Frank Zappa

Good Grief!

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This early '80s bootleg LP compiles a number of low-grade audience recordings of Frank Zappa in concert between 1978 and 1982. Some of the tracks, like "Lockjaw Rap" and "Hail Caesar," are either portions excerpted from longer songs or spontaneous compositions that Zappa chose not to explore further in the studio or on stage. There are a couple of premieres of sorts featured. "Frogs With Dirty Little Lips" is a mildly amusing little number first composed and sung by Ahmet Zappa, who was only a toddler in 1981. When father Frank attempted to get him to sing a complete version, he refused and kept changing the lyrics, so Frank premiered a collaborative version during a 1981 Santa Monica concert, with Ahmet dancing on stage. The overbearing soprano Lisa Popeil, heard on Zappa's LP Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch, has her way with Zappa's narrative song "The Dangerous Kitchen." An early work-in-progress studio version of "Fine Girl," prior to the massive overdubs eventually added, sounds rather primitive. "We're Turning Again" suffers from horrendous sound, "Heavy Duty Judy" is premiered with vocals though it sounds better in its instrumental form, and "What's New in Baltimore?" is joined in progress, omitting its instrumental introduction. "Shall We Take Ourselves Seriously?" is a sarcastic song that has an unexplained history. It was inspired by the actions of a famous German concert promoter named Fritz Rau, who launched into a tirade with Zappa after spotting a roadie eating asparagus from the post-concert buffet, an insult in his eyes because this was the "king's vegetable" and a lowly roadie was unworthy of consuming it. This provoked a several hour debate into the early morning, which was commemorated by this Zappa composition, though it didn't appear on a commercial release for another decade, then without any explanation. There are possibly a couple of tracks of interest to Zappa fans, but the mediocre to poor sound and incomplete songs make it likely that this long unavailable bootleg can be safely bypassed.

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