Chicago ’80

This week’s Friday Boot: Chicago, 28 November 1980.
A short review of this tour:

This is not Zappa at his best, simply because he did not take the musical chances that he did on past and future tours. It is, however, Frank at his most consistent and his nastiest, playing the guitar with a ferocious attitude that raises an oft overlooked tour to frequently great heights.

16 thoughts on “Chicago ’80”

  1. I live in Chicago, and…you guessed it, the Uptown Theatre is closed, and has been for many years. I don’t think you can blame the Union for it primarily, but they probably did their part.

  2. sick guitar playing…. suicide chump is great!
    also didn’t know the 80 band played goblin girl, faithful to the album with the outro, i likes it.

  3. Awesome, my dad saw him the night after this. Theres a great recording of that show and it’s an awesome performance. It’ll be hard to beat, can’t wait to listen to this.

  4. Interesting how Pick Me, I’m Clean is different everytime. And others, too.
    This seems to be the tour of development.


  5. Sorry I’ve forgotten: Simply listen to Tiny Lights, at 04:10s there starts
    the drummer the beat from “Machine Gun (Jimi Hendrix)”, this is awesome creative in my ears.

  6. I think this was the best Zappa band I had the chance to see.
    Mostly because the of sound quality.
    Santa Monica Civic with my new (now ex) wife. Somewhere,
    there is a quilt with her bra in it.

  7. the first time i saw teh mothers perform was in 1969 with no vocalist and henceforth no vocals.
    they played Wipeout and a lot of tunes i did not recognize and also Sunshine of Your Love which Zappa announced they would play until is got so loud and ugly we would not be able to stand anymore.
    I liked it.

  8. ‘Tiny Lights’ solo = Variations on Variations on the Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression. Killer! Thanks as always Gilles.

  9. yeah “Pick Me” is much slower, i dig the tinseltown version better i think, but what a cool guitar solo it is, each and every time. “If only she woulda” is awesome too, especially when frank comes back in after the little drum break during the solo section. holy sheet.

  10. Interesting to see your comments about Pick Me I’m Clean. When I chose PMIC as a Variations Variations song a while back quite a few FZ afficionados let me know that they weren’t very keen on PMIC and why did I choose it etc etc. Personally, I always think that it is an overlooked gem, and as Michael Pabst comments above, there were numerous differences and changes as the song developed. Me, I’ll always love it.

  11. Hi Mr. Magic! :-) A question: on some versions of Pck Me I’m Clean and Torture there is a khm… “funny” pornographic background behind the solo, that (thanks God!) cannot be heard on Buffalo or Tinseltown Rebellion – but it was part of the Santa Monica show in december, if I remember well. Was it erased from the released versions, or they did not play these on some part of the tour?

  12. Pick Me I’m Clean is one of my favourite FZ songs, especially on Tinseltown Rebellion, with it’s soul/R’n’B tone interrupted by an almost Metal guitar solo by Zappa, which is short but brilliant. Plus Ray White’s voice is amazing.

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