james spider barbour

James Spider Barbour can be heard on a couple of Frank Zappa / Mothers of Invention albums.

(James) Spider Barbour is arguably the central figure inside the piano. He's the one who says "The way I see it, Barry, this should be a very dynamite show" and who explains the Big Note. In addition to "WOIIFTM" and "Lumpy Gravy", he is heard on "Civilization Phaze III" and 'Porn Wars' ("Mothers Of Prevention").

In the 1960s, Spider had a band called Chrysalis. He now has a band called The Curmudgeons

He's also a biologist and co-author of "Wild Flora of the Northeast".



  spider: comedown song
    (1966, 7", ??, ??)
3 the mothers of invention: we're only in it for the money
   (1967, lp, usa, verve)

4 frank zappa: lumpy gravy
   (1967, lp, usa, verve)

  chrysalis: definition
    (1968, lp, usa, mgm, ??)


frank zappa: frank zappa meets the mothers of prevention
   (1985, lp, usa, barking pumpkin) – american version
   (1985, lp, eur, emi) – european version


frank zappa: civilization phaze III
   (1994, 2cd, usa, barking pumpkin)
  the curmudgeons: i hear a dog
    (1998, cd, usa, ??) - feat. spider barbour
  various artists: impossible but true: the kim fowley story
    (2004, cd, ??, ace records) - incl. spider barbour: 'comedown song'


random notes

from the curmudgeons website

Spider Barbour is a songwriter and biologist living in Saugerties with his wife Anita, two dogs (Didymo and Rhexia) and a turtle (Biggie). Spider began his musical career in 1968 in a band called Chrysalis. He also spoke (under the piano lid) on Frank Zappa's 1968 album "Lumpy Gravy" while Chrysalis and the Mothers of Invention were recording projects at the same studio in New York City. “Woodstock Times” readers will be familiar with the Barbours’ “Nature Walk” column.

from Petteri Aro
2007 06 07

Spider's musical career, if you're interested, began actually in England after he had been P. J. Proby's hair stylist (!). Kim Fowley befriended Barbour on one of his trips to England, christened him Spider and recorded the single "Comedown Song"(-66) with him. The song can be heard on the collection "Impossible But True" that includes Fowley's productions from 1959-69.


-- additional info: Charles Ulrich, Petteri Aro



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soundtracks various artists