Road Tapes, Venue #1

The Concert

Brian Redman, alt.fan.frank-zappa, March 10, 1993

In '68 or '69 (memory's pretty fuzzy from dem old days) I saw Frank at the Kerrisdale Arena (a rather sorry 5000 seat skating rink in Vancouver next to my old high school) on his first return to Canada after a bad experience in Montreal some years earlier. (Perhaps some of my francophone compatriots can recall the details: something about being thrown out of a restaurant and being generally misunderstood on stage, and I don't think it was just a language barrier thing :^) )

Anyway, after a really rollicking version of King Kong featuring Frank and two others on drums playing at once, he got a thunderous standing ovation, and when the noise died down, he walked to the mike and in a voice that seemed mixed with equal amounts of wonder and gratitude said "That . . . that's an unprecedented response to the kind of bullshit that we play" Of course, we cheered even louder and went home very happy.

Ah, memories!

Dave Tate, "Retinal Circus," RickMcGrath.com, April 9, 2007

I was there. I believe it was a White Lightening Acid night. Frank adapted "Help I'm A Rock" to "HELP I'm the Mayor"!! (Tom Campbell) Boy, do I have stories about that night. We partied with The "Mothers" at some seaside house out in West Vancouver, actually gave the drummer a ride back to the BlueBoy Hotel at 49th and Southwest Marine.

 

The Recording

Vaultmeister, Zappateers, November 13, 2012

Well, let me tell ya, this one was not easy to prepare. First of all, I feel it safe to say that nobody affiliated with FZ made this recording. My GUESS is that somebody working at the venue ran this off for Frank. The original tape was full of a million inconsistent level jumps. It was a real bitch to get all of the program leveled out to a relatively equal listening level. Also, there were pitch problems. The reel starts at one pitch & progresses to another as it continues on. Lots of corrections. During the sections where the level was recorded too low there was a bunch of tape hiss, so during certain sections John Polito applied noise reduction....(Sonic Solutions NoNoise). Reel changes seem to always happen at the worst times, but we figured we rather include "Trouble Every Day" instead of not! It is what it is, the door slam was Gail's idea. Trying to combine the two edit spots was a challenge. Overall, I really think sonically John Polito & I made this a totally listenable object, as the raw tape is definitely NOT!

Unfortunate that our credits were an oversight in the package. But for those who care, it was another GZ & JT production, mastering & audio restoration by John Polito, Audio Mechanics.

 

disc 1

6. The Rewards Of A Career In Music

Her name was Elmira Snodgrass. That was really her name.

Bunk Gardner, interviewed by Phil McMullen, Ptolemaic Terrascope, Spring 1993

I started piano lessons when I was five or six years old. The lessons were right down the same block, West 95th Street in Cleveland, Ohio and my piano teacher's name was Elmira Snodgrass [savours the name for a few moments . . . ]—she was cute.

She used to give me little stickers when I played a good lesson. I took lessons from Elmira for at least two or three years, and then went on and took lessons from a couple more teachers—I guess in all I had five or six years of piano lessons, right up until I started junior high school.

"Take that jazz and stick it under a rock!"

disc 2

5. Oh, In The Sky

Bossk (R)

At one of the recordings, I forget which one, Frank calls it "'Ooh, in the Sky', by Roy Estrada & the Penguins". Before I heard that song, the words "nite owl" would always bring up the image of an owl sitting in a tree (maybe going "hoo, hoo"). I guess I could have reasoned my way to a "well, owls are active at night, so they would be flying around", but I couldn't have felt it. The nite owl is IN THE SKY. I love it. Those are damn good lyrics.

 

6. Octandre

FZ, interviewed by David Reitman, Rock Magazine, January 25, 1971

FZ: We also used to play the opening oboe line from Octandre. We used to play that all the time.

DR: Did Ian play that on the oboe?

FZ: Nope, we played a screaming fuzz-tone thing (sings it for me). Big crashes and gongs and shit. We used to throw that in the middle of regular rock and roll type stuff. We'd play something that sounds like a 1950's saxophone instrumental and then end it with Octandre.

Guy In The Audience: Suzy Creamcheese!

7. King Kong

Hot sweaty thrills among bizarre flora and fauna.

 

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