Frank Zappa Palace Theater 2/2/88

By Dave Turner

Buzz, March, 1988

Dear George,

Omigod! I can't believe you want me to shorten my review of the ZAPPA show. I mean, I have this three page manifesto prepared ... You saw the show! There's so much to say! Allright, granted, any reader can look at Buzz issue #27 to see who's in Zappa's band, so all I have to concentrate on is the actual show.

But, as short as you want this article to be, I still have to mention the 4 new, never before performed, world premiere type songs. "When the Lie's so big", about Pat Robertson. "Planet of the Baritone Women", about those junior executive-type 'guys who carry purses and live in fear of their boss-women. "Any kind of Pain", about women in advertising who do anything, and everything under the sun to keep their un-natural, quasi-anorexic figures, and that one, "Jesus thinks You're a Jerk", about Jim and Tammy Bakker. I loved that one. Oh, yeah, and that one, "Why don't you like me?", about Michael Jackson ... Did you know that that was an old song, "Tell me you love me ", but with new lyrics?

How 'bout the new age version of "The Black Page", and "Packard Goose", with Scott wearing that blond wig and doing all those goofy things during the 'voice of Mary' part, George. How could I get all that into a short, little article? There was also that Royal March by Stravinsky, and that piece from that Bartok concerto, "Dickie's such an Asshole", and that whacked out version of "The Torture Never Stops", with the Chattanooga Choo-Choo music, and the themes from "My Three Sons", and "Bonanza" tossed in for good measure. And, George, couldn't forget to go into the fact that "Lonesome Cowboy Burt" was crammed into the song as well.

George, I could go on for pages, just talking about the first set. What about the second one? I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the audience poll he took on the presidential candidates. Wasn't that cool? And all those great songs in the second set. "Who needs the Peace Corps?", from the "We're only in it for the Money" album, and all those people bringing all that underwear up to the stage.

Did you know that that all started years ago when they made this quilt out of all the panties and bras they could collect? "We're Turning Again", that incredible version of "King Kong", with those solos on marimba, or xylophone or whatever Ed Mann was playing, and that baritone sax, or whatever that plumber's nightmare was, solo, and those guitar solos by Ike Willis, and Mike Kenneally. I liked the part where Mike played keyboards, guitar, and sang at the same time ... remember? And "Stairway to Heaven"! Holy Shit! I can't believe he did that! I knew Zappa had to do something to that song to make it different, but to have the horn section play the guitar solo ... too much!

Of course there's a lot to be said about those encores, too. "Dancin' Fool", "Whippin' Post", and "I am the ' Walrus". started out as a joke at rehearsal, one day, when he said, "Okay, I am the Walrus', one, two, three ... ", and most of the guys knew it, and played it, and Frank decided to add it to the repertoire.

There was that second encore of "Strictly Genteel", where Frank introduced the roadies ...

George, how could I possibly fit all that into a short, one page article ? This show was too great to just be glossed over. There's just so much to say!

If I can't write all I have to say about this show ... I'm not writing anything!


Dave Turner

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