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Re: Frank Zappa

<<>I wish Zappa held that revered position, and 
   therefore I heard more people talking about
him.  In my humble opinion, his approach to music
 and guitar playing specifically - was a thing of
great beauty... and of course, controversy.
>I just wish he had lived long enough to get his 
hands on an EDP (or 2). Something tells me that
most of us wouldn't be the same. >

I suspect Frank looped exactly as much as he 
wanted to.  If he'd wanted to loop more, he had
the equipment to do it.>>

This is true. Frank most certainly could have
gotten his hands on an E-H 16 Second Delay, for
instance, if he was interested in such things. I
know on the Guitar album, there's a track that
ends with him making this crazy whammy bar noise,
which he then loops, then layers a second loop on
top of it. That was actually one of the first
things I heard that really got me interested in
looping (that and Fripp's Let The Power Fall,
Torn's Cloud About Mercury). But I think it was
something Frank really didn't get into the way
someone like Fripp or Torn did. Fair enough. 

Frank Zappa is one of my favorite guitarists. He
some of the most amazing guitar tones (especially
during the early 80's), and he had a really
amazing melodic sense and played stuff that was
pretty crazy rhythmically. He once said one of
his problems as a band leader (apart from finding
guys who could cover all the styles he wanted he
incorporated into his music, who could play the
insane written stuff he came up with and weren't
impossible to deal with) was finding a rhythm
section that could follow when he improvised. If
he had a less than adequate rhythm section, it
forced him to play a certain way that bent
towards what the drummer and bassist could do. He
said the reason he could do the stuff that was on
the Shut Up N Play Yer Guitar set was because he
had Vinnie Calutia drumming with the band that
played on most of it (I suppose, therefore, that
Guitar sounds the way it does because had Chad
Wackerman on most of it). 

I think any serious rock guitar junkie owes it to
him or herself to check out Guitar, One Size Fits
All, the entire You Can't Do That Onstage Anymore
set, Shut Up N Play Yer Guitar, and Them Or Us.
And Joe's Garage is essential listening, if for
no other reason than for the studio version of
Watermelon In Easter Hay, which is one of the
most stunning guitar instrumentals I've heard. 

I don't particularly like the guitar tones he had
on his earlier records (Hot Rats is an AMAZING
record, but his guitar sounds like it's coming
out of a speaker made out of wet cardboard, and
it's not just the wah wah pedal either), but even
there, he had some stunning stuff that's worth
hearing. Burnt Weenie Sandwich is another

May you never thirst!
The Scuba Diver Presently Known As Chris

"What do you get when you give a yo-yo to a flock of flamingos?"-James 
Earl Jones

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