Roxy & Elsewhere

Released: September 1974


  1. Penguin In Bondage
  2. Pygmy Twylyte
  3. Dummy Up
  4. Village Of The Sun
  5. Echidna’s Arf (Of You)
  6. Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing?
  7. Cheepnis
  8. Son Of Orange County
  9. More Trouble Every Day
  10. Be-Bop Tango (Of The Old Jazzmen’s Church)

George Duke (keyboards, vocals) Tom Fowler (bass) Ruth Underwood (percussion) Jeff Simmons (rhythm guitar, vocals) Don Preston (synthesizer) Bruce Fowler (trombone, dancing!) Walt Fowler (trumpet) Napoleon Murphy Brock (tenor sax, flute, vocals) Ralph Humphrey (drums) Chester Thompson (drums)

36 thoughts on “Roxy & Elsewhere”

  1. Not only does this album feature one of the great line-ups and brilliant songs, it’s the home of some of FZ’s finest guitar playing.

  2. Arguably Zappa’s finest release ever, it has everything a Zappa fan’s heart could desire. Intricate topics rendered with intrigueing lyrics; wonderful melodies, incredible guitar solo’ing, a mindboggling back up band the likes of which was never repeated since, a cool live ambiance. The highlight for me is the instrumental Echidna’s Arf/Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing segue. There Is No Bad Track On This Album! Buy it now!

  3. This is the one that first got me into Zappa – every one a winner – tight band playing tricky stuff with obvious enjoyment – never tire of listening to it – I would rate it as one of his best, possibly even THE best.

  4. este disco es uno que particularmente me encanta esta lleno de ricos matises musicales y solos extraordinarios de zappa, quiero saber si este concierto esta en video y como lo puedo conseguir por favor informenme . soy un eterno admirador de frank zappa viva

  5. I happened to pull an unmarked tape from an old box to accompany me on a trip up the coast. To my good fortune, it happened to be Roxy. I hadn’t heard it for a long time. I was turned on all over again! WEEEE! what fun!

  6. It’s my favorite album !! Maybe one of the greatest live album I never heard !! I remember a film on TV, which was the Roxy & Elsewhere show with some video editing including Bruce Bickford animation.. Is someone knows where is possible to see this masterpiece ?

  7. Roxy was my first Zappa album and I am now hooked for life. The first time around it had an eerily familiar feeling. It seemed as though I had heard it before. That must be due to the fact that every song goes together perfectly. The continuity has guaranteed that Roxy will always be my favorite Zappa. This has to be one of the best recordings of any kind ever, Zappa or not.

  8. A great sounding live album, intimate and mixed with an ambiant feel (on the original vinyl anyway) that you don’t get often in the digital age. I saw this band, and the one immediately after (as configured on the Helsinki Concerts “YCDTOS II”), and I alway’s thought that they were the freest, most jazzy of Zappa’s bands. I love this album. My only nitpick is the fade out of “More Trouble Everyday” which was probably done due to time restraints of the original vinyl. “Cheepnis” is one of the greatest Zappa storysongs ever, and not as long winded as Billy the Mountain or Greggory Peccary.

  9. The sh*t on this cd is phenomenal. Like someone already mentioned, the fade out of More Trouble Every Day bothered me the first time i heard it. Does anyone know if both drummers played on that song? It sounds like one drummer, but the drum mix isn’t as good as it is on the tunes from the Roxy show. Regardless, Roxy and Elsewhere is a must have!

  10. Oh yes and not to forget this record – one word:
    Or fantastic. or superb. Live songs at it’s best. Frank thanks for this one.

  11. Back in a time when I only thought of Frank Zappa as the leader of the Mothers of Invention (it was a year ago, forgive my age), I was working in a music store in South San Francisco cleaning rented instruments. One of the repairmen told me about this singer/tenor saxophonist named Napoleon Murphy Brock who used to play in Zappa’s group who always came to him to get his horn fixed.I said to myself, “Who is Napoleon Murphy Brock?” My knowledge of Zappa only extended to the 60s catalog and I began to get curious about the whole world of FZ that I had hardly heard of. Up until then, the only 70s work I had heard was the Yellow Snow Suite and I loved it and went to work one day thinking that after the day was over, I would pick up the Apostrophe album. The day went as normal until I returned from getting lunch and there happened to be this tall, black man talking to John (the repairman) in the shop. John immediately pointed me out and said, “Nick, this is Napoleon Murphy Brock; Napoleon Murphy Brock, this is Nick: the kid who likes Zappa.” Immediately I froze. I had never dreamed of meeting the people involved with such great music. My nervousness quickly disappeared when I realized how amiable he was. I told him about the Yellow Snow Suite and he told me that he was a part of that band. He told me about some of the albums he recorded with FZ like Sheik Yerbouti and Roxy as well as the albums he recorded with George Duke and other artists. He seemed so full of knowledge as he told me about his troubles with getting paid for the work he did with FZ and how he was making settlements with the Zappa Family Trust. He advised me that if I was going to be a musician, I must act like a businessman sometimes (with contracts and bills), but I must never become jaded and tired of playing music later reminding me of the infamous Joe’s Garage quote, “Music is the Best!”. As for music, I asked him which album I should pick up next and he recommended the Roxy & Elsewhere album. Needless to say, when I got off the train home, I ran straight to the record store and picked up the Ryko version of Roxy. I was anxious to hear the sound of the infamously tight musicianship of the 70s band and from the first lines of Penguin in Bondage, I was truly smitten. This was a very new band to me. The only familiar names were Ruth Underwood and Don Preston (I knew who George Duke was from his stuff with Stanley Clarke, but never really heard him). That first song awakened something that I had unknowingly craved for ever since I first heard Zappa. I had never heard such exciting musicianship on a live record before. I immediately recognized Napoleon’s voice on the Oh Yeahs and I said a little thank you to him in my head. The high didn’t stop with Penguin. With the Pygmy Twylte/Dummy Up set, I heard a Frank I didn’t expect: the Funky Frank. On top of the deadly groove, a hilarious skit about smoking high school diplomas brought me to the floor laughing until the Village of the Sun where I heard some great soul singing from Napoleon (he was in top 40 cover band before joining the Mothers). As for the instrumental jam of Echidna’s Arf/Don’t You Ever Wash that Thing?, I felt like I was on a rollercoaster riding on each breathtaking theme after another. The instrumentation creates such a unique sound from Ruth’s percussion to the Fowler horns to FZ’s one of a kind guitar tone, even the musically challenged would be gripping their seat the whole time. The Funk just kept on coming with Cheepnis, which I believe is one of his best narrative efforts with brilliant dynamics and not to mention my first taste of poodles in the FZ world (Here Fido!). Son of Orange County was pulled me in with the Oh No themes which made me feel connected being that I was such a MOI freak at the time (still am now) and the guitar work is perfect on that track. What really got me off though as a MOI fan was the More Trouble Every Day in which Frank injects new life into one of my favorite old songs. Too bad about the fade out though. I really wish I could see the rumored footage of the concert because my only regret is not being able to see the real Be Bop Tango. I imagine differently every time I listen to it. In my opinion, this is FZ’s best live record (next being the ’88 tour trilogy) and a must have to truly appreciate works like Apostrophe and One Size Fits All. Thanks Napoleon for leading me to a good place in the vast FZ catalog. My appreciation for Zappa is mostly owed to you.

  12. Nick: Amen, brother! I agree with every single word you said about this release. A unique gem, quintessential in any Zappa collection (plus, it’s what dragged me into the Zappa universe terminally, like you).

  13. What a great album. Echidnas Arf (Of You) would have to be one of Zappa’s most technical compositions ever.

  14. I have been listening to Roxy & Elsewhere since it first issued in the 70’s. So rich is the playing that I continue to hear “new” things each time I listen critically to that album. The band is one of Zappa’s best lineups ever – world class musicians, to a person. I recall reading a mid-80’s interview with Zappa in which he acknowleged that, his own desire to move forward aside, many fans regard the Roxy band to be his finest. I think it was.

  15. si en realidad hay un dios que rige nuestros destinos este nos puso a frank zappa en el ambiente musical solo de su cerebro pueden salir esas complejas armonias estructurales ricas en matices y sutilezas melodicas es el mejor genio musical que la tierra a parido. roxy y a otra parte es una gran obra musical de frank zappa en conjunto todos son buenos temas en especial arf echidna ( de usted )que muestra a un zappa soberbio y magistral !

  16. “Ladies and gentlemen, watch Ruth! All through this film, Ruth has been thinking, ‘What can I possibly do that will amaze everyone?’ I think she’s come up with the answer — just keep your eye on her!”

    One of his best.

  17. Wow, “Roxy and Elsewhere”. Another bone-fide Zappa masterpiece, and a wonderful document of the ’73/’74 Zappa band at their most awe-inspiring. Everyone is playing at the top of their form here, and there is a pleasant balance of straight-ahead Zappa songs “Cheepnis”, “Penguin”, mixed in with much bigger, grander, technical work-outs like “The Be-Bop Tango”. The other wonderful thing about this live album is its close-miked, small-venue, “intimate” sounding quality. “Roxy and Elsewhere” HAS to be the most intimate and warm-sounding of all the Zappa live albums. When one listens to it, one feels as if Zappa and band are playing right in front of you in your very own living room. It really is a unique specimen, in that it is the only Zappa live album that sounds like it was recorded in a small club. The playing is astoundingly brilliant, a lot of brand-new material is presented with nothing repeated from the last two studio albums, Frank seems to be in a VERY comfortable, conversational mood with his audience, and the whole vibe/performance is wonderful. I know many people who hold this double album in a very special, close place in their hearts, and for many fans “Roxy and Elsewhere” simply IS the Zappa album to own (just check out all the positive reviews above mine!!). It is worth tons of listens, is the Zappa album of the ’73/’74 band that shows the greatest depth and breadth, and will astound you with its musical confidence and brilliance forever, as far as I’m concerned. One more great chapter from this band was to come (“One Size Fits All”), but ”
    Roxy and Elsewhere” clearly shows once and for all that THIS Zappa outfit was not about studio manipulation at all (the only overdubs here are on “Cheepnis”), rather, they could play their butts off constantly. This will always be my own personal favorite Zappa band, and “Roxy” only cements this in my mind and heart beyond all other Zappa live albums. Essential, and shame on you if you don’t have this one!!!

  18. el mejor directo de la historia, así de claro (con permiso del Fillmore de la Allman Brothers Band). he leído arriba que un zappainómano (sé reconocer a mis iguales) preguntaba si existe en video… bueno, sí fue grabado, pero zappa nunca lo arregló para editarlo… en cambio existe un video de la misma época que también es excelente: “A Token Of His Extreme”, de 1974.
    saludos y a disfrutar este discazo

  19. This is the ALBUM, for me.
    I think it has ewerything.
    Its a really fun album, you can hear the band having agreat time.
    The mix of songs is awesome.

    If you just wanna have one album from Zappa, you must have this.

  20. All we need now is the dvd to finish off this magical period!!!

    I always seem to end up listening to this one… at least once a month… and that is among the other 2000 cds I have on the shelf!


  21. One of the best live albus in the world what more can I say.Amazing musichanship and performance.

  22. Well – Live at Fillmore, Apostrophé were more apparent in my life in the seventies. However – Listening to zapparecords now, I do think this album takes the nr. 1. Listening to and seeing Zappa (in Copenhagen and Sweden) from 73 un to the mid 80`s was fun. First time in KB-hallen (Overnight Sensation)was in 73. 14 years old, a lot of funny fumes in the air. One Size… just happened with some friends in my late teens. We heard it smoking funny things and had a balll…..!! Now – reminscing Zappa, I listen to Live at Fillmore and Just another Band..
    But nice site..

  23. Listen guys, this album isn’t that great.

    Just kidding, this thing is fucking amazing. Pygmy Twylyte and Cheepnis are two of FZ’s best tracks, Dummy Up is hilarious, and the whole album is full of True Zen Sayings. Son of Orange County is one of the best arrangements of any Zappa tune. If my house were on fire and I could only save one album, it would be either this or Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan.

  24. Just plain berserk in places, this scrumptious mega-morsel proves that not ALL 70’s music was a tepid morass – Zappa’s narrations/asides are tres bien … still boggle over that percussion on “Pygmy Twylyte” or “Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing?” wherein you’d almost think he’s ALREADY got some weird Device like a Synclavier hidden somewhere (rather than a cheap Bubble-Machine) that’s making all this frantic fury run SO smooth – but these babies are the result of real effort AKA real magic, created via real musicians, hell-bent 4 leather in real time.
    This is Frank & other nice folks being more joyfully ferocious live than most bands can get in studio (where you can cherry-pick tracks from 8-10 takes)… Zappa fans froth over this one with good reason – it’s the real deal.

  25. Amazing musical gymnastics from the Roxy band. It’s got ‘Cheepnis’, ‘Village Of The Sun’ and.. ‘Penguin In Bondage’!

  26. De l’autre côté de l’atlantique, résonne le son de Frank Zappa. Comment choisir un album à un autre, comment préférer une musique, une chanson, un clin d’œil de Frank à un autre. Ouachhh, à chaque fois c’est le pied, La France à laisser passer cette occasion d’accueillir un grand Bonhomme lors de son vivant, mais nous sommes quelques gaulois à t’en être plus que reconnaissant.
    Un clin d’oeil de la france et de la bretagne.

  27. FZ = The Wizard of music.

    No one before or after ever got anywhere near FZ

    You gotta love Roxy, the tension created in Echidna’s Arf and Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing? Is enough to make my head almost explode – pure genius

    Great to see so many other people who enjoy his music. I know a lot of people who claim to love music yet none of them can get to Zappa.


  28. All I can add is that listening to Napoleon Murphy Brock play tenor sax on this album is what made me take up the saxophone in the first place. Thanks Napoleon!

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