Zappa In Barcelona, 1988

While I have yet to find a mint copy of Frank Zappa’s Best Band’s May 17th, 1988 concert in Barcelona, Spain, that truly does justice to their overall performance, there are still clips on YouTube which are worth watching – especially those which highlight the particular talents of the horn section: Paul Carman (saxophone), Bruce Fowler (trombone), Walt Fowler (trumpet, flugel horn), Albert Wing (saxophone), and the late Kurt McGettrick (saxophone, clarinet). In the following three clips – “Black Napkins”, “Strictly Genteel” and “Bolero” – the horn section certainly shines:

Barcelona setlist:

The Black Page #2
Packard Goose
Bamboozled By Love
Black Napkins
When The Lie’s So Big
Planet Of The Baritone Women
Any Kind Of Pain
Jesus Thinks You’re A Jerk
Sofa/Find Her Finer
Big Swifty
I Ain’t Got No Heart
Love Of My Life
The Torture Never Stops I
The Torture Never Stops II
Watermelon In Easter Hay
Whipping Post
I Am The Walrus
The Illinois Enema Bandit
Strictly Genteel

Author: urbangraffito

I am a writer, editor, publisher, philosopher, and foole (not necessarily in that order). Cultural activist and self-described anarchist.

15 thoughts on “Zappa In Barcelona, 1988”

  1. Lieben Sie dieses Hornkapitel!

    By the way, Ralf, thanks for the links. I believe all copies are from the Spanish broadcast (which is why the quality can be so varied). Of the few copies I have bought over the years, they all suffer from the same problem – audio dropout. What about yours?

  2. Oh god, thats over 20 years old and so fresh!! I cant tell you how much I miss Frank!!

  3. MuffinMan: Will any other notoriously bootlegged video surface as legitimate releases, DVD or otherwise (i.e. …Barcelona ’88…)?
    GZ: Yes.

  4. [quote comment=”8101″]MuffinMan: Will any other notoriously bootlegged video surface as legitimate releases, DVD or otherwise (i.e. …Barcelona ’88…)?
    GZ: Yes.[/quote]

    Uncle Meat: When will other notoriously bootlegged video surface as legitimate releases, DVD or otherwise such as Barcelona ’88?

    GZ: Sometime between the release of the ‘Deluxe Remastered Roxy’ and hell freezing over. Ta-ta, have a blog to write!

  5. Yes audio dropouts (very very short ones) are also on my DVD and a lack in sound because the high frequencies are missing a little bit. But I can live with that, anyhow my DVD looks the same as the one shown on the Ebay link. No one can be shure that this is the same recording so I have to admit that the link is pretty useless.

  6. I noticed recently that CD Universe was offering the Barcelona dvd. They don’t normally sell bootlegs. Also, they’re advertising “remastered” re-releases (on Ryko) of several FZ cds for later this month. Sounds good, but I was hoping for a Vaulternative Halloween release of something/anything new.

  7. Mike Keneally once mentioned somewhere, perhaps on his newsgroup, or maybe his own official site, that a professional video crew filmed another show around the same time – I think it was either Madrid or Seville – and the show was much better than the Barcelona one. But Mike didn’t know what became of that footage.

    I honestly can’t remember when or where he wrote that. Perhaps I dreamt it.

    I have a VHS copy of the Barcelona tape given to me by my brother back in 2000, and while the quality is decidedly iffy, it’s still fun to watch. I’d love to see any video from ’88 get an official release.

  8. Here’s the line from Keneally’s website I alluded to previously that mentions the Barcelona video. This is from the “Really, Keneally” section of the site (sort of a “Mike Responds To Your E-Mails” section) and I’m guessing this dates back to around 1997 or 1998…

    Q: Do you know if any other ’88 material will be released on audio or video? How about releasing the TV broadcast from Spain dedicated to Iberia airlines?

    A: “Trance Fusion”, the next guitar solo album, is mainly from ’88. He once described the Barcelona video as a “low priority” for him. It wasn’t one of our better performances, so I don’t mind it not being available widely. A much better show, which was also filmed professionally, was in Madrid. All the tapes from all the camera angles are in the vault, but there are technical problems which, so far, have rendered it impossible to sync the film to tape. That may get fixed in the future, and I hope it does, because it really is a much better show and no one has seen it yet.

  9. There are not too many concert videos/DVDs of FZ available anyway.

    If there is videotape from the Philly ’76 show, why not put out a DVD instead of just the audio CD? And if the video quality is not so good, make that an add-on to the audio release.

    ZFT release-policy: a history of missed chances.


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