Thanks to Qobuz and Mr. C. I listened to a lot of Zappa this weekend. I also went through some the memorabilia that I have. One of my favourite items is a Yellow Shark Hat. Better still, I was told it's THE Yellow Shark Hat. I just wanted to share how I obtained it: When the Yellow Shark album got released in Singapore Tower Records made a Big Deal out of it. Plastic sharks, big posters and a fisherman's hat with the logo were on grand display. I asked about it and the promotor insisted that FZ himself had worn it on stage in Frankfurt which is, I believe, where most of the compositions were recorded and I also believe it's the only Yellow Shark performance he was able to attend. I asked if the hat was for sale, but the answer was no. The album was released Nov 2nd 1993 (I looked that one up) and the man (Zappa, not the promotor) died a month after the release. Now I don't remember if the album became available in Singapore before or after his death. Anyway, I told this to my then wife. She didn't care much for the music of Uncle Frank (she was more into Anne Murray). But she did something amazing. Now, as my divorce lawyers will testify, she could be a very persuasive woman. She decided to go to Tower Records and I can just imagine what she did: she pleaded, talked, begged, flirted, threatened eternal damnation etc. etc. for hours with the determination of a Jehova witness. She just was not going to leave that place without that hat. And for sure, for Xmas she gave me The Hat. She didn't even have to buy it! That store manager was willing to do just about anything to get rid of her, I think.
So I have it. The Hat. But is it The Hat?? Fact is that FZ wore a hat on stage at that performance. I've seen photographs. And it looks just like my hat. But I have no provenance whatsoever other than the verbal assurance of a Tower Records store manager in Singapore. It could be The Hat, but why would it be? Why would the hat of the greatest composer of the 2nd half of the 20th century end up on a tiny island in South East Asia where Zappa was not very well known? In fact most of his music was not available in the country until 1992 when the regime loosened the chains a bit, and I can't imagine that Tower Records sold more than 20 copies of the album. But then again, why wouldn't it be?? It looks just like in the pictures!! I guess I could send it to some CSI kind of place where they could check on any Zappa DNA. If they can find it, great. If they can't it could have been washed off or something (the hat was used on occasion, over the years), so there's no real point. So I'll leave it as it is: for me it's The Hat. But more than anything it's a wonderful memory. On the other hand: if I can obtain provenance maybe I can earn back some of the money I lost in the divorce. Just kidding: this is one of those things I wouldn't sell. It's pretty priceless. I have a Zappa at the Crappa T-shirt that's for sale, though. What was I thinking at the time??
There's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over