is Uncle Meat, and the other one is a film that I've got half done right now that I'm trying to get finished by January, something to release at the same time as the Martian Love Secrets album.


FZ: The most trouble that I ever have when I come to your country is just going through customs. They've really got to get it straightened out down there at the airport. Those people are pathetic.


Site maintained by Román García Albertos
Original transcription by Román, with corrections by Charles Ulrich
This page updated: 2017-10-24