The Record Room / The Rubber Room / Archives / 07-08-2011 / Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned on Freak Out!

Topie: Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned on Freak Out! Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
December 3rd, 2010 06:02 PM
andy rooney
Quote:
IanWagner wrote:
Oh yeah, for those just checking in, new entry at the end of the previous page.


i just quoted it, saw i was on top of the page. free time being spent on absolutely free. that was the one ian. jeez. nice.
December 6th, 2010 01:58 PM
Jon BUMP -- just to let this not fall to the bottom.

Incidentally, the so called "Money Demos" are MORE than worth a listen. All the oddities and such on the Money portion of Ian's downloadables are worth a listen, but all the stuff from the Money acetates are quite interesting and far different than the released versions.
December 6th, 2010 02:27 PM
halleluwah Anybody else listened to the full Hit Parader interview yet? For the most part, I think it's staggering how much smarter Zappa sounded about social issues than just about anybody else in rock at the time. Whereas so many others seemed to just buy the concept that simply spending your life getting high and freely fornicating would magically solve society's problems somehow (riiiiight...), Zappa was so much more clear-headed than that. He seemed to have an innate understanding of the fact that the only real way to truly affect change of the straight world was to hit them where it mattered most to them-their pocketbooks. That said, even HE sounds a little idealistic here: thinking that it's in any way possible to get every young person in the country to give up drinking soda for the purpose of crippling Coca Cola sounds pretty naiive. The fact that, despite his misgivings about their drug use, Zappa obviously did still have pretty high hopes about the prospects for the counter-culture makes it pretty clear why he quickly came to feel so betrayed by them. He'd thought this was the generation that would be able to bring down the economic power structure and kill off Top 40 radio, and they ended up just squandering it all.

It was also funny as hell, I thought. The part where the guy asks Zappa what his ideal instrumental lineup for the Mothers would be, obviously thinking he'd get a simple answer, and Frank responds by spending like a full minute listing off every single instrumental piece he'd like in ridiculous detail, eventually ending up with an 84-piece orchestra, just slayed me. Something about the way Frank just kept going, way past the point you thought he would have stopped, had me rolling with laughter. The hilarious way he rips into the white blues scene, and the backhanded way he talks about the Animals session...all great. The funniest part for me had to be his bit about why he hates fan clubs..."Paul Revere and the Raiders just take your dollar bills and then jack off all over them!...Wait, don't print that...that's nasty."

I loved listening to that; entertaining as hell. Even when Frank said something that I'd probably be really pissed off at most other people for saying ("these R&B stations are just playing shit like the Impressions these days...it hardly even sounds colored anymore!"), he's still a lot of fun to listen to.

(Edited by halleluwah)
December 6th, 2010 02:51 PM
IanWagner Excellent, J. Glad you listened to that, and I agree with all of your observations, especially the bit about his idealism at that time.
Too much going on today to put together an entry for today, but tomorrow there'll be a double dose.
December 6th, 2010 03:01 PM
Jon EXCELLENT. I cannot wait.
December 6th, 2010 03:15 PM
S Giacomelli
Quote:
halleluwah wrote:
Anybody else listened to the full Hit Parader interview yet?...
The hilarious way he rips into the white blues scene...


Yeah, that was my favorite bit!
There's a transcript here: http://packardgoose.ploeg.ws/index.php?id=Dp just in case anyone doesn't have the time to listen.
December 6th, 2010 05:14 PM
jdavolt
Quote:
"Paul Revere and the Raiders just take your dollar bills and then jack off all over them!...Wait, don't print that...that's nasty."


That part had me in stitches. Mostly the way he jumps in with "that's nasty", as though he didn't realize how "nasty" it was until after he said it.

I can't decide about the Coca-Cola comment, whether it was something he was truly advocating, or just using it as an example of how much power he felt the youth had/have.
December 6th, 2010 05:45 PM
Jon Continuing my Cover Cavalcade for iTunes users, here is Chunga's Revenge.




Another one where GOOD LUCK finding a good cover repro. The version on the CD is a photo of a photo of a photo and the pic of Frank looks awful. I restored this from a vinyl scan, added back in the label logo and typography, and unified the colors of the different fonts and such. Actually took me the longest of all of 'em for some reason.
(Edited by Jon)
December 6th, 2010 06:20 PM
IanWagner Could you do one of the original Money cover, sir?
December 6th, 2010 07:29 PM
Jason Penick
Quote:
Jon wrote:

Another one where GOOD LUCK finding a good cover repro. The version on the CD is a photo of a photo of a photo and the pic of Frank looks awful.


Just a quick unrelated question for you Jon, but as a designer-- why do you think professional companies like Ryko resorted to doing such half-assed artwork repros for an artist of Frank's stature? I'm like you in that I want even my .mp3 tags to reflect the accurate artwork for each album. So it blows my mind that a big time reissue company would resort to such cheapo tactics as taking pictures of pictures, re-doing the typeface with incorrect fonts, etc. Couldn't they just scan a clean copy of the original vinyl?

Thanks a million for your great repros, by the way. I'm grabbing all of 'em!
December 6th, 2010 07:36 PM
Jason Penick A couple of A.F. promo ads for you guys:



December 6th, 2010 07:39 PM
IanWagner
Quote:
Jason Penick wrote:


Just a quick unrelated question for you Jon, but as a designer-- why do you think professional companies like Ryko resorted to doing such half-assed artwork repros for an artist of Frank's stature? I'm like you in that I want even my .mp3 tags to reflect the accurate artwork for each album. So it blows my mind that a big time reissue company would resort to such cheapo tactics as taking pictures of pictures, re-doing the typeface with incorrect fonts, etc. Couldn't they just scan a clean copy of the original vinyl?

Thanks a million for your great repros, by the way. I'm grabbing all of 'em!


It was Zappa's responsibility to provide decent artwork, in my opinion. The sound on those discs was horrible as well.
December 6th, 2010 09:18 PM
G2
Quote:
IanWagner wrote:


It was Zappa's responsibility to provide decent artwork, in my opinion. The sound on those discs was horrible as well.


The high-end of his hearing was pretty shot by that time, and it shows. (The current archive live releases sound much better than the You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore series.)
December 7th, 2010 12:42 AM
Jon
Quote:
IanWagner wrote:
Could you do one of the original Money cover, sir?


Ah yes -- I will do, tomorrow AM. There's not much to it -- no labels or whatever, so it'll just be a matter of color correcting, but I will.
December 7th, 2010 12:51 AM
Jon
Quote:
Jason Penick wrote:


Just a quick unrelated question for you Jon, but as a designer-- why do you think professional companies like Ryko resorted to doing such half-assed artwork repros for an artist of Frank's stature? I'm like you in that I want even my .mp3 tags to reflect the accurate artwork for each album. So it blows my mind that a big time reissue company would resort to such cheapo tactics as taking pictures of pictures, re-doing the typeface with incorrect fonts, etc. Couldn't they just scan a clean copy of the original vinyl?

Thanks a million for your great repros, by the way. I'm grabbing all of 'em!


Well, it's like this. In most cases, the original artwork mockups are 30 years gone. The photos used on some of the artwork are sourced from a million different people. Nobody has clean copies of the original vinyl anymore -- even the best copies show signs of yellowing, etc. And when they were DOING these CDs originally -- in the 80s and early 90s -- there wasn't really scanning technology or Photoshop like we have access to now. So that's multiple strikes against. So really, the best way to get it was to find the cleanest copy you could find and shoot a nice photo of it, and go from there. And who'd notice? 98% of the general public would go "hey, album cover" and that's about it. They would't notice that, say, on Chunga's Revenge, the "Chunga's Revenge" lettering was supposed to be purple but on the CD sleeve it came out a kind of dirty maroon color Nobody notices crap like that!

The reason the Beatles, for example, have such great cover repros on their CDs is because of 2 factors. 1: they're the Beatles. They're this huge, enormous act that has never slid in popularity. Zappa -- not so much. 2: they were on ONE (well, really TWO) label(s). I bet Capitol was smart enough to save original cover art mockups, and if not, they at least remembered who shot the photos. I mean, hell, *I* could name you some of their cover photogs. Zappa not so much. Whatever Cal saved -- probably some stuff! -- was probably accessible to Ryko or the Zappa fam. But that's it. I mean, who's got the cover shot for "Hot Rats" anymore? Who shot that? Who's got the original?

The sort of sad thing is that as awesome as Gail's "Project/Object" reissue series is, they aren't using the original artwork for any of it. So there'll probably never BE a comprehensive reconstruction of any of this artwork. So honestly, the stuff I'm doing is probably the best repro work you'll ever see for these covers!!

December 7th, 2010 02:04 AM
Jason Penick You're doing God's work on those repros, Jon. Thanks a million! (Your answer makes too much sense too... No scanners or Photoshop in the 1990s. Duhhh, what was I thinking?!)
December 7th, 2010 09:14 AM
Jon
Quote:
Duhhh, what was I thinking?!


It's so easy to forget what we DIDN'T have back then!! I remember doing paste-ups for the newspaper I worked for and they actually pasted actual blocks of copy onto actual paper and just photographed 'em!
December 7th, 2010 09:40 AM
Chris D.
Quote:
Jason Penick wrote:
A couple of A.F. promo ads for you guys:




I love the collage. He basically invented the punk artwork everyone else stole from Crass ten years later.
December 7th, 2010 09:57 AM
Jon For Mr. Wagner -- the original Money cover! I found a great cover scan on the web which looks like it sources from mint condition vinyl rather than CD. And it's pretty sharp. I just had to color correct it.



And this for your amusement, too -- found this on the interwebs. Marvel Comics ad for Money!


December 7th, 2010 10:22 AM
Jon For Fillmore East, I did something a little different. I didn't clean it up PER SE. Well -- I did. For those of you who want a nice, pristine cover version, here you go, with the Bizarre / Reprise logos cleaned up and added and the serial number kept in the upper right corner.



HOWEVER: Because Fillmore East is based on white label bootlegs (like "Kum Back" and the so-called "Great White Wonder") and because everybody's white label bootlegs lost some...um...whiteness over the years, and in tribute to the Velvet Underground's cool looking, faux-weathered Quine Tapes box set, I made this from a couple different vinyl scans. I cleaned up the mostly invisible Bizarre/Reprise logos and fixed a lot of weirdness with the cover photo. Anyway, I'd wager most people's collection copies of Fillmore East look more like this:



So whichever you like, ENJOY.
December 7th, 2010 01:11 PM
halleluwah
Quote:
Jon wrote:
Anyway, I'd wager most people's collection copies of Fillmore East look more like this:





Heh. Mine's even worse than that; it's one of those where the top and bottom seams have split completely, basically turning a single-pocket album into a really shitty-looking gatefold.

Nice work on all those.
December 7th, 2010 01:18 PM
Beckner

Hey Netflix has this on Instant. How is it?
December 7th, 2010 02:26 PM
Jon Here's another rare one. Worked off someone's cover scan, did a ton of color correction, and reset all the fonts and logos. Found the exact ones, too.



I know Ian's a particular fan of this one, I'm sure it'll come up in his chronology -- hopefully he ups the whole LP.
December 7th, 2010 02:31 PM
S Giacomelli
Quote:
Beckner wrote:


Hey Netflix has this on Instant. How is it?


It's a lotta talking heads but they're talking about the music, so it's worth a viewing. I got bored and haven't finished it, though.
December 7th, 2010 02:32 PM
S Giacomelli From one design geek to another, thank for your graphic work, Jon! I really appreciate it. Baddass, bro.
December 7th, 2010 02:46 PM
Jon
Quote:
S Giacomelli wrote:
From one design geek to another, thank for your graphic work, Jon! I really appreciate it. Baddass, bro.


S'no problem!! I'm doing it for me, too -- I'm insanely anal about getting all the covers right in iTunes, so I figure now's the time to tackle this for the good of mankind!

Glad folks're digging 'em. The real focus of course is on Ian's amazing chronology, both in downloads and in writing.
December 7th, 2010 03:21 PM
Leo K There's so much to listen to! If only I had 53 hours a day for music. I'm such a slow listener, but I'm doing my best here, still listening to Hot Rats. I love the textures in this music. I wish this newbie had more insights, but there ya go :)




December 7th, 2010 04:44 PM
Jon Just Another Band From LA -- just a color-corrected, cleaned-up version of someone's hi-res vinyl scan. Found a nice source for the next couple, I think.


December 7th, 2010 05:53 PM
Jon ...and Waka Jawaka. Same thing -- just cleaned up a hi-res vinyl scan with ringwear and weird colors.

December 7th, 2010 06:27 PM
IanWagner Chronology 1967 Parts 3, 4

http://www.sendspace.com/file/esa1mf
http://www.sendspace.com/file/gjt4zb


Who Needs The Peace Corps was one of the main showpieces of We're Only In It For The Money, Frank Zappa's most devastating attack on what he saw as the conformity in the "nonconformist" counterculture movement. Specifically, this meant San Francisco's "hippier"-than-thou world of "psychedelic dungeons", acid use and weekend tourists from suburbia seeking to be properly groovy, now that their hair was "getting good in the back".
The backing track is heard on The Lumpy Money Project, spotlighting the thundering usage of two drummers and Zappa's multiple guitar overdubs, as well as Ian Underwood's sax. The rough mix from the Money work acetate runs slow, perhaps on purpose. Zappa's double-tracked vocals are among the most naturalistic emanating from these sessions. The closing spoken section continues on this mix to the song's full conclusion.
"Really Little Voice", heard on Lumpy Money, is an excerpt from a session for an unused Money piece, a mock cheerleading routine. Zappa is heard directing this piece, clearly still not having gotten over his disgust regarding high-school rituals.
Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance was the final form of a piece of music Zappa had been recording different arrangements of for at least six years. The overall concept of the Money album was deeply negative, but Zappa had built in three more lyrically hopeful pieces, to leaven the mood.
Clothes was the most ecsatic of the three, and quite probably the most joyous vocal-oriented song that Zappa ever composed.
On the backing track heard on Lumpy Gravy, the many intricate acoustic and electric guitar parts are spotlighted. The mix from the rough acetate, again running slow, showcases the varispeeded choir of Zappa vocals, backed by Roy Estrada on falsetto.
Another version of Lonely Little Girl, this time destined for single release, was worked on at Mayfair, and would be completed in the fall at another studio.
"In Conclusion", from Lumpy Money, is another extract from the spoken session with Eric Clapton, wherein he thanks his hosts "for having me here and generally being so kind".
Time had run out at Mayfair studios, the facilities booked by other artists, so a break in the sessions took place for the rest of August. During this time, The Mothers continued their residency at the Garrick Theater and also played an engagement at the Cafe Au Go Go.
On September 8th, Zappa and group returned to Mayfair to record Creationism, a strange free-jazz squall piece reminiscent of the later stage improvisations heard on the Weasels Ripped My Flesh and Burnt Weeny Sandwich albums.
Work on Money did not continue until early October.
Around this time, Motorhead Sherwood finally succeeded in getting Zappa to hire him as a full Mothers bandmember. This had been in the works for a while, as he had been listed as a member in small type on the Absolutely Free cover and was seen on the original Money back cover (eventually the left side of the gatefold) behind the printed lyrics, holding up a piece of crumpled paper to the camera while the others had their backs to the camera ala Sgt. Pepper.
Sherwood (the Mothers member Zappa had known the longest amount of time) was another invaluable addition to The Mothers, in terms of his hilarious, bizarre persona and his musicianship, adding in a dose of baritone sax free-jazz improvisation. Also, Sherwood, along with Underwood, gave the group a tiny bit of "teen appeal", being easier on the eyes than the other members. The most classic of the original Mothers lineups was now complete.
On September 16th, the group undertook their most high-profile TV appearance to that point, even if the show was merely nationally syndicated. The program was From The Bitter End, hosted by Fred Weintraub and showcasing acts performing at the famous New York nightclub.
Weintraub's selection on The Mothers for the show was commendable, and also appearing in the same episode was none other than Neil Diamond, performing solo in front of The Mothers' stage equipment.
The Mothers segment, which has thankfully survived, begins with an utterly bizarre mimed performance of Son Of Suzy Creamcheese. For this, Jimmy Carl Black stands at a microphone with Motorhead, who has donned a false clown nose. While their miming is somewhat straight, Zappa's consists of shaking the microphone stand and mouthing the word "motherfucker" over and over. Supposedly, when this was originally broadcast, a "technical difficulties" screen came up whenever the camera cut to Zappa. This cruel parody of the standard lipsynched TV spot is extremely funny, and demonstrative of just why Zappa was seen so infrequently on the medium.
A long interview between Zappa and Weintraub follows, in which the guest severely patronises the host. Zappa says he would like to stop work and just compose. Weintraub asks where composers can earn a living and Zappa responds Poland. The audience laughs, but Frank is serious. He then mentions Lumpy Gravy, and the shock value and audience appeal of the group's music is discussed. He gives credit for the band's success to a straighter element of teenage youth, instead of hippies, of whom he says, "as a rule, don't have that much on the ball". He describes his audience as the ones that "hide out in their room and read", and that "they are the ones who will eventually take control of the so-called establishment". Frank disavows any relation to the hippie movement and complains about the lack of money the group are receiving from MGM. As Zappa begins to talk about the upcoming Money album, Weintraub has to cut to a commercial.
When they return, the female announcer heralds the next performance as being entitled In Memoriam Hieronymous Bosch, from their next album.
This is a conducted Mothers improvisation, which begins as free squall and then becomes a tough jazz-rock jam with Zappa's lead guitar. Motorhead's antics take center stage for much of this. He makes one of the Garrick stuffed animals chase a dog who has wandered onto the stage, then bows a no-stringed autoharp with a toilet plunger. Various antics with dolls follow.
Part of this appearance has been officially released, on the Live From Greenwich Village Volume One VHS which collected various performances from the Bitter End show.
Ray Collins then returned to the group from the West Coast, just in time for the first overseas tour to begin near the end of the month. Another inclusion on the tour was Pamela Zarubica, who would be employed to portray the role of Suzy Creamcheese, since the original Suzy-voice, Jeannie Vassoir, had apparently disappeared. Zappa had received numerous requests to bring "Suzy" along for the tour, and got the impression that more people wanted to see her than him and the group.
Before this, Zappa finally decided to make his union with Gail, just days away from giving birth, legal. A quick, unsentimental wedding was held in the mayor's office, with no ring, and nothing else of ceremonious sentimentality present either.
The Mothers' departure from the Garrick to head for the airport was filmed by Ed Seeman, who would also be along for the ride on the tour, documenting the group's activities with his camera. Much of this footage would appear in two short films created by Seeman from a wealth of material.
Also filmed were the group's arrival at the airport in London and various activities in the city, as well as the group's performance on the 23rd at the Royal Albert Hall.
The Hall show was a greatly awaited and heavily promoted affair, attended by representatives from all of the country's most popular groups, including The Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Who.
Zappa undertook an interview for the BBC earlier that day (of which a brief segment was preserved and is included here), saying that the group was engaged in "a low-key war on apathy", and that "something's gotta be done before America scarfs up the world and shits on it".
Zappa also taped an appearance on the TV series Good Morning, hosted by infamous impresario/producer/artist/composer Jonathan King, but this as not survived.
When Zappa was asked who he wanted as a support act for the Hall show, the promoter thinking he would ask for one of the vaunted English rock acts, Frank requested the London Philharmonic, to play on their own certain pieces selected by Zappa, and also to augment the band.
Only one small excerpt of this show has been aired, clearly recorded from an external microphone near the stage. In this classic Mothers moment, Zappa goads Don Preston to take the helm of "the mighty and majestic Albert Hall pipe organ", to play, naturally, Louie Louie accompanied by the orchestra. This segment was included on the Uncle Meat album, two years later.
The following day, the band traveled to Amsterdam, and the preparations for the night's show at the Concertgebouw were again filmed by Seeman.
While the group were continuing the tour, Zappa's daughter Moon Unit was born back in New York on the 28th. This delightfully named child would later, of course, play an important role in her father's musical history.
The Mothers entourage arrived in Sweden on the 29th. On this or the following day, some silent black-and-white footage was filmed by local television, showing the group (and Zarubica/Creamcheese) posing for pictures and answering questions from journalists.
On the night of the 30th, the group played the Koserthuset in Stockholm. Luckily for Zappa/Mothers fans, Stockholm had a long-standing tradition of professionally recording the shows of visiting rock bands for broadcast on national radio and sometimes even television. So fortunately, this occasion provides the first extended glimpse of The Mothers' live show since the Fillmore tapes from 1966.
This 40-minute recording would later be issued as a popular vinyl bootleg, then copied at Zappa's behest from a copy of said bootleg for official release as a part of his first Beat The Boots box set. The components of this set were subsequently released separately.
The structural and musical nature of the show is perfectly summed up by Zappa's classic opening announcement:

"This is a song from our Freak Out album, which has been changed to a waltz for live performance. The name of this song is 'You Didn't Try To Call Me'. After we play through 'You Didn't Try To Call Me', there'll be a brief pause and I will say: 'Let's roll along now,' that means nothing to you, into a piece of 'Petroushka' by Igor Stravinsky, followed by the 'Bristol Stomp' followed by 'Baby Love' by the Supremes, followed by our new smash flop single 'There's A Big Dilemma About My Big Leg Emma'".

And, amazingly, they proceed to do just that, wildly careening through this medley of material from very disparate sources. The lovely version of Call Me showcases Collins, a very welcome return to the band's sound for the talented singer.
The Petroushka/Bristol Stomp (originally a hit for The Dovells)/Baby Love/Big Leg Emma section is satiric, but more serious than it may initially appear, a twisted history-of-modern-music-in-miniature. The Mothers' own place in this artistic progression is seen as a form of progression-through-regression.
One of the most important features of this recording is the rare performance of No Matter What You Do, a Zappa composition that quotes from both Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony (the "Pathetique") and the theme of the early TV series I Married Joan. Collins begins the song by stating, sans music:

I could be a slave for the rest of my life
As long as I know that you'd be my wife

The musical intro from Zappa's composition for The Animals, All Night Long, is then heard. The main song is a fine, satiric teen-love pop tune, with a long, improvisational comic rap by Collins in the middle.
This song trails off into more words from Collins, breaking into a very fast minute of Blue Suede Shoes, which then becomes a chorus of Hound Dog, and then a full, fine performance of Gee, the Crows record that had first sparked Zappa's musical imagination.
The show features the first extant Mothers performance of King Kong, the piece that would become the main vehicle for stage improvisational jams over the next two years.
Zappa's introduction of the song is straightforward, and dovetails with his comments about America in the BBC interview:

"It's the story of a very large gorilla who lived in the jungle. And he was doing okay until some Americans came by and thought that they would take him home with them. They took him to the United States, and they made some money by using the Gorilla, then they killed him."
The tempo of the main Kong theme is much slower here than heard in later performances. During the first solo, Zappa cues the band into the polyrhythmic improv riff that would soon become a familiar component of Mothers shows. The band breaks back into the Kong riff at a faster tempo, then a series of conducted, free improvisations, before heading back to the Kong modal vamp for solos from Gardner, Underwood, Preston and Sherwood.
As Kong cools down, Zappa cues another broken-up improvisation featuring various vocal sounds, which eventually becomes It Can't Happen Here. As this degenerates into a Preston improvisation, a radio is brought on stage, tuning through the station while Preston plays around it. This riveting piece of Cageian "musique concrete", the finale to the performance, is perhaps the most impressive part of the show.
The best example of the group's live performances in 1967, this excellent recording is a key piece of Mothers audio history. In typical European fashion for the era, the group is received reverently by their audience in complete silence, giving the show the feel of a recital. This had to have appealed to Zappa, who had been dealing with rowdy, disrespecful American audiences for so many years.
The following night's show was in Denmark, at Copenhagen's Falkoner Theatret. Not only was the continent's recording of soundboard tapes ahead of the overall curve, their ambient audience-recorded equivalents were as well. Beginning the following year, American fans would begin recording shows in earnest. But overseas fans had already been doing so for a few years. The Copenhagen show was taped by one such enthusiast.
The tape itself is of only fair audio quality, echoey and distant with audience chatter, but is nonetheless quite a document for the Mothers fan.
Zappa begins by mentioning that the group may sound "shitty", because much of their equipment was in a truck that hadn't arrived, much of the band was sick, and due to girls being afraid of the band's look, had not managed to score any action.
He introduces the first song, America Drinks, as being about "drunk Americans", asking the audience to enact the chatter from the record, telling them to talk louder than the music, because "that's exactly what they do in the United States". The performance of Drinks is brief, but shows Collins to still be in fine vocal form.
The true highlight of the show comes early, with the only extant live performance of the classic pop tune Jelly Roll Gum Drop, introduced by Zappa to be "a song about tits".
Recorded shortly afterward for the Cruising With Ruben And The Jets album, it is a shame that it never reappeared in Mothers sets, as from the evidence of this version, it is a very good stage number. A fine solo by Underwood lengthens the song far past its studio equivalent.
This breaks into a conducted improvisation, which interpolates Varese's piece Octandre, a frequent occurrence in Mothers sets. After about four minutes, the theme of the song Absolutely Free is introduced by Zappa's guitar, and this is extemporised upon briefly before it again breaks into free improv and a section of King Kong. A stately, beautiful version of Toads Of The Short Forest follows, which had remained in the set since the Fillmore shows of the previous year. Zappa breaks the song into improv before the finish line.
This section of the show resolves with an impressive, radically revamped, sped-up arrangement of How Could I Be Such A Fool.
King Kong is introduced and performed in a similar fashion to the previous night's show, although in a bit more straightforward form due to the lack of some of the group's equipment. This time, after Gardner's flute outing, Zappa himself takes a high-flying guitar solo. During one of the polyrhythmic improv sections, Zappa takes the band down to just the drums, over which Underwood takes an extremely inspired free-jazz tenor sax solo. As Zappa made sure the show was recorded from the soundboard and that he got the tape afterward, this section would later be included on the Uncle Meat album, as part of the side-long King Kong suite.
The performance then concludes. One other excerpt of the soundboard tape has seen official release, a slice of the show's improvisational segments rightly entitled "Where's Our Equipment?". This was issued on the fifth volume of the You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore series of archival live compilations.
The following night, October 2nd, was the final date of the tour, back in Sweden at the Olympen theater in Lund. Luckily, another audience member was present with tape recorder in hand to capture 25 minutes of this show. The audio quality of this audience tape is quite a bit better than that of the previous night.
In Zappa's spoken introduction, he explains the problems with sound on the tour, then says they may play some things that may sound strange and that the audience won't understand, but that he doubts it, since Scandinavian audiences have been the best the group has ever played for, due to their musical education. He then savagely attacks the sensibilities of American listeners.
The sequence of No Matter What You Do/Blue Suede Shoes/Hound Dog/Gee familiar from the Stockholm show is then played, with some significant variations to the earlier performance, and would not be heard on any subsequent live recording.
The tape then cuts to a later point in the set, for Zappa's introduction of a newer stage piece, The Orange County Lumber Truck Medley.
Truck, the title inspired by one of bassist Roy Estrada's early non-musical jobs, was another of Zappa's finest early instrumental works, very rock-leaning and similar to later works from the Hot Rats era. It would later become a part of the Burnt Weeny Sandwich album.
Zappa's intro features much condemnation of California's real estate industry, and the residents of the city in the piece's title, all wholly accurate.
The extremely well-rehearsed stage arrangement, however, is a medley of several distinct instrumental pieces. A few were recorded for Money and Uncle Meat as vocal pieces, suggesting they were originally a part of this longer suite before being included in the Money concept.
The Truck suite begins with Let's Make The Water Turn Black, then moves into Harry You're A Beast and Oh No, before the suite then moves into the main Truck theme. A ten-minute jam follows, with some excellent, blistering wah-wah lead guitar soloing throughout. The tape concludes at a point presumably near the finish of the performance.
During the group's time in the Netherlands, an appearance on the TV show Hoepla was contracted, to be broadcast when the group were back in the USA. This utterly bizarre segment fortunately has survived. The show's theme was The Who's Cobwebs And Strange. The Mothers sequence is heralded by the appearance of a nude model in a chair reading a newspaper. After about a minute and a half of this, we see a bird in a tree, accompanied by the Suzy Creamcheese dialogue that begins The Return of The Son Of Monster Magnet. As Magnet continues on the soundtrack, we see various frenzied scenes of the group onstage and backstage at the Garrick, all filmed by Seeman. Presumably, the filmmaker and Zappa had taken some of their New York footage on the tour, for utilisation as promo films to be shown on overseas TV. This Hoepla appearance is the only record of its public usage for this purpose.
The first overseas Mothers tour had to be reckoned an overall success, despite the many tribulations suffered along the way.
One of the more notable things about the tour is that the stranger experiences of the jaunt, and many inter-band conversations either overheard by, or reported to, Zappa, would become the inspiration for the concept of the Uncle Meat film project, later to morphose into 200 Motels.
Zappa and Mothers returned to New York to face a hard fall and winter, during which they would have very few live engagements.
But for Frank, this meant he had plenty of time for other things, including meeting his new baby daughter, and going back into the studio to undertake three consecutive projects, the finishing of two albums and the start of a third. And this last project wouldn't be released until after a fourth project, also recorded during the New York era, had been finished and issued. In some ways, this would be the most creatively fertile era of Zappa's career.
We're Only In It For The Money was first on the list for completion.
(Edited by IanWagner)
(Edited by IanWagner)
(Edited by IanWagner)
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