The Legend Of The Illinois Enema Bandit

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:

From an actual press clip printed in the inside cover of Zappa In New York:

Michael H. Kenyon, 30, the suspected enema bandit who terrorized coeds at the Universtity of Illinois for 10 years, has pleaded guilty in Urbana, Ill., to six counts of armed robbery. He has admitted administering enemas to woman victims in at least three of the six robberies.

Touring versions from Foggy G's We're Only In It For The Touring:

1975-76: 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.

1977 Jan-Feb: Essentially performed as on ZINY, accounting for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in Ray's guitar-only solo (no scat), Eddie's keyboard solo, and Frank's slanderous workout. Yes, this song is a solo-fest this time out, which is probably due to the fact that it only appears once in this four week outing- on 2/3. Ray's solo is quite good (and lengthy), Eddie has a rather high-pitched but interesting sound for his keyboard solo, and Frank's solo starts off nice and chorded and calm before evolving into your typical Frank endeavor. This performance also has a rather non-descript solo vamp, and does not contain the same one found on ZINY (of which I am personally not fond).

1977 Sep-Dec: Jon Naurin's got the full scoop on this one- "Played at least twice this tour, as an encore of the 9/23 show and directly after intermission on 9/29. Before the latter, FZ explains that they would ordinarily play Envelopes at this part of the program, but he figured that a weird song with a drum solo would not be a good opener of set 2. So instead he announces that they'll play a song of the forthcoming Lather album, and that it should be sung by someone with a very high voice. Nevertheless he sings it himself, which makes the song lose a bit of energy. Adrian sings the final lines, and I think he should have sung the whole song.Interesting choices of soloists: Belew goes first ("take it away, Bob!) with a slashing solo, and Peter comes next on the moog, before FZ delivers his solo, which seems to be played on the three lowest frets for 90% of the time. Apart from this; EPAOZINYAFODII & WDSDCITS (you figure it out!)" Excellent acronyms, Jon.

1980 Mar-Jul: Essentially performed as on YCDTOSA Volume VI, allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo

1980 Oct-Dec: Essentially performed as on YCDTOSA Volume VI, accounting for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. This guitar solo section typically consisted of two separate vamps. The first vamp was the standard "Illinois" vamp, smoothly flowing out of the vocal section. During the course of the solo, the band would then segue into the second vamp, which was quite a bit funkier and featured a quite active Barrow. To say the least, these solos are monsters, with Frank soloing at length, using some of the most distorted and blasphemous sounding guitar effects. While this tune would eventually dissolve into a "by-the-numbers" sleepwalk for later bands, this tour presents us with a highly energetic and downright mean "Illinois Enema Bandit" excursion. Mars' overdone keyboards, White's indicting wails, and Harris' hilarious screams coupled with Frank's ugly guitar playing create the ultimate "Bandit" performances.

1981-82: Essentially performed as on YCDTOSA Volume VI, accounting for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solos. The vocals were not as tweaked as on the aforementioned version, as this band was not as inclined towards Secret Word usage as the '84 band. Also, the guitar solo section typically consisted of two separate vamps. The first vamp was the standard "Illinois" vamp, smoothly flowing out of the vocal section. During the course of the solo, the band would then segue into the second vamp, which consisted of a keyboard heavy rhythm reminiscent of the "Marqueson's Chicken" vamp.

1984: Essentially played as on YCDTOSA Volume VI, with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. Also, as the aforementioned release demonstrates, this tune was also a continual victim of Secret Word abuse, especially considering that it was usually the final encore.

1988: Essentially performed as on YCDTOSA Volume VI, accounting for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. As with the '84 band, this version typically fell victim to some serious Secret Word abuse, and thus produced some of the funniest moments of tour.

 

Conceptual Continuity:

Potato-Headed Bobby:
More Bobbies in:
Hi-Yo Silver! (Masked Man's A Fag!)

 

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This page updated: 2014-10-17