Muffin Men

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Muffin Men
The Muffin Men.jpg
The Muffin Men with Jimmy Carl Black (left); 12 August 2005
Background information
OriginLiverpool, England
GenresAlternative rock, jazz
Years active1990–present
Associated actsThe Mothers of Invention
MembersRoddie Gilliard, Ian Jump, Phil Hearn, Paul Ryan and Denny Walley
Past members(Original members 1990) Ian (Bammo) Bamford, Paul (Rhino) Ryan, Mike Kidson, Andy (Waco) Jacobson, Roddie Gilliard, Naraish Nathaniel, Ian Jump and Roy Stringer. Later members: Steve Belger (drums) Andy Frizell (bass, trombone flute etc.) Stefano Baldasseroni (drums) Dave Dominey (bass) Martin Smith (trumpet) Carl Bowry (guitar) Tilo Pirnbaum (drums) Mike Smith (keyboards, saxophone) Tony Whittaker (piano)

The Muffin Men are a British band, based in Liverpool, England, which primarily plays the music of Frank Zappa and his band, The Mothers of Invention. The group formed in 1990 for a concert in honor of Zappa's fiftieth birthday. They went on to perform his music as a tribute band, along with some of their own compositions, worldwide. Until his death in 2008, the band often featured guest vocals and percussion by Jimmy Carl Black, former drummer and vocalist from Zappa's Mothers of Invention, with whom they also performed songs by Captain Beefheart.

Since their debut, the Muffin Men have featured no less than seven original Zappa band members, along with original Mothers Of Invention drummer/vocalist Jimmy Carl Black, as well as performing with Don Preston and Bunk Gardner in 1993. In 1994 they played a nine-week European tour with guest vocalist Ike Willis, and again teamed up with Willis in 2003 for a special Zappanale festival show, which also featured Napoleon Murphy Brock. (Zappanale is a yearly tribute concert festival dedicated to Frank Zappa's compositions.) Mike Keneally has also appeared with the band, along with Ray White, and Robert Martin. Denny Walley has performed on several occasions since 2010.

Rather than play pieces note-for-note, the band plays Zappa's material working to the strengths of the current line-up, often giving the music a different slant to the original versions.

25th anniversary gigs (2015) feature a core line-up of 3 original members - Rhino, Jumpy and Roddie, with Phil Hearn on keys.

Original lineup[edit]

  • Ian (Bammo) Bamford - Lead Guitar & Vocals
  • Paul (Rhino) Ryan - Drums & Vocals
  • Mike Kidson - Saxophones, Trousers and Vocals
  • Andy (Waco) Jacobson - Keyboards & vocals
  • Roddie Gilliard - Guitar & Vocals
  • Naraish Nathaniel - Bass & Vocals
  • Ian Jump - Lead Guitar & Vocals
  • Roy Stringer - Apple Macintosh, samples, vocals and noises


  • 1992 - Let's Move To Cleveland/I'm the Slime (7", 33rpm Vinyl Single)
  • 1992 - The Muffin Men (4-Track CD-Single)
  • 1993 - Say Cheese And Thank You
  • 1994 - Mülm (with Ike Willis)
  • 1996 - Feel The Food
  • 1996 - Frankincense
  • 1998 - MufFinZ
  • 1999 - God Shave The Queen
  • 2001 - More Songs From The Campfire
  • 2002 - Live @ The Cavern
  • 2003 - Baker's Dozen
  • 2003 - When Worlds Collide (with Ensemble 10:10)
  • 2008 - Live In The Kitchen Of Love (with Ike Willis) (Limited Fan Release)
  • 2008 - Looks Like Noodles To Me (Limited Fan Release)

The Muffin Men Videography:

  • 1990-1997 - Muffin Movies Vol.1
  • 1998-2003 - Muffin Movies Vol.2
  • 2003 - Live At Zappanale 14 (with Ike Willis & Napoleon Murphy Brock)
  • 2004-2005 - Muffin Movies Vol.3


External links[edit]