BAND MEMBERS- FZ, Tom Fowler (bass), Ralph Humphrey (drums), Ruth Underwood (percussion), Ian Underwood (horns, keyboards), George Duke (keyboards, vocals), Bruce Fowler (trombone), Jean-Luc Ponty (violin, vibes), Sal Marquez (trumpet, vocals, Frank Sinatra)

SPECIAL GUEST- Barry Leef (vocals, the blues), Don Preston

DATES- February 23rd through July 8th



COUNTRIES- 3 (US, Canada, and Australia)




SONGS FZ WOULD SOLO IN- 50-50, Big Swifty, Camarillo Brillo, Chunga's Revenge, Cosmik Debris, Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?, Dupree's Paradise, Eat That Question, I'm the Slime, Montana, Pygmy Twylyte, Road Ladies, Willie the Pimp, Zomby Woof

COMMENTS ON FZ SOLOS- If I had to pick one aspect of this tour that I enjoy more than anything else, it would have to be Frank's guitar work. NOT his solos, mine you, but his rhythm work. Throughout this tour, the one thing that pops into my ears and continually makes me sit up and go "yeah" is Frank's active and long-overlooked rhythm guitar playing. While this aspect of his playing is essentially non-existent from '76 on, it is a contributing factor in the tours of the early '70's, and it is on this tour where it simply excels. For the best example of Frank's excellence in this field, pop in any "Mr. Green Genes" medley from this tour, and just listen to Frank go. He is everywhere. Especially in the monstrous "King Kong" variations, in which Frank takes the most pedestrians solos and lifts them to exhilarating levels. Quite a treat. On the other side of the fence- out in front leading the pack- Frank is no slouch. He takes a couple lengthy workouts each show, frequently letting loose and turning in some wicked solos. Unfortunately, the rhythm section tends to be rather non-descript (excellent musicians, just bland), and thus the success of any given solo rests heavily on Frank's shoulders. For this reason, the lengthier and more spontaneous solos tend to work better (i.e "Dupree's Paradise", the rare "Willie the Pimp" and "Eat That Question") since they either allow Frank to more fully develop his ideas or prove to be more inspiring, while the shorter solos ("Cosmik Debris", "Montana") tend to be rather one dimensional. I would not rank this as one of Frank's greatest guitar outings (solo wise), but it definitely has its moments.


NEW SONGS ON TOUR (1st time performed live)- 50-50, Camarillo Brillo, Dupree's Paradise, Don't Eat the Yellow Snow, Eat That Question, Exercise 4, Father O'Blivion, I'm the Slime, Inca Roads, Mar-juh-rene, Nanook Rubs It, Pygmy Twylyte, RDNZL, St. Alphonso's Pancake Breakfast, Uncle Remus, Zomby Woof

MONSTER SONGS- Dupree's Paradise, Big Swifty, King Kong. While all three of these songs appear in Monster form throughout the tour, it is "Dupree's Paradise" which is undoubtedly the resident Monster of the tour. As it would do for the next two years, "Dupree's Paradise" terrorizes setlists, taking the listener on a musical journey through every crevice of the musical landscape. Duke's funk, Ponty's violin fury, Underwood's soaring majesty, Fowler's sheer trombone brilliance, Frank's epic guitar solos- all this and more arrive during the extended workouts of "Dupree's Paradise". "Big Swifty" sadly only appears a couple of times, but it arrives in its usual stretched out form, chock full of solos and inching its way into Monster territory. Finally, "King Kong", which only appears in the "Mr. Green Genes-> King Kong-> Chunga's Revenge" medley, does not quite attain the madness of "Dupree's Paradise", but it does contain some blistering improvisation throughout the tour, and thus on mostly sentimental grounds, manages to retain its Monster title.

OVERVIEW- This is one of those tours I do not frequently find myself in the mood to listen to; when I throw on a tape, however, I usually end up enjoying myself. While this tour has a great band, and some great playing throughout, it is rather limited in the song selection, which, for me at least, proves to be the Achille's heel of this potentially great tour.

THE BAND- The band is great. Without a doubt. There are 6 excellent soloists, each capable of turning in a monster performance at any given time. The world's greatest percussionist resides in the back, along side a solid bass player and equally capable drummer. But with all this talent, we still have some problems. One, Frank is essentially the lone singer, with Marquez stretching his vocal chords very infrequently, and Duke not yet recognized as a vocal force. This forces Frank to steer the material in an instrumental direction, which is not bad in itself, but does contribute to a lack of diversity in the musical pallete. Two, as talented as the rhythm section is, they are rather faceless, and do not contribute any real personality to the improvisation (of which there is a lot). Imagine this band supported by the highly stylized teaming of O'Hearn/Bozzio or Barrow/Colaiuta, and you get a sense of what the possibilities might have been. Third, Ponty just gets too much solo time, and seems to rarely play anything other than the same, overly dramatic solo. On the whole, this band is not a failure. They turn in some excellent performances repeatedly throughout the tour, and frequently do some serious musical damage. It just seems that when all is said and done, the potential is greater than the output.

THE SETLISTS- This is where this tour fails. Over the course of the tour- 51 shows in 5 plus months- Frank manages to whip out only 30 songs, with the large majority of them appearing in seemingly every show. Again, this is nothing new to the world of Frank tours, but on this tour it seems to have a rather numbing effect. For one, a number of these tunes are extended instrumentals, with various band members being required to improvise over the same vamps repeatedly over the duration of the tour. They manage to produce some wicked solos nonetheless, but all too often (especially in Ponty's case), the solos seem a little too "by the numbers", with some rather repetitive support being given by the rhythm section. It is when rare numbers are thrown into the mix, or when Frank delves off into unknown territory, that things ignite. The "Willie the Pimps", "Big Swiftys" and "Eat That Questions" are both rare and thus quite inspired outings. Likewise with the pure "Improvisations" which inhabit much of the tour- they frequently result in some breathtakingly insane music. Even when they fail, they are never outright dull. Secondly, a number of tunes are exactly the opposite of those above, I.e. they are almost completely lacking in improvisation, and grow rather tired after repeated listens. Finally, the "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow Suite" is simply too long, and never seems to inspire much more than the occasional good Frank joke.

Overall, this tour is more disappointing than anything. Yes, there are some great shows throughout the tour (the inspired and chock-full-of-rarities 5/9 Passaic show jumps out at me), and there tends to be at least one inspirational moment each show. But on the whole, there tends to be a repetitiveness about these shows that does not lend itself to repeated listenings, and thus, this prevents the tour from being completely successful.


50-50- This is an instrumental version of the "Overnite Sensation" track, essentially performed as on that album, with the standard deviation coming in the solos. The tune begins with Duke only, who gets the song started with a heavy dose of keyboards. The violin and horns carry the melody, leading us to the solo section where Duke, Ponty, and Frank all get a chance to stretch out a little. While I personally feel that Ricki's vocals are the best part of the "Overnite Sensation" track, these instrumental performances are quite enjoyable, having a loose yet highly charged feel to them.

BIG SWIFTY- This mini-Monster is essentially performed as on "Waka/Jawaka". First we get the head, sounding beautiful with this band's particular instrumentation, followed by a series of solos. Marquez gets a chance to repeat his wonderful album performance, Fowler the bass player struts his stuff, and then Frank works his wonders as usual. Sadly, the song only appears a couple of times throughout the tour, with the 5/9 performance being particularly noteworthy. During his solo, Frank fiercely tears into "Eat That Question", which the band picks up and energetically plays. Once the song is firmly established, Frank is off soloing again, bringing his playing up another level from where he was at during "Big Swifty". An excellent segue, and one of the better moments of this tour. Frank would do the same thing during the 6/29 "Big Swifty"- tearing into "Eat That Question" minutes into his solo- only this time the Frank would concede the stage to the band as they emphatically pound "Eat That Question" home before returning to the closing "Big Swifty" theme. Not as powerful as the 5/9 performance, but a pleaser nonetheless.

CAMARILLO BRILLO- The second and last performance of this tune from this tour is edited off my tape of the 5/9 show, and the first performance is not in my possession, so... I have know idea how this one turns out. Does Frank end up going in this time? Or is he already busy at this point? Someone- fill me in! [Here comes Mr.Naurin-"These performances resemble the "Overnight Sensation" version more than any other band's. The jam session at the end is quite cool, with George getting a little more chance to shine than he would later on, and FZ delivering a short solo, seeming a bit uncomfortable with the chords or beat or whatever. Frank turns down the gray-green skinned woman's offer this time too, though he doesn't inform us whether it was because he was busy, or if he had other excuses." And the David Lynch adds- "Camarillo Brillo is played like it's always played. A bone to toss to the audience who want to hear rock and roll and are getting distressed by the amazing far out improvisational jamming they were playing that night. As a special bonus Frank doesn't tune his guitar so it's REALLY rock and roll."] There's more than you ever wanted to know.

CHUNGA'S REVENGE- Played as part of the "Mr. Green Genes-> King Kong-> Chunga's Revenge-> Mr. Green Genes" medley. As far as the main theme goes, all we get is the abrupt guitar intro as it appears on the album, followed by a Frank Zappa guitar solo played over the "Chunga's" bass line. Upon completion of his solo, Frank would segue into the melody of "Mr Green Genes", at which point the band would follow suit and ease into the medley closing tune.

COSMIK DEBRIS- Essentially performed as always, with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo, which is not restricted to the sixteen bars as it is in later years.

DOG BREATH- Essentially performed as on YCDTOSA Volume II, allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in the ridiculously brisk pace in which this tune is frequently performed.

DON'T EAT THE YELLOW SNOW- Of the four parts of the "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" medley present on this tour which would make it onto "Apostrophe", it is this part which appears in its most different form. Instead of the appropriately plodding nature of the official version (which does a wonderful job of musically conveying the sense of walking through snow), this version is taken at a rather hyper pace, with an extended, busy intro, and some funky, Duke keyboards underlying the vocals. The vocals are not as fully developed as they eventually would be, and the whole tune comes off as rather messily composed. Not the best of debuts, but an interesting look at the working mind of Frank. For this tour, this song always appears as part one of the five part "Don't Eat" medley (including part two "Nanook Rubs It", part three "St. Alphonso's Pancake Breakfast", part four an extended "Father O'Blivion", and part five the this-tour-only "Mar-juh-rene").

DON'T YOU EVER WASH THAT THING?- This tune appears here as it did on the Petit Wazoo tour of late '72, more closely resembling a jazz composition than the FZ monster that would appear on later tours. The main theme is played once through, though a lot less staccato, and with a much busier feel to it. Some additional horn parts are played after this opening, which build up speed and lead us into a very hyper, extended instrumental foray. Practically everyone gets a chance to solo here, with Frank concluding the improvisations before turning things over to the drummer, who takes a lengthy solo. The tune is then concluded as on "Roxy and Elsewhere", with the composed outro-section. While this is not the same beast that we know and love from the late '73 and '74 tours, it is nonetheless an interesting version. The overarranged horn parts in the beginning give the music quite a different feel, and the solos are typically some of the more interesting of the particular show.

DUPREE'S PARADISE- This is the premiere tour for what would eventually be a very successful two year run for this ultimate of Monster songs. As would be the case for its entire '70's run, this improvisational showcase begins with Duke and his keyboards. George gets a chance to strut his stuff, showing off both his piano skills and his assortment of keyboard toys. Once George sets the scene, Frank puts on his conductor's hat and slowly brings the rest of the band into the proceedings, inevitably steering the music into new directions. We get short solos, a variety of musical styles, some occasional Frank commentary, and all this before the song actually starts. Typically, at around the nine minute mark, the song properly begins, with the majestic opening chords and the beautifully composed theme. Once this is finished, we are off into Solo land, with a horn player, Ponty, and Frank all giving us their all.

EAT THAT QUESTION- This is another tune that is sadly played only a couple of times before inexplicably being thrown by the wayside. It is essentially performed as on "The Grand Wazoo", allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in Frank's and George's solos. A particularly noteworthy performance comes along on 5/9, when during his "Big Swifty" solo, Frank tears into "Eat That Question", leading the band into a full-blown and energetically performed version of this tune. Easily, this qualifies as one of the better moments of the tour. Interestingly enough, the song also pops up during the 6/29 performance of "Big Swifty", with Frank once again leading the charge during his song closing solo.

EXERCISE FOUR- Essentially performed as on "The Yellow Shark", allowing for the quite obvious differences in instrumentation. For this tour, this piece is performed as a prelude to the "Dog Meat" staple.

FARTHER O'BLIVION- This montsrously composed piece consists of three distinct sections which would later appear as parts of three separate Frank songs. "The Steno Pool" section from "Greggary Peccary" (plus the flurried music that immediately precedes it) comprises part one, the main theme of "The Bebop Tango" comprises part two, and an instrumental rendition of "Cucamonga" concludes the affair and serves as part three. Throughout these proceedings, we get a handful of solos, with Ponty typically taking a lengthy and interesting one during the first part, and Bruce and Ian taking theirs during the extended and frequently jammed-on part two. While these "Bebop" performances come nowhere near the ridiculous extravaganzas of the Fall '73 tour, they do contain some exceptional solos, and occasionally veer off into improvisational madness. In the midst of all this- following the madness that is the "Bebop Tango" and proceeding the climactic ending that is "Cucamonga", the drummer gets a chance to get a little, giving the rest of the Rockin' Teenage combo a much deserved rest. As far as Frank's involvement goes, his guitar is present throughout, inserting tasty licks here and there, and he also, of course, has a major hand in the direction of the "Bebop Tango" festivities.

FATHER O'BLIVION- This song as we know it from "Apostrophe" essentially appears on this tour in its entirety, with Marquez on vocals, and with the song arriving in its typical spot after "St. Alphonso's". For this tour, however, things proceed a little differently after the "Good Morning, Your Highness" section- the section which either serves as the end of the studio version, or as the segue into "Rollo" in the YCDTOSA version. In these performances, the band returns to the beginning of "St. Alphonso's Pancake Breakfast" after the "Good Morning" section, performing the opening motif before Frank steps forth and says something to the effect of "Play it really really fast". At this point, the band then repeats the vocal section of "St. Alphonso's", slowing down and leading into "Mar-juh-rene" at the end of the lyrics.

IMAGINARY DISEASES- This does not refer to the instrumental tune that the Petit Wazoo performed in the Fall of '72. Instead, it refers to a lecture Frank gives during the 3/11 improvisational jam that the band performs. [Biffy the Elephant Shrew writes: "This was not a one-time-only event. I can bear witness that Zappa gave an "imaginary diseases" lecture at the San Diego Sports Arena, March 24, 1973." See review of show below.]

IMPROVISATION- This is improvisation in the strictest sense of the word. Throughout the US portion of the tour, Frank would instruct a particular band member to begin playing something (anything?), and based on what that band member played, Frank and the rest of the Rockin' Teenage Combo would play along. While Frank has a very heavy hand in deciding how these improvisational treats proceed, the band members are still given plenty of room to shine, and shine they do.

I'M THE SLIME- Essentially performed as on "Overnite Sensation", with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo, and minus the opening guitar rave-up. Frank's singing is rather awkward for this tune, sounding as if he does not really know what sort of attitude he wants to convey.

INCA ROADS- Essentially performed as on "The Lost Episodes", with the standard deviation coming in the solos. For the lengthy solo section, we typically get two solos, with Ponty, Marquez, Fowler, and Underwood taking turns as to who gets to solo. While I am not a big fan of Ponty, his solos during this tune are typically pretty intense affairs. For the Australian portion of the tour (and on through the New Year), the song gains its lyrics, though not in the form we have come to know and love. Instead, to open the tune, we get a cocktail lounge-type ditty, in which Marquez does a wonderful Frank Sinatra impersonation as he croons the "Inca Roads" lyrics. Once the lyrics are finished, we get a short little percussion display, before dropping directly into the lap of the aforementioned, full-blown "Inca".

KATHRYN'S THEME- I do not know who Kathryn is, nor am I familiar with her theme. This titles appears once- on 5/16- immediately following a "Dupree's Paradise"- which makes me think it may actually be a part of that tune. But, then again, I may be wrong? Kathryn- can you help? [Catherine, as you will find out, is long dead, so she is of no help. But Raymond Ricker has this to say- "Catherine (not Kathryn) has been dead since 1796. This is a song performed during the 05/16 show in Chicago. It is about Catherine II (or better known as Catherine the Great) who ruled Russia from 1762 to her death. She was married to Peter the Great who was deposed as emporer in1762 by a group of conspirators who were extremely unhappy with his socia lprograms. Catherine, who was friendly with the conspirators, was pronounced empress. During her reign she further strengthened the nobility and put in a system of provinces which remained in effect until the Russian Revolution of 1917."]

KING KONG- Performed as part of the "Mr Green Genes-> King Kong-> Chunga's Revenge-> Mr. Green Genes" medley. It appears here in its fast version (similar to the "Uncle Meat" take, but without the opening vamp, and also as performed on the Spring '78 tour), and consists of the main theme followed by a torrent of solos. Ponty goes first, followed by the bass playing Fowler, the trombone playing Fowler, the keyboard playing Duke, and the trumpet playing Marquez. While these solos are quite good, it is Frank's active rhythm guitar that really stands out in these forays, providing support for the soloists while being interesting in its own right.

MAR-JUH-RENE- This title refers to part five of the "Don't Eat" suite as it is performed on this tour, and is the source for the track "Farther O'Blivion" from YCDTOSA Volume VI. When the band finishes playing the first half of "St. Alphonso's" for the second time (see "Father O'Blivion"), Frank launches into this spiel about the wonders of mar-juh-rene (margarine). He usually begins by singing "I stole the mar-juh-rene, I admit it, I did it", then goes on about rubbing it on, etc. Then, bringing the band on down behind him, Frank proceeds to spell "mar-juh-rene", stopping at each letter and telling the audience what it stands for. Example: M stands for the Majesty that is the Mar-juh-rene, A stands for the Agony that is this sound system, R stands for Repeat, which is what I keep having to do so I can hear myself in the monitor, etc. He even designates meanings for the dashes. Throughout the tour, we get monitor jokes, sex jokes, local references, and the occasional solicitation from an audience member as to what a particular letter should stand for. This bit is amusing the first time, but tends to wear very thin on repeated listens. After Frank finishes spelling "mar-juh-rene", the band picks up the groove and shifts into an uptempo shuffle, with Frank throwing out guitar riffs. It is from this section that the YCDTOSA Volume VI "Farther O'Blivion" track is taken, with the section serving as the finale to the "Don't Eat" suite. After Frank says "Join the March and Eat My Starch", the band jumps headfirst into the epic "Farther O'Blivion" (which is NOT the one from YCDTOSA Volume VI).

MONTANA- Essentially performed as on "Overnite Sensation", with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. The post-solo "tiny little horse" section is strictly instrumental at this point in time.

MR. GREEN GENES- Performed as part of the "Mr. Green Genes-> King Kong-> Chunga's Revenge-> Mr. Green Genes" medley. The first portion of the song is a rather fast run-through of the "Hot Rats" take, heavy on percussion, having a very bouncy, light feel. Once the melody is played twice through, we get some breathing room for a short Underwood horn solo, before heading off into a breakneck-paced "King Kong". Then , later in his guitar solo during "Chunga's Revenge", Frank returns to the melody of "Mr Green Genes", leading the band into a short instrumental version of this tune, similar to the latter half of the song as it appears on TBBYNHIYL.

MUDSHARK- Yes, it returns, sweeping the Pacific ocean this time round, washing ashore on the coast of Australia one fateful July afternoon. An audience member requests it, Frank performs it, nothing changes, and everyone goes home happy. The End.

NANOOK RUBS IT- This tune appears in essentially the same form as it would on "Apostrophe", complete with some tasty Frank guitar riffs which save this section from being a complete bore. As always, it appears as part two of the "Don't Eat" suite.

PYGMY TWYLYTE- Another rare performance that I have yet to hear. Apparently only performed once, before disappearing until later in the year. Anyone? [David Lynch sez- "Pygmy Twylyte is sung by Sal Marquez and played a good deal slower. A fairly interesting version, but nothing spectacular like, for instance, the fall '74 versions." And then Jon Naurin sez- "And, may I add, it features a Dummy Up-like solo section, where FZ delivers some wah-wah-drenched tones and Duke plays some characteristic funk. After that, Sal sings another verse, before he starts ad-libbing some Dummy Up-ish vocals. FZ then gives a little speech on the topic of chemical alteration, and finally we get one more verse.]

RDNZL- Essentially performed as on "The Lost Epsiodes", with the standard deviation coming in Fowler's or Ponty's opening solo, and Duke's end-of-the-song solo.

ROAD LADIES- This tune pops up sporadically throughout the early 70's, and everytime it does, the results are excellent. For this tour it pops up twice, with the mysterious Barry Leef doing two guest vocal stints, and Frank getting down and dirty, tearing off those blues licks that he plays way too infrequently. One performance results in a sweet blues jam that sees Ponty putting down his violin and doing something else for a change (playing the vibes- Ruth's vibes!)

ST. ALPHONSO'S PANCAKE BREAKFAST- Portions of this tune actually premiered as part of the tune "Rollo" from the Fall '72 tour. For this tour, Frank has taken these parts, tidied them up musically, added a set of lyrics, and given us the tune we know and love from the "Apostrophe" album. While the tune is essentially arranged as on the album, there is one slight difference which, for me, makes this The Version-> after the line "...like a queen", there is a lone cymbal crash that simply thrills me to the bone. I do not know why I like it so much, but I do. Just one of those Tiny Little Moments.

UNCLE MEAT- Essentially performed as on YCDTOSA Volume II, allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in the ridiculously brisk pace in which this song is frequently performed.

UNCLE REMUS- This is another tune which premieres early in the tour, is performed once, and then promptly disappears. During his keyboard extravaganza that opens "Dupree's Paradise", George segues into an understated yet powerful version of this tune, playing it in its entirety once through as an instrumental, and then repeating the performance but this time with vocals. Upon the conclusion of this seemingly impromptu performance, we return to "Dupree's Paradise" proper, and are soon off into improvisational heaven.

WILLIE THE PIMP- Apparently only performed once this time round, "Willie" pops up on 5/9 in a ferocious instrumental version, heavy on the guitar and finely accented by some melodic horn riffing. Frank leads the way through the opening theme, heavily chording a short run-through of the verse section, before calming down and making way for a fine Ponty solo. Frank's rhythm work is excellent throughout, but it is when he steps up and starts to solo that the he and the song really take off. Frank runs through a variety of flavors in his lengthy solo, managing to keep a healthy head of steam going for the duration of his journey. Unlike the boring wank-fest "Willies" of the Spring '77 tour, this instrumental rocker does not disappoint.

ZOMBY WOOF- Essentially performed as on "Overnite Sensation", with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. Frank performs all the vocals himself this time round, which definitely lessens the effect of many of the sections. Also, several lines of lyrics are missing throughout the song, either not having been written at this point, or due to Frank realizing that he just cannot sing them.


Jon Naurin sez...

This is one of my absolute favourites, always in my Top-3. Many of the songs are performed in their ultimate versions here, and the musicianship is excellent. I could care more for Ponty's solos, but I like the addition of a violin in the composed parts. I might agree that the rhythm section is a little faceless during the "pure" improvisations, but for the regular solo sections, Fowler & Humphrey provide some of the grooviest accompaniment ever to be performed anywhere. Small repertoire, yes, but as in the case of the Wazoo tours, this doesn't bother me that much, since the setlists lean heavily on jamming rather than "songs". I could think of many other tours where the word "repetitive" fits better. Of course, the band lacks a few things, most obviously good singers and onstage personalities (if I want these elements, I listen to a 1974 or 80s show). Sometimes, I might miss the R&R ingredient a little, but this is very well compensated by the greatness with which they handle other styles.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew, M.D. sez..

It was Saturday, March 24, 1973 at the San Diego Sports Arena (everybody go write that date into your copy of the Miles book). The Sports Arena holds about 16,000; it was NOT filled that night. According to a newspaper review the following Monday, the crowd numbered only 5,000. Opening acts were Ruben & the Jets (who sang "Dedicated to the One I Love"--that's about all I remember from their set) and the insufferably lame Doobie Brothers. The Doobies were not too well known at the time (even though "Listen to the Music" had already been a hit), as evidenced by the people near me who said "This is the Doobie Brothers? I thought that other group was the Doobie Brothers..." Finally, it was time for the main event. The band was FZ, Ruthie, Duke, Ponty, Ian Underwood (clarinet & sax, no keyboards), Sal Marquez, Bruce & Tom Fowler, Ralph Humphrey...and DON PRESTON, who sat in for the second half of the show, sharing George's keyboard setup. Frank began by welcoming us to "the Sports Aroma" and asking: "Are you the kind of audience who likes 'THE SHOW'...or would you rather hear SOMETHING WEIRD?" After a big cheer for the latter, Zappa replied, "Good...that's the kind of audience I like." The music began with a medley of "Exercise Four," "Dog/Meat" and "50/50" (instrumental). This medley included the ONLY previously released music that was played all night! [Note: maybe they did the usual Green Genes/Kong/Chunga encore and I forgot.] The performance was primarily instrumental, heavy on improvisation. At one point FZ conducted the audience. The sounds we were told to make included "your favorite note in an Eric Clapton guitar solo--you know, the real high one that goes WEEEE" and "a sound of great gastric relief...yes, this is a farting noise, ladies andgentlemen!" At another point, Frank went off into an improvised rap about the laboratories where they create "imaginary diseases." I also remember Frank joining Ruth on percussion. The only actual songs that I can remember were "Montana" and "Cosmik Debris." It was such a disappointment when Overnight Sensation came out later that year, with the same band, but slick comedy music instead of daring improvisation and convoluted instrumentals. I sure wish I had a tape of that show...the Dupree's Paradise boot is nice, but San Diego '73 was MAGIC...

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