Frank Zappa & the Mothers in Stockholm, 1973

One of my favorite performances by any Zappa ensemble is this particular performance by the early Roxy band (prior to the arrival of Napoleon Murphy Brock and Chester Thompson, and featuring Ian Underwood on woodwinds) at Soliden, Skansen, Stockholm, Sweden, August 21, 1973, which was originally divided into two Swedish television broadcasts (parts of which became the source for the bootleg, Piquantique). There are a lot of extended solos by each of the members of Mothers, making these clips very worthwhile viewing and listening.
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Tom Waits — Early TV Appearances

In the above clip, Tom Waits appears on Fernwood 2 Night, a parody talk show, hosted by Barth Gimble (Martin Mull) and sidekick/announcer Jerry Hubbard (Fred Willard), created by Norman Lear as a spin-off/summer replacement from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. The show ran from July 4th, 1977 to September 8th, 1977. On it, Waits performs “The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)” from his 1976 Elektra/Wea album, Small Change.

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Small Screen Zappa – 67/68

On September 16, 1967, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention made a brief 10 minute appearance on Fred Weintraub’s WOR-TV New York show “From The Bitter End”. They lip synched “Son Of Suzy Creamcheese” from Absolutely Free, then performed an improvisation (above) which has come to be known as “In Memoriam, Hieronymus Bosch” which appeared on the bootleg, Apochrypa.

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FZ Don’t Mess Around

After the recent tease of ‘The Son of Roxy’ what better salve, I thought, than the complete broadcast of Zappa’s ‘We Don’t Mess Around‘? Broadcast by Bayerischer Rundfunkt (BR) on July 1, 1980, and then 
re-broadcast on August, 1996, these three clips record some of Zappa’s rehearsals which were videotaped by BR at Circus Krone in Munich, Germany, on September 8, 1978 (footage of Frank shopping in Munich and an interview with his bodyguard were added later).

Zappa’s Rockin’ Teenage Combo:

Frank Zappa–lead guitar/vocals

Ike Willis–guitar/vocals
Denny Walley–slide guitar/vocals

Tommy Mars–keyboards/accordion/vocals
Peter Wolf–keyboards
Ed Mann–percussion/vocals

Arthur Barrow–bass/vocals
Vinnie Colaiuta–drums/seal call


Clip One:(above)
• A Pound For A Brown (On The Bus)
• Baby Snakes
• Deathless Horsie
• Dancin’ Fool
• Easy Meat
• Honey, Don’t You Want A Man Like Me

Clip Two:
• Keep It Greasey
• Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?
• Sofa #2
• Seal Call Fusion Music
• Bobby Brown

Clip Three:
• Conehead
• Tryin’ To Grow A Chin and City Of Tiny Lites (Sheik Yerbouti versions on the background while John Smothers is interviewed)
• Dead Air
• I’m On Duty
• Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow
• St Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast
• Father O’Blivion
• Rollo
• Bamboozled By Love

Note: Thanks to hushhush112 at dailymotion (each clip runs approximately 20 min each).

Don’t you feel better?

Zappa & Mothers TV Special, 1974

On Tuesday afternoon of August 27th, 1974, sometime after 5:30pm, Frank Zappa, George Duke, Chester Thompson, Tom Fowler, Napoleon Murphy Brock and Ruth Underwood took to KCET-TV Channel 28’s Sound Stage B in Culver City, Los Angeles to film a performance for broadcast later that December 8th (and thus becoming the source material for countless bootleg vinyl records, and later, bootleg videos and DVDs).

It’s a unique performance. For instance, on “Montana”, Zappa seems to forget the lyrics “And it would be on top, / That’s why I’m moving to Montana” and sings nonsense instead. “Stink-foot” is a “Tom Waits Version” (“right around the corner – over by Tom Waits’ restaurant”) and is sung through a frequency shifter transposing his voice down below normal range. “Inca Roads” provides the basic tracks for the official One Size Fits All release. “Florentine Pogen” (view the clips above) is the One Size Fits All version, but here it is 9:40, whereas on One Size Fits All it fades and is several minutes shorter.

I have gathered and linked the bootlegged filmed performance, A Token Of His Extreme, below:

The Dog Breath Variations
• Uncle Meat
More Trouble Every Day
George Duke Solo
Florentine Pogen Part 1
Florentine Pogen Part 2 (The Solo)
Oh No
Pygmy Twylyte
Stink-Foot (Tom Waits Version)
Inca Roads
• Pygmy Twylyte (Dummy Up)
A Token Of My Extreme (Honey Jam)
Cosmik Debris
Room Service

As per usual with bootlegged videos, the visual and audio qualities of each segment comes and goes. And, also, as usual, the Warner Group of Companies were busy muting a lot of these postings on YouTube, or outrightly having them removed altogether. Unless you already have a copy (available from Zappateers), this performance will soon disappear from YouTube. I suggest failing that, saving your money and waiting for the Zappa Family Trust to release an official version more in keeping with Zappa’s legacy (I certainly would like to replace my copy with something highly clean, crisp and watch-able).

Warning: some segments may induce epileptic seizures.

Thanks to ‘bakabana1966’ and ‘phideauxiii’ for posting these video clips.

Zappa, Palais des Sports, Paris, 1980

This particular concert took place at the Palais des Sports, Paris, France on June 11th, 1980 and was first broadcast on France’s Antenne 2 in late 1980, and later rebroadcast on Europe2 TV on May 10, 2007.

It features Zappa’s Rockin’ Teenage Combo:

Frank Zappa–lead guitar, vocals
Ike Willis–guitar, vocals

Ray White–guitar, vocals 

Tommy Mars–keyboards, vocals

Arthur Barrow–bass, keyboards, vocals

David Logeman–drums

Besides the three clips posted above — “Chunga’s Revenge”, “Outside Now” and “Pound For A Brown”, respectively — I have endeavoured to link the following setlist to available videos from that concert:

• Chunga’s Revenge
Keep It Greasey
• Outside Now
City Of Tiny Lites
• Pound For A Brown
Cosmik Debris
• You Didn’t Try To Call Me
• Ain’t Got No Heart
• Love Of My Life
You Are What You Is
Easy Meat
• Mudd Club
The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing/Heavenly Bank Account
Suicide Chump/Jumbo Go Away
If Only She Woulda (Pt 1)
If Only She Woulda (Pt 2)
• I Don’t Wanna Get Drafted
Joe’s Garage/Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?
Dancin’ Fool/Bobby Brown/Ms Pinky
Stick It Out
Illinois Enema Bandit

Information Is Not Knowledge identifies many highlights in this concert, one of which:

There’s a lot of guitar in this concert.. nearly every song has an extended guitar solo, so if you like that sort of thing you’re definitely in luck. Ike sang really well on Outside Now, and then Ray did his usual fantastic singing of City of Tiny Lites. John Smothers runs out a couple of times and shines his flashlight into the crowd. Then something curious happens. In the middle of Pound For A Brown, Frank “brings the band on down” and says that he’s going to give a demonstration to a mystery guest… this would be Pierre Boulez, whom both Frank and Tommy Mars got to meet personally and show off their electronic effects, which Boulez seemed to enjoy.

Much thanks to “YourArf”, “bongolampo”, “zw”, “berthy75”, and “justanotherbrick” for posting all these videos.