A Zappa Affair

By Len Callo

Mother People, #25, 1984

In the cold misty fog of a San Francisco evening ... it was a miracle ... Frank Zappa made the front page of the local paper with a large spread on the concerts inside the paper. Good press coverage.

When we finally arrived at the sold out Zellerbach we encountered the puppets close-up. They were a combination Muppets and Cabbage Patch dolls, only with various intense expressions. The puppets were operated by the dancers, sometimes more than one as Decamorph was handled by at least four dancers. Decamorph moved in a monsterish kind of way and had 2 three foot penises, an equally large vagina, some king-size balls, etc.

Frank came out in-between each piece and talked to the audience. Across the aisle from me I could see Gail, Ahmet, Moon, and others. Dweezil was there. The performances of the material was a little better than very good. Saturday's concert was a little more polished and was also broadcast on KPFA-FM.

The post-concert party gave the audience, those that wanted to, a chance to crowd around Frank in anticipation of getting a chance to talk to him. We left for a ganja break and returned to find Frank engulfed in the crowd – people were on him like flies on shit. This all took place on the mezzanine level. Wine and food was served. Tasty.

In my modest estimation, I would say that Frank was not enjoying himself a whole lot. With Bald Headed John by his side, fans all around him pushed their albums, programs, ticket stubs, and God knows what else at him to be autographed. After an hour or so of this Frank started to leave down the stairs, out the door, slowly around the corner to his limo, one step at a time with people on him (like fungus) every inch of the way. He didn't refuse to sign a single autograph, and finally sped away to rest up for the next day's performance.

I stayed home for the Saturday shag and listened to it on the radio. It had featured some interviews with FZ, David Ocker and others during the intermission.

San Jose; Wednesday the 20th – Asslickincocksonofabitchinmotherfuckinshitheadedtwatsniffin fools! Can you imagine a city with over 600,000 people and not even a thousand with brains enough to buy a ticket to a milestone event like this one (that's 1 out of 600). As you could have guessed, if you didn't know already, the Zappa Affair in San Jose was cancelled due to a lack of ticket sales. How could a thing like that happen?

The Serious Music Sockhop in Los Angeles (the 25th of June) had encountered the same problem. It too, was cancelled due to lack of ticket sales. Lack of interest, period. If it isn't jammed down their throats on commercial radio then they can't get excited about it. If it were to be fashionable (to go to an event such as this) then it would have been different. About 5 million people in the greater L.A. area. You would think that at least 1,000 of then would get a little excited (that's 1 out of 5,000). Things like this get me sick, disgusted, discouraged and outright heart broken. Thank God Frank is touring this year!

Read by OCR software. If you spot errors, let me know afka (at) afka.net