Mike Mainieri

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Vibraphonist Mike Mainieri was playing with Jeremy and the Satyrs at the Cafe Au Go Go below the Garrick Theatre in 1967.[1]

‘We were there on and off for almost a year. Zappa was upstairs with his band. A lot of people are not familiar with Zappa's classical work. He would have workshops and whoever showed up, showed up. He was exploring the more classical approach to composition, written structures. Zappa, myself, Don Preston who played piano for Zappa, and Joe Beck and a few others organised some small chamber ensembles and we would write some weird shit to perform for our own entertainment. That’s why there's a string group on my album Journey Thru an Electric Tube, which was recorded around then.' Mainieri says Zappa often sat-in with the jazz musicians and the Satyrs, sowing the seeds of what would subsequently produce a new colour in his music that would surface intermittently through his career." [2]

Mainieri recorded Zappa's King Kong for his 1994 album 'An American Diary'.


  1. They first played there in September 1966. Over the 1967 summer they played at the end of July and again mid August into the first week of September. During the 1966 session the guitarist Jimmy James would occasionally sit in with them. He would soon become Jimi Hendrix for whom they were the support act on the July 1967 booking.
  2. Frank Zappa's Jazz Legacy, Friday, February 28, 2020, JazzWise