HOW I BIT THE BULLET (Uwe Krueger) (Summer 1994)

In 1974, I bought 'Roxy and Elsewhere' by chance at the flea market in Frankfurt where I lived at the time. There were always LPs there cheaper than in the shops as they came from Holland. This LP-became one of my all time favorites. It is like your first girlfriend that you maybe never forget.

At this time I normally liked the rock stuff of bands like Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, Ten Years After, Deep Purple, but I was slowly getting into jazz-rock with people like Mahavishnu Orchestra Weather Report, Return to Forever and so on. A year later, I started with Beefheart whom I like very much, so I have a Beefheart collection too.

I didn't have much money in the 1970s so it took me nearly ten years to amass a complete collection (starting with 'Uncle Meat as the earlier albums weren’t available in the shops). I had no connections and knowledge about bootlegs, so I didn’t buy any of stuff. In 1984, I bought a CD player and started buying the Zappa CDs when they became available in 1985. Firstly the old ones that I didn't have on vinyl, such as 'We're Only In It for the Money', then later ones such as ‘Them or Us' - I thought of only supplementing my vinyl collection, but I later bought some of my favorites such as 'Over-Nite Sensation’ ... and now I have almost a complete, official collection as well as several boots too.

What happened to my vinyl collection? Starting in 1987, I gave the LPs which I'd replaced on CD to my cousin and her husband in East Germany which was still a communist country. At this time, it was very difficult for them to afford this kind of music which they liked. So the stuff was in good hands, I Now of course they own a CD player too, but the old collection is still in use.

I have listed all my Zappa CDs and songs in the computer with my personal ranking, so it is easy for me to find my favorite version of any song along with some additional info. My favorite albums would consist of 'Over-Nite Sensation, 'One Size Fits All, 'Hot Rats' and of course 'Roxy and Elsewhere'. I also like the Flo and Eddie band, though not at the highest rank.

My first Zappa concert was in Hanover 1976 which 1 will never forget because there was a mini riot due, to a shortage of tickets, leading to some broken doors and glass on which a friend of mine cut his hands while dancing. The acoustics were not great that night, but it didn’t matter very much. The next one was in Munich 1984 (the years in between I had missed because I lived in a small village far from the big concert halls). I'd bought a ticket for the first show and was saddened later to find that the second set was completely different. A lot of good songs, but not all of those on this tour were my favorites.

My last Zappa concert was again in Munich, but in 1988; it was a nice evening too. ‘The Yellow Shark’ I missed because of vacation plans.

These last few years, I've been digging out the old rock groups from the sixties and seventies which I heard in my youth. My interest in jazz grows too; people from the ECM label such as Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, Stanley Clarke are often played. Even some electronic and classical music make it to the CD player too.