Punky Meadows - Heavenly Guitar

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Excerpt from Punky Meadows - Heavenly Guitar
Interview of Punky Meadows by Greg Prato
From Vintage Guitar Magazine, August 2017, Vol. 31 No. 10

Vintage Guitar Magazine, August 2017, Vol. 31 No. 10


What are your thoughts on Frank Zappa's song, "Punky's Whips," which was inspired by a publicity photo of you?

That was actually very cool. If people take it the wrong way and think it's a put-down or an insult, well, Frank has always been a satirical writer. Growing up, I had a friend who was a big Zappa fan. We used to go to his house after I played a club, smoke a joint, listen to Zappa, and go, "Man the dude is a genius. He's amazing." So, one day, we're sitting in my manager's office in L.A., and my manager goes, "Listen, Terry Bozzio - the drummer for Frank - wants to write a song about you." I said, "Sure, man. I have friends who are crazy about Frank Zappa."

So, they wrote the song and sent us a tape. We listen and I go, "Wow... That's cool!" They said, "Frank is playing at Pauley Pavilion and would like you to come up onstage in full outfit and play the last song with him."

That song was actually called "Punky's Lips" because our first publicity photos for Casablanca showed me biting the inside of my lip, but it looked like I was puckering up. It started a little firestorm, and Zappa decided to write a song about that. So, Zappa wanted me to play, and I said, "Yeah. I'll do it." But the other guys in the band got jealous, so Zappa invited us to the show and put us in the front row. We're watching, and there's this big black scrim up behind the stage. Two flashpots go off, the scrim drops, and there's that huge picture of me up there! We go backstage, and he says, "Hey, you're a really good sport. You should come over to my house sometime, and we'll write some songs."