A Trip to Joe’s Garage

This morning I had to bring in my cool rock and roll vehicle to the garage (a 2002 Dodge Caravan. They’re all the rage with Guns & Roses I’m told.) so I grabbed a random fistful of CDs for the ride out. As I settled down in traffic I looked down to see what I had taken with me and I pulled out 4 cds: “The Best of The Who, The Millennium Collection” (The Who is one of those bands that you have to reassess every once in a while. They have so much stuff out there that is so good and so much fun so why do we have to listen to the same tracks over and over again on the radio? Ah, but that is a complaint I have with most “classic rock” radio so I will save that rant for another time). “This Is Fort Apache” (An excellent compilation of bands that recorded at Fort Apache Studios in Boston featuring “Murdering Stone” by The Walkabouts which is just killer). “Is This It” by The Strokes (New album coming out this fall). And Finally “Sheik Yerbouti” by Frank Zappa. Quite a varied collection if I do say so myself.
I started my rock and roll ride with The Who and ended it with The Strokes but most of the trip was done listening to Uncle Frank (that gives you a good idea how far my garage is!). Now as you know, I hate classifying my rock ‘n roll but how in the hell do you classify Frank Zappa? Doowop classical klezmer hard rock with a touch of comedy? Art post-cubist deconstructional dada rock? It is an absurd exercise. You either like him or you don’t and granted, I don’t like all of his stuff (not that I could possibly keep up with the quantity of it. His discography is the size of a phone book!) but I love this album. So as I bombed down the highway listening to “Baby Snakes” and “Broken Hearts are for Assholes” at full volume, I smiled like a maniac as this album was one of a bunch of “seminal” rock and roll albums I remembered getting into in quick succession as a teenager (the others were Kiss Alive, Equinox by Styx (!), Love You Live by the Stones and Never Mind the Bollocks by The Sex Pistols….I think I just defined “eclectic”). So in the spirit of pointing out cool rock and roll sites on the “Net that you might want to check out, I came up with these three that you can use to plan your trip to your own version of Zappa Paradise. They are:
The Official Frank Zappa Homepage: The official site. Oodles of stuff you can read and buy. A good start.
Planet Zappa: A fan site with an extensive discography and some great articles. Very cool.
Zappa Analysis: Well, this is a bit much but is quite interesting if you want to try to get into the head of the late, great genius although you know what they say, too much analysis spoils the broth! Or something like that. Enjoy.