(image via Guitar Player Magazine, January 1977 interview through the link) “Zappadan” commemorates the late composer/producer/musician Frank Zappa; it runs from December 4th – the day of Frank’s death in 1993 – to December 21st – the day of Frank’s birth, in 1940. A list of previous posts referencing Frank is below.

Today’s trip down the Zappadan memory lane is to the early 1970′s; about keyboardist George Duke and one of Frank’s better known songs, “Inca Roads.” In the first YouTube, George talks about how he came to play in the band, and how Frank taught George to play a synthesizer and become a vocalist. At the end of this interview, George makes some references to “Inca Roads.” The second YouTube shows George playing and singing in a performance of “Inca Roads.” Let’s look!

And now, the YouTube of “Inca Roads” performed August 27, 1974 on KCET TV (Los Angeles):

(direct link to YouTube; link contains show information)

The clay animation over the sound track is… well, interesting. This TV special, “A Token Of My Extreme,” is the first time Zappa used Bruce Brickford’s work in a project.

Also interesting is that Zappa was performing “Inca Roads” before it came out on on a record; “Inca Roads” was on the album “One Size Fits All” which wasn’t at your local record store until 1975.

This is typical; for instance, the TV Special’s title – “A Token Of My Extreme” – is a song that didn’t come out on record until the three record set “Joe’s Garage” until the mid-1980′s, but was played in concert in the early 1970′s as an opening number — see “You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 2 (The Helsinki Concert)”, the September 1974 concert that wasn’t released until 1984.

Also worthy of note is the band line-up throughout this post is the band that played the old St. Paul Civic Center on November 27th, 1974. A fun fact from that show, billed as a “Turkey Trot,” was the bassist, Tom Fowler had recently broken his hand. James “Bird Legs” Youmans filled in with Tom on-stage for the show pointing out the notes on a music stand to be played. So while Frank was directing the band with the cues he always does, Tom Fowler was directing his replacement! I had an old black and white photo of it; if I can find it in places I haven’t already looked I’ll post it later.

This band line up, Frank on guitar, George Duke on keyboards, Napoleon Murphy Brock on sax, Ruth Underwood on percussion, Tom Fowler on bass and Chester Thompson on drums, was one of Frank’s most entertaining if not best. The Helsinki Concert is a “must have” as is the studio album, “One Size Fits All.”


“On The First Day Of Zappadan, YouTube Brought To Me…” by TPT on Monday, December 4th, 2012

“Zappadan 2011, Day 18 – Pew d’Etat Post!” by TPT on Tuesday December 20th, 2011

“Zappadan 2011, Day 11″ by TPT on Wednesday December 14th, 2011

“Zappadan 2011, Day 6″ by TPT on Friday December 9th, 2011

“Zappadan 2011, Day 4″ by TPT on Wednesday December 7th, 2011

“Zappadan 2011, Day 2″ by TPT on Monday December 5th, 2011

“That’s right folks, don’t touch that dial!” by TPT on Saturday November 19th, 2011

“One Year Later – Who Opposes HCR? Or…a picture says a thousand words.” by TPT, Thursday March 24th, 2011

“Watermellon In Easter Hay – May 17th, 1988, Barcelona, Spain” by TPT, Friday August 21st, 2009

“Progressive Nation 2009 Concert Tour” by TPT, Wednesday June 17th, 2009

Where I get my Zappa music: The Electric Fetus