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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