desire caught by the tail
release date: 1986
- “Tango Zebra” – 7:30
- “Laughing Man” – 5:28
- “The Gypsy Zurna” – 3:03
- “Portrait of Margaret” – 4:00
- “Beach Creatures Dancing Like Cranes” – 3:28
- “At the Seaside Cafe” – 1:50
- “Guernica” – 2:00
- “Z” – 5:40
the title is from a play Picasso wrote.
the first 3 tracks Tango Zebra, Laughing Man, and the Gypsy Zurna were written on a metal-bodied dobro (picture one). most of the drum sounds were made by playing the body of the dobro with rubber mallets.
the dobro was tuned to what I call the “dad” tuning. DADDAD
the sound of the laughing man was a toy I bought at Kiddy Land in tokyo. it came in a black bag. when you squeezed the bag the japanese man laughed. I no longer have the bag but picture two shows what was inside it. and it still works!
the most important instrument I used throughout the record was the Roland GR-700 guitar synthesizer (picture three). mine was sent to me by roland, directly from japan. it was such a new instrument they hadn’t yet written a manual for it! over many months time I wrote 200 different sounding programs with it. that was a big reason why I ended up making such an avant-garde record.
my GR-700 which I still have, does quirky things others don’t do. for example, if I plug a guitar chord into the expression pedal without plugging the other end INTO something, the synthe goes crazy and plays itself!! a good example of that sound is what you hear throughout track 7 called Guernica.
one “fan” who bought the vinyl record hated it enough to send it back to me. it had been smashed into pieces with a hammer!
but here’s an opposite response: this was the only record of mine I ever sent to Frank Zappa. shortly after that he was quoted as saying, “adrian re-invented the electric guitar.” go figure.
the record was released in 1986.