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John & Yoko jam with Frank Zappa, circa 1971
17 August 2013
11.42pm
Funny Paper
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Apparently this was filmed in 1971 during rehearsals for Zappa's Fillmore East concert in New York City.

(Note: There are some moments here and there where the video goes black, but stick with it, those moments pass)

Some of the things I took away from watching this fascinating footage:

1) It's neat to see John really getting into being a part of a larger ensemble, not only with his singing but also with his assiduous rhythm guitar playing and his interest in its sound (at the end, after arrogant Zappa and some of his buddies walked off to take a break, John is bending over fiddling with the amp dials trying to get some experimental sound)

2) The group screeches and shouts at the beginning are Dadaistically amusing

3) Note Zappa's subtle disdain for Yoko -- at one point he seems to stop the music and proceed to lecture her on the theme of the song, that it's about its title, "Scumbag".  After the little lecture, she seems to be chastened, but soon enough she starts screaming her way again, and it isn't long after that when Zappa and his buddies leave the stage -- I'm thinking he left because he got bored with her.

 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
18 August 2013
3.29am
WETSRoosa
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Funny Paper said
Apparently this was filmed in 1971 during rehearsals for Zappa's Fillmore East concert in New York City.

(Note: There are some moments here and there where the video goes black, but stick with it, those moments pass)

Some of the things I took away from watching this fascinating footage:

1) It's neat to see John really getting into being a part of a larger ensemble, not only with his singing but also with his assiduous rhythm guitar playing and his interest in its sound (at the end, after arrogant Zappa and some of his buddies walked off to take a break, John is bending over fiddling with the amp dials trying to get some experimental sound)

2) The group screeches and shouts at the beginning are Dadaistically amusing

3) Note Zappa's subtle disdain for Yoko -- at one point he seems to stop the music and proceed to lecture her on the theme of the song, that it's about its title, "Scumbag".  After the little lecture, she seems to be chastened, but soon enough she starts screaming her way again, and it isn't long after that when Zappa and his buddies leave the stage -- I'm thinking he left because he got bored with her.

 

Ah yes, I did an episode about the King Kong/Jam Rag incident that Zappa/John/Yoko were involved in. That Fillmore East show you watched rehearsals for is where it happened. Zappa talked in the '70s about what that incident was like here: 

If you do watch the show where John and Yoko got on stage with the Mothers, watch when Yoko gets a burlap sack put over her head during "Scumbag." So maybe Zappa's disdain for her wasn't all that subtle... 

"There's no such thing as bad student... only bad teacher."
18 August 2013
3.38am
Von Bontee
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I didn't know this performance was filmed! Thanks for the link, FP!

I'm thinking he left because he got bored with her.

Well, Zappa would get bored with anybody who he felt wasn't giving his music the proper attention and respect!

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
18 August 2013
4.08am
Into the Sky with Diamonds
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Those sessions were released as an album much later - I have the cover (someone gave it to me). It looks like the Mothers' Live at The Fillmore album (I forget if that's the title), except that John has added all sorts of doodles. I got all excited at first thinking that this was a one-off collector's item - but alas, no, just a rare album. Maybe a semi-collector's album cover (would be more valuable with the record...)

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
18 August 2013
4.46am
Von Bontee
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That's just the inner sleeve for the "Live Jam" record included with Some Time in NYC. I don't think I've ever looked that closely at that cover (never seen the vinyl). That's amazing, the way John just defaced that Mothers album cover to create his own! I wonder if Frank knew about that, and if he was pissed off or amused? Or if he even collaborated on the idea?

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
18 August 2013
6.05am
Funny Paper
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Thanks wetroosa -- I had found that Zappa interview you linked just after I found the Fillmore East video.  Zappa sounds like he has a chip on his shoulder about John, and probably about everyone who's not Frank Zappa.

Also, Zappa has a lot of gall to be all punctiliously tight-ass about his song property when his whole life was dedicated to being avant-garde and against all authority etc.

The Lennon doodles on that album cover mentioned by Von Bontee and Into the Sky with Diamonds may have been Lennon getting back at Zappa's arrogant hypocrisy.

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
18 August 2013
6.10am
Funny Paper
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Von Bontee said
I didn't know this performance was filmed! Thanks for the link, FP!

I'm thinking he left because he got bored with her.

Well, Zappa would get bored with anybody who he felt wasn't giving his music the proper attention and respect!

You're welcome, VB.  I can understand a musician expecting attention and respect, but Zappa's whole style and worldview were experimentation and being outrageous -- then he has the gall to suddenly object to someone being artistically experimental and outrageous?  The problem with Zappa is that he was trying to have his cake and eat it too -- being an authoritarian ass like Sinatra while trying to be a free-thinking bohemian avant-garde artiste.

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
18 August 2013
6.14am
Funny Paper
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wetsroosa, my impression of that moment where Yoko gets covered in a bag was that she orchestrated that.  Even if the idea was Zappa's and she didn't know about it, she seemed to play along.  Imagine if one of John's buddies walked over and put a sack over Zappa -- he wouldn't put up with that.  He'd probably fly into a self-righteous rage.

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
18 August 2013
1.51pm
WETSRoosa
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Funny Paper said
wetsroosa, my impression of that moment where Yoko gets covered in a bag was that she orchestrated that.  Even if the idea was Zappa's and she didn't know about it, she seemed to play along.  Imagine if one of John's buddies walked over and put a sack over Zappa -- he wouldn't put up with that.  He'd probably fly into a self-righteous rage.

Oh, I'm sure Yoko granted him the go-ahead, but still I'm also sure there was a little sadisitic pleasure at putting the bag over her head... Howard Kayman (or I think it was Howard) got to do what probably millions of others wished they could have, even in a "joke" situation... 

"There's no such thing as bad student... only bad teacher."
18 August 2013
6.53pm
thesnazz
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Funny Paper said

Thanks wetroosa -- I had found that Zappa interview you linked just after I found the Fillmore East video.  Zappa sounds like he has a chip on his shoulder about John, and probably about everyone who's not Frank Zappa.

Also, Zappa has a lot of gall to be all punctiliously tight-ass about his song property when his whole life was dedicated to being avant-garde and against all authority etc.

The Lennon doodles on that album cover mentioned by Von Bontee and Into the Sky with Diamonds may have been Lennon getting back at Zappa's arrogant hypocrisy.

---------------------
I never did care for zappa, he always thought he was all that
and a bag of chips. He should be so be so lucky john shared
The same air with him. apple01

18 August 2013
11.10pm
Tea and Sympathy
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I thought an artist like Zappa would have been into Yoko.  Oh well.  Do you think the animosity was a result of the business complications, or was it personal?

Don't you know? It's gonna be alright. (Shoo-bee-doo-wop)
19 August 2013
12.59am
WETSRoosa
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Tea and Sympathy said
I thought an artist like Zappa would have been into Yoko.  Oh well.  Do you think the animosity was a result of the business complications, or was it personal?

A bit of both. Frank stated in the interview I posted above that John and Yoko more or less barged in and sort of injected themselves into his show that night, and I don't think he took too kindly to that. And of course, what they did afterwards with his "King Kong" composition didn't help. 

"There's no such thing as bad student... only bad teacher."
19 August 2013
2.46pm
DrBeatle
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I'm a massive Zappa fan and I've always found it hard, if not downright impossible, to defend John on this one. They just shat all over FZ and the Mothers in every way with this one. Also, FZ's Fillmore '71 album pisses all over John's "Live Jam."

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20 August 2013
5.01am
Von Bontee
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Funny Paper said

Von Bontee said
I didn't know this performance was filmed! Thanks for the link, FP!

I'm thinking he left because he got bored with her.

Well, Zappa would get bored with anybody who he felt wasn't giving his music the proper attention and respect!

You're welcome, VB.  I can understand a musician expecting attention and respect, but Zappa's whole style and worldview were experimentation and being outrageous -- then he has the gall to suddenly object to someone being artistically experimental and outrageous?  The problem with Zappa is that he was trying to have his cake and eat it too -- being an authoritarian ass like Sinatra while trying to be a free-thinking bohemian avant-garde artiste.

He was always completely in favour of artistic expression - but if it was gonna occur on his stage, in his band (and the bands were ALWAYS his), it was gonna be on his own terms. And he had a pretty good reason to be annoyed about the "King Kong" thing, since it just created one more business problem for a performer (TWO performers) who were always dealing with them. (Also there was money involved and J&Y were a lot richer than Frank!) Frank wasn't being disdainful of Yoko: He was addressing the audience (as he was wont to do) and inviting them to sing along. He wasn't acting any more authoritarian than usual; the hand signals were for everybody in the band to follow. The whole bag thing was most probably Yoko's own idea which they worked out beforehand. (It's exactly the kind of Dadaist onstage occurrence that appealed to the Lennons and Zappa both.) And the band weren't taking a break at the end - they left because the show (the encore, actually) was over. Leaving the guitars leaning against the amps to feed back was another little art gesture which was probably pre-planned.

In all, Zappa may have been disappointed with the results, but he did invite them to jam just for the hell of it. I don't think there was any professional discourtesy on display. Just Zappa being Zappa!

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
20 August 2013
2.01pm
DrBeatle
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The thing is, too, for as avant garde as Zappa could be, it was (usually) still fairly musical, and at his core, he was a real musician and a phenomenal guitarist and composer. Yoko was not a musician and her avant garde shit is just that...shit.

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

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20 August 2013
3.14pm
meanmistermustard
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Once again the video posted at the beginning might have been listenable if not for the yelping, meuwing, splorting and grazumpting that goes on alongwith. I don't get it in the slightest degree.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
20 August 2013
3.52pm
WETSRoosa
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meanmistermustard said
Once again the video posted at the beginning might have been listenable if not for the yelping, meuwing, splorting and grazumpting that goes on alongwith. I don't get it in the slightest degree.

Sounds like a typical movie shoot Ron Jeremy's involved in.

::rimshot::

a-hard-days-night-paul-3

OK, I'll stop now.

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20 August 2013
3.55pm
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Who's Ron Jeremy?

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
20 August 2013
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Ron Nasty
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An American adult film star who rose to prominence in the late-'80s.

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20 August 2013
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DrBeatle
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I'd rather watch a thousand RJ movies over listening to any more of Yoko's "art." :lol:

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