Barfko-Swill is the official mail-order and merchandising company behind Zappa's products.
It was established during the 1980s by Gail Zappa and offers t-shirts, videos, posters, sheet music and collector's recordings, most of them unavailable thru other media. Their hotline number is "818-Pumpkin" and provides up-to-date information about Zappa projects and activities. The entire company is also online.
In the Just Plain Folks interview from 1990 Gail explained why Barfko-Swill was founded: "Just piles and piles of fan mail sitting around unanswered or with no response. The first thing that we did was put a list together from the fan mail and made a Barking Pumpkin t-shirt available which we still have – same old shirt, same old logo, same old price – just to see what would happen. Everybody would write to us and ask us if there was something they could get besides records." From the beginning it has been an independent company. Gail: "That was really the primary reason for getting into the business – for setting up Barfko-Swill – in those days was to be independent. "To not have to rely on a major record company's interest and ability to promote your product. And that was what the challenge was for me. I prefer the autonomy."