dave aerni
an interview with patrick neve

date: sun, 22 mar 1998

patrick: some main questions of mine are, if you care to answer them: dates and years.. during what times were you recording at pal, and how much of that was with zappa?

dave: you have the time line as correct as i can remember. i spent almost all my time at the studio and i would say that i worked with fz about a third of the time i spent at there.

patrick: what caused the relationship to end?  was it frank going to jail and the studio being torn down?

dave: no, that happened to frank after paul and i left. paul sold the studio to frank, as you know, and began working with oldie but goodie (art laboe) records in hollywood. before this all happened i was busy producing surfing dances and records and drifted away from the cucamunga studio. i did some recordings with paul at his new studio on sunset blvd.

patrick: which are some recordings you have done with him?  on these cucamonga discs, can you name tracks with parts?

dave: i'm sorry. i can't remember much of the individual parts i contributed.  some background vocals, maybe some simple guitar/bass parts. a lot of handling the mixing board while frank, ray, and paul were recording.

patrick: do you have any random anecdotes about the period in general? i'm interested in what the cucamonga experience must have been like, i'm fascinated with that episode in music history, and paul buff in general, and would be grateful for any insight as to what it was really about.

dave: it was the beginning of my professional musical experience. i was subconsciously soaking up as much knowledge about the business as i could. i was in awe of paul buff's electonic abilities and of frank's musical talents. i was also taken aback by fz's strange demeanor, but was never physically afraid. he was a very odd fellow, but somehow non threatening. i was really impressed with ray collins vocal ability, and i'm still surprised he never made it big.

patrick: i recently got a single called drums a gogo b/w agua caliente. were you a hollywood persuader?

dave: i may have been. there were so many names thrown around. that one sounds familiar.