Introduction III

Arthur Barrow's comments on bass overdubs

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From: Leonard Los
  I don't think we will ever see a version from the original masters only because of the condition of the tapes. In the case of WOIIFTM, the problems were similar.
From: Biffyshrew (
  The stereo master tapes for _Ruben_ were not damaged. In fact they were the source for the CD version of "Stuff Up The Cracks," because the original multitrack for that song could not be found (as is stated in the booklet from the first _Old Masters_ box, where the remixed _Money_ and _Ruben_ first appeared). Zappa did the rhythm section overdubs on this album as an artistic decision (one which I vehemently disagree with!), not out of necessity.
From: Arthur Barrow (
  Let's see, where should I begin? First, I didn't have much say in the matter. I did tell Frank that it seemed somehow sacreligious to me, because WOIIFT$ was one of my favorite albums when I was in high school. But you have to try to look at it from Frank's attitude. As an artist, one is seldom 100% satisfied with one's art. Frank talked about what a drag it was back in the 60's to make a record, that you only had a few hours to mix a whole album, etc. He was also never satisfied with musicans' performances, especially the old Mothers. At the time of adding the new bass and drums, he saw it as an oppurtunity to finally make it right with modern technology. He also had just gotten his studio together, and he did it becasue he could. I still go on record as being against the whole idea, though! Why did I do it? Because he told me to - I was only following orders... sorry, folks... Also,I do not play upright acoustic bass! That is someone else on Ruben. Maybe Jay Anderson (string bass on Thingfish)? I'm not sure, but I think it was Jay.I would also like to say that although I was against the new bass & drums concept, it was an awful lot of fun for me to do. I got a chance to hear the orignal tracks individually - very cool. As for the funk style bass, Frank just seemed obsessed with that style at that time. And the My Sharona lick was thrown into a lot of songs around then because I knew the Knack drummer. By the way, do you guys know that Bozzio is now the drummmer for the Knack? It's a small world.
From: Arthur Barrow (
  So, I think that FZ thought it was funny that he was "defacing" the original album, and simultaneously adding sounds to it that he liked, like slap bass.
  He was like, "hehehe. I'm gonna make Arthur play slap bass in "Absolutely Free" because I can, and the crappy original instruments will be gone. And I think slap bass sounds cool anyway. Hooray!" Does this make sense to anyone?
  I see it like this:
  Frank has this great new UMRK studio and he's spent days, maybe weeks fine tuning what he believes to be a fabulous state of the art drum sound. At the same time, after a long fight, he finally gets posession of his old tapes. He listens to the tracks, and finds the drum sound to be bad in his opinion. Like I said before, he was probably never happy with the original drums in the first place. He puts 2 and 2 together and comes up with this "great idea" to replace the drums. And while he's at it, why not do the bass as well, Arthur knows all these tunes, right?
  My opinion. AB

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