Saturday, January 18, 2014
Frank Zappa on the Steve Allen Show - (1963)
Much has been written and said about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Beatles legendary first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. But, eleven months before that occasion, Steve Allen was already looking for the next big musical sound. In this March 4, 1963 broadcast Mr. Allen looks on as Frank Zappa, later of the Mothers of Invention, plays a pair of bicycles with drumsticks, proving that percussion can be found anywhere.
And, as if that isn't enough to impress the audience, he then proves that a bicycle’s handlebars can also be used as a wind instrument. The result on the audience is comical, and Mr. Allen is, of course, making sport of the whole thing. But watch Frank Zappa.
Throughout the whole ordeal; which at times it must have been; he has a gleam in his eye, as if he can already see and hear the future direction which pop music will take in just a few more years. Those discordant sounds emanating from the bicycles are the birth cries of a new genre of music called Heavy Metal.
The cacophony of sound made on the Steve Allen Show that night would pale in comparison to the later sounds of super groups such as The Who, Led Zeppelin, and Cream. But, listen closely; you can hear the train of musical change coming in this unique performance by Frank Zappa. He was a most unusual man…