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This whole monstruousity was originally conveived February through March 2001 by the members of The Big Note - a Frank Zappa YahooGroup. After an arduous gestation period, this site was birthed on April 11 2001. True to the essence of collaborative effort, these people are held responsible.

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Some More Pt. IV

Zappa Story # 8 Part Two
(Written by Kees de Lange; submitted by poodle)

JHE roadie Neville Chesters remembered the July 18th 1967 Mayfair session well... "Quite a few people dropped in on that session. It was a real shitty studio; it was about six or eight floors up in Midtown New York, a pretty dreadful place. I remember a photo session came out of that. It was the same day or later in the day of that session" (UniVibes #18, May 1995, p. 18).
Chesters was referring to the photo session on the 18th that yielded the inside cover of "We're Only In It For The Money" - the Sergeant Pepper parody. Fortunately, this happening was also captured on 8mm film - a glimpse of Jimi during the photo call by Jerry Schatzberg can be seen in the TV documentary on Frank Zappa, entitled Biography (released in 1994).
On February 24 1986, UniVibes interviewed Frank Zappa, and asked if he ever played with Jimi Hendrix. Zappa replied: "I played with Hendrix twice... One night he played in a club right next door called the Cafe Au Go Go and we invited him to come and play with us. So we shared the stage that time... And there was a jam session in Miami."

Mitch Mitchell in his book "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" stated: "We did a couple of nights at the Cafe Au Go Go. I remember that because Zappa and The Mothers were in the upstairs bit, the Garrick Theater... I sat in with them once and I think Jimi may well have too..." (Pyramid Books, London, 1990, p. 69).
Frank Zappa also attended one of the JHE shows at the Cafe Au Go Go. Zappa told NoŽ Goldwasser in "Guitar World" (April 1987): "I thought Hendrix was great. But the very first time I saw him [perform], I had the incredible misfortune of sitting close to him at the Au Go Go in New York City and he had a whole stack of Marshalls. I was right in front of it. I was physically ill. I couldn't get out; it was so packed, I couldn't escape. And although it was great, I didn't see how anybody could inflict that kind of volume on himself, let alone other people. That particular show he ended by taking the guitar and impaling it in the low ceiling of the club. Just walked away and left it squealing."

Zappa's next move with the Mothers of Invention was directed towards England, in an effort to conquer London. Michael Gray wrote in his book "Mother! The Frank Zappa Story" (Plexus Publishing Limited, London, 1993): "Just days before the European tour began, Frank Vincent Zappa and Adelaide Gail Sloatman were married at New York City Hall. Instead of giving Gail a ring, Frank bought a 10 cent ball-point pen bearing the motto 'A Present From Mayor Lindsay' from a machine on the desk and pinned it to the front of her dress during the ceremony... Two days later, Moon Unit was born."


The day before the band and entourage left for England and the Royal Albert Hall concert, there was a briefing... The boys were briefed on the dope situation, how they definitely weren't supposed to be holding anything in Europe, and also that Frank was the spokesman for the group - no one else was supposed to be give interviews." When they flew into London Airport, they were met by reporters who asked: "Miss Creamcheese, are you and Mr. Zappa married or something?" Frank answered, "We're or something". They went from the airport to the Royal Garden Hotel, checked in, and then went straight to Piccadilly Circus (one country's Mr. Cool is just another country's tourist). That night they went to the Marquee, and saw The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

Zappa was delighted to find that in England he was regarded as a bona fide rock star. His presence was noticed as soon as he arrived; a buzz went round. Pete Townsend came up, introduced himself, and later they went to the Speakeasy. There they bumped into Noel Redding and Zappa was picked up by Jimi Hendrix's girlfriend Kathy Etchingham.
Within 24 hours, Zappa had succeeded in becoming the center of attention among the London equivalent of his old LA freak crowd. Pam remembers that the rest of The Mothers stayed in their cheaper, separate hotel while Zappa and she found their room at the Royal Garden filled with Beautiful People. "A room full of groupies, a photographer who was supposed to be making a movie of this whole thing but whose main interest is taking shots up girls' dresses... Hendrix was there too."

Later that evening, it was back to the Speakeasy where Frank stood at the bar drinking scotch with Jeff Beck. Zappa also spent a fair amount of time working on publicity for himself. He had posed for Melody Maker's photographer in a flowery dress and with his hair in pigtails. That truly did look revolting - revolting enough to make a good front cover photo, which is exactly how the MM used it. MM reported... "Have you seen your Mother, baby? Or is it Suzy Creamcheese? In fact it's boss Mother Frank Zappa, leader of America's own Mothers of Invention, who'll be in England sending up the nation in their own freaky way in September. Negotiations are going ahead for ten members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra to join The Mothers in their only British concert which will take place at London's Royal Albert Hall on 23 September."

Apart from rehearsing [with] The Mothers and the ten members of the London Philharmonic, Zappa was also anxious to meet a band called Tomorrow - who were, in Pamela Zarubica's phrase, "tight friends with Hendrix", so a meeting was easily arranged. Zappa, Pam, Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck went round to the flat where Tomorrow lived. "All I remember for sure" Pam reports, "is that... everyone was getting high, except us, and for once Frank didn't seem to mind. When we left the place Frank's first comment was, 'I never met such a nice little group of junkies before.' Not that they were [junkies], it's just that Frank is so totally unfamiliar with the drug scene that I doubt if he could tell the difference between hash and heroin."

The Albert Hall concert was an unqualified success. Melody Maker reported: "There is the mighty and majestic Royal Albert Hall Pipe Organ,' said Zappa coolly as the audience fell about. Mother Don leapt from the stage and, like a mischievous ape, clambered up the balconies high above settling into the organ nook. He fumbled about in the darkness and got a rousing ovation when he found the light switch. Zappa hitched his breeches and drawled into the mic, 'Play something for the kids, Don, play something that'll really sock it to 'em - like 'Louie Louie."

During the evening, very few people avoided Zappa's verbal or musical axe. The Supremes and "Baby Love" was the subject of much hilarity, so too the Doors; so too most of American society. Suzy Creamcheese was on stage that night too (as she was on the other European dates that followed the London gig). She remembers that evening more or less as the highlight of her life: "All the acid heads were there in droves, plus the basically curious, the skeptical, the few supporters, and reporters. They didn't expect the musicianship, the humour, the realism, or the people from the London Philharmonic accompanying The Mothers and making fart-like noises through their sheets of music. The Hollies were there, and Jimi Hendrix...and they liked it. Yes folks, Frank Zappa was accepted in the world-renowned London pop scene."

Jimi did not miss the chance to see The Mothers perform. As was reported in the issue of Disc and Music Echo of 30 September 1967: "Jimi Hendrix dug Zappa's guitar-playing at London's Albert Hall." What's more, when Zappa noticed Jimi entering the venue, he immediately went into a parody of "Hey Joe" (or "Flower Punk" perhaps?).

Frank Zappa


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