From Norbert K@21:1/5 to All on Fri Apr 15 05:31:27 2022
Howard Smith, who had a radio show and a Village Voice column, interviewed John & Yoko several times. On one occasion, Smith mentioned that he was about to head over to 1 Fifth Avenue to interview Frank Zappa. "Wow!" Lennon exclaimed, "I"ve always
wanted to meet him. I really, really admire him." Surprised by Lennon's enthusiasm, Smith asked him in what way he admired Zappa. Lennon said that he was enamored with Zappa's "doing something different with the [rock & roll] form" and with the way
Zappa had his band "tight as an orchestra." Lennon observed that Zappa brought discipline to his work that he believed nobody else had. Smith invited the Lennons the join him for the meeting.
According to Albert Goldman:
When Zappa, tall and saturnine, wearing a Zapata mustache, opened the door, Howard greeted him by casually announcing: "I brought somebody along."
Zappa glanced at John and Yoko with a practiced deadpan and said as casually as if he was greeting the engineer: "Oh, hi, glad to meet you."
But Zappa's band reacted very differently. They leaped out of their chairs and rushed to meet the great star.
"Lennon was very deferential to Frank," observed Smith. "John acted like, 'I may be popular, but *this* is the real thing.' Yoko acted like Frank Zappa had stolen everything he had ever done or even thought from her. 'Yes, yes, yes,' she would
say, 'I did that back in 1962.' Zappa just ignored her. He didn't care what she said." What was really on Zappa's mind was that night's show, which was to mark the closing of the greatest rock theatre in the world, the Fillmore East. Bill Graham was
shutting down the old house because it was impossible to operate it profitably in the period of skyrocketing fees for rock stars. When the subject of the show came up up, Howard remarked casually to John and Yoko, 'Why don't you join Frank onstage
tonight?" Zappa's band howled with delight. "Frank looked deadly at me," reported Smith. "He couldn't decide whether it was a good or a bad idea."
John's response was characteristic. "I haven't played in a long time," he pleaded. "I wouldn't know where to begin. We'd have to rehearse."
"Not with Frank's band!" interjected Smith sharply. "You wouldn't have to rehearse at all.