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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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© TheBigNote 2001-2004
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Lumpy Gravy Part 4: Come back Jack Bivouac, all is forgiven.

Hi gang, Jack Bivouac is still on vacation - or at least not returning telephone messages. So, I thought I'd share with you the latest application for membership. This guy sounds like he might add a little life to our proceedings (please e-mail me if you disagree). I found this guy's name of TBN's messageboard where he posted an interest in joining our group...

::: First attempted contact
Shemp, I understand that you would like to join our Frank Zappa Interest Group.
Please respond.

::: First response
Yes! Thanks for responding. I thought I was joining the group and then I got the auto-response, which pretty much convinced me that I hadn't really joined anything. This is what I received:
Shemp Howard, We would like to congratulate you for joining the new ICQ Interest Groups system, the most exciting, user friendly community tool on the web! The ICQ Interest Groups system enables you to communicate with other users all over the world, who share the same interests as you. Learn how to create your own interest group at: Learn how to join an existing interest group at: Or browse through the complete list of existing interest groups at:
Thank you for participating,
ICQ Community Team
Please let me know how I can get the "authorization" I need.

::: Second attempted contact
Joining TBN is easy really... But first, let me tell you a little about our group (bring the band down behind me boys). The Big Note - TBN - is an informal group of rabid Zappa fans that occasionally chat together regarding all things Frank. Our usual medium is the messageboard (where I heard your plea) - we operate two at present. We've been together for over a year, and felt it time to accept new members. Your request has come at a very opportune time. We ask you to answer a Zappa related question to "apply" for membership (we call it the Lumpy Gravy). I'm sure you'll have no problem answering. Please give thought and respond to the following: What is your favorite Zappa release and why do you feel that it is the greatest LP ever recorded?
Once I receive your answer and assess its Frankness, I will notify the groupmaster - Poodle - and make my recommendation. Poodle will then e-mail the general membership and, barring a negative vote, they accept your admission. I know this has gotta sound either fascist, or really anal, but we've found it the best way to keep our focus...
I look forward to hearing from you.

::: Second response
My favorite Zappa release? I'd rather answer the trivia question that's on the messageboard. But okay, here goes. My favorite Zappa release is "Them or Us". It's the best LP ever recorded because it showcases almost all of what I enjoy about Frank. The vocals are incredibly strong (I'm into harmony singing), the guitar work - both Frank's -&- Vai's - is peerless, and the lyrics are clever without too much scatological reference (I love Ahmet's contribution of "Frogs..."). In all honesty though, there aren't any FZ releases that I don't like, so my answer to this question can (and does) change at any given moment.
I hope my indecisive addendum doesn't blow my chance for membership.

::: Third attempted contact
That was a very good answer to an admittedly difficult question (one that I'm glad I've never had to answer). You seem earnest enough in your Zappa faith to be granted admission in TBN. I will forward this message to Poodle, and recommend that you be accepted. Of course, my recommendation doesn't guarantee acceptance; a group vote determines the outcome. You should be hearing back from us soon.
One little thing: All of the TBN group members have Zappa related nicknames; would you be willing to change your online name to one with more of a Frank focus?

::: Third response
Change my name? Uh, well, to be Frank, no. I guess I understand why I needed to answer your Lumpy Gravy for admission to your group, but I don't see why I need a change in name. Do you have any idea how much sh*t I've had to put up with in my life in regards to that name??? I STILL take a lot of grief because of it. I have yet to forgive my parents, even though they died in a bizarre jacuzzi accident when I was 10. My mom used to say, "Be thankful we didn't name you Johnson - then you'd really feel like a dick".
At one point in my life (in my early twenties), I considered changing my name to Shep, but I figured that name would dog me as much as the other. It hasn't been easy - for me, or my brothers Maurice and Joseph. I hope you understand...

::: Last contact
I see what you mean about the name. My name, SOFA Bivouac (pronounced so-fah-biv-u-ack), is no prize; it's been a source of confusion and embarrassment for most of my life.
The name change is not a prerequisite for being a TBN member (at least, not that I'm aware). It was just a suggestion to maintain focus. Don't give it another thought.


Well kids, there you have it; probably the most unique Lumpy Gravy of it's kind. I hope you all have found this little growth exercise fun and informative. There will be many more where this came from (well, we'll probably find a new scrap heap after a while), so keep watching thebignote for more fun and frivolity.
As you were,

Frank Zappa

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