A Young Frank Zappa Turns the Bicycle into a Musical Instrument on The Steve Allen Show (1963)




Last week we gave you John Cage performing his avant-garde composition Water Walk on the CBS game show “I’ve Got a Secret” in 1960. Now, this week, we’re following up with a nice complement — Frank Zappa bringing his own brand of offbeat music to the American airwaves in 1963. Only 22 years old and not yet famous, Zappa appeared on The Steve Allen Show and made music with some drumsticks, a bass bow, and two garden-variety bicycles — and nothing more.

The video above gives you mostly the prelude to the actual music. Then, in the first video below, Zappa gives a demo of the instruments. Next comes the Concerto for Two Bicycles, which features the show’s house orchestra joining the cacophonous fun. The clips run a good 15 minutes.

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Related Content:

Frank Zappa Gets Surprised & Serenaded by the U.S. Navy Band at the San Francisco Airport (1980)

Animated: Frank Zappa on Why the Culturally-Bereft United States Is So Susceptible to Fads (1971)

Frank Zappa Explains the Decline of the Music Business (1987)

Frank Zappa’s Amazing Final Concerts: Prague and Budapest, 1991


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