Frank Zappa

This tag is associated with 7 posts

Interview: Steve Vai

Although the word “virtuoso” gets used a bit too generously at times, it truly applies to guitarist Steve Vai. But don’t just take my word for it: he was called the “little Italian virtuoso” by no less an authority than Frank Zappa, who hired the young Steve Vai to transcribe his guitar solos and play in his band.

After his time with Zappa, Vai played with David Lee Roth at the dawn of Roth’s solo career – that’s him doing the talking guitar at the beginning of “Yankee Rose” – and with Whitesnake. He also released various solo albums including 1990′s Passion and Warfare and 2012′s Story of Light, has been a guest artist on recordings by many artists, and has toured with fellow guitar virtuosos Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, and others as part of the G3 concert series. You might also remember him as the Devil’s guitarist Jack Butler in the movie Crossroads.

The following interview was for a preview article for Vai’s 10/18/13 concert at the Majestic Ventura Theater. It was done by email, with answers received 10/10/13.

Interview: Dr. John

Dr. John, aka The Night Tripper, has released over thirty albums which draw from the music of his native New Orleans and beyond, bookended by his 1968 voodoo psychedelic masterpiece debut Gris-Gris and last year’s wonderful Locked Down, produced by Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys.

Although not the sort of artist who had big hits – his only one was the funky “Right Place Wrong Time” – Dr. John has been hugely respected in the music world for decades. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, not just for his solo career, but also for his contributions to recordings as a member of the group of Los Angeles session musicians now known as The Wrecking Crew, and later contributions to recordings by an incredible set of musicians including The Rolling Stones, Ringo Starr, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Rickie Lee Jones, Carly Simon, Joe Cocker, and many more.

The following interview was for a preview article for a concert by Dr. John at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara on 9/20/13. It was done by phone on 9/11/13.

Interview: Micky Dolenz

Micky Dolenz is best known as the lead singer and drummer for The Monkees, a group whose music and television show offered a fun, zany, and sanitized take on the emerging youth culture in the 1960′s. Although the television show lasted only two years, it has remained popular and influential to the present day. Dolenz’ vocals can be heard on songs such as “Last Train to Clarksville”, “I’m A Believer”, “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone”, “Pleasant Valley Sunday”, and “Porpoise Song”. Altogether, four of The Monkees’ albums and three of their singles hit Number 1 in the U.S. charts.

The following is from a phone interview with Dolenz on 7/5/12, for a preview article for the Happy Together Tour visit to the Chumash Casino on 7/12/12.

Interview: Mark Volman

Mark Volman and long-time collaborator Howard Kaylan were founding members of The Turtles, whose 1960′s hits include “Happy Together” and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe”. When The Turtles disbanded, Volman and Kaylan joined Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, and due to contractual reasons adopted the names Flo & Eddie. Flo & Eddie performed on the Zappa albums Chunga’s Revenge, Fillmore East June 1971, and Just Another Band from L.A., and in the movie 200 Motels. Flo & Eddie also sang background vocals for T. Rex, including on the worldwide hit “Get It On (Bang A Gong)” and the albums Electric Warrior and The Slider. And that’s just scratching the surface. They also sang on records by notable artists including Bruce Springsteen (“Hungry Heart”), The Psychedelic Furs (“Love My Way”), Stephen Stills, Alice Cooper, Ray Manzarek, Keith Moon, The Ramones, and Blondie. Volman is also the Chair of the Entertainment Industry Studies program at Belmont University in Nashville.

This is from a phone interview with Volman on July 29, 2011.

Photos: Frank Zappa symposium

Photos from the Frank Zappa symposium at the Ojai Music Festival. Here is a link to my review of this event.

Review: Frank Zappa Symposium

Review of Frank Zappa symposium at Ojai Music Festival, 6/11/10.

Advice From Musicians

Songwriters and musicians answer the question: What advice would you give to an aspiring songwriter/musician? Responses from:

Pete Seeger
Sir George Martin
Steve Reich
Jeff Barry
David Crosby
Graham Nash
Fats Domino
Willie Nelson
George Clinton
Alice Cooper
Slash
Wanda Jackson
Yoko Ono
Ian Anderson
Jon Anderson
Arlo Guthrie
Booker T. Jones
Dick Dale
John Mayall
Dave Mason
Jello Biafra
Jeff Mangum
Dr. John
Ann Wilson
Greg Lake
Tony Levin
Boz Scaggs
Geoff Emerick
Bonnie Bramlett
Doug “Cosmo” Clifford
Mark Lindsay
Chuck Negron
Chuck D
Eddie Izzard
Rickie Lee Jones
Todd Rundgren
Alan Parsons
Peter Hook
Laurie Anderson
Dan Hicks
Glen Matlock
Danny Seraphine
Clem Burke
Stephen Perkins
Holly Near
Will Jennings
Kinky Friedman
Raffi
Yanni
Mark Volman
Howard Kaylan
Richie Furay
Bill Champlin
Ted Nugent
Billy Corgan
Peter Buck
Bryan Adams
Maceo Parker
“Weird Al” Yankovic
Billy Duffy
Chris Shiflett
Nick Oliveri
Kronos Quartet: David Harrington, John Sherba, Hank Dutt
David Cassidy
Morris Day
Abdul “Duke” Fakir
Annie Haslam
David “Honeyboy” Edwards
Jody Williams
Jimmy Carter
Ray Manzarek
John Densmore
Paul Kantner
Jorma Kaukonen
Jack Casady
Martin Gore
John McEuen
Kim Wilson
Fred Tackett
Steve Hillage
Robben Ford
Charles Lloyd
Garry Peterson
Jim Kale
Emilio Castillo
Stephen ‘Doc’ Kupka
Francis ‘Rocco’ Prestia
David Garibaldi
Hale Milgrim
Bones Howe
Don Randi
Bob Cowsill
John Cowsill
David Pack
David Lindley
Ricky Phillips
Rosemary Butler
Tata Vega
T-Bone Burnett
Johnny Rivers
Gary Brooker
Robin Trower
Garland Jeffreys
Airto Moreira
Seun Kuti
June Millington
Jean Millington
Cherie Currie
Penelope Houston
Jake Shimabukuro
Country Joe McDonald
Jonathan Richman
Van Dyke Parks
R. Stevie Moore
Steve Wynn
Steve Diggle
Pete Shelley
Andy Shernoff
Blag Dahlia
James Stevenson
Gary Twinn
Tony Kaye
Glen Phillips
Larry Ramos
Jim Yester
Gary Lucas
Charlie Musselwhite
Lester Sterling
Lynval Golding
Carl Giammarese
James Alexander
William Bell
Carl Graves
Martha High
Steve Vai
Thurston Moore
Bob Mould
Lou Barlow
Cris Kirkwood
Curt Kirkwood
Mike Watt
Josh Tillman
Will Oldham
Bill Callahan
Buzz Osborne
Dale Crover
Jim Heath
Neil Hagerty
Bob Bert
Ken Stringfellow
Don Fleming
Jason Lytle
Cedric Bixler-Zavala
Josh Klinghoffer
Mike Muir
Mike Palm
Parry Gripp
Devendra Banhart
Stephen Pope
Jonathan Wilson
Dana Janssen
Zac Holtzman
Ritzy Bryan
Kim Manning
Linnea Vedder
Robert Randolph
Jim Coleman
James Jackson Toth
John Doe
Exene Cervenka
Billy Zoom
DJ Bonebrake
Dave Alvin
Henry Rollins
Victor Krummenacher
David Lowery
Jonathan Segel
Greg Lisher
Sam Coomes
Janet Weiss
Jack Grisham
Ron Emory
Rick Wilder
Scott Franklin
Michael Livingston
Paul Mars
Merle Allin
Donald “Dino Sex” Sachs
Dannis and Bobby Hackney
Chris Geddes
Michael Andrews
Joey Burns
Dallas Good
Michael Chapman
Russell Ferrante
Jimmy Haslip
Eddie Tuduri
Brute Force
Mark Tulin
Ian Underwood
Billy Cox
Jim Kweskin
Geoff Muldaur
Will Cullen Hart
Scott Spillane
Julian Koster
Bert Lams
Paul Richards
John Kadlecik
Seymour Duncan
Daniel Levitin
David Freiberg
Steve Young
Justin Roberts
Taylor Goldsmith
Nolan Wheeler
Charles Bradley
Bob Margolin
Freebo
Thomas Brenneck
Mike Deller
Larkin Grimm
Jason Reeves
Buddy Miller
Black Francis
Alex Ebert
Al Kooper
Jeff Hanneman
Ira Kaplan