Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Taste of Frank

In appreciation of the folks visiting from Kill Ugly Radio and, of course, my regular readers, here is a never-before-seen photo of Frank Zappa.

The guy on the left is Mark Wilson, the rep from Warner Bros. records. Why do they always try to impress the artist with a gift? If you can't tell how much he loved the drawing from the thrilled look on his face, check out the positioning he chose for his right hand.


MaryAn Batchellor said...

Right hand?

Chesher Cat said...

Thanks, Maryan...correction made. Believe it or not, I actually thought about it before I wrote "left." Glad to see someone knows their write from their, I mean right.

Anonymous said...


That picture reminds me of the time in the late 1970's when I interviewed Frank Zappa in his dressing room at Maple Leaf Gardens
after a gig by the Mothers. There was one interviewer ahead of me, from a local Toronto radio station (I was working for a national radio network at the time) but we were all in the room at the same time.

Unfortunately, the interviewer before me knew next to nothing Zappa-esque and Frank dismissed him with great disdain within a matter of minutes (I remember less than 5).

I thought, 'Oh my God, am I in trouble", but I was (and still am) a Zappa fan and having worked at CHUM-FM, pretty much knew his catalogue, so once we settled into the interview, Frank could not have been more engaging.

After about 30 minutes, Frank's Canadian record company handler came in several times to end the interview. Frank waved him away both times and ended up giving me close to an hour on tape (this after several hours of being on stage).

Frank Zappa was a stone cold pro.

Thanks for the great picture Deborah...and the memories. Get that book out soon. I want to add it to my library.

Doug Thompson

Harry Funk said...

As usual, Deborah, GREAT photo!

Wow, I'm glad to hear of a great interviewing experience with FZ!

That's actually my line of work, and I always thought it would've been kind of scary to interview him, even though I'd been a big fan since I was a kid.

Man, he'd have fun satirizing everything that's going on today!!!

I read where "We're Only In It for the Money" - one of my "desert island" albums - has been added to the Library of Congress archives. So I wrote a rather lengthy screed about it for a "daily spin" on my blog.


Chesher Cat said...

Good story, Doug. I shot him at the Vancouver Coliseum. I went in with trepidation because I thought he would be a little on the freaky side. I couldn't have been more wrong. He was super normal and very nice to me. I think he just had a lot of disdain for stupid people.

To this day, my favorite album title and cover is Weasels Ripped My Flesh. And growing up in the Great White North, I share with you a couple of lines from my theme song was:


The man was a genius.

Chesher Cat said...

Thanks very much for the photo compliment, Harry. And all your great commenting. The interaction is what drives me to make this book a reality.

Harry Funk said...

This should be a great book! It's the kind I'd love to write, only I wouldn't have anything in the way of illustrations or a whole lot of first-hand experience.

If you want to continue to float ideas out there, I'll be glad to support you in any way.

Anyone who's proud to post photos of Frank Zappa, Lowell George (another onetime Mother of Invention) and the sundry members of Jefferson Airplane/Starship is going to come up with something really worthwhile, and I know a lot of people who will be interested.