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1974 10 31 (L) Felt Forum, NYC  
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thebonecat
Joined: 2006-12-17
Posts: 42
Location: Cleveland, OH
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Post 2008-07-16 17:56   [Quote] 
http://www.zappateers.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=2287

Having got their feet very wet in the early show, the band is ready to do some real damage. The confidence is head and shoulders above the early show. I remember the first time I listened to this show, I was blown away except for one absolutely terrible moment about 2/3 of the way through. Upon this recent listen, however, it was not as bad as I had remembered therefore making this show even more fitting for the Halloween legacy. More on our very, very low point for the show later.

Things start off introducing our pseudo secret word for the night: Velvet Sunrise. While not reaching the absurdity that secret words would reach in 84 or 88, tonight’s phrase does poke its head a handful of times to give us some extra continuity to the show. Feet wet and all, Frank delivers a very powerful Stinkfoot that lasts longer than most for this tour. It’s not the longest excursion by any means but it shows he’s itching to let the Halloween monsters out for play. Ruth swirls us away for RDNZL with her marimba sound extra sweet on this tape. Not wasting any time, Frank ditches the typical calm, even paced opening of this solo and goes straight for the throat. He begins redefining the harmony associated with vamp and gives up some truly jarring modes on top of George’s accompaniment. While not the most perfect Redunzl (I save that for 11/27), a valiant effort is made and George follows in his always reliable fashion.

The New York teenagers try to get down with their bad little selves with the rock around the clock version of Village of the Sun. Everything goes according to plan with Echidna’s and Don’t You Ever with Echidna’s display of keyboard/mallet/bass wizardry being as stunning as ever. Frank tells the audience that the closest thing they have to a Halloween related event is a song between a man and a dog. The best moment of Babbette is its segue into Approximate. The usual juxtaposition of absurdity and flesh-ripping rock flourishes in this approximated tune. Our first of many Halloween treats comes with I’m Not Satisfied. This performance is certainly more successful than the ones from later tours. The second treat comes with the US premiere Po-jama People. Before delving into the tune, someone requests Brown Sugar to which Frank replies, “Brown Sugar? No we don’t do that one. We don’t do Whipping Post either.” The gang turns out a very successful and fairly confident performance of Po-jama People with a delicious and extended guitar solo. I know we’ve all been spoiled with all of the fills Frank was able to dub over in the studio version during the lyrics, but this performance, although slower, still is quite worthy.

While Po-jama People has slowed things down a bit (and certainly not in a bad way), what comes next almost puts a nail into the coffin of a show that so far has been very enjoyable. We do get a funny account of the history of the commercial success of Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow and how it lead to tonight’s performance. You can all listen to the tape yourself but basically, a single version of the suite made my some radio host became a huge hit while the band was half way around the world and when they got back, they had to learn their own hit single. Unfortunately, the following performance does is not as enjoyable as the little tale that spawned it. The band wanders through the opening number, having no idea what’s going on. They’re totally lost. Things are out of order, tons of vocal mishaps, and more. We barely make it out of Nanook when Frank slams another nail in the coffin by announcing the “slow funky version of St. Alphonso’s Pancake Breakfast.” This variation would later redeem itself in later shows, but tonight, it just adds to the misery. The downward spiral does slow when the Rollo interior comes in only to speed back up at the biffed up beginning of Father O’blivion. The ending salsa groove slows the downward spiral once more, but so much damage has been done already.

Now, I’m sure some of you may totally disagree and think the performance doesn’t deserve such harsh criticism. Well, whatever. It’s one of the lowest moments in all of ’74 band history (which in the big scheme isn’t all that low). Never fear, Cosmik Debris tears in with Frank’s guitar extra vicious to start the journey out of this hole. We get some “You tried to tell me” from George and a solo that’s more than your standard George blues solo. The landscape has dwindled a bit and Frank is forced to come in quietly to begin his solo. The light at the end of the tunnel begins shining brighter and brighter as Frank whips out a wicked, WICKED solo and in one foul swoop of a guitar solo, we’re back in business. All is redeemed and the land of the tundra and smelt fisherman is all but forgotten.

Our first Halloween guest tonight is Lance Loud. He sings Nite Owl and it rivals the previous DETYS suite as one of the worst moments on tonight’s stage. Sorry if you’re a Lance Loud fan, but his singing is quite awful. He should just stick to writing for his rock and roll magazine. I’ve done enough harping on the bad stuff so I won’t continue bash Lance’s singing. And coming in make sure this train gets all the way is the trombone god, Bruce Fowler. Halloween guest number two almost steals show and at the very least leads the tune that would take the cake for tonight. Big Swifty starts at quite a brisk pace before Bruce soars off into lands that we can only imagine through is insane playing. He blows away over the usual 11/16 vamp before the vamp slides into half time. Bruce concludes his solo in quite the groovy fashion when Frank takes the floor. His sound is nasty as ever to turn this half time groove into quite the head banger. Things are thrown into the next gear when Apostrophe slams in. Going off of the previous vamp, this Apostrophe finds itself going at a quite deliberate pace. As a result, Tom’s solo, in addition to his sound being low in the mix, kind of makes things hover for a bit. Fortunately, Frank fills in every bit of space inbetween each beat with wicked, wicked playing. This concludes the normal set in a glorious fashion.

Our sole encore is the Pygmy Twylyte/Room Service combo. While it’s hard for me to listen to any version of this beside the YCDTOSA II version as I find that version the definition of perfection (as long as this tune is concerned). Fortunately, the good quality of the tape gives the song a change and Frank turns in quite a nice solo. Room Service is its usual self with Napoleon tipping his hat off to Bruce in one of the build ups to the name composed material (Bruce-Bruce-Bruce------Fow ler!!!).

As I said earlier, these 2 Halloween shows pretty bring out the entire core performing rep (with some exceptions) of this band. And in doing so, they give every single piece a worthy performance (minus the unfortunate DETYS which would be solved by the next night). Montana, Dupree’s, and More Trouble from the early show and Stinkfoot, Po-jama People, Cosmik Debris, and absolutely unbeatable Big Swifty/Apostrophe combo from the late rein in incredible playing from everyone, especially Frank. Bruce Fowler nearly steals the show by amazing us as always. Interesting, whenever Bruce has been a guest on a tour, he becomes a full member on the following. Anyways, do yourself a favor and get these 2 shows.
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MysteryBurger
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Joined: 2008-10-15
Posts: 1205
Location: Centerville
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Post 2008-10-29 11:54   [Quote] 
maybe this could be ZTLS show for this week - should also emphsize the importance, significance, and beauty of the Pojama people version here which is the only one we have where Frank plays a beautiful solo - get down Frank....

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Zappa Penguin
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Joined: 2006-01-06
Posts: 2254
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Post 2009-01-23 05:48   [Quote] 
thebonecat wrote:
Our sole encore is the Pygmy Twylyte/Room Service combo. While it’s hard for me to listen to any version of this beside the YCDTOSA II version as I find that version the definition of perfection (as long as this tune is concerned).

Have you heard the version from the Basil late show? That's still my favorite version of this sadly short-lived combo.

thebonecat wrote:
Fortunately, the good quality of the tape gives the song a change and Frank turns in quite a nice solo. Room Service is its usual self with Napoleon tipping his hat off to Bruce in one of the build ups to the name composed material (Bruce-Bruce-Bruce------Fow ler!!!).

The Halloween Room Service always struck me as somewhat rushed, especially the last half. Wonder if they were up against curfew?

thebonecat wrote:
Interesting, whenever Bruce has been a guest on a tour, he becomes a full member on the following. Anyways, do yourself a favor and get these 2 shows.

Wow - this I never thought about, but you're right!
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