Thursday, July 28, 2016

Ray White

Ray White
Ray White is an African American soul vocalist and rock and blues guitarist, best known as a member of Frank Zappa's touring ensembles. He was drafted into Zappa's band in late 1976, being featured on rhythm guitar and vocals, forming a vocal harmony partnership with Ike Willis on later tours in 1980 and 1984. White's vocals can be heard on Zappa in New York (March 1978), You Are What You Is (September 1981) as well as others. White can also be found on a The Torture Never Stops and Does Humor Belong in Music?; the former a DVD set in one of Zappa's last tours (without Ike Willis) and the latter a VHS filmed at the pier in New York; the video features White and Ike Willis' vocal harmonies. According to Zappa, White, who was deeply religious, was uncomfortable with the atheistic views of some of the other band members, which led to his departure.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Lowell George

Lowell George
Lowell Thomas George (April 13, 1945 – June 29, 1979) was an American songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, who was the primary guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for the rock band Little Feat

 George joined Zappa's Mothers of Invention as rhythm guitarist and nominal lead vocalist; he can be heard on both Weasels Ripped My Flesh and the first disc of You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 5. During this period, he absorbed Zappa's autocratic leadership style and avant garde-influenced conceptual/procedural-oriented compositional methods. He earned his first production credit (in conjunction with Zappa and Russ Titelman) on Permanent Damage, an album recorded by "groupie group" The GTOs. George later asserted that "he performed no real function in the band" and left the group in May 1969 under nebulous circumstances. GTOs member Pamela Des Barres has claimed that George was fired by the abstemious Zappa for smoking marijuana, while he claimed at a 1975 Little Feat concert that he was fired because he "wrote a song ["Willin'"] about dope." On the contrary, biographer Mark Brend asserts that Zappa "liked the song" but "thought there was no place for it in the Mothers' set"; George himself alternatively claimed that "it was decided that I should leave and form a band" by mutual agreement.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ike Willis

Ike Willis
Ike Willis, Zappa and ?

Isaac "Ike" Willis (born November 12, 1955) is an American vocalist and guitarist who was a regular member of Frank Zappa's studio and touring bands from 1978 until the last tour in 1988. He did not tour with Zappa in 1981 and 1982 because he wanted to be home for the birth of his two children, but returned to touring with Zappa for his final two tours in 1984 (which Zappa intended at the time to be his final tour) and 1988. He currently tours with the Frank Zappa tribute bands Bogus Pomp, Ossi Duri, Project/Object, Pojama People, Ugly Radio Rebellion and ZAPPATiKA. He also performed several times with the Brazilian Zappa cover band, The Central Scrutinizer Band, The Muffin Men, and with the Italian bands Ossi Duri and Elio e le Storie Tese . Additionally, he has appeared multiple times at the annual Zappanale Festival in Bad Doberan, Germany. He is most recognized for his involvement in Zappa records such as playing Joe in Joe's Garage, providing vocals on Tinsel Town Rebellion, You Are What You Is, and The Man from Utopia, and as the title character and narrator in Zappa's off-Broadway-styled conceptual musical Thing-Fish.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Terry Bozzio

Terry Bozzio
Terry John "Ted" Bozzio (born December 27, 1950) is an American drummer best known for his work with Missing Persons and Frank Zappa. He has been featured on nine solo or collaborative albums, twenty six albums with Frank Zappa, and seven albums with Missing Persons. He has been a prolific sideman, playing on numerous releases by other artists since the mid-1970s. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1997. His daughter, Marina, is also a drummer and a member of the heavy metal band Aldious.

He recorded and toured with Frank Zappa beginning in 1975, and appeared, also as a vocalist, on a number of Zappa's most successful albums, including Zoot Allures (1976), Zappa in New York (1976), Sheik Yerbouti (1979) and Thing-Fish (1984), and in the concert movie Baby Snakes (1979) (which includes him singing lead on a portion of the song "Punky's Whips"). He is noted for performing Zappa's "The Black Page", a piece of music designed to be a "musician's nightmare", a page so dense with notes it was nearly solid black.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Napolean Murphy Brock

Napolean Murphy Brock
Napoleon Murphy Brock (Robert Brock) (born June 7, 1945) is an American singer, saxophonist and flute player who is best known for his work with Frank Zappa in the 1970s, including the albums Apostrophe, Roxy and Elsewhere, One Size Fits All, and Bongo Fury. He contributed notable vocal performances to the Zappa songs "Village of the Sun" and "Florentine Pogen."

Brock's numerous performances with Zappa include the role of the "Evil Prince" on the Thing-Fish album. He has also performed with George Duke, Captain Beefheart and more recently with Neonfire . He remains a regular performer at Zappanale.

Brock appeared in the 2005 film Rock School, a documentary about The Paul Green School of Rock Music, an extracurricular music program that he and Project/Object have closely supported for several years.

In 2006, he toured with Frank Zappa's son Dweezil on the latter's Zappa Plays Zappa shows He also regularly tours with fellow Zappa alumnus Ike Willis and others with Andre Cholmondeley's Project/Object. Other Zappa related projects he's been involved with include the Tampa, Florida based band Bogus Pomp, and the 16 piece Ed Palermo Big Band from New York City.

He is a registered sex offender in the State of Californai for Rape by Force,

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Ed Mann

Ed Mann
Mann formed a band with Tommy Mars in mid 1973. By the end of that year he was studying with John Bergamo at CalArts. In 1977 Frank Zappa asked Bergamo to do some overdubbing on the Zappa In New York album and Bergamo in turn recommended Mann.

A few months later Ruth Underwood told Mann that Zappa was looking for a second keyboard player. When Ed called to recommend Tommy ("at midnite, the only time when you could reach Frank by phone"), Frank invited him to "come up to the house". Mann went to the house, where Terry Bozzio, Patrick O'Hearn, and Adrian Belew were jamming with Zappa. By 2:00am Ed was "in the band". Ed Mann later commented: "It took a few days for that all to sink in."

Road Tapes Venue 2

Road Tapes Venue 2
This concert, drawn from two shows, essentially is the new Mothers of Invention personnel, which after May, 1970, Zappa hired Dunbar as drummer, and was introduced to Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan in Hollywood. Zappa then hired keyboardist George Duke and with Ian Underwood set out to perform older Zappa material, along with new compositions found on "Chunga's Revenge" album. This show, which the Mothers had recently arrived back to the U.S. from their European tour, and the massive Bath Festival in England, is an early example of these wonderful musicians working together with Frank, showing off their skills, and leaving audiences in stitches (thanks to bassist Jeff Simmons). These 1970 shows are very hard to find on "bootleg" recordings, the most reticent is Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 1970 being the best example of the chemistry forming between the band members. Another show, that is widely available on bootleg is the Fillmore East NYC concerts which is soundboard. This particular live show is a must for Zappa fans of the early 70's. An excellent addition to the sparse catalog of 1970 shows featuring this lineup. 

Don Preston

in 1966 Preston began a long collaboration with Frank Zappa as the keyboardist of the original Mothers of Invention. Preston performed and recorded with Zappa until 1974. During that time he was music director for Meredith Monk[3] (with whom he had previously shared a house) and started recording and performing electronic music.

He is a co-founder of the Grandmothers and is still active with the band, completing an extensive tour in 2000 and later tours through 2016.
Don Preston 2009

Preston also appeared on-stage as a guest keyboardist with the Zappa tribute band Project/Object (featuring Zappa alumni Ike Willis and Napoleon Murphy Brock) for several shows in 2001, 2002 and 2016.

In 2002, Don Preston joined forces with Frank Zappa alumni Roy Estrada and Napoleon Murphy Brock, along with guitarist Ken Rosser, and drummer/percussionist Christopher Garcia to form the Grande Mothers Re:Invented.

Since then they have performed at numerous concerts and festivals throughout America, Canada and Europe, including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Germany, Holland, Italy, Norway, and Switzerland. (In 2005, guitarist, Miroslav Tadic replaced Ken Rosser in the lineup.) Guitarist/Bassist Robbie "Seahag" Mangano has filled in for Miroslav Tadic on Grande Mothers tours in 2009 and 2010, and Tom Fowler is scheduled to replace Roy Estrada. Recently Preston has lectured at Cornell, Harvard, Yale, Sarah Laurence, University of Arizona, and the University of Belfast.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bunk Gardner

John Leon Guarnera, professionally known as "Bunk" Gardner (born May 2, 1933, Cleveland, Ohio, United states) is an American musician who most notably played for Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention until the group disbanded in 1969. He plays woodwinds and tenor sax.

Gardner started playing music at the age of seven by taking piano lessons. When he was a teenager he started playing the tenor sax. In 1959 he played with Bud Wattles & his Orchestra's album Themes from the Hip. Later he played with Joanna & the Playboys in 1962. By late 1966 Gardner had joined Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention, playing woodwinds and tenor sax. Success came along for the Mothers with top chart albums Absolutely Free and We're Only in It for the Money. In late 1968 his brother Buzz Gardner joined the Mothers until the group disbanded a year later. Gardner played with Menage A Trois with Buzz and John Balkin. Later he recorded with Geronimo Black and the Grandmothers.

In 1980, Gardner and some of the members from the Mothers of Invention reunited to form the Grandmothers, recording a few albums and reuniting again in 2002. Gardner has done a few projects with Don Preston, a band member of the Mothers, by making a few albums and tours together.

Gardner also plays flute, piccolo, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, and bass and soprano saxes.

Gardner and his wife Bonnie married in 1977 and have two daughters. Don Preston remains Gardners' close friend. In 2010 he recorded his autobiography (audiobook) "The Bunk Gardner Story" (featuring Don Preston), in Arthur Barrow's lotek studio, produced by Jon Larsen for Zonic Entertainment.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Jimmy Carl Black

Jimmy Carl Black
Jimmy Carl Black (February 1, 1938 – November 1, 2008), born James Carl Inkanish, Jr., was a drummer and vocalist for The Mothers of Invention.

Born in El Paso, Texas, Black was of mixed Native American heritage. His trademark line was "Hi Boys and Girls, I'm Jimmy Carl Black, and I'm the Indian of the group." The line can be heard several times on the The Mothers of Invention's album We're Only in It for the Money (for example, on the tracks "Are You Hung Up?" and "Concentration Moon"). He was also addressed as such by Theodore Bikel in the film 200 Motels. He has been credited on some Mothers albums as playing "drums, vocals, and poverty".[1][3]

He appeared in the movie directed by Frank Zappa, 200 Motels, and sings the song "Lonesome Cowboy Burt". Black also made a few more appearances with Zappa in 1975 and 1980,[1] and also appeared as guest vocalist on "Harder Than Your Husband" on the Zappa album You Are What You Is (1981). The same year, 1981, he performed the very same song at the discothèque Aladdin, Oasen, Bergen, Norway, as part of The Grandmothers, after their release Grandmothers (1980), an anthology of previously unreleased recordings by ex-members of The Mothers of Invention.

Jimmy Carl Black on Frank Zappa:

    I would have told him that I appreciated his friendship through the years and that I had learned a lot from him.
    I really loved Frank like you do a brother.

In 1972, he played with Geronimo Black, the band he founded with Mothers wind player Bunk Gardner. In the summer of 1975 he played drums for Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band under the stage name Indian Ink, notably at the band's appearance at the Knebworth Festival. In the eighties Jimmy and Bunk and Don Preston performed under the name "The Grandmothers" along with a bunch of other ex-Zappa musicians, but the band soon disbanded. Then Jimmy moved to Austin, Texas, where he met English singer Arthur Brown. The duo recorded an album of classic R&B songs, Black, Brown and Blue, and performed live together.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Roy Estrada

Roy Estrada
Roy Estrada (also known as "Roy Ralph Moleman Guacamole Guadalupe Hidalgo Estrada" and "Orejón"; born April 17, 1943 in Santa Ana, California) is an American musician and vocalist, best known for his bass guitar work with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention and for having been a founding member of

Little Feat, playing on their first two albums.

He is also a convicted sex offender, having had two criminal convictions for molesting a child in 1994 and 2012, and he is currently incarcerated,

ineligible for parole until he is 93 years old.  Estrada served six years in prison after he was convicted of committing lewd acts with a child in Orange

County, California, in December 1994. In January 2012, he pleaded guilty to a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child which happened in March 2008. In the plea bargain agreement, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison and is not eligible for parole.

Jailed Sex Offender

Friday, July 1, 2016

Ray Collins

Ray Collins (November 19, 1936 – December 24, 2012) was an American musician.

Collins grew up in Pomona, California singing in his school choir, the son of a local police officer. He quit high school to get married.

Collins started his musical career singing falsetto backup vocals for various doo-wop groups in the Los Angeles area in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including Little Julian Herrera and the Tigers. In 1964, Collins, drummer Jimmy Carl Black, bassist Roy Estrada, saxophonist Dave Coronado, and guitarist Ray Hunt formed The Soul Giants. Hunt was eventually replaced by Frank Zappa, and the group evolved into the Mothers of Invention Ray was the lead vocalist on their early albums, including Freak Out!, Absolutely Free, Cruising with Ruben & the Jets and Uncle Meat and provided harmonica on Freak Out!. In 1968 Ray quit The Mothers of Invention, but continued to contribute to other Zappa projects through the mid-1970s.

Collins resided in Claremont California, until his death on December 24, 2012. He was 76 years old.

Ray with Frank