Monday, March 10, 2014

Grandmothers of Invention at Under The Bridge

Saturday 01-Mar-14

We went from The Commitments at The Palace Theatre to this gig via Beachcomber bar in Queensway for Happy Hour with our friends Nigel and Kate. A couple of cocktails and then we were off to Under the Bridge to grab pole position.

My mates at college were big Zappa fans but I was never that convinced at the time; I was more into listening to T.Rex, Bowie and Roxy Music. However subsequently I have listened to a lot more jazz so my tastes have broadened. A couple of days beforehand Mary and I listened to a Frank Zappa greatest hits CD to get our ears in the mood.

The GrandMothers of Invention comprised three of the original Mothers of Invention line-up with additional band members. This is the first gig of their "Freak Out / The Early Zappa Years" Tour in which they perform songs from the first ten Zappa records.

Obviously I will never see Frank Zappa on account of him being dead but having three actual, original band members is enough for me to consider The Mothers of Invention ticked off the musical bucket list.

The GrandMothers of Invention are:
  • Bunk Gardner (with the Mothers of Invention from 1966-1969) on tenor sax, EWI, flute, straight man, commentary
  • Don Preston (with the Mothers from 1966-1974) on piano, keyboard synthesizers, electronics, gongage, magic, and vocals
  • David Parlato (with the Mothers of Invention-Hot Rats-Grand Qazoo-Petit Wazoo from 1972 thru 1976) on electric bass. 
Also featuring:
  • Christopher Garcia (the only drummer / percussionist,vocalist to hold the drum chair since 2003 for the GMOI) - drums, percussion, marimba, and vocals, and 
  • "Mad" Max Kutner - electric guitar, what nots, pedals, hats and hair.

As often at gigs the songs were well known to the devotees but to me they were all first time of hearing. Because of that I could not tell you which compositions were on the set list (apart from "Call Any Vegetable"). If it is not damning with faint praise, I enjoyed it more than I was expecting. Suitably eccentrically Zappa-esque, it was an excellent concert and they are very accomplished musicians.


Part of the concert on YouTube.

Set list and review at

1 comment:

Rosa said...

LOVE!!! Thanks for posting!! (My brother John was the "original" Zappa fan in the family--so I grew up listening to his albums roaring through the vents at all hours of the day and night--literally.)

There was never a show we missed when Frank rolled into the DC area. Have probably been to at least a dozen or more of his shows back in the day.

So happy to hear his music is still being played live! Hail to the Grandmothers!

Arf, she said.