This compelling 1985 interview with Frank Zappa conducted by legendary Washington D.C. deejay Cerphe (Don Collwell) for Baltimore TV was never aired. Either it was too edgy for local TV or, as rumor has it, Zappa refused to sign the release required to broadcast the interview. Which begs the question: why would Zappa, who was always fearless in voicing his opinions, stand in the way of this particualr interview being shown?
Two weeks after the interview, Zappa testified on Capitol Hill at the infamous Senate Porn Rock Hearings on record labeling. Cerphe joined Zappa at the hearing and strongly spoke against censorship.
In light of the controversy surrounding the hearings, the station scheduled to broadcast the interview may have felt Zappa was just too radical for their viewership. For whatever reason, it remained unseen until it was smuggled out of the studio by someone who realized its value as rock history.
As usual, Zappa takes no prisoners as he candidly critiques the state of modern rock and roll, censorship, conformity, sex, consumerism, MTV and more.
Above, the future Mrs. David Johansen—and later, the ex-Mrs. Steven Tyler—super groupie Cyrinda Foxe with another of her paramours, during the shooting of the “Jean Genie” promo video by Mick Rock.
Christmas is coming early for Bowie fans… tonight in the UK (and soon after on YouTube and torrent trackers for the rest of us). From the NME:
Rare footage of David Bowie performing on Top Of The Pops is to be broadcast on BBC 2 tonight (December 21).
The footage, which sees the singer play “The Jean Genie’” had been lost until last week, when retired TV cameraman John Henshall came forward with a copy of the performance. It was previously believed that every copy of the UK Number 2 hit had been destroyed.
The four-minute clip will now be included in tonight’s Top Of The Pops Christmas Special at 7.30pm (GMT).
Executive producer of Top Of The Pops 2 Mark Cooper told BBC News:
“Bowie singing ‘The Jean Genie’ is electric and the kind of piece of archive that not only brings back how brilliant Top Of The Pops could be, but also how a piece of archive can speak to us down the years.”
Speaking of rare Bowie footage, did you clock that picture of him performing with the Buzz that I posted here yesterday? Notice the video cameras? It looks like they were on Ready, Steady, Go! Where’s this footage? It would be amazing if that survived somehow.
UPDATE: Here it is!
Thank you, Mark Hedden, Barry Cartwright, Spencer Kansa
Frank Zappa, the great American composer, guitarist, performer, band leader, record producer and film director was born today in 1940, and in this particular household, the birth of the baby Zappa is a much bigger holiday than the b’day of that other kid this week. As I type this, there is a diptych painting of Frank Zappa and the original Mothers of Invention hanging over my desk, looking down at me.
Frank Zappa would have been 71 today if he were still with us. Truly an artistic titan of the 20th century.
Below, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention doing a splendiferous work-out of “King Kong,” the titanic instrumental centerpiece of live Mothers’ shows of the late 1960s. (I probably own 200 versions of this song on bootlegs):
Looks like TPM cribbed a title from the Firesign Theatre (not that I’ve ever done such a thing!) with this ridiculous clip from the mixed-up, muddled-up, zany Bizarro World of Fox and Friends, where up is down, black is white, the sky is whatever color Roger Ailes tells them it is and where Republicans want to help the little guys…
Watch in stunned bemusement as these three tax experts shockingly ignorant people (plus wicked radio witch Laura Ingraham) tie themselves into Klein bottles as they crawl up their own assholes trying to explain why it’s really the Democrats’ fault that the Republicans want to raise taxes on the middle class—but not on billionaires, no way—to an audience comprised of people even dumber than they are!
And they still can’t do it.
Gretchen Carlson really outdoes herself here. And Laura Ingraham falsely claims that we live “in a country where 50% of Americans pay no tax at all.” This is a bold-faced lie and she knows it. Ingraham is slimy and she’s mean, but she’s not dumb (Politifact, where are you???).
There are classic Fox News moments and then there are classic Fox News moments... This pathetic example of amusingly amateur Orwellian doublespeak is a new low even for the three stooges on that couch. People who get their news from Fox fill their heads with shit and this is a good illustration of that in action, as plain as day.
For shits and giggles, share this one in advance with that Tea party-supporting uncle of yours who you’ll be seeing later this week. If the Democrats were smart—and they aren’t—they’d let this one play itself out over the holidays so Tea baggers can twist in the wind bragging about what the Republican congressmen and women they got into office in the last election cycle have achieved for the country. Nice fuckin’ work, gramps!
In, I think, 1988 or 89, I mailed hundreds of letters to all of the freaky organizations and crazed loners listed in Rev. Ivan Stang’s classic book on oddball culture, High Weirdness By Mail.
I sent the exact same form letter to all of them (“To Whom It May Concern, I am interested in more information about your organization, Thank you, Richard Metzger”) and within a very short period of time—about two weeks—my mailbox was overflowing daily with completely insane shit from some extremely marginal individuals. I used to have boxes and boxes of it. I’m sure that the current tenants of my former East Village apartment still to this very day get whimsical, creepy and outright alarming things addressed to me.
Among the high weirdness highlights were these people in Kentucky who sent me several homemade cassettes featuring some seriously demented (and low IQ) “alien channeling” sessions with “The Commodore” that became more and more paranoid and racist with every tape. This stuff was out there, existing in a parallel continuum of irrationality far beyond anything heard then on Art Bell’s radio show. With each cassette they’d send me—there were dozens sent for my one single letter of inquiry—there would be a crude drawing of their house and an appeal for money so that they could build a “UFO landing lookout” (something that you and I might call it a “porch”).
Equally persistent, but no less nutty, was the curious assortment of incredibly stupid items I received from disgraced TV televangelist Peter Popoff. Popoff—who was exposed as a fraud a long time ago on The Tonight Show and many times since—must assume that the people who contact him are the dumbest people on Earth and for the most part, maybe he’s right. Among the nonsense I got from him were a “prosperity prayer rug”: You were instructed to kneel on the “prayer rug”—a cheap paper poster with a dotted line circle—and put your wallet in front of you and pray for money (for a monetary donation, Popoff would also personally pray to God on your behalf) and a Handi-wipe type thing with supposed “holy water” that would make your debts vanish by supernatural intervention. Or something.
(He’s still around. The last time I saw Peter Popoff on TV, he was on BET and had re-invented himself as a sort of preacher/debt councilor)
The zaniness is broken down into categories like Weird Science, UFO Contactees, Jesus Contactees, Weird Religion, New Age Saps, $chemes & $cams, Cosmic Hippie Drug Brother Stuff, Weird Politics, Rantzines, Comics, Badfilm & Sleaze and Rudeness & Sex Wars.
You’ve got your slack cut out for you…
Honestly, I must say, spending 3 or four hours writing to all of those kooks was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I highly recommend High Weirdness by Mail. No really, in some ways, it changed my life! Praise Bob!
There is lots and lots of great film and video footage of Neil Young throughout his long career, but one of the very best performances is the intimate 30 minute acoustic set he taped in 1971 for the BBC at the height of his powers right before Harvest came out. Part of their In Concert series, the full title was “Neil Young Sings Neil Young.”
The set list includes “Out on the Weekend,” “Old Man,” “Journey Thru the Past,” “Heart of Gold,” “Don’t Let It Bring You Down,” “A Man Needs A Maid,” “Love in Mind,” and “Dance, Dance, Dance.”