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CINEMA – Guy Bickel (US)

CINEMA – Guy Bickel (US)

Behind the Garage Door

“Hello… is this Jerry Outlaw from Bogus Pomp? -- Hey man, my name is Guy Bickel. I used to work for Frank back in the late 70s. I did monitors on the 78/79 European and American tour. Although I’ve known about Pomp for a while, we’ve never had a chance to officially meet. I’ve been working on this behind the scenes picture presentation idea and was wondering if you would ever be interested in some
kind of opening act or something?” And that’s how “Behind the Garage Door” began.

I had taken a lot of pictures from the 78 portion of the 78/79 Zappa tour… the tour that took place in between Sheik Yerbouti and Joe’s Garage. We did some pretty memorable gigs including the open air festivals in Europe, Saturday Night Live, and a week at the Palladium in New York ending on Halloween. I was there to witness everything from the inspiration for, “Why Does It Hurt When I Pee”, to the official
“Crew Slut”, and even “Conehead”; specifically written for the Saturday Night Live appearance.

But Jerry did have an idea. He was looking to do something different and have a Zappa weekend; with me opening on Friday night at The Palladium in St. Petersburg, Florida in front of the big Bogus Pomp Orchestra Show setup, then Pomp would play the next night. BTW: It was a blistering performance.

So the big day finally came… and unfortunately, the worst rain storm in years decided to settle over Central Florida. I mean VERY NASTY weather all day and night. Nobody in their right mind would venture into the night to see some roadie with a slide show. I anticipated a disaster turnout… like nobody. But Saint Alfonso smiled down upon me and lo and behold, the theater began to fill. Not full by any means,
but there were people everywhere. OMG

The show began. They laughed, they yelled out, they commented, they applauded repeatedly. And when the Crew Slut hit the screen… it was like the game winning goal. Afterwards, there were compliments from everyone, even the house crew… said it was the best presentation they had ever seen. How long had I been doing it? I smiled, shook hands, and enjoyed my first taste of micro-stardom.

But it didn’t end there. Being as that Bogus Pomp had performed at Zappanale a number of times before our meeting, Jerry thought it might be a good idea to get hold of Mick Zeuner and suggest that I do my presentation at Zappanale. “It’s the kind of thing serious Zappa fans would love”, said Jerry.

Well one thing lead to another and pretty soon I was sending Mick some samples of my presentation. Excellent examples, only one problem... my word for word English to German translated bullet points would not go over very well to an articulate Zappanale audience. Mick to the rescue. He helped translate the original examples sent to Arf, then on his whirlwind US jaunt in February, stopped by my house, filled me in on what Zappanale was all about, and graciously translated the remainder of the bullets as I made us Tandoori Chicken and Saag Paneer for dinner. Damn, that’s really nice! Thanks Mick.

And now it’s the end of March. Zappanale is just around the corner. Behind the Garage Door is on the laptop, I just got word from Rajko that all is cool with the technical rider, I have my e-ticket that is actually pretty darn copasetic, and I just learned my first German phrase: Wo ist die Toilette, bitte?

I think I’m ready.

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Zappanale #28

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