Mo 'N Herb's Vacation

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)


Mike Genovese, September 1, 2000

I spoke to FZ in 1992, and he told me that the guitar solo on BURGERS from LIVE IN NY is in fact the first time he ever stumbled across the notes that would eventually become the opener for MO and the little thing in WET.

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

1978 Aug-Oct: This is a full band version of the orchestra piece known as "Mo and Herb's Vacation" (at least part of it). Running about 4 minutes in length, this tune sounds like a cross between the "Black Page #1" and the full band version of "Little House I used To Live In." These performances, however, are for bass and drums only- a veritable showcase of Artie's and Vinnie's talents. Sean Gaffney points out that the opening notes to this tune correspond to the notes that Ike sings in "Wet T-Shirt Nite", slightly slowed down for that studio song, for the lines "And it's wettshirttime again...I know you want someone to show you some tit...Big Ones...Wet ones....Big Wet Ones"

Mo's Vacation

FZ, interviewed by John Dalton, Guitar, June, 1979

Mo's Vacation was originally written for clarinet solo, and it's got a lot of weird stuff in it, but there's no problem with one musician, he either learns it or he doesn't. And then I wrote out the bass and drum part for it and they tend to reinforce each other.

David Ocker on the world famous David Ocker Internet Interview:

Frank started Mo 'n Herb's Vacation because I asked him to write a *solo* clarinet piece. He was dubious about the idea, but he did it—eventually it was called "Mo's Vacation" but he didn't like it so he added a simultaneous drum solo called "Herb's Vacation". He still wasn't happy so he added 3 more clarinets and 4 bassoons, bass and a few other audio events. (This is what John Steinmetz and I were recording at Frank's studio) I guess it was still not big enough so he added two more movements for huge orchestra—becoming the "Mo 'n Herb's Vacation" on the LSO album. He finally liked it at that stage, because it was only then that he expressed any thanks to me for asking him to write the piece. After the premiere in London I also got a big hug from him—a very unusual event!


Rip Rense, "Frank Zappa—A Would-be Chemist Who Turned To Music," The Valley News, December, 1977

He recently completed [...] a new symphonic work called "Wooool" (spelled with slashes through the first and last o's, umlauts over the two middle o's, and a tilde over the L—thus pronounced something like "Woh-ooo-oh-luh," but modern typesetting prohibits such reproduction here.)

"Wooool" is scored for a Mahler-sized orchestra: 60 strings, four flutes, piccolo, all other woodwinds four-deep, eight french horns, four trumpets, three trombones, bass, tuba, six percussionists.

Steve Vai, interviewed by Michael Brenna, Society Pages #10, May, 1982

There's a version called "Moe's Vacation," "Herb's Vacation," and "Moe AND Herb's Vacation." The song originally started out when David Ocker, who is a music copyist for Frank, should get a raise, and he said he would rather have Frank write him a song. So Frank wrote him the melody entitled "Moe And Herb's Vacation." The melody is constant throughout all the three pieces. "Moe's Vacation" consists of the melody being played and a written drum part and a written bass part, which varies a little bit between all the three tunes. "Herb's Vacation" is just the bass and drums, "Moe And Herb's Vacation" is the actual orchestral score, which used to be the introduction to a song called "Wøöl," would you know how to pronounce that? [(A quick introduction to Scandinavian lettering from the interviewers.)] But then, what happened was that "Wøöl" was taken out, and the whole piece was called "Moe And Herb's Vacation."

drdork, Zappateers, September 13, 2013

You can hear FZ pronounce the title several times during Titties & Beer, 10/20/77 (late) Boston.

Blow Job

Ed Mann, Facebook, September 2, 2014

the first rendition had no name, then a few of us sight read it and told frank we liked it, so he named it Blow Job, then he changed a few things and renamed it moe and herbs vacation

Charles Ulrich, September 2, 2014

after David Ocker told FZ about a John Bergamo composition for solo bass drum entitled Blow Job.


Conceptual Continuity

Herb Cohen:


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This page updated: 2015-12-08