BAND MEMBERS- FZ, Howard Kaylan (vocals, beer), Mark Volman (vocals, tape recorder), Jeff Simmons (bass, vocals, featuring his hurt), Aynsley Dunbar (drums), Ian Underwood (horns, keyboards, vocals), George Duke (keyboards, vocals, trombone)
SPECIAL GUEST- Jean-Luc Ponty (violin), Grace Slick (memories of Woodstock)
DATES- June 13th through December 17th
COUNTRIES- 10 (US, Canada, and Europe)
# OF DIFFERENT SONGS PLAYED- 33
AVERAGE SHOW LENGTH- 105 minutes
AVERAGE # OF FZ SOLOS PER SHOW- 5
SONGS FZ WOULD SOLO IN- Call Any Vegetable, Chunga's Revenge, Dog Breath, Holiday in Berlin, King Kong, Pound for a Brown (on the Bus), Sharleena (closing solo), Sleeping in a Jar, Who Are the Brain Police?, Willie the Pimp, Wonderful Wino [FZ is the only guitarist on this tour, and because he hardly ever sings, he plays guitar- both rhythm and lead- throughout each show. Hence, there are bursts of guitar in the majority of the tunes, but the titles above represent the lengthier, more "official" solo spots.]
COMMENTS ON FZ SOLOS- While Frank's guitar playing is nowhere near the frenzied peaks it would reach by the end of the decade, his solos are still highly enjoyable on this tour for several reasons. One, the solos provide a welcome relief from the highly vocal-oriented material which comprises the majority of the sets. Two, they arrive in somewhat interesting and underplayed songs. His "Holiday in Berlin" solos are classics, rising out of the "Inca Roads" theme and then riding an excellent wave of rhythmic support from the entire band, before frequently transforming into an instrumental "Easy Meat". These are some of his lengthier solos, along with his "Pound for a Brown" and "King Kong" workouts, all of which are made even more interesting by the excellent support of the band. The remainder of his solos are quite a bit shorter, but coming in such tunes as "Wonderful Wino" and "Who Are the Brain Police?", they arrive with a healthy dose of energy and quite a bit of rock 'n' roll attitude. Finally, one of the continual delights of the tour is that Frank's guitar is everywhere. He plays rhythm guitar throughout- during solos and written parts- and fills many a song with some rather tasty fills. His constant presence gives many of the tunes a more rock feel, and helps keep the energy levels high.
SONGS THAT FZ USUALLY SOLOED IN BUT DID NOT ON THIS TOUR- Cruising for Burgers (no solo until '76)
NEW SONGS ON TOUR (1st time performed live)- The Air, Bwana Dik, Concentration Moon, Daddy Daddy Daddy, Do You Like My New Car?, Easy Meat, Happy Together, Latex Solar Beef, Lonesome Cowboy Burt, Mom and Dad, Mother People, Mudshark, What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?, What Will This Evening Bring Me This Morning?, What Will This Morning Bring Me This Evening?
MONSTER SONGS- King Kong. In one of the longest Monster appearances in FZ history, this tune roared for 30 plus minutes in Paris on the last date of the tour. Thanks to two somewhat impressive solos by special guest Jean-Luc Ponty, some dueling improv with Ian and Duke, and some Flo 'n' Eddie harmonizing, this performance once again proved "King Kong's" worth as a Monster tune. Throughout the tour, it occasionally terrorized setlists, providing the hungry fans with Duke solos, Flo 'n' Eddie wailing, and FZ masterpieces, all accompanied by the manic Ansley on drums. It also appeared as short little outros and mid-set instrumentals, with nothing more than its main theme popping up before Frank steps in and either declares the show to be over or moves on to the next tune. Disappointing, yes, but an interesting occurrence once you know what to expect. Overall, not a great tour for Monster improvisation due to the infrequency of the full blown "King Kongs", but worthwhile when they are happening.
OVERVIEW- It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Dickens gives us a perfect description for this tour- the first of the three Flo 'n' Eddie vaudevillian outings. The Best of Times- a healthy rock 'n' roll attitude, excellent rhythmic section, some extended Frank workouts, and most notably, the long forgotten "Holiday in Berlin" extravaganza. And then, unfortunately, the worst of times- the not yet fully developed Opera, the desecration of classic "We're Only In It For the Money" tunes, and WAY too much Flo 'n' Eddie.
THE BEST OF TIMES- While Flo 'n' Eddie ultimately prove to be more annoying than anything, they do get to demonstrate why it is that Frank hired them in the first place. They can sing. While the "Burnt Weeny Sandwich" version is damn near perfect as it is, the vocal filled "Holiday in Berlin" extravanganza that graces so many setlists from this tour is undoubtedly Frank's most accomplished piece of music from this era. While the tale is a rather dull take on the exciting events of Berlin '68, Flo 'n' Eddie give the lyrics their all, taking the vocals to soaring heights and providing intrigue to Frank's surprisingly uninspired words. Higher and higher we go, before sliding effortlessly into a vocal heavy version of what would later become the classic "Inca Roads" guitar theme. Upon finishing this theme, the music retreats into a quiet yet powerful vamp, setting the stage for Frank to step up and take off into the six-string stratosphere. Spine tingling music. While this grand, rather epic piece of music easily serves as the highlight of this tour, the more mainstream rock 'n' roll energy that infuses much of the remainder of the music provides an excellent boost to the material, and keeps the interest levels high in the face of Flo 'n' Eddie's sophomoric humor. Which leads us to...
THE WORST OF TIMES- There is WAY too much Flo 'n' Eddie on this tour. Adventures of Palladin and Hay Boy, the Sanzini Brothers, El Porko the Magnificent, Penis Dimension, the Opera- they are everywhere. Destroying old tunes, failing to liven up new tunes, providing pathetically unfunny routines during the "slow" parts of the shows. For some reason, Frank feels that we would rather see and hear our beloved Turtles do the Sodomy Trick than spend a minute in silence while the band tunes their instruments. Boy, was he ever wrong. Fortunately, for the reputations of Flo 'n' Eddie, they are not everything that is wrong with this tour. The Opera material (i.e. the groupie related songs from "Fillmore East, June 1971", plus a couple others) debut on this tour, and for the most part, are not as well developed as they would be the following year. True, they would never become masterpieces, but in the course of gaining live experience, they do become musically more interesting and funnier. For this tour, they are simply painful at times. "Concentration Moon" and "Mom and Dad" are given a treatment this time round, and once again thanks to Flo 'n' Eddie, thoroughly ruined (though Frank did let them do it, so...).
Overall, it all boils down to how much Flo 'n' Eddie your can handle, as to whether or not you could enjoy this tour. There is some excellent music performed throughout this tour, but it is well hidden among piles of moronic humor. It is like eating Lucky Charms. Each box contains all those delicious marshmallows, but are you willing to pick through all that other cereal just to get them? Well, are you?
ADVENTURES OF PALLADIN AND HAY BOY, THE- Some moments of comedic brilliance courtesy of Flo 'n' Eddie. Sean Gaffney gives us an explanation of what all the hilarity is about- ""Have Gun Will Travel" was a late 50s-early 60 western starring Richard Boone, I believe, as Paladin. Hay Boy was his Chinese assistant. The basic plot had him hanging around the Carlton in San Francisco, after the Civil War, waiting for a response to his card: "Have Gun, Will Travel.Wire Paladin, San Francisco." That's it. Typical Western. The card was a big selling point, as it had a big white knight (chess-like) on it. Truly a card filled with lust, romance, danger, and adventure." Armed with that knowledge, we can now all laugh along with Flo 'n' Eddie.
AIR, THE- Essentially performed as on "Disconnected Synapses" from Beat the Boots Volume II.
BWANA DIK- Essentially performed as on "Tengo Na Minchia Tanta" from Beat the Boots Volume II. This song serves as the third song of the seven song "Opera".
CALL ANY VEGETABLE- Essentially performed as on "Freaks and Motherfu*#@%!" from Beat the Boots Volume I, with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo, and in his post-solo "lecture".
CHRISTMAS STORY- Well, its not from a Christmas show- December 6th to be exact- and I have yet to hear it. Could it be another hilarious Flo 'n' Eddie routine? Just imagine the humor they could create with Christmas as a subject. Oh, is nothing sacred anymore?
CHUNGA'S REVENGE- Essentially performed as on "Chunga's Revenge", with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. This tune is apparently only performed once on this tour.
CONCENTRATION MOON- Essentially performed as on "Freaks and Motherfu*#@%!" from Beat the Boots Volume I. This is one of those really poor choices that Frank makes every so often- letting Flo 'n' Eddie destroy this WOIIFTM classic. You do not realize how much you like, and appreciate, the original version of a song until you hear Flo 'n' Eddie destroy it. Shame on everyone involved.
CRUISING FOR BURGERS- Essentially performed as on "Freaks and Motherfu*#@%!" from Beat the Boots Volume I.
DADDY DADDY DADDY- Essentially performed as on "Tengo Na Minchia Tanta" from Beat the Boots Volume II. Personally, I find this to be one of Frank's most endearing little pop numbers, and thus, must reserve a spot in my heart for this band, the Fall '76 band, and the '84 band. They were all kind enough to perform this little sucker (and amazingly enough, I like the '84 version the best). For this tour, this song typically appears as the fifth song in the seven song "Opera".
DOG BREATH- Essentially performed as on "Disconnected Synapses" from Beat the Boots Volume II. Note that this is the short version, with vocals, but without the guitar solo and then reprise.
DO YOU LIKE MY NEW CAR?- Essentially performed as on YCDTOSA Volume I (i.e.The Groupie Routine), though at this point in the songs history it is not yet the full-blown affair that it would be by the following year. This song typically appears as the sixth song in the seven song "Opera".
EASY MEAT- "I was singing 'Easy Meat' or something", and by golly, he actually was! This concert staple of Frank's later year's premieres on this tour, and amazingly enough, it sounds almost exactly as it would 8 years later when the Fall '78 band would revive it. The lyrics are all here- three verses, all the same. There's a lengthy guitar solo spot, with the Fall '78 opening riff used as the accompanying vamp. The only real differences in this version are, one, the song starts immediately with the vocals (i.e. no opening riff or setup), and two, due to the particular instrumentation of the band, the overall effect of the tune is that of psychedelic circus music (hey, that's what it sounds like). Special praise to the guitar solos, which sounds similar to the "Call Any Vegetable" solos from this tour. They start off slow, with rather casual rhythm accompaniment, and gradually work their way into a musical frenzy before returning us to the tune proper (which is more than we can say about the typical Fall '78 solo). This tune is also performed as a short musical snippet essentially serving as the closing riff to Frank's "Holiday in Berlin" solos. This is essentially an instrumental version of the eventual chorus, and can be heard on "Freaks and Motherfu*#@%!" from Beat the Boots Volume I.
HAPPY TOGETHER- The Bullet! Essentially performed as on "Freaks and Motherfu*#@%!" from Beat the Boots Volume I. Sadly, this is not the full length Turtles version but simply the first verse and chorus. These performances come complete with audience sing alongs, making us all feel like we are at the Big Rock Shows. This song typically appears as the seventh song in the seven song "Opera", and makes us all feel happy together, knowing that Frank might now play something that does not feature Flo 'n' Eddie so prominently.
HOLIDAY IN BERLIN- Essentially performed as on "Freaks and Motherfu*#@%!" from Beat the Boots Volume I, with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. As the song appears here and on other officially released boots, it is actually the vocal version of "Would You Like A Snack?" combined with the vocal version of "Holiday in Berlin". The instrumental combination of these two tracks constitute the tune we all know as "Holiday in Berlin, Full Blown" from "Burnt Weeny Sandwich". Frank included the first portion of this tune on "200 Motels" along with a set of vocals, and this portion thus became "Would You Like A Snack?". Upon the release of this album, the name "Holiday in Berlin" actually only refers to the tune that begins with the lines "Look at all the Germans". For this tour, upon completion of the lyrics, the band smoothly eases into the melody line of the post- guitar solo "Inca Roads" theme, which is accompanied by a singing Flo 'n' Eddie. This would then lead us into Frank's solo. To further confuse matters, this tune also contains the instrumental chorus to what would eventually become "Easy Meat". Upon finishing his solo, Frank and the band would jump into this short musical theme, and then Frank would conclude the proceedings with a short burst of guitar. While Frank's solos during this tune are some of the highlights of the tour, the band's performance is also particularly noteworthy, with each member providing some excellent support for Frank's playing.
IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE- Though he claimed it couldn't, it did- once- and I have yet to hear it. Has anyone? Don't worry- you're safe.
JAM- Sporadically throughout the tour, Frank would throw somewhat lengthy instrumental jams into the repertoire. Essentially serving as guitar solo vehicles, with the occasional Duke solo, these musical excursions are excellent examples of this band's ability to simply jam. While Frank's guitar playing is undeniably the center of each such jam, the remainder of the band is providing excellent support, and is doing more than just supplying the vamp. These are some of the loosest and most relaxed improvisational numbers that Frank and cohorts ever produced.
KING KONG- The Monster Song of the tour. While the most monstrous of these performances did not come until the final date of the tour, this song frequently raised some eyebrows in the preceding dates. Essentially performed as on "Disconnected Synapsses" from Beat the Boots Volume II, this song provides us with the typical solos, coming from Duke, Ian, Frank, and unfortunately, Flo 'n' Eddie. Dunbar and Simmons are, of course, excellent throughout. For the 12/15 performance, Ponty sits in for this song, providing us with two rather tasty solos, made even better by the inspiring support provided by the Mothers. As I note above, this song also appears in a condensed version, wherein nothing but the main theme is played, with Frank then stepping up and annoncing the end of the show or a segue into another song. Nothing monstrous occurs in these short musical jaunts, but the theme is enjoyable nonetheless.
LATEX SOLAR BEEF- Essentially performed as on "Tengo Na Minchia Tanta" from Beat the Boots Volume II. This tune is far from the state it would be in by June '71, and barely resembles the guitar based beast that we would get on the Fillmore album. This song typically appears as the fourth song in the seven song "Opera".
LITTLE HOUSE I USED TO LIVE IN- Essentially performed as on "Freaks and Motherfu*#@%!" from Beat the Boots Volume I. This song serves as a musical link to several other numbers in the repertoire, containing either vocal and/or musical references to "Penis Dimension", "Bwana Dik", and "Mudshark".
MOM AND DAD- Essentially performed as on WOIIFTM, allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation. These performances seem to be taken at an even slower pace than the aforementioned album version, with the only real instrumental bonus being Duke's eerie keyboard backing. I personally think that Frank does a better job of relating the suburban horror of this tale better than Flo 'n' Eddie, and I am having trouble finding it in my heart to forgive Frank for letting Flo 'n' Eddie have at this. I ask again- isn't anything sacred anymore?
MOTHER PEOPLE- Essentially performed as on "Disconnected Synapses" from Beat the Boots Volume II.
MUDSHARK- Well, the story is the same, and so is the music, though, of course, we do get some slight variation in Frank's retelling of this ocean-sweeping phenomena. The majority of these setlist references, however, refer to the end of "Little House I Used To Live In", where the song is used as a sort-of Secret Word, and not to the full-blown affair, as heard on the "Fillmore East" album.
OPERA, THE- The suite of songs telling the story of the band's attempts to pick up groupies, which consists of the following songs- "What Will This Morning Bring Me This Evening?", "What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?", "Bwana Dik", "Latex Solar Beef", "Daddy Daddy Daddy", "Do You Like My New Car?", and "Happy Together". Way too much Flo 'n' Eddie in way too short a span of time.
PENIS DIMENSION- Essentially performed as on "Disconnected Synapses" from Beat the Boots Volume II. This is essentially a rocked-up version of the "200 Motels" track, and is another excellent example of Frank's penchant for ruining good instrumental tunes with completely inane lyrics.
PORKO THE MAGNIFICENT- This is Flo 'n' Eddie (with poor Simmons foolishly getting involved) doing the lounge singer bit. Complete with cheesy lounge music. I won't say anymore.
POUND FOR A BROWN (ON THE BUS)- Essentially performed as on "Tengo Na Minchia Tanta" from Beat the Boots Volume II, with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. As a bonus treat, Frank's solo segues into "Sleeping in a Jar", providing an even longer break from the vocal inanities of the Flo 'n' Eddie experience.
RAINDROPS KEEP FALLING ON MY HEAD- In the latter dates on the tour, a short instrumental version of this song frequently appeared in the closing meltdown portion of "Sleeping in a Jar" . An example of this can be heard on "Tengo Na Minchia Tanta" from Beat the Boots Volume II.
SANZINI BROTHERS, THE- For some reason, Frank believes that instead of listening to him tune his guitar, or instead of watching the roadies fix his amp, we would rather have Flo 'n' Eddie turned loose on us. Doing stupid tricks. Screaming. Yelling. Complete with cheesy circus music. Maybe doing the Pyramid Trick, if we're lucky. Guess what, Frank? You were wrong.
SHARLEENA- Essentially performed as on "Tengo Na Minchia Tanta" from Beat the Boots Volume II, with the standard deviation coming in Frank's end of song guitar solo. This is not a full-blown FZ guitar experience, but is long enough and contains enough energy to warrant being called a solo. Plus, it is an excellent way to end this tune.
SLEEPING IN A JAR- Essentially performed as on "Tengo Ne Minchia Tanta" from Beat the Boots Volume II, with the standard deviation coming in Frank's short guitar bursts. This song segues out of Frank's "Pound for a Brown" guitar solo, and thus prolongs the time we get to spend in this instrumental heaven.
WHAT KIND OF GIRL DO YOU THINK WE ARE?- Essentially performed as on "Tengo Na Minchia Tanta" from Beat the Boots Volume II. This song typically appears as the second song in the seven song "Opera".
WHAT WILL THIS EVENING BRING ME THIS MORNING- This is one of the few reasons why Ryko needed to release "200 Motels". This song from that overrated soundtrack album appears as a regular climax to the Opera during the Summer '71 shows. During the 11/29 show from this tour, however, the song appears as part of the amusing finish to an extended, twenty-plus minute "King Kong". After Aynsley's drum solo, Frank instructs the band to play this tune- which they do- and then allows them to somehow find their way into "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" once this song is finished. Pretty interesting. It is essentially performed as on "200 Motels", with the occasional live flourish throughout.
WHAT WILL THIS MORNING BRING ME THIS EVENING?- Essentially performed as on "Tengo Na Minchia Tanta" from Beat the Boots Volume II. This song typically appears as the opening tune to the seven song "Opera".
WHO ARE THE BRAIN POLICE?- Essentially performed as on "Disconnected Synapses" from Beat the Boots Volume II. This tune simply rocks. Completely revamped and rocked up, this version barely resembles the ominous original, and instead serves as a show closing, audience pleasing rocker. Frank's ferocious guitar begins the proceedings, with Flo 'n' Eddie doing a more than adequate job of being rock 'n' roll singers. Frank takes a particularly nasty and quite lengthy solo after the second chorus, before the song returns to the final verse/chorus section , and the typical arena rock-type ending. One of the repeated highlights of the tour, and another live gem conspicuously absent from the YCDTOSA series.
WHO NEEDS THE PEACE CORPS?- Only performed once on this tour, and I personally have yet to hear it. Anybody out there coherent enough who remembers hearing this and can fill us all in, while we take care of our hair?
WILLIE THE PIMP- Another one of the W-tunes that I have not yet heard. Only performed once, in what appears to be only the second performance of the tune. Anybody out there got any info on this? [Jon Naurin sez..."I have the tape, but I'm not able to provide much information - due to an utterly annoying cut, just the very end of the song is there. From what I can hear, it sounds very much like the Fillmore East version."]
WONDERFUL WINO- Another tune that simply rocks. With Simmons on vocals, Dunbar frantically thrashing away in the background, Flo 'n' Eddie relegated to background vocals, and Frank playing the role of rock 'n' roll guitar player, this song infuses a high dose of energy into the nightly proceedings. It is essentially performed as on "Freaks and Motherfu*#@%!" from Beat the Boots Volume I, with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. The Dr. John routine is not a nightly event, however, even though it manages to successfully entertain in its single occurrence.
WOULD YOU LIKE A SNACK?- This track from "200 Motels" originally appeared as the opening instrumental portion of "Holiday in Berlin, Full Blown" from "Burnt Weeny Sandwich". For this tour, however, and the album it eventually appears on, this instrumental track acquires a set of lyrics, and thus becomes its own song. It is still entrenched as the opening moments of "Holiday in Berlin", and appears as an unlisted track on both "Freaks and Motherfu*#@%!" and "Tengo Na Minchi Tanta" from the Beat the Boots series.WOULD YOU LIKE A SNACK?- This track from "200 Motels" originally appeared as the opening instrumental portion of "Holiday in Berlin, Full Blown" from "Burnt Weeny Sandwich". For this tour, however, and the album it eventually appears on, this instrumental track acquires a set of lyrics, and thus becomes its own song. It is still entrenched as the opening moments of "Holiday in Berlin", and appears as an unlisted track on both "Freaks and Motherfu*#@%!" and "Tengo Na Minchi Tanta" from the Beat the Boots series.
YOU DIDN'T TRY TO CALL ME- Essentially performed as on "Disconnected Synapses" from Beat the Boots Volume II.
I am new to the internet and I am astounded at the frequency of people who loathe Flo and Eddie. I NEVER had a problem with Flo and Eddie. Why do so many Zappa fans feel the need to criticize Frank's artistic decisions? The '84 band, the remixes, David Logeman, Flo and Eddie...the list goes on and on. I think that the 1970 band was definitely embryonic, but I don't feel that Flo and Eddie "ruined" ANY of the material. Why so VICIOUS about the "Sanzini Brothers" routine? Jeeez....