Mighty cover for Zappa vinyl release

Yes, I did blog about some of this before: about how, while interviewing Noel Fielding over a decade ago now, he drew a Frank Zappa portrait for me.

The interview took place in the hotel room Noel and Julien Barrett - The Mighty Boosh - were sharing in Melbourne during the Comedy Festival. They were performing Autoboosh that year, and their walk-on music - which I recognised as soon as it began - was Frank Zappa's 'Help I'm A Rock' from the very first Mothers of Invention album Freak Out.

By the end of the interview, Noel presented me with the gorgeous hand-drawn portrait of Zappa that he'd executed, in pen, during our conversation.


Nearly a decade later, I got to interview Noel again, for an issue of FilmInk. Noel remembered our earlier interview:

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What I didn't know, either time I interviewed Noel, was that the Mighty Boosh had once described their work as "comedy for people who grew up listening to Frank Zappa". In fact, as that interview went on to reveal, I also didn't recognise Zappa's youngest child, daughter Diva, in her cameo in the final episode of the Mighty Boosh.

"How did you not recognise her?" Noel demanded in disbelief. "She looks so much like her dad!"

The Mighty Boosh Band went on to appear in the Zappa Roundhouse Festival in 2010, celebrating what would have been Zappa's 70th birthday - albeit a couple of months early, give-or-take.

The latest Zappa/Boosh crossover is with the Zappa Family Trust release of a 12-inch single - on red vinyl - featuring the Mothers of Invention for Mothers Day. Well, the announcement of the release is in time for Mothers Day. 

The record features 'Help I'm A Rock' and 'It Can't Happen Here' in their original stereo 1966 mixes on side 1. Side 2 features the original mono release and the original basic tracks of 'Who Are The Brain Police?'

The record also features gorgeous cover art by Noel Fielding. Yep. Noel Fielding painting a portrait of Zappa for 'Help I'm A Rock'. Who'dathunkit? I love it when my nerd worlds collide. You can pre-order it here.


Boosh Allures:
Frank Zappa by Noel Fielding

In 2000, the year the Mighty Boosh brought Autoboosh to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, I got to interview them in their hotel room. They were just ‘The Boosh’ then, I’m pretty sure.

I pointed out that I recognised their pre-show warm-up music, 'Help I'm A Rock' - by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, from their first album Freak Out.

“You're a fan,” Noel acknowledged. During the the interview, he sketched freehand on a piece of paper. When the interview was over, he handed it to me. It was a portrait of Frank Zappa.

  Frank Zappa by Noel Fielding_resize

I’ve been searching for it for at least the last 8 years, thinking I’d filed it, but not knowing where. Then my girlfriend located it as girlfriends do, just casually rifling through some folders. Joy of joys.

Zappa – captured in the bowler hat in which he was frequently photographed during his 1968 English tour – is uttering ‘Help I’m A Rock’. Noel has inscribed it, ‘Cheers for interviewing us and viewing our wears. – Noel Boosh’.

You enjoy looking at it while I go purchase a frame to ensure I don’t lose it for another decade!

And enjoy listening to this interview snippet from several years later.


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