The G.T.O.'s

Permanent Damage

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This 17-track aural document is arguably more sociological than musical in nature. Frank Zappa's insatiable curiosity into human behavior -- especially with regard to all manner of sexual deviance and the so-called "lunatic fringe" -- became the subject of several releases on his ironically titled Straight Records vanity label. However, Permanent Damage (1969) is additionally unique for including an interesting aggregate of late-'60s musical talent, ranging from Monkee Davy Jones to Lowell George. The moniker G.T.O.'s stands for "Girls Together Outrageously," which describes the ragtag group whose stated primary directive was to bed as many pop and rock stars as they possibly could. Such is the subject matter of the vast majority of both the spoken word and musical numbers on the album. As is the case with most Zappa-related projects, the results vacillate wildly between the ridiculous "Miss Christine's First Conversation With the Plaster Casters of Chicago" and "Miss Pamela's First Conversation With the Plaster Casters of Chicago" to the comparatively sublime "Captain's Fat Theresa Shoes," a tribute to Captain Beefheart's odd choice of footwear. Concurrent Mothers of Invention keyboardist Don Preston also contributes a darkly beautiful musical arrangement on "TV Lives." Additionally, there are a few non-musical inclusions, such as "Wouldn't It Be Sad if There Were No Cones?" and "Moche Monster," both of which provide a unique, if not somewhat inspired, perspective into the young ladies' social interactions. While a majority of the G.T.O.'s garnered no further significant successes, the most infamous member to have come through the ranks is Miss Pamela (aka Pamela des Barres), whose tell-all novel I'm With the Band (1987) was an international bestseller.

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