Grand Wazoo Repertoire

"The Adventures Of Greggery Peccary"

Official recordings:Studio Tan, Läther, Joe's Domage, Wazoo
Other tours:1969, 1975 (Royce Hall)
Known Grand Wazoo performances:4
Approximate length:First movement: 3 minutes
Second movement: 2 minutes
Third movement: 3 minutes
Fourth movement ("New Brown Clouds"): 6 minutes

"The next event is a piece called 'The Adventures of Greggery Peccary". This takes a little bit of explaining. I have a collection of projects that never got done. This is one of 'em. You're gonna hear only part of 'Greggery Peccary' because it's missing some dancers, a narrator, and a six-voice female chorus." (FZ, 9/10/72)

"It's also in three parts. Don't clap between movements." (FZ, 9/15/72)

"In the first movement, Greggery is waking up and being sung to by the posters on his wall, and also driving through traffic." (FZ, 9/16/72)

"This is part two. This is the part--shut up--this is the part where Greggery actually invents the calendar. You have to imagine a chorus of lovely young ladies singing these words: 'Sunday, Saturday, Tuesday through Monday, Monday, dee-yoop.' We really go for an intelligent text around here." (FZ, 9/10/72)

"All the people who didn't want to find out how old they were after Greggery invented the calendar ganged up on him one day and gave him a bad time during the third movement." (FZ, 9/10/72)

"This'll be over in a minute and then we'll play a shuffle." (FZ, 9/16/72)

At the first two shows, "New Brown Clouds" was played separately as the opening number, with the first three movements of "Greggery Peccary" played together later in the show. In most subsequent shows, the four movements were performed together. On 9/22/72, "New Brown Clouds" was performed alone, and the other movements were not performed. On 9/24/72, the band improvised between each section and the next, lengthening the performance to thirty minutes.

"New Brown Clouds" contained a clarinet solo on 9/22/72, and the other portion usually contained a saxophone solo. The Grand Wazoo did not perform the "If it's wide enough" section (also known as "Some Ballet Music"), nor the "Steno Pool" section, both of which were incorporated into the Studio Tan version. (The former had been played by the 1969 Mothers; the latter would be played by the Petit Wazoo band and by the 1973 band.) Quentin DeNameland's middle name was Albert (9/16/72) rather than Robert (Studio Tan). Read FZ's description from the Reprise Circular.

"Approximate"

Official recordings:Zappa In New York; YCDTOSA 2, 4; Dub Room Special (video); Wazoo
Other tours:1974, 1982
Known Grand Wazoo performances:4
"Approximate" length:10-33 minutes

"This piece is called 'Approximate' and it's really a very simple piece. There's only four parts that are dispensed among twenty musicians for this piece. There's one page that is for all instruments in C and F, including percussion. There's another page for all the instruments in Eb and Bb and elsewhere. And then there's a bass part and a drum set part, which combine the rhythms of the other two. The only thing that's indicated in the score is the approximate rhythm--well, the exact rhythm--that's supposed to happen for most of the piece. And all the players get to choose their own pitches that they play. So it randomizes a certain bit. You know what I mean, don't ya?" (FZ, 9/10/72)

"Approximately the notes that the musicians want to play, with approximately the rhythm that was specified in the score, and approximately some solos in between that. (FZ, 9/15/72)

"The rhythm that the players are playing is specified. The notes that they are playing are not specified. They all get to choose 'em. So that means that all at once there's twenty instantaneous choices of what pitches they're playing on stage. To the layman, that means ugly notes, ladies and gentlemen." (FZ, 9/23/72)

Bass clarinet solo by Altschul. Sarrusophone solo by Dumler. Synthesizer solo by Ian Underwood. Percussion solo or duet by Ruth Underwood and/or Tom Raney. Drum solo by Jim Gordon. Read FZ's description from the Reprise Circular.

The 9/23/72 performance of "Approximate" featured "The Grand Wazoo Comic Book Extravaganza". After the standard solos listed above, band members read excerpts from DC comic books. FZ also conducted the audience in three pre-arranged comic book sound effects: ARRROOOO!, RUNCH!, and B-TOOMMMMMMMMMMM! Then came more solos. Alto sax solo. Cello solo by Kessler. Slide guitar solo by Duran. Oboe solo by Dumler. Bassoon solo by Joanne McNab. Trumpet solo. Guitar solo by FZ.

By the way, FZ pronounced the title of this piece like the verb "approximate" (the last syllable sounding like "mate") rather than the adjective "approximate" (the last syllable unstressed and sounding more like "mitt" or "mutt").

Soundclip: excerpt from Earle Dumler's sarrusophone solo (9/10/72 Los Angeles)

"Big Swifty"

Official recordings:Waka/Jawaka; YCDTOSA 1, 2; Make A Jazz Noise Here; Wazoo
Other tours:1973, 10/31/74, 1988
Known Grand Wazoo performances:5
Approximate length:8-15 minutes

"The version that we're gonna play of this tune is not exactly like the record. It's been spiffed over a bit." (FZ, 9/10/72)

Alto sax solo. Trombone duet (9/16/72). Trumpet solo. Trombone solo (9/15/72). Guitar solo by FZ. Bass solo by Parlato (9/22/72). Read FZ's description from the Reprise Circular.

"Chunga's Revenge"

Official recordings:Chunga's Revenge, FZ:OZ, Quaudiophiliac, Trance-Fusion, Buffalo
Other tours:1970, Petit Wazoo, 1973, 3/8/74, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1988
Known Grand Wazoo performances:1
Approximate length:5 minutes

Guitar solo by FZ. The horns don't play on this tune, but it's identifiable as the Grand Wazoo by the cello prominently doubling the bass part.

"Dog Meat"

Official recordings:Dog Breath: Uncle Meat, Just Another Band From L.A.
Uncle Meat: Uncle Meat
Dog Meat: YCDTOSA 2, Yellow Shark, Dub Room Special
Other tours:Dog Breath: 1968, 1970, 1971
Uncle Meat: 1968, 1969, 1978
Dog Meat: 1973, 1974, 1975 (Royce Hall)
Known Grand Wazoo performances:3
Approximate length:4-5 minutes

After the 9/10/72 Los Angeles show, "Music For Low-Budget Orchestra" was dropped from the medley.

"For Calvin (And His Next Two Hitch-hikers)"

Official recordings:Grand Wazoo
Other tours:none
Known Grand Wazoo performances:2
Approximate length:7-8 minutes

"Just lyrically now, and watch for those cues in the solo part." (FZ to musicians, 9/10/72)

Sax solo, trombone solo. Someone, perhaps Bruce Fowler, sings "Where did they go? Where did they come from?" (9/10/72) The horns play the "New Brown Clouds" theme (as on the Grand Wazoo album). When this tune was played, it always sequed into "Think It Over". Read FZ's description from the Reprise Circular.

"Low-Budget Dog Meat"

Official recordings:Low-Budget: King Kong, Studio Tan, Läther
Dog Breath: Uncle Meat, Just Another Band From L.A.
Uncle Meat: Uncle Meat
Dog Meat: YCDTOSA 2, Yellow Shark, Dub Room Special
Other tours:Low-Budget: 6/6/69, 1971, 1975 (Royce)
Dog Breath: 1968, 1970, 1971
Uncle Meat: 1968, 1969, 1978
Dog Meat: 1973, 1974, 1975 (Royce Hall)
Known Grand Wazoo performances:1
Approximate length:8 minutes

"Okay now, just like every big band, we have a medley." (FZ, 9/10/72)

At the 9/10/72 Los Angeles show, the medley began with about three minutes of "Music For Low-Budget Orchestra" (with Earle Dumler on sarrusophone). Afterwards, it was simplified to "Dog Meat". Read FZ's description from the Reprise Circular.

"Penis Dimension"

Official recordings:200 Motels, Wazoo
Other tours:1970, 1976 (Christmas shows)
Known Grand Wazoo performances:5
Approximate length:3-4 minutes

Trombone solo by Bruce Fowler. Always sequed into "Variant Processional March", as an encore.

"Think It Over" ("Grand Wazoo")

Official recordings:Grand Wazoo, Joe's Domage, Wazoo
Other tours:none
Known Grand Wazoo performances:5
Approximate length:15-20 minutes

"Oh yes, and after the end of 'Calvin', we go directly into another piece called 'Think It Over', which is a shuffle." (FZ, 9/10/72)

Dumler on sarrusophone. Alto sax solo over opening vamp. Slide guitar solo by Duran. Trombone solo. Trumpet solo. Guitar solo by FZ. Synthesizer solo by Ian Underwood. This piece was performed as an instrumental, but referred to by the title of the song from Hunchentoot. It was preceded by "For Calvin" at the first two shows, but played alone at later shows. Read FZ's description from the Reprise Circular. Read the unsung lyrics.

"Variant Processional March" ("Regyptian Strut")

Official recordings:Sleep Dirt, Läther, Wazoo
Other tours:none
Known Grand Wazoo performances:5
Approximate length:3 minutes

Always preceded by "Penis Dimension", as an encore. This is the same tune as "Regyptian Strut" on Sleep Dirt, but in 1972 it was known as "Variant Processional March".

One-time performances

"Berlin Improvisations"

Performance:9/15/72
Approximate length:over 20 minutes

Bassoon solo by Joanne McNab. Guitar solo by FZ. Oboe solo by Dumler. Synthesizer solo by Ian Underwood. Bass solo by Parlato. Trumpet solo. Slide guitar solo by Duran. Another guitar solo by FZ.

"Blues For A Minute"

Performance:9/15/72
Approximate length:3 minutes

FZ yells, "I've got them Berlin blues." Guitar solo by FZ. Primarily guitar, bass, and drums, though a saxophone is audible briefly near the end of the tune.

"Lohengrin"

(Music by Richard Wagner)

Performance:9/23/72
Approximate length:30 seconds

An FZ favorite played from 1968 to 1988. This performances starts off on what sounds like an organ. Then the bass, drums, and horns come in. Then it's over.

"Random Weirdness"

Performance:9/22/72
Approximate length:37 minutes

"We do have a balanced program. We have something for everybody from eight to thirteen tonight." (FZ, 9/22/72)

"So, you already said you wanted to hear the weird stuff to begin with. Now we got two kinds. We have organized weirdness and we have random weirdness. [applause] Wonderful. You shall have your random weirdness." (FZ, 9/22/72)

The beginning of this improvisation primarily features the rhythm section, though the horns are also heard from time to time. Later there are solos on saxophone, trumpet, keyboards (alternating between electric piano and synthesizer), guitar, oboe, trombone, another saxophone, sarrusophone, another trumpet, and drums.


Grand Wazoo: Repertoire | Itinerary | Reviews | Circular | Notes | Comic Book Extravaganza | Pictures
The Planet Of My Dreams

Hunchentootin' by Charles Ulrich.