Approximate

FZ album(s) in which song has appeared

Tour(s) on which song is known to have been performed (main source: FZShows, v. 7.1)

Comments

FZ introducing the song, September 10, 1972 (thanks to Jeff Szarka for the transcription):

This piece is called Approximate and uh it's really a very simple piece. There's only 4 parts that are dispensed among 20 musicians for this piece. There is one page that is for all instruments in C and F, including percussion. There's another page for all the instruments in E flat and B flat and elsewhere and then there's a bass part and a drum set part which combine the rhythms of the other two. The only thing that is indicated in the score is the approximate rhythm, well the exact rhythm, that is supposed to happen for most of the piece and all players get to choose their own pitches that they play. So... it randomizes a certain bit. You know what I mean don't you?

Foggy G, "The Songs That Were Played," We're Only In It For The Touring

1972: This is what this song should sound like. As we all know, there is no actual "song" here, just an approximation of a tune denoted by the places where the musicians play the pitch of their choice, with certain pitches being predetermined for the sake of contrast. But as we all now, every performance of this song has always sounded the same, and thus essentially served as a competely written song. On this tour, however, we get the organized chaos that Frank was aiming for, and it is quite different, though easily recognizable. After the approximated head, we get a somewhat mellow solo section, which includes horn solos, Ian on keyboards, a rather lengthy percussion/drum duet, and the occasional Frank solo. All of this includes some random orchestrating by Frank, who injects healthy doses of the main theme throughout the solos. This theme is also returned to and played once through after the solos, and serves as the ending to the tune. During the 9/23 performance, we get an extra bonus "Comic Book" section, in which the band members read from random sections of previously distributed comic books, while accompanied by Frank-led audience noises and randomly orchestrated band parts.

1973-74: Reappears after an 18 month absence, and seemingly full of amphetamines. The head of the tune is essentially played as on YCDTOSA Volume II, accounting for obvious differences in instrumentation, and at a much greater speed. Once the head is played, we get an assortment of solos, before a brief return to the song. A triumphant, one-time only for this tour return.

1974: Quite an event on this tour. In three parts—with words, with feet, and with music. YCDTOSA Volume II gives us a good representation of this. All performances of this were roughly the same, with the only changes really being the Frank cues and remarks made between the songs. Also, part three—the full band with music section—contained improv in both FZ and Duke's solo, and early in the tour, with a short Brock freak-out. Amazingly enough, this song was actually used as a show opener early in the tour.

1982: This song was performed in two different ways on this tour. One, it was performed as a stand alone song, essentially performed as on YCDTOSA Volume IV, with the standard deviation coming in the improvised vocals. Two, it was performed as a part of "Tinseltown Rebellion". For most of the duration of the tour, the musical accompianment to the "Did you know that in Tinseltown...?" section of the aforementioned tune was actually "Approximate". Frank would sing the "Tinseltown" lines as normal, and the band would play a strictly instrumental version of "Approximate." Once the vocals were complete, the band would then return to the fanfare conclusion of "Tinseltown". Several times, instead of singing over "Approximate", Frank would not sing the TR vocals during the aforementioned segue, and thus, we would have an actual performance of "Approximate", and TR would stand complete as is.

StructureFA

"Approximate" (1972) Wazoo (2007) "Approximate" (1974) YCDTOSA2 (1988) "Inca Roads" (1974) OSFA (CD, 1988) "Village Of The Sun" (1974) YCDTOSA2 (1988) "The Purple Lagoon" (1976) ZINY (CD, 1991) "Approximate" (1982) YCDTOSA4 (1991) "Dead Girls Of London" (1982) YCDTSOA5 (1992)
00:00-01:14 theme #1 0:03-0:40; 3:26-4:03 #1     0:37-1:17 #1 0:00-1:04 #1  
01:14-03:38 woodwind solo 4:03-4:39 guitar solo          
03:38-03:50 theme #2 4:39-4:44 #2       1:04-1:14 #2  
03:50-05:50 woodwind solo 4:44-5:20 drum solo          
05:50-06:03 theme #3 5:20-5:24 #3       1:14-1:24 #3  
06:03-08:43 synth solo 5:24-6:01 synth solo          
08:43-09:05 theme #4 6:01-6:08 #4 0:57-1:09 0:15-0:24
3:00-3:02
  1:24-1:39 #4 2:09-2:29
9:05-11:29 percussion solo 6:08-6:46 guitar solo          
11:29-13:16 drum solo            
13:16-13:35 theme #5         1:39-1:49 #5  
  6:46-7:35 #1          

 

Conceptual Continuity

Suitcases & Customs:

 

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