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 Post subject: Don Preston
PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 9:53 am 
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Can someone tell me about Don Preston's solo work?

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 Post subject: Re: Don Preston
PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 10:09 am 
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i have a tape of transformation with don's trio....it's heavily avant garde jazz, with a tight cover of the eric dolphy memorial barbeque, if your a straight ahead jazz fan, this one shouldn't dissapoint you<br><br>[center]Image[/center]

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 Post subject: Re: Don Preston
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 3:35 am 
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Didn't he do a lot of the soundtrack to Apocolypse Now?


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 Post subject: Re: Don Preston
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:48 am 
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I bought Vile Foamy Ectoplasm, and it blows pretty big.

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 Post subject: Re: Don Preston
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2004 2:46 am 
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[quote author=Gojira1975 link=board=rant;num=1054497238;start=0#6 date=09/13/04 at 06:48:51]I bought Vile Foamy Ectoplasm, and it blows pretty big. [/quote]<br><br>Hmmm...   Why does "Vile Foamy Ectoplasm" blow pretty big?  It's a pretty cool weird electronic album as far as I remember,and with a song about how everybody got the wrong impression of Frank too.(Always asking "did he eat shit on stage?' and other stupidity.)<br><br>Google search "Don Preston" ...he had a pretty cool web-site,with some great self released CD-r's and CDs for sale.  The "Don And Bunk"(with Bunk Gardener,o' course) Cds were pretty high quality,and his "soundtrack" comps were good too.Not to mention that that "Vile..." Cd is there also.<br><br>A fun aside was his video "Ogo Moto" which is a very low fidelity (in video and sound)monster movie that has many connections with "Uncle Meat" and other cheesy FZ conceptual contiuity pieces.It was filmed while he was still with the Mothers.  But this is not for someone looking for video perfection!  But just for someone that likes fun,cheap ,hand-made monster movies....Hhmmmm? Check it out.<br>


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 Post subject: Re: Don Preston
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 4:46 pm 
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[quote author=jimmie d link=board=rant;num=1054497238;start=0#4 date=09/08/04 at 16:39:30]<br>[center][font=comic sans ms] [b]Just got off the telephone with the man himself, and I thought I'd pass on this little nugget. After an abstinence of 45 years, Don has taken to playing the upright bass, once again. He's still building up the calluses on his fingers. He said that it was the first instrument that he ever learned to play. I suggested to him that if he learns drums, too, he can become his own trio.[/font][/b]<br><br> ;D[/center][/quote]<br><br>Seriously? Jimmie D, How do you know Don? I just realized I don't really know anything about you man. Well, if you talk to Don again tell him a fan says "Hi!". And after finally seeing Uncle Meat I couldn't help but doing the monster face after taking a drink of pop ( I did this for about a week until it got old ). Everyone at work thought it was funny.  ;D

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 Post subject: Re: Don Preston
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 3:57 pm 
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[quote author=jimmie d link=board=rant;num=1054497238;start=0#9 date=09/19/04 at 22:20:40][center]<br>Image<br>[font=comic sans ms]I know Don through working with Project/Object.<br>I got a chance to get to know him better<br>when we spent a couple months together on tour last year.<br>We were in the same tour-van for over 12,000 miles![/font][/center][/quote]<br><br>Wow that's pretty cool there Jimmie D. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:58 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Don Preston
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:25 pm 
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Location: >>==> Wellington New Zealand
In new Diamond Bar home, ex-Zappa keyboardist is one grateful Mother
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Musician Don Preston, an original member of Frank Zappa’s band the Mothers of Invention, and wife, Tina, an actress, at their home in Diamond Bar on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2017. The couple had to move from their Los Angles home due to a rent increase and is now living in a Diamond Bar condo rented to them by a fan of Don’s. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
By David Allen | dallen@scng.com | Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
December 23, 2017 at 1:29 pm

Don and Tina Preston are learning to love Diamond Bar. But the ambiance is a far cry from their previous home on Highland Park’s busy York Boulevard, where trucks and motorcycles rumbled, sirens wailed and a McDonald’s squatted across the street.

“I could play the piano at 3 in the morning and no one would be bothered,” Don said with a chuckle. By contrast, Diamond Bar is a tidy suburb, where their condo is set back from a winding street. To Don, it’s like the country.

“It’s so quiet,” he said. “And so beautiful. Mountains are nearby. It’s very pleasant.”

As they don’t mind a little chaos, the artistic couple thought their lives were pleasant in Los Angeles. Then after 12 years, their landlord decided to renovate their two-bedroom rental home, in a gentrifying neighborhood, and rent it for more money. They were having trouble enough paying the $1,325-per-month rent on their $1,700-a-month Social Security income, only occasionally supplemented by paying work.

Don, 85, is a musician who was an early member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, none of whose members other than Zappa ever got rich. Tina, 76, is a stage actress who has won good notices over a half-century career but usually not in roles that pay. She designs and makes clothing to help ends meet.

At their daughters’ insistence, an open plea for an affordable place to live was posted to Don’s Facebook page, in which they called L.A. “a town that has now become inaccessible to not only most artists, but especially to elder artists on fixed incomes.”

A Zappa fan in Diamond Bar stepped up to rent them a condo he had planned to sell. Their newly acquired Section 8 rental voucher put the rent within their reach. They declined to say what they’re paying.

“He called Don and said he would be honored to rent to him,” Tina told me last week in their new digs. “Truly a gift. We’re so grateful that he was such a kind person.”

It had been a rough few weeks. The landlord gave them two months to leave. They were shown one possibility, an ugly converted motel where the manager declared he would evict them if they disturbed the 9:30 p.m. curfew.

Tina scoured listings elsewhere and found waiting lists of 300 to 600 people and one-bedroom apartments going for $2,500. “It’s just gotten ridiculous in L.A.,” she said.

But the Diamond Bar offer came together, Don signed the paperwork Nov. 9 and they moved in Dec. 2, with the assistance of friends and a rental truck agency.

The Prestons are still settling into their two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo, and 20 boxes remained to unpack. But they’d fit Don’s baby grand and upright bass into the living room. And while they had worried Diamond Bar would be too distant from their old haunts, they were surprised how painless the drive is.
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Don Preston is seen here after performing Nov. 9 at Claremont McKenna College during a staged poetry reading. “To hear Don play, a note here or a note there, sometimes changed it all,” actor Todd Mandel said. (Photo by David Allen)

I had read Steve Lopez’ Los Angeles Times column on the couple’s plight and was delighted to learn one of the Mothers was still around. When a calendar listing for a poetry performance at the Claremont McKenna Athenaeum had Preston listed as providing piano accompaniment, I made a point of attending. I introduced myself to Don and we had a nice chat about Zappa and more.

“I’m dying to see this hologram tour they’re going to do,” Don said of plans for some Zappa musicians to play concerts with a hologram of the singer-guitarist. “It will all be pictures everyone has seen, so it might be kind of boring. On the other hand, to see Zappa standing onstage will be pretty exciting.”

We talked about Ray Collins, the singer who had invited Zappa into the band in 1965 in Pomona. Collins quit a few years later and spent his last years homeless in Claremont, where he was a familiar figure in the Village before his 2012 death.

Preston said he had invited Collins to join the Grandmothers, the aging group of former Mothers who perform the band’s old songs, and been rebuffed. “He had so much resentment for Zappa,” Preston said. “I had a lot of resentment, too, but my revenge was singing Zappa’s music and making money on it.”

About 35 people listened as actors Lisa Robins and Todd Mandel read poems by Ricardo Quinones while Preston interspersed jazz chordings on a grand piano for accent, some of it improvised, some of it fragments of songs by himself or Bill Evans.

Preston honed his skills in the U.S. Army in 1950 when stationed in Trieste, Italy. He was assigned to run a bulldozer but was observed playing the piano in the PX by fellow dogface and future jazz great Herbie Mann, who enlisted him to play with a jazz combo on the base.

“It was a great learning experience. I quickly learned what a bridge in a song was,” Preston recalled on a recent afternoon on the couple’s sofa, Tina at his side.

During his career, he’s played bass behind Elvin Jones and Carla Bley, written film scores for low-budget movies, played synthesizer on the “Apocalypse Now” soundtrack and once toured Canada with Nat King Cole. “He carried himself like a king. That was a great title for him,” said Preston, still a little awestruck.

He joined the Mothers as keyboardist right after the “Freak Out!” album in 1966 and stayed until 1974. “The kind of rock we played was mostly jazz,” he explained.

Tina has been acting for most of her adult life, including Padua Playwrights productions in Claremont, a one-woman show last spring, “Don’t You Ever Call Me Anything But Mother,” in Atwater Village and a possible Fringe Fest slot next year.

Married 47 years as of last Wednesday, their personalities appear complementary: Tina is chatty and spirited, kind of a comedian, while Don is quieter and more deliberate. They were modest about their own work and enthusiastic about the other’s.

They’ve put more of a premium on exploring their creative sides than in trying to make money. They don’t seem to regret it. And now they have what they hope will be a stable place to live out their final years in dignity.

“Now we feel truly serene about being able to pay our rent and bills, which is a tremendous calmness,” Tina said.

“We can afford our life. We don’t have to scramble,” Don said. “Hopefully there’ll be more creative stuff happening.”

Before I left, Tina insisted on giving me a decorative box of homemade Christmas cookies to take home, proof that her husband isn’t the family’s only Mother.

David Allen writes Sunday, Wednesday and Friday and eats cookies the other days. Email dallen@scng.com, phone 909-483-9339, visit insidesocal.com/davidallen, like davidallencolumnist on Facebook, follow @davidallen909 on Twitter and buy “Getting Started” and “Pomona A to Z.”

https://www.dailybulletin.com/2017/12/2 ... ul-mother/

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 Post subject: Re: Don Preston
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:25 am 
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^^Nice story. Too bad most of the old Mothers carried that resentment along with them for so long. IMO, the only thing FZ owed them was a paycheck for the time they were in the band and as Don said, they were able to make money by playing the music after the Mothers were disbanded.


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 Post subject: Re: Don Preston
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:34 am 
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I met Don's wife, Tina, in San Diego, while on tour. Nice lady . . . 8)

Wow! I just noticed that all the old jimmie d posts to this thread have been obliterated, only to remain as quote fragments. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Don Preston
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:56 am 
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Excellent interview w/ Don playing bass & piano. Uncle Meat is in there somewhere.

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