IN THE HOUSE: JUNE 3, 1971- FRANK ZAPPA and THE MOTHERS @ FILLMORE EAST-The midnight performance and I was pissed as my date never showed at the door so I headed in all by myself about 1:00 AM missing the first two acts. THE MOTHERS aka ZAPPA and (The TURTLES) Flo and Eddie were amazing but after about two hours I left to catch the 3:05 AM train so I skipped the encore which was surprise guests John LENNON and YOKO joining The Mothers for a rant called “Scumbag”. Years later after hearing the tapes I am glad I took the train.


It must have been that GARRICK THEATRE poster that I saw while walking around Greenwich Village especially the one which lasted for years outside the movie theatre on 8th Street that piqued my interest in this strange looking ensemble known as THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION. Strange name also. Who or what are they?

It is Spring of 1967, me a fifteen year old who mostly every Saturday when the weather was good was checking out the street art shows in and around THE VILLAGE with my art teacher, a Franciscan Nun. She was hip to what was happening, and years later left the order for a commune or something. Anyway back to the poster. We get off the subway and there it is. A few steps later there is another and another, and another. So on down the street. THE MOTHERS (written in bold) of Invention (not so bold) at THE GARRICK THEATRE Tuesday thru Sunday ,each poster with a photo of a man with a pronounced almost comical mustache and the heads of some other guys under his photo.

A few months later, back at school (September) a guy in one of my art classes brings in two albums: THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION- Freak Out and ABSOLUTELY FREE. Hey, that’s the poster, I thought. Who are these guys? I must admit my naive ears where not accepting what I was hearing. This isn’t rock music. WTF. I gave up early.

1969: I got an 8 track copy of CRUSIN’ WITH RUBIN AND THE JETS (released 1968) which never left my player for the longest time. It was a blast. This lead me to buy the album WE’RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY (released before R&TJ). October finds the HOT RATS album in the racks of the local record store and I’m sold on FRANK ZAPPA. A few months later CHUNGA’S REVENGE (1970) is joining my ever growing collection of vinyl. I need to see this band and soon.Until I see them live I added many more MOTHERS records to my pile.

Then, I get two tickets for the late show June 1971.It’s never been the same as that night along with other nights changed my perception of live music. Even thought I left early AND missed John and Yoko “jamming” with the MOTHERS, it WAS never the same. They were funny and musically sound. WOW