In this 1980 Austrian TV Documentary, interviews with Frank Zappa are interspersed with concert footage from New York’s Mudd Club on May 8th, 1980 (“Mudd Club” and “Chunga’s Revenge“) and Upper Darby Township’s Tower Theatre on May 10th, 1980 (“Beauty Knows No Pain“) as well as an interview (of sorts) with hardcore fans (including Al Malkin) backstage at the Mudd Club. Despite poor video quality and bad overdubbing – it is still a great artifact of Zappa‘s 1980 tour and New York’s infamous Mudd Club which opened in October of 1978, quickly became a fixture in downtown Manhattan’s underground music and counterculture scene, until its closure in 1982.
8 thoughts on “Frank Zappa: New York & Elsewhere, 1980, Excerpts”
from link above:
Tower Theatre, Upper Darby, PA
Can you possibly identify the classical music playing in the opening 2 minutes, against the Manhattan backdrop? I would love to know – is it Frank?
the interview backstage was conducted with anthony Z(r.i.p.)Jack C
and the infamous Eraserhead @ Tower theater on the spring 1980 tour…mucho was edited out but a classic nonetheless!!!!
[quote post=”3785″]Can you possibly identify the classical music playing in the opening 2 minutes, against the Manhattan backdrop? I would love to know – is it Frank?[/quote]
Yes, it’s Zappa – from either the ‘Run Home Slow’ or ‘World’s Greatest Sinner’ soundtrack. Pretty sure it’s from ‘Sinner’.
0:00 – 0:21: Jazz band snippet from Lumpy Gravy
0:35 – 0:56: unlikely by Frank IMO*. I have heard this before but can’t identify this at the moment. The bell at the end is very characteristic.
0:56 – 2:26: Music For Electric Violin And Low Budget Orchestra, FZ/Jean Luc-Ponty
*they used something by someone else in the second clip, too, during the railroad footage (from 8:44 on): Arthur Honneger, “Pacific 231”
BTW, I sometimes have problems with documentaries by these two Austrians. They often take interview snippets out of one context into another context, creating a totally different meaning.
[quote comment=”11690″]the interview backstage was conducted with anthony Z(r.i.p.)Jack C
and the infamous Eraserhead @ Tower theater on the spring 1980 tour…mucho was edited out but a classic nonetheless!!!![/quote]
believe me, jake, as better and less heavily edited versions pop up, you can rest assure they’ll find their way to KUR. Even in this edited version, one can see the sheer delight FZ took in his fans.
I love this video! You feel the gritty city right from the opening shot. Al Malkin and his crew remind me of the assholes who hung out in my neighborhood bar back in the old day. Still, they are entertaining in small doses. The exact kind of energy to break up the boredom of a long tour. Plus, possible material for future projects!
The Zappa Ritz show is pretty legendary as far as FZ concerts go, but The Mudd Club gig was the place to be (just leave your car home, unless you want it stolen). I went there (’79) on a Monday night (morning) when just a few of those fabulous poodles were working the walls. This was the place to see Frank & the boys. Small & sleazy. Just the way I like it!
[quote comment=”11677″]from link above:
Tower Theatre, Upper Darby, PA[/quote]
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