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
[audio:20100602_12 Blues For A Minute.mp3]
The Grand Wazoo Band – Regyption Strut
[audio:20100602_14 Regyptian Strut.mp3]
The Grand Wazoo Band – New Brown Clouds
[audio:20100602_02 New Brown Clouds.mp3]
The Grand Wazoo Band – The Grand Wazoo
[audio:20100602_06 The Grand Wazoo.mp3]
The Grand Wazoo Band – Improvisations
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
Tony Duran–slide guitar
Note: a complete show is available to torrent from Zappateers, here.