"...I’d bring Gary Leonard and there’d be a riot because he has enemies. The whole English Frank thing, you know. He takes pictures of everything and Frank was his friend, so he took photos of him before he died. It was not exploitative at all.” Frank was a fabled small-time Hollywood promoter of the 1980s, who, when he needed dental work, staged a “Concert for Bagladentures.”Frank, you bastard, you English El Duce (another sorely missed) you are missed more than ever in these dismal times. One of Frank's other claims to fame was that he has been deported from Australia. Their loss, Los Angeles's gain. Also in the CITYBEAT, a Jeff Simmons platter is re-issued.
Another screwhead anomaly from the Straight vault re-released by CCM, this minor acid rock masterpiece is sufficiently well-loved by connoisseurs and crusties to make the original vinyl a pricey collector’s item. Simmons had been a journeyman songwriter and musician before absorption into the Mothers of Invention with Chunga’s Revenge in 1970, the same year he released this second of two albums on Zappa’s other surrealist boutique label. Outfitted by nature with a standard-issue suburban rocker-brat voice, Simmons ululates like a junior-grade Beefheart through a series of urban-blues vignettes and walleyed satires like “I’m in the Music Business” that resemble nothing else in rock but the crazed anti-commercial slabs then being flung out the door at Bizarre/Straight. Even by such bark-at-the-moon standards, this album radiates weirdness like tonal Strontium-90. –Ron GarmonMany yrs. ago (almost 38, since you asked) when hanging w/ The (second-edition) Mothers as they cranked it out on stage at the Fillmore West, Your Editor had the thrill of lighting Jeff's cigarette for him, as the show must go on & he couldn't stop slapping his bass to assuage his nicotine desire. ("What? And leave show business?") As good a reason as any to buy the re-issue, we'd say.