FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION
Los Angeles 1970 [no label, 2CD]
Music Director – Zubin Metha; Guest Conductor – Pierre Boulez
Contempo 70; live at the Pauley Pavillion, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA; May 15, 1970. Good to fairly good audience recording.
“The musicians union wanted royalties for recording rights, so Frank declined to record that show. But somebody in the crowd did have a tape recorder, and the resulting music has wound up on a variety of bootlegs.”
- Splat’s Zappapage
Frank Zappa & Peter Occhiogrosso, The Real Frank Zappa Book, 1989, p. 109-111:
Sometime in 1970, I had an offer for a major concert performance of the orchestral music accumulating in my closet. During the M.O.I.’s first five years, I had carried with me, on the road, masses of manuscript paper, and, whenever there was an opportunity, scribbled stuff on it. This material eventually became the score for 200 Motels (based on an estimate of the number of gigs we played in the first five years–forty jobs per year?).
The performance was to be held at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion (a basketball arena seating about fourteen thousand people), with Zubin Mehta conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. A pretty big deal.
There was a ‘catch,’ though–the orchestra didn’t really want to play the stuff–they wanted AN EVENT; something ‘unique’–like–uhh, maybe a ROCK GROUP and–uhhhhh–a REAL ORCHESTRA sort of–uhhh–well you know–’rocking out together.’ It didn’t matter what the music was.
This eventually led to a few problems. First of all, I didn’t have a ‘ROCK GROUP’–the M.O.I had been disbanded for about a year. Second, there were no parts copied for the scores, and I was being asked to pay for this enormous job (seven thousand 1970 dollars). The third problem was that I wanted some kind of tape of the show, and the Musicians’ Union wouldn’t allow it. (They didn’t do anything when some asshole in the audience ran a cassette and made a bootleg album out of it, but they were promising stern action if I made one for my own use–just to find out what my pieces sounded like . . . but let me slow down here.)
We solved problem number one by putting together an interim one-shot ‘Mothers-Of-Invention-Sort-Of-Group.’ It did a short tour to warm up, maybe half a dozen dates, and returned to L.A. for the show.
The second problem was solved by me spending the seven thousand bucks on a team of copyists.
The third problem never got solved, and I never got a tape of the show.
It was the most successful indoor concert of the L.A. Phil’s season that year–sold out. Somewhere in the mass of spectators were Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, a.k.a. Flo & Eddie.
They came backstage after the show, said they liked it, and told me that the Turtles had split up and they were looking for something to do. The rest is history.
Thanks to the person (davmar77?) who shared these tracks on the net in 2005.
Thanks also to Drumage for the artwork.
Aud Master Reel > Reel > Reel > M-Audio Transit > Cool Edit > CD Wave Editor > Flac
Track 101. Frank’s Introduction
Track 102. My Boyfriend’s Back/I’m Gonna Bust His Head/Tiny Sick Tears/Argon
Track 103. Call Any Vegetable (including Integrales)
Track 104. Blowing Discordant Sounds
Track 105. 200 Motels introduction
Track 106. Pound For A Brown
Track 107. 200 Motels/Duke Of Prunes/Who Needs The Peace Corps/Oh No – Part A
Track 108. 200 Motels/Duke Of Prunes/Who Needs The Peace Corps/Oh No – Part B
Track 109. 200 Motels/Duke Of Prunes/Who Needs The Peace Corps/Oh No – Part C
Track 110. 200 Motels/Duke Of Prunes/Who Needs The Peace Corps/Oh No – Part D
Track 111. 200 Motels/Duke Of Prunes/Who Needs The Peace Corps/Oh No – Part E
Track 201. King Kong intro
Track 202. King Kong explanation
Track 203. King Kong
Track 204. Plastic People/Lumpy Gravy/Orange County Lumber Truck
Track 205. Wino Man/Concentration Moon/Mom & Dad
According to the artwork, Disc 2 Track 5 was recorded at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, August 21, 1970.
Click here for the tracks.