"Wanna eat some clams?"
OK, it's not a clam - but I like the idea of this little, long-extinct, shellfish having the name zappa. It gives the idea that FZ has been around forever. Amaurotoma zappa, you see, lived and died some 300 million years ago in the mountains of Clark County, Nevada, about 60 miles north east of Las Vegas. We don't yet know if it spread to picturesque postcardy mountain ranges to the south west - such as those residing between lovely Rosamond and Gorman - but we can probably assume it did, can't we?
Certainly, FZ was around in January and December 1968 when, according to Leo P. Plas Jr. who wrote all this up (in Upper Wolfcampian (?) Mollusca from the Arrow Canyon Range, Clark County, Nevada, published in the Journal of Paleontology, v. 46, No 2 in March 1972), specimens of the long-extinct mollusc were collected. He doesn't appear to have been busy on the road: one confirmed gig is shown in January in Toronto, Canada, and one in December in Los Angeles (http://members.shaw.ca/ fz-pomd/giglist/1968.html). Instead, it would appear he was in the studio, with the Mothers, recording Uncle Meat and Ruben & the Jets (http://wiki. killuglyradio.com/wiki/Album_Chronology).
The description of Amaurotoma zappa which Leo gives is long and complex, involving such technical terms as 'whorl', 'protoconch' and 'sutural ramp'; 'very thin parietal inductura . . . inner lip slightly reflexed around umbilicus . . . apertural lip crenulate . . .', that sort of thing. As an alternative, here are some snapshots:
Amaurotoma zappa isn't very big. The average size of the specimens examined was less than a centimetre in height. Perhaps, like FZ's record sales, they were not large, but significant. In any event, as Leo - and I assume it was his idea - says, 'The specific name, zappa, honors Frank Zappa.
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