October 27th, 1978 late show

SETLIST- Opening Solo-> Dancin' Fool-> Easy Meat-> Honey Don't You Want A Man Like Me?-> Keep It Greasy-> The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing-> City of Tiny Lites-> Pound for a Brown-> Suicide Chump-> Mars Extravaganza in Q-> Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?-> Magic Fingers-> Don't Eat the Yellow Snow Suite, E: Yo Mama, Strictly Genteel

APPROXIMATE TIME- 135 minutes (one and a half tapes)

OFFICIAL RELEASES- "Sinister Footwear Third Movement" (based on Opening Solo), on "You Are What You Is"; Shankar Thirteen solo (in its entirety), on YCDTOSA Volume VI

JUST THE FACTS, M'AM (with some opinions)

OPENING SOLO (Persona Non Grata) (7:15)- Excellent. After the disappointing noodling of the previous show's opening, this solo hits the listener like a ton of bricks. It is so good, in fact, that Frank would later use Vai's transcription of the solo as the basis for "Sinister Footwear, Third Movement" off of "You Are What You Is". The actual solo is underway for approximately :40 seconds before we reach the "Sinister Footwear" riff, and from this point on, the majority of the solo should be recognizable to you "YAWYI" aficianados.

INTROS (2:03)


EASY MEAT (6:14)- FZ solo, 3:22; This performance is quite an improvement over the previous show's "Easy Meat". Frank puts quite a bit more into his solo, and Vinnie, in particular, deserves a mention for his energetic thrashing.

HONEY DON'T YOU WANT A MAN LIKE ME? (5:12)- Easily the best "Honey" of the run, simply for the vocal mistake Frank makes in the second verse. He forgets the line "She was a lonely sort", and then pretty much stops the song as he jokingly asks the band what the lyrics are. "I'm a little confused. The 2nd show, the 2nd verse...what is the 2nd verse of the 2nd show", etc. It's pretty amusing, and a nice digression in this normally routinely performed song.



CITY OF TINY LITES (10:01)- Denny Walley slide solo, 2:37; FZ solo, 2:09; This performance is slightly better than the previous show's, but mainly due to the ferocious support provided by the rhythm section. Denny's solo is his typical donation, while Frank's solo, although quite adventurous and somewhat dramatic, never acquires enough steam to really matter. Concentrate on the three-pronged attack of the rhythm section, though, and your ears shall be happy.

POUND FOR A BROWN (24:07, including tape flip)- Ed Mann solo, 2:39 including tape flip; Shankar solo, 3:44; FZ solo, 5:29; LS/FZ duel, 3:19; keyboard solos, 5:24; Again, this is a much better "Pound" than the previous show's, thanks largely to the inclusion of the "Thirteen" jam for Shankar's and Zappa's solos. The YCDTOSA VI intro is from this show, after a hearty "Let's hear it for Ed!". Shankar's solo on the Stage release is also from this show, but Frank's is not (the 10/31 performance is the source for FZ's Stage solo). Another interesting artistic decision by Frank, as I find this solo to be much better than the latter performance. His playing is much more dramatic here, and the energy of the rhythm section has a much greater effect on the music. The duel between Shankar and Frank is excellent, with Shankar easily holding his own against the master. The keyboard solos begin over the Thirteen vamp, though this is eventually lost in the duration of the jam. Wolf solo is his typical mini-Moog effort, while Tommy's is the calmer, more reflective piano-based effort. Not the best "Pound" of the run, but a worthy performance.

SUICIDE CHUMP (10:46)- Denny Walley slide solo, :39; FZ solo, 4:30; DW/FZ duel, 2:10; The best "Suicide Chump" of the run, thanks to a solid, strictly musical performance, and its indirect responsibilty for the "Mars Extravaganza in Q" that would follow. Out of the fading remnants of the "Pound for a Brown" solos, Denny's slide coalesces into that slithering blues riff, and without the annoying callousness of Frank's opening monologue, we ease right into the vocal section. Frank on vocals, Denny with a short, middle of the song slide solo, and then the big payoff with Frank's anger-tinged guitar climax. Frank takes a nice lengthy solo, before Denny joins in and the two trade riffs before linking together with the rhythm section in a slowing building blues riff. The song is taken at a casual, yet intense pace, and sets the perfect mood for the brilliance that would follow.

MARS' EXTRAVANGANZA IN Q (9:51)- Tommy solo, 2:57; Shankar solo, 1:47; Barrow solo, 3:31; The highlight of the show, and one of the highlights of the run. After concluding his solo in "Suicide Chump", Frank announces that the madness will continue with Tommy Mars taking control and playing whatever he wishes to play. Frank asks for the key, Tommy replies "Q", and the holiday extravanganza begins. Tommy spends the first half minute on electric piano, playing calm and reflective, before the rhythm section joins in and Tommy switches to synthesizer. We get your typical Tommy solo, with changing rhythms, stop-and-go playing, and the Mars' style scat. Around 3:00 minutes in he starts calling to Shankar- "Tell me about it, Shankar"- who takes up the challenge and begins soloing. Finally, Barrow gets his turn to shine, and whips out a guitar-styled bass solo, with O'Hearn laying down a fat blanket of support, and Shankar quietly weaving in and out of the mix. This jam eventually heads west, and turns into a frantic surf music homage, that gives us the warmest two minutes of music these cold Fall shows would hear. Frank finally reappears, announces that we now must go "back to the real world", and begins introducing the next song. Improvisation at its best.

WHY DOES IT HURT WHEN I PEE? (6:22, including 2:26 of post-song chaos)- FZ solo, 1:00; The Fall '78 tour saw the best performances of this eventual live staple. The arrangement is slightly different at this early stage, with all three verses coming before the middle break, and then a repeating of the third verse after the break. Also, the middle portion consists of a Frank guitar solo played over the many changes that would eventually be included in the more heavily composed middle. Thus, Frank is limited in where he can go with his playing, but it is interesting, and in this song refreshing, to hear Frank play in such a structured environment. After the actual song is finished, Frank leads the band through two-plus minutes of orchestrated chaos, which puts a nice cap on the suite of insane music that was just performed. We get a Wagneresque bloated keyboard ride, a short A/C jam (like the one on "Baby Snakes" the movie), and your random noodling. Another must hear performance.



NANOOK RUBS IT (6:04)- Frank puts more energy into the audience participation this time around. Some one requests "Scumbag" during this part, which gets a rise out of Frank.



ROLLO (2:45; the Whole Suite 15:23, including outros)

YO MAMA (10:10, including cut at 8:23)- FZ solo, 6:35; This is a pretty good effort, although the proceedings are brought to a close before Frank's solo can pick up very much steam. The first part of the solo- the spacey part- is the best, with Frank taking his time to establish the feeling of the song. Sadly, once the train gets a rollin', Frank begins to rush things, and brings us back to the station before the proper climax is reached. A worthy performance, with the feeling that the possibilities were not fully explored.


AW, SPARE ME PLEASE (the opinion section)

This show contains one of the best pieces of improvised music of the tour. The music performed between the opening notes of Denny Walley's "Suicide Chump" intro to the closing strains of the Orchestrated Chaos that punctuates "Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?", contain every facet of Frank Zappa music that you could care for. Wicked guitar solos, full band improvisation, humorous lyrics, surf music, classical music, blues, jazz, and a jam in the key of Q. What more is there? It is thanks to this suite of insanity that this show almost propels itself to the top of the Halloween run of shows. The remainder of the show is not that great. The performances are solid, but there is nothing there that makes these readings any more powerful than the ones also found in the other 5 shows. With that in mind, the show is not able to claim the title as Goblin King of the Halloween Run, but it does manage to take a respectable third.

FOGGY'S GOBLIN KING RATING (in relation to the other 5 shows)

3rd out of 6th

To NY #1
To NY #3