Frank Zappa's 1973/1974 bands

Line-ups and activities. Featuring FZ on conduction, guitar, vocals and, sometimes, percussion and keyboards.
The Mothers of Invention - 1973 - 1974
The light green background indicates North-American tours.
The aim of the "main known studio sessions" column is to give an idea of what FZ was working on - for a more accurate listing, check Román García's Chronology.
In the "main known live recordings" are listed the official live recordings and some of the more known unofficial recordings that circulates among collectors.
In this table are listed only musicians that were regular members of Frank Zappa's touring bands and not players which took only part to studio recordings.

Kin Vassy: vocals. He was featured only in very few shows of the early 1973 US tour, when he was involved in the Over-Nite Sensation recording.
Sal Marquez: trumpet and vocals. Former Grand Wazoo band member, Sal left the band at the end of the Pacific tour.
Jean-Luc Ponty: Violin.
Ian Underwood: alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute and synthesizer. MOI member since 1967, he definitively left Zappa in September 1973, after the end of the European tour.
Ruth Komanoff Underwood: percussion. Featured on Zappa studio records since Uncle Meat, these were the only tours in which she was a regular band member (with the exception of the short Ten Years Anniversary Tour). Ruth was later part of the big band Zappa put together for the Christmas '76 shows.
Bruce Fowler: trombone. Bruce, former member of the Grand and Petit Wazoo bands, was later also in the Bongo Fury tour and in the final 1988 tour.
George Duke: keyboards & vocals. First with Zappa in the 1970 Flo & Eddie combo, George was regular band member from the start of 1973 until the Bongo Fury tour (April/May 1975).
Tom Fowler: bass. The only band member with George Duke to be featured in all the 73/74 tours, Tom broke is left hand nearly at the end of the late 1974 North-American tour (*). He was replaced for a few shows by Mike D'Urso and James "Bird Legs" Youmans (who was also featured as guest guitar player in the last show of 1974 on New Year's Eve, when Tom was back). Tom left Zappa after the Bongo Fury tour.
Ralph Humphrey and Chester Thompson: drums. From October '73 to May '74 the band had two drummers.
Napoleon Murphy Brook: tenor saxophone & vocals. Napoleon was with Frank until March 1976 and, later, for a few shows at the start of the first 1984 US tour.
Jeff Simmons: guitar, harmonica, vocals. Jeff first joined Zappa as bass player in early 1970, but quit the band in the end of the same years just before the shooting of 200 Motels. Guest in one of the Dec. '73 Roxy shows, Jeff joined the band for the early 1974 tours. Then he left after the first few gigs of the summer tour.
Walt Fowler: trumpet. Walt was in the band only for the Ten Years Anniversary Tour. Then again for the '88 final tour.
Don Preston: synthesizer. Don Preston was one of the members of the original MOI. He was called back by Zappa for the Ten Years Anniversary Tour.

Román García Albertos's Frank Zappa Chronology
Charles Ulrich's Frank Zappa's Touring Band - Line-ups 4a-4d 1973-1974
Jon Naurin's FZShows

Corrections and additions are really welcome.

This page created on August 2005 and latest revised on April 29, 2006

Touring Can Make You Crazy