THE MUFFIN MEN
CELEBRATING THE WORK OF FRANK ZAPPA
- Barking Spider Promotions - Friday 26th April - The Albert Tavern South Parade Pier
A rare chance to see The Muffin Men, acclaimed as the greatest ever Frank
tribute band, is on offer at South Parade Pier on Friday, April 26th. The
band features one of The Mothers Of Invention's founder members, Jimmy Carl
Black, the self proclaimed "Indian Of The Group".
The Muffin Men were formed in Livrpool twelve years ago by guitarist,
vocalist Roddie Gilliard. One night in the late sixties after hearing a
album for the first time, Roddie learnt a few chords, and ten years later
went to music school where he upset almost everyone by performing
Stravinsky's Petruska & The Rite Of Spring with a rock band. As the
eighties progressed Roddie realised that performing Zappa music live was what
he most wanted to do, so in 1990 put together a two hour show of Zappa
material to celebrate Frank's 50th birthday. The Muffin Men were born.
The Muffin Men are a highly talented and experienced outfit. Carl Bowry (lead
Andy Friz (flute, saxes and vocal) and Martin Smith (trumpet and horn)
members of The Wizards Of Twiddly, and Friz & Carl also toured with Kevin
Friz has also played with the late Viv Stanshall (of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah
Band) and with Super Furry Animals and Gorkys Zygotic Mynci. Carl's greatest
claim to fame was performing on a televised TV promotional tour with
Orchestral Manouvers In The Dark - miming the keyboards! German born Tilo
Pirnbaum now lives in London. He had seen the Muffin Men a few times in
Cologne, never dreaming that five years later when he went to Liverpool to
study music he'd meet up with them and be asked to join the band.
Jimmy Carl Black is the direct link to Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of
Jimmy, an American Native Indian, was born in 1938 and raised in Texas. In
1964 he met Roy Estrada and Ray Collins and formed The Soul Giants. When
player was drafted into the Army, they hired Frank Zappa, who a month
over as leader of the band, which he rechristened The Mothers Of Invention.
Adding guitarist Henry Vestine, The Mothers regularly played clubs on
Sunset Strip, One night producer Tom Wilson heard them playing "Trouble
Coming Every Day", and promptly signed them to MGM records. The day the
contract was signed, Henry quit the band and joined Canned Heat. Frank has
just written "Who Are The Brain Police" which Henry, ever the blues purist,
just couldn't cope with.
Tom Wilson had a similar reaction - "Who Are The Brain Police" was the first
The Mothers recorded in the studio for what became the "Freak Out" album.
phoned MGM saying that they had not signed a blues band, but "some kind of
band". The Mothers Of Invention made a lot of albums in the sixties and
disbanded in late 1969, by which time Jimmy Carl Black had appeared with
Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention on countless albums and singles
Jimmy's involvement in music and his connection with Frank Zappa didn't stop
however. A drinking buddy of Janis Joplin who jammed with Hendrix on several
occasions, Jimmy formed Geronimo Black in 1970, and in1971 went to England
make the movie "200 Motels" with Zappa, Ringo Starr and Keith Moon. In 1975
Jimmy joined another Zappa related band, Captain Beefheart's Magic Band.
Jimmy has also been involved with countless rhythm and blues bands and
many recordings. He formed The Grandmothers in 1980, and first played with
Muffin Men in 1993. He now appears regularly with the band and has appeared
on no less than seven of their CD's .
The South Parade Pier show promises to be an excursion through the many
facets of Frank Zappa's considerable body of work. Frank may be dead but his
spirit certainly lives on in The Muffin Men. He would have approved - in the
words of Edgar Varese, often quoted by Frank - "the present day composer
refuses to die!"
THE MUFFIN MEN WITH JIMMY CARL BLACK appear at South Parade Pier
on Friday April 26th. Doors open at 8.p.m.