Category Archives: The GrandMothers of Invention Interview with Don Preston

don preston

Make music evolve: an interview with Don Preston (GrandMothers of Invention)


Don Preston was one of the members of The Mothers of Invention from 1968-74, who now plays with the GrandMothers of Invention. By phone, he discussed the history of The Mothers, working with Frank Zappa, and surviving the Montreux fire in 1971.

The Mothers to this day doesn’t really sound like any other band. How did the band carve that niche for itself?

The main thing is it’s a five-piece group. We have to cover so many bases with that configuration, it necessitates that it takes doing a different arrangement of the music. On “Inca Roads,” I have to play keyboards and marimba or at least the marimba sound and try to get that all covered. The guitar player plays some of the melodies that Zappa couldn’t play at the time.

Did you realize then what a unique musical entity you had?

I don’t know if someone knows that. Maybe toward the end of his life, he started realizing that. It’s a combination of things. He knew that he was good and he knew that he had something unique. As far as realizing the importance of that in history, I think he kind of had an idea of that.

For the rest of the interview, please visit the website!

The GrandMothers Of Invention Featuring Legendary Zappa Alumni Don Preston & Napoleon Murphy Brock To Embark On ‘One Size Fits All And More’ US Tour

don preston napoleon murphy brock

For Immediate Release

The GrandMothers Of Invention Featuring Legendary Zappa Alumni
Don Preston & Napoleon Murphy Brock To Embark On ‘One Size Fits All And More’ US Tour

Los Angeles, CA – Having just completed a month long European tour of performances in the CZECH REPUBLIC, HUNGARY, SLOVAKIA, AUSTRIA, GERMANY, HOLLAND, SWITZERLAND, the GrandMothers Of Invention, featuring legendary Frank Zappa alumni Napoleon Murphy Brock and special guest artist Don Preston, once again will tour America. This time around the ensemble will be performing the ONE SIZE FITS ALL album in its entirety, along with other MOI/FRANK ZAPPA favorites from BONGO FURY, OVERNITE SENSATION, ROXY & ELSEWHERE, UNCLE MEAT and WERE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY!

Says Napoleon, “If you liked last year’s tours of us performing the entire ‘Roxy & Elsewhere’ album, you will really have fun this tour, because we are doing ‘One Size Fits All’ in its entirety! (Which includes both German and English versions of “Sofa”) The difference between the GrandMothers Of Invention performing last year’s ‘Roxy’, and this year’s ‘One Size Fits All’, is that the original lead singer for both albums is the same lead singer performing these songs live on stage. This is NOT a tribute band! The GrandMothers Of Invention is the ONLY band currently playing the music of Frank Zappa with two of the original members of the Mothers Of Invention. Come on down and sing along if you know the words!”

Says Don, “This tour will be quite an adventure as we will be performing the entire ‘One Size Fits All’ CD. ‘Inca Roads’ is one of Zappa’s best efforts in music writing along with the other songs on that CD, and the band is ready. This band is the tightest ever! Of course that includes the songs that Napoleon recorded with Zappa like ‘Andy’, ‘Florentine Pogan’ and ‘Sofa #2’. Of course I will have some surprises that are just too weird to reveal here.”

The GrandMothers of Invention are the only Frank Zappa/Mothers of Invention alumni who have been consistently performing the music of the maestro since 2003. From the classic ‘Freak Out’, ‘Absolutely Free’, ‘We’re Only In It For The Money’, ‘Uncle Meat’, and ‘Burnt Weeny Sandwich’ and ‘Weasels Ripped My Flesh’, to ‘Apostrophe’, ‘The Grand Wazoo’, ‘Overnite Sensation’, ‘Roxy & Elsewhere’, ‘Bongo Fury’ and ‘One Size Fits All’ – they have performed on a very long list of classic Frank Zappa & the Mother’s of Invention’s albums, movies and other projects.

Says the press: “Rare are the musicians who can even play Zappa’s music, let alone make it live and breathe. So Thank the Lord for the GrandMothers of Invention.”…“With two different Zappa eras represented, the GrandMothers have a wide palette of material to choose from.”…“They served up vintage psychedelia – rock songs with surreal lyrics, jazz-like harmonies and melodic complexity, with flashes of wacky satire.”…“Amazing virtuoso musicians, fun and funny.”

The GrandMothers Of Invention are:

(Mothers of Invention/Frank Zappa alumni from 1974 thru 1984), on vocals, tenor saxophone, flute, suavenicity, and dancing(!). Napoleon won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 2009!

(Mothers of Invention/Frank Zappa alumni from 1967 thru 1969,1970, 1971, and 1974 on keyboard synthesizers, electronics, IPOD, magic tricks(!), and vocals.

Also featuring
on drums, percussion, marimba, and vocals

electric bass, vocals

electric guitar, vocals

The GrandMothers Of Invention Tour Dates:

06/23/13 – The Coach House – 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA
06/24/13 – Club Congress – 311 East Congress Street, Tucson AZ
06/26/13 – Stubbs Bar-B-Que – 801 Red River, Austin TX
6/27/13 – Kessler Theater – 1230 W. Davis St., Dallas TX
06/29/13 – The Hi-Tone – 1913 Poplar Ave, Memphis TN
06/30/13 – The Parish Room – HOB – 225 Decatur St., New Orleans LA
07/02/13 – The Grey Eagle – 185 Clingman Ave, Asheville NC
07/03/13 – Cat’s Cradle – 300 East Main St., Carrboro NC
07/05/13 – Syracuse Jazz Festival – Apulia Rd – Jamesville Beach Park, Syracuse NY
07/07/13 – Rams Head On Stage – 33 West St., Annapolis MD
07/09/13 – IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB – 48 West 63rd St., NYC
07/11/13 – The Magic Bag – 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale MI
07/12/13 – Martyrs’ – 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL
07/13/13 – Dakota Jazz Club – 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis MN
07/16/13 and 07/17/13 – Jazz Alley – 2033 Sixth Ave. #255, Seattle WA
07/18/13 – Aladdin Theatre – 3116 S.E. 11Th, Portland OR
07/19/13 – Humboldt Brews – 856 10th St., Arcata CA
07/20/13 – Assembly – 1000 K St., Sacramento CA
07/21/13 – Yoshi’s at Jack London Square – 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland CA

For more information:



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