Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention

By Susan Walters

The Citizen-Advertiser, November 3, 1972

The Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse was the scene of a concert Saturday night, Oct. 28 as Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention performed.

Frank Zappa, known for his strange musical compositions, performed his songs for a near capacity crowd.

The Mothers of Invention include: Frank Zappa, guitar and lead vocals; Tony "[Ruben] and the Jets" Duran, rhythm guitar; Dave [P]arlato, bass guitar; Jim Gordon, drums; Tom "Tommy the Tuba" Malo[ne], tuba, horns; Gary Barone, trumpet; Malcolm M[cNab], horns; Earl Du[mle]r, horns; Glen[n] F[err]is, horns; Bruce Fowler, horns; and Paul [Hof], head road assistant.

The Syracuse audience appeared delighted as Zappa performed some old material as well as new, yet to be recorded songs. Original compositions included in Zappa's performance were: "The Duke of Prunes", "Imaginary Diseases", and "Chunga's Revenge". When the Mothers of Invention were summoned back to the stage for an encore, Zappa chose to perform the title song of his latest album, "Waka-Jawaka".

Frank Zappa has been described as a master showman as well as an inventive musician. Born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised on the West coast, Zappa began composing serious music at the age of 14. He founded the Mothers of Invention about seven years ago in New York City. The Mothers of Invention were soon recognized as being perhaps the first pop group to blend rock 'n' roll with such class music as that of Stravinsky and other composers. The Mothers have gone through many changes since then and now Frank is the only original member. In January, 1972, Zappa was thrown from the stage at a concert in London, England and severely broke his leg. The Mothers of Invention split for eight months while Frank was recuperating. The present Mothers of Invention was formed only two months ago.

Zappa is able to see beyond today's fads and tries to use the weapons of a disoriented and unhappy society against itself in his songs. His compositions deal with such subjects as rock cliches, the advertising business and politicians.

Frank Zappa has written, directed, and starred in his own movie, "200 Motels" and has two current albums, "Just Another Band From L.A." and "Waka-Jawaka". In addition, Frank Zappa has become president of the first underground rock conglomerate, Bizarre, Incorporated. It produces two record labels--Bizarre and Straight.

After their short stay in Syracuse, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention planned to leave for Harp[u]r College in B[ingham]ton, New [York]. They are also planning shows for Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia and Rhode Island during the month of November.

Text source: Petit Wazoo Reviews