bob harris (1)

Frank Zappa employed two guys named Bob Harris. The first one toured with Zappa's Mothers of Invention from May until August 1971, playing keyboard. A recording of these concerts can be found on the "Fillmore East, June 1971" album, and on Lennon / Ono's "Sometime In New York City".

The booklet of Zappa's second "Old Masters" box, shows a picture of Bob playing the trumpet.

Before touring with the Mothers, Bob Harris performed with jazz guitarist Gabor Szabo's ensemble. A band in which Tony 'Batman' Ortega would also appear around 1972.



  friends of distinction: whatever
    (1970, lp, usa, ??) - arranger
  judee sill: judee sill
    (1971, lp, usa, asylum records) - orchestrated by bob harris
judeesill_st.jpg (32117 bytes)


the mothers: fillmore east, june 1971
   (1971, lp, usa, bizarre)

  john & yoko / plastic ono band: sometime in new york city
    (1972, 2lp, uk, apple) - feat. zappa & mothers
59 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.6
   (1992, 2cd, usa, ryko)
60 frank zappa: playground psychotics
   (1992, 2cd, usa, ryko)
  yoko ono: ono box
    (1992, cd-box, usa, ??) - feat.bob harris on keyboards and vocals
  the turtles: solid zinc - the turtles anthology
    (2002, 2cd, usa, rhino) - feat.bob harris on piano
  tommy peltier feat. judee sill: chariot of astral light
    (2005, cd, usa, black beauty) - feat. dave parlato, bob harris
peltier_sill_chariotofastrallight.jpg (26462 bytes)


frank zappa: finer moments
    (2012, cd, usa, zappa records)

zappa_finermoments.jpg (47358 bytes)

  frank zappa & the mothers: mudshark live
    (2015, cd, uk, keyhole)
zappa_mudsharklive.jpg (39366 bytes)


     from: patrick neve

it would appear that bob harris #1 has died.  the all-music guide reports his date of passing on as july 6, 1993 in los angeles, ca.  the cause of death is not listed.  then again, neither do they acknowledge a difference between the two bob harrises.  i will assume that it was bob harris #1 that has passed on as bob harris #2 is still recording.  it is for this confusion that some of the releases listed here may not be correct.  any information regarding the history or wherabouts of bob harrises 1 or 2 would be most appreciated. thank you.

     from: johan lif

i wonder if the information that bob harris #1 has died really is correct. i remember seeing the name bob harris in the trumpet section on old jazz records, and for all we know it could be that guy that the all-music guide is referring to.

     from: charles ulrich

good point. also, i realized after posting before that the post to which i was replying had been phrased in the past tense, so my objection that bob harris #1 was dead was irrelevant even if true.

     from: johan lif 

and the first bob harris remains a mystery. i have a magazine with a picture of flo & eddie band. there's one band member i don't recognise: he has a heavy moustache, half-long hair, and isn't smiling at all. could that be him? an old version of the "whatever happened to" faq mentioned a picture where bob harris #1 plays the trumpet. is that one available somewhere
on the internet?

     from: charles ulrich

i was the person that mentioned that. there are two photos of the 5-7/71 band in the 12/9/94 (i.e. december 9) issue of goldmine. i have always assumed that the guy you describe is bob harris #1. it sure ain't don preston or nigey lennon. on p. 76, mark and howard appear to be playing clarinet, while bob #1 appears to be playing trumpet. (i say "appear" because i can't see whether they are actually blowing into their instruments or just holding them to their lips.)  they are wearing the same clothes in the photo on p. 20, but no instruments are visible.
a question for those people that have a tape of the ckgm/chom '71 broadcast: how many horns can you hear on "clarinet polka" and "magdalena"? i hear at least two clarinets. is there a third? is there a trumpet?

     from: charles ulrich 

bob harris #1 was married to judee sill. from the turtles website: ill winds were still blowing when the diplomatic middle man, jim pons, persuaded kaylan and volman to record one last turtles single, "lady o." written by judee sill. pons, john beck (of the leaves) and bob harris (judy's husband, who was later brought into the mothers by howard and mark) produced the record along with henry lewy. howard sang lead, mark the backups. judy played the acoustic guitar, and a string quartet provided the
backing. it was a gorgeous record. but white whale was falling apart and it failed to generate much interest. although it was officially the turtles last single release, white whale continued to issue records without the group's consent.

     from: pat buzby

fz mentions in one interview that bob put him in touch with ruben & the jets (the for real band) in 1972, so i guess they stayed in touch after bob left.

     from: charles ulrich

i just noticed that a photograph of bob harris #1 (who played keyboards on the fillmore 1971 album) appears on an official fz release. can you find it?

     from: biffy the elephant shrew

sure.  in the folder that comes with the second _old masters_ box.  playing trumpet.

    from Charles Ulrich:

I was thinking of the still photo that appears behind the credit "Music by the Mothers of Invention" in the 200 Motels trailer on the second CD of the Ryko 200 Motels.

    from Bill:

Bob Harris no.1 mentioned in
Not to mention Tony "Batman" Ortega (of Grand Wazoo and Joe's Domage) on flute.

    from Charles:

And but also, Ortega played with George Duke and Jean Luc Ponty on Electric Connection in 1969.

    from Hari Ossa, may 2006,

I was looking for some info about a Bob Harris that I saw around 1996-97 working for the E! entertainment television, the guy worked making movie reviews, he was talking about how weird a movie was and said something like "this movie is very weird, even for me, and I used to work with Frank Zappa..."

Do you have any idea which Bob Harris was this? the guy was white, had thick glasses and a beard (if I remember well).



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