BAND MEMBERS- FZ, Napoleon Murphy Brock (vocals, sax), Roy Estrada (bass, noises), André Lewis (keyboard, vocals), Terry Bozzio (drums, vocals)
SPECIAL GUESTS- Norma Bell (alto sax, Mahavishnu awareness), LA Docker (?) Dancers (New Year's entertainment)
DATES- September 27th through December 31st
COUNTRIES- 3 (US, Canada, and Yugoslavia)
# OF DIFFERENT SONGS PLAYED- 38
AVERAGE SHOW LENGTH- 110 minutes
AVERAGE # OF FZ SOLOS PER SHOW- 10
SONGS FZ WOULD SOLO IN- Advance Romance, Any Downers, Apostrophe, Black Napkins, Blues Intro, Carolina Hard-core Ecstasy, Chunga's Revenge, Dirty Love, Filthy Habits,Illinois Enema Bandit, I'm the Slime, Let's Move To Cleveland, Lonely Little Girl (short), Muffin Man, Sleep Dirt/Black Napkins, Stinkfoot, Willie the Pimp, Zoot Allures
COMMENTS ON FZ SOLOS- This is a great tour for FZ guitar playing, mainly for two simple reasons- "Any Downers" and "Zoot Allures". The former song contains, without a doubt, the meanest and dirtiest guitar playing of Frank's career. Heavy on the fuzztone, Frank attacks his guitar in these extended solos, painting the sonic landscape with heavy strokes of metallic fury. Unbelievably heavy workouts. On the other side of the musical pallette, the latter song contains some of Frank's most beautiful and reflective playing, ranging from the carefully constructed theme, through the angular lines of the main solo. Frank runs the gambit from metal to jazz to undescribable Zappa in these two songs, and produces guitar solos the likes of which would not be heard on any other tour. The rest of the solos are no slouches, either. Arriving in what are somewhat standard guitar solo vehicles, the majority of the solos are simply straightforward Frank affairs. While they are not great solos, they are consistently good, and probably constitute the highlights of each show considering the repetitive setlist that is performed each night.
SONGS THAT FZ USUALLY SOLOED IN BUT DID NOT ON THIS TOUR- I'm Not Satisfied
NEW SONGS ON TOUR- Any Downers (w/ lyrics), Black Napkins, Filthy Habits, Find Her Finer, Honey Don't You Want A Man Like Me?, Illinois Enema Bandit, Kaiser Rolls, Keep It Greasy, Let's Move to Cleveland, Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up, Packard Goose (lyrics only), Sleep Dirt, Swallow My Pride, Tryin' To Grow A Chin (lyrics only), Wind Up Workin' In A Gas Station (music only), Zoot Allures
MONSTER SONGS- In the sense of full-band improv, there are no Monster Songs this time around. We get several lengthy solo-fests ("Chunga's Revenge", "Advance Romance"), but no "where-is-this-going-now" improvisation. In terms of guitar playing, however, we definitely get two Monster versions of typically much more restrained songs. "Any Downers" and "Zoot Allures" are beasts of a different nature on this tour, both of them boasting some of the most interesting and diverse guitar playing of Frank's career.
OVERVIEW- While this is definitely not one of Frank's better outings, it is hard to simply dismiss this tour for several reasons. One, and the main reason why I continue to collect tapes from this tour, is the presence of "Any Downers" and "Zoot Allures". These two tunes are breathtaking almost each and every performance, with the former tune providing the requisite ugliness and the latter tune providing the rare beauty. On no other tour, apart from Winter '76, will you find guitar performances like these. This tour also contains several versions of tunes that are not available elsewhere, and that are in some ways better or at least more interesting than other versions. To begin with, the three song "We're Only In It For The Money" Medley- consisting of "Lonely Little Girl", "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance", and "What's The Ugliest Part of Your Body?"- is great, providing refreshing versions of long ignored songs. Early in the tour, we get a handful of rare treats- the "Sleep Dirt/Black Napkins" medley, "Apostrophe", an instrumental "Willie the Pimp", "Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up", an even more bizarre "T'Mershi Duween"- none of which would establish themselves in Frank's repertoire, and thus can really only be found here. Plus, we get the only-on-this-tour "Swallow My Pride", not a great song but one that deserves to be heard. These tunes, coupled with Frank's consistently good and occasionally great guitar playing, manage to raise this tour to a consistently enjoyable level. Unfortunately, apart from these factors, this tour is pretty dismal. The band is woefully pedestrian, with Brock and Lewis being somewhat bland soloists, Roy being more talented on maniacal screamng than on bass, and Bozzio not yet exerting himself they way he would several tours later. Several of the songs are new this time round, and appear in somewhat less confident and less powerful versions. Finally, by the middle of the tour, Frank unfortunately discovers a setlist that he likes, and essentially uses this same list for the remainder of the tour. Thus, apart from the stray encore or two, we get no deviation in song order or song selection. All factors considered, the tour is somewhat successful due to the handful of rare tunes performed, and the particularly exploratory guitar that Frank frequently indulges in. Unfortunately, as the tour goes on, the positive factors diminish while the negative factors increase, setting the stage for the dismal Winter '76 tour. For that tour, Frank starts off on the right foot, but quickly drops many of the songs that made this tour so interesting. Thus, what we get on the following tour is the same band playing the same songs over and over with some occasional guitar highlights. Compared to Winter '76 then, Fall '75 is great.
ADVANCE ROMANCE- Essentially performed as on "Bongo Fury", allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation. For the solo section, first we get to "see what she did to André", with André demonstrating his pain via his keyboards. Frank then takes his obligatory solo, before Brock concludes the tune with more overdone vocals.
AIN'T GOT NO HEART- Essentially performed as on "Tinseltown Rebellion", allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with Brock's horribly oversung vocals. For some reason- the band, this particular arrangement, Brock's screeching- these are possibly the worst live performances of this tune ever. In fact, the whole three song "Freak Out" medley, consisting of "How Could I Be Such A Fool?", this, and an equally horrible "I'm Not Satisfied", are typically the scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel low points of each show.
ANY DOWNERS- Wow! One of the reasons why this tour simply cannot be overlooked. Talk about Monster performances, the "Any Downers" from this tour are raging beasts of the all-guitar variety. Within these dressed up jams, Frank plays the meanest, wickedest, nastiest guitar solos of his career. Talk about major fuzztone action. Just the sound of these solos is ugly enough to reduce the most hard-core of us into drooling idiots, and that is ignoring the actual notes that are played, and the attitude that is forced through our ears and into our frontal lobes. These are some ferocious solos. About the tune itself, what we get is a very relaxed version of the main guitar riff from the YAWYI track, with Brock calmly singing the line "Any Downers" over and over. Then, for the "No, I ain't got anymore" line, Brock maniacally screams it while the band shifts into overdrive. We then get some "oohs" and "aahs", before Frank steps up and blows us away. Sheets and sheets of distorted fury, with Frank exorcising his heavy metal demons before our very ears. Simply exhilirating. For the less-than-thrilling conclusion to this song (and the only continual disappointment in these performances), Frank and band perform some stupid routine based on Joe Cocker, or Canadian Customs, or lonely teenage musicians. The only interesting part about these routines is that over the course of the Fall tour, Frank recites, as poetry, the lyrics to both "Packard Goose" and "Tryin' To Grow A Chin" as parts of certain routines.
ANY WAY THE WIND BLOWS- This is only performed on the first date of the tour, and is a performance that I have yet to hear. Anyone want to blow some info about this tune my way?
APOSTROPHE- Essentially performed as on "Apostrophe", allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation. This tune appears several times early in the tour, erupting out of the opening jams that opened each show. As on the album, we get a heavily distorted bass solo starting off the solo section, followed by a typically hot Frank solo.
AULD LANG SYNE- Only performed once on this tour (on New Year's Eve, of all days). After an extended, "let's-prolong-this-tune-until-midnight" "Black Napkins", the band performs a rather chaotic rendition of this festive favorite, complete with fireworks and an overzealous crowd.
BLACK NAPKINS- Essentially performed as on "Zoot Allures", or as on FZPTMOFZ, for those of you who shelled out the 27 dollars. Early in the tour, this is a FZ guitar solo vehicle only. Eventually, Napoleon's saxophone enters the scene, which is responsible for taking the first of the two solos. The edited performance on "Zoot Allures" (from 2/3 Osaka) originally contained a Brock solo, and a lengthier FZ excursion. At several performances during the Fall portion of the tour, Frank recites either the lyrics to "Packard Goose" or "Tryin' To Grow A Chin" over the opening vamp.
BLUES INTRO- As the opening segment of each show prior to New Year's, the band would take the stage and immediately jump into an improvised jam, typically having a blues feel to it. During these short but fulfilling jams, both Lewis and Brock would get a chance to stretch their chops, with Frank concluding the affair and bringing us into the next part of the show.
BOLERO- This tune is only performed once on this tour- on 10/4- and again, I have not yet heard this performance. Anyway have any info about this?
CAMARILLO BRILLO- Essentially performed as always, allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the fast first half and the slow second half.
CAROLINA HARD-CORE ECSTASY- Essentially performed as on "Bongo Fury", allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. On at least one occasion (10/14), the guitar solo section gets a little weird, veering off into some random improvisation, before returning to the closing chorus. But for the majority of the performances, we get the standard Frank solo only.
CHUNGA'S REVENGE- Essentially performed as on "Chunga's Revenge", allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in the solos. For the lengthy solo section, Brock goes first, followed by Lewis, with Frank concluding the affair. Frank's solos are consistently excellent in this song, with Frank exploring a variety of different textures and styles throughout the tour. The early solos tend to be more straightforward journeys, while his later explorations delve into different musical styles and directions. For the 10/31 performances, Norma Bell takes an excellent alto sax solo during this song, concluding her moment in the spotlight with some soulful improvised singing.
DIRTY LOVE- Essentially performed as on "Overnite Sensation", allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. The end of this song is typically the "my-monitor-is-not-working" part of the show, and thus we frequently get an extended outro on this song while all necessary amends are made. During the 10/31 late performance, Norma Bell takes a wonderful alto sax solo during this prolonged "Dirty Love" vamp. Interestingly enough, this song preceded "Stinkfoot" at several shows early in the tour, before taking its standard position immediately following "Stinkfoot".
DUKE OF PRUNES- This song, performed as an instrumental, is used as the background for the opening introductions for many of the shows early in the tour. It is listed as a song on its own for the tour opening 9/27 show, which I have not heard, and thus I cannot say whether the song in its entirety is actually performed (to which Jon Naurin responds, "It's used as a background for the introductions on 9/27, but before the intros, FZ plays the melody on guitar, and afterwards, Nappy sings a few lines. ") So there you go.
FILTHY HABITS- This tune premieres late in the tour, popping up towards the end of several concerts. Essentially, it erupts as the monster we know and love, though it is somewhat lacking in the wicked confidence that the later versions would have. We get the standard deviation in Frank's solos, which are somewhat hesitant affairs, but definitely hint at the power that would be unleashed early the following year.
FIND HER FINER- Essentially performed as on "Zoot Allures", though minus the guitar as Frank is doing the singing and thus cannot play the guitar. These performances are not as lethargic as the album version, but nowhere near the upbeat numbers that the '88 band frequently performed. Brock's occasional backing horn parts do add a nice flavor to the tune, though.
HONEY DON'T YOU WANT A MAN LIKE ME?- This is a rather skeletal version of the tune that we all know and probably have mixed feelings about.
HOW COULD I BE SUCH A FOOL?- Essentially performed as on "Freak Out", allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation. Brock overdoes the vocals, and even though Frank's guitar adds a little more oomph! to the proceedings, this version pretty much sucks. The title probably refers to the question running through Frank's head as this band sucked the life out of this song.
ILLINOIS ENEMA BANDIT- This version is essentially performed as on ZINY, allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. The only real difference in this version is the opening riff (which is centered around Brock's saxophone), and the shortening of the first verse. These performances also contain a lengthy and rather dull introduction, in which Frank explains and frequently demonstrates the happenings of Michael Kenyon. For several late October shows, he even gets female audience members to climb on stage and help demonstrate the crimes.
I'M NOT SATISFIED- Essentially performed as on "Freak Out", allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation. Frank does not solo this time round, in what may possibly be the worst version of this song ever. The arrangement is cluttered, Brock screams uncontrollably throughout, and none of the energy of the original is anywhere near present.
I'M THE SLIME- Essentially performed as on "Overnite Sensation", allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo.
KAISER ROLLS- I have not yet heard this tune, though the title is very intriguing. Anybody heard any of the poorly rated tapes that this song is purportedly played in? [Jon Naurin contributes the following info: "I don't really know what to say about this song. A little pop ditty sung by Napoleon, but I can't make out much of the vocals. The verses consist of a very simple melody over a simple vamp, but end up with some "ugly" bars. After two verses, FZ plays a serie of chords (the ones you get if you play an open D and moves your left hand up the frets). Then there's an instrumental section, before something that sounds like a chorus. Get the picture? Well, never mind. Interesting (?) fact: This song might have been a precursor to "Any Kind of Pain", though a very distant one. In rehearsals from 1981, the band plays AKOP, with the verse very similar to "Kaiser Rolls".]
KEEP IT GREASY- Amazingly enough, this song premieres on this tune in almost exactly the same form it would reappear several years later. There are several slight differences throughout the tune, but for the most part, the lyrics and structure sound exactly as they would on "Joe's Garage". The opening riff is different, consisting of a busier, more chorded guitar intro. After the "Roll it over and grease it down" lines, there is a new section of music, approximately 10 seconds in length, consisting of the lines "Grease it down" and a new short riff (this music sounds quite similar to the ending riff that appears in the 1980 version of "Dead Girls of London"). Finally, after the "Here comes that screaming sound" line, Brock takes a screeching sax solo over the following riff, which would later be replaced by vocal parts. The overall feel of the tune is remarkedly similar to that of the later versions, and whether you like this version or not really depends on how well you like any version of this song.
LET'S MOVE TO CLEVELAND- Oh, what a mess. This version of this classic guitar solo vehicle sounds as if the song was being put through a blender. All the parts are here, but they are either shortened, or sped up, or arranged so dramatically different that you cannot be sure that this really is "Let's Move To Cleveland". In fact, roughly half the tune is performed in a cheesy swing style, and parts of the song sound more like "T'Mershi Duween" than anything else. Frank takes a solo, but its rather short and uninvolved, and does not seem as if it really belongs. This is an highly interesting listen, don't get me wrong, but its quite different from the monster number that would appear 6 years later. I wish that Frank had given this tune more work at this early point in time, as I would love to hear what the Fall '77 and Fall '78 bands would have done to this song.
LONELY LITTLE GIRL- I absolutely love the WOIIFTM medley from this tour, with this tune being my favorite of the three songs in the medley. Heavy on the guitar, this spiffed up version is sung by a somewhat restrained Brock, and contains an extended instrumental ending with Frank playing the melody once through on guitar.
LUCILLE HAS MESSED MY MIND UP- Another rare treat that only appears in the early shows of this tour. Essentially performed as on "Joe's Garage", allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation. While Brock does nowhere near as good a job as Ike would do years later, he does manage to control himself somewhat, not oversinging this song as he does so many others. Brock's restrained vocals, matched with Frank's typical guitar fills, make this a nice addition to the early shows of this tour.
MUDSHARK- Despite the popularity of the Bebop Tango, this tune continues to sweep the ocean, infecting yet another tour with its tale of music and the debauchery that accompanies it. Essentially performed as always, with the story remaining the same after all these years.
MUFFIN MAN- Essentially performed as on "Bongo Fury" (the live part), allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo.
PACKARD GOOSE- Not performed as the complete song, the lyrics premiered on this tour and appeared in both "Black Napkins" and "Any Downers". During several performances of these tunes, Frank recited several lines of lyrics from "Packard Goose", and explained his reasons for his animosity towards the press. As they are recited here, the lyrics more closely resemble the early "Packard Goose" performances from the Fall '78 tour than they do the later "Joe's Garage" lyrics.
POODLE LECTURE- This tour will never be forgiven for introducing the Poodle Lecture to the Wonderful World of Frank. My only question is: Why, Frank, why? (Thankfully, it does not appear until late in the tour, and thus there are several high quality tapes untainted by this History Lecture.)
SAN BER'DINO- Essentially performed as on OSFA, allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation.
SLEEP DIRT/BLACK NAPKINS- One of the highlights of the tour, and one of the unreleased gems from Frank's touring repertoire. This tune is essentially a hybrid of "Sleep Dirt" and "Blacks Napkins". The tune begins with the two chord progression which appears on the "Sleep Dirt" album track, and this constitutes the basic structure of the song. Once this vamp is established, Frank plays a subtler, darker version of the "Black Napkins" theme, and it is around this theme that the solos are based. Brock goes first (blowing his sax), followed by Lewis (pounding his keys), followed by Frank (plucking his strings). After Frank's first (shorter) solo, the band returns to the main "Sleep Dirt" theme, before heading into a more fully realized version of "Blacks Napkins". At this point, Frank dives in with his longer, more "Black Napkins"-esque solo. Unfortunately, this pairing of songs only lasts for approximately a week, before the "Sleep Dirt" portion is dropped and the "Black Napkins" we know and love takes its place.
STINKFOOT- Essentially performed as always, with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. This tour is responsible for giving us the Poodle Lecture, and for this it shall never be forgiven. Fortunately, this rap did not appear until late in the tour, and thus, there are some safe "Stinkfoot-> Dirty Love" combos appearing throughout the early days of this outing.
SWALLOW MY PRIDE- What to say about this song? It sounds like a cross between "Camarilo Brillo", "T'Mershi Duween", and "San Ber'dino". This upbeat number starts off with a short FZ guitar riff, highly reminiscent of the guitar opening on "Camarillo Brillo". The lyrics, sung by Brock, are pretty lame- "You can swallow my pride, get it all inside"- with additional lyrics being similar sexual innuendos of a pretty lame sort. After the two verses of lyrics, we get a short boogie jam, reminiscent of the middle portion of "San Ber'dino", with no soloists just the band chugging along. This leads into the "T'Mershi Duween" sounding section, in which each band member plays a short riff on their instrument. Kind of like "Musical Hot Potato", in which each band member passes the riff onto the next member. This then returns us to the boogie jam, which quickly loses its head of steam (purposely), and segues into the always next "Any Downers". Not a great song, and essentially the same each performance, but definitely worth hearing.
TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF WHEN YOU DANCE- Another of the great WOIIFTM tunes. Brock handles the vocals, of course, singing the melody as on WOIIFTM, while the band plays the accompaning music reggae style. Brock sings the first verse, the band performs an instrumental version of the second verse, Lewis takes a short keyboard solo, and then Brock finishes the lyrics and the tune. Pretty cool.
T'MERSHI DUWEEN- Talk about weird. This bizarre rearrangement of an already bizarre tune appears a couple of times early in the tour before disappearing forever (this arangement, that is). The tune starts off quite differently, with Frank riffing away on guitar, and Brock joining him on sax. For what amounts to about thirty seconds of new music, this new introduction section is the "Tryin to Grow A Chin" version of introductions, with the band running through about five musical cliches before jumping into the "T'Mershi Duween" we recognize. After running through the main theme once, we get some random Brock sax and Estrada screaming, before the band jumps into a cheesy swing groove. Over this groove, FZ and Brock play the melody line as normal. This leads us to a short drum break, before the song concludes with a hyper-fast version of the closing theme. This is one of the more interesting tunes that this band performs, and is one of the few times on the tour when they perform slightly more challenging music.
WHAT'S THE UGLIEST PART OF YOUR BODY?- Essentially performed as on WOIIFTM, allowing for the obvious differences in instrumentation, and with some purposefully overdramatic singing. This tune is part three of the awesome WOIIFTM medley, and serves as an excellent precursor to the lengthy "Chunga's Revenge" jams.
WILLIE THE PIMP- Only performed once on this tour, on the opening date. Thankfully, Frank does not allow Brock to murder this number vocally, so instead, we simply get an instrumental, guitar-solo vehicle.
WIND UP WORKIN' IN A GAS STATION- This debuts as a guitar based instrumental during the end of an "Any Downers" performance on 10/31 late. Towards the end of "Any Downers", Frank begins playing the opening riff to this tune, and the band shifts gears and follows him through a highly charged version of the song. One of the more interesting moments of the tour, and an excellent version of what would become a less interesting song.
ZOOT ALLURES- For those of you who shelled out the 27 bucks, I will tell you that this tune is essentially performed as on FZPTMOFZ, with the standard deviation coming in Frank's lengthy and highly experimental solo. For those of you who kept your money and didn't go to the show, I will tell you that this version is essentially performed as on YCDTOSA Volume III, with the solo section not being from the '82 band. After Frank would complete the head as heard on YCDTOSA, he would veer off into new musical territory, basing his solo on the written song but frequently veering off into new directions. On this tour, Frank has not yet discovered the wonderful world of "Ship Ahoy", and thus these performances do not contain that effect laden guitar coda. Nevertheless, they are still some mighty sweet solos.
Boy, do I ever disagree with you here. When I saw the Boston show in 75, I was at first horribly disappointed by the absence of George and Ruth (again, the end of a beloved era). On the other hand, I can't understand how you can overlook the splendors and wierdnesses of FZ's rhythm playing on this tour (you obviously appreciate the solos). For me, the smallness of the outfit and its basically R&B/Funky approach, while it could have been further developed, was promising and could have evolved into something quite amazing. Just listen to the ragged yet brilliant Boston tape. Heck, I even like the Freak Out medley.