Cal Schenkel’s Apes Ma

I was recently sent a photograph of a Beefheart-related Cal Schenkel art work by Peter Warner who was sent the photo by Schenkel himself in 1981. A much larger version is also available.

Entitled “Apes Ma”, it was produced in January 1979 and, although labelled “10 in a series” the rest of the series is not Beefheart related (according to Peter a couple of the others are Zappa related and the rest… who knows?).

The picture features (l-r) Don, unknown bearded person – possibly John Thomas, Jeff Moris Tepper, Denny Walley, John French and Apes Ma him/herself.

Many thanks to Peter for sending this along – does anyone have any more information about this? Does the original item still exist?


  1. Brilliant, thanks Bob.

  2. who/what the hell is Apesma? I know the goofy poem, but there really is an Apesma? Miracle of science perhaps?

  3. The ape in the artwork is an abberant species of spider monkey that is only known from one photograph. A pair of monkeys threw shit at some dude in the amazon and he shot the male propped it up on a stick and took the photo. The head was removed but never made it back out of the jungle, it stunk too bad. The monkeys have never been seen again.

  4. This is the righful cover for batchainpuller

  5. I was given this print in addition to a print of zappa and a derivation of the teeth from the cover of the Uncle Meat record in 1997. I never knew the name of this print before. Thanks

  6. I have a set of the 6 prints in this series that were actually completed. it was to be a limited edition of 300 prints of each image, though I doubt 300 were actually made (I have # 22 and got it from Calvin in Nov 1988, if the personalization on one of them is correct as I believe it to be). The other prints are “Wild Meat”, “Cruising”, “Ralph’s (sic) Dream”, “Only Money”, and “Zappa Lint” (a portrait of Frank). All were variations on elements from the artwork originally done for the LPs.

  7. ‘unknown bearded person – possibly John Thomas”

    That is John “J.T.” Thomas. I knew him during this time period and have a few pics of him.

  8. Original still exists, I just bought it! Now trying to decide how to frame/preserve it :)

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