Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Steve Allen Show with Frank Zappa

In his Tuesday Trivia posting the other day, O'Tim linked to a page chock full of rock trivia. If you haven't looked at it, you should. There is something of interest to every music fan on that long, long page. A lot of things caught my eye because they were new to me - I didn't know that Carly Simon's dad was the Simon & Schuster guy, for instance. One thing caught me because it wasn't new, and I knew I could share it.

In the early 1960s, Frank Zappa appeared on Steve Allen’s TV show, performing a "bicycle concerto", plucking the spokes and blowing through the handlebars.

This I knew because I acquired that 16 minute clip over a year ago. The exact date that I have is March 14, 1963 and a clean-shaven young Zappa was the first guest on the show. Not having formed the Mothers of Invention yet, he showed a remarkable musical aptitude in his interview and a ready willingness to issue orders to Steve's band. He also demonstrated his famous sense of humor in performing a duet on bicycle with Steve. Quite simply put, you have to see this.

The quality is likely as good as it will ever be - a lot of these old shows were never kept because the television industry was a bit short-sighted in realizing it's re-run potential in the early days. The version here from YouTube is identical to what I downloaded in content and quality.

It really is amazing what's floating around out there.

1963 Frank Zappa on Steve Allen Show

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1 comment:

Natsthename said...

That is so totally cool! It's great to see Zappa looking all nice and preppy, yet knowing how very subversive his music and ideas were. And seeing those Zappa facial expressions on such a clean-cut guy..well..that's priceless.