The Roxy Performances

The Roxy Performances

by Frank Zappa & the MothersFrank Zappa & the Mothers




Frank Zappa's 1973 band was certainly one of his best, and in order to showcase it, Frank booked a series of shows at Hollywood's Roxy club that were both recorded and filmed. This box set is all five shows (four public and one for invited guests) as well as some soundcheck rehearsals and material recorded a couple days later at Ike Turner's Bolic studios. This is really everything a fan could expect. The band is so well-rehearsed, they're both loose and tight. Unlike most Zappa shows, there was no prearranged set list. The tunes played from night to night are mostly the same and some songs were played as a suite, but Frank has to call out what they're playing to the band, and the order of songs is different for almost every show. It's mostly new material (the stuff that ended up on Roxy & Elsewhere, of course) with some old favorites thrown in, and interesting early versions of "Inca Roads" and "Rdnzl." It's tricky stuff, but the band handles it with aplomb. Everyone's solos are completely different each night. George Duke is amazing and an absolute joy throughout, and Zappa clearly loves having him and Ruth Underwood in the band (much of this material was written specifically with their talents in mind). The rehearsals are exactly that, and the songs don't really get full run-throughs. There's lots of chatter in the Bolic studios material, and it also has a rehearsal feel, but there's also a nice audio nugget that would appear on Apostrophe(') less than six months later. While this might seem like a deluxe version of Roxy & Elsewhere, it really isn't. The Roxy Performances reveal that the Roxy & Elsewhere album was nearly as much a studio creation as a live album. For example, the song suite that comprises side two of the Roxy & Elsewhere album starts with the late show on 12/9 with the "Village of the Sun" intro, uses the 12/10 late show for "Echidna's Arf" and "Don't You Ever Wash That Thing," then it's back to 12/9 for the ending drum battle and outro vamp (which was heavily edited). The keyboard solo from 12/10 was used on the Roxy & Elsewhere album, but the trombone solo was replaced so the "original" trombone solo was actually an overdub and doesn't appear on this set at all! Roxy & Elsewhere also used other studio overdubs on the live tracks and of course, the Elsewhere material doesn't appear here, either. Here we get everything that was played, exactly as it was played, in December 1973. The Roxy Performances nicely complement the original album and shine a spotlight on one of the most talented rock bands ever. Like Halloween 77, it's unlikely FZ would have released this set in its entirety, but it's another home run for the ZFT.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/02/2018
Label: Zappa Records
UPC: 0824302002827
catalogNumber: 20028


Disc 1

  1. Sunday Show 1 Start
  2. Cosmik Debris
  3. "We're Makin' a Movie"
  4. Pygmy Twylyte
  5. The Idiot Bastard Son
  6. Cheepnis
  7. Hollywood Perverts
  8. Penguin in Bondage
  9. T'Mershi Duween
  10. The Dog Breath Variations
  11. Uncle Meat
  12. RDNZL
  13. Montana
  14. Dupree's Paradise

Disc 2

  1. Dickie's Such an Asshole
  2. Sunday Show 2 Start
  3. Inca Roads
  4. Village of the Sun
  5. Echidna's Arf (Of You)
  6. Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?
  7. Slime (Intro)
  8. I'm the Slime
  9. Big Swifty

Disc 3

  1. Tango No.1 (Intro)
  2. Be-Bop Tango (Of the Old Jazzmen's Church)
  3. Medley: King Kong/Chunga's Revenge/Son of Mr. Green Genes
  4. Monday Show 1 Start
  5. Montana
  6. Dupree's Paradise
  7. Cosmik (Intro)
  8. Cosmik Debris

Disc 4

  1. Bondage (Intro)
  2. Penguin in Bondage
  3. T'Mershi Duween
  4. The Dog Breath Variations
  5. Uncle Meat
  6. RDNZL
  7. Audience Participation (RDNZL)
  8. Pygmy Twylyte
  9. The Idiot Bastard Son
  10. Cheepnis
  11. Dickie's Such an Asshole
  12. Monday Show 2 Start
  13. Penguin in Bondage
  14. T'Mershi Duween
  15. The Dog Breath Variations
  16. Uncle Meat
  17. RDNZL

Disc 5

  1. Village of the Sun
  2. Echidna's Arf (Of You)
  3. Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?
  4. Cheepnis (Percussion)
  5. I Love Monster Movies
  6. Cheepnis
  7. "Turn the Light Off"/Pamela's Intro
  8. Pygmy Twylyte
  9. The Idiot Bastard Son
  10. Tango No. 2 (Intro)
  11. Be-Bop Tango (Of the Old Jazzmen's Church)

Disc 6

  1. Dickie's Such an Asshole
  2. Big Swifty
  3. Village of the Sun
  4. Father O'Blivion
  5. Pygmy Twylyte
  6. That Arrogant Dick Nixon
  7. Kung-Fu
  8. Kung-Fu
  9. Tuning and Studio Chatter
  10. Echidna's Arf (Of You)
  11. Don't Eat the Yellow Snow
  12. Nanook Rubs It
  13. St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast
  14. Father O'Blivion
  15. Rollo

Disc 7

  1. Saturday Show Start
  2. Pygmy Twylyte/Dummy Up
  3. Pygmy Twylyte, Pt. 2
  4. Echidna's Arf (Of You)
  5. Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?
  6. Orgy, Orgy
  7. Penguin in Bondage
  8. T'Mershi Duween
  9. The Dog Breath Variations
  10. Uncle Meat/Show End

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Frank Zappa & the Mothers   Primary Artist
George Duke   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Vocals
Bruce Fowler   Trombone
Chester Thompson   Percussion,Drums
Tom Fowler   Bass
Napoleon Murphy Brock   Flute,Tenor Saxophone,Vocals
Frank Zappa   Guitar,Vocals
Ralph Humphrey   Percussion,Drums
Ruth Underwood   Percussion

Technical Credits

Dave Alvin   Liner Notes
Jeff Simmons   Composer
Napoleon Murphy Brock   Composer,Vocal Overdubs
Frank Zappa   Composer,Producer
Bob Hughes   Engineer
Kerry McNabb   Engineer
Doug Graves   Engineer
Michael Mesker   Art Direction
Sherwin Tilton   Artwork,Cover Photo
Jen Jewel Brown   Liner Notes

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