It's Only Rock 'N' Roll


It’s Only Rock ’N’ Roll was an indie music newspaper published in San Antonio from May 1978 to April 1982. The publication chronicled the rise of punk and New Wave music in San Antonio and Austin, reporting on national touring acts like Blondie, Elvis Costello, Patti Smith, the Ramones, the Clash and the Sex Pistols, as well as local and regional rock ’n’ roll, blues and heavy metal acts. Ron Young was the founder and publisher of the pioneering indie music newspaper It’s Only Rock ’N’ Roll. (Texas State University Library)

1981 November

Vol. 4 No. 7


Frank Zappa, Austin Special Events Center, October 18th
By Jeff Webb, p 15


There was something different about this concert compared with earlier Frank Zappa concerts in Austin – no Armadillo. AWHQ, scene of most previous F.Z. shows was small, intimate, and had charm. And what's most important, Zappa loved to play there.

The show was well rehearsed and expertly played but the spontaneity, a trademark of Zappa shows was absent. True, Zappa did mention that he was feeling ill during one of the encores; but the facts remain: Frank Zappa doesn't take many chances anymore, on record or live .

He only played two 'oldies' opening with "Montana" from Overnite Sensation and closing with "Muffin Man" off Bongo Fury, incidently recorded live at the aforementioned 'Dillo. In between was mostly stuff off the last two albums, You Are What You Is and Tinseltown Rebellion. Even unreleased material, standard fare at any Zappa show was reduced to just two songs: "Cocaine Desire [Decisions]", a typical Zappa anti-drug song; and "The Ship Arrived Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch", basically a vehicle for improvisation.

But hey, let's be fair, they guy can still play guitar like nobody's business and his band is as tight as the proverbial drum, but next time Frank, something a little more off beat.

Note. The full setlist according to FZShows was Chunga's Revenge, Montana, Easy Meat, Society Pages, I'm A Beautiful Guy, Beauty Knows No Pain, Charlie's Enormous Mouth, Fine Girl, Teenage Wind, Harder Than Your Husband, Bamboozled By Love, Sinister Footwear, Stevie's Spanking, Cocaine Decisions, Nig Biz, Goblin Girl, The Black Page, Tryin' To Grow A Chin, Strictly Genteel, Drowning Witch, What's New In Baltimore, Moggio, Joe's Garage, Why Does It Hurt When I Pee, Muffin Man.

Source: Texas State University Library


1981 December

Vol. 4 No. 8


Frank Zappa / You Are What You Is (Barking Pumpkin) ****
By Jeff Webb, p 15

Frank Zappa hasn't done anything innovative in quite a few years and his latest album is no exception. But that doesn't keep You Are What You Is from being his best Lp in a long time.

Zappa has always been known for his social commentaries, and his latest two-record
set is just that and little else, but a lot better. The material is a lot stronger and it's more coesive than recent efforts. It even reminds me of a 1980's version of We're Only In It For The Money, arguably Zappa's finest moment. Sure it's not up to that fine work, but after the last few years' mediocre efforts, You Are What You Is, while nothing original, restores a little of the faith.

A couple of old friends are back; Jimmy Carl Black (the Indian of the group) is the
guest vocalist on "Harder Than Your Husband", which with any luck could be a
country novelty hit. Motorhead Sherwood also returns on tenor sax and snorks! America circa 1980 is the butt of most of these songs (Coneheads, Charlie perfume, new wave, drugs) .

After the last few albums. I was having my doubts, but he proved it can be done – a
Frank Zappa album relatively free of four-letter words! The message comes through loud and clear but without the 'Cheepnis' (remember that?) of the past. Where's my waitress?

Source: Texas State University Library