jim cox

Jim Cox recorded a fabulous song called 'Frankie's In Town'. It's a superb Frank Zappa parody. Cox presented it to Zappa once, who wasn't too pleased with it.

The track got seeded at Zappateers

Jim Cox also contributed keyboards to Chad Wackerman's "Dream, Nightmares and Improvisations" album.


  chad wackerman: dreams, nightmares and improvisations
    (2011, cd, usa, cwcd-5) - feat. allan holdsworth, jim cox

cw_dreams.jpg (81247 bytes)




random notes

From: Lewis Saul


It starts with a "classical-type" dramatic flourish (bass guitar and xylophone in unison!) -- along the lines of the some of the licks in Alien Orifice -- but totally original -- then:

Voice #1 (possibly sped-up a la Greggery Peccary):   Wow! Did you hear that?

Voice #2 (slightly stoned [over complicated polyrhythmic percussion spewage]):    Yeah!  It sounds like it's coming from the big auditorium downtown!

Voice #1:  That can only mean one thing!

(About 15 seconds of fantastic very original parody of a typical "fast-5 or 7" fz chart (like Echidna, for example), then in 4/4, harmonized in a typical FZ male chorus sound:

Frankie's in tow - woon
Frankie's in tow - oo - a - ow - oo - a - oo - own
Frankie's in tow - oo - a - ow - oo - a - oo - ow -a - oo - a - ow - oo - a - ow - a - oo - ow - oo -a - wooon

Voice #1 (whispered): Hey kids!  Do you hear that sound? (quick flourish)  . . . Freaks will be coming from miles around!

Voice #2 (sped-up to sound like a female): Yeah, my boyfriend knew the bass player when he had black hair!

Voice #1 (still whispered): . . . Cause they know they'll hear something profound . . .

When Frankie's in town . . .
For six weeks
They've circled the dates
Just can't wait 'til they open the gates
To hear him sing about the stuff that he hates . . .
Frankie's in town . . .

(spoken over vamp):

He used to write songs about girls with big jugs
But this time he brought his ballet to work out the bugs

(beautiful original music here -- about eight seconds, all over the slow vamp)

And then he wonders why kids take drugs!
When Frankie's in town . . .

(changes to moderate boogie here):

Well his voice don't do what it used to do (low doo-wop "yeahhhhhhh")
So he carries around a black person too (Ike Willis obligatto over this . . .)
He says funny things to make the kids laugh ("FZ" voice): You see there's this guy in Wisconsin who's making a giant American flag out of nothing but used feminine hygiene items.  That's right!
And he plays his guitar for an hour and a ha - a - a -a - a -alf . . .
OH NO!!!

(key change and beautiful FZ-style guitar solo) (comment by patrick neve: the guitarist is brilliant in his parody, and the other musicians are so dead-on with their accompaniment)

Voice #1 (whispered): He doesn't notice that the audience is leavin' . . .

Voice #2 (sped-up): I thought you said this guy was funny?

Voice #1 (whispered): But boy, those elevens sure are even.

Group of voices: Why, Frankie, why?

"FZ": Ah, c'mon kids, you know you love it!

Group: Why, Frankie, why?

"FZ": Here -- check this out!

Group: Why, Frankie, why?

(stop break):

"FZ": Because it's . . .
Chorus: Good for you (this is sung exactly like the music FZ composed for the word "dan-ger-ous" on DANGEROUS KITCHEN) .
. . it's so . . . good for you!

"FZ": You know, like Varese, Ionisation; Elliot Carter . . . you remember Elliot Carter . . . they used to file him next to the Cadillac's records at Sam Goody's so dumb kids like me would buy 'em . . . nevermind!

He learned how to write
For nine xylophones (a beautiful original lick here)
He learned how to write
To sound like Spike Jones (nice SJ-type fill here)
Maybe next time he'll learn
Not to follow the Stones!!!
When Frankie's in town


Anybody know Jim Cox?

     From: Scott Thunes
Jim Cox was a friend of Chad Wackerman's, who was going to audition on keyboards for the band in '81. The story goes that after Frank heard that, he refused to audition him. I'd heard him play, and he was a very good keyboard player. Probably better than Bobby and AlanZ combined. The line about people leaving the concert because of his lengthy guitar solos was the crux of that biscuit.
Or so I'd heard.

Love to hear it after all these years! That should be universally distributed. Good stuff.

     From: Unknown
Also of mention, who did the guitar solo, it sounds frightningly FRANK.

     From: Keneally
As I recall the "guitar solo" was actually played on a synthesizer, and my admittedly limited understanding has always been that one guy (Cox) played and sang everything on the song.  The drums sounded programmed to me, and everything else sounded like it was done on keyboards ('cept the vocals of course).  Haven't heard it in a while so my memory may be playing tricks.

     From: Craig
When Jim Cox came to Australia, as part of a clinic tour for Sterling Ball's Biff Baby's All Stars tour (with Albert Lee & Steve Morse) in 1992, I asked him about who played on Frankie's In Town.  He was pretty incredulous that anyone had a copy, much less someone in Australia!  He told me that John Pattituci played bass, John Ferraro (who was also there with him on the clinic tour) played drums & that he played all the keyboards, programming & vocals.  Now, he did say that there was a guitarist on the track & to my best recollection it was Mike Miller, but I definitely can't be sure of this 100%.  I also asked him about playing it for FZ to be approved for release & his response was that he did but "it didn't go down too well".

     From: Scott Thunes
Jim Cox was a master at the imitation of guitar with a keyboard, and this was one of the reasons that he was such an in-demand session dude. The guitar solo is Jim Cox on a keyboard.  I'll bet you boys that Jim will be corroborating this concept soon. Any listeners want to prove me wrong? And I'll repeat: Get Chad to corroborate this stuff. They have computers in Aus, don't they?

    From Zeeker, November 2010
I mentioned this song to Chad Wackerman last month after a master class he did at The Drummer's Collective. He opened by playing to a pre-recorded track with Allan Holdsworth on guitar & Jim Cox on keys. I caught that first piece but then had classes to teach so I came back as he was packing up & held up my ipod with "Frankie's In Town" cued up and asked if it was the same Jim Cox. He was surprised I had a copy, asked where i got it from and "foo-foo'ed" the idea that Jim had used it as an audition piece and that Frank was upset when he heard it. Chad said, as a matter of fact, that Jim had written it as a gift for him (Chad, that is). He also said that Patitucci & Ferraro played on it. Didn't mention Mike Miller, but I recall reading somewhere that Jim played all the "guitar" parts on the keys.


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