DON PRESTON Vile Foamy Ectoplasm (1993) Former Mother Of Invention

FrontVile Foamy Ectoplasm (1993)
60s/70s Vault Tapes From The Ex-Mother

A rare solo release from former Mothers of Invention keyboardist, Don Preston. Released in 1993, but featuring recordings from 1967-81, Vile Foamy Ectoplasm boasts plenty of Mothers alumni; Jimmy Carl Black, three Fowler brothers, Roy Estrada, Arthur Barrow and Bunk Gardner (Motorhead Sherwood, Howard Kaylan and Miss Lucy even show up for a short vocal track). There’s some Zappa-esque weirdness to be found alongside the more traditional “jazz” stylings in Preston’s repertoire. For “Eternal Question,” Preston and Black sing about everyone’s must-know question about Frank Zappa, “… did he really shit on the stage?” The 15 minute “Death Lights” will surely find favor with those who enjoy Preston’s Mothers-era avant/noise musings.

Moon Unit (Recorded: 1981)
Lady Queen Bee (Recorded: 1981)
The Street Urchins

Call (Recorded: 1975)
Sweet 15
(Recorded: 1973)
Construction in Slow Motion With Sharp Interludes
(Recorded: 1976)
Andrea (Recorded: 1975)
The Street Urchins 2

The Eternal Question
(Recorded: 1981)
Palmer Park
(Recorded: 1975)
Voices from the Past

Death Lights
(Recorded: 1967-68)


  • Capt. Willard
    July 16, 2009 - 15:39 | Permalink

    Search HERE.

  • Anonymous
    July 17, 2009 - 15:30 | Permalink

    Good stuff, thanks!
    (though i must add that the Zappaesque instrumentals like "Sweet 15" are just a little bit too 'smooth' sounding and lack the FZ 'edge' (probably due to the somewhat restrained [i.e. boring] drumming, and the lack of Zappa's edgey guitar solos, obviously!)

  • winkingtiger
    July 19, 2009 - 03:47 | Permalink

    I wonder if "Moon Unit" is about you-know-who…?

  • Capt. Willard
    July 19, 2009 - 04:15 | Permalink

    Hmmm… there are so many Moon Units it's hard to say.

  • CJS
    August 11, 2009 - 23:24 | Permalink

    What a magnificent collection/album by Don.
    I always wanted to know what his playing sounded like and how he contributed to the sound of my fave Zappa period and this cd makes it perfectly clear.
    Great insight, great playing.
    Don is also an amazing musician chosen to play with a genius. HIs talent is overshadowed but never diminished by the master's ghostly hand.
    Thank you for revealing this artist to me.


    Funkish Bass

  • diplomaticpermissiondeepi
    September 1, 2009 - 04:44 | Permalink

    I have heard Sweet 15 before. I think its great, and was called 'Eye of Agamato' I heard it off the Grandmothers LP that was about in 1981 (on Rhino records)

  • Capt. Willard
    November 28, 2010 - 15:33 | Permalink

    Didn't know that. Thanks for the details.

  • May 30, 2011 - 18:16 | Permalink

    is this the same Don Preston of “Bluse” (SP 4155 A&M) fame?

  • Willard
    May 30, 2011 - 18:57 | Permalink

    Different guy. Your guy has a long resume and was part of Leon Russell’s Shelter crew. This Preston remained mainly in Frank Zappa’s orbit before branching out some into avant jazz. Don’t know what he’s up to today.

  • zappahead
    July 20, 2013 - 08:14 | Permalink

    Big fan of the Don era Mothers so this should be an excellent listen…thanks so much for so much great music Willard…..very much obliged.

  • Dirk Bill
    January 13, 2014 - 22:00 | Permalink

    Cap’n Wills, this is great! I have only one Don Preston platter (“Transformation”) and it’s a pretty much straight-ahead/avant jazz trio. He did some clinics at Berklee in Boston a few years ago with a friend of mine who taught there, but his recordings seem few and far between unfortunately. So this is much appreciated.

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