En directo desde Barcelona: Frank Zappa

May 17, 1988
Palacio de los Deportes, Barcelona, Spain
135 min.

en directo desde Barcelona

Digital Rebroadcasts (including "Strictly Genteel"):
October 4 & 26, 2005: Nostalgia (TVE)
August 5, 6 & 7, 2006: TVE 50

Barcelona '88
scan: peccary

Songs: Pre-Concert Documentary, Black Page, Packard Goose, Sharleena, Bamboozled by Love, Black Napkins, When the Lie's so Big, Planet of the Baritone Women, Any Kind of Pain, Jesus Thinks You Are a Jerk, Sofa, Find Her Finer, Big Swifty/Synclavier Instrumental, Ain't Got No Heart, Love of my Life, Torture Never Stops/Cowboy Burt, Bolero, Watermelon in Easter Hey, Whipping Post, I Am the Walrus, Illinois Enema Bandit, Strictly Genteel (cut from broadcast).

Original opening credits:


en directo desde



Original closing credits:

Sonido concierto

Iluminación concierto

Producción concierto


Iluminación TVE

Sonido TVE


© T.V.E. 1988

The short pre-concert documentary includes footage from:

Barcelona, 1988

Spanish transcription of Olga Viza's locution:

Frank Zappa, compositor y guitarrista que desde hace 24 años está criticando y maldiciendo el mundo en general y a los Estados Unidos en particular. Underground, experimentador y corrosivo, Zappa se explica con pasión, con una gran cultura musical y sobre todo con un talento indiscutible. En cada disco, en cada concierto, Zappa ha sabido traducir a su música sus insatisfacciones personales, sus críticas y sus propuestas. La lista de sus proezas es interminable.

Nace en 1940 en una familia de ascendencia griega y siciliana, según el propio Zappa, mortalmente aburrida. De ella aprende los mecanismos de la música clásica. Se hace entusiasta de nombres tan poco rockeros como Stravinsky o Varèse, inventa su Mothers Of Invention, un grupo con el que arranca en el 64 con armonías sorprendentes, palabras ácidas y espectáculos revulsivos. Parodia el rock blandengue, la gente de plástico, que él llama, como los intocables Beatles, y las bobadas que cantan los famosos. Usa el argot más mordaz y habla claro, compone bandas para películas que no triunfan. En su faceta de músico sinfónico ha sabido interesar a personajes tan rigurosos como Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez y a la Filarmónica de Los Angeles o la London Symphony Orchestra, que ha interpretado su música.

Frank Zappa se atreve también con la dirección orquestal y con la computer music, y aun le queda tiempo para descubrir a un músico italiano del siglo XVIII llamado, casualmente, Francesco Zappa. Estamos ante un rebelde de 48 años, ante un chorro de ideas, ante un sonido con sello propio, ante un respondón incorregible e ingenioso. Señoras, señores, prepárense ustedes, porque con Frank Zappa no se puede perder el tiempo.


The Raffle

FZ interviewed on Society Pages (April, 1990)

Well the tour had been going on and there's all this strife in the band and the crew was edgy and all this stuff, and travel in Europe is really very rough for the crew. We had a day off in Barcelona prior to this television show that we were going to do. I decided to throw a party for the band and the crew, and I rented this restaurant and told the promoter there to arrange to get three prostitutes, and prostitutes are a very common thing in Barcelona. I said, "Get three prostitutes to come down to this dinner and we're going to have a raffle", that any members of the crew that would like to have the opportunity to get their machinery wet with one of these Barcelona hookers, that all they do is enter into the raffle. The girls came to the party, did a strip-tease and danced. They brought their own music and, this whole bunch of hoopla. It was a straightforward business deal. It was like a "rent-a-girl" business. And Marqueson the monitor mixer was one of the raffle contestants and he won a girl. And so the deal was that after the dinner the girls were going to go back to the hotel with the lucky winners. But what happened was, Marqueson's girl took off. After the dinner, you see, everyone left and they thought they were going to meet the girls back at the hotel, and I stayed around for a while at the restaurant. About the time I was leaving, Marqueson was returning in a cab, and he was nearly in tears because his prize was gone. (laughter) This led to a situation where the promoter, who had arranged this thing, assured me that everything was going to be, you know, a very smooth operation, became totally irate that he had been fucked over by the pimp who had supplied these girls, (laughter) and saw to it personally that Marqueson got his machinery taken care of. It took him an extra couple of hours, but Marqueson got taken care of, and so, all was right with the band and crew the next day for the television show. So, during the show, we're making jokes about the raffle, and Marqueson, and that kind of stuff.


Official Release

Mike Keneally on Really, Keneally?

[FZ] once described the Barcelona video as a "low priority" for him. It wasn't one of our better performances, so I don't mind it not being available widely.

FZ interviewed on Society Pages (April, 1990)

TV3 from Barcelona owes me a real master tape. They gave me a master tape after the show, but it was fucked up. It won't play, and I still have yet to receive a real copy from Barcelona. All I've got is a VHS.

Gail Zappa, zappa.com, December 2, 2010

Q: Can we get a complete video from either of the Barcelona or Madrid concerts from 1988?

A: The word "complete" is generally a troublesome one.  But we are considering possibilities.


Notes & Comments

From: Patrick Neve

This is a 120 minute concert that was broadcast on Spanish cable.

From: ANDROPS (Andrés Gota) (August 4, 1995)

The concert of Barcelona (05-17-88) took place in the Palau D'esports and it was not recorded by a cable-TV station, but for the public station RTVE and transmitted live for the whole country.

From: Brian Lagerman

A couple of versions:

120 minutes- concert, plus short interview at end.
127 minutes- concert, plus short pre-concert feature.

From: Chris Rigas

Nice documentary on the 1988 tour, even though by this time the band was self-destructing. The Madrid show was supposedly also recorded by the Spanish TV. I wonder if we will ever see official releases from any of these shows.

From: Jon Naurin

My copy (from a TV station master) also has the final encore, Strictly Genteel.

From: Román (October 27, 2004)

The original broadcast by RTVE was live, and interrupted by two commercials, one at the beginning of "Any Kind Of Pain," and another one in "Love Of My Life." Recently, Spanish channel Nostalgia (owned by Spanish public TV, RTVE), re-broadcasted the concert on October 4, 2004, and once again, on October 26, 2004, without the commercials and including the encore, "Strictly Genteel," which was not broadcasted originally. Strangely enough, in this new broadcast there are some seconds cut from "Packard Goose," right before the Mary monologue.

From: Javier (Al Fresco) (September 27, 2006):

This concert was re-broadcast last August, 5th 6th & 7th by RTVE (Spanish Public TV)-Canal 50 años (50 years Channel-Thematic channel—via TDT).

This time appears a small logo (TV50) on the right side bottom of the screen (as for commemoration of first RTVE emission). The picture quality is excellent—even higher than previous broadcasts—but the sound remains the same dual mono although TDT emission was in stereo (which implies some slightest & hardly visible cuts thru broadcast).

I think it is the same broadcast as 2004 because there is still some seconds cut before "Mary monologue" which did not happen in the original recorded alive in 1988.

After Spanish intro documentary, we can see the audience before lights out—what I had not seen before & of course includes "Strictly Genteel" as final encore.

Hope someday FZT release officially this show or any other unknown of 1988 band on DVD.

For the next 20th date from the last tour by FZ, 1988-2008. ?

Screen shots from: David Wills (October 18, 2003) Barcelona '88

Here is a bootleg version of this video which has been seen on Ebay:

Bootleg Tape

Setlist informant: Chris Rigas

Maintained by Román García Albertos
This section formerly maintained by Reverend Neve
This dog last modified: 2020-02-18