Sunday, November 30, 2008

Just Another Band From L.A.

Much of the material released during the Flo & Eddie years was criticized for being juvenile toilet humor. Some refer to many of the compositions as “stupid stories.” And others proclaim that it just isn’t funny. Zappa was well aware of this and his response was, “So what?”

“I don’t have any pretensions about being a poet,” Zappa said in his autobiography, “The Real Frank Zappa Book.”

“My lyrics are there for entertainment purposes only – not to be taken internally. Some of them are truly stupid, some are slightly less stupid and a few of them are sort of funny. Apart from the snide political stuff, which I enjoy writing, the rest of the lyrics wouldn’t exist at all if it weren’t for the fact that we live in a society where instrumental music is irrelevant….”

The last of the Flo & Eddie recordings was “Just Another Band from L.A.,” which Zappa put together while recuperating from severe injury sustained during an encore performance at the Rainbow in London. Zappa succinctly describes the winter of 1971 in his autobiography.

“(Excluding an experience in Stockholm), the 1971 European winter tour gets the award for being the most disastrous,” Zappa wrote. The was the Dec. 4 show at the Casino de Montreux in Geneva, Switzerland, during which a fire started during “King Kong” that burned the casino to the ground and destroyed all of the band’s equipment. Perhaps to Zappa’s chagrin, the event was immortalized in Deep Purple’s hit, “Smoke on the Water.” But alas, perhaps it was due to the fact that Deep Purple had arrived that day to record “Machine Head” using the Rolling Stone’s mobile studio.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Zappa’s group found itself in the “middle of a sold-out tour with ten more dates to go,” he writes in his autobiography. A week’s worth of shows was canceled and the band prepared for a London gig, rehearsing with new equipment. The band made it through one show; as they returned to the stage for an encore, a man from the audience attacked Frank, pulling him off the stage to the concrete floor of the orchestra pit 15 feet below. “…(M)y head was over on my shoulder, and my neck was bent like it was broken,” he writes in his autobiography about the incident. “I had a gash in my chin, a hole in the back of my head, a broken rib and a fractured leg. One arm was paralyzed.” His larynx was also crushed, causing his voice to drop a third.

Wheelchair-bound, Zappa put together the last of the Flo & Eddie recordings (until “Playground Psychotics”) taken from a show at the Pauley Pavillion at UCLA, recorded Aug. 7, 1971. Side A of the recording consists solely of the epic “Billy the Mountain,” viewed by many as a parody of the rock opera genre that had become common at the time, most notably with the Who’s “Tommy.” Other than perhaps “Dinah Mo Humm,” “Billy the Mountain” was probably Zappa’s most widely known and famous composition. It was, and remains, legend. Zappa’s son, Dweezil, performed the opus with the entourage Zappa Plays Zappa during three shows at the Morse Theater in Chicago on Oct. 17, 18, and 19, 2008. Sadly, I was unable to attend any of these shows.

Like the other recordings of this era, it was met with mixed reaction. As Mark Prindle points out in his review of the album, what “promising” musical themes the piece has are quickly supplanted by the narrative, the tale of a draft-dodging mountain sought by a geeky superhero. It’s worth turning, once again, to Zappa’s autobiography for his explanation on how lyrics play a role in his compositions.

“Some of the stuff I write is in the ‘musically uncompromising boy-is-this-ever-hard-to-play’ category. Then there’s the other category – songs in which the ‘intrigue’ resides in the lyrics, rather than the music,” he writes. “If a piece intends to actually tell a story, I don’t build an elaborate accompaniment because it gets in the way of the words.”

This, however, has led to Frank performing various pieces at times with his, I must admit, annoying sing-sing presentation style, exemplified by “The Dangerous Kitchen,” which I endured during the show I saw in Tucson in 1980. It was enjoyable and amusing at the time, but doesn’t bear up well under repeated listens. But I digress.

“Billy the Mountain” is filled with not only local lore referencing real places in the Los Angeles area, but also references to Zappa’s personal life (such as the “pools of old poison gas,” which is a reference to his father’s work with the military as well as his father having agreed in the past to volunteer in nerve gas tests, not just a real military dump). There are some really cool set pieces in the larger work, such as the bit when Studebaker Hoch is introduced or when the nerdy superhero goes through his preparations to fly. And you can find here some rather amusing discussion on the “origins” of Billy the Mountain (not the song, that’s why it’s not in quotes).

As memorable as “Billy the Mountain” is, the B side of the release has the real gems. The version of “Call Any Vegetable” here is wonderful. A brief transcription is below.

That’s followed by “Eddie Are You Kidding,” and “Magdalena,” the latter of which has an intense and prurient climax leading into the awesome rendering of “Dog Breath.” A brief transcription of “Magdalena” is below as well.

Check out this site for some musical analysis of some of the songs on this album.

As was common with many of Zappa’s recordings, there are references to other recordings notated on the album cover, particularly in reference to “Uncle Meat.”

Some other sites you might want to look at regarding this recording and other Zappa releases include this one by Robert Chrisgau, although I’m not sure how someone can call himself, as Chrisgau does, the “Dean of American Rock Critics” when he rates “Hot Rats” with a C. At the History of Rock Music, the reviews are written in Italian. And despite the fact this site has nothing on Zappa, Reason to Rock is a really fascinating site.

I rate this recording four out of five stars. Add your own rating below.

Album release date: March 26, 1972, Bizarre/Reprise.

Track listings:

Side one
"Billy the Mountain" (Zappa) – 24:47

Side two
"Call Any Vegetable" (Zappa) – 7:22
"Eddie, Are You Kidding?" (Kaylan, Seiler, Volman, Zappa) – 3:10
"Magdalena" (Kaylan, Zappa) – 6:24
"Dog Breath" (Zappa) – 3:39


Frank Zappa – guitar, vocals
Mark Volman – lead vocals
Howard Kaylan – lead vocals
Ian Underwood – woodwinds, keyboards, vocals
Aynsley Dunbar – drums
Don Preston – keyboards
Jim Pons – bass guitar, vocals

Thursday, November 27, 2008

200 Motels

The double album “200 Motels” and the movie of the same name present a challenge to anyone who listens to or views either, particularly for Zappa fans. Is “200 Motels” genius or is it crap? Offer that question to any group after listening to the soundtrack (because that is what it is, a soundtrack) or viewing the movie, and then get the heck out of the way. The opinions will surely start flying like venomous darts spewed by some Stone Age jungle tribe from the Pacific. And as you can see, I am probably spending more time on this recording than on any other in Zappa’s catalogue, the significance of which should become as plain as the “Dance of the Just Plain Folks.”

Mark Prindle starts his review of the double album thus: “Because he was a dirty old man masturbating at the thought of his bandmates having sex with girls, Frank Zappa decided it would be a just hilarious idea to make a movie about the trials and good times of a touring rock and roll band.” Reviewer Richie Unterberger, writing for the All Music Guide, gave the recording four out of five stars, compared to Prindle’s six out of 10. But despite Prindle’s disgust with the prurient portions of the recording, he agrees there are some gems tucked into all the other oddness.

Others, like me, may merely shrug because we are not necessarily as “knowledgeable” about music theory and composition to judge the recording like an “expert,” nor are we overly put off by the crude humor in the story line and lyrics. I can agree with both Prindle and Unterberger; I can hear both sides. But I am more inclined to side with comments like this one by “marco J” expressed on the album’s review page at Kill Ugly Radio:

“Zappologist Ben Watson has devoted TONS of print analyzing “200 Motels” and praising it as a perfect example of Frank forcing us to embrace trash and “low” art that really is just as complex, challenging and valid as “high” or lofty pieces. That may be true, but does it all “work”, considering that Frank was under an unbelievably tight budget, and openly admits that equal amounts of script story as well as pieces of important music never got recorded or filmed. Is “200 Motels” just the best of a “work in progress” that Frank could SALVAGE at the time, or is it EXACTLY produced the way he conceived it?”

Jerry McCulley’s review at is also very telling. “As always, the Zappa of 200 Motels sometimes confuses the profound with the obscene, but with every passing year, he seems more likely to take his place alongside the great American modernist Charles Ives, another composer whose work was every bit as commercially troubled and artistically misunderstood.”

Composing and producing “200 Motels” was certainly a major life event for Zappa as well; some may argue it was a milestone in his career for negative reasons. Relaying the experience takes up a significant chunk of his autobiography. His experience dealing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in large degree contributed to his cynical and skeptical opinion of musicians in general, orchestra musicians in particular. His testimony reprinted in the autobiography, the transcript taken from his obscenity trial over the work’s content, is particularly revealing. Many scenes were omitted, and personnel fled the production while in progress.

I would have to say that the recording holds up better than the movie. I only saw the movie once, almost while in college at Western Michigan University in either 1976 or 1977, the real time within the last few years when I rented the DVD. My experience with the movie while at Western was just as disjointed as the composition. Zappa had been scheduled to play a concert at Miller Auditorium at WMU in Kalamazoo, Mich. I bought tickets to the show, knowing the acoustics at Miller would make the experience outstanding. However, for some reason (and there were plenty of rumors to explain) the show was moved to the field house. Word got out that Zappa was pissed and canceled the show. He apparently re-booked for Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo and played a show there, but I missed it. On campus, flyers went up noticing that the movie “200 Motels” would be shown on the night the concert would have taken place on campus. Some friends of mine, as did close to a hundred others, showed up in the classroom designated for the show, but there was no movie. It was just another sick joke.

When I did see the movie a few years back, I was glad I rented it rather than bought it. I’m not sure if the low quality production was intentional or necessary because of budget restraints. The film was reportedly shot in five days (seven days according to Wiki) with a budget of $679,000. But the “film” made Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 From Outer Space” look like a major Hollywood production.

The music is something entirely different. The Overture begins with a theme closely resembling “Holiday in Berlin” from “Burnt Weeny Sandwich.” This complex opener is followed by a basic rock-n-roll number, “Mystery Roach,” with a solid bass line that leaves you wanting more. As it fades away, the more complex orchestral themes come back as an interlude into the set pieces that comprise “This Town Is A Sealed Tuna Sandwich.” The movie is, after all, about touring and how it can drive you crazy. The soundtrack is filled with these types of transitions, which both from a narrative and musical perspective, can be difficult to follow on the first listen. In fact, they can strike the listener as a bit schizoid. Not being able to get beyond that, I think, is why the album turns some off. Once the listener gets beyond these apparent incongruities and has the “whole” in mind, it really all fits.

There are some really great and interesting pieces on this opus. “Dance of the Just Plain Folks” is one, although the actual dance was apparently edited from the movie. Probably the most “popular” track, and one of my favorites, is “Lonesome Cowboy Burt,” which has a bit of interesting irony in that Jimmy Carl Black, who sings and portrays Burt in the movie, is an Indian playing a redneck cowboy. And “Centerville” in its brief existence showcases the duplicitous nature of the alleged “values” of small town America.

Granted, this is not a recording I pull out very often for a listen. But it is one that will get played more frequently than either “Fillmore East” or “Just Another Band From L.A.More info.

I rate this recording four out of five stars. Add your own rating below.

New content was added to this entry on Jan. 4, 2009.

Album/Movie release date: November 10, 1971, United Artists.

LP release:

Side One
Semi-Fraudulent/Direct-From-Hollywood Overture (1:59)
Mystery Roach (2:33)
Dance Of The Rock & Roll Interviewers (0:48)
This Town Is A Sealed Tuna Sandwich (prologue) (0:56)
Tuna Fish Promenade (2:30)
Dance Of The Just Plain Folks (4:39)
This Town Is A Sealed Tuna Sandwich (reprise) (0:59)
The Sealed Tuna Bolero (1:40)
Lonesome Cowboy Burt (3:51)

Side Two
Touring Can Make You Crazy (2:53)
Would You Like A Snack? (1:23)
Redneck Eats (3:03)
Centerville (2:31)
She Painted Up Her Face (1:42)
Janet's Big Dance Number (1:18)
Half A Dozen Provocative Squats (1:57)
Mysterioso (0:48)
Shove It Right In (2:32)
Lucy's Seduction Of A Bored Violinist & Postlude (4:00)

Side Three
I'm Stealing The Towels (2:14)
Dental Hygiene Dilemma (5:12)
Does This Kind Of Life Look Interesting To You? (3:00)
Daddy, Daddy, Daddy (3:11)
Penis Dimension (4:35)
What Will This Evening Bring Me This Morning (3:27)

Side Four
A Nun Suit Painted On Some Old Boxes (1:09)
Magic Fingers (3:55)
Motorhead's Midnight Ranch (1:30)
Dew On The Newts We Got (1:10)
The Lad Searches The Night For His Newts (0:41)
The Girl Wants To Fix Him Some Broth (1:10)
The Girl's Dream (0:55)
Little Green Scratchy Sweaters & Courduroy Ponce (1:01)
Strictly Genteel (The Finale) (11:09) - related to Strictly Genteel

CD release:

Disc One
Semi-Fraudulent/Direct-From-Hollywood Overture (1:59)
Mystery Roach (2:32)
Dance Of The Rock & Roll Interviewers (0:48)
This Town Is A Sealed Tuna Sandwich (prologue) (0:56)
Tuna Fish Promenade (2:30)
Dance Of The Just Plain Folks (4:40)
This Town Is A Sealed Tuna Sandwich (reprise) (0:59)
The Sealed Tuna Bolero (1:41)
Lonesome Cowboy Burt (3:57)
Touring Can Make You Crazy (2:52)
Would You Like A Snack? (1:23)
Redneck Eats (3:02)
Centerville (2:31)
She Painted Up Her Face (1:42)
Janet's Big Dance Number (1:18)
Half A Dozen Provocative Squats (1:58)
Mysterioso (0:48)
Shove It Right In (2:33)
Lucy's Seduction Of A Bored Violinist & Postlude (4:02)

Disc Two
I'm Stealing The Towels (2:14)
Dental Hygiene Dilemma (5:11)
Does This Kind Of Life Look Interesting To You? (2:59)
Daddy, Daddy, Daddy (3:12)
Penis Dimension (4:37)
What Will This Evening Bring Me This Morning (3:32)
A Nun Suit Painted On Some Old Boxes (1:09)
Magic Fingers (3:53)
Motorhead's Midnight Ranch (1:29)
Dew On The Newts We Got (1:09)
The Lad Searches The Night For His Newts (0:41)
The Girl Wants To Fix Him Some Broth (1:10)
The Girl's Dream (0:54)
Little Green Scratchy Sweaters & Courduroy Ponce (1:00)
Strictly Genteel (The Finale) (11:11) - related to Strictly Genteel
Bonus Tracks

CUT 1 "Coming Soon!..." (0:55)
CUT 2 "The Wide Screen Erupts..." (0:58)
CUT 3 "Coming Soon!..." (0:31)
CUT 4 "Frank Zappa's 200 Motels..." (0:13)
Magic Fingers (Single Edit) (2:56)
ENHANCED TRACK: Original Theatrical Trailer (31.3MB MPG file )

Frank Zappa (bass, guitar, producer, orchestration)
Mark Volman (vocals)
Howard Kaylan (vocals)
Jimmy Carl Black (vocals)
Jim Pons (vocals)
George Duke (trombone, keyboards)
Ian Underwood (keyboards, woodwind)
Ruth Underwood (percussion)
Aynsley Dunbar (drums)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fillmore East: June 1971

The musical relationships Frank Zappa had with other artists of his era were as varied as the rhythmic changes that occurred in many of his compositions. Eventually, I may touch on most of these connections when appropriate (such as I did with the “collaboration” Zappa had with Jack Bruce of Cream that I mention in my entry on the album “Apostrophe(‘)”). For now, one is very relevant, and that is the collaboration Zappa had with former members of The Turtles, Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan. Four significant recordings came out of this relationship (not in order): “Just Another Band From L.A.,” “200 Motels,” “Chunga’s Revenge,” and “Fillmore East: June 1971.”

Although the first Zappa album (or more accurately the first Mothers album) I listened to was “Absolutely Free,” it was “Fillmore East” that probably sealed my fate as a Zappa fan. Granted, this and the other Volman/Kaylan (who called themselves the Phlorescent Leech and Eddie) recordings have been relegated by most Zappaphiles to the bin of the overtly comedic enterprises Zappa was involved with, as well as labeled by many as juvenile and prurient in terms of their content, let’s face it: I was in junior high school when I first heard this album. It was content I was ready for. As the lyric states in “What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?”: You came to the right place/This is it/This is the swingingest place in New York City/No shit.

At the time, I was gleefully shocked by the explicit lyrics, as were probably many others. But there was a lot going on with these recordings musically, and that intrigued me as well. As simplistic and puerile as many of the pieces are, there are some outstanding live performances of Zappa’s work, such as “Willie the Pimp,” in which I think Zappa gets down so dirty and low with his guitar solo that it electrifies your skin. And the opening number, “Little House I Used to Live In,” is another showcase piece that Zappa includes in the show, perhaps, for members of the audience whose sole reason for attending may have been the comedic element presented by Flo and Eddie.

Their performance of “Happy Together” is classic, and a perfect segue into the final numbers that include “Lonesome Electric Turkey,” “Peaches en Regalia,” and “Tears Begin to Fall.” Interestingly, there is a bit of flash back to this song on the Buffalo CD.

Worthy of note here is the very contrary opinion expressed by Mark Prindle in his blog, who makes no pretense about how he feels regarding this and the other Flo & Eddie recordings. I provide the link for your edification

The Fillmore shows of 1971 were noted for another “appearance” that FZ did not press onto vinyl until “Playground Psychotics” was released in 1992, and that was when John Lennon and Yoko Ono joined Frank on stage during one of the shows. A reference to the event can be found at the blog Kill Ugly Radio. Photographic evidence of the event can be found here. Lennon released the live version of “Scumbag” he did with Frank on the later release “Sometime in New York City,” which is slightly different from the version from “Playground Psychotics.” You know Frank and the way he likes to mix things. Here is also an interesting transaction from an interview during which FZ explains what happened that night and subsequent developments. Below is a video from YouTube that shows a short, edited version of the appearance. A complete video of the appearance had been posted here, but was removed at the source because of a copyright infringement. Yoko was in perfect atonal screaming form.

A significant problem with the CD release of this recording is the fact that “Willie the Pimp Part 2” was omitted. With the album, sides 1 and 2 were transitioned by “Willie the Pimp” with Part 1 finishing side A and Part 2 picking up the transition on side 2. Why it was omitted with the CD release is inexplicable.

More information about Flo & Eddie can be found here, here, here and here.

Check out this blog about The Turtles.

I rate this recording three out of five stars. Add your own rating below.

Album release date: Aug. 2, 1971, Bizarre/Reprise.

Album track listings:

Side one
"Little House I Used to Live In" - 4:58
"The Mud Shark" - 5:16
"What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?" - 4:51
"Bwana Dik" - 2:27
"Latex Solar Beef" - 4:22
"Willie the Pimp Part One" - 2:50
Side two
"Willie the Pimp Part Two" - 1:54
"Do You Like My New Car?" - 7:08
"Happy Together" (2:57)
"Lonesome Electric Turkey" - 2:34
"Peaches en Regalia" - 3:22
"Tears Began to Fall" - 2:46

Compact Disc

"Little House I Used to Live In" – 4:41
"The Mud Shark" – 5:22
"What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?" – 4:17
"Bwana Dik" – 2:21
"Latex Solar Beef" – 2:38
"Willie the Pimp, Pt. 1" – 4:03
"Do You Like My New Car?" – 7:08
"Happy Together" (Gary Bonner, Alan Gordon) – 2:57
"Lonesome Electric Turkey" – 2:32
"Peaches en Regalia" – 3:22
"Tears Began to Fall" – 2:45


Frank Zappa – guitar, vocals, dialogue
Aynsley Dunbar – drums
Bob Harris – keyboards, vocals
Howard Kaylan – vocals, dialogue
Jim Pons – bass, vocals, dialogue
Don Preston – Moog synthesizer
Ian Underwood – keyboards, vocals, woodwind
Mark Volman – vocals, dialogue

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Zappa followed “Over-nite Sensation” relatively quickly with “Apostrophe(‘),” an album that probably got the most radio play of his entire catalog. It went gold and sold more copies than the previous “Over-nite Sensation,” perhaps largely because the humor in the compositions was subtler than with previous material, as exemplified by the suite that opens the album.

Yes, suite. Despite being listed separately without any overt indication that they are connected, the first four tracks of the album are, indeed, one continuous piece. As Francois Couture explains in his review of the first song of the suite, “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow,” in the All Music Guide, the four-song suite (the other compositions include “Nanook Rubs It,” “St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast,” and “Father O’Blivion”) was always performed in its entirety whenever the group played live. Daniel Durchholz also identifies the four-song set as a suit in his review of the album in “Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide” published in 1996 and excerpted here.

I find interesting the hyperbole used to describe the album when it was released, particularly the Rolling Stone review by Gordon Fletcher published in the June 6, 1974, issue. “Songs like ‘Stink-Foot’ and ‘St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast’ again attest to Zappa’s abilities at contorting song forms to serve his distorted purposes: They’re a welcome reminder that comic lunacy is still alive and well.” The high praise the album received was, over time, gradually perceived with scorn by Zappaphiles, who again rejected the commercial success of the recording. Also, over time, the reviews of the album became more realistic in their assessment as the recording became compared with the rest of Zappa’s catalogue. The reviews that can be found in Prog show the wide variety of praise it received, from wildly positive to more muted respect.

Something unique with this album is the title track, “Apostrophe’.” This instrumental jam is both powerful in its performance and significant in the fact that the personnel involved were non-Mothers. This ad-hoc group of players included former Cream bassist Jack Bruce along with drummer Jim Gordon. One individual that does show up on other recordings with Zappa was rhythm guitarist Tony Duran. The song has an intense fuzz bass solo by Bruce that sears its way into your brain, leaving you in bewilderment. Contrasted with Zappa’s amazingly clean guitar work, the song leaves an indelible impression on the listener: its style is unique from anything else Zappa composed. And as far as I can tell, the recording found on this album is the only example of it you can find. Unless someone can provide some evidence to the contrary, I don’t think Zappa ever performed the song live. These facts lend meaning to the song’s title.

But there’s more to the story too. According to the Wikipedia entry on the album, while the collaboration may have been serendipitous, the experience was not mutually satisfying for either Zappa or Bruce. In fact, Bruce appears to deny he played the bass part on the track, despite him receiving credit on the album liner notes.

When we examine the definition of apostrophe – which includes the use as an indication of the omission of letters – the song of the same title can take on some explanation. It is a song that when placed within the context of the rest of the album shows a clear omission of both personnel normally associated with Zappa as well as a diversion from the album’s overall feel.

The song “Apostrophe’” is one of my all-time Zappa favorites. Another favorite on this album include “Uncle Remus,” a really beautiful bluesy ballad with George Duke’s extraordinary piano work. While “Cosmik Debris” is not considered officially part of the “Yellow Snow” suite, it does act as a thematic close to pieces composing the suite. It became a concert favorite on subsequent tours. “Stink-Foot,” however, despite its radio play and popularity, is to me the weakest composition on the album. Weakness, though, is relative.

I rate this recording with five out of five stars. Add your own rating below.

Album release date: April 22, 1974, DiscReet Records.

Track listings:

“Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow" – 2:07
“Nanook Rubs It” – 4:38
“St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast” – 1:50
“Father O’Blivion” – 2:18
“Cosmik Debris” – 4:14
“Excentrifugal Forz” – 1:33
“Apostrophe'” – 5:50
“Uncle Remus” – 2:44
“Stink-Foot” – 6:33


Frank Zappa – vocals, guitar, bass, bouzouki
Lynn – vocals, backing vocals
Kerry McNabb – backing vocals, engineer, remixing
Ian Underwood – saxophone
Ruth Underwood – percussion
Sal Marquez – trumpet
Sue Glover – backing vocals
Jim Gordon – drums
Aynsley Dunbar – drums
Tom Fowler – bass guitar
Napoleon Murphy Brock – saxophone, backing vocals
Robert “Frog” Camarena – vocals, backing vocals
Ruben Ladron de Guevara – vocals, backing vocals
Debbie – vocals, backing vocals
Tony Duran – rhythm guitar
Erroneous – bass guitar
Johnny Guerin – drums
Don “Sugarcane” Harris – violin
Ralph Humphrey – drums
Bob Ludwig – Technician
Jack Bruce – bass on “Apostrophe’” (see controversy presented above)
George Duke – keyboards, backing vocals
Bruce Fowler – trombone
Jean-Luc Ponty – violin
Cal Schenkel – artwork, graphic design
Barry Keene – engineer
Ferenc Dobronyl – cover design
Paul Hof – technician
Oscar Kergaives – technician
Brian Krokus – technician
Mark Aalyson – photography
Bob Stone – transfers, digital remastering
Steve Desper – engineer
Terry Dunavan – engineer
Zach Glickman – marketing
Bob Hughes – engineer