New Live FZ DVD: The Torture Never Stops

Well, apparently today is Zappa-news day. A new DVD, hot off the press at Barfko Swill: FZ: The Torture Never Stops. As per the blurb:

  • $21.98
  • Halloween, New York City, 1981 – Live at The Palladium
  • edited, performed & music composed & conducted by FZ
  • with Ray White, Steve Vai, Bobby Martin, Tommy Mars,Ed Mann, Scott Thunes, Chad Wackerman
  • 2 hours with xtras – ratta tat too!
  • DVD 9 Dual Layer, NTSC, American English, Dolby Digital 2.0

This appears to be a fully captured version of the Halloween ’81 show, perhaps most famous for this rendition of “Stevie’s Spanking”, as previously featured in the Dub Room Special DVD. (See Also)

Visuals? Yup:

The Torture Never Stops DVD

Have to admit I for one didn’t see that one coming. Whatever happened to frost on pumpkins and such?

Update:

38 Responses to “New Live FZ DVD: The Torture Never Stops”

  1. Rob says:

    Funny how some releases such as this and Buffalo appear out of nowhere, while One Shot Deal and others are just hinted at. A bi-polar marketing plan? Meanwhile, once upon a time, ROXY was announced…

  2. urbangraffito says:

    Given that this concert (known as “The Big One”) was three hours long to begin with, I wonder what was left out…Still, two hours of FZ and band: that’s nothing to bark at.

  3. Weirdomusic says:

    Nice surprise. I have fond memories of watching this one at a big screen at one of the Zappa-days in Eindhoven, the Netherlands…. way back when…

  4. Balint says:

    Urb: this dvd is complied of two shows from that day – details here. There is a setlist there called “The Torture Never Stops” – so this compilation might be that one.
    To me this would be the perfect setlist from those two shows:

    Black Napkins
    Bamboozled By Love
    Envelopes
    Drowning Witch
    What’s New In Baltimore?
    Moggio
    We’re Turning Again
    Alien Orifice
    Sinister Footwear
    Black Page #2
    The Torture Never Stops
    The Illinois Enema Bandit
    King Kong
    Yo Mama
    City Of Tiny Lights
    Strictly Genteel
    Whippin’ Post

  5. Paul Sempschi says:

    Well according to the flash show on the site, there’ll be Black Napkins and Torture… perhaps someone’ll be willing to procure a copy and send out copies to those who send him blank DVD’s and postage…

  6. Rob says:

    Shame on you! if I can shell out $27.43, so can you.

  7. Empire Hancock says:

    One has to wonder if this is just going to end up in retail outlets for a cheaper price like the ZPZ DVD did (for fuck’s sake, I got the 2-DVD + 3-CD set for THIRTY DOLLARS a few days ago)… wasn’t the Wazoo cd also announced to be getting a wider, non-mailorder release at a cheaper price? I guess it’s kind of pointless for me to wonder now, as I’ve already ordered it, but still.

    This will certainly be an improvement over the program I have on two VCDs, though I feel a slight twinge of disappoint in the fact(s) that 1) there appears to be no audio option other than 2-channel stereo for this DVD and 2) FZ’s guitar is still going to have that fucking flanger all over it.

  8. Chuck says:

    Well I can’t say I feel like forking over any money to the ZFT at the moment…. especially for something that has been out in this form for a while in traders circles.

    I understand why they would release how FZ assembled it as it is actual FZ product then… but he was limited by the restraints of his times in what he could release and how vs the returns he felt he would get for it.

    If they had remixed it in 5.1 nicely and included some of the more FZ as composer (which is what Sloatman seems to really be trying make his legacy as) such as the Envelopes, Drowning Witch, What’s New In Baltimore?, Moggio medley then it would have been a very tasty release.

    I assume it was an easy release to get out cheaply and make some money from. Fair enough, but not enough to make it attractive. Can only hope it funds something other than ZPZ.

  9. Matt says:

    This looks really cool, but I wish the Roxy performances were the number one priority at ZFT.
    I could wait, and then pay for this–
    The Entire Roxy Concert with Absolutely No Sections Omitted.
    (wouldnt it be something?)
    I was born too late to ever have had a chance to see The FZ in concert. ZFT should put out a true expirience Zappa concert film, with none of the claymation segments or interviews cut in. Dont get me wrong, that stuff is phenomenal too, but the music on the stage is good enough to hold up without any other gimmicks.

  10. Birdman! says:

    I’m definitely going to hold off on this one, at least until I see a track list. I’ve seen a videotape (not “Dub Room Special”) of this show, and it did not include the most interesting tracks – Drowning Witch and most of the instrumentals. The link in Balint’s post coresponds to what I remember about the videotape. Lots of YAWYI stuff and NO TEENAGE PROSTITUTE, dammit!

  11. Rael says:

    What bothers me is that the Dub Room DVD liner notes promised multi-channel mixes of this and the KCET studios 1974 performance. Is this another taste of this show before we get a proper release, or are they planning to scrap any future 5.1 mix of this entire show?
    The lack of a set list also bothers me. I mean come on, let us know what we’re paying for!

  12. moggio's moldy Oreos says:

    I can’t fathom why Goatman thinks not giving the setlist is a good idea? Is it because she really does hold contempt for us fans of her late husband? It really is pathetic, really. But, whatever….as always, some evil fan will feret out what the setlist is and “illegally” post it on an “illegal fan site”, thus doing the basic marketing for the Goatmans for them.

    Meanwhile, I’ll rent it from Netflix for about a couple bucks, and if I must own it, I’ll get it used.

    I hope it does have a balance of instrumentals and vocal songs…if they are going to cut up the concert, might as well showcase some other facets of his music, as was posted above.

  13. Jamez says:

    I want this DVD!

  14. Birdman! says:

    Regarding setlist, this has circulated on VHS as “The Torture Never Stops” since forever. Follow the link in Balint’s post for details. There are a number of different edits of this material, but here almost certainly is the one ZFT is releasing on DVD, with resplendent 2.0 audio. I’ll cut and paste it here:

    Just got me this DVD-R that comes with what seems to be a mix of the two shows.

    It’s 1h 56 minutes, the “Torture Never Stops” intro (exactly as the screencap from your site) [And exactly like the packaging on the ZFT release - Birdman!], and the following songlist:

    Black Napkins
    Montana
    Easy Meat
    Beauty Know No Pain
    I’m A Beautiful Guy
    Charlie’s Enormous Mouth
    Fine Girl
    Teenage Wind
    Harder Than Your Husband
    Bamboozled By Love
    We’re Turning Again
    Alien Orifice
    Flakes
    Broken Hearts Are For Assholes
    You Are What You Is
    Mudd Club
    The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing
    Dumb All Over
    Heavenly Bank Account
    Suicide Chump
    Jumbo Go Away
    Stevie’s Spanking
    The Torture Never Stops
    Strictly Genteel
    The Illinois Enema Bandit

    ***
    NOTE: No “Drowning Witch”, and missing most of the instrumentals (i.e. the interesting stuff). I don’t even like to listen to the YAWYI material, much less sit down and watch it. Opinions?

  15. Empire Hancock says:

    A quote from moggio’s moldy Oreos:

    I hope it does have a balance of instrumentals and vocal songs…if they are going to cut up the concert, might as well showcase some other facets of his music, as was posted above.

    Ah, “they” will surely be at it! Of course, by “they”, you must mean “FZ”, and by “are going to cut up the concert” you must mean “already edited together performances from two concerts on the same day and that is what will be on this DVD.”

    Of course, there will (supposedly) be “extras”, which I’m most curious to discover the nature of.

  16. Empire Hancock says:

    A quote from Rael:

    What bothers me is that the Dub Room DVD liner notes promised multi-channel mixes of this and the KCET studios 1974 performance. Is this another taste of this show before we get a proper release, or are they planning to scrap any future 5.1 mix of this entire show?

    Hey, good point, Rael — I had forgotten about that mention in the Dub Room dvd liner notes. This surely ain’t a complete show, and it surely ain’t going to be no 5.1 mix, either. If they’re unleashing this now, I’m surely not holding my breath for a more complete release with a more elaborate audio mix in the future.

    A quote from Empire Hancock:

    The lack of a set list also bothers me. I mean come on, let us know what we’re paying for!

  17. Empire Hancock says:

    I fucked up the quoting in that last comment, but I meant to add that the contents of the dvd shouldn’t be radically different from what was released on vhs years ago, and the information about that is not terribly hard to find.

  18. Rob says:

    Well, we’ll see what what awaits in the mailbox…

  19. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Balint:

    Urb: this dvd is complied of two shows from that day – details here. There is a setlist there called “The Torture Never Stops” – so this compilation might be that one.
    To me this would be the perfect setlist from those two shows:

    Black Napkins
    Bamboozled By Love
    Envelopes
    Drowning Witch
    What’s New In Baltimore?
    Moggio
    We’re Turning Again
    Alien Orifice
    Sinister Footwear
    Black Page #2
    The Torture Never Stops
    The Illinois Enema Bandit
    King Kong
    Yo Mama
    City Of Tiny Lights
    Strictly Genteel
    Whippin’ Post

    This time you are in the right, Balint, and I’ve mistaken these two shows for the 3 hour 1978 Palladium extravaganza. Taking foot from mouth now (hey, nobody’s perfect).

  20. bernard says:

    “The torture never stops”.
    Let’s have a look at our common history. Way back – in the ancient days – people feared the Gods. Why? Basically because people believed that the Gods were able to (1) organise sounds & music, (2) wage wars, (3) impose famine. It’s all about all the capacity to impose things.
    How the hell are these sentences related to this new release?
    The answer happens to be ” dual track “, just as Music happens to be.
    - “Music is the best”. Yes, for sure,. As music is both a mirror image of the economy , ” strictly commercial” right now & people just want to listen to new innovative things as they endeavor to turn their back to things they heared many times before. Ultimate solution is to go & discover the new thing, providing them with new hope for the future. Reiventing & decomposing/ deconstructing available music, the ordinary or the high level way, doesn’t matter that much.
    One of the 20th century mus. masters was FZ.

    - Repeting things, the commercial way.: ” new ” DVDs, Cds, etc. A good solution as well, as it happens to provide people with ideas, the instructive way. FZ as a high school master.

  21. Virgil Proudfoot says:

    Even if this is exactly the same songs as the VHS, it will be a tremendous improvement, even in 2.0 audio. Remember that the original Lexington Broadcast Services VHS release came out before Hi-Fi stereo became the norm on VHS videotapes. So we’ll be hearing most of these songs (except for those duplicated on Dub Room Special) in greatly improved quality.

  22. Sterbus says:

    I just hope to hear Steve Vai’s guitar, almost non-audible all through the show

  23. Carlin says:

    A quote from Empire Hancock:

    One has to wonder if this is just going to end up in retail outlets for a cheaper price like the ZPZ DVD did (for fuck’s sake, I got the 2-DVD + 3-CD set for THIRTY DOLLARS a few days ago)… wasn’t the Wazoo cd also announced to be getting a wider, non-mailorder release at a cheaper price? I guess it’s kind of pointless for me to wonder now, as I’ve already ordered it, but still.

    This will certainly be an improvement over the program I have on two VCDs, though I feel a slight twinge of disappoint in the fact(s) that 1) there appears to be no audio option other than 2-channel stereo for this DVD and 2) FZ’s guitar is still going to have that fucking flanger all over it.

    This will end up in the sales bin. I for one will wait until then. Goatman has the fucking guts to release a film that everybody has had for twenty fuckin years! I’m sick and tired how Gail and the ZFT can fuck us around with this secondhand shit. Doesn’t she know that we want Roxy??? No, fuck this ZFT nonsense. I, for one, will happily let this shit rot until she knows the deal and mend her ways. *mad and waiting for Roxy*

  24. urbangraffito says:

    Now that the 1981 Paladium Halloween shows is officially out, one can expect both field recordings over at Zappateers (early and late shows) to be pulled from their tracker (which is their practice, anyway) if it hasn’t already been done.

    I do think Empire Hancock has a point in regards to “there appears to be no audio option other than 2-channel stereo for this DVD and 2) FZ’s guitar is still going to have that fucking flanger all over it.”

    I also second Carlin’s point that “Goatman has the fucking guts to release a film that everybody has had for twenty fuckin years! I’m sick and tired how Gail and the ZFT can fuck us around with this secondhand shit. Doesn’t she know that we want Roxy?”

    Though, I have to say Barry, the title of this DVD does describe the past, present, and no doubt future behavior of GZ and the ZFT:

    The Torture Never Stops

    now does it?

  25. Paul Sempschi says:

    so what’s this about a flanger?

    There should also be no reason to remove the field recordings from those shows- they provide the complete picture of what went on… the DVD is just a fracture, a fragment.

  26. xorg says:

    No DVD, but the keychain is available at amazon.co.uk

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-torture-never-stops-Keychain/dp/B0017HIRC8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=kitchen&qid=1212316712&sr=8-3

  27. Empire Hancock says:

    A quote from Carlin:

    This will end up in the sales bin.

    Remains to be seen, but a possibility… The ZPZ dvd, Imaginary Diseases and Wazoo ended up getting non-mailorder releases, available in stores, but aren’t exactly “in the sales bin”, if my notion of what you mean by that is correct (and maybe it’s not.)

    A quote from Empire Hancock:

    Goatman has the fucking guts to release a film that everybody has had for twenty fuckin years I’m sick and tired how Gail and the ZFT can fuck us around with this secondhand shit.

    Oh please. Take a step back and gain perspective here. “Everybody”? There are people out there.. yes, even Real Zappa Fans, who didn’t know this program ever existed. There are people who didn’t see this on Night Flight in the 80s, didn’t know of the obscure VHS release from 25 fucking years ago, and YES BELIEVE IT OR NOT, people who aren’t aware of the trading of rare and uncirculated material. Just reading the comments here, on the zappa.com forum, etc. will show you there are people who have never seen this. And even people who have seen this, or owned it in some other forum, are going to be hard pressed to argue that the audio and video quality of there copy is better than what will soon be arriving in people’s mailboxes.

  28. Empire Hancock says:

    A quote from Paul Sempschi:

    so what’s this about a flanger?

    A quote from Empire Hancock:

    When FZ assembled this video release (and did a little re-work on the late show that was broadcast on MTV for its re-broadcast), he made a few, let’s say, adjustments to the audio mix. The most noticeable aspect of this was adding a heavy flanger effect to several (but not all) of his guitar solos. I personally find it slightly obnoxious, and it obscures a bit of his playing, but it was his own decision.

  29. urbangraffito says:

    The good news is that the field recordings of the 1981 Paladium Halloween shows (early and late) are still available for download from Zappateers, though the old DVD footage is not (and quite understandably, too). So, go get ‘em, if that’s your sort of thing…

  30. Bálint says:

    I’ve found this at sloatman.com’s forum, about the extra material:

    Teenage Prostitute
    City of Tiny Lights
    You are What You Is (music video)

    Might or might not be true, but sounds to be possible.

  31. YaHozna says:

    Roxy is probably the last thing the Zappa.com has to sell to the public. Provided that it doesnt come that late, when most of the fans are dead or lost interest.

  32. xorg says:

    I won’t be buying this unless it becomes more easily available and at a lower price. It’s not really worth all the hassle of of getting it shipped from the USA – how many more versions of the same old tracks do I need?

  33. Rob says:

    Well I, for one, don’t have any decent versions, and since I really enjoy seeing videos of Frank the band, I’ll take what I can get! Just got word they shipped my copy today…

  34. peter says:

    A quote from peter:

    Oh please. Take a step back and gain perspective here. “Everybody”? There are people out there.. yes, even Real Zappa Fans, who didn’t know this program ever existed. There are people who didn’t see this on Night Flight in the 80s, didn’t know of the obscure VHS release from 25 fucking years ago, and YES BELIEVE IT OR NOT, people who aren’t aware of the trading of rare and uncirculated material. Just reading the comments here, on the zappa.com forum, etc. will show you there are people who have never seen this. And even people who have seen this, or owned it in some other forum, are going to be hard pressed to argue that the audio and video quality of there copy is better than what will soon be arriving in people’s mailboxes.

    Yea, I was there at the show and had my dad tape it off MTV when it aired live. I think I may have watched it once…it was just too anti-climatic to watch after being there. The tape was lost soon after. Soooo, I am happy to see this released. I don’t actually watch much live dvd, so I prefer this edited version to some sprawling epic which would take me years to get through.

  35. Bob Again says:

    A quote from Jamez:

    I want this DVD!

    A quote from xorg:

    …keychain is available at amazon.co.uk…

    I want the keychain…and my MTV

  36. bernard says:

    Don’t worry.
    The next release will be FZ & Varese. Ed. Var. was his ear opener when he was 15.
    I’m looking forward to that record.
    And earlier -when 12 – 13 years old – FZ listened to arabic music( see : ” the lost interview of the 50 years old FZ), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ebbo7q1SyU&feature=related .
    It just happened to his ear opener.
    Just in case you might be tempted to follow that path, there is something very accesible, a record called ” Alimentation Générale, Ewá” , the artist is called Seba. He pretends to be a guy selling fruit & vegetables. ” Mon nom est Ben Ali”. It’s about basics in arabic music. Label is Naïve. Year 2000. Kwark Productions.
    The subtitle is : ” Et avec ça vous voulez un p’tit sac? “.

  37. Mikey says:

    Most likely this DVD is just the same cut FZ made in 1981. It will have all the songs ( albeit in weird order ) from both shows EXCEPT for the following: SinisterII/Broken Hearts/Envelopes/Teen Age Wind/Joe’s Garage/…and 1 or two that I can’t recall.

  38. Mikey says:

    but serioulsy folks….if you are any kind of ZAPPA fan you will buy anything the zappa family puts out. YOU SHOULD just so that they can stay in business and put better stuff out later. Even I broke down and bought ZPZ .. even though it’s still in the cellopohane. Have some respect people. The man broke his ASS for 30 some odd years making ths finest music on the planet. Who are YOU to question anything that comes from the vaults?

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