Friday, April 29, 2011

I Left Zappa In New York

I'm in a Zappa state of mind today. What do I have of him on vinyl? What did I have? Why did I leave "Over- Nite Sensation" in a New York hotel? What mutha stole my "Zoot Allures" but left its pretty package to trick me, to spite me, to make me think, for the past ten years, that "Zoot" was tucked nicely in its warm blanket. It was waiting for me to get my turntable groove on, to release the beast in all of its glory. I'm saddened that I cannot spin "Wind Up Workin' In A Gas Station," but happy to see that another classical greatness is awake and ready to roll.
"Apostrophe(')." The first record my husband and I bought together. There is only one Zappa and we unconditionally agree to love him. Ok- there were two -if you count our late and great "Zappa" dog. "Apostrophe(')" is one of the few records we can play without a slew of fightin' words being tossed around like a GTO rag doll. The only record that does not cause me to nag about his music. I will never forget listening to this on vinyl for the first time. It was probably in 1994. We were living in Chicago, on the corner of Roosevelt and Austin, aka, the "four corners." Something like that. Oak Park, Cicero, Berwyn and Chicago, were the areas that protected our building. You could walk across the street and be in Cicero, or you could go west, across Austin Boulevard, and be in Oak Park. You could look to the sky and be in Chicago and then there was Berwyn. A tight group of "colorful" lived in the building. I won't mention names, bless their hearts, but to get a real feel for where we lived would only make for a more exciting post.
The apartment, a flop house. It could have been a good thing. Rent was cheap, bugs were cheaper. Across from us- the "pot dealers." I was a bit apprehensive, knocking on their door for a cup of sugar, and being welcomed with open arms into their living room. Massive piles of sticky, stinky, clumps laid down like a Thanksgiving dinner. Upstairs, the "musicians." Down the hall, the owners and their cracked out "kids." We were one big happy family. Not much in common but Frank and a good meal.
And so, I became privy to this Zappa cosmic ideology and learned how to jive on his "Cosmik Debris." It is this album cover that will soon be framed and hammered into my wall. "Who is that guy, framed and hammered into your wall?" "That's uncle Zappa."

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