Frank Zappa: G-Spot Tornado

This is day 26 and the last day of the A-toZ Challenge in which I attempted (and succeeded) to blog every day (excepting Sundays) during the month of April. Though there are 30 days in April, when you remove Sundays, it comes out to 26.  The goal was to blog on a subject using the letters of the alphabet sequentially.  During this month, I curated a collection of “classical” music pieces, which are lesser known or by lesser known composers (to me at least) going from A to Z.  I’m choosing to end this series with a piece today by Frank Zappa (1840 – 1993).

Zappa caught my attention in 1967. My older brother Bob had a friend named Tim Labuda, who wore a beret and a goatee, being influenced by the Beat poets.  At the end of their senior year of college, Tim came over to our house all in excitement.  He had a new album by a guy name Frank Zappa that he wanted Bob to listen to.  Bob had built his own vacuum tube stereo amplifier, and Tim took the vinyl album out and set the needle down.  What came out blew us both away.  Later when I became enamored of Stravinsky’s “Petrushka,” I realized that Zappa had quoted pieced of it on an instrumental interlude in the track called, “Status Back Baby.”  That’s when I learned that Zappa really wanted to be taken as a serious composer and said that he played rock music to finance his serious composing.

I followed Zappa’s work for the next 20+ years.  When I lived in Algeria in 1980, my room mate had copies of Zappa’s albums, Roxy and Elsewhere and Bongo Fury, dating from 1974 and 1975.  These became my favorites as the musicianship was superb and the lyrics were insanely funny.  I saw Zappa in concert around 1988, and realized that his live shows were a kind of rock Cabaret show with humor and political satire mixed in with great music.

In 1992 it came out that he had terminal prostate cancer.  His last album was called “Yellow Shark” and it was a recording of a concert by the  group, Ensemble Moderne, of Berlin.  Here were serious musicians performing his works.  And not his rock ones, but his serious compositions.  The track G-Spot tornado fascinated me, and that’s why I chose it.  There is another version of the  tornado I found on Youtube, which has a man and a woman performing a modern dance accompanied by the Ensemble.

Zappa died at the age of 53 in 1993.

There’s no one around like him and I miss his craftsmanship and humor.

About kurtnemes
Writer and Education Professional. Specialties include Ethics, Personal Memoir, Classical music, Tai Chi, Stress Reduction, Meditation, Coping, Classical Music, Aging, Love, Joy, Compassion and Equanimity (& what interests me.)

2 Responses to Frank Zappa: G-Spot Tornado

  1. SalvaVenia says:

    An interesting undertaking with a most beautiful full stop. 🙂


  2. kvennarad says:

    How did I ever manage to miss this? It’s very exciting music, and yes, that final wallop on the tam-tam – wow! Thank you for featuring this.


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