All about Don Preston

THE DON PRESTON TRIO
 
 
DON PRESTON
AKA BIFF DE BRIE, DOM DE WILD, OGO MOTO, UNCLE MEAT

Don Preston

 – piano, hats, IPOD, magic

Anders Swanson
 – acoustic bass, magic notes

SATURDAY, NOV 5th 8PM
@
South Pasadena Music Center and Conservatory
1509 Mission Street,
SOUTH PASADENA, CA 91030


http://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Pasadena-Music-Center-Conservatory/249447501844
$10.00 GENERAL ADMISSION
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SUNDAY, NOV 6th @ 3PM


Performing at ALVAS 
(The best venue in the Los Angeles area with a GREAT Steinway piano –
DON PRESTON)

Alvas Showroom
1417 W. 8th Street,
San Pedro, Ca 90732
http://www.alvasshowroom.com/calendar.php

CLICK ON DON PRESTON
Ticket Price $20.00

Please call: 1-800-403-3447 for reservations and more information
Complimentary coffee, tea and "Alvas" bottled water are provided.
Bring your own Food & Drinks

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
About Don

Donald Ward Preston also known as Dom DeWilde or Biff Debrie born September 21, 1932 in Flint, Michigan. Preston is an American rock and roll musician. Preston was born into a family of musicians and began studying music at an early age. His father was the composer-in-residence for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

At 12 years old he was thrown out of school for hypnotizing several students and a nun. The nuns used to beat his hands with a big ruler when he made mistakes playing the piano. Because of this weird treatment he began to like strange and dissonant music. Preston later did a stint in the army, serving in Trieste, Italy. Upon his return to Detroit during the early '50s, Preston associated with pianist Tommy Flanagan. He also sat in with Elvin Jones and others at the city's West End Cafe where Yusef Lateef conducted twice-a-week jam sessions with Milt Jackson's brother, bassist Ollie Jackson. 

Preston moved to Los Angeles in 1957 where he hooked up with pianist Paul Bley, bassist Charlie Haden, and others who were hearing jazz in new ways. Many will recognize Preston from his long collaboration with Frank Zappa as the first full time keyboardist with the Mothers of Invention. The original MOTHERS OF INVENTION did not have a full time keyboardist.Preston performed and recorded with Zappa until 1974.

He is a co-founder of the GrandMothers along with Jimmy Carl Black and Bunk Gardner wh ich performed original compositions and music that they had performed with the Mothers of Invention between 1967 and 1969.

In 2002 that band disbanded and reformed with new members and changed their name to THE GRANDE  MOTHERS RE:INVENTED. That ensemble performed the music of Frank Zappa that they had performed and/or recorded between the years 1965 thru 1983.The GMSRI has performed over 140 concerts in 18 countries since 2003.

Often compared to Cecil Taylor for his style of attacking the keys with intense passion, Preston’s solos also reflect intellect, technical skills and a storyteller's way with a line. His playing, like his compositions, ranges across panoramas of mood and emotion, all colored with the freedom that comes from possessing remarkable facility.

 He also has scored more than 20 feature film scores and 14 plays. He's the winner of numerous awards, and has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and London Philharmonic. Known to jazz and keyboard aficionados for his pioneering contributions in the use of synthesizers and piano, legendary clarinetist and composer John Carter dubbed Don Preston the “father of modern synthesis.”

 Don has performed with artists like:

Joe Beck, Paul Bley, Carla Bley, Bobby Bradford, John Carter,  Nat King Cole, Andrew Cyrille, Billy Daniels, Art Davis, Don Ellis,Connie Francis, Flo and Eddie (Howard Kaylan & Mark Volman of The Turtles)  Charlie Haden, Zakir Hussain, Al Jarreau, Elvin Jones, Yusef Lateef, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Charles Lloyd, Herbie Mann, Michael Mantler, Meredith Monk, Vaughn Monroe, J.R. Montrose,Lou Rawls, Emil Richards, Nelson Riddle, Shorty Rogers, Johnny Ray,  Leo Sayer, Frank Zappa

Don Preston is no relation to the Don Preston who played lead guitar for Joe Cocker and Leon Russell in the 1970s, and who appeared with Russell at the Concert for Bangladesh.

 THE DON PRESTON TRIO features the amazing eyes, ears and hands of acoustic bassist Anders Swanson and his Grande Mothers cohort drummer/percussionist Christopher Garcia.


REVIEWS
"Preston not only brought his skewed piano sensibility into the creative jazz context, he lugged along a little of his zany synthesizer as well……..touching on all these associations (Carla and Paul Bley, John Carter, Zappa and Cole Porter), showing what he can do twisting a standard around and delving a bit into his own compositional bag as well. Preston resides on the edge of tonality, toying with it."
DOWNBEAT

"revisiting choice moments of weirdness and glory, as well as dig into original works and unlikely standards, is not to be missed. The range of program is somewhat camouflaged by the seamless interply of Preston and his cohorts. They possess a cohesion born of fluidity that is reminiscent of Paul Bley’s 60’s trios, but they have their own crisp edge. It is a high common denominator for such a diverse program."
JAZZTIMES

"best known as the first synth wielding Mother of Invention – Frank Zappa's
keyboardist aide de camp, to others he is an avowed New Music experimentalist,
whose work in theatre, and with assorted sonic daredevils is the stuff of underground
acclaim…….in the jazz orbit Preston's credits have included Gil Evans, Carla Bley,
Buell Niedlinger, Michael Mantler, John Carter, and Bobby Bradford"
DOWNBEAT

"Don is one of the pioneers in that whole area, I don't think he gets nearly enough
credit for the contributions he has made and the vast amount of knowledge
he has acquired in electronic music."
JOHN CARTER

"the guy that really impressed me was Don Preston, I didn't know what that stuff was when I heard it on Frank Zappa's records. I said, "Man!"
GEORGE DUKE

"Preston demonstrated anew that he is one of the most consistently exciting
keyboardists anywhere, he plays with an intensity and a rhythmic vitality
that approached the demonic, at climactic moments smashing the keys
with a forearm and elbow, as if the piano were just not instrument
enough for him"
LA JAZZ SCENE

DON PRESTON AND MONTY PYTHON???????????


FROM THE LINER NOTES OF STRICTLY COMMERCIAL BY TERRY GILLIAM


http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/docs/Strictly_Commercial_liner_notes.html

"No matter how much my body decays, I have been unable to remove one particular shard of memory that remains firmly stuck — festering in my brain as a result of Frank Zappa.

It was 1967. I had just left America for England. One autumn evening, wandering through Hyde Park, I bumped into Frank's manager whom I knew from my former life in Los Angeles. The Mothers were performing at the Albert Hall the following night. Did I want to see them? You bet.

The Royal Albert Hall is a great Victorian monument . . . all red and gold and encrusted with elaborate decoration. With its tasteful boxes ringing the vast domed amphitheatre it represented to me all that was cultured, refined, and civilised . . . the product of generations of decent British citizens and their gracious rulers. but that night this proud testimonial to respectability had been usurped by The Mothers of Invention . . . a hairy three-ringed circus with Frank as the ringmaster.

The band roared and crashed about the stage. They were blasting out their familiar raucous songs with Frank controlling it all with his cool, knowing smile. The audience, by American standards, was subdued and Frank seemed frustrated by his inability to get them on their feet. Whether it was planned or an inspired act of desperation I'll never know but, suddenly in the middle of a song the keyboard player (THAT WOULD BE DON PRESTON – ED NOTE) abandoned his ivories and began to clamber up and over the speakers and other piles of electronic gear. An expectant ripple spread through the crowd. For a moment he disappeared — lost in the darkness. Then a spotlight managed to pick him out — a small motley figure climbing onwards and upwards — up the back of the auditorium — towards the gigantic mountain of brass pipes that comprised the great Albert Hall organ. The audience cheered him as Frank cranked up the band. You can do it! Climb you bastard! Yes! Yes! With the mob chanting and clapping this musical Quasimodo gained the summit and plunked himself down at the keyboard. There was a momentary hush as he grappled with the stops. And then the most glorious, outrageous sound ever heard erupted . . . no . . . it wasn't Elgar or Bach or even Saint-Saens . . .

It was a great thundering musical nose-thumbing fart. He was pounding out "Louie, Louie" on that great Victorian organ. The barbarians had taken over! It probably felt like that the day they hoisted the Hammer and Sickle over the Winter Palace. The cobwebs were being blown away. The iconoclasts were king! It was utterly silly and wonderful . . . and we laughed and cheered and Frank's cool, knowing smile widened ever so slightly.

I decided it was worth staying in England.

When it came to slaughtering sacred cows with such crude, yet perfect musical precision there was no one better than Frank. I wonder what songs he's teaching the angels right now? Good luck God! You've got your hands full this time."

 Terry Gilliam

 

Dr. Dot massaging Don Preston (who is making a goofy face for the camera)

 

Greetings from the 20th annual Zappanale Festival

For me the Zappanale fest already started in Berlin with Project Object playing at the DOT CLUB on August 13th. It was so awesome and my buddy Joe Jackson came and stood in the audience the whole time and watched. He said he enjoyed the show, the band was good but he said, as I said, the sound could have been better. The club is HOT as FUCK and smokey too- with bad sound. NOT good. But Project Object, of course, did the best they could do and nailed it. 

 

My good friends Dirk and Bully came to the show too and refused to accept free tix, they wanted to support the band! Snarky, a myspace Zappa group friend of mine came all the way from Virginia to see the show (and the Zappanale too)

Dirk, Bully, Snarky McBullhorn ^

Dot at the Dot Club. I felt at home here apart from the cig smoke, cough cough, I am NO fun, innit!? I LOVE the shirt I am wearing, my friend Robin Gelberg gave it to me, I treasure it. 

Oliver (in the middle) owns a bar called the Jansen Bar in Berlin and they have Frank Zappa night the first Tuesday of each month. Ike was happy to pose with Oliver and the Jansen bar bar-tender who swears he isn’t gay (inside joke). Check it out: http://www.jansenbar.de/

 Rather bad quality but here is a video of one  ^ of my performances at the Dot Club in Berlin

 

 

Not much time to write, just posting a few pics I took last night. The Zappanale gets better each time I come, I LOVE it (“it’s a way of life” 😉

 

 

To see the blog I wrote about the last Zappanale I went to two years ago, go to:

 

 

 

 http://drdot.blog-city.com/18th_annual_zappanale_1.htm

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce Bickford is here at the festival, if you don’t know who he is, you must not know the Frank Zappa film “Baby Snakes”. Google him, he is a legend- or just click link below:

http://www.brucebickford.com/index1.shtml

 Super cool dude ^

 

All of Jimmy Carl Black’s kids are here. Met them all and his widow is here too, will post pics asap. 

 

Project Object from behind 😉
https://vimeo.com/38247621

 CREW SLUT at the Zappanale ^ (I knew a better quality version would turn up 🙂

 

 

 

And I FINALLY met the famous Paul Green. We run in the same circle, never had the pleasure until tonight- wicked fun guy..

 

 And it felt like MAGIC to be in between these two legends, Don Preston and Robert Martin (they just met for the first time tonight!)

Haven’t seen Don for two years, it is always a pleasure. Haven’t seen Robert since 1988! We had a LOT of catching up to do and he gave me 2 hours of fitness and advice about what to eat and what not to eat (he is a strict Vegan). He is 61 and is still ripped, you should see his abs. Check out his web site, you can see videos of him doing one legged squats, he is amazing!!  http://www.lookgreatnakedatanyage.com/

 

 

Robert’s shoes fascinated me to no end ^  I told him if they made them for women, they could paint the toe nail part red to make them sexier. ha. 

Eric Svalgard ^ and Eric Slick of Project Object

 

 

 Eric Slick and Robbie “Seahag”  ^  (Guitar for Project Object) 

 

Project Object fucking RULED!! I performed as “Mary” for them during Crew Slut and Wet t-shirt night. Always an honor. Ike Willis is in top form, Don kicks ass, Andre’ gets better all the time, Eric Slick on drums, wow! Robbie Seahag on bass, Eric Svalgard  the crazy blond on other keyboards and Robert Martin came out and did a few numbers like Whipping Post and NAILED IT!!! Gregg Allman would approve. 

Gotta sleep, ttyl

x

 ps. Here is me below as “Mary” for the Crew Slut song/performance (would love to see a video of that, it was hilarious!)

 

Thursday night at the Dot club and Friday night at the Zappanale I played MARY in the songs Crew Slut and Fembot in a Wet Shirt (still waiting for someone to send me some pics of that)

 

 

 

I was slinking around each Project Object band member during the song and in this shot ^ back to back with Robert Martin

 


Robert Martin again ^ and I

 

“Hey hey hey all you girls in these
Industrial towns
I know youre probly gettin tired
Of all the local clowns
They never give you no respect
They never treat you nice
So perhaps you oughta try
A little friendly advice
And be a crew slut
Hey, youll love it
Be a crew slut
Its a way of life
Be a crew slut
See the world
Dont make a fuss, just get on the bus
Crew slut
Add water makes its own sauce
Be a crew slut
So you dont forget, call before midnite tonite
The boys in the crew
Are just waiting for you
You never to get move around
You never go nowhere
I know yer probly gettin tired
Of all the guys out there
You always wondered what its like
To go from place to place
So, darlin, take a little ride
On the mixers face
Be a crew slut
Just follow the magic footprints
Be a crew slut
Hey, youll love it!
Be a crew slut
Its a way of life
I aint gonna squash it
And you dont need to wash it!”   FRANK ZAPPA

Back again with more pics from Saturday night at the Zappanale:

 Project Object leader ^ and his lovely lady

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OMFG, Roberts hands are AMAZING!! Wish he would do my feet 🙂

 

It is really hard to get good in concert shots. But I get some good in person pics. You can’t capture their music in pics anyways and my camera is too crap to make any decent videos of the shows

 

Eric Slick (drummer genius) on stage after his performance with Project Object ^ 

 

SUNDAY (last night of the Zappanale) below:

 

Was fun hanging out with Bruce again. He told many private things about himself, it was awesome to get close to such a genius mind. He is so kind and gentle; makes you want to protect him.

 

Ike and I have known each other for 21 years. His mind is still sharp as a whip and his sense of humor is as amazing as his voice. LOVE HIM!

 

 

Ah, to be a fly on the wall- wait, I was there. Super Fly. ha. 

The Zappanale is 4 days/nights of Zappa fun, but everyone is SUPER tired by Sunday night. Terry looked so fucking fit, wow. He claims he is “getting fat” but I didn’t see any on him.

 

Zappa alumni Sandwich part 2 (or 3?) keep em coming..

 

 

 Wolfhard is the founder of the Zappanale, started it 20 years ago. Super nice guy and he is a MASSIVE Zappa freak, he doesn’t do this festival for anything else but the love he has for Frank Zappa’s music. Thomas is the president of the Arf Society (google it, I’m too tired to write about it 😉

 

 

Wolfhard is rather shy and keeps to himself, not one to ask for pics or autographs, but he did want one with Bruce. They are both amazing people. 

 

 

 When I left the festival I noticed a rowdy bar still open in Bad Doberan and went in and it was PACKED with hard core Zappa fans (Zappateers). One of them, from the UK, had this hair cut goin’ on. Ha. 

 

Will TRY to ad more text and pics soon.

 

Haven’t really wrote much about the music. Not much to say apart from you can never get enough Frank Zappa music. Some were bored with Terry Bozzio’s 90 min drum solo set but hey, he IS Terry Bozzio and well, RESPECT! One thing that REALLY gets on my tits about the Zappanale is you have to listen to the same fucking songs over and over and OVER again because it seems to be impossible to controll what each band plays so they ALL play Frank’s top ten hits (I am the slime, dirty love, etc etc.) Project Object did the BEST version EVER of Whipping Post with Bobby Martin and hello? Some Austrian Band (Sex without Nails) did it the very next night. Jesus, have some fucking respect will ya? Give it up. I hate that. I think all bands should pick their songs from a Zappanale lottery 6 months before the festival and NO ONE should be allowed to repeat a song!!

What about Truck Driver Divorce? Or Lucille has messed my Mind up? There are HUNDREDS of songs to choose from yet we have to endure the same fucking songs repeatedly (which is ok if you are drunk and stoned out of your Zappa loving mind) but I am NOT so it bothers me and the other few sober cunts there. FOR FUCK SAKE!!! I asked the powers that be (Thomas and Wolfhard) about this and they said they DO try to control it BUT the bands “do what they want once they get up on the stage”. How can they play repeats? Are they retarded? Don’t they know how many SONGS Frank Zappa actually has? pfft. 

 

If you want a different view of the Zappanale, keep your eye out for Andrew Greenaways web site, he will surely cover it once he is back in the UK and sober: www.idiotbastard.com  

 

 

Jimmy Carl Black’s lovely but very sad, widow “Moni”

 

Gong TORE UP the stage. They ROCK!

 

 

 

 

FINALLY! Project Object plays in Berlin! The BEST Frank Zappa tribute band ever!

Click link below to see in original format:

http://www.liveatdot.com/program/details.php?id=334

 

 

 

Project/Object (US) + [trap.] (CA/D)

am 13. Aug. 2009

The members of PROJECT/OBJECT feel that Frank Zappa is one of the 20th Century's greatest and most important composers, and they are on a mission to bring his music to the masses by faithfully recreating the live Zappa experience.

PROJECT/OBJECT formed in the early '90s as an offshoot from an annual Frank Zappa birthday celebration that took place in guitarist Andre' Cholmondeley's basement in New Jersey. As the event grew in size and popularity, PROJECT/OBJECT decided to take their show on the road, performing Zappa's music in more cities and larger venues, with a growing set list from every era of Zappa's 30-year recording career. The band strives to stay true to Frank's vision of constantly challenging the musicians and the audiences.

Frank Zappa was extremely influential to many musicians and bands, especially many jambands, including Phish, moe., and Deep Banana Blackout. While many jamband fans are aware that Frank Zappa was influential, they are largely unfamiliar with his music. Of those who are familiar, many were too young to have seen him in concert. PROJECT/OBJECT is the closest they will get to the live Zappa experience, and the band has been enjoying increasing support from this growing scene.

PROJECT/OBJECT is now and always will be the world's ONLY ZAPPA TRIBUTE BAND that has played so many gigs and complete TOURS with so many of the ACTUAL PARTICIPANTS in Zappa's Musical Universe – musicians from virtually EVERY Zappa lineup…from the 1965 band all the way to the 1988 band!! Other acts may outflank them with big budgets and fancy, misleading ads, but PROJECT/OBJECT is the World's ONLY band to go to for fans that want an intimate, excellent evening with ACTUAL, AUTHENTIC, OFFICIAL ZAPPA ALUMNI…..

In every new market they visit, PROJECT/OBJECT converts the curious into dedicated fans. They want to remind old Zappa fans of the way it used to be and let younger fans, who never experienced a Zappa show, see and hear the way it was.

[trap.]: innovative international power trio shaped of :
Merlin Ettore (Canada) :: hybrid drums
Matjö Pe (france) :: explosed trumpet/mad keys
Elektremi (Germany) :: intuitive electronics

Recently based in Berlin, [trap.] have been spawning raw power and future in sound in the studio and on stage.

[trap.] is known to hand over to their audiences energy packed beat fireballs surfing on hypnotic silky sounds waves.
Expanding it’s horizons, [trap.] is know to collaborate with a wide range of instrumentalist wonders of various musical scenes.

[trap.] is currently in production recording an EP.
Release in Berlin scheduled for late May 2009.

[trap.] is endorses Yamaha Drums, Paiste Cymbals and Ableton software.

PROJECT/OBJECT featuring IKE WILLIS, ED MANN & DON PRESTON With DENNY WALLEY

PROJECT/OBJECT
featuring IKE WILLIS, ED MANN & DON PRESTON
With DENNY WALLEY (in GA, TN, NC only!)

the music of Frank Zappa

JANUARY 2009
THU 29 TEANECK NJ MEXICALI BLUES
FRI 30 BALTIMORE MD 8X10
SAT 31 SELLERSVILLE PA SELLERSVILLE THEATRE

FEB DATES AND SPECIAL GUESTS TBA

"You want to see the actual people who recorded your favorite Zappa and Mothers albums?

Performing all eras of Zappa?

Come to us. We'll take care of you"
-Project/Object

The Actual music…with the Actual Alumni*

DON PRESTON Mothers Of Invention & Zappa Tours and Albums 1966-1974
ED MANN Zappa Tours and Albums 1976-1988
IKE WILLIS Zappa Tours and Albums 1978-1988
DENNY WALLEY Zappa Tours and Albums 1975-1981 (GA, NC, TN shows only)
On Tour Together for the Very First Time!!!

AUGUST 2009
ZAPPANALE-20
PROJECT/OBJECT with IKE WILLIS, DON PRESTON and other special guests TBA!