Road Tapes. Venue #1. Kerrisdale Arena

Road Tapes, Venue #1

(Frank Zappa, 2CD, Vaulternative Records VR 20122, November 7, 2012)

disc 1

  1. The Importance Of An Earnest Attempt (By Hand) 3:44
  2. Help, I'm A Rock/Transylvania Boogie 9:30
  3. Flopsmash Musics 4:50
  4. Hungry Freaks, Daddy 3:59
  5. The Orange County Lumber Truck 20:57
  6. The Rewards Of A Career In Music 3:29

disc 2

  1. Trouble Every Day 5:08
  2. Shortly: Suite Exists Of Holiday In Berlin Full Blown 9:29
  3. Pound For A Brown 3:13
  4. Sleeping In A Jar 3:23
  5. Oh, In The Sky 2:42
  6. Octandre (Varèse) 7:40
  7. King Kong 10:17

Kerrisdale Arena, Vancouver, BC, Canada
August 25, 1968

Produced by GZ & Joe Travers
Vaultmeisterment by Joe Travers
Mastering & audio restoration by John Polito

Concept, art direction & text by GZ
Artwork by Joseph Carter
Layout by Keith Lawler
Photography by Diva Zappa

The Mothers Of Invention:
FZ—guitar, vocals
Don Preston—keyboards
Ian Underwood—keyboards, woodwinds
Bunk Gardner—woodwinds, voice
Motorhead Sherwood—baritone sax, tambourine, harmonica
Roy Estrada—bass, vocals
Jimmy Carl Black—drums, vocals
Art Tripp III—drums, percussion

disc 1

1. The Importance Of An Earnest Attempt (By Hand) 3:44

FZ:

. . . -king, and then we'll proceed to make an earnest attempt to rock out for you, here at the local electric ice box. It would be a couple of minutes, just relax.

I know you guys really like hootenannies because it's primitive. Come on, let's hear it now.

Really swell. Here's another one!

You got that?

No, the other one.

Let's get it together so we can have a really boss choral effect. Here we go . . .

You want to try that other one? Here's the signal for the other one . . .

Boy, are your reflexes slow! What are you guys smoking?

2. Help, I'm A Rock/Transylvania Boogie 9:30

includes Transylvania Boogie

FZ:

Help, I'm a rock!
Help, I'm a rock!
Help, I'm a rock!
Help, I'm a rock!

Oh, it's a drag being a rock
I wish I was anything but a rock
I'd even like to be a policeman

Help, I'm a cop!
Help, I'm a cop!
Help, I'm a cop!
Help, I'm a cop!

You know, as a matter of fact it's a drag being a cop
I think I'd rather be the mayor
And offer the hippies ten dollars to cut their hair

Ten dollars to any hippie who'll cut his hair right here on stage tonight. Do we have any desperate hippies who wanna take it off?

Well, that's good. You just keep growing your hair till it gets down to your buns. Just don't try to get a job with IBM or one of the state agencies with long hair because they just don't go for it. It's unsanitary, it's unclean, it means that you probably have leftist tendencies. It means that you're probably a whole bunch of things that the establishment doesn't want you to be. It means that you're a potential danger to every old person in your country. Boy, you better watch out if you have long hair.

Help, I'm a hair
Help, I'm a hair
Help, I'm a hair
Help, I'm a hair
Help, I'm a . . .

3. Flopsmash Musics 4:50

includes a quotation from King Kong (The Gardner Varieties)

 

4. Hungry Freaks, Daddy 3:59

FZ:

Mister America
Walk on by
Your schools that do not teach
Mister America
Walk on by
The minds that won't be reached
Mister America
Try to hide
The emptiness that's you inside
When once you find that the way you lied
And all those corny tricks you tried
Will not forestall the rising tide of
Hungry freaks, Daddy . . .

They won't go
For no more
Great mid-western hardware store
Philosophy that turns away
From those who aren't afraid to say
What's on their minds
(The left-behinds of the Great Society)

Hungry freaks, Daddy . . .

Mister America
Walk on by
Your supermarket dream
Mister America
Walk on by
The liquor store supreme
Mister America
Try to hide
The product of your savage pride
The useful minds that it denied
The day you shrugged and stepped aside
You saw their clothes and then you cried:
THOSE HUNGRY FREAKS, DADDY!

They won't go
For no more
Great mid-western hardware store
Philosophy that turns away
From those who aren't afraid to say
What's on their minds
(The left-behinds of the Great Society)

Thank you very much.

5. The Orange County Lumber Truck 20:57

includes Let's Make The Water Turn Black, Harry, You're A Beast and Oh No

FZ:

We'd like to perform for you now a tune known to the civilized world as "The Orange County Lumber Truck," which in reality is nothing more than a cheesy bandstand medley of instrumental themes from some of our recent smash flop recordings.

Some of the material presented instrumentally for the first time in Vancouver, B.C., will be heard "Let's Make The Water Turn Black," "Harry, You're A Beast," some other stuff you won't recognize, some of the music from Lumpy Gravy, and then some more stuff you won't recognize. And then we'll stop, and you'll clap, and I'll talk, and we'll play, and it'll go on over again for about another hour and a half or something like that.

(You got it?)

Work out, baby . . .

6. The Rewards Of A Career In Music 3:29

includes a quotation from Ah! vous dirai-je Maman? (Trad.)

Bunk:

I'd like to tell you about the first time I went down to take some piano lessons from the lady on the corner—her name was Elmira Snodgrass. That was really her name.

I was seven years old and my mother took me down, introduced me. She got her little book of stars out, you know, you get a BLUE STAR if you play your lesson with no mistakes. And she— Oh, she was really into it.

So the first week I went down there, uh, it really didn't mean so much to me but I thought her name was so funny that I had to keep commenting on it.

And uh, she said uh, "Johnny, you're gonna have to straighten up a little there if we're gonna get along." So uh, I think I got a Red Elephant that week. I didn't do too well.

So uh, I straightened up next week and uh—I forget what the tune was, but I tore it up. No mistakes at all. But uh, my posture was very poor. I had very poor posture so, uh, that week I got uh—I think it was a Blue Horse. And uh, she said I was doing much better.

Nice! So by the time the third week—I had started to practice by then, I was getting serious and I . . .

Roy:

Buns.

Bunk:

I went back for my lesson and she said, uh, "I hope you get a Blue Star this weekend, Johnny." So I played my lesson and uh, I got my Blue Star and uh, she said, "You'll have to do better than that when [...]."

Roy:

I always wondered what made you sleepy. I thought it was buns. [...] I don't know. Hamburgers, cheese. Buns. I think it's probably the buns. I thought it was the cheese at one time, I don't know. Weasely cheese. Could have been the pickles or something—buns. It had to be the buns.

Bunk:

She said, "[...]." So I started bringing in four books.

Motorhead:

So I said [...].

Roy:

Buns! Round buns, long buns. I don't know, hot dog buns, or something. It must have been [...]. No, it had to be the buns, I guess. I don't know. It could be the mustard. But then again . . .

Bunk: And she said, "John, I don't think there's any more that I can teach you." So I started taking lessons from her son, whose name was Freddie Snodgrass. [...] He's a pretty good piano player, by the way. [...]

Motorhead:

[...]

Roy:

Buns! That's all I can see. BUNS! BUNS! [...]

Bunk:

I'd like to play jazz. You couldn't get very serious. I told her I wanted to play jazz. So she said, "Take that jazz and stick it under a rock!" So I had to forget about jazz. [...] So I jumped into the classics. My first tune was, uh, Beethoven's . . .

disc 2

1. Trouble Every Day 5:08

Bunk:

My first tune was, uh, Beethoven's . . .

Roy:

[...] All right [...].

FZ:

Well I'm about to get sick
From watchin' my TV
Been checkin' out the BUNS
Until my eyeballs fail to see
I mean to say that every day
Is just another rotten mess
And when it's gonna change, my friend
Is anybody's guess

So I'm watchin' and I'm waitin'
Hopin' for the best
Even think I'll go to prayin'
Every time I hear 'em sayin'
That there's no way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin' every day

[SLAM]

You know we got to sit around at home
And watch this thing begin
But I'll bet there won't be many live
To see it really end
'Cause the fire in the street
Ain't like the fire in the heart
And in the eyes of all these people
Don't you know that this could start
On any street in any town
In any state if any clown
Decides that now's the time to fight
For some ideal he thinks is right
And if a million more agree
There ain't no Great Society
As it applies to you and me
And our country isn't free
And the law refuses to see
If all that you can ever be
Is just a lousy janitor
Unless your uncle owns a store
You know that five in every four
Just won't amount to nothin' more
Gonna watch the rats go across the floor
And make up songs about being poor

Blow your harmonica, son!

Thank you very much.

2. Shortly: Suite Exists Of Holiday In Berlin Full Blown 9:29

FZ:

Okay. We're gonna do another brief re-tuning—I've got some very old strings on this guitar and it's beginning to sound really cruddy to me.

Then we're going to play for you a piece of music that will be on an album in November, called No Commercial Potential.

And, the name of this piece of music is "Shortly," a little suite for electric combo, in several movements.

You may count the movements if you wish. Do not clap between movements.

One, two, three, four . . .

3. Pound For A Brown 3:13

 

4. Sleeping In A Jar 3:23

 

5. Oh, In The Sky 2:42

FZ:

"Oh, In The Sky."

Roy:

Oh, in the sky
Oh, in the sky
Oh, in the sky
Oh, in the sky
Oh, in the sky
Oh, in the sky
In the sky
In the sky

Oh, in the sky
Oh, in the sky
Ah, ah
Oh, in the sky
Oh, in the sky
Oh, in the sky
Hey, hey, hey

Oh, night owl
Oh, night owl
Oh, night owl
Oh, night owl
Oh, night owl
Oh, night owl
Oh, night owl
Yeah, yeah
Oh oh oh
Oh, in the sky

In the sky . . .

FZ:

Good night! And thank you very much.

Audience:

More! More! More! More! More!

FZ:

Okay, okay.

6. Octandre 7:40

(Varèse)

FZ:

We'll play you our special number.

This is the number we always play when, when people ask us to play more. Because we know that after we play this they couldn't possibly ever want to hear us again.

Four years ago in Canada—I think it was in Toronto—there was a thing that happened with the symphony orchestra where— There was an American composer named Edgard Varèse, who was quite a spiffy composer. The Americans didn't give a shit about him, you know, 'cause he was writing stuff that was too weird for their ears.

But it just so happened he was about 80 years old, and when composers get that old certain segments of the musical population begin to get a conscience about the fact that they never played this man's music, you know? And he was really writing some heavy stuff but nobody wanted to hear it.

So Canada decided, "Well, we're a very cultural nation. We will have a performance of this man's music." So they had this Varèse concert. And they bring Mr. Varèse up, you know, doddering old man, here he is, been writing for a long time. And hardly ever gets to hear any of his music and Canada was gonna do him a favor and they're gonna play some of his tunes for him.

So they played this one piece that he wrote called Déserts, which is a composition for orchestra, with interpolations of electronic tape, you know, pre-recorded sounds.

And some of the great Canadian musicians were there, playing in the orchestra. And they hated the music, and they played it really bad. And when the tape sections came in, the musicians on stage sat there and laughed all the way through it. And then the audience started laughing.

And at the end of the performance Varèse stood up and applauded for the orchestra.

We're going to play a piece of music that was written by Edgard Varèse, and we're going to ruin it for you.

But you'll be able to identify with it anyway.

It consists of the first ten bars or so of a woodwind piece that he wrote called Octandre.

Goodnight.

Audience:

More! More! More!

Announcer:

The Mothers Of Invention!

Audience:

More! More! More! More! More! More! More! More!

FZ:

Hold it. (Can we play another one? Is it gonna— Will that make a mess?)

Guy In The Audience:

Suzy Creamcheese!

FZ:

I must say this is a rather unprecedented response for the bullshit that we do, so sit down. We'll do some more if you like it.

7. King Kong 10:17

FZ:

We would like to play for you "The Legend Of King Kong."

Story about a large, electric gorilla marooned— marooned on an island somewhere in the middle of the ocean, leading a happy, banana-fed existence, until one day some very shrewd Americans discover that he's happening on a cosmic giant gorilla level on the island, and they figure that—seeing as how they're smart, and shrewd, and American businessmen, you know, unequaled in the world of creative finance, you know how they are—they're gonna get themselves together on a boat and go to the place where the gorilla is and they're gonna snatch him right up.

So they do, they go out there and they catch the gorilla—who is obviously not very thrilled about it—and they knock him out, stick him on the boat, bring him back to the United States, make a lot of money off of him, then they kill him.

The gong, symbolic of all that is jungly and smells of gorilla.

Lewd, pulsating jungle rhythms!

Hot sweaty thrills among bizarre flora and fauna.

We'd like to thank you very much for coming down here tonight. Surprised to see that you appear to like what we do. That's nice. It's been wonderful working for you. Good night!

Announcer:

The Mothers Of Invention, thank you!

 

All compositions by Frank Zappa except as noted
Site maintained by Román García Albertos
http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/
Original transcription by Román; corrections by Patrick Buzby and Charles Ulrich
This page updated: 2017-11-02