No Longer the Indian of the Group: RIP Jimmy Carl Black


Listening to We’re Only In It For The Money, one of the largest jewels in the extensive crown that is Frank Zappa’s legacy, the spoken quote, “Hi Boys and Girls, I'm Jimmy Carl Black, and I'm the Indian of the group" springs up here and there and is one of the more memorable aspects of the album.

Jimmy Carl Black, indeed of Cheyenne heritage, was Zappa’s drummer in the original Mothers Of Invention. Having been diagnosed with lung cancer, Jimmy passed away on Saturday, November 1st at the age of 70.

Jimmy Carl Black performing “Lonesome Cowboy Burt” from the film 200 Motels


On his website, it reads, “Jimmy passed away peacefully last night Saturday 11/01/08 at 11:00 o'clock pm. Jimmy says hi to everybody and he doesn't want anybody to be sad.”

After the Mothers dissolved, Jimmy did continue to work with Zappa on a sporadic basis, appearing in his movie, 200 Motels and working on later albums like 1981’s You Are What You Is. He also worked with two Zappa-based tribute bands, The Grandmothers and The Muffin Men in addition to numerous other bands. Last year, he recorded an autobiography called, The Jimmy Carl Black Story.

Jimmy Carl Black performing with Frank Zappa in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 12/10/80


Rest In Peace, Jimmy. Tell Frank we said, “hi.”

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead
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