Zappa Out For Three Weeks

By ?

Disc, December 18, 1971

The remaining nine dates on Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention’s British tour have been cancelled following the incident at London’s Rainbow Theatre last Friday when Zappa fell 12 feet, off stage, into the orchestra pit.

Zappa hasn’t a hairline skull fracture, as earlier reported, but he did suffer a compound ankle fracture and a broken leg.

After a night in Finsbury Park’s Royal Northern Hospital he was taken to a private clinic in London’s West End. He’ll be in a cast for three weeks, after which the stiches will be removed. The ankle goes back into cast for another four od five weeks and he’ll be limping for another month.

The Zappa entourage, including the Mothers, flew back to Los Angeles after the accident. Manager Herb Cohen will stay three weeks and take Zappa back with him.

The British concerts cancelled are: Three at the Rainbow (the Friday second house and two scheduled for the following night), Bristol Colston Hall (13), Birmingham City Hall (15), Newcastle City Hall (16), Glasgow Green’s Playhouse (17), Manchester Free Trade Hall (20) and Sheffield City Hall (21).

The Rainbow will refund ticket money. They advise those who can’t get to the theatre to retain the small stub and send the large portion stating whether money or a ticket for an alternative concert is preferred.

Several Zappa and the Mothers projects will be delayed. They include “Billy The Mountain,” a sequel to “200 Motels.” Scheduled for shooting in Britain in March. Also a special nine-album package of existing Zappa material; and a “live” album taken from British dates.

Only the previous weekend the group had instruments and equipment, insured for $24,000 – destroyed in a fire that demolished Switzerland’s Montreux Casino.

The Mothers lost everything – suitcases, jackets and music scores. The fire meant cancellation of three concerts. Another European date was scrapped after a rented truck’s engine froze.

Said Cohen: “Frank’s in a state of shock. It was only today (Monday) he began to realise what had happened. He was mostly annoyed because he couldn’t have his coffee and cigarettes.

“Nothing like this has happened in six years of touring – not even in Los Angeles or New York. London is the last place we expected this to happen.”