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Radio.com Minimation: Frank Zappa and the Hot, Smelly Garrick Theatre Gigs

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(Frank Zappa drawn for Radio.com by Max Werkmeister)

(Frank Zappa drawn for Radio.com by Max Werkmeister)

By Brian Ives 

On Minimation, we comb through the archives of legendary New York radio station WNEW-FM and animate interviews with legendary rock artists. This installment is taken from a 1982 interview with Frank Zappa; this video was created for Radio.com by Max Werkmeister of Ugly Cupcake Entertainment.

While recording 1968’s We’re Only In It For The Money, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention did a six month residency at the Garrick Theatre in New York’s Greenwich Village. That probably sounded like a good idea at the time. That is, until the air conditioner died, and, according to Zappa, “They refused to spend any money to fix it,” leading to interesting aromas filling the theater nightly. Another issue: their zaftig drummer Billy Mundi was having a hard time keeping cool under those conditions.

That might be true of the audience as well: the New York Times‘ review of the show wondered, “Whether their show at the Garrick will make any new friends for the Mothers – or whether they really want any – is hard to say.” But, as Zappa points out in the interview, “It’s pretty hard to maintain your aristocratic coolness in that type of air conditioning situation.”

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