Marque-Son's Chicken

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)


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

1982: Essentially performed as on "Them Or Us", with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. In my opinion, this is another one of those guitar vamps that Frank really seemed to connect with, and thus, the typical "Marqueson's" solo was great. Another "why wasn't this on the Stage series?" candidate.

1984: Another musical treat that unfortunately did not surface until the closing weeks of the tour. It was essentially played as on "Them or Us", with Zavod playing the bulk of Vai's guitar parts. Unfortunately, Frank chose to replace the solo vamp from the album with a rather lifeless alternative, and thus, the guitar solos were never that interesting. Still, the song itself is always a pleasure to hear.

1988: Frank has an annoying habit of writing songs, complete with excellent segues into the improvisational meat of the tune, and then rewriting those songs, and butchering up the meat, years later. Take "Marqueson's Chicken", for example. Not an outright great song, but an interesting composition worth sitting through simply for the powerful segue into the solo vamp and the solo that would follow. Unfortunately, that statement does not hold true for the '88 tour. We do not get the same vamp we get on "Them or Us", or even a vamp seemingly relating to anything in the rest of the song. Instead, when solo time arrives, "Marqueson's Chicken" stops, some new vamp starts, and Frank starts playing. Regardless of whether Frank's playing is good or not, there is absolutely no momentum taken into this segue, and the abrupt transition is unnecessarily and ineffectively jarring. Plus, it simply pisses me off that Frank does not use the excellent vamp he composed years earlier. (The actual vamp used for this tour is the "21" vamp first heard during the Fall '78 tour, and as interesting as that may be, it provides absolutely no continuity with the structured portion of the tune) [Jon Naurin reminds us that not all was lost this time out: "Note that it was played with the original vamp once, at the only US performance of the song, on 3/20. And yes, it's much better though I think it's pretty cool to hear "21" again (which should probably have worked much better within the context of a monster song)." And in the "you-can't-make-everyone-happy" department, Pat Buzby with this: "My major quibble is about Marqueson's—as I was planning on pointing out once we got to 5/24, I thought the 21 vamp was inspired, and improved what to me was one of FZ's more mundane instrumental excursions. I knew we couldn't agree about everything. :)"]

Bill Lantz

Marque told me that this song had another working title (I've since forgotten what he told me dammit) but one night on the 82 tour, as the band was coming back to do encores, Marque had hung a rubber chicken on one of the mic stands during the break. As the band came back out, they saw it, and the song became Marqueson's Chicken.

Jon Naurin, August 11, 1998

The song got its name when it was played as an encore once in 1982. As the band re-entered the stage, Marqueson hung a rubber chicken (now that's CC!) on FZ's mic stand.

ASCAP (retr. August 11, 2006)

MARQUESON S CHICKEN (Title Code: 430498394)
Writers: ZAPPA F
Variations: SLOWLY IN B



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This page updated: 2016-10-22