BAND MEMBERS- FZ, Roy Estrada (bass, noises, screaming), Jimmy Carl Black (drums, ethnicity), Arthur Dyer Tripp III (percussion, drums), Ian Underwood (horns, woodwinds), Don Preston (keyboards), Bunk Gardner (horns), Motorhead Sherwood (horns)
DATES- January 27th through December 7th
COUNTRIES- 9 (US and Europe)
# OF DIFFERENT SONGS PLAYED- Really, who knows. I have included below all the titles that appear on the circulating tapes, 48 of which refer to actual compositions.
AVERAGE # OF FZ SOLOS PER SHOW- I have no friggin' clue!! Hardly any of the tapes are complete, the sound quality is consistently poor, Frank is playing guitar all the time, what qualifies as a solo and what qualifies as rhythm, etc., etc.
SONGS FZ WOULD SOLO IN- Holiday in Berlin, Hungry Freaks Daddy, King Kong, Little House I Used to Live In, My Guitar, Oh No/Orange County Lumber Truck, Pound for a Brown, Transylvania Boogie, plus some guitar here, and some there, and some just about everywhere.
COMMENTS ON SOLOS- Sadly, it is Frank's guitar playing, or more specifically, his lengthier guitar solos, that are some of the repeated low points of this tour (not bad points, mind you, just not-as-great-as-everything-else points). I think it is safe to claim that Frank's guitar playing got better over the years, and thus, as such a claim naturally suggests, it is back in the '60's, with only a couple of years of live playing under his belt, that Frank's playing is at his weakest. It is still undeniably Frank, and more interesting at this stage than most guitarists would ever become, but it just is not Frank at his best. A portion of the blame rests squarely on the rhythm section, whose manner of support consists of one repeated groove played ad nauseum. This obviously limits the lengths to which Frank can explore, and having not yet reached a level of true confidence, Frank simply does not push the envelope too often. He does have his moments of brilliance, however, and occasionally shows glimpses of the genius that would erupt years later. In such tunes as "Little House I Used to Live In" and "King Kong", there are moments where Frank solos in a style similar to the first solo from the YCDTOSA III "King Kong", I.e. with either no or very minimal rhythmic accompaniment. In these moments, Frank has more room to explore his guitar, and the results are more interesting and more musically challenging. Also, during his shorter, more conventional solo spots ("Hungry Freaks Daddy", "My Guitar"), Frank's guitar bursts with rock 'n' roll enthusiasm, and the intensity rises to a much higher level. The tour is not a complete loss as far as Frank's playing goes, and thankfully there are hints of the guitar monstrosities that would be unleashed in later years; it does leave the listener wanting more, however, and induces a thirst for more interesting and challenging Frank Zappa guitar solos.
SONGS FZ USUALLY SOLOED IN BUT DID NOT ON THIS TOUR- Huh? "Cruisin' for Burgers" is probably the only song not yet affected by a guitar solo. Everything else usually evolves into a solo of some sort.
NEW SONGS ON TOUR- Anybody want to compile this list for me? :-)
MONSTER SONGS ON TOUR- Damn near everything, though "Little House I used To Live In" and "King Kong" are the guaranteed mind blowers.
OVERVIEW- Please indulge me for a minute- My first Zappa album was the somewhat standard first album "Joe's Garage". Unlike many of you, I did not immediately enter the camp of rabid Zappa fans upon digestion of this album. Yes, I was intrigued, but the album did not blow me away as other Zappa eventually would. While the release of YCDTOSA Volume II would be the release that would forever change my experience with music, it was the triple combo of "Uncle Meat", "Weasels Ripped My Flesh", and "Burnt Weeny Sandwich" that forever reeled me in to Zappa's Universe. The music contained on those four pieces of vinyl was unlike any music I had ever heard before, and the many late nights I spent with headphones on, discovering and rediscovering every note of those masterpieces, will forever be etched in the high school portion of my mind. It was during this time- when I sought out the rest of Frank's music, plus every word ever written about the man- that I mentally joined that camp of Zappa fanatics who believe that the only Frank Zappa music that really matters is the Frank Zappa music of the '60's. If those early Mothers' were not playing it, then it simply was not the same. For me, the world of Frank was divided into two eras- the Great Years (1965-1969), when he was in peak form, and the Remaining Years (1970 on), when he was simply better than everyone else, but not as great as he once was. I eventually changed my opinion on this matter (thanks largely to the appearance of live tapes), and forever changed my mind when I heard the Fall '74 band. But regardless of all this, I am trying to say is that during 1968 and 1969, there is no doubt that Frank Zappa's live music contains the most outrageous, inventive, provocative, daring, idiosyncratic, beautiful, contradictory, exhilarating, etc, etc, etc, performances that any single musician ever produced. In terms of sheer unpredictability, there is no topping these years. In the space of twenty minutes, these Mothers would go from rhythm and blues to "Bitches Brew"-type jazz to Motown to classical to surf to simply indescribable chaos, all without missing a beat or taking a breath. Truly magical music.
That said, any page of mine would not be complete without some complaints (not really complaints, but a mention of some of the weaknesses I feel this tour had). One, as I have already mentioned, Frank's guitar playing is not all that great. From 1970 on (with the possible exception of '88), Frank is the best soloist in the band, and the songs and concerts are constructed in such a way that Frank and his guitar have the final say. Yes, everyone gets a chance to solo, but it is clear that it is Frank's guitar that is really in control. In these early years, however, many of the more intense and satisfying moments come at the hands of the supporting players, and it is pretty clear from the resulting music that Frank is not the top musician here. In fact, I personally find Frank's guitar solos to be the low points of many of the jams, and find the remaining Mothers to be the more inspired and revelatory players. Two, while there are many great tunes and some enjoyable vocals throughout each performance, these concerts owe most of their success to the musical chances that are taken and the insanity that ensues. These shows do not succeed on the basis of the song writing and/or tight performances of the band. The longer, instrumental tunes are simply vehicles for extensive improvisation, while the shorter, more conventional tunes serve their purpose by providing contrast and relief (once again returning to YCDTOSA criterion number 7). While this is not in any way a major downfall of this tour, it is a small factor that prevents this tour, and these years, from being perfect (and is also one of the reasons why I prefer the Summer/Fall '74 tour better- the only tour I like better than this one; for my tastes, that band had the perfect balance of well written compositions, highly accomplished performances, insane guitar solos, and healthy spontaneity).
Ignoring all that, let's just say that this is one hell of a great year. I am continually amazed at the music I find on these tapes, and find myself discovering things I have never heard before on tapes I have been listening to for years. If you like your music without boundaries, and love the sense of hurling blindly through musical space, with no idea whatsoever of where you are going or what you will find when you get there, then this is the tour for you.
ABSOLUTELY FREE- You have to listen real carefully, but if you do, it is there, and it is real cool. During the opening chaos of the 4/20 show, the Mothers perform a brief snippet of this WOIIFTM tune- an instrumental take of the last 30 seconds or so of the album track. The show begins with a rather chaotic medley of "Rite of Spring" and "Blue Moon", which eventually coalesces into this quick little snatch of music. There is not much to this piece itself, but the way the band comes together into this out of the aforementioned medley, and then gracefully segues into the following "Duke of Prunes", is one of those great moments in live music.
AHEAD OF THEIR TIME- I have not listed any of the tracks that appear on "Ahead of Their Time", other than the more "normal" performances that appear on the second half of the album. The songs which comprise the first half of the album- the "psycho-drama" portion- appear only as a part of that particular show, so if you want to know more about them, listen to the album.
ALL NIGHT LONG- One of the simple, cheesy, yet sincerely played R 'n' B numbers that seasoned the set lists from this era. A short song, consisting of Frank repeatedly singing "All Night Long" while the band chugs along.
AMERICA DRINKS AND GOES HOME- Simply beautiful in all its cheesy splendor. This often ignored classic pops up at least once this year (on 4/10), and apart from the slightly improvised lyrics, essentially appears as on "Absolutely Free". Sandwiched between a healthy dose of energy called "Hungry Freaks Daddy" and the tour-de-force musical monster of "King Kong", this lounge act homage provides the perfect contrast and relief, and highlights one of the most enjoyable tapes from this tour.
BABY LOVE- This charming little piece appears several times in the 60's as part four of the ridiculous little medley that appears on "Tis the Season to Be Jelly". The medley consists of "You Didn't Try To Call Me"-> "Petroushka"-> Bristol Stomp"-> "Baby Love"-> Big Leg Emma", and the '68 version is essentially performed as on that Beat the Boots track.
BACON FAT- Essentially performed as on "Our Man In Nirvana" from Beat the Boots Volume II.
BIG LEG EMMA- Essentially performed as on "The Ark", from Beat the Boots Volume I. Note that Jimmy Carl Black does the vocal chores there. This song appears solo, and also appears as part five of the ridiculous little medley that appears on "Tis the Season to Be Jelly". The medley consists of "You Didn't Try To Call Me"-> "Petroushka"-> Bristol Stomp"-> "Baby Love"-> Big Leg Emma", and the '68 version is essentially performed as on that Beat the Boots track.
BLUE DANUBE- Essentially performed as on "Electric Aunt Jemima" from Beat the Boots Volume II, which represents the single documented performance of this tune from this year. During the instrumental madness of the post-"Little House" jam, a couple of the horn players begin playing the melody to this tune, while the rest of the band continues doing their own thing ("So that's what doing your own thing is!"), while Frank begins playing the melody to "Hungry Freaks Daddy". Just your typical Mothers' chaos.
BLUE MOON- During the opening chaos of the 4/20 Fillmore East show, the Mothers whip out an odd little medley consisting of "The Rite of Spring" into this. The piece opens with what sounds like instruments being tuned, followed by instruments being randomly played, before a rather hazy version of "Rite of Spring" emerges. Shortly after this is established, one of the horn players begins blowing a low and sultry version of "Blue Moon". The remainder of the band continues doing its own thing, a very out-of-place "Blue Moon" emanates from the horn section, and the listener checks his ears to make sure he's hearing things right. Another one of the great examples of Frank's mix-and-match attitude towards music, and the startling results it creates. [Charles Ulrich adds: "I know all bridges sound alike, but I think they are actually playing the bridge of "I'm In The Mood For Love" in the middle of "Blue Moon".]
BRISTOL STOMP- This charming little piece appears several times in the 60's as part three of the ridiculous little medley that appears on "Tis the Season to Be Jelly". The medley consists of "You Didn't Try To Call Me"-> "Petroushka"-> Bristol Stomp"-> "Baby Love"-> Big Leg Emma", and the '68 version is essentially performed as on that Beat the Boots track.
CRUISIN' FOR BURGERS- As during the Flo 'n' Eddie period, this tune appears at the tail end of "Holiday in Berlin". Performed as an instrumental, this version sounds more like the overdone Xmas '76 version (as heard on the CD release of ZINY) than the "Uncle Meat" track. The music has a more dramatic feel to it, and lacks the innocent simplicity of the studio release. There is no guitar solo, as we simply get the instrumental rendering of the composed portions.
DIDJA GET ANY ONYA- While this is not an actual song, this track off the "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" album is a good sample of what much of the improv from this tour sounds like. The slice of music showcased on the album is actually from the Spring 1969 tour, but subtract Lowell George's German spiel, and you have a fair representation of the '68 band.
DOG BREATH- Essentially performed as on "Uncle Meat", but without the vocals. The opening vocals- the screams- are present, but the remainder of the tune is performed as an instrumental. This tune pops up both as a stand alone song, and as part of a "Little House I Used To Live In" performance where half the band performs "Dog Breath", and the other half performs "Little House".
DUKE OF PRUNES- While this tune usually disintegrates into the chaotic improv that this band performs so well, its majestic beginning brings a sense of calm and brief tranquillity into these usually cacophonous shows. As on "Absolutely Free", these performances begin with the peaceful and slow opening chords, which unhurriedly carry us to the ridiculously over sung lyrics. We get a verse or two of singing, before the madness typically sets in, and we are once again off into instrumental la-la land. During the 4/20 Fillmore East show, this vocals abandon us to a repetitive "Charles Ives" type jam, over which Frank, on guitar, squeezes out a twisted version of the "Duke of Prunes" theme, before the music veers off into unforeseen directions.
ENGLISH TEA DANCING INTERLUDE- I am not sure to what this title refers. It appears on set lists for the February Denver show- documented on "Electric Aunt Jemima"- and supposedly occurs before "Plastic People". Where it is labeled on the actual bootleg, we get the tail end of an improvisational section prior to "Plastic People", to which this Tea Dancing title might refer. Who knows? Anyone?
FEET LIGHT UP- "Be careful of the cables on the floor over there so that your feet don't light up". No guitar, no drums, no bass- just those simple and heartfelt words spoken by Frank prior to the start of the 8/11 performance (as heard on "Our Man In Nirvana" from Beat the Boots Volume II.)
GAS MASK- The actual "Gas Mask" track from the "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" album is a sample of the improvisation common during this tour. Originally taken from a Fall '68 performance, the title "Gas Mask" has come to mean any improvisational music highlighted (or possibly tainted?) by Roy Estrada's tortured and painful "singing". At the beginning of shows, during such Monster tunes as "King Kong" and "Little House", and liberally sprinkled through many a show, this type of improvisation pops up and provides that unique Mothers flavor to the music.
GO CRY ON SOMEBODY ELSE'S SHOULDER- This tune does not appear on any tapes from this tour, but during the February Denver performance, Frank can be heard reciting the spoken introduction found on the "Freak Out" album. At this point the tape cuts to another tune, but I am assuming that the band went ahead and actually performed the song. Obviously, I may be wrong, but hey...
HARRY YOU'RE A BEAST- Essentially performed as on "Ahead of Their Time"- the instrumental version.
HAWAIIAN EYE- I do not know what the title "Hawaiian Eye" refers to apart from Zappa, but in the context of the particular Fillmore East show, this title refers to an instrumental interlude that links "King Kong" to an early rendition of "Holiday in Berlin". Over a heavy and invasive drum beat, Frank starts playing some Hawaiian sounding guitar lines, flirting with a tango, and creating a short little passage reminiscent of the later "Sheik Yerbouti Tango". Frank's guitar lines hint at a recognizable melody (possibly the unknown "Hawaiian Eye"), but it is obvious that he is purposefully tweaking with the melody. This impromptu jam eventually leads into a short R&B flavored jam, complete with lyrics ("Let's Go Downtown"), with Frank superimposing the Hawaiian theme over this R&B passage. Eventually, led by Frank's guitar, this improvisation leads into "Holiday in Berlin". [Douglas O'Neill writes-> "Hawaiian Eye was a TV show starring Robert Conrad and Connie Stevens (Wednesday, 9:00 ABC - October 1959 - September 1963 ). Most of these shows had a distinctive Theme Song to open the show, that is probably the tune Frank is playing. See http://www.tvparty.com/action2.html more info on the show."]
HELP I'M A ROCK- Essentially performed as on "Ahead of Their Time", with the standard deviation coming in the somewhat improvised lyrics.
HOLIDAY IN BERLIN- This tune premieres on this tour in a rather hesitant and somewhat incomplete version. While it possibly premieres at an earlier date, the first available performance of this tune appears on the 4/20 Fillmore East tape. Arising out of an improvised R&B jam, the tune first coalesces around the lone sound of Frank's guitar, who ventures into this unknown territory while the rest of the band remains in rhythm and blues land. Frank establishes the melody, at which point the horn section joins the song and begins playing along with Frank. Finally, the rhythm section joins the groove, and we find ourselves in an early sounding instrumental version of "Holiday in Berlin". The written portion is much shorter here than it is on "Burnt Weeny Sandwich", with the transition into the solos coming after only one full band run through of the main theme. Frank solos first, followed by one of the horn players. These solos are quite lengthy, and tend to bore quickly due to the very repetitive nature of the rhythm section. After the second solo, the music slowly falls apart before quickly reforming and heading into an instrumental version of "Cruisin' for Burgers". This is not as majestic as later versions would be (including the awesome Flo 'n' Eddie with-vocals renditions), but it is still nice to hear.
HUNGRY FREAKS DADDY- This is probably the most straightforward music performed this year. This is essentially performed as on "Freak Out!", complete with guitar solo, and overflowing with attitude. No messing around, no random instrumental noises, no weird musical intrusions (well, actually, there is an unreleased, short "sanitized" take on the main theme following the guitar solo, which somehow adds to the overall force of this tune) - just the mean spirited "Hungry Freaks Daddy". Frank, of course, cannot refuse throwing some random chaos into the closing chords, but that is par for the course and does not distract from the straightforward honesty of this song.
IGOR'S BOOGIE- Essentially performed as on "Burnt Weeny Sandwich", with the horns carrying the meat of the melody.
I'M THE MEANY- Exactly performed as on "Our Man In Nirvana", which sadly may be the only performance of this sadistic classic. Will there ever be another Wild Man Fischer?
IMPROVISATION/INSTRUMENTAL- What can I say? The improvisation and instrumental jams of this tour cover every aspect of the musical terrain. We get loud, drum heavy jams consisting of every band member soloing their hearts out. We get mellow, keyboard based melodies which float through the air on a light bed of percussion. We get slowly building volcanoes of instrumental fury, complete with Preston induced keyboard noises and random instruments contributing to the madness. We get firmly established rhythms over which Frank and the boys display their more straightforward soloing abilities. We get random noises (mostly from Roy). We get pure chaos. And, as always, we get Frank's completely random and typically inane commentary. If you like to be confused, and like your music without any firm grip on reality (yet alone a straightforward beat), then this is the tour for you. As much as I like many of the other tours from Frank's career, I must admit that sadly, Frank would never again achieve the sense of pure randomness that he achieves in this and the following year.
IN THE SKY- This amusing little '50's piece- reminiscent of some of the greasier Ruben tunes- consists of your typical cheesy love music accompanied by a painfully high Roy Estrada falsetto. The music is simple, and the lyrics consist of two verses, the first of which contains the words "in the sky" sung over and over, and the second of which contains the words "all night long" sung over and over. The final line, a brilliant combination of the two verses, consists of the words "in the sky, all night long". Simple, to the point, and hilariously entertaining.
THE JELLY- This is a classical piece of composed music, found on the popular 4-CD "Apocrypha" boot. It is very similar to "Some Ballet Music" (found on "The Ark"), highlighting the ensemble playing of the horn section and the percussionists.
KING KONG- "King Kong" represents the more straightforward of the Monster songs of this year. While "Little House I Used To Live In" frequently contains the more random and unpredictable improvisation, "King Kong" contains a more standard parade of conventional solos. As on "Uncle Meat" and "Ahead of Their Time", the songs begins with the main theme, and then proceeds into a long line of solos. Horn solos, keyboard solos, guitar solos- we get them all. The solos are typically interesting, but unfortunately the rhythm section typically is not. Throughout these lengthy jams, the drums lock into one groove, and ride the thing to death. There is very little rhythmic variation, and as a result, the solos suffer. Frank conducts the band through a variety of different rhythms during these extended outings, but within each rhythm, there is little variance and thus very little for the soloists to feed off. There are some excellent solos throughout the tour, do not get me wrong, but on the whole, the rhythm section proves to be a detriment in these Monster performances, and prevents this tune from rising to truly great heights.
LET'S GO DOWNTOWN- This R&B flavored number briefly pops up during the "Hawaiian Eye" improv from the 4/20 Fillmore East show. After the Hawaiian jam dissolves into blankets of noise, the rhythm section eases into this tune, with someone other than Frank providing the "Let's Go Downtown" lyrics. Frank then adds his two cents, overlaying the whole affair with the mutated melody from "Hawaiian Eye". This live xenochrony continues for about a minute, before Frank leads the band into an early version of "Holiday in Berlin".
LET'S MAKE THE WATER TURN BLACK- Essentially performed as on "Ahead of Their Time"- the instrumental version.
LITTLE HOUSE I USED TO LIVE IN- Essentially performed as on "Burnt Weeny Sandwich", with the standard deviation coming in the myriad of solos and in the random conducting thrown at the band by Frank. While "King Kong" is the springboard for a parade of more straightforward jazz solos, this tune is the springboard for a variety of random and typically chaotic improvisation. After the main theme is performed, as on "Burnt Weeny Sandwich", the music quiets down and sets the stage for the madness that ensues. While the music jumps from calm to riotous, with a variety of soloists adding their say throughout, these instrumental excursions are marked by a continual presence of Frank's guitar. Compared to the typical "King Kong" solos- where each soloist flew alone- these outings are more jumbled affairs, with soloists fighting each other, invading each other's space, and trying to overcome the typically manic rhythm section. Thus, as part of this madness, Frank's guitar is consistently involved in the happenings, by either adding chorded textures or rolling along with the flow.
LOHENGRIN- A common musical quote found in Frank's music over the years, this Wagner piece receives due homage in this tour also. During the one well documented performance from this year (10/6), this FZ/Preston performed rendition arises out of a "Gas Mask" type jam, which itself arises out of the ashes of an "Uncle Meat". Frank begins toying with the melody while the band is involved in a percussion heavy jam. The percussion slowly dies out, at which point both Frank and Preston continue teasing the tune. This continues for a short while, with this classical tease culminating in a typically deranged vocalization of the melody. (For those of you unsure about what this title refers to, check out the 2:55 mark of "Big Swifty" on your readily accessible "Make A Jazz Noise Here" CD).
LONELY LONELY NIGHTS- This is another of the short, cheesy, yet sincerely played '50's numbers that adds such diverse flavor to this tour. Running about two and half minutes in length, Frank has enough time to take a short repetitive solo, Preston has enough time to take a short repetitive solo, and whoever is singing has enough time to spit out several lines of lyrics.
MELLOW LOUNGE MUSIC- The title says it all. During the 4/20 Fillmore East show, the Mothers play some cheesy lounge music while Frank tells the story of La Mar Bruister and tosses non-sequitors at the audience. Hilariously sincere yet obviously mocking in a way that only Frank could do. [Charles Ulrich adds: "Mellow Lounge Music includes "Easter Parade". ]
MR. GREEN GENES- Rather surprisingly, this 4/10 performance sounds more like the 1972/73 versions of this tune than the 1968 "Uncle Meat" version. Or for you without a tape of said live version, this sounds a lot more like "Son of Mr. Green Genes" then the actual "Mr. Green Genes" itself. Performed as an instrumental, this bouncy, upbeat musical jaunt is one of the better straightforward showcases of the band's improvisational talents, and contains a lengthy, no-nonsense solo section. After a short version of the head, we get a parade of solos-horn, keyboard, and guitar- none of which are in any way "weird", and all of which are great. The intensity of these solos surprises, especially considering the lighthearted nature of the arrangement, and the relative simplicity of the accompanying rhythm section. While I have never been a great fan of the early '70's performances of these tunes- all skill but no passion- I find this performance to be one of the highlights of a year filled with many. A must hear (despite the fact that, as Franks says after the performance, they "are sadly not in tune".)
MY GUITAR WANTS TO KILL YER MAMA- Essentially performed as on "The Ark", complete with guitar solo. This tune popped up frequently throughout the year, usually performed as mentioned above, but one time (Miami, 3/??) possibly as an instrumental. There are no vocals on the tape during this show opening performance, but that could be due to poor tape quality or early-show mic problems. Nevertheless, this performance follows that same format as the vocal-versions, with a FZ guitar solo climaxing the affair.
OH NO- The instrumental version , complete with guitar solo, essentially performed as on "Ahead of Their Time". (There is at least one performance from this tour- captured on tape- that features vocals. The date escapes my mind right now, but I know its there).
ORANGE COUNTY LUMBER TRUCK- Essentially performed as on "Ahead of Their Time"
PETROUSHKA- This charming little piece appears several times in the 60's as part two of the ridiculous little medley that appears on "Tis the Season to Be Jelly". The medley consists of "You Didn't Try To Call Me"-> "Petroushka"-> Bristol Stomp"-> "Baby Love"-> Big Leg Emma", and the '68 version is essentially performed as on that Beat the Boots track.
PLASTIC PEOPLE- Essentially performed as on YCDTOSA Volume I, , with an extra round or two of "You Gotta Go's" thrown in at the end for good measure. Once the tune proper is complete, the music veers off into your typical random improvisation- heavy on the guitar- with the rhythm section keeping things somewhat sane by frequently returning to the main "Plastic People" groove.
POUND FOR A BROWN (ON THE BUS)- Essentially performed as on "Ahead of Their Time", with the standard deviation coming in Frank's guitar solo.
RITE OF SPRING- During the opening chaos of the 4/20 show, the band plays a bizarre medley consisting of this classical piece and "Blue Moon". This is one of those instances where part of the band plays one tune, part of the band plays the other, and the rest of the band does their own thing (so that's what doing your own thing is!). Its chaotic, its noisy, but its your typical Mothers, and damn is it beautiful.
SHOTGUN- This title is found on set lists for the 4/20 show, and I must say I have no idea to what it exactly refers. The lengthy musical passage that the title refers to consists of "Hawaiian Eye" and "Let's Go Downtown", both of which I have discussed on this page. I am assuming that one of these musical passages is actually "Shotgun", but since I do not know what the original "Shotgun" is, I really cannot say. [Charles Ulrich with this correction: ""Shotgun" was a hit for Junior Walker (tenor sax, vocals) on Motown in 1965. Among the more decipherable lyrics Ray sings are "Do the jerk, baby", "Put on your red dress", and the title itself. I'm afraid this is what you have erroneously labeled "Let's Go Downtown".]
SLEEPING IN A JAR- Essentially performed as on "Ahead of Their Time"
SOME BALLET MUSIC- "Music that is better for you in the long run", or so says Frank to introduce this minimalist composed piece from "The Ark". Full of percussion and wind instruments, but with lots of space and taken at a very unhurried pace, this piece is a precursor to the mad sound of "Greggary Peccary", and contains parts that would later appear, though quite a bit more cartoonish, in that later piece.
STATUS BACK BABY- Essentially performed as on "The Ark". This is one of those pieces that would pop up in the strangest of places, say after a whacked out "King Kong-> Wedding Dress Song" jam. The amazing thing is, whether its played as a stand alone piece, or in the midst of twenty minutes of musical chaos, this whimsical little piece always fits. Yet another example of how well Frank understood the concept of contrast and relief.
STRING QUARTET- The original stage name for the unbeatable one-two combination of "Pound for a Brown" and "Sleeping in a Jar".
TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF WHEN YOU DANCE- I have two different tapes of the 4/10 show in which this song purportedly appears, but it does not appear on either one. Possibly my tapes are simply missing this performance, but I have a feeling that this is simply a mislabeling of a tape somewhere in the past twenty years. [There is, however, a "Wedding Dress Song" in this show which I have never seen on a set list, and maybe the TYCOWYD titles actually refers to this other overlooked instrumental.]
TOADS OF THE SHORT FOREST- This track from the "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" album comes from the Miami show in March. At the tail end of this show's "Big Medley", the jam evolves through several different musical styles, before developing into the portion of live music released under the title "Toads of the Short Forest". The improvisation continues after the officially released portion ends, and eventually slides into an unknown Dixieland-esque instrumental.
TRANSYLVANIA BOOGIE- Essentially performed as on "Ahead of Their Time". When this song popped up in the latter half of the year, it typically segued out of "Help I'm A Rock" as it does on the aforementioned album.
TROUBLE COMING EVERY DAY- I have tried to attain a '68 version of this song for some time, but every tape I get which purportedly contains this tune either does not contain it, or contains an instrumental jam in its place. Somebody help me here?
UNCLE MEAT- Essentially performed as on "The Ark" from Beat the Boots Volume I.
VALARIE- The kind of song "that should have limited type of appeal in the pure grease market". Essentially performed as on "The Ark" from Beat the Boots Volume I.
WEDDING DRESS SONG- During the 4/10 performance, this tune pops up in a transcendent passage of music consisting of "King Kong-> Wedding Dress Song-> Little House I Used to Live In-> Status Back Baby". At the tail end of "King Kong", the music slowly dissolves into a reflective piano solo, from which the band delicately builds the basis of the "Wedding Dress Song". They are hesitant at first, but Frank steps up and with a solid stroke of the guitar, leads the band into a jazzed out version of this tune. After a short take on the main theme, we get a flute solo, followed by a horn solo which liberally teases the tune's melody. During this latter solo, Frank begins playing the melody line to "Little House", which eventually brings about a seamless transition into a shortened version of that tune. Simply beautiful.
WILD MAN FISCHER STORY- Essentially performed as on "Our Man in Nirvana".
WIPE OUT- This song is briefly quoted at the chaotic end of the February Denver "King Kong", which is captured and can be heard on the "Electric Aunt Jemima" boot from Beat the Boots Volume II.
YOU DIDN'T TRY TO CALL ME- This charming little piece appears several times in the 60's as part one of the ridiculous little medley that appears on "Tis the Season to Be Jelly". The medley consists of "You Didn't Try To Call Me"-> "Petroushka"-> Bristol Stomp"-> "Baby Love"-> Big Leg Emma", and the '68 version is essentially performed as on that Beat the Boots track.