The Second Disc

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Frank Zappa Hits the Road: First Volume of “Road Tapes” Arrives, Track Listing Confirmed [UPDATED 11/14]

with 8 comments

It really is Mothermania.

With Zappa Records’ and Universal Music’s campaign to reissue the Official Albums of Frank Zappa drawing to a close in December, there are still a few surprises up the Zappa Family Trust’s sleeves.  In our newly-updated ongoing rundown of the main campaign, we have already reported on the reissue of the Mothers of Invention’s “greatest hits” Mothermania, originally released on Verve Records in 1969 and only now appearing on authorized CD.  We’ve also passed on news of an all-new 2-CD FZ compilation, Understanding America, released to coincide with the recent election.  But that’s not all.  While we wait for the final batches of the core reissues to arrive in November and December,  Zappa Records has announced the beginning of a new series.

The official Barfko-Swill store is currently accepting orders for the first volume of Road Tapes, which appears to be a series of live concerts in the style of Grateful Dead’s Dick’s Picks or certain volumes of Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series or the Elvis Presley Follow that Dream series.  Volume 1 of Road Tapes takes listeners all the way back to August 25, 1968 at Vancouver’s Kerrisdale Arena.  Very little is known about this show, as Zappa is keeping details (as usual) close to the vest until the actual release and the show appears to be uncirculated in collectors’ circles.  What can be gleaned from other sources, however, is that the band likely consisted of Zappa, Ray Collins, Roy Estrada, Jimmy Carl Black, Art Tripp, Ian Underwood, Don Preston, Bunk Gardner, and Jim “Motorhead” Sherwood.   Chronologically in the Zappa studio discography, this gig falls between the release of We’re Only In It for the Money (released March 4, 1968) and that of Cruising with Ruben and the Jets (released December 2, 1968).

There’s more after the jump!

As of this writing, it’s uncertain whether the Road Tapes series will be made available to general retail, or will remain an exclusive at Barfko-Swill, where Volume 1 is currently selling for $15.00 plus shipping.  Gail Zappa has recently confirmed in the “Gail Sez” area of that many options are still being pursued for the Zappa catalogue.  In answer to Don Firth’s question about Mothermania, Gail replied:

“Yes. We know. And that album is coming out shortly. My first obligation was to rerelease the Original Masters in distribution with Warners. But that does not change the Original Official Discography that has always been up at My next obligation was to reMaster [sic] titles that were in critical condition. There are 22 of those at this time. The rest we may address as we consider HD & vinyl. In some cases, you never know, there may be 2 versions out there. But all of the information you are looking for is at”

Stay tuned, friends.  In the meantime, Road Tapes Volume 1: 25 August 1968, Kerrisdale Arena, Vancouver, B.C. is available now for order.’

Road Tapes Volume 1: 25 August 1968, Kerrisdale Arena, Vancouver, B.C. (Zappa Records, 2012)

CD 1

  1. The Importance Of An Earnest Attempt (By Hand) (3:44)
  2. Help, I’m A Rock into
  3. Transylvania Boogie (9:30)
  4. Flopsmash Musics (4:50)
  5. Hungry Freaks, Daddy (3:59)
  6. The Orange County Lumber Truck (20:57)
  7. The Rewards Of A Career In Music (3:29)

CD 2

  1. Trouble Every Day (5:08)
  2. Shortly: Suite Exists Of Holiday In Berlin Full Blown (9:29)
  3. Pound For A Brown (3:13)
  4. Sleeping In A Jar (3:23)
  5. Oh, In The Sky (2:42)
  6. Octandre (7:40)
  7. King Kong (10:17)

Written by Joe Marchese

November 14, 2012 at 10:18

Posted in Frank Zappa, News, Reissues

8 Responses

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  1. Nice that they have started with a show that NOBODY has heard, from an era that has been little documented outside of the Albert Hall show, scattered tracks in the YCDTOA series, and the various live tracks included in official releases like Uncle Meat and Weasels.

    William Keats

    November 7, 2012 at 12:47

    • I meant the Festival Hall show (Ahead of Their Time), *not* Albert Hall, although there *is* that Albert Hall snippet of Louie Louie as well.

      William Keats

      November 7, 2012 at 12:51

  2. $15 = Sure.

    $5.70 Shipping = Wait, I think I’ll pass.


    November 7, 2012 at 15:14

    • Hah! I’d gladly pay $5.70 for shipping. To Canada, it’s $12.50!!!


      November 21, 2012 at 11:12

  3. It’s actually out already: my copy shipped yesterday.

    Marco Kalnenek

    November 8, 2012 at 11:38

  4. Got mine the other day. This is one of the best things ever from ZFT, at least to this fan since 1970. More, please. I don’t mind the cost for a 2CD set. Glad they left the content alone for the most part; I don’t hear much obvious editing and the mix is very nice for an “on the fly” job.

    William Keats

    November 13, 2012 at 13:57

    • OK, maybe one obvious edit, as it sounds like there was a reel change required during “Trouble Every Day” resulting in much of it being missing. They edited it on the beat, but it’s clear that the band’s tempo had changed in between. Interesting to hear FZ mention of an upcoming release, “No Commercial Potential,” which is previewed here via “Holiday in Berlin / Full Blown” (played here with a prominent flute part), “Pound for a Brown,” and instrumental versions of songs that ended up on WOIIFTM. Once again, my highest recommendation on this release, if you admire the work of the ’60s MOI. There are many conceptual continuity rewards herein.

      William Keats

      November 13, 2012 at 14:54

  5. just a quick followup, please ignore the following phrase from my earlier reply: “…and instrumental versions of songs that ended up on WOIIFTM…” which isn’t accurate, especially since WOIIFTM had already been released when this concert occurred.

    William Keats

    November 13, 2012 at 15:08

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