Lohengrin (Act III, Prelude)

Richard Wagner (written c. 1845-48; premiered in 1850)

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

1968: A common musical quote found in Frank's music over the years, this Wagner piece receives due homage in this tour also. During the one well documented performance from this year (10/6), this FZ/Preston performed rendition arises out of a "Gas Mask" type jam, which itself arises out of the ashes of an "Uncle Meat". Frank begins toying with the melody while the band is involved in a percussion heavy jam. The percussion slowly dies out, at which point both Frank and Preston continue teasing the tune. This continues for a short while, with this classical tease culminating in a typically deranged vocalization of the melody. (For those of you unsure about what this title refers to, check out the 2:55 mark of "Big Swifty" on your readily accessible "Make A Jazz Noise Here" CD).

1978: One of Zappa's favorite Audience Participation gimmicks- other than the Dance Contest- is the "this-side-of-the-audience-sing-this-and-this-side-sing-this-and-this-side-sing-this-now-sing" trick. Although it never really seemed to work, FZ never gave up on it over the years, and on 2/18, we got it once again. This time the songs in question were "In-a-gadda-da-vida", "The Rites of Spring", and Lohengrin. Didn't really work, but a truly funny moment occurs about 30 minutes later in the set, when Frank yells at the people in the balcony and says, "You're still supposed to be singing 'In-a-gadda-da-vida'".

1980: Towards the end of the tour, "Pick Me I'm Clean" starts to get a little crazy, consisting of more than just a guitar solo in its middle section. On the late show on 12/05, an improvised performance of ["Lohengrin"] found its way into the proceedings, making things even crazier than normal.

A partial list of "Lohengrin" quotes, compiled by Charles Ulrich

10/6/68 Bremen (stand-alone)
2/21/69 New York (Charles Ives)
"2/29/69" Toronto (stand-alone)
5/24/69 Toronto (stand-alone)
9/23/72 New York (stand-alone)
5/1/74 Binghamton (Dupree's Paradise)
5/8/74 Edinboro (Dupree's Paradise)
11/6/74 Pittsburgh (Stinkfoot)
11/9/74 (late) Boston (Dupree's Paradise)
10/30/77 New York (Wild Love)
2/18/78 Gothenburg (audience participation)
9/21/78 Poughkeepsie (I Have Been In You)
4/13/80 (late) Kansas City (Pound For A Brown)
6/11/80 (early) Paris (Pound For A Brown)
6/26/80 Neunkirchen (Pound For A Brown)
11/28/80 (early) Chicago (City Of Tiny Lights)
12/2/80 Fort Collins (stand-alone)
12/5/80 (late) Berkeley (Pick Me I'm Clean, City Of Tiny Lights)
12/11/80 (late) Santa Monica (stand-alone)
10/25/81 (early) Atlanta (Black Page)
11/3/84 (early) Stony Brook (Illinois Enema Bandit)
2/10/88 Washington (classical medley)
5/9/88 Munich (Big Swifty, as heard on MAJNH, Penguin In Bondage, Let's Move To Cleveland, Sofa)

Any more?


Conceptual Continuity

More Wagner:
Reader's Digest No Unwanted Melodies



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This page updated: 2019-02-24