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Mike Keneally With Frank Zappa

Zappa cover art presently invisible
by request of the Zappa Family Trust,
Dweezil and Ahmet Zappa
and their representatives.

BROADWAY THE HARD WAY (Barking Pumpkin) LP/cassette released in 1988, CD released in 1989

Special booklet for Japanese edition- cover design by Cal Schenkel

LP/cassette song list:
Side One:

  1. Elvis Has Just Left The Building
  2. Planet Of The Baritone Women
  3. Any Kind of Pain
  4. Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk

Side Two:

  1. Dickie's Such An Asshole
  2. When The Lie's So Big
  3. Rhymin' Man
  4. Promiscuous
  5. The Untouchables

The LP and cassette feature a spoken dissertation on the origin of "Confinement Loaf" at the beginning of side two, and the band members are introduced at the end of the album, two items not on the CD version.

CD song list:

  1. Elvis Has Just Left The Building 2:24
  2. Planet Of The Baritone Women 2:48
  3. Any Kind of Pain 5:42
  4. Dickie's Such An Asshole 5:45
  5. When The Lie's So Big 3:38
  6. Rhymin' Man 3:50
  7. Promiscuous 2:02
  8. The Untouchables 2:26
  9. Why Don't You Like Me? 2:57
  10. Bacon Fat 1:29
  11. Stolen Moments 2:58
  12. Murder By Numbers 5:37 (featuring Sting)
  13. Jezebel Boy 2:27
  14. Outside Now 7:49
  15. Hot Plate Heaven At The Green Hotel 6:40
  16. What Kind Of Girl 3:16
  17. Jesus Thinks You're A Jerk 9:15

MK involvement:
Manual performance of written guitar lines which were, and let there be no question about this, composed by Frank Zappa; keyboards on tracks 2, 3, 5 and briefly on 16; lead vocals on "Elvis" and "Rhymin' Man", and the role of the prostitute in "What Kind Of Girl?"; harmony vocals on remainder.

People still ask me if it's me doing the Johnny Cash voice; yeah, that's me, even though I will always contend it sounds more like Mr. Ed. "Promiscuous" and "Jezebel Boy" were each played only once on the tour, which accounts for the rough edges in the performances. We probably rehearsed "Jezebel Boy" 200 times in L.A. before the tour started, so I don't really understand why we only played it one time. I suppose it's such an "L.A." song that it just never felt right to play it anywhere else. "What Kind of Girl" was played twice, and constructed during soundchecks on the road in response to current events. Those are pretty much the highest notes possible for me to sing. It hurt. Sting joined us on stage in Chicago; he was an extremely pleasant gentleman and he actually seemed quite nervous backstage. You know how some people just exude charisma and all attention in a room is drawn to them even if they're just standing still doing nothing at all? I'm afraid Sting is one of those sorts of people. Frank came up with "Elvis" and "Rhymin' Man" for me to sing during the European leg of the tour, at a time when band morale was extremely low. Since I was still the enthusiastic puppy of the band, I was more than happy to accept, which is probably a good thing---the rest of the guys weren't exactly craving more work at that point.

Rykodisc released, in 1990, a promotional CD called YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON THE RADIO ANYMORE in conjunction with the "FZ 25" CD release campaign. It was a compilation of 15 songs spanning Frank's career, and it contained "Elvis Has Just Left The Building". We probably won't bother scanning in the artwork because it's just a totally black cover with the "FZ 25" logo embossed on it. Maybe Scott will scan the CD artwork itself. Maybe he won't. It's in your hands, Scott.

[This is a Sears poncho version of the cover- Scott]

Stairway To Heaven/Bolero CD and 12" vinyl single (Zappa Records UK) released in 1991

This two-song single was released in Europe just prior to "Best Band", from which both selections are excerpted. I like the artwork. "Bolero" has seven seconds more applause on it then the album version, collectors.

THE BEST BAND YOU NEVER HEARD IN YOUR LIFE (Barking Pumpkin) released in 1991

Original cover design

Revised cover design

Japanese and Ryko reissue cover design by Cal Schenkel

CD song list:
Disc One:

  1. Heavy Duty Judy 6:04
  2. Ring of Fire 2:01
  3. Cosmik Debris 4:32
  4. Find Her Finer 2:42
  5. Who Needs The Peace Corps? 2:41
  6. I Left My Heart In San Francisco 0:36
  7. Zomby Woof 5:42
  8. Bolero 5:33
  9. Zoot Allures 7:07
  10. Mr. Green Genes 3:41
  11. Florentine Pogen 7:12
  12. Andy 5:51
  13. Inca Roads 8:20
  14. Sofa #1 2:49

Disc Two:

  1. Purple Haze 2:27
  2. Sunshine Of Your Love 2:30
  3. Let's Move To Cleveland 5:52
  4. When Irish Eyes Are Smiling 0:47
  5. "Godfather Part II" Theme 0:30
  6. A Few Moments With Brother A. West 4:01
  7. The Torture Never Stops Part One 5:20
  8. Theme From "Bonanza" 0:29
  9. Lonesome Cowboy Burt (Swaggart Version) 4:54
  10. The Torture Never Stops Part Two 10:48
  11. More Trouble Every Day (Swaggart Version) 5:29
  12. Penguin In Bondage (Swaggart Version) 5:05
  13. The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue 9:19
  14. Stairway To Heaven 9:20

MK involvement:
Manual performance of written guitar lines which were, and let there be no question about this, composed by Frank Zappa, and improvised fills here and there; keyboards on disc one-tracks 1, 9, 11, 12, 13 and disc two- tracks 1, 2, 7 & 10; lead vocals on "Ring of Fire" and part of "Peace Corps", harmony vocals on remainder.

The Johnny Cash stuff is from Wurzburg, Germany---what you don't hear is that at least half of that show ended up being sung in fake Johnny Cash voices by the whole band. Pity the poor Wurzburgians. A few days later Frank handed me "Rhymin' Man" to sing. You'll hear me screw up part of the monologue in "Peace Corps" when Frank threw me off guard. A couple of years later I had my revenge by doing the same thing to Eric Buxton during his recitation in the middle of "Jesus Thinks You're A Jerk" at the first Zappa's Universe show---sorry Eric! The "Torture/Lonesome" medley was usually great fun to play. Those readers unfamiliar with Laurie Anderson's work might not realize that we're parodying her in the middle section of "Lonesome"---"Sharkey" is a character in several of her songs. I suggested including the relentless "ha ha ha ha ha ha" vocal part, ripped off from her song "O Superman", and I came to regret it on some evenings when Frank decided to keep the section going on forever.

If you'd told me when I was fifteen that one day I'd be playing "Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue", "Florentine Pogen", "Andy" and "Inca Roads" on stage with Frank I would have laughed very loudly at you. I'd have laughed even louder if you'd said we'd be playing "Stairway to Heaven" as well. When Frank mentioned that song in rehearsal he swore he'd never heard the whole thing, and relied on the band members familiar with it to get an arrangement happening. Frank had been playing an improvised solo in the middle of the song the first few times we played it; one day I showed Paul Carman the notes to Jimmy Page's original solo, and the next time Frank called the tune, Paul and I started playing the solo in unison, without warning Frank about it first. He listened until we were finished, then stopped the tune and said "OK. Now show it to the rest of the horn section". Audiences used to explode when that part of the song popped out. And to anyone who saw the East Coast shows where I ended the song on my knees at the front of the stage---Frank made me do it. I swear to God.

(available by calling 818-PUMPKIN and in record stores)

MAKE A JAZZ NOISE HERE (Barking Pumpkin) released in 1991

CD song list:
Disc One:

  1. Stinkfoot 7:40
  2. When Yuppies Go To Hell 14:36
  3. Fire And Chains 3:57
  4. Let's Make The Water Turn Black 1:36
  5. Harry, You're A Beast 0:47
  6. The Orange County Lumber Truck 0:42
  7. Oh No 4:43
  8. Theme From Lumpy Gravy 1:12
  9. Eat That Question 1:55
  10. Black Napkins 6:56
  11. Big Swifty 11:13
  12. King Kong 13:11
  13. Star Wars Won't Work 3:33

Disc Two:

  1. The Black Page (new age version) 6:45
  2. T'Mershi Duween 1:42
  3. Dupree's Paradise 8:35
  4. City of Tiny Lights 8:01
  5. Royal March From L'Histoire Du Soldat 1:00
  6. Theme From The Bartok Piano Concerto #3 0:43
  7. Sinister Footwear 2nd mvt. 6:19
  8. Stevie's Spanking 4:26
  9. Alien Orifice 4:15
  10. Cruisin' For Burgers 8:28
  11. Advance Romance 7:43
  12. Strictly Genteel 5:37

MK involvement:
Manual performance of written guitar lines which were, and let there be no question about this, composed by Frank Zappa, and little solo bits scattered about; keyboards on disc one-tracks 2 and the electric piano solo at the beginning of track 9, and disc two-tracks 1, 3, 6 & 12.

The stretch of music on disc two from "Sinister" to "Genteel" is my favorite bunch of released music from the '88 tour. I just love it. "Cruisin' For Burgers" was my favorite song to play on the tour, it made me happy in ways I can't describe. I'm endlessly happy that this album exists.

(available by calling 818-PUMPKIN and in record stores)

YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON STAGE ANYMORE VOL. 4 (Rykodisc) released in 1991

MK involvement:
Keys and momentary laughter on "Take Me Out To The Ball Game"; guitar on "Filthy Habits."

I think "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" is one of the most outstandingly absurd things ever to appear on an FZ release.

(readily available in record stores)

YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON STAGE ANYMORE VOL. 6 (Rykodisc) released in 1992

MK involvement:
Guitar, keys and vocals on "Honey, Don't You Want A Man Like Me", "Make A Sex Noise", "We're Turning Again", "Catholic Girls", "Crew Slut" and "Lonesome Cowboy Nando."

My personal favorite MK contribution to a Zappa CD occurs in "Lonesome Cowboy Nando", when I attempt to cram the line "I describe the little dangling utensils on this thing and tell him to draw it up so that it looks just like a brand new jellyfish" into the same space where I would normally say "stomp in his face so he don't move no more". The first time I listened to this song with Frank, he applauded me after that section. One o' them priceless moments. You will also hear me lose control of my guitar after the Hendrix section in "We're Turning Again", to Ike's audible amusement.

(readily available in record stores)

KILL UGLY RADIO Promo CD (Rykodisc) released in 1995

This is a promotional item, tied in with the massive Ryko FZ reissue program currently underway. It contains "Murder By Numbers", featuring Sting, from the "Broadway the Hard Way" album. I'm virtually inaudible on the track but I was there, I swear it.

STRICTLY COMMERCIAL Vinyl version only (Rykodisc) released in 1995

The vinyl version of this "hits" album contains "Planet of the Baritone Women" from "Broadway the Hard Way". Odd choice I think; wouldn't "Elvis" have been more appropriate?

KILL UGLY RADIO SOME MORE Promo CD (Rykodisc) released in 1995

Another lovely promotional item in the Kill Ugly Radio series, which intersperses interview segments with the tunes. This one features the Stravinsky section from "Jazz Noise", an interesting choice on a generally very interesting compilation. Speaking of Ryko, we haven't updated the original FZ entries on the Keneally discography to reflect their 1995 Ryko re-release. I presume you accept it as a given.

TRANCE-FUSION, which contains 1988 material, has no set release date just yet.
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