Howard Kaylan

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Howard Kaylan
Howard Kaylan.jpg
Kaylan performing in 2008 billed as "The Turtles Featuring Flo & Eddie"
Background information
Birth nameHoward Kaplan
Also known as"Eddie"
Born (1947-06-22) June 22, 1947 (age 73)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Rock and roll
InstrumentsVocals • Keyboards • Clarinet
Years active1964–present
Associated acts

Howard Kaylan (born Howard Kaplan, June 22, 1947) is an American rock and roll musician and writer, best known as a founding member and lead singer of the 1960s band The Turtles, and as "Eddie" in the 1970s rock band Flo & Eddie. [1]


Early years

Kaylan was born in the Bronx to a Jewish family and grew up in Utica, New York and Westchester, a neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. He studied choral music and clarinet, and won a Bank of America Fine Arts Award at age 16. He graduated early (as valedictorian) from Westchester High School, and briefly attended University of California, Los Angeles on a scholarship. [2]

Music career

The Turtles

Kaylan and Mark Volman founded The Turtles, a popular band of the late 1960s. At the end of 1970, Kaylan and Volman signed on as members of Frank Zappa's band, The Mothers of Invention. The pair recorded tracks on five albums, toured to support them, and appeared in the film 200 Motels , a semi-documentary film directed by Zappa. They were compelled to use the names Flo & Eddie ("Flo" being shortened from "Phlorescent Leech") and were not allowed legal use of their own names, or that of The Turtles, until multiple lawsuits from that band were settled in 1985.

In 1985 the name "The Turtles" reverted to Kaylan and Volman after fifteen years in litigation, as well as all of the master recordings they made. Thanks to Burger King, the NFL, Sony PlayStation, and countless other television advertisements and motion pictures, the Turtles' catalog remains a staple for licensing and reproduction in the twenty-first century.[ citation needed ]

Frank Zappa

Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman joined The Mothers of Invention, Frank Zappa's band, after the Turtles broke up, but were contractually prevented from using their real names, and were thus given the names "The Phlorescent Leech" (Mark Volman) and "Eddie" (Howard Kaylan).

Phlorescent Leech and Eddie appeared on Frank Zappa's 1970 album Chunga's Revenge and in 1971 as lead vocalists on Zappa's Fillmore East album as Howard Kaylan/Mark Volman where they sang "Happy Together", then on Just Another Band From L.A. , 200 Motels and much later Playground Psychotics and other Zappa compilations of old live concerts from 1970–71.

Kaylan and Volman left The Mothers of Invention after an irate fan pushed Zappa into the orchestra pit at the Rainbow Theatre in London during a concert on December 10th, 1971, seriously injuring him. [3] With Zappa confined to a wheelchair and unable to sing or play guitar for a year, The Mothers of Invention were on hiatus so Kaylan and Volman set out on their own as Flo & Eddie, never officially returning to the Mothers.

Flo and Eddie

Kaylan and Volman signed with Columbia as Flo & Eddie. In his autobiography Shell Shocked, Kaylan revealed that upon receiving the cover art for their first album, they were appalled to learn that the printer had mistakenly printed the duo's stage names in the wrong order above their photograph. Volman was identified as Flo, which had been Kaylan's stage name in Zappa's band, and Kaylan was identified as Eddie, Volman's stage name. The label refused to reprint the cover, saying that it would cost too much money. Thus, Kaylan and Volman decided to professionally swap stage names.

Flo & Eddie released nine albums on Warner Bros. Records and Columbia Records in music; in film they provided music and voices for animated films like Down and Dirty Duck ; and they appeared in radio broadcasting.

In the 1980s, "Rock Steady With Flo and Eddie" was recorded in Kingston, Jamaica, and the partners began writing comedy and script with Chris Bearde, Larry Gelbart and Carl Gottlieb. Simultaneously, they began writing regularly featured columns for Creem,Phonograph Record Magazine and the Los Angeles Free Press .

They also produced many albums for other bands and artists, as well as singing backing vocals on over 100 albums. Flo and Eddie can be heard singing with John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Ramones, Blondie, Duran Duran, The Psychedelic Furs, T.Rex, Alice Cooper and many more. [4]

Solo work

In the mid-1990s, Kaylan turned his attention to the collecting and writing of dark fantasy literature and science fiction. He wrote two short stories, by way of experimentation, and both were published in the best-selling anthologies, "Phantoms of the Night" and "Forbidden Acts."

In 2006, Kaylan released a solo album, "Dust Bunnies", described as songs "hand-picked by Kaylan from years of seldom-heard B-sides and album cuts recorded by many of his favorite artists and supplemented by new arrangements of more familiar pieces and a rock original or two." It includes covers of The Honeycombs' "Have I the Right?", Barry Ryan's "Eloise", and The Left Banke's "Love Songs in the Night" and "Two by Two".

As of 2008 Kaylan penned the widely read "Eddie's Media Corner" on the official website. [4]

Media appearances

He portrayed an orthodox minister who "married" Laura to Stavros in a dream sequence on General Hospital , an old hippie on Suddenly Susan , and a younger one on the It's Garry Shandling's Show .

In 1983, Kaylan appeared in the comedy Get Crazy , starring Malcolm McDowell and Daniel Stern. Kaylan played the part of Captain Cloud, a spiritual guru type of character, leader of a caravan of time-lost, gypsy-like hippies. In 1987, Kaylan and Volman appeared in a new music video of the song "Happy Together", made to promote the romantic comedy Making Mr. Right , which featured the song during its end credits.

In 2001, Kaylan wrote a treatment for a very short film about his first night on tour in London. After taking it to his friend (and Rhino Records president) Harold Bronson for input, the project was lengthened and shot as a one-hour movie. The following year, scenes were added, and it was back into the movie studio again to complete a full-length feature. My Dinner with Jimi thus became the first film written by Kaylan. It was produced by Bronson for Rhino Entertainment and directed by Bill Fishman ( Tapeheads , Car 54, Where Are You? ) for Fallout Films. In 2005, Kaylan appeared in a featured role in Stephen King's Riding the Bullet.

Kaylan's autobiography Shell Shocked: My Life with the Turtles, Flo and Eddie, and Frank Zappa, Etc. was published by Backbeat Books in March 2013. The book was written with Jeff Tamarkin, and included a foreword by Penn Jillette and cover art by Cal Schenkel.

Related Research Articles

The Turtles American rock band led by vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman

The Turtles are an American rock band led by vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, later known as Flo & Eddie. The band had several Top 40 hits beginning in 1965 with their cover version of Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe". They scored their biggest and best-known hit in 1967 with the song "Happy Together".

Flo & Eddie American comedic musical duo

Flo & Eddie are a musical pop duo consisting of Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan (Eddie).

White Whale Records was an American independent record label, founded in 1965 by Ted Feigin and Lee Lasseff in Los Angeles, California, and probably best known as the record label of The Turtles and a handful of one-hit wonder bands.

<i>Fillmore East – June 1971</i> 1971 live album by The Mothers

Fillmore East – June 1971 is a live album by The Mothers, released in 1971. It is the twelfth album in Frank Zappa's discography, and was produced by Zappa and mixed by Toby Foster.

<i>Chungas Revenge</i> album by Frank Zappa

Chunga's Revenge is the third solo album by Frank Zappa, released on October 23, 1970. Zappa's first effort of the 1970s marks the first appearance of former Turtles members Flo & Eddie on a Zappa record, and signals the dawn of a controversial epoch in Zappa's history. Chunga's Revenge represents a shift from both the satirical political commentary of his 1960s work with The Mothers of Invention, and the jazz fusion of Hot Rats.

Manifesto Records is an independent record label based in Los Angeles, California that has released records by Dead Kennedys, Tim Buckley, Cinerama, Concrete Blonde, Cranes, The Czars, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Lilys, The Rugburns, Sing-Sing, Tom Waits, and The Wedding Present.

The Mothers of Invention American rock band

The Mothers of Invention were an American rock band from California. Formed in 1964, their work is marked by the use of sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows.

<i>Just Another Band from L.A.</i> 1972 live album by The Mothers of Invention

Just Another Band from L.A. is a live album by The Mothers, released in 1972. It was recorded live on August 7, 1971 in Pauley Pavilion on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles. A notable inclusion on this album is "Billy the Mountain", Zappa's long, narrative parody of rock operas, which were gaining popularity at that time.

Comedy rock is rock music mixed with comedy, often satire and irony.

Mark Volman American singer

Mark Volman is an American rock and roll guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, best known as a founding member of the Turtles. Volman became a stand-out figure upon joining the Mothers of Invention under the tutelage of Frank Zappa. At times during his career he has used the pseudonym "Flo", working alongside his friend and partner Howard Kaylan; they at times have used the stage names of Flo & Eddie.

<i>Illegal, Immoral and Fattening</i> 1975 live album with studio elements by Flo & Eddie

Illegal, Immoral and Fattening is a 1975 comedy rock album recorded by Howard Kaylan ("Eddie") and Mark Volman ("Flo"). A majority of the album comes from live recordings, including three songs that first appeared in the 1974 film Down and Dirty Duck.Illegal, Immoral and Fattening and Moving Targets were reissued on a single compact disc in 2007 by Acadia Records.

<i>Moving Targets</i> (Flo & Eddie album) 1976 studio album by Flo & Eddie

Moving Targets is an album by Flo & Eddie. Illegal, Immoral and Fattening and Moving Targets were reissued on a single compact disc in 2007 by Acadia Records.

Jeff Tamarkin is an American editor, author and historian specializing in music and popular culture.

Don Preston American jazz and rock keyboardist

Donald Ward Preston is an American jazz and rock keyboardist. He is known for working with Frank Zappa from the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s.

<i>200 Motels</i> (soundtrack) 1971 soundtrack album by Frank Zappa

The 200 Motels soundtrack to Frank Zappa's film 200 Motels was released by United Artists Records in 1971. Like the film, the album covers a loose storyline about The Mothers of Invention going crazy in the small town of Centerville and bassist Jeff quitting the group, as did his real life counterpart, Jeff Simmons, who left the group before the film began shooting and was replaced by actor Martin Lickert for the film.

<i>My Dinner with Jimi</i> 2003 film by Bill Fishman

My Dinner with Jimi is a 2003 comedy film written by Howard Kaylan, dealing with events in 1966-67 which led up to the night in 1967 when the Turtles encountered the Beatles and Kaylan had dinner with Jimi Hendrix in London, England. The film also depicts other 1960s rock icons like Brian Jones, Frank Zappa, Donovan, Cass Elliott and Jim Morrison. The film was given an extremely limited theatrical release in Toronto in late September 2007.

<i>The Phlorescent Leech & Eddie</i> 1972 studio album by Flo & Eddie

The Phlorescent Leech and Eddie is the first album from Flo & Eddie, released in 1972. It was made available on CD for the first time in 2008.

<i>Flo & Eddie</i> (album) 1973 studio album by Flo & Eddie

Flo & Eddie is the second album from Flo & Eddie. After being out of print since the 1970s, it was released on CD for the first time in 2008 in a package that includes their first album, The Phlorescent Leech & Eddie (1972).

<i>Road Tapes, Venue 3</i> 2016 live album by Frank Zappa

Road Tapes, Venue #3 is a posthumous album of Frank Zappa, released in May 2016, consisting of the recording of the two shows on July 5, 1970 at Tyrone Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, MN. The album was recorded as one of the first shows with the (then) newly formed Mothers of Invention featuring Flo & Eddie, Aynsley Dunbar, George Duke, Jeff Simmons and returning member Ian Underwood. This release is notable for being one of the few tapes in the Zappa Vault from this time period, and line up. It is the ninth installment on the Vaulternative Records label that is dedicated to the posthumous release of complete Zappa concerts, following the releases of FZ:OZ (2002), Buffalo (2007), Wazoo (2007), Philly '76 (2009), Hammersmith Odeon (2010), Carnegie Hall (2011), Road Tapes, Venue #1 (2012) and Road Tapes, Venue #2 (2013).

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  1. "Howard Kaylan". IMDb. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  2. "The Turtles Website/History pt. 1". Flo & Eddie, Inc. 2006. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  4. 1 2 "The Turtles Website" . Retrieved December 26, 2008.