Paint Car


From Frank Zappa's 1969 Vinyl Album Hot Rats



 ANALYSIS by Neil Slade

 (You may also download this as a .doc and print out to follow along from )


             For me, It Must Be A Camel remains Frank Zappa's singular most breathtaking work, showcasing his genius as a composer and arranger of music, as well as a master of combining the talents of a few musicians into a coherent original recording and a tour de force.

            Notably, Camel remains one of the least appreciated of his endeavors. Although Zappa placed it as the conclusion and finale of perhaps his most celebrated album, Hot Rats, it still remains far unrecognized as being one of the most perfectly executed recordings in his catalog.



            Frank Zappa was 29 years old when he recorded the album Hot Rats, of which It Must Be A Camel is the final track. It is the eighth album of his career, out of sixty-two single and double LPs. It was preceded by seven albums, each of remarkable variety: Freak Out, a rare double album of alternative/protest rock vocal tunes; Absolutely Free, a continuation of Zappa's alternative songs, albeit with a tinge of neo-classical arrangement (i.e. Call Any Vegetable, which might now be heard similarly, but later on, as in Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody); Lumpy Gravy, a totally non-commercial endeavor via exploration of Zappa's modern orchestral music strongly resembling the work of Edgard Verese and Igor Stravinsky, combined with spoken word; We're Only In It For The Money, a visual parody of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper, and a satirical look at pop music in general; Cruising With Ruben and the Jets, a dead-on emulation of 1950's doo-wop music, and an outstanding one at that- again, highly non-commercial except for fans of such a genre; Mothermania, mostly a collection of songs from earlier albums as a contractual obligation to Verve records; Uncle Meat, the first record on his own label (Bizarre Records) a double album conglomeration of all his previously recorded styles with further exploration into alternative instrumental music, and the first album to really showcase his genius as a composer and master of the recording studio. In my mind, it is Zappa's only record on equal terms with Hot Rats in its musical imagination and sublime execution, albeit in a distinctively different manner; and we finally get to Hot Rats, a jazz-rock album of instrumental music that features long jams and solos, interspersed with unconventional and neo-classical instrumental arrangements performed by jazz, rock, and classically trained  musicians.


           As a fifteen-year old, I was first introduced to Frank Zappa and the New York protest rock group The Fugs by a friend in junior high school. At first I was drawn to Zappa's earlier less musically sophisticated comedy/protest vocal music, but before long, as a saxophone, piano, and (very modest) guitar player I soon became enamored of Hot Rats which was released during my sophomore year of high school. At the time, there was nothing quite like it (and in many ways it still remains) a remarkable exhibition of technical expertise and musicianship.

            The album was Zappa's first after dissolution of his previous band, The Mother's Of Invention. He had said that he broke up the band because they couldn't perform the kind of music he heard in his head and the kind of things he wanted to record. The Mother's, an eclectic eight piece ensemble, also made up of jazz, rock, and classically trained musicians, was not a particularly profitable nor an outstandingly popular band, and it was a constant struggle to keep that ensemble working, even though they did have a steady following and had received substantial press attention. Notably, a couple of the musicians (Jimmy Carl Black and Motorhead Sherwood) were limited in their experience and ability. Zappa felt frustrated and had a need for a fresh start.

            This first attempt at a studio album after the breakup consisted of a few  musicians of exemplary talent, and one hold-over from the Mother's, Ian Underwood. If there ever was a Master Jack of All Trades, it was Underwood. Being a highly schooled musician, he was totally adept at most woodwinds as well as keyboards, and he was a key partner in pulling off the artistic success of Hot Rats.

            The album went on to receive far reaching acclaim from both the press and Zappa's audience, and it remains as one of his best loved albums, if not the best loved, even though another fifty-four albums would follow it. This is the album that really put Zappa on the map as a composer, producer, arranger, as well as establish him as a guitar player of unquestionable and formidable talent.

            Notably, Zappa toured with the legendary jazz guitar wizard Mahavishnu John McLaughlin for eleven shows a couple years after this album was released, both groups taking somewhat different approaches to jazz-rock music. It remains undecided who "won" that particular battle of the bands but both are known to have had mutual high respect for the other.


            Hot Rats is a presentation of Zappa's unique neo-classical leanings utilizing the instrumentation of electric guitar, electric bass guitar, acoustic bass, piano, organ, and other keyboards, saxophones, flutes, as well as electric violin performed by Sugar Cane Harris and Jean-Luc Ponty, drums, and assorted percussion. But it is equally a presentation of Zappa's expert exploration into long instrumental improvisational solos that teeter on the brink between rock and jazz. On Hot Rats, the album seems to alternate between these two genres with equal aplomb and expertise.

            At the time of it's release, it can be seen as one of the first records to explore long periods of improvisation as performed on electric rock instruments in an environment and with musicians that were not tied down to either the jazz label or the rock label, as exemplified by Underwood, and the studio musicians John Guerin and Max Bennett.

             The sophistication and complexity of the arrangements seemed to chisel out a unique genre of its own, and would foreshadow other such "progressive" rock music albums that would be far more common place in years to come.


            It Must Be A Camel, at five and half minutes in length, is the one track on the album that successfully manages to merge all of the previous styles in one go; it is neither a neo-classical arrangement, nor a jam track, but rather a perfect melding of all of Zappa's knowledge, interests, and abilities into one single composition and recording. The melody has elements of avant garde, classical, and jazz music, and yet there is an abundance of improvisation on display by the musicians, as well as a keynote thirty-two bar improvised guitar solo by Zappa that for the most part defies any easy definition. His solo combines blues with near avant garde, and other idioms. The orchestration itself also defies easy definition, featuring the same instrumentation and unusual recording techniques found on the rest of the album.

            Camel is a unique Zappa creation, if ever there was one.




           There are just five musicians featured in this recording: Max Bennett (upright acoustic bass), John Guerin (drums), Ian Underwood (piano, harpsichord, other keyboards, saxophones, and clarinet), Jean-Luc Ponty (electric violin), and finally Frank (electric guitar, and drums).

            Bennett and Guerin were already very well respected and widely recognized Hollywood studio musicians at the time of the recording. Guerin (1939-2004) is now greatly known for his work with Joni Mitchell, and with L.A. Express, the jazz rock group featuring Tom Scott on saxophone. He was extremely prolific, and worked with top jazz and rock talents. Guerin was born in Hawaii and raised in San Diego. As a young drummer he began performing with Buddy DeFranco in 1960. In the late 1960s he moved to Los Angeles where his talented drum work was utilized by artists including Frank Sinatra, George Harrison, The Animals, Them, Thelonious Monk, Lou Rawls, Ray Conniff, George Shearing, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Linda Ronstadt, Nelson Riddle and countless others.  Probably his most recognizable work is for the opening drums on the Hawaii Five-O theme song.

           If there is one virtuoso performance on the track, the credit must be given to Guerin, who's drumming on It Must Be A Camel is absolutely tremendous. Guerin sets the tone of the piece from the beginning and his playing is particularly worthy of attention. He can be heard throughout unfettered, and punctuates his time keeping with a myriad of syncopated fills and accents. His playing is free and inspiring- although he never fails to come back and lay down the essential clock that firmly roots Camel to it's unconventional, yet undeniable quirky groove.

            Max Bennett (born 1928) was a close associate of Guerin and joined him in the L.A. Express.  He came into the Hot Rats album project knowing nothing of Zappa.

            Remarkably, both Guerin and Bennett laid down their rhythm tracks for the album in a mere four sessions over only two days. This accomplishment, given the complexity and precise execution of the album's tracks is almost beyond comprehension. The final recording is a testament to Zappa's ability to bring the best out of musicians, and to organize cohesion out of thin air, as neither Bennett nor Guerin had any foreknowledge of the tracks that make up the record.

            According to Bennett, "I was not familiar with Zappa’s music. Our paths never crossed. I was never a big fan of avant garde music in that sense. It was while I was working in the studio, what was it, 1967, I think? And I got a call from John Guerin. He said, ‘Get your stuff over to TTG’—that was in Hollywood—‘I got a double session for you with Frank Zappa.’ So we get there and we worked two double sessions for two nights. And that was the album, that was Hot Rats.”

            Ian Underwood (born 1939) was a long time collaborator with Zappa. Underwood graduated from The Choate School in 1957 and Yale University with a bachelor's degree in composition in 1961 and a master's degree in composition at UC Berkeley in 1966. He began his career by playing San Francisco Bay Area coffeehouses and bars with his improvisational group, the Jazz Mice, in the mid 1960s before he first became a member of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention in 1967 for their third studio album, We're Only in It for the Money.

            In Hot Rats, Underwood can be seen as Zappa's right hand man, providing all of the keyboard and woodwind parts, being an expert musician capable of handling both classical and jazz idioms on piano, organ, harpsichord, flute, all the different saxophones, and clarinet parts. Zappa seemed to acknowledge Underwood's importance in this project, as he is nearly the only other musician having his photo seen on the album's inside jacket cover besides Zappa himself. (Note: There is also a small photo of Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, holding a vacuum cleaner as well.)

            Underwood's major contribution to the album is undeniable, although most people would refer to his saxophone playing on the album's opener Peaches and Regalia, and his tenor sax solo on The Gumbo Variations. These are certainly wonderful and exhilarating performances. However Underwood's keyboard work is equally as impressive on Little Umbrellas, and of course on It Must Be A Camel. But it is the nature of piano and keyboards to be relegated somewhat to the background, and not garner as much recognition when in the company of woodwinds and guitars. Keyboard playing is simply overwhelmed by other such instrumentation- despite the fact that it takes as much or more facility to play keyboards. It takes a more perceptive listener to understand and appreciate Underwood's complex keyboard work here, which is absolutely essential to the delivery and completion of Camel. Most of Underwood's impact on this tune, however, remains in all of his woodwind playing, which is heard most predominantly on the track.

            Jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty (born 1942) also makes an appearance on Camel, although on this track, he remains for the most part a minor, yet important component playing the unison melody along with Underwood's saxophones at both the beginning after the bass solo, and again at the reprise of the main theme at the end. The melding of the saxophones with his stylized and recognizable electric violin, although understated here, makes for a memorable and somewhat haunting tone, especially given the nature of the unusual main theme of the song.

            Zappa (1940-1993) rounds out this quintet of musicians on this tune, supplying the highly innovative guitar solo midway through the track, but also supplies the syncopated sped-up drum fills that can be heard during the opening over both Bennett's bass and Guerin's drums. Zappa regularly employed this recording technique, which is accomplished by slowing down the tape, and then adding his improvised drum part and fills. When the tape is played back at normal speed, this then gives his now sped-up drum parts a quirky toy drum tonality. It also adds a bit of percussive virtuosity that would not be capable if the Zappa's drums were recorded along at the same speed as the rest of the parts.

            Zappa often employed the technique of slowing down the tape for recording throughout his career, and used this often applied to not only instrumental parts but vocal parts as well. This is especially evident in the albums We're Only In It For The Money, and Uncle Meat.

            It probably needs to be pointed out to very few that Zappa was the composer, arranger, and producer of the entire Hot Rats album.

            One suggestion to the audience here, especially if one is not familiar with Camel, listen first to the preceding cut on Hot Rats, The Gumbo Variations, (if not the whole album in sequence!). That track, a long improvisation and itself an extremely high energy masterpiece of ensemble playing primarily built upon a single chord, will bring out the best in It Must Be A Camel by sheer contrast.



THE ARRANGEMENT  (Listen as you read, rewind as necessary)


            Section A

            It Must Be A Camel begins with a bass solo/duet with Guerin's drums, along with Zappa's overdubbed drum fills. To start an arrangement with a bass/drum duet is very unusual except for in relatively rare jazz arrangements, but in this case makes for an impressive introduction to the main theme.

            Underneath, is the chord progression played on piano by Underwood. It consists of Zappa's well recognized and favorite use of suspended chords. This means to take the middle note of a chord- the third, which in western music defines tonality as major or minor- and to bump it up to the next note in the scale (the fourth), or jog it down to the next note lower (the second).  What this does is make the song neither a familiar major or minor tonality, but to make it this somewhat ambiguous quartal tonality. Quartal meaning that you can rearrange any of these suspended chords into spacing where each note is four scale steps away from each other. This is a sound most famously used by early 20th century composers such as Debussy and Ravel, and later by others including modern jazz musicians not wanting to employ more traditional tertiary harmony.

            Due to the predominant use of these suspended-quartal chords and their built-in ambiguity in terms of key center, there is no traditional or common progression perceptible, as quartal chords are more or less free to move to any note the composer wishes, and it will make as much sense to move from one chord to any other. And Zappa does this exactly. So, we are given the stated chord progression in this introduction, and that is that.

            Remarkably, the song begins in a slow 3/4 time. It's remarkable, because it sounds nothing like a waltz, which is the common usage of the 3/4 time signature. In fact,  I've gone years and years without even recognizing this fact, and only upon this analysis and examination of the transcribed score itself have I realized this myself! Probably the time signature goes mostly unrecognized here because although it is a slow 3/4, the melody itself consists of a great many faster 16th notes, (meaning 16 notes for every three beats), that give the melody a great amount of motion and impetus.

            Also  unusual is the length of this section, being not the common eight or sixteen bar phrase, but in fact it is made up of two eight bar sections, with four more bars added on as a tag ending. And it all makes perfect sense.


            Section A1

            After the bass/drum solo introduction, the bass and the piano's harmonic suspended progression is repeated again but this time with perhaps one of the most distinctive Zappa melodies written laid over the rhythm section. Given the strength of the bass line, it creates a most wonderful counterpoint between all of the parts- bass, drums, piano, violin, and saxophones.

            Here the melody is shared between Underwood's tenor saxophone and Ponty's electric violin. It is a melody that perhaps could only be constructed by Frank Zappa. I cannot think of another melody in music history that quite matches what he has composed here. It is nothing short of fantastic, and highly original.

            The melody is a through-composed melody, another rather uncommon occurrence in western music, especially rare in popular music. This means that the melody consists not of short motifs that are repeated to make up a longer phrase, but instead, the phrase itself is one long sentence. It is not unlike perhaps the design an ice skater might trace weaving across a skating rink, uninterrupted, making a long continuous drawn-out pattern. In Camel, again, this theme is of an unconventional length of twenty bars.

            (Note, the last bar in the introduction and theme is a held measure, in that nothing new occurs, so it might be argued that the section length is actually nineteen-bars- even more unusual. Never the less, the next section begins right on the downbeat of bar twenty one, so, the section could be interpreted as either nineteen bars with a fermata (hold) on the last bar, or twenty bars with the last bar simply being a hold of the previous beat.)

            Of special note are the Zappa percussion fills at the end of this section, which are especially prominent, and reminiscent of Edgard Varese's percussion ensemble works, something that Zappa often emulated. He first plays the sax-violin rhythm melody in unison for the last active melodic six bars on the sped-up "toy" drums, and then goes off to fill over the held melody note for the final four measures.

            One note about the title, It Must Be A Camel: No one is quite sure where the title comes from or what it might signify. There has been one proposed suggestion, and that is upon examination of the transcribed melody, it visually looks like a roller coaster, going up and down, and may be interpreted to look like a camel's humps, thus the title. I would propose one other possible link: Zappa was a regular cigarette smoker, and a few rumors on the internet state that he smoked unfiltered Camel brand early on, although the majority claim it was Winstons, at least from 1972.


            Section B

            This next eight (or sixteen) bar section features another through-composed melody executed primarily by massive overdubs by Underwood on various keyboards and clarinet. It is a dense section, and the appearance of what sounds like a harpsichord, especially in the low registers, makes for a bizarre palette. It's probably here that most listeners get lost, not only from the strange combination of instruments, but also that the melody here becomes much more unpredictable in rhythmic variety.


            Section B(2) 

            Although this next eight bar section may be seen as the section half of Section B, there is a sudden drop off of the instrumentation, so that it seems to be yet another independent part of the song. Either way, it is also through-composed, and it seems as though Zappa has let out all the compositional stops in the rhythmic component of the melody and it is quite unpredictable. It's as though Zappa is saying, "..What rhythms can I put together that are totally unrelated and unexpected?"

            The wonder of it is that with sufficient listenings, Zappa's melody becomes completely natural to one's ear, and makes complete sense. I, for one, could easily sing along with this tune at this point- at least get the rhythms right, even if my intonation might be off a bit!

            The end of section B concludes with a series of four unison long tones-  and then...


            Section C

            Here we see the song suddenly-yet naturally- accelerate and perhaps employ a change in time signature along with a shift to all improvised music. As opposed to the earlier sections, there is only a single harmonic implication, being a D major triad over a C bass pedal. In layman's terms, it's a jam section in the altered key of C: specifically C Lydian. To be precise, it employs a raised fourth scale note, making it what is called a Lydian mode. It is a bright yet quirky sounding tonality, and is heard most familiarly these days in the Simpsons cartoon theme song, and it also is a favorite mode of Zappa.

             This section is where Frank comes in with a stunning, yet largely economical, guitar solo of unexpected and superb rhythmical invention. Section C together with section C2 are a total of thirty two bars for this musical exploration.

            The first half of the guitar solo is Section C, sixteen bars long. Here, suddenly, the time signature of the tune becomes almost impossible to pin down. Although it is certainly a double time feel- meaning the pulse of the tune has now shifted from the slower deliberate 3/4 time signature of Sections A and B, to a possible faster 4/4 time- it is almost unrecognizable as being in any time signature whatsoever. The reason for this primarily is because Zappa's guitar continues distinctly  in 3/4 time for six full measures at the beginning of this section with dotted half notes of exactly three beats each, while the other players have themselves shifted to a faster 4/4 time.

            Tapping your foot along with the beat will be a challenge for all but the most experienced listener or musician. But somehow, one feels like the beat is still there- somehow, somewhere!

            The additional issue here- besides the fact that Zappa's main solo line continues in 3/4, and the rest are now playing double time 4/4/, is that although Guerin first lays down the back beat with a strong imposing snare drum, he only does so for four measures before going off into more syncopated (off beat) fills. At the same time, Bennett and Underwood (on piano here) are both off on their own independent syncopated parts. It's nearly a free jazz rhythm section, but yet maintains a coherent feel- albeit it strange and unconventional.

            Over this, Zappa is almost in his own musical universe, playing in time, but in a highly independent and poly-rhythmic way. As he continues through the section he gains speed and energy up to the next section. But wonderfully, he does so without resorting to a single guitar virtuoso cliché. It is sheer inventiveness.

            It's really an incredible kaleidoscope of sound in which the listener is taken along as if riding on a rubber life raft through a musical rapid, and we don't quite know which way is up.

            But somehow, through all this chaos- even to the average listener I would suspect- the pulse and momentum continues, and gains force.


            Incidentally, for those guitar freaks out there, Frank played a heavily modified Les Paul Goldtop solid body electric guitar heard on this track. From the internet: "..Zappa’s adoption of his P-90-loaded Goldtop coincided with the release of the breakthrough solo album Hot Rats. Although a valuable 1952/’53 original, the iconclastic Zappa went on to heavily modify the guitar: he replaced the neck P-90 with a humbucker, added a single-coil (right next to the bridge P-90), a Bigsby [whammy bar] and an expanded tonal palette via six rotary controls. Even some Zappa forum fans say he “messed up” a rare Goldtop: the heavily modded LP nevertheless sold at auction for a six-figure sum in 2007." (Frank can be seen playing this guitar is in the accompanying video during this solo section.)


            Section C2

            This is another sixteen bar section with the center of attention continuing on Zappa's inventive guitar solo playing over the free wheeling jazz-rock rhythm section of Underwood, Guerin, and Bennett. Zappa continues his marvelous solo, never resorting to gnat-note tweedling or clichés, but rather looking for and pulling out the most ingenious combination of intervals and rhythms he can muster.

            Where C initially seems to pull the rug out from under the listeners feet, C2 continues with more stability and a beat, since for this section Zappa's guitar solo is generally now more in timing sync with the other players.

            Section C and C2 is an extremely resourceful and original display of musical ingenuity that draws both from jazz, rock, and avante garde idioms. With it's double time feel, it has propelled the track into new musical territory, but has approached it from the previous sections in a way that flows perfectly and logically from one section to the next.

            The tonality of C2 however has shifted down from C Lydian to a minor blues sound on the guitar. The tonality itself does not follow a typical western chord progression, but instead simply moves down a half step to the key of B altered dominant (a kind of a blues based chord), but again utilizing a B7sus4 chord, as in the use of quartal suspended chords in the beginning. In effect, Zappa is now playing a bluesy kind of solo, although the quirkiness of the overall arrangement remains due to Underwood's suspended piano chord accompaniment and the rhythmic invention of the bass and drums.

            Certainly, Zappa is regularly comfortable and capable playing in a blues type of musical setting, as all of his early most influential guitar heroes were dedicated blues players such as Johnny Guitar Watson and Guitar Slim. This can be readily heard in arguably his most famous guitar solo on Willie The Pimp, an earlier track on the Hot Rats album. Here, on It Must Be A Camel, the accompaniment is certainly not your typical blues, but if one were to look at it closely, it is evident that Zappa has employed distinct blues elements in this section.


            Section D

            Where Section C is all improvisational, here in Section D Camel largely returns to Zappa's compositional instruction and the melody is now carried by Underwood in a bevy of overdubbed clarinets and piano that continues for a conventional sixteen bars. The bass and drums, however, continue to play here quite freely as before.

            The chord progression from the previous section descends again just another half-step to Bb Lydian as in the previous guitar solo Section C, for that quirky Camel sound. It then flows imperceptibly into another section...


            Section E

            This sixteen bar section begins as repeated call (three times) between a short and low register piano/bass (with subtle high clarinet doubling) descending motif, first punctuated by piano chord fills, and then answered by improvised Zappa guitar fills two more times. It concludes with a rapid succession of 16th notes as a composed piano/organ up and down unison melody with Zappa decorating it at the end with a final guitar flourish and slide down the neck.


            Section F

            This is a tasteful and relatively understated drum solo by John Guerin, full of his signature tom tom drum use. Guerin routinely employed six separate tom tom drums; four smaller tom toms mounted on the bass drum, and two larger tom toms on the floor- and they can all be heard in this solo.

            Notably in this solo is the manner in which Guerin perfectly executes a de-acceleration of the double time tempo heard in sections C, D, and E, and does so flawlessly and naturally to connect the double time middle section of the song back to the reprise.


            Section G: Reprise

            The return to the main theme is perfectly executed and the landing upon the first note of the reprise is akin to a musical landing on the moon; The coming landscape is foreshadowed in Guerin's solo, and then on the downbeat of this section, "The Eagle Has Landed".

            All of the exhilaration and roller coaster of the middle song sections comes to a highly satisfying and rousing restatement and finale.  Again, we are on firm ground with a slow, clear and steady 3/4 beat. The melody again with Ponty doubling on violin is reinforced with an abundantly overdubbed chorus of full and resonant saxophones and clarinets by Underwood.


            Section H: The CODA

            After the main statement is heard for six bars, the melody continues onto a new development in the Coda. This is where the main theme diverts to the end with some development to a highly original and unexpected conclusion, again of unpredictable rhythmic variety. Ponty's sliding violin here at the very end is of notable contribution and character.

            The ending again illustrates Zappa's personality and refusal to employ typical tools to finish a song. There is neither a recording fadeout, nor a "ta da" statement, but instead a completely natural drawn out last note of the final melody indicating: "We've said what we wanted to say, and this is the end."  It's a perfect and natural finish to an incredible recording.



            What makes It Must Be A Camel so special is that on this track Zappa has managed to perfectly balance his highly original melodic composition with a large degree of free reign which he has given himself and the other musicians in improvising their own parts in between the composed sections and underneath the given melodies. Often, Zappa's music can come off as sterile and mechanical in it's attempt to impress with technical expertise. But on this tune there is little of such "see what we can do" musical gymnastics, and instead we have an abundance of real soul infusing the tune coming from the players expressing themselves with little restraint. Much of the Hot Rats album is based upon this concept, but on Camel, we have this manner of arrangement at it's pinnacle, with just the right amount of soloing contrasting against brilliant melodic invention.

            None the less, as wonderful and fulfilling as this track is, it is probably safe to say that It Must Be A Camel is likely Zappa's greatest effort resulting in the least amount of appreciation from his audience. In fact, for reasons not exactly clear, there is no evidence that Zappa ever attempted to perform the piece live. He may have come to the conclusion that it was beyond the comprehension or appreciation of even his most ardent supporters. It's not a particularly flashy piece, but it is very idiosyncratic and for most, difficult to make sense of without more than a superficial familiarity.

            While most of Zappa's fan base is first drawn to his comedy vocal compositions, songs of which I will not mention the many titles of here, or to his more palatable, although inventive, instrumental numbers, such as Peaches and Regalia, his many long guitar solos, like Willie The Pimp or Son of Mr. Green Genes,  or thirdly to his virtuosic instrumental adventures such as The Black Page that sound like it needs to be played by a computer, or Jazz From Hell, which indeed was actually Zappa programming a musical computer, the Synclavier-

            It Must Be A Camel remains singularly in my mind as his most notable accomplishment in terms of melodic originality and signature, along with it's flawless and superb execution by immensely talented musicians. It is entirely musical, and brings both satisfaction and a challenge through listening to its' many layers. It is a mysterious vehicle which withholds fast and easy listening in exchange for earned familiarity and learning, which in the end results in far, far greater listening rewards.

            It Must Be A Camel never fails to impress me in the extreme. It is repeatedly a thrill and pleasure to listen to, and remains an inspirational point of reference on so many levels.  I've been listening to this song for almost fifty years now, and I never tire of it.

            Thank you so much, Frank Zappa!








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Your Amazing Brain Adventure is a web site all about Tickling Your Amygdala- i.e. turning on the best part of your brain as easy as clicking on a light switch. This is done as easily as imagining a feather inside of your head stimulating a compass, the amygdala. The amygdala is a set of twin organs, a part of your brain that sits right in between the most advance part of your brain- the frontal lobes and pre-frontal cortex- and the most primitive part of your brain- your "reptile brain" and brain stem.  By tickling your amygdala you instantly and directly increase creativity, intelligence, pleasure, and also make possible a spontaneous natural processes known as "paranormal abilities", although such things as telepathy and ESP are really as natural as breathing, or as easy doing simple math in your head. The ability to self stimulate the amygdala by something as simple as thought has been proven in laboratory experiments, such as those conducted at Harvard University research labs, 1999-2009, and can be tracked with modern brain scanning machines such as fMRI and PET... Indeed, thought is faster than light.


Other sites of interest: is a painting site dedicated to learning how to paint a car yourself, even if you've never painted a car before. You can refinish your car to professional standards at home, better than if you take it to someone else, and enjoy doing it at a fraction of the cost of having it done in an expensive shop. You can repair dents, rust, and use the most durable real automotive paint, and even learn to apply it without any special or expensive gear, in a safe and enjoyable manner. Paint your car in your garage, car port, or even driveway. You can spray, use an HVLP gun, or even use a roller.


Easy Make A Kindle and Your Own Publishing are sites about self-publishing and writing, and how any person can publish materials, print, online, and electronic books. You can drop out of the corporate slave labor rat race and own your own life by writing and distributing your own books on the subject that  you know best.  is a web site about escaping from the ridiculous cost of ink jet printer ink refilling- and refilling your printer for pennies instead of $70 a shot. It also has useful tips about maintaining ink jet printers, especially Canon brand printers.


Julia Lu Painting is all about the creative works of Chinese painter Julia Lu, a modern master of oil and water color painting. Julia shares her creative secrets, ideas, as well as her art work.


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