The Mothers of Invention

Greatly Appreciated

The Mothers of Invention  were an American rock band from California that served as the backing musicians for Frank Zappa.  Their work is marked by the use of sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows.  Originally an R&B band called The Soul Giants, Zappa was asked to take over as the guitarist and insisted that they perform his original material, changing their name on Mothers Day to The Mothers.  After record executives objected to the name it was changed.  Zappa later said “out of necessity, we became The Mothers of Invention”.  After early struggles the band earned substantial popular commercial success.  Originally formed in 1964, the band first became popular playing in California’s underground music scene in the late 1960s.  Under Zappa’s helm, it was signed to jazz label Verve Records as part of the label’s diversification plans.  Verve released the Mothers of Invention’s début album Freak Out! in 1966.  (More from Wikipedia)

As related in WikipediaMick Farren has stated that the Deviants were originally a community band which “did things every now and then – it was a total assault thing with a great deal of inter-relation and interdependence”.  Musically, Farren described their sound as “teeth-grinding, psychedelic rock” somewhere between the Stooges and the Mothers of Invention.

(March 2014/1)
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Kim Fowley was a hustler first and foremost and would be a contender with James Brown as the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, at least among those (mostly) working behind the scenes.  The Sun Herald obituary noted:   “[Kim Fowley] went on to write or produce songs for a range of musicians, including the Byrds, the Beach BoysFrank Zappa and the Mothers of InventionGene VincentHelen Reddy, and Warren Zevon” – but the article could just as easily have listed a different half-dozen prominent names. 


(January 2015/1)


Last edited: March 22, 2021