I went to the rehearsal lot in Hollywood hoping to get in and see the band practise, but when I arrived, I found the stage and the rehearsal area deserted... nobody was home. As I looked around, I got the shock of my life to see FZ stretched out on one of the hard wooden benches taking a nap, literally right by my side. Thinking to myself that FZ sleeping might make a nice picture, I quietly backstepped out, assembled my camera and crept back in only to find him just waking up...
I wasn't expecting an immediate one-on-one confrontation like this, but I explained why I had come and what my mission was and he said I could stay and watch as long as I didn't take any pictures... His quote was... "I'm not a model."
For a while we talked about bands and influences and stuff, and he was telling me that he was originally going to produce the first B-52's album. I don't know how much of it all was true, but I got the impression he had either been involved with, (or was going to be involved with), almost every band around at some point in time. The highlight of the visit was the audience of one though. Just me sitting on the bench with Frank 15 feet in front of me playing his guitar for 3 hours. I remember making some jokes and making him smile. I also remember asking him if I should applaud at the breaks, but I honestly can't remember what his answer was now.
Throughout the late afternoon and evening the band arrived one by one and I got to stay until the late evening hours. There was Ed, Chad, Scott, Tommy, and I remember Ike arriving fairly late. It's so long ago now that my memory of it is a little fuzzy to say the least. I seem to remember Flo & Eddie being there but I can't remember for sure.
Later in the evening, Frank came over to me and said... "OK, you can go now." And that was that... The end of my day watching Franks new band rehearse. I heard from someone afterwards he wanted to have a band meeting and that Tommy was about to be fired. Whether this is true or not I don't know, but I heard about some logistical argument that it would take a five piece horn section to replace Tommy, which coincidentally, is what ended up going on tour in '88
I didn't go back again until the last night of rehearsal when it was like a real gig with a very small and appreciative audience. That was definitely a cool night to have been there. They went through every number, all the new songs, in a full dress rehearsal. Then it was pack everything up and off to Albany and the start of the '88 tour proper.
Although I was disappointed the band didn't make it back to LA, I couldn't be that upset about it because at least I'd seen it once already.
As for the blurry, ghost-like, image of Frank in the photo above... what can I say. I know I wasn't supposed to take any photos, but rules are made to be broken, right? I couldn't go and not try to get at least one photo. I had the camera on the bench by the side of me, opened it up to wide angle, pointed it in the general direction of FZ, clicked the shutter button and hoped for the best... all the time hoping he wouldn't see the red light flash or the shutter close.
-Slev Uunofski - July 29, 1998