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#1: Belew a graduate of school of Zappa

Posted on 2006-07-06 07:27:13 by Zut boF

<a href="http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/featr/content/features/entertainment/stories/2006/07/06/sns0706previewmcginn.html" target="_blank"> http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/featr/content/features/ent ertainment/stories/2006/07/06/sns0706previewmcginn.html</a>

By ANDREW McGINN COMMENTARY

Many people remember Frank Zappa as the dude with a giant mustache who
gave funny names to his kids.



Some people think he engaged in a &quot;gross-out contest&quot; with Alice
Cooper back in the '70s and won by eating - well, even if it were
true, I still couldn't print it here.

Most people still have no idea what kind of legacy he left. You know,
other than a bunch of kids with funny names.

Here was a guy who recorded 60-some albums and kept making music until
the day he died of cancer in 1993. Almost all of them are worth hearing
at least once. Quite a few of them belong in everybody's collection.

Beginning with the Mothers of Invention in the '60s, Zappa mastered a
kind of controlled madness. What sounded improvised or just too bizarre
to be rehearsed was, in fact, all his doing.

And Zappa was always in control. He neither drank nor did drugs.

Rock musicians often don't make for good role models, but Zappa has
been a hero of mine for a long time.

Back in college, I hosted a radio show on the campus station that
featured Zappa's music exclusively. (I think I could probably hum the
entire &quot;Hot Rats&quot; album in my sleep.)

But until I spoke with Adrian Belew recently, I'd never really talked
to anybody whose knowledge of Zappa went beyond, &quot;Dude, I love that
yellow snow song&quot; - let alone somebody who actually knew the guy.

In college, I'd harassed Mothers keyboard player Don Preston over
e-mail (hey, he's the one who stuck his e-mail address on his Web
site), but interviewing Belew was better than reading any of the Zappa
biographies I'd read.

The guitarist, who plays Vets Park on Friday, got his start with Zappa
in the late '70s - and credits his career to the guy fans know as,
simply, FZ.

&quot;Up to that point, everything I had learned, I was self-taught,&quot;
Belew explained. &quot;Up to the point of working with Frank, I felt like
I had gone to high school and that's as far as I'd gotten.

&quot;Then suddenly I was going to college. And college was the school of
Frank Zappa.&quot;

Belew made only one album with Zappa, 1979's satirical &quot;Sheik
Yerbouti,&quot; and also appeared in the concert movie &quot;Baby Snakes.&quot;

But without his time in Zappa's band, Belew said he wouldn't have
been prepared for the complexity of King Crimson, the prog band he
joined in 1981.

&quot;In one year, I learned about filmmaking, I learned about mastering
records, I learned how to play in odd time signatures, how to arrange
music 10 different ways and how to be a professional, touring
player,&quot; Belew said. &quot;There was so much information being delved
out to me by Frank. That's what I think of him as - a master
teacher.&quot;

And everything you've heard about Zappa's audition process being a
terrifying experience is true. Belew had to be prepared to play and
sing material from 10 Zappa albums.

&quot;Someday, I'm gonna write the story of my audition,&quot; he said,
cracking up. &quot;To be quite honest, I think I failed the audition.&quot;

He ended up beating out 50 others.

&quot;There are bands who get high and play. You couldn't possibly do
that with Frank,&quot; Belew said. &quot;It was complicated music. You had to
be on your best all the time.

&quot;I'm one of the lucky few to have that experience.&quot;

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#2: Re: Belew a graduate of school of Zappa

Posted on 2006-07-06 08:45:24 by caltrop

Zut boF said the following:

&gt; <a href="http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/featr/content/features/entertainment/stories/2006/07/06/sns0706previewmcginn.html" target="_blank"> http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/featr/content/features/ent ertainment/stories/2006/07/06/sns0706previewmcginn.html</a>
&gt; By ANDREW McGINN COMMENTARY

&gt; Back in college, I hosted a radio show on the campus station that
&gt; featured Zappa's music exclusively. (I think I could probably hum the
&gt; entire &quot;Hot Rats&quot; album in my sleep.)
&gt;
&gt; But until I spoke with Adrian Belew recently, I'd never really talked
&gt; to anybody whose knowledge of Zappa went beyond, &quot;Dude, I love that
&gt; yellow snow song&quot; - let alone somebody who actually knew the guy.

Considering those admissions, he certainly didn't, or, most likely,
wasn't permitted much space to, provide much content regarding his
joyous experience.

&gt; &quot;Up to that point, everything I had learned, I was self-taught,&quot;

Ironically, or not, so was FZ.

&gt; Belew explained. &quot;Up to the point of working with Frank, I felt like
&gt; I had gone to high school and that's as far as I'd gotten.
&gt;
&gt; &quot;Then suddenly I was going to college. And college was the school of
&gt; Frank Zappa.&quot;

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