Fillmore East—June 1971

Recording & Mixing

FZ, interviewed by Beetle, September, 1971

We recorded it June 6th and 7th at the Fillmore East in New York. [...] The tapes were mixed in Whitney Studios. [...] We did it on 16 tracks and Barry Keene engineered it.

Hampton Grease Band

Glenn Phillips, interviewed by Phil W. Hudson, Atlanta Business Chronicle, January 20, 2016

We later played at the Fillmore East with Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention—Bill Graham had booked us, sight unseen, on the recommendations of both Zappa and Duane Allman. We played there June 5 and 6, 1971, the famous weekend that John Lennon and Yoko Ono sat in with them. I was in Frank's dressing room playing guitar with him when they arrived, and it was quite a scene. There was a large entourage of Fillmore employees following in their wake—even for them, a Beatle sighting was a rare event. We played a total of four shows at the Fillmore (two shows a night), and received two encores and a standing ovation at every show. We were told by the management that we went over better than any new band that had ever played there, and Kip Cohen, who ran the Fillmore East, wrote a letter singing our praises to Clive Davis, the head of CBS/Columbia Records. Despite our critical success and the enthusiasm of our cult following, though, we weren't selling records. For some unknown reason, the public wasn't interested in singing along for 20 minutes with a song about Halifax—go figure. When Columbia dropped us, Frank Zappa signed us to his label.

Overdubs

Andrew Greenaway, "I'm Bathing With Peter"—Interview With Lorraine Belcher Chamberlain, The Idiot Bastard, May 7, 2010

LBC: I did sing back-up in the studio sometimes over the years . . . on The Mud Shark, with Mark and Howard. It was just fun fooling around with him at the recording studio . . . I don't know what ever made it in the mix besides The Mud Shark.

IB: Did you overdub a live recording of that, or was that a separate studio recording?

LBC: Mark and Howard and I recorded over the live one, I think. We were in the studio adding tracks.

Mark Volman, quoted by Harvey Kubernik, Canyon Dreams. The Magic And The Music Of Laurel Canyon, 2009, p. 244

After Chunga's Revenge, we had what I used to call 'studio survival sessions,' which was music he had recorded live and then we would work on it in the studio and clean it up.

Paolo Fabretti (November 20, 2010)

Tears began to fall from the Fillmore East album has vocal overdubs. You can hear them after the last "Since my baby drove away". These vocal overdubs basically dub the synthesizer line you can hear on live tapes.

Tan Mitsugu, August 25, 2014

Recently I noticed that the organ of Happy Together has a very distictive tone, which sounds like a ringing-bell—isn't it the one in Whitney Studios?

Also, the lead vocal line of Happy Together is doubled by Howard in the studio. (I always thought that it was sung by Howard and Mark....)

And speaking of overdubs, should I mention the falsetto parts of Peaches En Regalia and Tears Began To Fall, too? I think these parts were replaced with the sped-up overdubs. (If you compare them with other live versions from Carnegie Hall or Swiss Cheese, it'd be easier to notice the differences.)

 

The Cover Art

Cal Schenkel, alt.fan.frank-zappa, October 2, 1997

1971 -LA. Pencil. With only a couple days to put something together, we decided on the bootleg look.

95RR-inlay: features an ad from the campaign.

Credits

Technicians: Paul Hof, Dave O'Neil

 

Vote

DON'T FORGET TO VOTE—F.Z.

Patrick Buzby, April 9, 2011

This probably came about because in July 71 the minimum voting age in the U.S. was lowered from 21 to 18. I have some Columbia LPs from around this time and they have several slogans in the promotional inner sleeves along the lines of "silence is golden—until you're 18," etc.

 

Release History

CD-R on demand (Amazon.com/Zappa Records, January 25, 2010)

Amazon.com

CD-R Note: This product is manufactured on demand when ordered from Amazon.com.

[...]

Audio CD (January 25, 2010)
Original Release Date: June 1971
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Live
Label: Zappa Records
ASIN: B0000009S9

[...]

1. Little House I Used to Live In
2. Mud Shark
3. What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?
4. Bwana Dik
5. Latex Solar Beef
6. Willie the Pimp
7. Do You Like My New Car?
8. Happy Together
9. Lonesome Electric Turkey
10. Peaches en Regalia
11. Tears Began to Fall

 

2. The Mud Shark

FZ, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, April 23, 1975

And this hotel which is built out over the water, and advertises that you can fish from your window, and supplies equipment to do this in the lobby, a number of rock and roll groups have stayed there, and straight people as well, and they fished out the window and caught things like octopusses and mud sharks and so on and so forth, and these denizens of the deep were used for erotic procedures on willing participants in the hotel room, and that's what the legend of the mud shark is all about.

THE MUD SHARK DANCING LESSON!

Henry W. McGee III, "Motherloving," The Harvard Crimson, October 9, 1971

The satirical nature of Zappa's material reached its height in the third portion of the concert with the song "Mudshark." A parody of white rock groups who try to play soul music. "Mudshark" is hilarious. Masterfully done, the song is based on a genuinely soulful beat, but it is performed in such a way as to point out the essential ludicrousness of the situation. The highlight of the number came when the two lead singers (former members of the Turtles) showed the audience how to do the Mudshark, i.e., simulated anal intercourse (no surprise to those familiar with Zappa).

Let's say you were a travelling Rock and Roll band called The Vanilla Fudge . . . [...] My mind drifts back . . . to a meeting, a chance meeting in the Chicago O'Hare Airport where the members of The Vanilla Fudge told Don Preston about a home movie they made at the Edgewater Inn . . . with a mud shark!

Gavin Edwards, Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton's Little John?: Music's Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, 2006

Carmine Appice (drummer for Vanilla Fudge, who employed Cole before Zeppelin did) told me: "It was my groupie." Both bands were in town for the Seattle Pop Festival, and Appice was hanging out in Zep bassist John Paul Jones' room with the girl and Fudge keyboard player Mark Stein, who had an 8-millimeter camera. "She saw the camera, and kept saying she wanted to play around." Then Bonham and two members of Fudge's road crew invaded the room with the catch of the day: a mud shark, not a snapper. "We moved to my room, and it got pretty gross. I decided to leave, and then I realized I was in my room already." At various points, most of Zeppelin and the Fudge came in for a look at the groupie being pleasured with the shark; singer Robert Plant recently confirmed that while he saw some of the proceedings, it was really a Vanilla Fudge event. Appice told me that Cole made up the name "Jackie": "In those days, Richard was so out of it, I'm surprised he remembers his own name." Surprisingly, Frank Zappa got more of the details right in his song "The Mud Shark."

Carmine Appice, interviewed by DME Music Site, May, 2000

I did tell Frank [Zappa] about the Mudshark story and we were friends for year casual. [...] We were playing the Seattle Pop Festival with The Fudge, Zep, The Doors and more . . . I met a groupie girl who was very sexually active. The next day, on the day off we were watching TV in Robert [Plant]'s room with me, Robert, Tim Bogert, Robert's wife and this girl. At the hotel, which was on the water, you can fish out the window and catch fish. So, the door bell rings and in comes [John] Bonham, Richard Cole (ZEP's tour manager) and Bruce (our VANILLA FUDGE roadie) and Mark Stein (VANILLA FUDGE keyboards). Bonham had a mudshark in which they did all these nasty things to this girl. BUT SHE LOVED IT!

Michael Allsup, Memories Of Gold, c. 2002, p. 58

Sometime in 1969, we played a gig at an outdoor amphitheater in Seattle. [...] The opening act was James Taylor. The group after us? Led Zeppelin. [...] We were all staying at a place in Seattle called the Edgewater Inn. The hotel room windows actually opened up to Puget Sound, if I'm not mistaken. You could get fishing poles from the front desk and fish away. There's a story involving Jimmy Page with a sexual connotation to it that can't be repeated here. You fill in the blanks. Factor in some "pot" and rowdy English pop stars, add a big fish caught through the window, maybe a drink or two or three and . . . . well . . . just take my word for it. IT HAPPENED! Don't believe me? Check with Greenspoon. He'll be glad to verify Page's genius.

 

3. What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?

ALICE COOPER, baby . . .
WAAAAH!

Bob:
Well, it gets me so hot
I could scream

Chorus:
ALICE COOPER, ALICE COOPER! WAAAAH!
ALICE COOPER, ALICE COOPER! WAAAAH!

ALICE COOPER, baby . . .
WAAAAH!
[...]
ALICE COOPER, ALICE COOPER! WAAAAH!
ALICE COOPER, ALICE COOPER! WAAAAH!

These girls wouldn't let just anybody
Spew on their vital parts
They want a guy from a group
With a big hit single in the charts!

FZ, interviewed by Michael Bourne, American Eye, October 23, 1974

There were people who thought it was all fantasy, but the weirdest things that happened on stage with this band were all generated from real-life events. The best example is that business about the girl who can't come unless the guy sings his hit single. That happened to Howard and he told me about it one time, and I laughed so hard that I said, "Let's do something about that, let everyone know!"

FZ, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, April 23, 1975

In the Fillmore East album the business about the girl who won't take her pants off unless the guy sings his hit single. That's a true story. In fact, a lot of the things are true stories. That actually happened to Howard, when he was in The Turtles, and when he first told me about it I thought it was pretty funny. And so I wrote this piece for Mark and Howard so they could re-live their past experience night after night for a larger audience.

Our new single made the charts this week
With a bullet!

FZ, interviewed by Lon S. Cerel, The Cowl, April 30, 1975

C: Could you clear up something for me? What is the Bullet?

Z: A bullet is a mark that is on the chart that goes along side an album to indicate that it has moved more than ten points in one week. It's shaped like a bullet, and hence why they call it a bullet.

 

4. Bwana Dik

FZ, April, 1975, Royal Albert Hall Trial, as quoted by FZ with Peter Occhiogrosso, The Real Frank Zappa Book, 1989, p. 124-125

O.K. I will explain the concept of "Bwana Dik" to you. In every band there is some member of the band who, during the course of touring, gets the opportunity to entertain more girls than the other members of the band. It is like winning a contest. If we carry this concept to a ridiculous extreme, this person could be awarded the title of "Bwana Dik." The song deals with the fact that each in his own way, each member of the group, secretly believes that he is "Bwana Dik."

And the song attempts to show how foolish this concept is.

 

6. Willie The Pimp Part One

"The CD Watchdog," ICE #43, October, 1990

We asked Zappa about the missing guitar part on "Willie The Pimp" from Fillmore East, and the shorter version of "I'm so Cute" from the Sheik Yerbouti CD. About the former, he said, "I think it's more important that you have continuity on the CD. The way that Fillmore East was constructed on vinyl, one side faded out and the other side faded in. The effect on the CD would be the guitar fading out and then back in, so why not just have it fade down to the start of the next song?" Why didn't he go back to the multi-tracks and fuse the two parts together seamlessly? "The two parts were not from the same performance", Zappa said, "so there would have been a tempo discrepancy right in the middle of a guitar solo.

Vaultmeister, Zappateers, June 28, 2012

They are from different shows. The master tapes DO NOT have the fades, there are instructions on the tape box for the engineer to perform the fades while cutting the lacquers for disc replication! This would explain why some some editions do not have the fades (this is news to me). Obviously some editions didn't follow orders!

 

7. Do You Like My New Car?

Three unreleased recordings of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young fighting in the dressing-room of the Fillmore East!

Not until you sing me your big hit record!

FZ, quoted by Ian Pollock, Rainbow Theatre Programme, December, 1971

'The event that is described (Mothers at the Fillmore East album), where a girl would not take her pants off for Howard because the girl wants Howard to sing his hit single or she's not going to do anything is a true story.'

 

8. Happy Together

Mark Volman, quoted by Harvey Kubernik, Canyon Dreams. The Magic And The Music Of Laurel Canyon, 2009, p. 243-244

Frank was a Mother but we were Turtles, and he always wanted to know about our experiences. He thought we were stars. To him, The Turtles were like The Beatles. 'What was that like?' We told him a story about groupies; how these girls would do anything we wanted sexually if we would just sing 'Happy Together' for them. With that story began a two-year relationship culminating in the motion picture 200 Motels.

 

11. Tears Began To Fall

 

 

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