IT (International Times)
First issue published 14 October 1966. IT folded with issue 164 on 5 October 1973. IT reappeared for three issues in May 1974. IT started again in at least seven incarnations since, through the 70s and 80s, running for half a dozen issues and then disappearing until some other group picks up the name and logo (Barry Miles, In the Sixties)
Zappa in IT (IT archive):
- #2 - interview with Kim Fowley
- #10 - interview (East Village Other)
- #18 - Absolutely Free libretto
- #35 - Lumpy Gravy review
- #41 - full page ad
- #42 - Miles on Frank Zappa's Ruben & The Jets (Actually the main article is in #46. ZB)
- #46 Ruben & The Jets review (ZB)
- #56 - Uncle Meat review by Miles
- #58 - Frank Zappa versus the Incredible Hulk (at the LSE where he mystified the audience by showing them his unfinished film Burnt Weeny Sandwich and got a hostile response..)
- #63 - interview
- #72 - APSZX YIK TOQ DINJ RUPLHNK – Zappa (Hot Rats sessions by Miles, ZB)
- #77 - Frank Zappa on hippies (??, there is an good FZ article, but not on hippies, ZB)
- #96 - Frank Zappa 2-page centrespread on 200 Motels by Miles
- #97 - In-depth Frank Zappa interview re. 200 Motels (no FZ in #97, Zappa In Depth is #96, ZB)
- #115 - Frank Zappa: “To all Warner / Reprise avant-garde executives who might have something to do with the merchandizing of Mothers of Invention product.” Plus interview with Zappa
- #139 - Oval concert review (ZB)
- #140 - Lennon/Zappa reviews (No Commercial Potential book review, ZB)
- #163 - Frank Zappa (Grand Wazoo review, ZB)
- July 1974 - Apostrophe review
- 1977 #7 - 4-page interview
In this interview Kim Fowley was asked about Mothers of Invention. This is the first time in IT when Frank Zaffa (! - transcription from the tape) was mentioned.
In issue #1 on page 11 the last of the pop news is mysterious "Watch for the Mothers of Invention."
The Mothers of Invention are headed by Frank Zaffa who is the Orson Welles of psychedelic freak music. Their musical roots are pre-Elvis. They were playing Spanish-American-Negro-Summertime-Cheek-to-Cheek music for a while and evolved to Louie-Louie, Wooley-Bully, Midnight Hour, and so on, then came out to Los Angeles from the hinterlands, at the tail-end of the folk-rock protest movement. In their negativity of protesting against conventionality they stumbled on a form of positive expression – freaking out. The very things that society said was wrong, they turned around and made right. Frank and the group saw the need to express this feeling musically. (read more)
FZ: If the kids who are destined to take over the country could somehow acquire the sense of responsibility ... In other words, from time to time there's lots of talk about revolution: "Ah, we're gonna revolt man, we're revolting ..." They could tell everybody where it's at, but they won't. Kids today, as they stand, have the potential to do a really big number. You know, VISIBLY own it. Because they own it now, without knowing it. They are the important consumer group; they've got the nation by the economic censored. But they have to be made to understand what a responsibility that is. (read more)
1967 August 21 - September 13
Mothers of Invention
The lyrics are absolutely free
Frank Zappa, pp 10-12
By Bill Levy, pp 10-11
The Absolutely Free libretto is available @ killuglyradio. "The fantastic photo of Frank Zappa on the bog was taken by Bobby Davidson." Other Zappa-related snippets in this issue:
Apology to IT readers re. censorship, p 2: "Our original font page "A Telegram from London" by the South African poet, Sinclair Beiles, was rejected as were parts of Frank Zappa's lyrics, a word from the headline of "Fitting – up" and a small ad for LSD.
Perfumed Garden by John Peel, p 9: "I exchanged persecution manias with Frank Zappa at the Speak-easy (trendy!) during the showing of an extraordinary film he'd made and to the accompaniment of the Mother's latest recorded idyll called "We're only in it for the Money" which is, as usual, indescribable."
With the guile and cunning of a Zaptieh, Zappa presents his first ‘solo’ record: a ballet, an opera, a collage of all the elements then present. (It should have been released 16 months ago when it was recorded.) A shifting of the musical grid, blending Cage's ‘Fontana Mix’ with John Carisi’s ‘Moon Taj’ (Into The Hot – Impulse A9) with that degree of lyricism and cynicism peculiar to Zappa alone. (read more)
1968 October 4-17
Full page ad, p 15
1968 October 18-31
By Miles, p 6
ROYAL Albert Hall Concert October 25th musn't be missed. Frank Zappa has some surprising new orchestral suites for you to hear – music both new and from his next three albums.
'CRUISING WITH RUBIN AND THE JETS' is out in the States. Very old 1950's Rock style – 'Very greasy', says Zappa. This is the last record on Verve. Zappa now has his own label: 'Bizarre' which will release 'Uncle Meat' late this year, which will be followed by 'No Commercial Potential' in the Spring. Then we will be up to date.
With his own label Frank can make sure that the absurdly long gaps between recording and release don't ever occur again. (At the moment we are 1 1/2 years behind).
Of the new music there are long extended cantatas which have been known to last over 70 minutes in concert — shades of Stravinsky, Varèse, New York Contemporary Five, Jim (Motor Head) Sherwood now plays alto sax in the school of Ayler (before he was the roady – it's a heavy group). With a nine-man lineup the sound fabric is very complex – a big-band sound (in a different sense of the word).
Bizarre records have signed up other people already: 'Wild Man Fisher' who 'has been committed twice to mental institutions by his parents – because he's different' and a group called 'Alice Cooper' of which Zappa says: 'Alice Cooper is a boy. It's not his real name'. Too much to hope that these new sounds will be released simultaneously here – however .... 'The present day composer refuses to die' (Varèse).
A RECENT article in The Times Literary Supplement refers us to an early story by Jorge Luis Borges called 'Pierre Menard, Autor Del Quijote', in which a writer attempts to write a book which will 'coincide in every particular with one which already exists', namely 'Don Quijote'.
The writer finds that it is impossible to think spontaneous 17th Century thoughts and that he will therefore be unable to write a copy of Cervantes' novel, he will have to produce a premeditated 20th Century reconstruction of it. (The TLS writer refers here to the infinite scale of this fulfilment in which time is the only impediment, and he therefore introduces us to the realm of monkeys typing Shakespeare given a typewriter and given enough time and therefore an understanding of present time in terms of the Indian interpretations of the Three Gunas.)
Precisely the same problem is present in the Mothers of Invention's latest album 'Cruising with Ruben and the Jets' (read more)
1969 May 9-22
Frank Zappa versus the teenage archetypal America theme (part 6)
By Miles, p 10
Half page ad, p 19
FRANK ZAPPA IS LIKE THE ALCHEMISTS; they would repeat the same experiment month in, month out, sometimes for many years, till the materials they were working with became so unstable they developed new properties and, one day, jelled into the Philosopher's Stone.
Frank is working with a set of themes, the sane old ones he always uses, still working on them, sneaking up on them from new angles, surprising them with strange orchestration, slashing them to pieces – the mad razor – man on the editing block, lulling them into a false security with mid-fifties rock productions, eating away at them with the strongest acids – leaving them to their naked bleached bones. (read more)
1969 June 13-28
Frank Zappa versus the Incredible Hulk
By Mitch Howard, pp 9, 13
Pete talks about Tommy
By Miles, pp 10-11
(in this Pete Townshend interview Zappa is mentioned several times)
Is Frank Zappa really Lord Robbins, chairman of LSE's governors, in disguise ? Probably no, but a lot of LSE students behaved as if they thought he was when he came to talk with them at lunchtime on the Tuesday after Whitsun.
Petty squabbles and sluggish, conventionalized thinking have unfortunately always tended to be one of the trademarks of the political Left in Britain (meanwhile Lord Robbins smirks as Britain drinks and goes home). Zappa's visit to the supposed home of free thought and free action showed once and for all that if the militants alone run the New Order, Britain's heads had better head for the hills at high speed. (read more)
FRANK: There are some things I'd like to clarify about my editing technique. The editing technique is an extention of the composition because, as I have so much to do with the actual production of the records, as a composer it gives me a chance to exert even more control on the musical material from start to finish. Like... I've already written a piece and had it performed, I get a chance to mix it, you know, I get a chance to enhance it or even alter it radically by the volume balances of the different instruments. Then, after I've got that onto a piece of quarter-inch tape, I can examine it, chop it up, integrate it with non-musical material or material not produced with musical instruments, and include that material which would otherwise be considered as noise or environmental bullshit into the musical structure, and use that as rhythmic counterpoint or as actual musical material as was done in 'Lumpy Gravy'. To call that 'editing technique' sounds like somebody sat there and cut out all the mistakes.
I just wanted to make that point about editing being an extention of the composition, because it took me a long time to get used to handling a razor-blade like that. I just recently purchased my own machine that will enable me to do that work at home, and now I spend sometimes ten or eleven hours in a row just sitting in front of that machine chopping tape up. 'Cause I really like to do it. (read more @ IT Zappa)
Another side of the revolution is to be found in the pure Laurel Canyon music of FRANK ZAPPA. His new album, his second under his own name, is the very life-beat of Hollywood music; every pore of 'Hot Rats' echoes with the vibrations of those few freaky square miles. An album of his own music, an album where Frank reveals all the goodies he has been saying up since "Lumpy Gravy', carefully mixed and backed together to sound just as Frank wanted them to! (read more)
1970 April 9-24
MANY PEOPLE SAY THEY DONT LIKE THE MOTHERS but when pressed usually it turns out that they haven't listened to them for three years or so. Those people should read this totally biased review with an open mind: When Zappa disbanded The Mothers he issued the following press release: (read more)
1970 June 18 - July 2
A GTO is an average
An album was released last winter by the G.T.O.s (Girls Together Outrageously, Organically etc.). Produced by Frank Zappa, it reflected in terms of words and songs, the Los Angeles ethic of perverts, exhibitionists, and showed the city as a wonderous distortion of 20th Century culture.
"All the weirdos of the world unite in Hollywood".
Miss Pamela lies on CBS boardroom tables, kicking her legs; Miss Cinderella chomps a Nick Fury cigar.
The two of them are visiting London, on holiday prior to touring the U.S. with the rest of the G.T.O.s and their backup band. Runt.
"Do what you want to do, because it's going to be too late soon".
At thirteen, Miss Cinderella quit school with a dime in her pocket, and wearing her school clothes, hitch-hiked to San Francisco to explore a new life style.
"I suddenly realised I didn't care about anyone at school, and nobody cared about me, so I split".
The exploration culminated in the G.T.O.s, whose see-thru clothes and outrageous mannerisms make the same superliterate comments on western morality as Townsend's guitar-wrecking has made on western materialism.
Their identification with youth/revolution is strong, but non-verbal, non-intellectual. They do it, and they don't ask questions – anytime.
"I just don't think about it – I get depressed".
The G.T.O.s see themselves as typical products of the Hollywood environment. They fight its sexual exploitation, they are dismayed and disgusted by the perverts, and yet they use larger than life parody to put across their trip.
"What we want to do is travel around and watch people's reactions".
"I opened the window yesterday in Chelsea with my boobs flopping out, and would you believe, the entire London mounted police force was riding past!"
The G.T.O.s are valuable. They would be easy to dismiss as another of Frank Zappa's pet monsters, but on meeting them it became obvious that Zappa was merely the support they needed to get their own trip off the ground. The work with Zappa on the album was even, to some extent, a disappointment.
"The recitation passages on the album should have had music, but Frank didn't want to put any more money in, so they were released as rap".
The G.T.O.s are phenomena outside the mainstream of rock; of the "good music – doing our thing" ethic. This, however, doesn't make their work invalid. In fact, they are actively
demonstrating, by their life-style, what a lot of other artists are only talking about – or even avoiding talking about.
"Speed You got SPEED!!!!".
1970 November 5-19
Half page ad, p 4
(Interview recorded at Rattner's on 2nd Ave, New York City, 14 November 1970. Interview continued in an empty dressing room backstage at the Fillmore East, same date).
F: Considering the ease with which the deal was made, it was unbelievable — we sent them a tape and a 10-page treatment, and a few days later we had a meeting. We walked in & the guy says: "You've got a deal", just like that.
M: Everything you asked for?
F: Well, I would like to have more money for the budget, but considering the amount that it is, we'll be able to do it. It's going to be tight
M: Is that why you're shooting in England?
F: Yes. Well, that's one of the reasons. I figured it would be fun to do it over there. The main enticement was the cost of the orchestra. We got the Royal Philharmonic for a thousand pounds a session. (read more)
"For the past two years of our contractual association another free ad in the underground press for that cheapskate Frank Zappa."
This is a reprint of imitated interview with himself, originally published in Circular.
Promoting rock is always fraught with danger, as the brothers Foulk found out (yet again) last Saturday afternoon. Few people expected them to lose money on a line up like Jeff Beck, Zappa and Hawkwind, but they certainly did – the factors being poor weather and expensive tickets – with the result that the green was never more than half full and the raised seating round the periphery hardly used. But, as well as being a good tax loss, it was also the best music I have seen at a one-day event for a long time, and what's more you didn't have to queue for anything. I got there half way through Man's set, complete with a blue blazered male voice choir from the valleys, and their relaxed but insistent set got things off to a good start. (read more)
No Commercial Potential – The Sage of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, by David Walley, published by Outerbridge & Lazard (Import now, should be in the shops soon). At a time when the majority of rock music seems to be the product (and distinctly not the creation) of a bunch of so-called artists whose main influence appears to be the trendo ephemera of the Kensington Market, its reassuring to know that some of those luvable genius weirdos who thrilled us through the Sixties are still churning out their inimitable work. Among these perennial creators must rank the wizard of Laurel Canyon, Mother in chief, Ruben Sano himself – Frank Zappa. And now, in addition to Frank's ever increasing personal output, comes his biography, the product of the researches and love of David Walley, sometime Fusion hack and potentially the slumgod of the Lower East Side. (read more)
Another instalment in the strange unfolding of the secrets of that peculiar instrument, the mind of Frank Zappa. With all the fury of the rampant, pungent odour of a roadie's old underwear and the panoramic splendour of a cheap motel room, folks, this is a Very Funky Record. (read more)
Vol.2 No. 2
Smelly feet and dog wee: Uncle Frank does it again
By Jonathon Green, p 34
Hi, Kids. Wow! Ya know what! Ya do ... reet!! Uncle Frank Zappa's brought out his latest fab waxing, 'Apostrophe', on his superneat commercial treat, Discreet Records. (read more)
IT: You once said, 'Lord have mercy on the people of England for the terrible food they eat'. Is it still that bad?
Z: Well actually I haven't had more than 2 meals since I've been here. Most of the time it's been a roll and a cup of coffee and then go to work.
IT: Isn't it rather ironic that you're coming back to England in the Queen's jubilee year and she's the one who got rid of all your money?
Z: Fortunately she didn't get hold of all of it and I don't have any control over the calendar.
IT: You didn't come for back stage pass?
Z: Actually they didn't print exactly what I said in that article. (read more)