EXPIRED: 12/25/11 – Jim “Motorhead” Sherwood, 69, played saxophone, tambourine, and created sound effects in Frank Zappa’s band, the Mothers of Invention. He was an integral part of the albums 200 Motels, Burnt Weeny Sandwich, Weasels Ripped My Flesh, Uncle Meat and We’re Only In It For The Money.
Sherwood and Zappa met as children, and the saxophonist played in Zappa’s first band, a R&B unit called The Black-Outs, that they formed in high-school. He later joined the Mothers of Invention as a roadie, adding some vocal effects to their first album Freak Out before being recruited to be a full-time member.
Later Sherwood and Zappa were roomates in Zappa’s bizarre recording studio, “Studio Z.” Often during live shows, Sherwood would just walk up to the mike and talk about fixing his car, while the band performed free-form psychadelic jazz-rock in the background.
After the Mothers broke up, Sherwood stayed around to contribute to solo Zappa recordings including the last album Zappa completed before his death, Civilization Phaze III.
More recently, Sherwood added to various musical projects alongside his fellow Mothers alumni, including records by The Grandmothers.