Frank Zappa’s Grand Wazoo EP, 1972

When Barry first emailed the link to the above excerpt from the bootleg EP of Frank Zappa and the Grand Wazoo Band‘s (mistakenly printed as Frank Zappa and the Petit Wazoo Orchestra on the front cover by the bootlegger) September 15th, 1972 performance at Deutschlandhalle in Berlin, West Germany, I was immediately thrust back in time to when I first purchased this very bootleg EP.

As I recall, I paid $95.00 dollars (CAN) for it (quite a tidy sum at that time, especially for a 16 year old). The year was 1980. I remember hurrying home and carefully placing my newly prized possession on the turntable of my stereo, and while I listened, proceeded to record a master cassette tape of the EP (as I did at that time with all my Mothers of Invention purchases). As I recall, I had the only near mint copy of that EP in Western Canada at that time, so over the next few months, I recorded copies off my master tape for all the fellow Mothers freaks I knew.

Understand, in 1980, all early Mothers of Invention albums were out-of-print (until the mid 80s when Zappa won his lawsuit with Warner Brothers), and most people only possessed cassette copies from friends. It probably gives one an idea why Zappa/Mothers fans are so devoted.

Even with it’s less than stellar audio quality, this simple EP bootleg did provide the few glimpses of what the Grand Wazoo touring band sounded like until the subsequent release of ‘Wazoo‘ in 2007 – some 35 years apart.

The EP had three songs identified as: “Berlin Blues,” “Variant Processional March (Regyption Strut),” and “Die Neuen Braunen Wolken.” “Die Neuen Braunen Wolken” translates into “New Brown Clouds,” and the “Variant Processional March” more commonly known as “Regyptian Strut,” is clearly identified on the cover. “Berlin Blues” (aka “Blues for A Minute”) was an abbreviated form taken from a mid-guitar solo Zappa shout out to the audience: “I’ve got the Berlin Blues!”

The following is a selection from the September 15th, 1972 performance at Deutschlandhalle in Berlin, West Germany (and from a better audio source than that of the original bootleg EP) from which I have reconstructed the EP’s tracks, with a couple bonus tracks added for good measure, as treat for both the old and the new freaks to savour:

The Grand Wazoo Band – Blues For A Minute

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The Grand Wazoo Band – Regyption Strut

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The Grand Wazoo Band – New Brown Clouds

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The Grand Wazoo Band – The Grand Wazoo

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The Grand Wazoo Band – Improvisations

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The twenty musicians in the Grand Wazoo band were:

Jay Migliori–flute, saxophone, clarinet
Mike Altschul–piccolo, bass clarinet
Ray Reed–saxophone, clarinet
Charles Owens–saxophone, clarinet
Joann Caldwell McNab–bassoon
Earle Dumler–oboe
Jerry Kessler–cello
Malcolm McNab–trumpet
Sal Marquez–trumpet
Tom Malone–tuba
Bruce Fowler–trombone
Glenn Ferris–trombone
Ken Shroyer–trombone
Ian Underwood–synthesizer
Jim Gordon–drums
Dave Parlato–bass
Tony Duran–slide guitar
Tom Raney–percussion
Ruth Underwood–percussion
Frank Zappa–guitar

Note: a complete show is available to torrent from Zappateers, here.

4 Responses to “Frank Zappa’s Grand Wazoo EP, 1972”

  1. Michael says:

    “until the mid 80s when Zappa won his lawsuit with Warner Brothers”

    An out of court settlement was reached by May 1982.

  2. disnet says:

    Thank you so much for this post…I mailed you the link from Youtube a few days ago and bingo not only the sound here is much better than the one on youtube and you post two more tracks!!!!!!!!! Cowabunga!
    found also an interesting FZ interview with Studs Terkel on youtube…..
    again thanks for all the good music you post here
    hasta luego

  3. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Michael:

    “until the mid 80s when Zappa won his lawsuit with Warner Brothers”

    An out of court settlement was reached by May 1982.

    Thanks for this piece of FZ history. It surely must have felt like a win to FZ, though, and his fans.

  4. Bálint says:

    Pretty good quality!

    Since the release of WAZOO (which I happen to love, to adore) I was thinking about its manufacturing quality – I mean the messed up intro of Regyptian Strut, which SHOULD have been replaced with a few seconds from another show, this way it is simply wrong. This on up ther is in really fine quality.

    So: I was thinking of a kind of a “competition” to replace this mistake from bootlegs, from other part of the tune – whatever (hm, I’ve made it for myself, but, well, I’m not an expert). It would be nice to hear this one WITHOUT the mistake made in Boston.

    The results could be posted maybe here, in mp3. What do you think? :-)

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