Christians have Christmas, Jews have Passover, and Muslims have the holy month of Ramadan. For a Zappa/Mothers freak like myself, though, no day in the calendar year is more important than Halloween. Frank Zappa and Halloween in New York City became a tradition onto itself in the 1970s and early 1980s. It’s no surprise that whenever he decided to release live albums and videos and DVDs, New York was the backdrop. If Los Angeles was his home, New York was his home away from home. It was where he seemed to let his hair down most, so to speak, and where he had the most fun with the freaks and denizens which were his fans.
To commemorate this particular Halloween, KUR-Meisters, I joined forces with the great Magic Fingers, and together we have compiled for you a massive Halloween mix entitled: “New York, New York” Zappa Style – KUR’s Halloween Mix.
What has gone down in history as probably two of the worst produced Frank Zappa concerts are the early and late Palladium shows from October 31st, 1981. Neither presented in their entirety then or since. MTV broadcast one live and a slightly shortened and modified rebroadcast of the late show (omitting Sinister Footwear). To add insult to injury, what could have been a distinctive live concert experience of Frank Zappa in the 1980s – on par with the 26th – 29th December 1976 Palladium shows which made Zappa In New York a quintessential example of 70s Zappa – were cut up and delivered piecemeal to Zappa’s fans, instead. The promise of the Big One – still unfulfilled almost thirty years later. Yes, like all fans of these shows, I have all the various recordings and DVDs, both unofficial and official, including most recently, The Torture Never Stops (which also has Sinister Footwear omitted). Until that day comes when these shows are released in their entirety, and given the treatment they deserve, I’ll have to enjoy these sporadic YouTube clips – “Sinister Footwear II“, “Black Napkins“, “Black Page #2” – and dream: Continue reading “Zappa, Palladium Shows, October 31st, 1981”
One of the most interesting things about acquiring Frank Zappa field recordings is that after a certain point of collecting and listening to them, one reaches a point of critical mass where particular questions keep popping into one’s mind again and again. How would an earlier version of a song sound with a particular drummer? Violinist? Percussionist? Or from an ensemble from a completely different era? I mean, after a point, the sheer number of individual versions of songs becomes quite incredible. Continue reading “Anatomy of a Field Recording”
Recorded at the Palladium in New York City on October 29th, 1977, Frank Zappa tells the story behind “Bobby Brown (Goes Down)“, one of his most famous songs which topped the charts in some European countries around 1979/80.
Frank Zappa, on the air with Mark Simone, October 30th, 1978, at WPIX-FM, New York, just prior to one of his annual (and albeit, infamous) Palladium concerts. It’s quite easy to see why these Palladium concerts were of the must see variety.
I wonder if the Warren that FZ is saying hello to “on air” is the same Warren Cuccurullo who later joined his band?