Tag Archives: Frank Zappa

Felt natural

#Letter365 No309 gets posted
No309 goes in the box

After a bit of fiddling about – I left my camera at home basically – I finally got today’s piece in the post tonight. The artwork “felt natural” (as it would listening to John Martyn) though I wish I had not needed to stay at home waiting for a delivery this morning. It would have been nice to have the sunshine in the studio rather than needing to supplement the afternoon overcast light.

You will note there is no mention of Captain Beefheart or Frank Zappa today!

Not finished with Zappa but Captain Beefheart and Buddy Holly have snuck in

#Lette365 No277 gets posted
A nice moody shot of No277 going in the postbox

I did a drawing years ago – about 1974 – which I still have, called “Raining in My Heart” but that was from my clouds and rainbows period. Whilst there was a sort of wistful melancholia about it there was not the sadness of the song in it nor the pain of depression. (Oh and wasn’t Melancholia a good film!) Today’s message is connected to the melancholic but was sparked by the sun being out and me being indoors.

The Captain gets a mention because Louis Hawkinsresponded to yesterday’s post and alluded to Don V. There ain’t no Santa Claus on the Midnight Stage got chosen for the topical subject – not the mention of Santa but the despair and desolation of poverty , homelessness and slavery that is growing in our world! I tried to find a live YouTube video of the number but failed. I got a bit sidetracked watching Frank Zappa playing The Torture Never Stops and Black Napkins (with Terry Bozio and Adrian Belew) – and no I am not finished with Zappa yet! Recently I’ve been watching Talking Heads Live in Rome featuring Belew too

I did find the clip below of Captain Beefheart doing Golden Birdies. I saw him with the Magic Band at the LSE about this time I have got a feeling that Blossom Toes were supporting. I saw them at LSE again with Eclection and Third Ear Band. Enjoy!

Oh and there is some art in the envelope!

Would Frank Zappa have thought #Letter365 is where it’s at?

#Letter365 No276 gets posted
No276 goes in the box

Frank Zappa was pretty zany and may have appreciated the utter idiocy of this project. He pushed boundaries in music but I don’t have any information about his working with artists or what if anything he liked in the visual arts.

The piece inside doesn’t push boundaries but it is quite nice and  could place it in context of my work and the influences from art history.

Vegetables dream of responding to you

#Letter365 No273 goes in the post
No273 gets posted

I’m not sure if there is any evidence that vegetables dream though there is some evidence that plants do respond to human actions and even human thought. I guess that Frank Zappa was probably not advocating any real interaction with vegetables but more likely making pointed comments about acceptance and discrimination:

Standing there shiny and proud by your side
Holding your hand while the neighbors decide
Why is a vegetable something to hide

Well this evening I watched the Imagine documentary about Anselm Kiefer. I’m not sure what to make of him and his work. There is such a vast array that I need more exposure to find my way through it. One thing is certain, I like the way he talks about the interplay of chaos and control. I was also caught by what he said about waiting. How waiting is an important thing that we are not used to doing these days. He talked of how when he has worked on a piece he needs to wait to see how it is and it can turn out to be rubbish when removed from the agitated process of working it and sometimes it’s the reverse and he comes back to a piece he thought was no good to find new connections and that it is good. That’s where this project and #Collage365 are different and difficult. I do not have that extended waiting period. I have to have faith that I get it pretty much right first time.

This is like the Supremes see the way it builds up?

#Letter365 No272 gets posted
No272 goes in the box

There had to be a time when Frank Zappa entered this process. So many little things from the Mothers got in to me and influenced my sense of irony, my sense of humour, my politics, my musical taste, my love of the bizarre and, with Cal Schenkel’s cover art, my sense of design.

I can remember exactly where I was when I first heard the words “The Mothers of Invention” – on the bus on the way to school as we went round Rookery Corner! By 1969 “Freak Out” and “Absolutely Free” were part of the soundtrack of my life and prunes and vegetables and “Caledonia mahogany’s elbows and green things in general” were spattered through my speech. A few years later I heard the last part of “Fillmore East – June 1971” and I was smitten again, a love consummated when a month or two later I happened across a whole mass of mint-condition LPs in a village jumble sale including all the Mothers albums up to “200 Motels”. My fate was sealed

And all this was spurred by my ironic thoughts about how exiting this repetitive act of art can be (Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby) and my indoctrinated brain spewed out “This is the exciting part. This is like the Supremes see the way it builds up? Feel it?” Thanks Frank!