the muffin men

Founded in 1990, by Roddie Gilliard, Mike Kidson, and a couple of others, British band the Muffin Men (based in Liverpool, UK) plays Frank Zappa compositions. They have performed with no less than seven original Zappa band members (Don Preston; Bunk Gardner; Ike Willis; Napoleon Murphy Brock; Mike Keneally; Denny Walley; and, most notably, original Mothers' drummer Jimmy Carl Black), regularly toured Europe, released a number of DVDs, played at Zappanale three times, and issued numerous.

During their concerts with Jimmy Carl Black, they've played (and recorded) some Don Van Vliet stuff as well.

In 2001, the Muffin Men collaborated with the Ensemble 10:10 to perform "When Worlds Collide". The concert was repeated in November 2003 and released on album as well. June 2004, When Worlds Collide was performed again (twice).

July 2003, The Muffin Men performed twice at Zappanale: the first time with Jimmy Carl Black and Eugene Chadbourne, and featuring Mike Keneally as special guest during the encore; the second time with Napoleon Murphy Brock and Ike Willis.

October 2006, Cuccurullo Brillo Brullo did three concerts with Ike Willis and Muffin Men's Martin Smith in the Netherlands.

The picture on the right was taken by Tim Ellis on 2008/05/22 in Bradley, Bilston, England, and features Jumpy, Jimmy Carl Black and Roddie.

2010 / 2011 had the Muffin Men on tour again, celebrating their 20th anniversary. They brought Denny Walley along for the occasion. January 2010, they played in Larvik. August 2010, they played at Zappanale (for the third time!).

March 2013, The Muffin Men performed at the "Moo-Ah" festival in Corby (UK).

http://www.muffinmen.co.uk

 

discography

the muffin men: stinky finger city
    (1991, k7, uk, private release) – incl. various frank zappa compositions

mfmstifi.jpg (54507 bytes)

the muffin men: gent festival 26-7-1991
    (1991, k7, uk, private release) – incl. various frank zappa compositions

  various artists: zappa cover-competition
    (1992, k7, nl, gus productions)  – incl. various artists covering frank zappa

zappadag1992.jpg (30042 bytes)

the muffin men: muffin men play zappa
    (1992, 7", uk, crime 002) – incl. ‘i'm the slime' ,'let's move to holland' (frank zappa)
 
the muffin men: staining the sheets
    (1992, k7, uk, private release) – incl. various frank zappa compositions

  the muffin men: the muffin men
    (1993, cd, ger, muffin records cdm 001) – incl. various frank zappa compositions

1 the muffin men: say cheese and thank you
    (1993, cd, ger, muffin records cdmr 004) – incl. various frank zappa compositions; feat.jimmy carl black

  various artists: zuckerfabrik - volume II
    (1993, cd, ger, candy records) - incl.2 tracks by the muffin men
 
2 the muffin men: mülm
    (1994, cd, ger, muffin records cdmr 012) – incl. various frank zappa compositions; feat. zappa alumni

3 the muffin men: feel the food
    (1996, cd , usa, muffin records cdmrp 017) – incl. various frank zappa compositions, feat.ike willis

4 the muffin men: frankincense
    (1997, cd, eec, muffin records cdmrp 054) – incl. various frank zappa compositions, feat.jimmy carl black

5 the muffin men: muffinz
    (1998, cd, eec, muffin records cd 056) – incl. frank zappa and van vliet compositions, feat.jimmy carl black

6 the muffin men: ragged prayers (1990-1992)
    (1999, cdr, uk, private release) – incl. various frank zappa compositions

7 the muffin men: god shave the queen
    (1999, cd, eec, efa 03447-2) – incl.compositions by don van vliet and by frank zappa, feat. zappa alumni

8 the muffin men: kamikazi!
    (2000, cdr, uk, private release) - incl. improvisations, solos & events that happened while performing zappa

9 the muffin men: go-ape!
    (2000, cdr, uk, private release) - improv., solos & events that happened while performing 'king kong' (f.zappa)

10 the muffin men: more songs from the campfire
    (2001, cd, uk, private release) – incl. various frank zappa compositions

  various artists: eyeinhand sampler volume 1
    (2001, cd, spain, vaso music vm 032) - all zappa related artists

jimmy carl black: where's the &% beer?
    (2002, cdr, ger, inkanish records ir005) - incl.various van vliet compositions

11 the muffin men: live@thecavern
    (2003, cd, uk, private release mmcd 13/1)
– incl.compositions by don van vliet and by frank zappa, feat. jc black

12 the muffin men: baker's dozen
    (2003, cd, uk, private release mmcd 13/2) - incl.various frank zappa compositions, feat. zappa alumni

eugene chadbourne and jimmy carl black: live at the zappanalle #14
    (2003, cdr, ger, inkanish) - incl. van vliet & zappa compositions / feat. mike keneally, martin smith & andy frizell
13 muffin men / ensemble 10:10: when worlds collide
    (2003, cd, uk, wwc 2003) - incl. various frank zappa compositions
  various artists: zappanale 14 - 2003
    (2004, 3cd, ger, arf society) – incl. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

  various artists: zappanale 14 - 2003
    (2004, dvd, ger, the arf society) - feat. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

  various artists: zappanale 14 - retrospective
    (2004, dvd, ger, the arf society) - feat. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

  various artists: zappanale # 14
    (2004, cd, ger, arf society) – incl. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

  micky jones with ? and the muffinmen: s/t
    (2005, cd, uk, gpcd004) - feat.the muffin men and j.c.black, incl 'willie the pimp' & 'king kong' (frank zappa)

14 the muffin men: muffinz moovies vol.one (1990-1997)
    (2005, dvd, uk, private release)
- incl.various frank zappa compositions, feat. zappa alumni

15 the muffin men: live in the kitchen of love
    (2006, cd, uk, ark-hive 931) - incl. various frank zappa compositions, feat. j.c.black

16 the muffin men: looks like noodles to me
    (2006, cd, uk, ark-hive 941) - incl. various frank zappa compositions, feat. ike willis

17 the muffin men: muffinz moovies vol.two (1998-2003)
    (2006, dvd, uk, private release) - incl.various frank zappa compositions, feat. zappa alumni

18 the muffin men: live at zappanale 14
    (2007, dvd, uk, private release / nale 031) -
incl.various frank zappa compositions, feat. ike willis & napoleon murphy brock

  jimmy carl black: where’s the $%&§#@’ beer?
    (2007, cd, usa, crossfire publications 9508-2) - feat.various mothers of invention

19 the muffin men: muffinz moovies vol.three (2004-2005)
    (2007, dvd, uk, private release) - incl.various frank zappa compositions, feat. zappa alumni

  various artists: zappanale 21 - promo-cd 2010
    (2009, cd-promo, ger, arf society)

zappanale21b_promo.jpg (24963 bytes)

  the muffin men: zappanale 21
    (2010, dvdr, ger, private release) - all compositions by frank zappa  //  feat. ike willis, ray white, robert martin, denny walley and ben watson

themuffinmen_dvdr_2010.jpg (16083 bytes)

20

the muffin men: just another band from l4
    (2011, cd, uk, private release) -
feat. denny walley, robert martin, ben watson

mm_justanotherbandfroml4.jpg (37298 bytes)

  the muffin men: live at zappanale 21, bad doberan, august 2010
    (2011, dvdr, ger, private release) - all compositions by frank zappa  //  feat. ike willis, ray white, robert martin, denny walley and ben watson

mm_zappanale_mm.jpg (29945 bytes)

  the muffin men: powdered water
    (2012, cd/dvd-promo, uk, private release) - compositions by frank zappa & don van vliet  //  feat. denny walley

mm_powderedwater.jpg (100235 bytes)

  muffin men: zappanale 25
    (2014, dvdr, ger, arf society) - (almost) all compositions by frank zappa  //  feat. danny walley

z25_muffinmen_dvdr.jpg (13893 bytes)

  various artists: zappanale 25 - goodbye session
    (2014, dvdr, ger, arf society) - feat. school of rock, the muffin men, eric klerks, max kutner, denny walley // incl. various frank zappa compositions

z25_goodbyesession_dvdr.jpg (14730 bytes)

     

 

podcast / webshow / net radio thingies

 

concerts

 

Roddie Gilliard : guitar, vocals
Paul Ryan : drums, vocals
Mike Kidson : saxophones, vocals
Ian Bamford : guitar, vocals
Naraish Nathaniel : bass
Andy Jacobson : keyboards
Ian Jump : guitar

 

Roddie Gilliard : guitar, vocals
Carlo Bowry : guitar, vocals
Andy Frizell : all saxes, flute, harmonica, vocals
Dave Dominey : bass, vocals
Stefano Baldessaroni : drums, vocals
Jimmy Carl Black : vocals

 

  • 2003/07/25 concert zappanale#14
    • eat that question * peaches en regalia * my guitar wants to kill your mama * marqueson's chicken * let's move to cleveland * take your clothes off when you dance * oh no~trouble every day * lucille has messed my mind up * easy meat * why does it hurt when i pee * bamboozled by love * outside now * florentine pogen * black napkins
  • 2003/07/26 concert zappanale#14
    • kong medley~wino man * big swifty~lonely little girl~t'mershi duween * plastic factory * big leg emma * great white buffalo * hey flower punk * come together~drive my car * lonesome cowboy burt * willie the pimp * king kong plinky-plonky stylee * road ladies

The picture on the right is from the 2003/07/25 "Zappanale#14" concert in Bad Doberan, Germany: Carlo Bowry on lead guitar.

Picture is a captured frame from an RR audience video recording.

 

Carlo Bowry: lead guitar


 

 

the 2007 tour
  • 2007/02/17 concert “UK Zappaday”, Bradford-on-Avon, UK

Roddie Gilliard : bass, vocals
Rhino : drums, vocals
Andy Frizell : flute, vocals
Ian Jump : guitar
Mike Smith : keys, saxes
Waco : Keys
Jimmy Carl Black : vocals

  • 2007/04/18 concert ‘MET’, Bury, UK

  • 2007/04/19 concert 'Pacific Road', Liverpool / Birkenhead, England, UK

    • Let's Make The Water Turn Black, Harry, You're A Beast, Orange County Lumber Truck, Oh No, Theme From Lumpy Gravy, Pygmy Twylyte/Jones Crusher, Zoot Allures, Don't Eat The Yellow Snow, Black Napkins, City Of Tiny Lites, My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama, Big Leg Emma, Happy Home, Lonesome Cowboy Burt, Willie The Pimp, More Trouble Every Day 
    • a 77-minute audience video recording of this concert circulates ; a Martin / unicrayon Zappateers production
  • 2007/04/20 concert ‘Boardwalk’, Sheffield, UK

  • 2007/04/21 concert ‘Flowerpot’, Derby, UK  

  • 2007/04/22 concert ‘New Roscoe’, Leeds, UK  

    • Peaches, San Ber’dino, Let’s Make The Water Turn Black, Harry, You’re A Beast, Orange County Lumber Truck, Oh No, Theme From Lumpy Gravy, Pygmy Twylyte, Jones Crusher, Sofa, Great White Buffalo, Road Ladies, Plastic Factory, Audience Intro, Zoot Allures, Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow, Black Napkins, City Of Tiny Lites,  My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama, Happy Home, Willie The Pimp, More Trouble Every Day
    • an 85- minute audience video recording of this concert circulates ; a Martin / unicrayon Zappateers production
  • 2007/04/26 concert ‘Mr Kyps’, Poole, UK

  • 2007/04/27 concert ‘Borderline’, London, UK

  • 2007/04/28 concert ‘Musician’, Leicester, UK

  • 2007/04/29 concert ‘Robin’, Wolverhampton, UK

 

  • 2007/10/26. ??

  • 2007/10/27 The Muffin Men - concert 'franzis', wetzlar, germany

  • 2007/10/28 The Muffin Men - concert ' kantine', köln, germany

  • 2007/10/30 The Muffin Men - concert ' objekt5', halle, germany

  • 2007/10/31 The Muffin Men - concert ' quasimodo', berlin, germany

  • 2007/11/01 The Muffin Men - concert 'gewerkschaftshaus', erfurt, germany

  • 2007/11/02 The Muffin Men - concert ' colos-saal', aschaffenburg, germany

  • 2007/11/03 The Muffin Men - concert ' stairway ', wallmenroth, germany (special double concert with sheik yerbouti)  

 

 

 

  • 2010/01/30 "Zappa Festival", Larvik, Norway
    • line-up
      • Jumpy - Guitar  * Mikey - Sax and Keys * Rhino - Drums and Vocals * Roddie - Bass and Vocals * Waco - Keys

    • setlist

      • Eric's Preamble, Willie the Pimp, Peaches en Regalia, City of Tiny Lites, Scouse, The Big Medley (Let's make the water/Harry you're a Beast/Orange County/Oh No/Lumpy Gravy), Jones Crusher, Pygmy Twylyte, Rhino breaks something, Zoot Allures, Yellow Snow, Black Napkins, My Guitar wants to Kill your Mamma, San Berdino, Road Ladies, Sofa, Wino Man
        encore: King Kong,
        Muffin Man

       

 

 

The Muffin Men  2010 01 30  --  Peaches En Regalia (FZ) - Larvik 2010 - posted on YouTube by Bazbo
The Muffin Men  2010 01 30  --  Pygmy Twylyte (FZ) - Larvik 2010 - posted on YouTube by Bazbo
The Muffin Men  2010 01 30  --  Road Ladies (FZ) - Larvik 2010 - posted on YouTube by LudzNL
  • 2010/08/13 concert "Zappanale 21", Bad Doberan, Germany
    • line-up
      • Roddie, Rhino, Jumpy and Mikey
    • special guests
      • Ike Willis, Ray White, Robert Martin and Denny Wally. Ben Watson appears as a poet on 'Pygmy Twylyte'
    • setlist
      • Preamble, Willie the Pimp, amp problems, My Guitar wants to kill your Mama, Pygmy Twylyte (feat Ben Watson), Cold Winter Gail, The Illinois Enema Bandit, City of Tiny Lites, Doreen, San Berdino, Magic Fingers, Bamboozled By love, Outside Now, Crew Slut, Whippin Post, Heavenly Bank Account
    • an audience recording of this concert got seeded on Zappateers
    • below pictures by Steffen Schindler

The following pictures were taken from the DVDR recording

The Muffin Men feat. Denny Walley - Eurotour in april 2011

 

Denny Walley - slide guitar, vocals

Roddie Gilliard (roddie) - bass, vocals

Paul Ryan (rhino) - drums, vocals

Ian Jump (jumpy) - lead guitar, vocals

Phil Hearn - keyboards, vocals

 

 

  • 2011/04/07 concert 'spirit of 66', Verviers, Belgium (www.spiritof66.com)

  • 2011/04/08 concert 'Franzis', Wetzlar, Germany (www.franzis-wetzlar.de)

  • 2011/04/09 concert "Georg's Gig", Westerwald / Siegen, Germany  (genilius at aol dot com)

  • 2011/04/10 concert 'Kantine', Köln, Germany  (www.kantine.com)

  • 2011/04/12 concert 'Objekt5', Halle, Germany  (www.objekt5.de)

  • 2011/04/13 concert 'Ursprung', Rostock, Germany  (www.ursprung-rostock.de)

  • 2011/04/14 concert 'Quasimodo', Berlin, Germany  (www.quasimodo.de)

  • 2011/04/15 concert 'Bluesgarage', Hannover-Isernhagen, Germany  (www.bluesgarage-hannover.de)

  • 2011/04/16 concert 'Schuhfabrik', Ahlen, Germany

    • first set

      • Zoot Allures, Don't Eat The Yellow Snow, Black Napkins, San Ber'dino, Crew Slut, Preamble to Cold Winter Gale, Cold Winter Gale (The Muffin Men, dedicated to Jimmy Carl Black), Dead Girls Of London, City Of Tiny Lights, Jones Crusher, Preamble to Denny and Beefheart, Suction Prints (Captain Beefheart) 

    • second set

      • My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama, Peaches En Regalia, Preamble to Pygmy Twylyte, Pygmy Twylyte, Tryin' To Grow A Chin, Band Introduction, Suicide Chump, Whipping Post (Allman Brothers), Wonderful Wino, Denny Walley speaks, Camarillo Brillo, Muffin Man, Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance

    • encores

      • Eat That Question, In France, Magic Fingers

    • a 140-minute audience recording of this concert got seeded at Zappateers

 

  • 2011/04/19 concert 'Barkers On The Market' Stockport, UK  (arnie.furniss@hotmail.co.uk)

  • 2011/04/20 concert 'Cavern Club', Liverpool, UK (http://www.safeconcerts.com/gigs.asp?gn=188718)

 

  • 2011/08/28 concert 'The Abbey', Liverpool, UK

  • 2013 03 09 concert "Moo-Ah", Corby UK

    • setlist

      • introduction, Zoot Allures, Dont You Eat the Yellow Snow, Black Napkins, Preamble, Pygmy Twylyte, San Berdino, Cold Winter Gale, City of Tint Lites, Jones Crusher, Wheres Chato, Eat That Question, Whipping Post, Village of The Sun

    • line-up

      • Jumpy - guitar / vocals * Roddy - bass / vocals * Phil- keys / vocals * Rhino - drums / vocals 
        special guest:
        Chato appeared on the last 3 songs.

 

 

 

random notes


2007 08 19

MUFFIN MEN GERMAN TOUR DATES - first draft

more details later...

The Muffin Men homepage, also has three mp3 radio shows for your enjoyment:

Check out http://www.muffinmen.co.uk/


2009 12

Roddie says:

the muffin men are currently in the studio finishing off some original material.

2009 has been a year of none-zappa activities for the muffinz, due in part to the sad death of singer/drummer jimmy carl black, along with the current/difficult climate for performing live zappa material.
next year sees the band performing selected gigs as part of their 20th anniversary celebrations.

it is still being decided which ways to release the original material, although some of it will be incorporated into the 4th volume of "muffinz movies" which is currently in production. an engineer on the sessions describes the material as "diverse, some very rocky, some very silly, pretty much what you would expect from them".
musicians involved include jumpy, waco, rhino, mikey and roddie

watch the website for updates.

http://www.muffinmen.co.uk/


2010 07 -- Celebrating their 20th anniversary, The Muffin Men will be returning to the Zappanale festival. Here's head-Muffin Roddie Gilliard.

UniMuta: Hello Roddie. Let me congratulate you with 20 years of Muffin Men.
It seems like Eindhoven and Guus' Zappadays happened only a couple of years ago...

Roddie / The Muffin Men: Well, who would have thought we would be here 20 years later, phew!

UniMuta: You founded The Muffin Men in 1990. At that time there were only a handful of bands performing the music of FZ. Could you ever imagine that, 20 years later, we would have big bands, baroque, classical and jazz ensembles, and of course, numerous rock bands, that would devote all their time and efforts into Zappa's music?

Roddie / The Muffin Men: Yes, there were only a few bands playing Zapper stuff back then: Marco's Bleeding Romeo in Holland, one in sweden and a few others. Back then I think we all just played Zapper because we loved the music and it was more of a challenge than a lot of other rock type stuff. We were just a rock band, with a few guys who had also a jazz background. But ultimately we were guys who liked playing in bars and having a good time. Later we developed and got a little more advanced with the material we played. Things progressed and we ended up working with people we never dreamed we could play with.

UniMuta: The Muffin Men performed at the second and at the third edition of the Zappanale Festival (1991 and 1992). You came back in 2003 and did two concerts on two days: the first one with Jimmy Carl Black and Eugene Chadbourne, the second one with Napoleon Murphy Brock and Ike Willis (released on DVD!!).
Can you share some of your recollections / favourite moments with us?


Roddie / The Muffin Men: That first european tour was a great learning curve for us. We got to meet a lot of great people who would become very important to the band development. The very first trip was put together with a few hardcore fans (Guus Veldhuis, Peter Gors and Harald Koob) on a shoestring budget. In fact, all the band paid a couple of hundred pounds each to do it - we had to hire a bus and a van for all the equipment, I think 11 people travelled.

Back in those days things were very different: no mobile phones or internet, and all the arranging and communication was by post. The itinery was ridiculous. Our first gig was near Frankfurt, then we went back to Eindhoven, then across to Weimar, back to Belgium and then all the way over to Stralsund to play for the Arfs, finally finishing with a two day drive back to England! The travelling was horrific but the gigs were great. I remember there was practically no infrastructure in the old east germany. It was a very interesting time. Over the following years we saw many changes in germany.

We kept getting asked back to europe, so over the following years we built a following and the tours got longer, the band got tighter and we got to play with some fantastic musicians who became great friends. We did play other shows for the Arf Society guys, although these weren't "Zappanale" shows: we played around Rostock, Berlin and quite a few towns in that region during the mid/late 1990's.

Our return to "Zappanale" in 2003 was a great time. We got to re-unite with Ike after 9 years, played with Nappy and Mike Keneally for the first time, as well as a nice set with Jimmy Carl.

There are so many good memories, along with a few low times from over the years. It would need a lot of time and space to tell it all. (maybe you should do a full interview to hear more details!)

UniMuta: The Muffin Men website says that Denny Walley will be joining you on stage at Zappanale. That's great. How did you talk him into it?

Roddie / The Muffin Men: Yes, Denny is joining us for Zappanale this year, and we are really looking forward to that! Denny is a fantastic person and a dynamite guitarist/singer. I worked with him for 5 weeks on the Magic Band tour and we became great mates. He is a dear old friend of Jimmy Carl too, so that made things so easy. We have wanted to play together for ages, but this is the first real opportunity we've had. We are discussing what to play, and Denny is in touch with all the other guys (Ike, Ray, Robert) to plan the set. We will have two days to rehearse our set. It should be a wonderful time!

UniMuta: What are the future plans for The Muffin Men? You said that you were recording original material. How is this evolving? Will you include any of this at the Zappanale gig, or will it be strictly zappa?

Roddie / The Muffin Men: Since Jimmy passed away things have been quiet for us. We wanted time out to think about ways forward. Jimmy became a big part of The Muffins. He was with us longer than he was in The Mothers.  We didn't feel like playing live for a while, but we did spend some time recording some original stuff. We have about 6 songs finished. They will be available in the next few months, probably for free from our website. The website a now very old and out of date. The guy who built it went away, so all we get to do is update the news page occasionally. We need a new site building. That is one of the many things we need to sort out.

The internet has changed things drastically in the last few years. You play a gig and half of it is up on YouTube within a few days.

This year we have played a couple of gigs. Lots of video from them has been posted up on youtube, so you can see what kind of vibe the band has with this line-up. We will be playing a few more, but don't expect long tours like the old days. We are enjoying playing together. It's great to have most of the original band together again. The old spirit is back. We'll leave all the complicated chamber music to the "real" musicians. We are happy to be playing what we love best - good, honest, straight ahead rock/jazz/blues versions of Zappa stuff, played the way we like it.

UniMuta: My kinda band.
Thank you for your time and see you at Zappanale!

The Muffin Men will be performing the main stage on Friday, the 13th of August at the Zappanale festival.
Their set will be featuring
a couple of Zappa sidemen. This will be fun.




the others of invention

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soundtracks various artists