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Dave White

I'll have the burnt weeny sandwich with with lumpy gravy on the side, please

By May 30, 2013

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Frank Zappa circa 1970

As I have admitted on these pages more than once, I bought more than one album back in the day (try a couple of dozen at least) that I selected based solely on the album title, cover, or both. Fortunately, in all but a couple of cases, they were great albums that introduced me to bands I didn't know at the time but who have become favorites.

It's not surprising, then, that it was album titles like Burnt Weeny Sandwich, Uncle Meat and Sheik Yerbouti that initially attracted me to Frank Zappa. And then there was my perception that he was something of an iconoclast, a rebel, much as I perceived myself to be at that young, impressionable age.

Since that first strong (if slightly misguided) impression, I have come to appreciate Zappa's talent as a musician, songwriter, producer, and, for lack of a better word, showman. I've also gained a similar appreciation of those talents in the musicians he surrounded himself with. It took a lot of skill to be able to smoothly follow Zappa on some unexpected tangent, and make it look and sound effortless.

All of the talents listed above are much in evidence in A Token Of His Extreme, a performance video Zappa produced in 1974 which is just now seeing its first official release in the US.

Review: Frank Zappa - A Token Of His Extreme

Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images

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