Ahead Of Their Time

The Original Project

FZ, quoted by Pete Howard, "Frank Zappa Discusses Upcoming CD Projects," ICE #42, September, 1990

I've put together an album called Ahead Of Their Time. It's the last Mothers Of Invention album, and it has the entire performance from the Royal Festival Hall in 1968 in London, with all the rock music from the show. We were our own opening act for that show. Everybody in the band was in this play, and the music—which I had written—was supplied by 14 members of the BBC symphony. The performance of that play is contained on one of the (vinyl) 'Mystery Discs,' but none of the rock music from that show has ever been released. What I've done is put together this complete concert, done up as a double LP/single CD. I think there's a market for this, since its probably the most interesting of all the archival tapes. We did the remix from four-track one-inch masters to digital, and it's pretty crisp; it was a pretty solid recording. I'm trying to figure out whether the market can stand adding it to the list, because of all the other releases coming out this year."

 

The Royal Festival Hall Edits

Special thanks to Charles Ulrich and Patrick Buzby.

London, UK, October 25, 1968 (early show) London, UK, October 25, 1968 (late show) Weasels Ripped My Flesh Ahead Of Their Time Mystery Disc Uncle Meat The True Story Of 200 Motels
Prologue
1. 0:00-2:43            
      1. 0:00-3:07 (L)      
Progress? / Don Interrupts
2. 0:00-7:10            
      2. 0:00-0:16 (L) 22. 0:00-0:16 (L) 0:07:29-0:07:46 (L)  
        22. 0:16-0:38 (L) 0:07:46-0:08:08 (L)  
      2. 0:16-1:14 (L) 22. 0:38-1:36 (L) 0:08:08-0:09:06 (L)  
      2. 1:14-1:19 (L)      
      2. 1:19-2:58 (L) 22. 1:36-3:15 (L) 0:09:06-0:10:45 (L)  
      2. 2:58-3:07 (L) 22. 3:15-3:24 (L)    
      2. 3:09-3:28 (L)      
      2. 3:28-3:34 (L) 22. 3:24-3:30 (L)   0:08:03-0:08:10 (L)
      2. 3:34-3:35 (L)      
        22. 3:30-3:32 (L)   0:08:10-0:08:11 (L)
      2. 3:35-4:03 (L) 22. 3:32-4:00 (L)   0:08:11-0:08:39 (L)
      2. 4:03-4:05 (L)      
      2. 4:05-4:44 (L) 22. 4:00-4:39 (L)   0:08:39-0:09:18 (L)
Like It Or Not / Piece One
3. 0:00-1:06            
      3. 0:00-1:03 (L) 23. 0:00-1:03 (L)   0:09-18-0:10:22 (L)
3. 1:06-2:20     3. 1:03-2:17 (E) 23. 1:03-2:17 (E)   0:10:22-0:11:36 (E)
3. 2:20-2:24       23. 2:17-2:21 (E)   0:11:36-0:11:40 (E)
      3. 2:17-2:21 (L)      
The Jimmy Carl Black Philosophy Lesson / Jim/Roy
4. 0:00-0:05       23. 2:21-2:26 (E)   0:11:40-0:11:45 (E)
4. 0:05-0:12            
4. 0:12-0:21       24. 0:00-0:08 (E)   0:11:45-0:11:54 (E)
4. 0:21-0:24            
4. 0:24-0:27       24. 0:08-0:12 (E)   0:11:54-0:11:58 (E)
4. 0:27-0:31       24. 0:12-0:15 (E)    
4. 0:31-2:15            
      4. 0:00-0:37 (L)      
      4. 0:37-1:09 (L) 24. 0:15-0:46 (L) 0:11:20-0:11:52 (L) 0:01:17-0:01:49 (L)
      4. 1:09-1:10 (L)      
      4. 1:10-1:15 (L) 24. 0:46-0:51 (L) 0:11:52-0:11:56 (L)  
        24. 0:51-0:52 (L) 0:11:56-0:11:57 (L)  
      4. 1:15-1:20 (L) 24. 0:52-0:57 (L) 0:11:57-0:12:02 (L)  
        24. 0:57-0:58 (L) 0:12:02-0:12:03 (L)  
      4. 1:20-1:27 (L) 24. 0:58-1:05 (L) 0:12:03-0:12:10 (L)  
      4. 1:27-1:28 (L)      
      4. 1:28-1:38 (L) 24. 1:05-1:15 (L) 0:12:10-0:12:20 (L)  
      4. 1:38-1:45 (L)      
      4. 1:45-2:01 (L) 24. 1:15-1:31 (L) 0:12:20-0:12:36 (L)  
Holding The Group Back / Jim/Roy
5. 0:00-0:46            
      5. 0:00-0:09 (L)      
      5. 0:09-0:40 (L) 24. 1:31-2:02 (L) 0:12:36-0:12:39; 0:12:53-0:13:22 (L)  
      5. 0:40-0:42 (L)      
      5. 0:42-0:44 (L) 24. 2:02-2:03 (L) 0:13:22-0:13:24 (L)  
        24. 2:03-2:05 (L) 0:13:24-0:13:25 (L)  
      5. 0:44-0:51 (L) 24. 2:05-2:13 (L) 0:13:25-0:13:33 (L)  
5. 0:46-0:51     5. 0:51-0:55 (E)      
5. 0:51-1:17     5. 0:55-1:22 (E) 24. 2:13-2:39 (E) 0:13:33-0:13:59 (E)  
5. 1:17-1:21     5. 1:22-1:25 (E)      
5. 1:21-1:23     5. 1:25-1:27 (E) 24. 2:39-2:41 (E) 0:13:59-0:14:02 (E)  
5. 1:23-1:32     5. 1:27-1:36 (E)      
5. 1:32-1:34     5. 1:36-1:38 (E)   0:14:02-0:14:03 (E)  
5. 1:34-1:56     5. 1:38-2:00 (E) 24. 2:41-3:03 (E) 0:14:03-0:14:25 (E)  
5. 1:56-1:59            
Holiday In Berlin / Jim/Roy
6. 0:00-0:57     6. 0:00-0:56 (E) 24. 3:03-4:00 (E) 0:14:25-0:15:22 (E)  
The Rejected Mexican Pope Leaves The Stage / Piece Two
7. 0:00-0:04     7. 0:00-0:04 (E) 24. 4:00-4:04 (E) 0:15:22-0:15:26 (E)  
7. 0:04-0:16            
7. 0:16-2:20     7. 0:04-2:07 (E) 25. 0:00-2:02 (E) 0:15:26-0:17:23 (E)  
7. 2:20-2:25     7. 2:07-2:12 (E)      
7. 2:25-2:30     7. 2:12-2:17 (E) 25. 2:02-2:07 (E) 0:17:23-0:17:33 (E)  
7. 2:30-2:37     7. 2:17-2:24 (E)      
7. 2:37-3:05     7. 2:24-2:51 (E) 25. 2:07-2:34 (E) 0:17:33-0:18:01 (E)  
7. 3:05-3:09     7. 2:51-2:55 (E) 25. 2:34-2:38 (E)    
Undaunted, The Band Plays On / Piece Two
8. 0:00-3:45     8. 0:00-3:44 (E) 25. 2:38-6:22 (E) 0:20:33-0:24:18 (E)  
8. 3:45...     8. 3:44-3:54 (E) 25. 6:22-6:32 (E) 0:24:18-0:24:28 (E)  
8. ...3:48     8. 3:54-3:58 (E)      
8. 3:48-3:58     8. 3:58-4:07 (E)      
8. 3:58-4:10            
8. 4:10-4:37     8. 4:07-4:34 (E) 25. 6:32-6:59 (E) 0:24:28-0:24:54 (E)  
Agency Man
9. 0:00-1:28     9. 0:00-1:28 (E) 26. 0:00-1:28 (E) 0:24:54-0:26:23 (E)  
9. 1:28-2:40     9. 1:28-2:39 (E)      
9. 2:40-3:17     9. 2:39-3:17 (E) 9. 1:28-2:05 (E) 0:26:53-0:27:00 (E)  
Epilogue / Agency Man
10. 0:00-0:31     10. 0:00-0:32 (E) 9. 2:05-2:37 (E) 0:27:00-0:27:32 (E)  
10. 0:31-0:34       9. 2:37-2:39 (E) 0:27:32-0:27:34 (E)  
10. 0:34-0:50         0:27:34-0:27:51 (E)  
10. 0:50-0:56            
10. 0:56-1:09         0:27:51-0:28:03 (E)  
10. 1:09-1:11     10. 0:32-0:34 (E)   0:28:03-0:28:06 (E)  
10. 1:11-1:39     10. 0:34-1:02 (E) 9. 2:39-3:07 (E) 0:28:06-0:28:33 (E)  
10. 1:39-1:47            
        9. 3:07-3:19 (L?) 0:28:33-0:28:45 (L?)  
King Kong / Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Sexually Aroused Gas Mask
11. 0:00-3:26            
12. 0:00-0:39            
12. 0:39-0:42       20. 0:00-0:03 (E)    
12. 0:42-0:48     10. 1:02-1:08 (E) 20. 0:03-0:09 (E)    
12. 0:48-0:58       20. 0:09-0:19 (E)    
12. 0:58-1:01            
12. 1:01-1:28       20. 0:19-0:46 (E)    
12. 1:28-1:31            
12. 1:31-2:15     10. 1:08-1:52 (E)      
13. 00:00-02:52     11. 0:00-2:52 (E)      
13. 02:52-13:37            
13. 13:37-13:54     11. 2:52-3:10 (E)      
13. 13:54-13:58            
13. 13:58-17:35     11. 3:10-6:49 (E)      
14. 0:00-0:39   3. 0:00-0:39 (E) 11. 6:49-7:29 (E)      
14. 0:39-3:38   3. 0:39-3:40 (E)        
      11. 7:29-8:13 (L?)      
Help, I'm A Rock
      12. 0:00-1:38 (L)      
Transylvania Boogie
      13. 0:00-1:56 (L)      
Hungry Freaks, Daddy
15. 0:00-3:41            
Mr. Green Genes
16. 0:00-7:27            
16. 7:27-7:37     13. 1:56-2:06 (E)      
17. 0:00-1:00     13. 2:06-3:07 (E)      
A Pound For A Brown
18. 0:00-6:46     14. 0:00-6:50 (E)      
Sleeping In A Jar
19. 0:00-1:52     15. 0:00-1:52 (E)      
19. 1:52-3:41            
19. 3:41-4:12     15. 1:52-2:24 (E)      
19. 4:12-7:54            
20. 0:00-0:03            
Lecture From Festival Hall Show
        28. 0:00-0:21 (L?)    
Uncle Meat
  1. 0:00-6:19          
Oh, In The Sky
  2. 0:00-2:09          
Let's Make The Water Turn Black
  3. 00:00-00:01          
  3. 00:01-00:14   16. 0:00-0:13 (L)      
      16. 0:13-0:27 (L?)      
  3. 00:14-01:37   16. 0:27-1:51 (L)      
Harry, You're A Beast
  3. 01-37-02:07   17. 0:00-0:30 (L) 21. 0:00-0:30 (L)    
  3. 02:07-02:31   17. 0:30-0:53 (L)      
The Orange County Lumber Truck (Part I)
  3. 02:31-03:18   18. 0:00-0:47 (L)      
Oh No
  3. 03:18-06:30   19. 0:00-3:13 (L)      
  3. 06:30-06:41          
  3. 06:41-06:49   19. 3:13-3:22 (L)      
The Orange County Lumber Truck (Part II)
  3. 06:49-08:03   20. 00:00-01:14 (L)      
  3. 08:03-10:00 10. 1:20-3:18 (L) 20. 01:14-03:11 (L)      
  3. 10:00-17:20   20. 03:11-10:36 (L)      
  3. 17:21-17:34          

1. Prologue

Greg Russo, Cosmik Debris: The Collected History And Improvisations Of Frank Zappa (Revised), 1999, p. 157

The "Prologue" uses extracts from the first (Grave-allegro molto e con brio) and third (Rondo [allegro]) movements of Mozart's "Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13" ("Pathètique").

Lewis Saul, quoted on Arf: Notes & Comments

Yeah—Ian plays Mozart—but DEFINITELY **NOT** the "Pathetique"—Opus 13, which was written by BEETHOVEN, not Mozart. [...]

1) Mozart's music does NOT use opus numbers—all his works are marked by a number which is preceded by a "K." [for Koechel, I think . . . ]

2) Mozart's Sonata No. 8 (K. 310) is in A Minor . . .

3) When I refer to the "Pathetique" as being by Beethoven, of course I'm thinking piano sonata . . . which IS Opus 13 in C Minor! I don't recall a Beethoven quote in AOTT, but I could be mistaken. If I am, could someone please point out the time reference???

4) It occurs to me that maybe Greg is referring to the TCHAIKOVSKY "Pathetique" (symphony, #6) which is in fact quoted in AOTT [and Weasels]—which is in B Minor and DOES have an opus number—Opus 74 . . .

Greg Russo, Cosmik Debris: The Collected History And Improvisations Of Frank Zappa (The Son Of Revised), 2003, p. 196

The "Prologue" uses extracts from an unidentified Mozart sonata and Tchaikovsky's "Pathètique" (Symphony #6) in B minor, Op. 74

 

2. Progress?

Don: We must overthrow the diatonic system.

Lewis Saul, quoted on Arf: Notes & Comments

Dia (two) tonic (keys)—meaning music which operates on the traditional Major-Minor system of scales and chords (as OPPOSED to the "whole-tone system" or the "chromatic system." [The former is based on WHOLE steps, the latter on HALF steps . . . ]

Don Preston's comment [I think it was Don?] about "overthrowing" the diatonic system means that he wants his music to jump beyond the 19th century ideal of preserving key relationships . . .

Starting with the Viennese Three [Schoenberg, Webern and Berg]—the diatonic system is indeed OVERTHROWN!!! Serial—or 12-tone—music is dependent only on a certain type of repetition of ALL 12 notes in the CHROMATIC scale! This revolution in music literally OVERTHREW the old diatonic system!

Bunk: Give me four-four.
[...]
Ian: Some old melodies.
[...]
Art: I've seen your aura a lot, and it really stinks.

Motorhead: Hey, ten years ago I knew a lot of guys that had suits like this.

4. The Jimmy Carl Black Philosophy Lesson

Jimi Hendrix wig

 

5. Holding The Group Back

Ben Watson, Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics Of Poodle Play, 1996, p. 525

In 1968 Roy Estrada dressed up as the Pope and distributed Smarties in mockery of papal decrees against the pill.

Roy: Because I don't think I'm qualified. I think, I think I'm holding the group back because I'm a MEXICAN. And also because I don't play bass good.

Vladimir Sovetov, Arf: Notes & Comments

According to some Bunk Gardner' interview [Necessity Is..] this were the very same words that Roy used to say about himself in a real life. And very often.

Roy: Ah, PLEASE! Ah, Ian, please, hear my PLEA!

9. Agency Man

computeruser, alt.fan.frank-zappa, December 10, 2010

On Ahead Of Their Time on the track Agency Man at about 2 minutes there is a La-la la-la la-laa. What other FZ composition is this from?

eelco janzen, alt.fan.frank-zappa, December 10, 2010

Isn't that from Valarie from BWS ?

From the heart of old Death Valley

Vladimir Sovetov, Arf: Notes & Comments

Most probably reference to the Death Valley Days TV show Ronald Reagan hosted for some time since 1965.

 

Research, compilation and maintenance by Román García Albertos
http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/
Original provocation by Vladimir Sovetov
This page updated: 2017-11-02