Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Reggae in 13 – Audition with Frank Zappa

David Aldridge, a Los Angeles based odd metered drummer, told me about an audition he had with Frank Zappa, back in the day. I can just imagine the intimidation Zappa uninhibitedly bestowed on the band hopefuls and I certainly would’ve melted probably after 5 seconds, especially at the tender age of 19. Its an interesting anecdote and of course I think more Reggae should be written in 13.

David's Words:
I met Vinnie Caliauta around January of '79, playing at the Baked Potato (Studio City, CA), doing his insanity. We hit it off, hung out, and when he left Zappa, he asked me if I would be interested in auditioning. Oh hell Yeah! I didn't know Zappa's music, but I knew odd meters, fresh out of 2 years at Towson State, so I figured, what the hell...

It was held at a very large rehearsal studio in North Hollywood. I walked in and got escorted into the studio, where the band was playing "A Mouth Supreme" a la "A Love Supreme,", making fun of the Charlie perfume model at the time, I believe. The drums were a duplicate of Terry Bozzio's double bass kit, and Arthur Barrow was playing bass. Frank described what he wanted, and I asked him if I could write down the sub-divisions. I think he kinda liked that I was at least trying to make it happen. It was a rock pulse, and Barrow just said "Keep time," which I did. We worked on a little bit, it wasn't bad, and I lasted longer than the 30 seconds most guys fell down with. When Frank asked for reggae in 13, I drew a blank. He thanked me for coming in, shook my hand, and that was my 15 minutes of fame...

I have since learned how to play the living shit out of reggae in 13...

Back to my words:
In fact, I think all Reggae should be written in 13, or 7 or 9… that way I can listen bare to listen to the upstroke guitar on 2,5 and 7 maybe…

Check out David Aldridge’s site with his extensive collection of odd metered compositions that will challenge your ears.

MySpace.com/DavidAldridgeDrums

Reggae in 13 foreva,
-BetZe
OddTimeObsessed.com

1 comment:

Conchis said...

If you haven't already, you should check out 65daysofstatic. They like them some odd time signatures (try "I swallowed hard like I understood" and "The conspiracy of seeds" for a taste).

Also Venetian Snares. ;)