Good Memory you've got there Sofa! :o))
A couple of additions.
I didn't know it was Tiny Tim who named them, I have it that Christine Frika explained the 'Miss' title as:
"The GTOs are Misses. They miss out on a lot of things they see, so they must do them theirselves" But that could be PR talk.
Lowell George wrote, arranged and produced "Do me in once" and "I have a paintbrush" He later said of the album:
"We did a GTO's session once which was real fun - even if the production wasn't top drawer, because there were no real singers in the GTO's, they were performers rather than singers - but that was the original Little Feat on those songs: Russ Tileman on guitar, Ry Cooder and me, and I go back to those two cuts we did and I gasp and cringe. They were hell on earth."
Miss Sandra (Sandra Leano) married Cal Schenkel and they had a daughter called Raven. Sadly Sandra died in April 1991.
Miss Christine died in November 1972, from a drug overdose I think.
A friend of Miss Pamela's called Phil (something or other) was a photographer from the UK and used to take loads of shots of all sorts of bands and artists in the 60s and 70s. Any way, he took some shots of Frank while he was in the UK at the Bath Festival, Frank told Pamela that one particular shot was the best he's ever seen of himself and he wanted it. So Pamela got Phil to give it to him. It is now the cover of Chunga's Revenge.
The GTO's planned to do a three month tour of the US arranged by Bob Dylan's then manager Albert Grossman. (anyone see it?)
Their first performance was at the Shrine in LA 1968 (anyone see that?)
On 18 Nov 2004, at 13:11, SOFA wrote:
Okay, here goes (I'd appreciate any corrections to the following info; I'm going by memory here).
When FZ and Gail, and baby Moon, moved into their first home in Laurel Canyon - the "Log Cabin", previously owned by 'cowboy' movie star Tom Mix - it was in effect occupied. Carl Franzoni, Christine Frka, and Miss Lucy & Miss Sandra were all illegally "squatting" at the house. Carl lived in what became the first Vault, while the girls occupied the bowling alley. They were asked to leave, but not forcibly evicted; Frank found them 'interesting' characters. Carl moved out first, followed by Lucy and Sandra; Christine was asked to stay on as Moon's governess in exchange for her room and board. (Christine is the lady peering out of the empty vat on the cover of "Hot Rats".)
Christine ended up as the artistic mentor of the GTO's, but I don't want to get ahead of myself...
This little "freak" enclave provided a bit of 'entertainment' at the early MOI gigs, dressing 'outrageously', dancing, singing along, exhorting the audience to "freak out", etc. In a short time, the female contingent grew to include all of the GTO's - at the time, they were known as the Laurel Canyon Ballet Company - by attracting some of the groupies from the LA area. Pamela Miller DesBarres was one of these (her account of these activities in her book "I'm With the Band" is really the best telling of this story; an entertaining read, I highly recommend this book - not for Pamela's writing, which stinks, but for her reminiscences). Misses Sparky, Mercy, & Christine (not Frka) were also a part of the groupie troupe. Misses Sandra and Cinderella were not far behind...
The Zappas had an 'open door' policy with regards to these ladies. They provided Gail with company, and domestic assistance, when Frank was away. So the GTO's pretty much were a constant feature of the Zappa household for quite a while before the recording was ever realized. The girls would swap groupie stories, sew original 'freaky' clothing, sip tea, and keep Gail company.
(Side note: the girls received their "Miss" titles from Tiny Tim, another early, frequent visitor to the Zappa home.)
At some point in time, Miss Pamela & Miss Sparky got Frank to sit still long enough to listen to a couple of their poems. Frank commented that the poems might make interesting lyrics for an album. The girls thought that was too cool and immediately the ensemble began to work on what was to become the GTO's recording "Permanent Damage". In a few weeks, they assembled much/most of their material. Frank started to record them, fitting them into his already hectic schedule as best he could. Then, Miss Mercy (I think; one of them anyway. Remember, I'm going from memory and it's been a couple of years since I read the book...) got caught with some heroin; that nearly derailed the project, as Mr. "I don't do drugs" Zappa was pretty pissed off. It was a little over a year later that Frank calmed down enough to complete the project.
FZ oversaw most of the early work, which was little more than "field" recordings of the girls chatting, giggling and reciting their poetry. When the project resumed, he turned the reins over to Ian Underwood and it was Ian who created most of the instrumentation / arrangements that appear on the recording. Jeff Beck & Rod Stewart appear courtesy of Noel Redding, who had one of the girls chasing after him - can't remember which.
What I never understood was how Christine Frka's heroin use escaped his notice; I mean, he left her in charge of his infant daughter after all... Christine's influence on the GTO's is apparent in their dress and make-up. She also influenced her then boyfriend Vince to do something similar as a front man for his band and the Alice Cooper persona was born. She died of an overdose a few years later.
So, forget the record label connection; that is the least bit of continuity here. The Girls practically LIVED with the Zappas for a number of years and that is why much of the stuff on their album sounds 'familiar' to a Zappa fan.
That's about it...
In their lirycs-words I can find some similarities with Frank's stories.
Is it only me? How much beside the record label Frank was involved with it?
I don't know the story behind that project.
For further Z-related fun, please visit http://www.thebignote.com or http://www.killuglyradio.com , thank you.
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