Word of the day: Faculty. A word uttered when someone from London/Kent/Essex discovers there are no teabags for their morning brew.
The next album in my Frank Zappa ranking is…..
Fillmore East – June 1971 is a live concept-like album. It portrays a peek-behind-the-curtain of the life of a rock band on the road as narrated by Frank Zappa, and contains many thematic elements that, because of time and budget constraints, couldn’t be included in the similar movie 200 Motels. As an encore on one of the two nights of this Fillmore East appearance John Lennon and Yoko Ono emerged from the wings to play a half hour set with the band. This part of the show was released under Lennon’s name on a disc called Live Jam, which was included as a bonus disc with Lennon’s album Some Time in New York City. It can also be heard on Zappa’s 1992 release Playground Psychotics.
I’m not the biggest fan of this era of the Mothers and this was the first album I heard with Flo and Eddie. It did not induce me to check out any other records made by this set of individuals. Of course, completism made me buy all of Zappa’s albums eventually and although I have grown to enjoy some of the Flo and Eddie-era, this album is the one I would revisit the least. The album cover is a good representation of what is on offer within: it’s boring and unimaginative. The puerile humour, and the dumbed-down music really did not do anything for me, especially after hearing the ‘old’ MOI albums. Subsequent releases from this era (Playground Psychotics, Carnegie Hall, Swiss Cheese/Fire bootlegs) would show me what this band could do, and when I heard the jam session with Lennon+Yoko, it was more interesting than this album. Nothing really jumps out and grabs me; sure, Bwana Dik has a cool riff and tempo, and Peaches En Regalia is always a quality tune but ultimately it’s probably the worst Zappa albums I’ve listened to, imvho. Avoid. 1/5
PERSONNEL: Frank Zappa – guitar, dialogue, vocals
Ian Underwood – woodwinds, keyboards, vocals
Aynsley Dunbar – drums
Howard Kaylan – lead vocals, dialogue
Mark Volman – lead vocals, dialogue
Jim Pons – bass, vocals, dialogue
Bob Harris – keyboards, vocals
Don Preston – Mini-Moog