For all the Trivia buffs out there, the Thing-Fish "Hustler" pictorial would not be complete without a few excerpts from the autobiography of Ample Annie where she tells about working with Frank...
(Autobiography?!? Jeez, who'da thought Ms. Ample was literate?)
Here it is:
Frank Zappa'...picked me out of the "Faces" book that most performers are in if they have an agent. I was perfect to play a part in what was going to be his first big musical stage production.
Before I went to LA, Frank and I spent hours on the phone talking. In fact, he auditioned me on the phone and, when we talked, he always wanted me in character. I was supposed to be a domineering housewife with a horrible, high-pitched voice. "Harry, yer a worm," I repeated over and over again when we were talking.
I went to Zappa's studio, which is in his basement, and is technically as good as any around. He showed me how he does the recording and the mixing right there. Then I met his wife and children. They all are terrific people. Zappa doesn't drink or do drugs. He proves that you can be in show business and have it all together.
Zappa decided that he first wanted me to do publicity for "Thing-Fish." As part of the promotion, he was producing a celebrity layout for HustIer magazine. That was fine with me as long as I didn't have to do any acrobatic shots.
It took three of the wildest days of photography I'd ever gone through. I was paid $2,000 a day. The magazine got twenty-one pages out of it. As usual, I was underpaid given the results.
The set, like Zappa, was bizarre. They must have spent thousands of dollars on it. There was a house with phony snow and dozens of pink flamingos in front of it.
In the background, there was a huge poster of Pat Boone with his penis hanging out. Someone had found a Polaroid and sold it to Larry Flynt, Hustler's publisher. Since he couldn't use it anywhere else, he used it here. Don't ask what the significance of any of this was. I was just doing my job.
Larry Flynt was a paraplegic. [Invited to his home for dinner after the photo-shoot], I didn't get a chance to talk to him until I went to the bathroom after dinner. I happened to walk in on him by mistake.
There he was with a therapist, who was massaging his body to keep his circulation going. The bathroom was huge. When I tried backing out the door, he waved me to the edge of the bathtub to have a talk.
Unlike the standoffish Hefner, Flynt was friendly. He talked about his mother, who'd come from a small town. Because she didn't want to leave her house, he rebuilt it in his backyard out there in Hollywood so that she'd be near him.
Flynt was starting to run for president at this time. He told me a lot of things that I didn't want to hear. About tapes that could, he said, hurt several people in high places. He said he knew who shot him, and that it had been set up by people who were high up in the government.
He said he knew that the KAL jet that had been shot down really was a spy plane. He said he had films of the shooting of John F. Kennedy.
"You're welcome to see these films. We're going to have a screening after dinner." I didn't want any part of any of it.
Flynt invited me to be part of his presidential campaign. He gave me buttons and a T-shirt. He wanted me to go on national television, he said, as his campaign promoter -- topless. As far as his attorneys could find out, there was no law that said you couldn't do this.