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Episode 62: Pauline Butcher


Pauline Butcher and Frank Zappa, 1968. Photograph: Plexus Books

This week we take you all the way back to the 1960’s to a log cabin nestled in Laurel Canyon. Chanty tells Lynx the story of Pauline Butcher, Frank Zappa’s secretary. This episode is based on her book: FREAK OUT! My life with Frank Zappa.


So how did a secretary from England come to know, befriend and even live with Frank Zappa, his wife Gail and all of the “freaks” in Laurel Canyon? Who is Suzy Creamcheese? What was it like living in a log cabin where anyone including Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithful, Captain Beefheart, Graham Nash or Joni Mitchell might walk through the door on any given day?


To our squealing delight, we learn that Pauline became close with our beloved GTOs (The Girls Together Outrageously), documenting their formation, beginning and wacky time together. We remind our listeners where the word “Groupie” came from and go back to a time when Hollywood was a trusting community and you just never knew who might stop by or what might happen.


Other notable characters we chat about this week is (of course) our amazing Pamela Des Barres (the most “professional” of the girls), Cynthia Plaster Caster, Miss Mercy, Christine (the Zappa’s babysitter), Tiny Tim and like always- it seems- Eric Clapton. Take a break from the cold February winter and join us in warm Laurel Canyon, it sure is a trip!




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