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The Class of 1970: The Moms of Invention — ‘Chunga’s Revenge’

1970 was a red-letter 12 months for Frank Zappa and the Moms of Invention. After 5 albums on the Verve label from 1966-68, Zappa took his enterprise to Warner Brothers, creating his personal Weird label and one other referred to as Straight. In 1969, The Moms of Invention launched the wonderful double-album Uncle Meat and his landmark solo effort Sizzling Rats.

As was Zappa’s behavior, he stored a voluminous library of recorded music and studio tracks, which he intermixed in beautiful permutations and combos. That accounted for the three albums issued in 1970:


02/09/70  MOI: Burnt Weeny Sandwich — recorded 1967-69
08/10/70  MOI: Weasels Ripped My Flesh — recorded 1967-69

10/23/70  FZ: Chunga’s Revenge — recorded 1969-70


We’ll sort out these one after the other. We’re as much as Chunga’s Revenge. However first…

Many at my fraternity home worshipped on the altar of Zappa. We had a soda machine with one slot stuffed randomly with Tahitian Deal with, YooHoo, and beer, and that slot was labelled Chunga’s Revenge with a duplicate of the album title on the tab you pressed.

On to Chunga’s Revenge, an album that signaled a marked change in route after Sizzling Rats and Burnt Weeny Sandwich, each drenched in jazz and jazz fusion. It was additionally our introduction to THE PHLORESCENT LEECH & EDDIE, as they had been billed on the album. We might uncover by way of 200 Motels film after which The MomsFillmore East, June 1971 (The White Album) that these two pseudonyms belonged to Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, the good vocalists behind The Turtles. Had been we ever in for a shock!

The Moms 1970

A number of different new names appeared for the primary time on Zappa recordings: Aynsley Dunbar, Jeff Simmons, and George Duke. Dunbar was a rock drummer who had performed in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and labored briefly with Jeff Beck earlier than forming his personal band, Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation. Simmons’ second solo album, Lucille Has Messed My Thoughts Up (1969) was produced by Zappa. Duke was a longtime jazz participant with solo albums and a collaboration with Jean-Luc Ponty.



Transylvania Boogie — Frank Zappa (guitar), Ian Underwood (organ), Max Bennett (bass), Aynsley Dunbar (drums)

Highway Women — Frank Zappa (guitar & vocals), Ian Underwood (rhythm guitar), Jeff Simmons (bass & vocals), George Duke (organ), Aynsley Dunbar (drums) with THE PHLORESCENT LEECH & EDDIE (vocals)

Twenty Small Cigars — Frank Zappa (guitar & harpsichord), Ian Underwood (piano), Max Bennett (bass), John Guerin (drums)

The Nancy & Mary Music — Frank Zappa (guitar), Ian Underwood (electrical piano), George Duke (electrical piano & vocal drum imitations), Jeff Simmons (bass), Aynsley Dunbar (drums) with THE PHLORESCENT LEECH & EDDIE (vocals)

Inform Me You Love Me — Frank Zappa (guitar & vocal), Ian Underwood (rhythm guitar & pipe organ), George Duke (electrical piano), Jeff Simmons (bass), Aynsley Dunbar (drums) with THE PHLORESCENT LEECH & EDDIE (vocals)

Would You Go All The Method? — Frank Zappa (guitar & vocal), Ian Underwood (electrical piano), George Duke (trombone), Jeff Simmons (bass), Aynsley Dunbar (drums) with THE PHLORESCENT LEECH & EDDIE (vocals)

Chunga’s Revenge — Frank Zappa (guitar), Ian Underwood (electrical alto sax with wah-wah pedal), Sugar Cane Harris (organ), Max Bennett (bass), Aynsley Dunbar (drums)

The Clap — Frank Zappa (drum set, wooden blocks, temple blocks, boo-bams, tom-toms, and so forth.)

Rudy Needs To Purchase Yez A Drink — Frank Zappa (guitar & vocal), Ian Underwood (electrical piano), George Duke (trombone), Jeff Simmons (bass & vocal), Aynsley Dunbar (drums & tambourine) with THE PHLORESCENT LEECH & EDDIE (vocals)

Sharleena — Frank Zappa (guitar & vocal), Ian Underwood (grand piano & tenor sax), George Duke (organ), Jeff Simmons (bass & vocal), Aynsley Dunbar (drums) with THE PHLORESCENT LEECH & EDDIE (vocals)

All of the vocals on this album are a preview of the story from 200 MOTELS. Coming quickly.

Recorded at: THE RECORD PLANT (Hollywood), TRIDENT STUDIOS (London), T.T.G. Inc. (Hollywood), WHITNEY STUDIOS (Glendale)

The Nancy & Mary Music was recorded stay on the TYRONE GUTHRIE THEATER in Minneapolis, Minnesota (engineer: Bruce Margolis)

Engineers: Dick Kunc, Stan Agol, Roy Baker

Particular Manufacturing Assistant: Dick Barber


Weird Enterprise: Herb Cohen

All alternatives written and printed by Frank Zappa Music (a subsidiary of third Story Music BMI)

Cowl design and Illustration: Cal Schenkel

Entrance cowl picture: Phil Franks

Again cowl picture: John Williams


Concerning the cowl…

Cartoonist Patrick McDonnell attracts the great Mutts sketch centered round Earl the canine and Mooch the cat. McDonnell has an actual affinity for music, artwork, books, comedian books, and kids’s toys and incorporates them typically into his work. He has included Zappa greater than another musician, together with references to Studio Tan and Completely Free. His newest e-book of strips is Sizzling Canines, Sizzling Cats.

In the event you’ve seen his Sunday strips, there may be all the time a title panel after which the principle strip. Some years again he honored Chunga’s Revenge with an unimaginable homage. The {photograph} is of the framed print I bought from Mutts.

A Gypsy mutant industrial vacuum cleaner dances a few mysterious evening
time camp fireplace. Festoons. Dozens of imported castanets, clutched by the
horrible suction of its heavy obligation hose, waving with marginal erotic
abandon within the midnight autumn air.


Chunga’s Revenge


The moment “Transylvania Boogie” begins, you may inform the distinction. It’s Aynsley Dunbar’s drumming. Up to now, Zappa’s drummers had blues, R&B, and jazz roots. Dunbar is a kickass rock drummer, and it reveals. Zappa stretches out with a nice boogie solo, Max Bennett’s jazz-tinged bass in assist, and it’s all coloured by Underwood on organ.

George Duke’s churchy organ introduces Zappa testifying as a preacher on “Highway Women,” with Flo and Eddie (as they got here to be recognized in abbreviated type) testifying proper again because the congregation. It’s a story of life on the highway, and Zappa reminds us that he can wail the blues. Flo and Eddie and Simmons sing the choruses, and Kaylan digs in deep after the guitar solo. And there’s:

“When the PA system eats it,
And the band performs among the terriblest shit you ever recognized.”

“Twenty Small Cigars” is an edited model of six tracks titled “Transition” on Disc three of The Sizzling Rats Classes field set. The unique tracks featured Underwood, Bennett, and Guerin with some lovely music. Zappa’s guitar was overdubbed for this model.

In Half 1 of “The Nancy & Mary Music” is a free-for-all from Minneapolis, with Underwood exploding first on alto sax, though it’s not credited. Dunbar rocks out subsequent earlier than Zappa jumps in with a nice solo, a lot of wah-wah. Half 2 options one other drum interlude with Duke on electrical piano and Flo and Eddie screaming rhythmically, getting the viewers to scream with them. All of the sudden, Dunbar kicks it into overdrive, the whole band on fireplace and Zappa shredding. They fall into a good groove with Duke vamping, and Simmons crushes on bass. As Half three begins, Duke on piano leads the parade, with hand-clapping earlier than the band falls in behind him. Then he begins scatting / vocal drum imitations.



In case you had been questioning, Zappa was one of many first steel guitarists. Undecided? Take a look at “Inform Me You Love Me” and later songs akin to “Zomby Woof.” On this one, Flo and Eddie are out entrance, their harmonies beautiful. Simmons and Dunbar are monsters, and naturally Underwood is taking part in pipe organ. After they hit that tender Turtles-esque refrain on the finish, properly, simply wow.

In contrast, “Would You Go All The Method?” is a bouncing circus-like tune, recorded to sound like that, too. Flo and Eddie are off the chain. Duke’s trombone pushes this excessive, that and Zappa’s guitar performed by means of a Leslie cupboard or one thing comparable.

“Chunga’s Revenge” is an instrumental jazzy blues monitor with Bennett again within the fold on bass, and he’s very good. Underwood steps out first on electrical alto sax with wah-wah pedal, with Zappa and Sugarcane Harris on organ comping. This isn’t Dunbar’s ordinary invoice of fare, however he retains up. Zappa’s solo reminds us that he was on the forefront of fusion jazz in addition to steel.

“The Clap” is simply Zappa and a military of percussion devices.

“Rudy Needs To Purchase Yez A Drink” is a match for “Would You Go All The Method?” when it comes to fashion. This one is concerning the musicians’ union and the toadies who stored their thumbs on the scales. The trombone and tinny-sounding guitar assist set the stage. Then, an abrupt grow to be an old style rock and roll tune with good vocals from the dynamic duo. The organ on the finish is uncredited: most likely Duke. The lyrics on the finish inform the story:

Welcome to Chicago
Welcome to L.A.
Welcome to our native right here
You’ll all the time hear me say
The work is right here; It’s a pair a bucks
I’m certain you’re glad to pay
Whip it out, right here is your receipt
Now I’ll go away

The Moms 1970

“Sharleena” is a masterpiece, one magnificent love tune. There are different variations, however this one is… properly, particular. Completely all the pieces works right here, particularly the vocals. One of many causes the Carnegie Corridor set was launched was to remind us that the band did extra than simply the comedy routines from Fillmore 1971 and Simply One other Band from L.A. First, the lyrics — and the best way Flo and Eddie sing them:

I’m cryin’
I’m cryin’
Cryin’ for Sharleena,
Can’t you see
I referred to as up all my child’s associates
‘N ask’n um
The place she completed went
However no person ’spherical right here appears to know
The place my Sharleena’s been
The place my Sharleena’s been

Ten lengthy years I’ve been lovin’ her
Ten lengthy years

And I believed deep down in my coronary heart
She was mine
Ten lengthy years I been lovin’ her
Ten lengthy years
I’d name her my child, and now,
I’m all the time cryin’

I’d be so delighted
I’d be so delighted
If they might simply
Ship her on residence to me

This options Simmons’ greatest bass taking part in. Zappa’s guitar is so delicate and so candy. On the similar time, Duke’s organ is deep-down badass. Dunbar retains the proceedings on the correct tempo. Then the guitar rocks out by means of a Leslie once more. Throughout that refrain, Underwood shines on each grand piano and tenor sax. And Simmons on that ultimate stanza. Man…



Burnt Weeny Sandwich. Weasels Ripped My Flesh. Chunga’s Revenge. not a foul twelve months for Zappa and his assorted cohorts.


Take a look at Focus Moon for far more the place this excellent graphic got here from!


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