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Friday, May 12, 2023

Frank Zappa's Thoughts On Neil Young, The Rolling Stones

Frank Zappa

The connections and influences between Frank Zappa and Neil Young are very few and somewhat tenuous at best.

Here is Otis Gibbs reflecting on Frank Zappa's favorite records by Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, Muddy Waters and more. (Thanks Bob G.!)


Also, see Dan Baird & Otis Gibbs on meeting Neil Young.


Also, check out an interview with Kenny Vaughan on why Neil Young is intentionally out of tune.

Otis Gibbs & Kenny Vaughan
(See Why Neil Young Is Intentionally Out Of Tune | Thoughts by Kenny Vaughan )

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At 5/12/2023 12:53:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

There are very few artists that I am a completest, but Neil & Frank are certainly two of them. They are two extremely different styles of music, but they are both authentic, gifted artists that are fearless in their creative output. Both have frustrated and confounded their fans with their creative choices, which explains why both are considered iconoclasts.

Peace 🙏

At 5/13/2023 12:49:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

(This letter is also getting sent to Neil at NYA. 👍)

@ Dan : I like Zappa. I need to hear more. Do you have 3 “best” or favorite albums to suggest, Dan? Tom Waits is fascinating to me like that too. I know you love Rain Dogs, as do I.

As for seeing Neil outdoor live this summer, I am optimistic he will again visit Outlaw Field in Boise with a version of Crazy Horse or with PotR. The venue is so nice despite being a retired penitentiary. And the Boise Botanical Gardens is right there in the same spot. The gently sloping grass field is wide open general admission with room for thousands of people. There is also a large stadium style seating behind the grass. Seeing Neil there in 2016 with PotR was epic, a fantastic performance. If Neil’s got the performance inspiration, let it flow! Thanks Neil! Come see us in Seattle too!

Speaking of which, the Seattle suburb city of Redmond has a venue in Marymoor Park. And Bend, OR has a beautiful outdoor venue that holds 8000 & is on the gorgeous Deschutes River. It was called Fred Sands Arena last time I was there. Fans don’t need a ticket if you prefer to drop anchor and float on a tube. The venue is right there and the sound is perfect. Bend itself is a bit like Beverly Hills but the nearby outlying areas have tons of nature and recreation potential, as do all of the venues I mention.

And then there is the gigantic Gorge Amphitheater in central WA, which holds 28,000. It has big campgrounds. It is a lot of big bands’ favorite venue to play, with the Columbia River Gorge as a backdrop, facing the audience. So the seating is all looking west as the sun sets. Dave Matthews Band is usually there Labor Day weekend. I don’t like the Gorge as much because I like to get close and not pay for it. But I have seen many shows @ the Gorge up close: On the rail @ GA Soundgarden, w Queens of the Stone Age, & Meat Puppets (Cobain played 3 of their songs with the 2 brothers on his MTV Unplugged performance). Also caught the Police in 1988, with Elvis Costello. From the way back nosebleed lawn at the Gorge I saw Tom Petty twice. Watching it on the big screen is kind of pathetic. The band looks tiny way down there, but for many people, that is no issue.

But the food at the Gorge is not what Neil would want. Cruelty is on the menu.

But on a brighter note, I have been a lucky bastard in seeing so many great shows in my life, up close music of the time. Got to see 40 Dead shows with Jerry. Saw the Dead back Dylan as his band in ‘87. As for Neil Young, I have been fortunate enough to see him 18 times so far. I’d like to make it 20 or 21 if possible! We can build on that later!

And perhaps WE can get a meetup going in Boise! Yes, a Rendezvous for some fun loving members of our beloved blog,Thrasher’s Wheat! We may yet be able to gather together at a Neil Young concert. Thanks Thrasher / Thrashette! Yes, a meetup, a Rust Bucket full of Thrasher’s Wheat regulars, etc.

And if the moon is in the right cycle, and if the stars align, and if we are all graced with another tour from Our Hero, Neil Young! Then the halls of Valhalla will shake. I think my old Shiba dog might even hear it from there. Or from the Elysian Fields. I know he is in one of those 2 places, as a pup, running in the fields in the sunshine! “That old dog was a friend of mine, never knew a dog that was half as fine. But I may find one, ya never do know, ‘cause I still got a long ways to go.” -Old King!

Your brother Alan in Seattle

At 5/14/2023 03:27:00 PM, Blogger Joel_Grant said...

I will be seeing Kenny Vaughan, who is one of Marty Stuart's Fabulous Superlatives, on June 13 in Edmonds, WA. Marty and his band are absolutely outstanding; I saw them last year and I am glad they are coming back.

At 5/14/2023 05:09:00 PM, Blogger Minke said...

Frank Zappa is mentioned among the people who are thanked on the back sleeve of Buffalo Springfield Again -- together with the Stones, Rickey James Matthews and a certain Robert Zimmerman, and many others. Wonder who slipped in FZ.

At 5/15/2023 11:14:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Dan - the Frank & neil connection is tenuous at best so its interesting whenever they intersect.

The cross over of Frank & neil fans has got to be fairly limited, we'd say. Certainly like to hear more from others.

Frank was classically trained musician. Neil was self taught.

But both were in Laurel Canyon in the 60s so they drank from the same well... in more ways than one.

At 5/15/2023 11:17:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Alan - yes, beer for all on the rail ! Let's make it happen.

@ Joel - fully concur on Marty Stuart, Kenny Vaughn & Fabulous Superlatives.

If ever a band has lived up to its name than this is the one. Fabulous Superlatives is almost an understatement.

@ Minke - good point. The Frank intersections tighten.

At 5/15/2023 04:28:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@Thrashers : Frank was actually self taught as well. He learned to read and write music by going to the public library. So he and Neil were both self taught musically speaking. Obviously they went in opposite directions, but they are both focused, dedicated, and passionate about the music they make. Frank frequently rankled the status quo, as does Neil. They have both attacked the establishment, and both have frustrated their fan base. Frank never cared what anyone said about his music, and Neil has the same opinion. FZ was always in control of what he did, and so has Neil. These two guys actually have quite a lot in common, but I agree that the cross over (fan wise) is probably minimal at best. I for one, admire them both for totally different reasons.

Peace 🙏

At 5/15/2023 04:33:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

thanks for correction Dan. As we mentioned, we were under impression he had classical training. Maybe a misunderstanding that he wrote "classical" music?

regardless, FZ & NY definitely didn't follow rules. And b/c they didn't they managed to succeed and overcome what would typically career breakers for guys like FZ & NY.

here's to the outliers, the non-trads, the originalists.

At 5/15/2023 05:21:00 PM, Blogger David said...

Is a transcript of that Frank Zappa interview available? I enjoyed the video. Thanks.


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