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:
Frank Zappa Band, Halloween Palladium Shows, 1981:
Frank Zappa – lead guitar, lead vocals, band leader
Ray White – rhythm guitar, vocals
Steve Vai – guitar, sitar
Tommy Mars – keyboards
Robert Martin – keyboards, tenor saxophone, vocals
Ed Mann – percussion
Scott Thunes – bass
Chad Wackerman – drums
3 thoughts on “Zappa, Palladium Shows, October 31st, 1981”
The material on the The Torture Never Stops DVD is ruined by the fact that Frank decided to add additional effects for the guitar during mixing.
This version of Black Napkins is one of my favorites.
Steve Vai screws up a few notes in Sinister Footwear, and maybe that’s why ‘they’ don’t want us to hear it…
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