Get this crazy baby off my head!


Warren Cuccurullo

Warren Cuccurullo- Road Rage - 1998 - Bandai Records

I have to admit, I've been looking forward to this one. While I really dig Machine Language, this is more my style. This CD fills in the gaps for those of us who loved his 1994-96 solo shows so much and wanted to be able to hear them clearly (as opposed to all the bootlegs that floated around). With Thanks 2 Frank and Roadrage, you now have a fairly complete portrait of Warren's solo shows that are so breathtaking, even if you haven't had the chance to see one. Overall, I must say that this album ranks right up there with Thanks 2 Frank as a must-have for any fan of Warren's. The only thing that could have made it even more fantastic would have been if he could have recorded "Watermelon in Easter Hay," but since Gail Zappa has stated her wish that the song never be recorded again by anyone, he could hardly do that (you can find it on several bootlegs from the Dec 1993-Feb 1994 part of the 1993/94 Duran tour and it is well worth the effort to do so). While Thanks 2 Frank had, in my opinion, two types of songs, generally speaking, this CD is much more diverse. The older album had some songs that were bluesy, rocking, crisp and clear, hot stuff, and then it also had some more melodic, brooding and textured songs that ended up being the ones I preferred (such as Galactic Ballerina, Orgasmatron, Tardinha, Indian Time Zones, etc). On Roadrage, we are treated to both sounds and more. Two of the songs on this album showcases Warren's talent in the first way that the world was introduced to it: with Zappa music. Transylvania Boogie and Willie The Pimp are both Zappa classics that Warren was more than able to execute. The former was recorded live in March 1996 at Tower Records with Joe and Wes, who proved themselves more than capable of handling the job. The latter song was recorded live at the Stone Pony show (July 1994), with Warren's Canarsie buddy Jon Kiebon on vocals, Jay Cuccurullo on drums and Nick Beggs on bass. Having been privileged to witness this performance, I must say that even though I had never heard the song, it was something special to behold, and all the spontaneity of that night was captured in this track. There are two totally-solo cuts on the album: Suddenly Spring and A Little Exit Music. Suddenly Spring shows us a new side of Warren (unless we've been following Duran Duran over the last few years) and is a beautifully arranged, acoustic guitar bouquet of sound. A Little Exit Music ends the album with one guitar figure repeated over and over in a weirdly frenetic and delicate way, backed by a lower part that returns you right to the root of the song at every turn, and then toward the end, the whole thing gets skewed into something even more strange. Something that I was quite pleased to see is that the three new songs that Warren added to his live shows in 1996 have been captured for posterity on this album. Hearing these songs shows you how Warren's musical mind has grown and changed just since 1994. Whatever You Say, Mac and Roadrage are sheer masterpieces, especially Roadrage, which is moody and dark enough to please anyone. I must single out Wes for praise for his bass work on this song, too. The Beating is something that I wasn't sure at the time was an actual song, seeming to be a way for Warren to work out his sound and test his equipment, but I remember being totally fascinated by it. Duran fans will recognize this jagged, echoey sound from the song "Silva Halo" (Medazzaland), though he toned it down a lot before its use in the Duran song. Perhaps most exciting to me and other Missing Persons fans is the inclusion of In-Flight Entertainment, which we were introduced to at the 1994 Stone Pony show (it was then titled "Discoveries"). At that time, Warren told the audience that Missing Persons used this song to warm up. This song blasts into orbit with Chapman Stick bass by Nick Beggs, and Steve Alexander handily fills the Terry Bozzio slot, even getting a long and frenetic drum solo. This all works together and folds into a blasting, euphoric sequence of chords on Warren's guitar. The showcase of the album, in my opinion, is Ordinary World (recorded live with Joe and Wes in March 1996). As all of you know, Warren wrote the majority of this song and contributed it to Duran Duran, giving them their first top 5 hit in years. The way Warren performs it with his own band, in his own way, will send chills down your spine as you hear all the passion and honesty that has always infused this song and you begin to realize that the lyrics and vocals only carry half the load. In Warren's instrumental version, shared with you here, Warren's guitar fully orchestrates every shred of emotion in the song as you journey from the delicate beginning to the soaring middle part to the roaring climax and right back to a satisfying, gentle end that leaves you feeling as if you have experienced the ultimate performance of the song. At any rate, Warren's talent is phenomenal, and we're all so lucky to have the honor of experiencing it. My hope is that he continues to record music like this and share it with the world. – from “Roadrage: The Privacy Review” By & © Cyndi Glass © http://www.cuccurullo.tv/archives/fanzine/iss26.html

"Road Rage" is legendary Brooklyn born guitarist Warren Cuccurullo’s (Zappa/Missing Persons/Duran Duran) 1998 live project featuring tracks recorded live in Los Angeles (CA, USA), New York (NY, USA), London (UK), and Asbury Park (NJ, USA) between 1994 and 1996. Essentially, the album is a sequel to the great "Thanks 2 Frank" album, providing the rest of the songs Warren played in his solo shows from 1994-96 except for Zappa's "Chunga's Revenge". "Road Rage," "The Beating" and "Whatever You Say, Mac" were all brand new in the March 1996 shows. A few Zappa covers are included, "Transylvania Boogie" and "Willie The Pimp", and a positively scalding, amped up instrumental take on Duran Duran's "Ordinary World". Also included on "Road Rage" is "Suddenly Spring", a live solo acoustic piece performed for VH-1 in London. "Warren said that "This is the most emotional, spirited, fiery guitar playing that I've ever done. You have never heard it like this. This sounds like it was recorded in a studio." Warren blazes through this 9-song set which also features featured drummer Joe Travers and bassist Wes Wehmiller among others. HR by A.O.O.F.C. Check out Warren Cuccurullo’s “Thanks 2 Frank” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 110 Mb]


1 Road Rage - Warren Cuccurullo 8:32
2 Transylvania Boogie - Frank Zappa 4:53
3 Suddenly Spring - Warren Cuccurullo 3:39
4 Whatever You Say, Mac - Warren Cuccurullo 7:34
5 The Beating - Warren Cuccurullo 1:54
6 Willie The Pimp - Frank Zappa 8:57
7 In-Flight Entertainment - Terry Bozzio, Warren Cuccurullo 3:14
8 Ordinary World - J. Taylor, N. Rhodes, S. Le Bon, Warren Cuccurullo 7:23
9 A Little Exit Music - Warren Cuccurullo 2:03

Tracks 1, 2 & 8 recorded in Los Angeles on 3/29/96, format: DAT: Track 3 recorded in London for VH-1 in June, 1996, format: Video: Tracks 4 & 5 recorded in N.Y.C. on 3/27/96, format: DAT: Track 6 recorded in Asbury Park, N.J. on 7/6/94, format: Sony Mini Disc: Track 7 recorded in London on 9/30/94, format: DAT: Track 9 recorded at a soundcheck somewhere, format: Sony Mini Disc.


Warren Cuccurullo - Electric & Acoustic Guitar
Wes Wehmiller - Bass on Tracks 1, 2, 4, 8
Nick Beggs - Bass on Track 6, Stick on Track 7
Joe Travers - Drums on Tracks 1, 2, 4, 8
Jerry Cuccurullo - Drums on Track 6
Steve Alexander - Drums on Track 7
Jon Keybon - Vocals on Tracks 6


Warren Bruce Cuccurullo (born December 8, 1956 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American rock musician who worked with Frank Zappa, was a founding member of Missing Persons, and has been a long term member of Duran Duran. Warren Cuccurullo is the son of Jerry and Ellen Cuccurullo, the oldest child of four. He has two brothers, Jerry and Robert and a sister, Stephanie. His Italian American heritage has its roots in Nocera Inferiore in Campania, Italy, and he also has some Greek ancestry. He grew up in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn, and began playing drums and guitar as a young child. He graduated from Canarsie High School in 1974. Cuccurullo has one adopted child, Mayko Cuccurullo (born 1983) who lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who is actually the son of Claudia Bueno (Warren's former longtime girlfriend). Mayko is featured in the Duran Duran video Breath After Breath, filmed in Argentina in 1993 and contributed some minor vocal work on the N'Liten Up project. Cuccurullo returned to the United States in 2001 and lives in Venice, California. His current focus is on musical projects having to do with film scores. In his teen years, Cuccurullo became a devoted fan of Frank Zappa and began traveling to every show within 500 miles of his Brooklyn home. During the mid-1970s, he befriended several members of Zappa's band, including Terry Bozzio and Patrick O'Hearn. Over the next three years, he appeared with the band on stage at a couple of shows as well as in the 1979 Zappa film Baby Snakes (filmed October, 1977). He impressed Frank Zappa by knowing the guitar parts to every Zappa song in the catalog, including the strangest sounds and most bizarre time signatures. In December 1978, at the age of 22, Cuccurullo was invited to audition as a guitarist for Zappa's new road band, in which many members were replaced (including Bozzio and O'Hearn). Several shows on the early 1979 "Human Jukebox" European/Asian tour were recorded for Zappa's live albums. After the tour, Cuccurullo returned to the studio with Zappa to work on the Joe's Garage albums, for which he provided rhythm guitar and several vocal parts. Terry Bozzio's wife Dale Bozzio, also contributed vocal parts to the album. Cuccurullo and Dale Bozzio began writing songs together, and eventually they convinced Terry Bozzio that the three of them should launch their own band. Zappa asked Cuccurullo to play on his 1988 tour, but the latter's involvement with Duran Duran had begun by then and so he declined. Cuccurullo is name-checked four times on Zappa's Joe's Garage, first by (Dale Bozzio's character) Mary in "Catholic Girls", by Zappa (in character here as Larry) in "Crew Slut", when reassuring Mary, "of course I'll introduce you to Warren!", in the track "Sy Borg" when Ike Willis sings "little leather cap and trousers -- they look so gay... Warren just bought some," and once again by Zappa during "Little Green Rosetta" 'Then everybody moves to New York and goes to a party with Warren. hey!' In 1980, Cuccurullo and the two Bozzios formed Missing Persons, added Patrick O'Hearn and Chuck Wild, recorded a 4-song EP called Missing Persons, toured, promoted the EP, and appeared in the movie Lunch Wagon. Two years of hard work led up to a signing with Capitol Records in 1982, the release of the album Spring Session M, and the subsequent success of Missing Persons on radio and MTV. The singles "Mental Hopscotch", "Destination Unknown," "Walking in L.A.," "Words," and "Windows" all met with success. They appeared at the three-day Southern California concert, the US Festival in May 1983. In 1984, Cuccurullo invented a new type of guitar he called the "Missing Link", and used it on the experimental album Rhyme and Reason (1984). The band followed up with the more conventional Color In Your Life in June 1986, but during the short-lived promotional tour, increasing tensions between then-husband and wife, Terry and Dale Bozzio, led to the end of the tour and the band. On his own again, Cuccurullo began recording some music in his bedroom that was eventually released on his solo album Machine Language. Missing Persons shared their label Capitol Records with British band Duran Duran. As Missing Persons fell apart, Bozzio and O'Hearn were approached by Duran guitarist Andy Taylor in Los Angeles for work on a solo album. In this way, Cuccurullo learned that Taylor did not intend to rejoin Duran in England to work on their next album, even before the rest of Duran Duran knew. Cuccurullo sent a tape and a request for an audition, but was turned down, with some puzzlement. As it became clear that neither enticements nor lawsuits would get Taylor back in the studio, Duran Duran hired Cuccurullo as a session guitarist to complete the album Notorious. He went on to tour with the band, and returned to contribute his increasingly experimental guitar work to the album Big Thing. At the end of the grueling ten-month Big Thing world tour (in June 1989), Cuccurullo was made an official member of the band, and moved to London. Shifting record label politics and the unsuccessful album Liberty almost derailed the band, but after Cuccurullo offered them the use of his home studio (named "Privacy") in Battersea, Duran Duran was able to shift to a more comfortable and controlled music-making style. Cuccurullo's songwriting, guitar skills and driving personality contributed to the band's return to fame with 1993's Wedding Album. He was the primary composer of the hit singles "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone", although the lyrics were written by Simon Le Bon. He created new arrangements for many of the band's old hits for the acoustic-flavored tour that followed, as well as arranging full acoustic pieces for the piano and six-piece string section that performed with them on the MTV Unplugged show. After Frank Zappa's death in December 1993, Cuccurullo performed the instrumental guitar piece "Watermelon in Easter Hay" (from the Joe's Garage album) in his honor at several Duran Duran shows. Tentative plans for a Missing Persons reunion in 1994 were shelved over remaining tensions between former band members. Cuccurullo and keyboardist Nick Rhodes continued to hold Duran Duran together during the band's lean times in the 1990s. The covers album Thank You (1995) was an attempt to keep the peace among band members who had increasing trouble writing music together. Medazzaland (1997) and Pop Trash (2000)—written after the departure of bassist John Taylor and Duran Duran's separation from Capitol Records—featured mostly new Cuccurullo/Rhodes songs and reworked TV Mania material, but failed to dent the charts even though the band sold out multiple nights in most cities on the 2000/2001 tour. In early 2001, Cuccurullo was asked to leave the band so that the original members of Duran Duran could reunite. At first the split was amicable, hinging on a financial settlement which granted him compensation from the band's forthcoming reunion album (to which he was not expected to contribute). Two years later relations soured considerably during the reunited band's American tour when he was asked by management not to attend the Las Vegas show after the band had invited him (no reason was given), and he began confirming some of the rumors that had spread about the 2001 split. Cuccurullo claimed that he was fired from Duran Duran by letter because Rhodes and Le Bon feared his reaction, though he told Duran Duran biographer Steve Malins: "I would never get aggressive in a situation like that. There were things that had to be sorted out in a professional manner, so, that's what I did." Cucurrullo remained on good terms with Rhodes however, and in 2013 they released an album containing material from their side project TV Mania. Beginning in the early 1990s, Cuccurullo collaborated with Duran bandmate Nick Rhodes, calling themselves TV Mania, and began writing an experimental rock opera trilogy called Bored With Prozac and the Internet? (initially unreleased save for a few songs on Cuccurullo's website and in the movie Trollywood). Rhodes and Cuccurullo wrote and recorded a song called “Tomorrow Never Dies” with vocalist Tessa Niles for the James Bond film ‘’Tomorrow Never Dies’’. The song wasn't chosen, so Duran Duran re-recorded it for the Pop Trash album with new lyrics under the title "Last Day On Earth". In December 1996, Rhodes and Cuccurullo wrote and produced two songs for a never-completed Blondie project ("Pop Trash Movie" and "Studio 54"); the re-recording of the former gave the Pop Trash album its name. The Duran Duran albums Medazzaland and Pop Trash were made up of reworked TV Mania songs, with Rhodes writing all lyrics to both albums except the song Someone Else, Not Me. The full, 11-track album Bored With Prozac and the Internet? was given an official release on March 11, 2013. During breaks in Duran Duran's 1989-1990 tour schedule, Cuccurullo worked with Tetsuya Komuro, Shenkar and Patrick O'Hearn. In 1994, the preparations for a solo show near his hometown led to a burst of creativity; he recorded and mixed the Thanks 2 Frank album in less than ten days, with bassists Pino Palladino and Nick Beggs and ex-Zappa drummer Vinnie Colaiuta. The album was released on Imago Records in 1996. In 1997 Cuccurullo completed Machine Language, an ambient instrumental guitar album, also released on Imago. He followed up with a live album, Roadrage in 1998 (on Bandai Records). The Blue (recorded with Shenkar in 1992) was self-released in 2000. Another ambient album, Trance Formed, was released on One Way Records in 2003. In 2005, Cuccurullo and Terry Bozzio collaborated on a CD titled Playing in Tongues, which was released in Europe on Edel Records and in the U.S. on Zappa Records in 2009. Cuccurullo still has as-yet-unreleased projects including a concept album titled N'Liten Up, recorded at The Village studios in West Los Angeles by Kent Huffnagle and produced by Simone Sello. Begun prior to Playing in Tongues, N'Liten Up is currently planned for release in Europe prior to its debut in the U.S. Spring Session M was released on CD in 1995, followed by Rhyme and Reason and Color In Your Life in 2000. Each of the three studio CDs were newly augmented by six rare B-sides or live tracks. Classic Remasters is a compilation of remastered tracks and dance mixes issued by Capitol Records with no band involvement. Beginning in 1997, Cuccurullo began work on his "Missing Persons Archival Trilogy" project. The first CD to be released was Late Nights Early Days in 1998, a live concert recorded in 1981 with the added 1980 studio track "Action/Reaction." This was followed up by a compilation of modern remixes of classic MP tracks, Missing Persons Remixed Hits (1999) which included the TV Mania remix of "Destination Unknown." In 2002 Lost Tracks was released, a collection of extremely rare Missing Persons live tracks from five different eras of the band. Meanwhile, in late 2000, Cuccurullo and Dale Bozzio again began discussing a Missing Persons reunion to feature original members Warren, Dale Bozzio and Terry Bozzio, with new keyboardist Ron Poster (of Dale Bozzio's band) and bassist Wes Wehmiller (formerly in Cuccurullo's solo band and Duran Duran's tour bassist from 1997–2001). The short-lived, official reunion consisted of promotional activities and three live performances in July 2001. Late 2002/early 2003 brought us "Missing Persons Featuring Dale Bozzio and Warren Cuccurullo." Filling in were keyboardist Ron Poster, bassist Wes Wehmiller and drummer Joe Travers (formerly in Cuccurullo's solo band and Duran Duran's tour drummer from 1999–2001). This version of Missing Persons was featured on Access Hollywood (performing "Destination Unknown") and did three live performances in February 2003. Following this, Dale Bozzio returned to touring as "Missing Persons" with hired musicians. In 2011 Cuccurullo rejoined Bozzio as part of another short-lived Missing Persons reunion tour. Cuccurullo was raised with a strong Italian-Catholic background and attended a Catholic elementary school in Brooklyn. During most of his adult life, he had a strong disdain for religion of any sort but believed in reincarnation. After a life-threatening illness in 2003, he experienced a spiritual epiphany that he wanted to share with his fans as well as the rest of the world. These new views, which include a somewhat Universalist belief in God's existence inside everything and everyone, are not connected with any organized denomination or religion, for which he still retains a strong antipathy. In mid-2002, Cuccurullo purchased a Santa Monica, California, Italian restaurant called Via Veneto. It has become a Los Angeles-area hotspot and a favorite with celebrities. More recently, he also funded the opening of a restaurant called Hidden and Vietnamese cuisine restaurants with Michael “Bao” Huynh. Re-focusing on his music, Cuccurullo started a new collaborative project with composer Eric Alexandrakis, drummer Steve Ferrone, and producer Anthony J. Resta. Explaining the purpose of that project in a Modern Drummer news release Alexandrakis said, “The four of us decided to create a scoring collective to pursue scoring projects in TV themes, film, and advertising…” Cuccurullo released the debut album from his collaborative effort with vocalist Neil Carlill, Chicanery, on May 11, 2010. Recorded a few years earlier, the album, also titled Chicanery, was released on CD and digital media through dPulse Recordings. Musicians who joined Cuccurullo and Carlill for selected sessions on the Chicanery album included among others, Terry Bozzio, Joe Travers, sarangi virtuoso Ustad Sultan Khan, and producer Simone Sello. Also in 2010, Cuccurullo formed a local free jazz group called Theoretical 5 in Mar Vista, Los Angeles with Frank Zappa alumni Arthur Barrow (bass) and Tommy Mars (keyboards, vocals), and also Larry Klimas (saxophone), and Andy Kravitz (drums, percussion).

1 comment:

A.O.O.F.C said...


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