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Old 2004-07-02, 22:41
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Some of you might be interested in this ---- OT


'Corsage' Inaugurates Zappa Vault Release Series

By Jonathan Cohen

NEW YORK (Billboard) - The doors to Frank Zappa's vault will be blown wide open via a new series of archival releases under the moniker "Joe's Corsage," a nod both to Zappa's 1979 album "Joe's Garage" and Zappa archivist Joe Travers.

A disc bearing that title is now available via the iconoclastic late artist's official Web site and his estate's Vaulternative label, comprising demos and live recordings from the earliest stages of his band the Mothers Of Invention.


"Around Mother's Day, it was the 40th anniversary of the day Frank named the group," his widow, Gail Zappa, told Billboard.com. "That was May 10, 1964. It became the other Mother's Day. We thought, 'what can we do?' Then Joe said, 'Hey, listen to this!' It turned into 'Joe's Corsage,' because it's just a little thing only he knew about that he wouldn't normally bring to our attention. This will be the first in a series of piquant little items from the vault that only Joe knows about. There's so many other choices of things Frank set aside for one reason or another. It would otherwise be a long time before we got to them."


Indeed, Gail Zappa estimates there are 40 albums' worth of material that could see the light of day, including complete live concerts. "But 'Joe's Corsage' the series will be separate," she said. "It could be anything, anytime, for no reason at all. We already know what the next one is. I hope it will be available before the summer is out."


After Zappa died in 1993, the estate sold the rights to certain albums in particular formats to Rykodisc. That deal expires in October, potentially foreshadowing Vaulternative's release of alternate album editions. "The stuff in the vault, to me, comprises an equally valuable catalog, maybe even more so, because there's a lot of stuff that is interesting from the standpoint of hearing how the composer operated," Gail Zappa said.


"We have a title called 'Everything Is Healing Nicely.' It's the prequel to (the 1993 orchestral release) 'The Yellow Shark'; the rehearsals and bits and pieces of things that Frank had actually mixed. Obviously he was going to do something with them. The minute we put that out, two weeks later we found a tape of the same material but cut together in a completely different way by Frank. I would like to put that out so you can compare it.


"So really, the focus of this is more actually about the legacy than anything else is. Yes, you have his voice as he intended it on the catalog that Ryko has in release, as long as they preserve it and stop messing around with it. When they start cutting it up, especially the classical pieces, that drives me crazy. Of course they can legally do it, but why?"


A Rykodisc spokesperson was not available for comment.


Other Zappa projects in the family pipeline include an edition of the recent "Baby Snakes" DVD with DTS sound and a DVD of the 1971 film "200 Motels," which is said to be the first movie ever shot on video and then transferred to film for theatrical release.


But DVD extras may be lacking, as the original video reels appear to have been destroyed. "It boggles the mind (distributor United Artists would) be so stupid as to dump it," Gail Zappa says. "First we have to get all the materials that we can together to put it back in one piece."


"Everything you see is live," she said of the performances in the film. "What you see is what was happening. No one has ever heard, except some crazy people in Holland, the whole score. My idea would be to have a performance of that exactly the way the score is."

 

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