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The Mothers

A.k.a. Ruben And The Jets (4)

The Mothers or The Mothers Of Invention. Frank Zappa teamed with gigging R&B group 'The Soul Giants' in 1964. The band included vocalist Ray Collins, bassist Roy Estrada and drummer Jimmy Carl Black. Zappa emerged as their creative leader and the band became 'The Mothers' (as in mother-f**kers = good musicians). After signing to Verve Records this was appended to 'The Mothers Of Invention' at the insistence of the label. Until Zappa founded his own label the appendage was usually added in mock deference and the band were usually referred to as 'The Mothers'. Guitarist Elliot Ingber then joined and, for much of their seminal 1960's albums, the group also included woodwind player Bunk Gardner, saxophonist Motorhead Sherwood, keyboardist Don Preston, multi-instrumentalist Ian Underwood and additional drummers Billy Mundi and Art Tripp. Most of these artists appeared on "Freak Out!" (1966), "Absolutely Free" and "We're Only In It For The Money" (1967), "Cruising With Ruben & the Jets" (1968) and "Uncle Meat" (1969). During Zappa's jazz/classical rock period of 1969-1970, his works were augmented by violinists Don "Sugarcane" Harris and Jean-Luc Ponty, percussionist Ruth Underwood and drummers Aynsley Dunbar and John Guerin. Most of these artists appeared on "Uncle Meat", "Hot Rats", "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" and "Burnt Weeny Sandwich". From 1970-72, Zappa formed a new line-up with former The Turtles members Flo & Eddie and bassist Jim Pons. Preston, Underwood and Dunbar remained in the line-up, along with additional keyboardist George Duke. This line-up was disbanded, after Zappa was pushed from the stage by a fan in 1972. (He could not tour for the next year). Two more jazz rock albums, "Waka Jawaka" and "The Grand Wazoo", were recorded with much of the previous jazz-rock group including Preston, Ian and Ruth Underwood, Dunbar, Ponty, Huerin and Duke. Trumpeter Sal Marquez was also added. Zappa and the band went back to vocal rock songs with jazz elements in 1973 on "Over-Nite Sensation", then 1974's "Apostrophe" and 1975's "One Size Fits All". Much of the same band remained, along with new members Bruce Lambourne Fowler (trombone), Tom Fowler (bass) and Napoleon M. Brock (saxophone). In 1975 Zappa called a halt to this backing band. By the late '70s an entirely new support band was formed, with only occasional participation from past members, including a re-appearance of Captain Beefheart. Beginning in the 80's, past 'Mothers' members Collins, Black, Gardner, Sherwood, Preston, Tom and Bruce Fowler occasionally played in a mock Zappa band, 'The Grandmothers'. In 1985 Zappa adroitly used 'The Mothers Of Prevention' in his assault on American censorship aspects of the music industry.

PortraitNorma Jean Bell
voc, sax US
PortraitGeorge Duke
key, voc *1946 US
PortraitFred Jackson
ts *1929 US
PortraitFrank Zappa
voc, g 1940-1993 US
PortraitIke Willis
voc, g *1955 US
PortraitDon Preston
key, ep *1932 US
PortraitJean-Luc Ponty
vn *1942 FR
PortraitJoel Peskin
ts, as US
PortraitChester Thompson
dr *1948 US
PortraitErnie Watts
ts *1945 US
PortraitKenny Shroyer
PortraitJohn Guerin
dr, perc 1939-2004 US
PortraitIan Underwood
*1939 US
PortraitDon "Sugarcane" Harris
vn, voc, eb *1938 US
PortraitAynsley Dunbar
dr *1946 GB
PortraitArt Tripp
dr *1944 US
PortraitDon Van Vliet
voc, h *1941 US
PortraitRuth Underwood
perc, vib, mar *1946 US
PortraitAndre Lewis
org 1948-2012 US
PortraitRoy Estrada
b, voc, eb *1943 US
PortraitArthur Barrow
g, b, voc *1952 US
PortraitAlan Estes
perc US
PortraitMark Volman
voc *1947 US
PortraitHoward Kaylan
voc *1947 US
PortraitJames William Guercio
*1945 US
PortraitAnthony Ortega
as, fl, sax *1928 US
PortraitBilly Byers
tb 1927-1996 US
PortraitLowell George
voc, g 1945-1979 US
PortraitNapoleon M. Brock
voc, ts, fl US
PortraitEd Mann
perc, vib US
PortraitElliot Ingber
g *1941 US
PortraitChad Wackerman
dr, perc *1960 US
PortraitBunk Gardner
ts *1933 US
PortraitRay Collins
voc, h 1936-2012 US
PortraitJimmy Carl Black
dr, voc 1938-2008 US
PortraitDenny Walley
s-g, g, voc *1940
PortraitMotorhead Sherwood
ts *1942 US
PortraitMoon Zappa
voc *1967 US
PortraitEarl Dumler
sax, ob GB
PortraitJanet Ferguson
PortraitTony Duran
g, voc 1945-2011 US
PortraitJeff Simmons
voc *1949 US
PortraitSal Marquez
tr, voc
PortraitMike Altschul
ts US
PortraitJim Pons
voc, b *1943 US
PortraitBilly Mundi
dr, voc *1942 US
PortraitSuzy Creamcheese
PortraitBobby Martin
key, voc FR
PortraitTom Fowler
b *1951 US
PortraitKurt McGettrick
ss, sax, ts US
PortraitRalph Humphrey
dr *1944 US
PortraitErnie Tack
Robert 'Frog' Camarena
voc, g US
PortraitBob Zimmitti
perc US
PortraitAlice Stuart
eg, acg *1942 US
PortraitJim Fielder
b, ep *1947 US
PortraitJohn Rotella
sax, cl, as US
PortraitJoanne Caldwell McNabb
PortraitAlex Dmochowski
eb, b US
PortraitPeter Wolf
p, key *1952 US
PortraitHenry Vestine
g 1944-1997 FR
PortraitMalcolm McNab
tb, ss US
Bob Harris
key, voc *1943
PortraitRuben Ladron De Guevara
voc, key
PortraitSteve Mann
voc, g 1943-2009 US
PortraitTommy Mariano
p, key *1951 US
PortraitBruce Fowler
tb *1947 US
Popular Tracks   
Camarillo Brillo on Over-Nite Sensation by Frank Zappa & The Mothers
Montana on Over-Nite Sensation by Frank Zappa & The Mothers
Dirty Love on Over-Nite Sensation by Frank Zappa & The Mothers
I'm The Slime on Over-Nite Sensation by Frank Zappa & The Mothers
Zomby Woof on Over-Nite Sensation by Frank Zappa & The Mothers
Dinah-Moe Humm on Over-Nite Sensation by Frank Zappa & The Mothers
Fifty-Fifty on Over-Nite Sensation by Frank Zappa & The Mothers
Echidna's Arf (Of You) - Live At The Roxy, Hollywood/1973 on Roxy & Elsewhere by Frank Zappa & The Mothers
Village Of The Sun - Live At The Roxy, Hollywood/1973 on Roxy & Elsewhere by Frank Zappa & The Mothers
Son Of Orange County - Live/1974 on Roxy & Elsewhere by Frank Zappa & The Mothers

Track list and 30sec audio provided by


Title Artist Year Type
Meat LightFrank Zappa / The Mothers2016Album
ROXY - The MovieFrank Zappa / The Mothers, Zappa Family Trust2015Album
Live At BBCFrank Zappa & The Mothers2015Single
The Lost BroadcastFrank Zappa And The Mothers, Radio Bremen2015Single
Wollman Rink, Central Park, NY, August 3rd 1968The Mothers2014Album
Bongo Fury In El Paso In 1975Frank Zappa / Captain Beefheart / The Mothers2014Album
We're Only In It For The MoneyThe Mothers2014Album
Roxy By ProxyFrank Zappa / The Mothers2014Album
Freak Out!The Mothers2014Album
Freaking Out In 1969The Mothers2013Album
Help, I'm A Rock / It Can't Happen Here / Who Are The Brain Police?Frank Zappa & The Mothers, Zappa Family Trust2013Single
The Original Mothers Of InventionThe Mothers2012Album
Freak Out!The Mothers2012Album
Carnegie HallFrank Zappa & The Mothers2011Album
Pop HistoryFrank Zappa And The Mothers2011Album
Water Turning BlackFrank Zappa, Captain Beefheart & The Mothers2011Album
Let's Hear It For Mr. Green GenesFrank Zappa And The Mothers2010Album
Where's That Wino Man??Frank Zappa, The Mothers2010Album
Muffin Man Goes To CollegeFrank Zappa, The Mothers2010Album
King Kong BoogieFrank Zappa & The Mothers2010Compil.
Vienna Is CallingFrank Zappa & The Mothers2010Album
Music For The John Birch SocietyThe Mothers2009Album
Grande Ballroom, Detroit, MI. April, 28, 1968The Mothers2009Album
FZ Goes To CollegeFrank Zappa & The Mothers2008Album
Dupree's Paradise 1973Frank Zappa & The Mothers2008Album
Frank Zappa Brings Yellow Snow To Rochester & BuffaloFrank Zappa & The Mothers2007Album
El PasoFrank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, The Mothers2007Album
First Tango In ParisThe Mothers2006Album
Fillmore West '70The Mothers2006Album
Some Time In Fillmore EastJohn Lennon & Yoko Ono / The Plastic Ono Band With Frank Zappa & The Mothers2006Compil.
Olympia Live In Paris 1968Frank Zappa & The Mothers2005Album
Freak Out!Frank Zappa & The Mothers2005Album
Pixel DustThe Mothers2004Album
Ontario SlimeFrank Zappa & The Mothers2004Album
Swiss Cheese At Festhalle Basel In 1974Frank Zappa / The Mothers2004Album
Swedish SensationFrank Zappa & The Mothers2004Album
ElsewhereFrank Zappa / The Mothers2003Album
Stinkfoot In BerlinThe Mothers2002Album
We're Only In It For The Mothers / Money DemosFrank Zappa / The Mothers2002Compil.
A Vegetable By Any Other NameFrank Zappa & The Mothers1999Album
Piquantique Sydney 1973Frank Zappa, The Mothers1999Album
The Fillmore TapesJohn Lennon & Yoko Ono / The Plastic Ono Band With Frank Zappa & The Mothers1996Album
Tears Began To FallFrank Zappa & The Mothers1995Album
Mothers' FinestThe Mothers1995Compil.
A Snail In My NoseFrank Zappa & The Mothers1994Album
Around The WorldFrank Zappa & The Mothers1994Compil.
Wowie ZowieThe Mothers1994Album
The Easy Rider Generation In ConcertFrank Zappa & The Mothers1993Album
Cuccurullo Brillo BrulloFrank Zappa & The Mothers1993Album
Ahead Of Their TimeFrank Zappa / The Mothers1993Album
Playground PsychoticsFrank Zappa & The Mothers1992Album
InvocationsFrank Zappa & The Mothers1992Album
Little House I Used To Live InFrank Zappa & The Mothers1992Album
Swiss Cheese/Fire!Frank Zappa 's The Mothers1992Compil.
MudsharkFrank Zappa And The Mothers1992Album
The ArkThe Mothers1991Album
Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention LiveFrank Zappa & The Mothers1991Album
'Tis The Season To Be JellyThe Mothers1991Album
Live USAFrank Zappa & The Mothers1990Album
Swiss CheeseFrank Zappa 's The Mothers1989Album
American Pageant (Musical Underground Oratorios) Nullis PretiiThe Mothers1989Compil.
Child's PlayThe Mothers1988Album
Our Man In NirvanaFrank Zappa And The Mothers1985Album
We're Only In It For The Money / Lumpy GravyThe Mothers1985Compil.
"The American Neurotic Orchestra" Live in Stockholm, Sweden, 1972The Mothers1985Album
Live In Fillmore East 1970Frank Zappa And The Mothers1983Album
Tiny NightmaresFrank Zappa And The The Mothers1979Compil.
LeatheretteFrank Zappa And The Mothers1978Album
Bongo Fury / Another LiveFrank Zappa / Captain Beefheart / The Mothers / Utopia1976Album
2 Originals Of The Mothers Of InventionThe Mothers1975Compil.
Bongo FuryFrank Zappa / Captain Beefheart / The Mothers1975Album
Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of InventionFrank Zappa & The Mothers1975Compil.
Du Bist Mein Sofa / Stink-FootFrank Zappa And The Mothers1975Single
One Size Fits AllFrank Zappa And The Mothers1975Album
Roxy & ElsewhereFrank Zappa / The Mothers1974Album
Over-Nite SensationThe Mothers1973Album
I'm The Slime / MontanaThe Mothers1973Single
Viviendo En El Pasado, Cancion de Navidad / Tragate Esa Pregunta, Cletus Awreetus - AwrightusJethro Tull, The Mothers1973Single
Mother's DayThe Mothers1973Compil.
PregnantThe Mothers1972Compil.
Just Another Band From L.A.The Mothers1972Album
Superstarshine Vol. 13The Mothers1972Compil.
Eat That QuestionThe Mothers1972Single
Thick As A Brick, Part 1 & 2 / Vacaciones En Berlin, ... Con Todo, Part 1 & 2Jethro Tull, The Mothers1972Single
The Grand WazooThe Mothers1972Album
Tears Began To FallFrank Zappa And The Mothers1971Single
The Worst Of The MothersThe Mothers1971Compil.
200 Motels: A Suite For Rock Group And Orchestra (Or "Zubin And The Jets")Frank Zappa, The Mothers, Zubin Mehta1971Album
Pop History, Vol. 7Frank Zappa And The Mothers, Deutsche Grammophon1971Compil.
Fillmore East - June 1971The Mothers1971Album
The Mothers Of InventionThe Mothers1970Compil.
W P L J / My GuitarThe Mothers1970Single
Burnt Weeny SandwichThe Mothers1970Album
Weasels Ripped My FleshThe Mothers1970Album
El Baterista / Mi GuitarraNancy Sinatra / The Mothers1969Single
Mothermania (The Best Of The Mothers)The Mothers1969Compil.
Uncle MeatThe Mothers1969Album
Radio Spots For Bizarre/Reprise Album - The Mothers Of Invention - Uncle MeatThe Mothers1969Single
My GuitarThe Mothers1969Single
Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of InventionFrank Zappa And The Mothers1969Compil.
The **** Of The Mothers / Matthew, Luke, Mark, And JohnThe Mothers1969Album
The **** Of The MothersThe Mothers1969Compil.
My Guitar Wants To Kill Your MamaThe Mothers1969Single
We're Only In It For The MoneyThe Mothers1968Album
Cruising With Ruben & The JetsThe Mothers1968Album
Trick Or TreatThe Mothers1968Album
Motherly Love / I Ain't Got No HeartThe Mothers1968Single
Lonely Little GirlThe Mothers1967Single
Absolutely FreeThe Mothers1967Album
Why Don't You Do Me RightThe Mothers1967Single
Son Of Suzy CreamcheeseThe Mothers1967Single
How Could I Be Such A FoolThe Mothers1966Single
Freak Out!The Mothers1966Album
Trouble Comin' Every Day / Who Are The Brain Police?The Mothers1966Single
Appleton Album Volume TwoThe MothersAlbum
Look Out Plastic People - The Mothers Have ArrivedThe MothersAlbum
Hungry FreaksThe MothersAlbum
Framingham 69The MothersAlbum
Appleton AlbumThe MothersAlbum
Pig MusicThe MothersAlbum
Appleton Album Volume TwoThe MothersAlbum
Hungry Freaks, DaddyThe MothersSingle
No Bacon For Breakfast Vol. 1&2The MothersAlbum
Live London Royal Albert Hall 06.06.1968The MothersAlbum
Pop HistoryFrank Zappa And The Mothers, The Velvet Underground Featuring NicoCompil.
Total Music TheatreFrank Zappa 's The MothersAlbum
No Bacon For BreakfastFrank Zappa / The Mothers / Captain BeefheartAlbum
To MOTHERBUGGERS EverywhereThe MothersAlbum
We Don't Fuck AroundThe MothersAlbum
Unmitigated Audacity - Live At Notre Dame University May 12, 1974Frank Zappa & The MothersAlbum
Lonely Little GirlThe MothersSingle
Mothers live Kopenhagen 03.10.1969The MothersAlbum
Indiscreet Picture ShowFrank Zappa & The MothersAlbum
Frank Zappa Vs The Tooth FairyThe MothersAlbum
The Mothers TodayThe MothersCompil.
Hungry Freaks, DaddyThe MothersSingle
Time SandwichThe MothersAlbum
External Links
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