Seeking for FZ's rehearsal studios
Charles Ulrich, Pat Buzby, and Román García Albertos, researched a lot of quotations about pre-tour rehearsals locations. Charles Ulrich kindly put them together for FZShows, so here we go.
Adrian Belew (on his blog):
Rehearsal's were held in a huge movie studio on Melrose Avenue where they used to make Laurel and Hardy films.
Arthur Barrow (on his website):
We usually rehearsed in big Hollywood "sound stages" - gymnasium sized buildings with high enough ceilings to set up the PA and lights. In 1980, however, we did rehearse for a while at the Zappa warehouse building now called Joe's Garage.
Mark Pinske on his audition (Mix interview):
The other part of the audition came the next day. Down at Zoetrope Studios, at the time Francis Ford Coppola, the studios, they were called Zoetrope at the time. We went down there, and Frank had a sound stage. There was a P.A. set up (...), and the band was just kind of rehearsing on stage. They pretty much were just rehearsing, it wasn't like they were doing a show or anything.
Mark Pinske again (in a personal message):
The rehearsals for that tour took place I think at Hollywood studios, but Frank rehearsed the band many times for most tours at Joe's Garage because that was free. We only went into the sound studios right before the tours when we were at the point of doing full dress rehearsals and wanted to set-up the full lights and sound systems.
David Ocker talking about the 1981 tour (Eye In Hand interview):
They rehearsed long hours most every day at a huge sound stage on some movie lot or other. Those rehearsals were a separate little world; my visits were infrequent and I usually just sat in the back and watched.
Dawayne Bailey (on Stu's Concert Tales site):
Also in 1981 (...) Gerald Fialka took me to a Zappa rehearsal at Zoetrope Studio in Hollywood.
Gary Lucas (Seconds, 1996):
This is like the summer of 1982 and we called and we still couldn't get Frank on the phone. Then we talked to his wife and found out he was rehearsing on a soundstage that Zoetrope - Francis Ford Coppola's studio - was renting out to Rock groups. So we said, "Let's go visit Frank." Don and I drove down to this studio and there is Frank with his fifteen-piece band about to leave the next day on a tour of Europe.
Allan Zavod (Avo Raup interview, 2003):
[FZ] had a big studio [for auditions]. He also has a big warehouse where we rehearsed (...) from four o'clock till midnight every day.
Mike Keneally on his audition (All About Mike!):
We had more trouble finding the rehearsal studio than we should have and I began to worry that Frank might leave before our arrival, but this was not the case. The rehearsal space was enormous (formerly part of Francis Coppola's Zoetrope Studios) and occupied only by my brother and myself, Bob Rice, Bruce Fowler (just leaving) and FZ.
Another quote from Dawayne Bailey (on Zappateers):
If I'm not mistaken, the '87 rehearsals and this tape recording all took place at Zoetrope Studio in the heart of Hollywood, now called Hollywood Center Studios
A story about a 1987 rehearsal on Bill Lantz's website.
Pat Buzby researched the web and found an apparent address of the studio in Culver City at Variety archives
9339 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, De Mille Theater
A final note from Charles Ulrich:
For what it's worth, Joe's Garage is on Vose St. (near Sherman Way),
between Laurel Canyon and Lankershim Boulevards, in North Hollywood.
Zoetrope (now Hollywood Center) is on Las Palmas Ave. near Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles. Laurel & Hardy did indeed film The Flying Deuces (1939) there (when it was General Services Studios). It's not actually on Melrose (as Adrian Belew stated), but it's only four or five blocks away.
♦ Back to Pre-tour Rehearsals (1978-1987)
please send me any corrections or additions - this page last updated 2012-05-06