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1978 10 13 (L) Passaic, NJ  
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Zappa Penguin
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Post 2008-02-01 20:31   [Quote] 
1978 10 13 early Passaic 109.47 1st gen Aud (Yojimbo)

This particular show, henceforth known as "Passaic Late", serves as an early climax to this entire Fall 1978 tour - while perhaps not as consistently outrageous as the Halloween show from later on in the tour, it still ranks as one of the twenty greatest shows of all time, by anyone, ever.

First and foremost, this is one of the most enjoyable audience recordings ever. While certainly not as professional sounding as other tapes, this tape - like very few others - is filled with a sense of actually being in the crowd, listening along as random drunks holler all sorts of vague obscenities at whoever or whatever. All this is thanks to the efforts of Mr. Hank (the roadie?), who was under orders from "Sophia" Warren himself to get this show recorded. Fortunate orders, as well, as during Magic Fingers one can hear a goonish security-type demand the tapes and the batteries - fortunately Hank knew what to say and how to say it, because the thought of the only known recording (not counting what's in the vaults) of a show like this being lost to prosterity is highly, highly distressing.

As for the content herein - zoot allures. The French, not the song. No matter how highly acclaimed they may be, this particular author has yet to be consistently moved by any of the free-form opening solos from this tour or the winter 79 outing afterwards. Tonight's effort, however, is the exception to the rule. We get miniature Ship Ahoy sections, crowd members hollering, a boogie jam, creepy-sounding minor passages - far be it from this text file to speculate, but it's hard not to imagine the pot upon pot of coffee Mr. Zappa slammed backstage - or perhaps Frank's fueled not by chemical stimulants, but rather by the off-stage drama that would soon led to the temporary departure of Ike Willis. Whatever the reason, in this solo and even moreso in others (one other in particular), Zappa is all over the place tonight, and yet, far from the sort of aimlessness that could cause a listener's teeth to grind, tonight, wherever Zappa ends up, there he is. Eleven minutes later, we have a perfect little abstract of each and every style Zappa brought with him to the guitar, and it's time for the show to begin. Dancing Fool starts us off, and while certainly not a song that would ever be considered a highlight, it isn't terribly offensive - especially given the amount of guitar in this tape (counting Camarillo Brillo and Muffin Man as one track, the number of songs without guitar solos in them can be counted on a set of human thumbs).

Rather than even attempt to describe the true highlights of this show blow-by-blow, let's just try and keep it simple. Highlight the first - not counting the extraordinary opening guitar solo - is Bamboozled by Love. Wicked slide-work and a very weird drum-into (thanks to Vinnie accidently going into Honey Don't You Want a Man Like Me - classic) makes this one a keeper. Highlight the second - Little House I Used to Live In, complete with an impromptu audience member freakout (punctuated by playful piano - more classic!). Highlight the third, and final: Black Napkins. I was always told that if I couldn't find anything coherant to say, it would be best to say nothing at all - and while I usually ignore that advice, in this case I don't think there's any other option. So: Black Napkins, ladies and gentlemen. Go listen to it. Now.
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Post 2008-07-01 17:06   [Quote] 
I always love the audience comment at the beginning of this Black Napkins: "Dude, I just did a couple of lines man. I feel fuckin great!"
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Post 2010-08-30 23:59   [Quote] 
Zappa Penguin wrote:
My favorite comes towards the end of Magic Fingers, where from out of nowhere, a very intimidating voice demands, "give me your tapes, and your batteries", in a tone which inspires that deep oh shit... reaction in anyone who's ever stealthed a show. Hank then explains that he's legit, and making the tape at the bequest of... well, I won't spoil the surprise
I also love the response from security, (if I heard it right) "From The Mothers?" Laughing The secret name is dropped in 'Bamboozled' as well.

This show has an interesting layer of unwanted, yet entertaining audience involvement.

For example:

The hopped-up young man to Hank's right, constantly reminding everyone who was performing that night, "ZAP-PAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

Or the dude who was quoting lyrics from 'Sy Borg' . . . two songs later during 'Little House'. "BLOW-JOB! BLOW-JOB!" Rolling Eyes
Also included in 'Little House':
someone in the crowd goes absolutely apeshit during Tommy's rinky-dink playful-pretty Michael Feinstein-style piano solo
He stands and shouts (toward Tommy it seems) "STOP IT . . . YOU SHITHEAD!" roflol

My favorite is after Frank announces the final encore as "Strictly Genteel from 200 Motels", the audience member response is? "DYNAMO-HUM, DO IT UP!" Laughing
Very funny way to end the tape and almost makes up for the loss of the song.

Zappa Penguin wrote:
one of the few instances of an early show running longer than the corresponding late show - I remember we had a thread involving this topic at some point).
I remember this discussion. I was very lucky to attend a few Palladium shows (but only early sets! Mad ) You agreed with me that the late shows were generally longer.
And nosier. This show and late night Palladium shows prove it. It's simple. The late sets just had a larger number of Coneheads who had more time (than the early crowds) to consume mass quantities. drink rasta blahblah

All this crazy behavior going on, just adds another layer of intrigue.
These shows are truly an amazing experience for me. I can't thank you guys enough! Very Happy
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Post 2010-08-31 16:26   [Quote] 
I can't believe nobody mentioned the archetypical "cliché blues ending" that concludes the opening solo Laughing

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Post 2010-08-31 17:01   [Quote] 
I referred to this as a "that's all, folks" ending in my postscript to Sean Gaffney's review of the show here.
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