Frank Zappa

By Ben Manilla [1]

WLIR Free Flight, Summer, 1981

On April 17th, 1981, Frank Zappa acted as Master of Ceremonies at an Avant-Garde Classical Performance of the works of Edgar Varèse at the Palladium Theatre in Manhattan. The afternoon before the performance I met Frank at his hotel room. When I arrived I asked how the show was shaping up; he hadn't seen the entire evenings selections, but seemed somewhat concerned for the majority of the pieces he had seen. In order to steer his mind away from the upcoming show, I started talking to him about religion. It was both Good Friday and the start of the Passover holidays. So religion was the topic as the tape recorder began rolling:

Ben Manilla: Do you celebrate the holidays at all? I, mean either audience the Easter holidays or... 

Frank Zappa: I don't like religion. I think that it's probably one of the reasons we have so much trouble in the world. When people try and run government.

BM: I had a religious background.

FZ: You switched over, right?

BM: No, not at all, I actually went to Episcopalian school where they mode us go to Chapel every morning – I went to Chapel every morning for 9 years & it wasn't until I was out of college & was 23 that I sat down at the bedside of my father and said, "Tell me about us... Where do I come from?" and he said, "Well, I'm the son of a Jewish family" and this was the first that I knew... I had no idea. I was stunned.

FZ: You got the big surprise. They'd been trying to keep it from you for years and train you to be a W.A.S.P and it didn't work.

BM: Yeah, exactly. So actually, my big event for this weekend is a friend who's putting on a Passover Sedar. I just want to do something ... I want to see what it's like. I've never been to any sort of religious event so he's invited me and I want to make sure I'm doing everything right.

FZ: All the top secret rituals. See, that's part of the charm of religion. You get to do things that people believe are actually mystically important. That's one of the reasons organized religions keep going 'cause everybody likes to be in show business.

BM: So religion then is... I don't follow why religion is show business?

FZ: Actually, religion is Real Estate business. You know the difference between a cult and religion? A cult doesn't own any real estate. All the real religions own things like – the major part of Harlem, I think the Catholic Church is the landlord of that and some religions own chains of supermarkets – the Mormon Church owns Hughes markets and you know, it's a matter of taking money from people who don't have any money; telling them they're going to go some place when they die and use the money to build a peer base and the peer base is then used to control the lives of the people they took the money from.

BM: It's not that the cults don't try to get...

FZ: Oh, everybody in a cult aspires to become a religion. It's not that they prefer it that way. To start a cult, it's so that you can take money from people who don't know any better and eventually you'll have a cathedral or a temple or a whatever.

BM: There's a whole cult around what you do, isn't there?

FZ: I wouldn't say that.

BM: How would you describe it?

FZ: I think that there're people who try to imitate what I do and the way that I talk and the way that I conduct myself and I did on interview yesterday with a guy that started off saying "I've patterned my whole life after you," and I told him that he was full of shit for doing that because it takes you nowhere. You are what you is. You be what you are and I'll be what I am and let's don't get in each other's way. Why should we want to duplicate somebody else's life? It's already been done.

BM: The dichotomy there though is that you are very individualistic and on a number of levels you approach what you do on an intellectual level... What I was thinking about here is that while you approach what you do intellectually, it seems that a lot of your
audience does not come from that same background. They approach it from sort of a gut level or a ...

FZ: Well you have to understand one important fact that many Americans have tried to ignore for the past 50 years ... it's okay to be smart and it's okay to do things intellectually and it's also okay to do things with a gut reaction, and it's also okay to combine the two, and usually the way the media plays on the fears of the public, especially during the 50's and 60's that anybody who had an I.Q. over 28, let's say, was probably a threat to the community because a person who can think for himself is just liable to realize that commercials don't mean anything and what they write in the newspapers is wrong and you know it's fashionable to disparage people who are smart and the bad part is that people who are born smart pretend to be dumb so they can have friends and that's a tragedy. I try to encourage people that if they are intelligent to not be ashamed of it, to go out and do it and forget about having friends and acting dumb in order to have friends because those friends aren't gonna do you any good anyway and if you know deep down in your heart that you're a dumb kind of a person, don't be ashamed of it. That's what you are. Have a good time. You can sit in front of the T.V. and drink beer and watch hockey and love it. Because the more you know, the less you like it so everybody should be happy with what they got.

BM: Thinking about the individualism and particularly your individualism, in the book, "No Commercial Potential," it's intimated that your individualism is patterned after your father's individualism...

FZ: Well, let me tell you the story of that book. First of all, it was written by a guy who I feel is probably not a very good person. He came to me and said he wanted to do a biography and I said I don't want one and he said, well, I've already made a deal with a publisher and I'm gonna do it whether you help me or not. So on the advice of my manager and my lawyer at the time, they said the best thing to do is to give him an interview because if he's going to write a book, you should give him some information. So he come to my house a couple of times and he would ask me a question and as soon as I'd start to answer, he'd tell me about his father and tell me about the military school that his father sent him to and it was like I was a psychiatrist and he'd bring his girlfriend to the house, you know, like, "Hey baby, go with me – I'm gonna go interview Zappa." And then, the next thing you know the guy disappears, goes away for a while and sends me some proofs of some scripts of a book that is full of shit. It's just got so much wrong stuff, misquotes, his own fantasies, uncorroborated garbage... He sends me the proofs. Well, it wasn't really the proofs. They had already printed 10,000 copies that were sitting in a warehouse and there was no way they could change any of the inaccuracies in the book. To me, it's the worst kind of journalism and it turned me off to all form of media, all forms of writers, I mean they're just scum.

BM: Did he tape the interview?

FZ: He might have. I know I played him some records and he taped some of those things, but I don't know whether he taped all the conversations. But the quotes that are attributed to me in that book are not the way I talk. They're the way that he talks. He has me using words like 'archetypal' which is a word that he uses all through the book. It's really a bad, bad book.

BM: If people want to explore where you're coming from, where do you recommend they go?

FZ: I recommend they don't pay any attention to me, just, you know, do what they're doing and I'll provide entertainment for them and then they should just not worry about my personal life or what kind of a person I am. I don't want someone peeping into my garbage ... it's irrelevant to what I do, my job is to entertain them. I don't want someone questioning my motives for what I do. I'm not here to be studied like some kind of bacteria in a dish, not by a guy who writes a book, or by somebody who wants to perceive it as a fashionable thing to do.

BM: You don't seem to be the typical entertainer to me.

FZ: You have to understand that entertainment comes in a lot of different forms. My idea of entertainment is something that will provide a pleasurable material to occupy a time frame. People's idea of what is pleasurable or what is entertaining varies from person to person. Some people think that the television set and the hockey is really entertaining. I don't. Some people think that country and western music is fantastic... I can take it or leave it. It's a matter of taste. I have things that entertain me and I think that the people who like what I do probably have similar tastes to mine and so we agree on certain types of things that are entertaining and I'll do what I can to provide that sort of amusement and that's the way it works.

BM: What's entertaining to you?

FZ: Coffee, cigarettes, sex and music, but not especially in that order.

BM: What is the order?

FZ: It varies depending on my mood at the time.

BM: Cigarettes are pretty vile.

FZ: Depends. If you like 'em, they're not. Everybody is a walking combination of chemicals and if your body chemistry desires to be augmented by whatever the content of the cigarette is and it's compatible with your lifestyle, then go for it. That's the way I feel about it. I like cigarettes. I've liked tobacco since I was an infant. I've always liked the way it smelled; the way it tasted. I used to go and unroll cigarettes when I was a kid and chew on it. I like tobacco ... can't help it.

BM: Have you ever thought about writing a song about it?

FZ: No, I'm not interested in celebrating tobacco as a way of life. That's what I like. I don't want people to imitate me.

BM: Whether you want people to imitate you or not, they do as was seen in the guy who interviewed you yesterday and said he patterned his life after you...

FZ: Well, I know there are a lot of guys like that, but the funny thing is that they all seem to live in New York. I don't know. It's a little weird.

BM: Maybe part of it has to do with the fact that they don't see you as often as someone...

FZ: That's wrong. I probably spend more time in New York performing than any other place in the world. I do more concerts than any other place and more appearances on stage in New York. No other place in the world do I do like six shows. So, they get to see me pretty much. I'm around.

BM: You did sort of launch the career of the Mothers in New York?

FZ: This is the place where we first got famous and the reason for that is that the police drove us out of Los Angeles by shutting down all of the places where bands could work during the early 60's so when we moved to New York so we could find a place to work, New York also happened to be the place where the center of the news media was so we got a lot of coverage and we had a lot of people come to see us, so we first achieved notoriety here.

BM: When did you first start considering yourself an entertainer?

FZ: I've always felt that I was an entertainer. Since in High School, no even before that, in Junior High School.

BM: What sort of shows did you put on then?

FZ: I think the first thing that I did that gave me a clue that I had a career as an entertainer ahead of me was when I was forced to give a lecture in a science class on ferns and got a lot of laughs. Of course, I wasn't trying to be funny, but it was nice experience 'cause all I had to do was talk about ferns and deliver the facts in my own way and people laughed and that was good, so I went on from there.

BM: Let's talk a bit about some music here. I'm curious, how does the creative process work for you? Musically, how do you approach creating your music as opposed to just entertaining on the stage? Where does it come from? Where is your muse? How do you tap into it?

FZ: I just get up and go to work.

BM: You have a studio in your house, don't you?

FZ: Yes.

BM: So what does that entail? What do you mean you go to work? Do you roll out of bed and walk downstairs and there you are at work or what?

FZ: I don't even have to go downstairs. I get up and walk through the doorway and I'm in the studio. I just get up and go to work just like anybody else gets up and goes to work and then when I get tired, I get up and walk through the door and lay down in the bed. I don't have to commute. That's the good thing about it.

BM: You don't need a place to go and just forget about it?

FZ: I can write in airports, restaurants, hotels... I prefer to write at home but if I'm traveling around, it's still no problem because I carry music paper in my briefcase and a lot of the lyrics I've written on hotel stationery. I have saved all of it ... for example, the song "Joe's Garage" was written at the Hotel Romershakizer [Römischer Kaiser] in Dortmund, Germany, and the guitar part was written during a sound check at a place in France. But, you know, you put things together piece by piece during a period of time and then the final work all takes place in the studio.

BM: Think about "Joe's Garage" ... Would you classify the Motors [Mothers] as a garage band?

FZ: No.

BM: Was "Joe's Garage" patterned after experiences you had, or patterned after experiences you saw, or just totally made up?

FZ: No, it's patterned after general conditions of garage behavior that I've learned about. I've participated in some of the things that are spoken about in the "Joe's Garage" story, I think that it's a general kind of story that could apply to anybody's garage band.

BM: There just seemed to be so much feeling in the bending of the note over and over again.

FZ: Well, you know, that's the way you do it in a garage. The first time you learn how to bend a note, that's the one you do because you think it sounds almost like the one Eric Clapton did, but you're not sure if your fingers are on the right fret yet.

BM: I thought it was interesting from the standpoint of being a disc jockey on the air. Virtually on the heels of your "Joe's Garage" the Pat Metheny album "American Garage" which, although the music was not the same, the idea and I thought, how fascinating the two people coming from seemingly the opposite ends of the spectrum, should sort of arrive on the same plane.

FZ: At the garage. The garage is sort of a common denominator for American.

BM: Do you consider yourself a true American through and through?

FZ: Absolutely. I'm 100% American. Dedicated to the capitalist principles. Totally against communism and socialism. I hate that stuff. I'm proud of this country. I just wish it would work a little bit better and I think that if everybody thought about America a little bit more and what its future might be, that they would probably reevaluate their own attitudes towards their country. A lot of people have been ashamed about being American because they keep reading bad things about themselves in the newspapers and it's like those some people who were smart and acted dumb in order to have friends, I think a lot of Americans pretend to act ashamed just so that they can wind up agreeing with something that somebody else said.

BM: Think about your lyrics from the earlier stuff, say... "Trouble Coming Everyday" or "Concentration Moon," or "We're Only In It For The Money" there was a lot of concern for this country then.

FZ: There still is. I've always been concerned for this country. I expect to continue to live here. I hope that it remains a place that I would enjoy living in, I see a lot of stupid people being elected and I see them doing a lot of stupid things with my money and with your money and with my life and with your life and enacting laws that are going to effect my kids and I've got 4 of 'em and I'm concerned with what happens when they'll grow up. How much opportunity they're gonna have to say and do what they think or whether or not they're going to have to pretend to be dumb in order to get along.

BM: Is "I Don't Want To Get Drafted" going to be available on an album?

FZ: Yes. In October. A completely different version of it that has performances by Jimmy Carl Black and Motorhead Sherwood and also has my son Ahmet and my daughter Moon doing some of vocals on it.

BM: How did you feel about bringing your son and daughter in on it?

FZ: Well, they had always wanted to be on a record and I figured that this one was easy enough to sing so I let them sing a line.

BM: Is it art?

FZ: Of course, it's art. So is this ashtray.

BM: Last time we spoke, you said that there were four double albums heading our way in the near future. Do you plan on, after these four albums are out, to continue to be as prolific as that?

FZ: I can only be as prolific as my finances allow me to be because, remember, I have to pay other people to do things and as long as I have income from the sale of one album to apply to the manufacture of the next one, I'll continue to produce, but it's one of those economic factors. You can only do projects that you can finance. I'm not supported by a foundation or grants or gifts from high places. I finance things with my own money and that's why I can say what I want and I can do what I want and if you want to hear the straight poop, somebody's got to buy the records and go to the concerts or I'm out of business.

BM: Do you foresee a day when people might stop buying Frank Zappa records or stop going to Frank Zappa concerts?

FZ: Of course.

BM: Are you prepared for that eventuality?

FZ: Sure.

BM: Are you going to get a job with Lockheed or what?

FZ: If I had those kinds of skills, I probably would, but I don't have any riveting or other types of manual skills, so I'll find something to do.

BM: How often do you play your guitar?

FZ: Very seldom. Only when I'm working.

BM: Seems that you work quite a lot though.

FZ: Well, when I say only when I'm working, I actually work ... actually what happens is that when I finish a tour, I don't even pick it up again until I either have to do something on a record or I get ready for another tour and we actually rehearse a month or two months before a tour starts and we're out for 10 weeks or something like that and we have a month or so off or like last year's schedule, we did 130 shows and about 40% of them were doubles. I did a lot of playing last year, but I've only picked up my guitar about 10 times since December. It's almost like having to learn how to play it all over again when you get ready to go out and do another tour.

BM: One of the double albums that you have slated is a guitar album only, isn't it?

FZ: Yes, only it's not a double. It's three singles and I'll tell you what the release schedule is May 1st, there's an album called "Tinsel Town Rebellion" coming out and it's a double and it's live and inside of that album on the inner sleeve, there's an advertisement for "Shut Up and Play Your Guitar", "Shut Up and Play Your Guitar Some More", and "The Return of the Son of Shut Up and Play Your Guitar" which are available by mail order only. There's also going to be an ad in GUITAR PLAYER and MUSICIAN so you can see where to send away for 'em.

BM: When your first album came out, you advertised in comic books.

FZ: That's not true. That was our third album. "We're Only In It For The Money" was the first time anybody had ever advertised for on album in a comic book and I thought why not? And I don't think anybody's done that since that time, great ad. It was the third album not the first.

BM: It's interesting that you have progressed from comic books to Magazines.

FZ: Well, you try to place your advertising in the medium that's gonna reach the people who would be most interested in the product that you're advertising. That's just efficiency. The ad that I placed in the comic book was in Marvel and I thought that a lot of the people who read Marvel might be interested in the kind of stuff that we were doing. You know, the kind of people who like Marvel comics. And so the audience for the guitar album will probably be primarily musicians and people who like instrumental music, who don't necessarily have to be guitar players to enjoy this album 'cause it's got a lot of good instrumental music on it. As the ad says, there's no lyrics to bother your imagination. You just put it on and listen to the riffs.

BM: What follows that?

FZ: In October, there's another album called, "You Are What You Is" and that's a double and it's a studio album. So since December, I've mixed or mixed and recorded and done all the final work on a total of seven discs. That's fourteen sides. So I've been quite busy.

BM: Are you going to be doing more?

FZ: I'll probably start on the one that comes out after Christmas. As a matter of fact, the scheduling of this was, I finished the mixing of the last track on the October album about four days ago and as soon as that was done, I had other musicians in the studio doing some overdubs on the tracks that are going into the album after that.

BM: Could you talk a little bit about the making of "Tinsel Town Rebellion"?

FZ: Basically, the way "Tinsel Town Rebellion" works is the first cut on side one is a studio cut since I figured that since it's a live album, they don't usually get played on the radio, that I would put something on there that would give people a three-minute song – very nice little tune called "Fine Girl" which may disturb some people and then the next cut is "Easy Meat" and the first part of that has a mass of keyboard overdubs done by Tommy Mars on this classical section and then after that, all the rest of the album is totally live including the vocals. Everything is just as it actually happened and the concerts that are recorded are from London, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Illinois, Dallas and one other place ... Philadelphia.

BM: That must have been a pretty massive project. How critical are you when you listen to those tapes?

FZ: Very. I try and get the best performance and the best recording. Often times, the best performances aren't necessarily the best recorded. 'Cause sometimes you just don't have enough time to perfect your set up before the show starts so you have to compromise and set it up so you're going to get a performance that gives you some idea of what the song is supposed to be plus the best possible technical rendition of it.

BM: Are you happy with all the work you've done so far?

FZ: Oh no. None of it's perfect. I'm definitely limited by the money I can spend on things 'cause money converts into things like studio time and deadlines and things like that. At some point or another, you have to say, it's done and it goes, and if it's not 100%, well, that's tough. But on the other hand, you have to see that some groups who spend like Fleetwood Mac with 13 months in the studio and a $1,000,013.00 to do "Tusk" and I wouldn't say that's perfect either.

BM: It's been said that the first MOTORS [Mothers] album was a very expensive album to make at the time. I read somewhere that 21 thousand dollars was spent which at that time was a lot of money.

FZ: But, it was a double album which was also unusual. I think it was the very first rock and roll double album. And it's not finished either. They released it before all the tracks were done on "Monster Magnet". That's just the basic track from "Monster Magnet". They wouldn't let me finish it. They said no one could spend any more money and that was it.

BM: "We're Only In It For The Money" was something of a slowdown in your career wasn't it? It took a lot of energy to get that out?

FZ: I like to get things out as soon as they're done so people can start laughing right away, but with that album, the complications with the Beatles and that stuff, it didn't slow down my career, but it was kind of annoying that it occurred.

BM: You were talking before about your guitar playing ... your producing career, your working with Grand Funk Railroad and a guitar solo you put down for them, has there been any opportunity to work with other people since them?

FZ: You have to understand that first of all Grand Funk's getting back together. Second of all, they asked me to produce their next album and thirdly, I'm not gonna do it and about the guitar solo, on the Grand Funk album, I produced before, I didn't want to play on it but I was trapped into doing it because of just circumstances that occurred during the production. Mark Farner had already gone back to his ranch or farm or whatever it is in Michigan and the tune that I played on was a song that was written by the piano player and it was just a track and he didn't have anything on the album and they took something out that had already had vocals on it just so he could have a tune on the album and it was unfinished and we were already in the process of mixing by the time that changeover was made, so they asked me to fill in this blank that was in that song and I didn't want to do it, but I did it and so it's on there. I mean I enjoyed working with them and they're nice guys and I think that the album was a good album, but they broke up right after that album was made. They were supposed to go and tour to promote it, but they broke up.

BM: Are you approached by artists to produce?

FZ: Everyday, and I really hope I don't have to produce another rock and roll album for anybody. I don't really enjoy doing it.

BM: Would you produce a Blues album, or a R&B album or a classical album?

FZ: I might consider doing a classical album, but I really don't like working with pop musicians in general. It's just not a very pleasurable experience for me.

BM: You seemed to have lumped a lot at people into a category. I don't understand why it's unpleasant. Aren't they professionals?

FZ: Well, let's just say that for my own personal tastes, it's not a pleasurable sensation for me to be an employee. You know what I mean. If you're a producer, if you do it the right way, you're working for the group. I don't like to work for anybody. I want to be my boss, I want to do my own stuff, I don't want to worry about somebody else's career because if you're a producer, if the album sells, it's your fault cause it didn't sell more, and if the album doesn't sell; it's a no win situation and all the blame for everything that's wrong with the album goes on you 'cause you're the producer, you know, and I don't feel like being put in that position.

BM: What music do you listen to for enjoyment?

FZ: I don't have very much recreational listening time, but if I do listen to something, it's usually classical music.

BM: Avan-garde classical like Edgar Varèse?

FZ: I very seldom listen to anything from the olden days. I like medieval music. I don't like Mozart, Beethoven or Brahms or any of that kind of music. It bores me.

BM: Flo and Eddie do a radio show for us, "Flo and Eddie By The Fireside." I think we're the only station running it, they're on Monday nights. I asked Mark Volman what to ask you and he said, " Ask him why he segregated himself from the people he works with." Why do you?

FZ: First of all, I don't segregate myself. There's something that people have to remember. Sameness is not something that you can legislate. As much as you may wish that everyone were uniformly the same and blended together into one nice little homogenized lump, it's not gonna happen and none of the people who I've ever employed have any idea of who I am or what I'm doing. I pay them money to do work and they're just as happy to take money from anybody else to do work. Remember, the attitude that the public sometimes has about the albums that I've made, they have it all pictured like this is one big swell happy family, you know, I wish it was. It's not. It's a bunch of guys that I hire because they can do a certain type of job and I pay them money to do that and that's the way it is and as far as keeping myself apart from the people I m working with, most of them would prefer it that way because especially in the case of Flo and Eddie, they have interests that are definitely not in my line and they're of a chemical nature and I just don't want to be a participant in that sort of lifestyle. You know, I can appreciate what they do as entertainers, I appreciate their talent, they have a great sense of humor and everything else, but to socialize with them in the way they enjoy living their lives is not something that would appeal to me. I would rather work I would rather work and spend my hours doing something that leads to something than just sit around and get ripped out of my mind and be a jolly guy. That's for somebody else. I want to work

BM: For somebody that enjoys making people laugh, you take it mighty seriously.

FZ: Let's look at it from the standpoint of somebody who buys a ticket for a concert. They want to be entertained, no ifs, ands or buts, okay. My job as an employer is to make sure that the people who are in that band are capable, physically capable of delivering an entertaining evening to that audience. That's my responsibility and I take that seriously because the kids, who especially in New York, who come to see a show, they want to be entertained. When I was here the last time at Halloween, I had the flu so bad, I couldn't even stand up and for 4 out of the 5 shows, I managed to get through it. I had to cancel the fifth one cause I was so weak I thought I was gonna have to go into the hospital and that was the beginning of the tour. I thought I was gonna have to cancel a bunch of dates and I had to knock off the last show. I go out and give 'em everything that I can because I know that they need to be entertained. They need to have a good time and if you can give 'em a good time, then I'm gonna do it and I expect the some thing from the members of the band and that's why I complain if they use drugs because it puts them in a situation where they're not only exposed to legal action, like somebody could cart them away and suddenly in the middle of a tour, I gotta replace a drummer or a piano player or something like that. That ruins the show, but also it makes it more difficult for them to perform the material properly. You don't just go up and jam. You have to learn what you're doing, you memorize it and you're prepared to deliver the performances of those songs under the most adverse circumstances. Being in this band is like being in the Commandos. You job is to go out and blow up the bridge. That's what you're all about and I tell 'em that when they come in and some guys still piddle around and they go on the road and they think Frank won't find out and you know, they lose their jobs.

BM: It's only natural for people to want you to have fun.

FZ: I do have fun. When I'm on the stage I have fun, I like making people happy if I can make them happy, but what I do is not generally acceptable to all types of audiences. There are some people who have absolutely no use for what I do and that's fine. I never expected to be the universal entertainer. But for the people who like what I do, I want to be able to do it as well as I can because they expect it and of course they deserve it so I don't mess around and that's one of the reasons I am still doing this after 16 years at however long it has been.

BM: Have you ever considered giving it up?

FZ: In favor of what? A career as a barber? No, this is okay. I like this. I like making music. I like playing live.

BM: Is there more that you'd like to say about the "Tinsel Town Rebellion" album?

FZ: Yeah, the best songs on there you probably won't be able to play on the air. Well, you know how it is.

BM: Well, we did manage to go with "Jewish Princess" taking a couple of words –

FZ: And turning them around backwards. Well, my favorite songs on the album are the "Blue Light" and "Tinsel Town Rebellion". Those are the ones that I like the best, but there are a number of things on there that should have a great deal of Long Island sort of appeal. There's a brand new version, live of "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" that was recorded in England and it's ten times better than the original and there's also a live version of "Peaches en Regalia" in an arrangement that's very strange, that nobody's ever heard before. There's also one of the dance contests from the Palladium featuring "Butch and the Mongolians" and it's live, and there's a live version of "Love of My Life" from Berkeley which they're going to release as a single in Europe.

BM: What exactly is the dance contest?

FZ: When we play at the Palladium, the stage is so big that I just invite audience participation and I just invite people up to the stage and we see what happens and what happens is that they try and move their feet to the type of things that we play and you know, it's not really a contest, there's no real prizes, it's just really a chance for people in the audience who always wanted to be in show business to come up and do something to entertain their friends and, of course, it entertains me too because they're having a good time while they're doing it. We pick guys and girls at random, pair 'em off and let 'em go and make 'em dance to things like the "Black Page" and this particular dance contest, this guy Butch gets on stage and he's – actually I think Butch lives out there – call him up and let 'em explain 'cause he can do it better and you'll enjoy his voice

1. Ben Manilla was an on-air personality and Production Director at WLIR. This interview here was noted in Mother People #5.


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