Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hello, Frank Zappa!

 I have mentioned this story elsewhere in the past. I'm mentioning it here to see if it finally gets some attention from someone who knows because I'm not entirely sure where I got this story and as a huge fan of Frank Zappa and the music of Frank Zappa---I think it's a great story.
Zappa's "rock opera," Joe's Garage is about a lot of stuff as it relates to a rock and roll band, things that take place on the road, free will and censorship. It contains a favorite song of Frank's, Watermelon In Easter Hay.
Since it's here and if you don't know anything about Frank you don't know this is really sort of a sacred song (meaning I'm surprised it's here.) The story I heard and I have never been able to find it again was... Frank was on his death bed, requested to have this playing or it was already, he asked for a coke, raised it slightly in the air and said... "things go better with coke." I want to believe that story because it works so well. Hello Frank Zappa. :-)


  1. No, Frank did not say that on his deathbed. His last words were "Keep playing the music."

  2. Since I published this blog post I have had additional confirmation on this story. The original story came as a direct quote from Gail, where I 1st got it is hazy though and I would like to reconfirm the source. I have also seen further confirmation from another source on the "deathbed" playing of Watermelon In Easter Hay. Yes, according to Moon, one of Frank's dying requests was for people to "play my music." Gail has called interpretation of that quote into question. Nobody said these were Frank's final words. I too call some of the motivation/intent and even the validity of that quote into question--how and when it actually took place, if it was indeed legit and also feel it's been re-orchestrated to fit the needs of many on the "outside." Gail has herself repeatedly said the same thing but has added that the proper licenses be in place before doing so. On that level I believe her to be within her rights and the rights of the Zappa Family Trust. How she goes about handling things or the permissions she has allowed for her legal representation in handling these things is another issue.

    On an additional note, this blog entry was originally going to be much longer and more detailed, I was in direct contact with a good friend of Gail's at the time Frank was really sick, up until after he passed away. I owned an Italian deli/restaurant and this friend of was coming by late afternoons to pick up these little tramezzini sandwiches we made to bring to Frank. So I was getting feedback from her on how Frank was doing. Some of this probably should have been notated in writing by me but at the time I felt it was really rather personal and needed to remain confidential. Time has now assured that. On any account, I have never heard anybody quote, who would have any real knowledge, "this or that" were Frank's final words, etc. I suspect that is all very private just as it should be.

  3. Here's an additional reference to someone hearing this story, or a version thereof and also not being able to track down the source. Visit this post on The one I mention in the above comment was made in a Zappa "Group" on Facebook. I can't link that. That was what prompted me to post this story here--which was in draft/edit mode for months from a note I wrote myself regarding this story several years ago. I still think I might have a PDF of the original story somewhere--I have an old computer or two to check.

    While I'm at it I would like to point out that I never said "final words," other people have invented this final words bull shit. I'm only referencing stuff I heard which took place toward "the end." If you weren't there, just as I wasn't, you don't know anything. Even from people who were there, I have to question some veracity in what took place and what was said because there are many factors which could call any or all of that into question.

  4. hi

    did you have some photos up from the fz stanford 1977-11-19 show? would love to see them again

  5. They were on my Apple, MobileMe site, which Apple axed back in June. They're also on my Facebook page if you care to seek me out. I was thinking of linking them to my website but haven't gotten around to it.

  6. Anonymous October 18, 2012 9:14 PM--if you happen upon this... I finally got around to moving that page to my regular site. There are 9 images from Stanford 11/19/77. I have 18 images in an album for the concert on Facebook so I'll try to add the 9 different images eventually.