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Frank Zappa - Masked Turnip Cyclophony (Rare and Wonderful Gems from the Pal Studio Archives) (CD)

Genre: Pop/Rock
Release Date: 25th September 2015

Label: Gonzo
Catalogue Number: HST340CD
Price: £9.99
Available: Sorry - Not currently available

Frank Zappa - Masked Turnip Cyclophony (Rare and Wonderful Gems from the Pal Studio Archives)

This CD compiles a bunch of songs and tunes that Frank Zappa was involved with in various ways before he became known as the leader of the Mothers Of Invention. For several years prior to the Mothers becoming MGM-Verve recording artists, Frank was associated with the Pal Recording Studio, whose owner and operator was Paul Buff. It was here, in Cucamonga, under Buff's tutelage, that Frank learned how to use a studio to create music, as opposed to simply writing dots on paper. Frank later bought the studio from Buff and renamed it Studio Z, but all of the contents of this CD were recorded before that happened. Frank's contribution to these tracks was either as musician, singer, writer or producer or a combination of some or all of these roles.

The most well-known event that occurred at the studio was when Frank was conned into recording a 'sex tape' by an undercover member of the San Bernadino Police Department. For this service, for which the cop had previously agreed to pay a hundred dollars, Frank was charged with conspiracy to commit pornography, spent ten days in prison with nasty undesirables and had tapes confiscated. As a result he lost money, not for the last time in his career. Still, on the plus side, his criminal conviction later prevented him from being called up to go and fight in Vietnam. Not only that, but it hardened his attitude towards all forms of hypocritical and lying authority. By all accounts the sex tape was nothing more than Frank and a girlfriend bouncing up and down on a bed, making bogus sex noises while trying not to laugh. As much as I would have loved to have included this, I can't, which is a shame, as it would have made a good coda. It's highly probable that it doesn't exist any more, or Frank would no doubt have issued it himself.

But what does exist is a collection of recordings from Frank's early days as a studio operator, and so we hereby present 25 slices of pre-fame and pre-prison musical buffoonery. All of these selections have been released before in one form or another, and some will be known to Zappa aficionados. Others, however, are quite obscure, but will nevertheless illuminate episodes in Frank's later recorded output.

  1. The Masters - Breaktime (May 1961)
  2. Pal Studio Band - High Steppin' (Jan 1961)
  3. Baby Ray & The Ferns - The World's Greatest Sinner (Nov 1961)
  4. Baby Ray & The Ferns - How's Your Bird? (Mar 1963)
  5. Pal Studio Band - Cookin' Turnips (Jan 1963)
  6. Penguins - Memories of El Monte stereo mix (Jan 1963)
  7. Pal Studio Band - Waltz (Jan 1963)
  8. Pal Studio Band - Sun Dog Alternate Take (early 1963)
  9. Pal Studio Band - Smoky Night (early 1963)
  10. Pal Studio Band - Can't Stand Up (Apr 1963)
  11. Bob Guy - Dear Jeepers (Apr 1963)
  12. Bob Guy - Letter From Jeepers (Apr 1963)
  13. Heartbreakers - Every Time I See You (Apr 1963)
  14. Pal Studio Band - Love Of My Life alternative version (Apr 1963)
  15. Pal Studio Band - Masked Grandma (Apr 1963)
  16. Brian Lord & The Midnighters - The Big Surfer (May 1963)
  17. Ned & Nelda - Hey Nelda (May 1963)
  18. Ned & Nelda - Surf Along With Ned and Nelda (May 1963)
  19. Hollywood Persuaders - Grunion Run stereo mix (Jun 1963)
  20. Mr Clean - Mr Clean alternate mix (June 1963)
  21. Pal Studio Band - Why Don't You Do Me Right alternate demo (Summer 1963)
  22. Pal Studio Band & Allison Buff - I'm Losing Status At The High School (Late 1963)
  23. Conrad & The Hurricane Strings - Hurricane (Dec 1963)
  24. Woody Waggers - The Sahara Hop (May 1964)
  25. Frank Zappa & Steve Allen - Cyclophony (Mar 1963)


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