Inca Roads

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:

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

1973: Essentially performed as on "The Lost Episodes", with the standard deviation coming in the solos. For the lengthy solo section, we typically get two solos, with Ponty, Marquez, Fowler, and Underwood taking turns as to who gets to solo. While I am not a big fan of Ponty, his solos during this tune are typically pretty intense affairs. For the Australian portion of the tour (and on through the New Year), the song gains its lyrics, though not in the form we have come to know and love. Instead, to open the tune, we get a cocktail lounge-type ditty, in which Marquez does a wonderful Frank Sinatra impersonation as he croons the "Inca Roads" lyrics. Once the lyrics are finished, we get a short little percussion display, before dropping directly into the lap of the aforementioned, full-blown "Inca".

1973-74: Swank! The infamous cocktail lounge version, which sadly has not seen the light-of-officially-released-day. The tune starts off with a very cheesy cocktail lounge atmosphere, slow and sultry, like the kind of tune America would listen to before they drink and go home. George sings the lyrics, low and sexy, paying homage to the great lounge acts of our time. Towards the conclusion of the lyrics, we get a burst of Ruth (ah, that Inca sound!), a return to the cocktail lounge groove, and some over dramatic concluding flourishes, both vocal and musical. At this point, we get another burst of Ruth, and an awesome and powerful segue into the "Inca Roads" we know and love. From this point on, we essentially get the song as it is performed on "The Lost Episodes", which is essentially the post-guitar solo section (but complete with lyrics as on OSFA), with the standard deviation coming in the Duke and Bruce Fowler solos. While this version is not the complete classic that we would eventually get on OSFA, it is still a force to reckon with. The meat of the tune is still here, and the sleazy opening is hilarious, serving as an excellent contrast to the remainder of the tune. My only complaint is that Duke cannot hold a candle to the Frank Sinatra inspired renditions that Marquez gave us on the Australian tour months earlier. But then again, this version does not have Ponty, so I guess that even things out.

1974 (May): Essentially performed as on "One Size Fits All", with one major difference. The tune starts off with the same percussion and drum riff as on the official release, and unfortunately maintains this groove throughout the vocals and into Frank's guitar solo. So whereas the percussion aspects of the song are underplayed and eventually disappear on the later version, they remain and play a prominent role for the entire first half of this version. All throughout George's vocal parts, and even for the duration of Frank's solo, the same repeating lick is played by Chester, giving the song a very repititive and confined feel. Even Duke's "spacey" keyboards cannot salvage this opening section. The greatest problem with this is the inhibiting effect it has on Frank's solo, thus preventing him from producing one of the epic solos that he would so frequently create on the Fall '74 outing. The remainder of the tune thankfully appears as it always has and will, with the added bonus of a Fowler trombone solo prior to Duke's keyboard solo. For me, this is a disappointing version of this classic tune simply because of the difference in the guitar solo rhythmic accompianment. Frank's solos are still excellent, but somewhat inhibited by the restrictive vamp.

1974 (Jul-Dec): Played as on YCDTOSA Volume II, with the only improv occurring in both FZ and Duke's solos. There's not much I can really say about this song that can do it justice, so I won't. Notable Performances- December KCET [love those noises].

1975-76: Not played in its entirety.. Instead, the post-guitar solo theme as heard on "One Size Fits All" (the one that is used as the immediate segue from Frank's solo into the second half of the song) is performed as the opening segment of the show. We simply get a dramatic and majestic version of this riff, an occasional brief Zappa guitar flurry, and then a smooth segue into the standard "Stinkfoot" opener. An excellent beginning to these not-so-excellent shows. This theme is also used as a show closer, in much the same way "Tush Tush Tush" is used on the Fall '74 tour, or "The Purple Lagoon" is used on the '77 and '78 tours. The band plays a short, usually chaotic version of this theme, while Frank rips off some short riffs, and then the show ends.

1979: Essentially performed as on "Anyway the Wind Blows" from Beat the Boots Volume I, with the standard deviation in the solo. Note the missing keyboard solo section and immediate edit into "Florentine Pogen" after the post-solo written section. This song was very frustrating on this tour as Frank would waver between playing completely worthless, uninspired solos (as on the aforementioned release), with stunning solos filled with fury, passion, and a rather urgent sense of abandonment (as on SUAPYG). Vinnie and Artie proved their rhythm section godliness on such excursions, but unfortunately, the thinness of the rest of the band showed through during the written sections, especially on the opening theme. Where's Duke when you need him?

1988: Essentially performed as on TBBYNHIYL, with the standard deviation coming in both Frank's and Carmen's solo. For me, this is the biggest disappointment, and the biggest surprise, of this tour. The disappointment comes with Frank's guitar solos, which are simply uninspired this time round. Frank smartly put this tune away after the monster performances of the '79 tour, and I guess he figured the '88 band could once again do this tune justice. The band does, Frank doesn't. The surprise comes with Carmen's horn solo- a wise choice by Frank to not include a keyboard solo, or to not cut the song short as he did in '79. Carmen's blowing fits in perfectly with the feel of the song, and saves us from disappointment after Frank's typically lackluster solos. Oh yeah, the rearranged ending sucks.

Different versions

This table is based in part on tables by Brett Clement and Charles Ulrich.

Feb.-Mar., 1973: The Lost Episodes
(instrumental)
Apr.-Dec., 1973: Princeton, April 27, 1973 (cocktail lounge version) Dec., 1973: Roxy By Proxy Feb.-May., 1974: Berkeley, Feb. 16, 1974 Jun.-Dec., 1974: One Size Fits All 1979: Anyway The Wind Blows 1988: The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life Themes Lyrics (when present)
  0:00-0:15 0:00-0:24 0:00-1:00 0:00-0:33 0:00-0:17 0:00-0:23 intro  
  0:15-0:42 0:24-0:48 1:00-1:31 0:33-0:57 0:17-0:42 0:23-0:47 theme 1a (isomelic variation) Did a vehicle
Come from somewhere out there
Just to land in the Andes?
Was it round
And did it have
A motor
Or was it
Something
Different
      1:31-1:49 0:57-1:11 0:42-0:57 0:47-0:58 Approximate (theme 4)  
  0:42-0:59 0:48-1:03 1:49-2:09 1:11-1:26 0:57-1:12 0:58-1:13 theme 1b1 (isomelic var.) Did a vehicle
Did a vehicle
Did a vehicle
Fly along the mountains
And find a place to park itself
      2:09-2:19 1:26-1:34 1:12-1:20 1:13-1:20 Approximate (?)  
  0:59-1:14 1:03-1:18 2:19-2:36 1:34-1:44 1:20-1:31 1:20-1:30 theme 1b2 Or did someone
Build a place
To leave a space
For such a thing to land
  1:14-1:20 1:18-1:25 2:36-2:56 1:44-2:00 1:31-1:47 1:30-1:46 link (isomelic var.)  
      2:56-4:09
over a vamp using the link (isomelic var.)
2:00-4:37 1:47-3:38 1:46-3:40 guitar solo  
      4:09-4:45
over a vamp using the link (isomelic var.)
4:37-5:09 3:38-4:14 3:40-4:13 Holiday In Berlin  
      4:45-5:08 5:09-5:27 4:14-4:33 4:13-4:31 link (isomelic var.)  
  1:20-1:59 1:25-1:57 5:08-5:25 5:27-5:41 4:33-4:48 4:31-4:45 theme 1c (isomelic var.) Did a vehicle
Come from somewhere out there
Did a vehicle come
From somewhere out there
Did the Indians, first on the bill
Carve up the hill
0:00-0:15 1:59-2:14 1:57-2:12         theme 1ab

Did a vehicle
Come from somewhere out there
Just to land in the Andes?
Was it round
And did it have
A motor
Or was it
Something
Different
Did a vehicle
Did a vehicle
Did a vehicle
Fly along the mountains
And find a place to park itself
Or did someone
Build a place
To leave a space
For such a thing to land

0:15-0:19 2:14-2:18 2:12-2:15         link  
0:19-0:33 2:18-2:32 2:15-2:29         theme 1c Did a vehicle
Come from somewhere out there
Did a vehicle come
From somewhere out there
Did the Indians, first on the bill
Carve up the hill
0:33-0:48 2:32-2:46 2:29-2:44 5:25-5:38 5:41-5:53 4:48-4:59 4:45-4:56 theme 1ab  
0:48-0:52 2:46-2:50 2:44-2:47 5:38-5:47 5:53-5:56 4:59-5:03 4:56-4:59 link  
0:52-1:06 2:50-3:03 2:47-3:01 5:47-5:59 5:56-6:05 5:03-5:13 4:59-5:10 theme 1c  
      5:59-6:16 6:05-6:23 5:13-5:32 5:10-5:29 theme 2 (isomelic var.)  
1:08-1:24 3:05-3:20 3:02-3:17 6:16-6:30 6:23-6:34 5:32-5:42 5:29-5:40 transition  
1:24-2:37 3:20-6:55 3:17-6:05 6:30-8:57 6:34-7:52   5:40-6:51 solos (including The Hook in Nov. 1973)  
2:37-2:55 6:55-7:14 6:05-6:21 8:57-9:13 7:52-8:06   6:51-7:05 theme 2  
2:55-3:11 7:14-7:29 6:21-6:35 9:13-9:28 8:06-8:18   7:05-7:53 theme 1ab Did a vehicle/booger-bear
Come from somewhere out there
Just to land in the Andes?
Was it/she round
And did it/she have
A motor
Or was it/she
Something
Different
Did a vehicle/Guacamole Queen
Did a vehicle/Guacamole Queen
Did a vehicle/Guacamole Queen
Fly along the mountains/At the Armadillo
And find a place to park itself/In Austin, Texas, her aura
Or did someone
Build a place
To/Or leave a space
For such a thing to land/For Chester's thing to land
3:11-3:15 7:29-7:33 6:35-6:39 9:28-9:31 8:18-8:21   7:53-7:56 link  
3:15-3:27 7:33-7:52 6:39-6:49 9:31-9:43 8:21-8:30   7:56-8:05 theme 1c Did a vehicle/booger-bear
Come from somewhere out there
Did a vehicle/booger-bear come
From somewhere out there
Did the Indians, first on the bill
Carve up the/her hill
3:27-3:42 7:52-8:05 6:49-7:02 9:43-9:54 8:30-8:40   8:05-8:14 coda  
      9:54-10:01 8:40-8:45   8:14-8:19 "On Ruth"  
One Size Fits All version vs. the The Dub Room Special! and You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 2 ones
OSFA TDRS! YCDTOSA Vol. 2
00:00-00:33 00:00-00:33  
  00:33-00:37  
00:33-02:00 00:37-02:04  
  02:04-05:31  
02:00-03:51   02:05-03:55
    03:55-04:27
03:51-04:15   04:27-04:50
    04:50-05:24
04:15-04:37   05:24-05:46
    05:46-06:05...
04:37-08:45 05:31-09:39  

 

Occam's Razor vs. Toad-O Line (aka On The Bus):
Occam's Razor
(One Shot Deal )
Toad-O Line
(Joe's Garage Act I)
0:00-0:18  
0:18-0:33 0:00-0:16
0:33-0:36  
0:36-0:44 0:16-0:25
0:44-0:46  
0:46-0:50 0:25-0:29
0:50-0:53  
0:53-1:15 0:29-0:52
1:15-1:18  
1:18-1:48 0:52-1:22
1:48-2:05  
2:05-2:14 1:22-1:30
2:14-2:31  
2:31-2:43 1:30-1:42
2:43-2:58  
2:58-3:05 1:42-1:49
3:05-3:17  
3:17-3:49 1:49-2:22
3:49-3:53  
3:53-4:03 2:22-2:32
4:03-4:06  
4:06-4:16 2:32-2:41
4:16-6:56  
6:56-7:53 3:34-4:31
7:53-9:11  
Yojimbo (Zappateers, January 20, 2010)

And doesn't the first phrase of the [Inca Roads] motive recur in Treacherous Cretins too (although in a different harmonic environment)?

 

Conceptual Continuity:

Little booger-bears:

 

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This page updated: 2014-10-19