Frank Zappa/Mothers Of Invention
June 04 - 10, 2017
Year of Release: 1992
A Typical Day On The Road Part 1
Here Comes The Gear Lads
The Living Garbage Truck
A Typical Sound Check
This Is Neat
The Motel Lobby
The Motel Room
Don't Take Me Down
The Dressing Room
Learning Penis Dimension
You There With The Hard On
Sleeping In A Jar
Don't Eat There
Brixton Still Life
Cruisin' For Burgers
A Small Eternity With Yoko Ono
Disc Two: A TYpical Day On The Road Part 2
The Mudshark Interview
There's No Lust In Jazz
Botulism On The Hoof
You Got Your Armies
The Spew King
Status Back Baby
The London Cab Tape
Concentration Moon Part One
The Sanzini Brothers
It's A Good Thing We Got Paid To Do This
Concentration Moon Part Two
Mom And Dad
Intro To Music For Low Budget Orchestra
Billy The Mountain
The True Story Of 200 Motels
He's Watching Us
If You're Not A Professional Actor
Going For The Money
A Bunch Of Adventures
Martin Lickert's Story
A Great Guy
The Worst Reviews
A Version Of Himself
I Could Be A Star Now
See how this album ranks...
The Complete WSVNRadio Album Archive
This is not your typical Frank Zappa album, nor it is not your typical all-live Zappa album... Playground Psychotics is a look at Zappa's
concert footage. True, it is a somewhat live album, but there's more added, which you don't hear on any regular live release.
Think of it as a "behind the scenes" look at concert footage. What goes on and behind the concert stage. This album is a 2-cd set. Each cd
represents "A Typical Day On The Road" -- Part 1 (CD 1) and 2 (CD2). There are many short segments of spoken dialogue, as to what was happening at the
time. Where most Zappa fans would most likely want to hear his music, they would probably skip the dialogue routines.
Disc One: A Typical Day On The Road, Part 1 The first 3 tracks are mostly dialogue. (Yet for any musician who has taken the stage, track 3,
"A Typical Sound Check should bring good or bad memories to those musicians. Yet some of the spoken dialogue may (or may not) be understandable to
hear, the liner notes explains them. "Here Comes The Gear, Lads": As we depart for the first date of the tour, Dunbar's accused of sound
like one of the voices from the Beatles TV cartoon series. "The Living Garbage Truck": When we arrive, an industrious Reprise Records promo
man has arranged for us to have a group photo taken in a garbage truck parked on the airport tarmac. "A Typical Sound Check": Our wretched
equipment was always falling apart, our monitor system was almost non-existent, and the P.A. was always distorted.
More dialogue on tracks 4, 5 and 6: "This Is Neat": We rented station wagons for ground transportation and various members took turns
driving them. "The Motel Lobby": The main conversation here is between Dick Barber (aka "The Gnorler," aka "Foon," aka "THe Pomona
Polaris") Our road manager, (eventually seen as the industrial vacuum cleaner in 200 Motels), and Howard Kaylan. "Getting Stewed":
Enjoying a refreshing beverage in a warm friendly atmosphere.
"Goofin' around" sets the scene, on tracks 7 through 10: "The Motel Room": Getting ready to go to work. "Don't Take Me
Down": Arrivng at the concert while the warm-up band is still on. "The Dressing Room": Wasting away until it's our turn.
"Learning Penis Dimension" Rehearsing the monologue to this controversial song is premiere.
Music starts to get into gear, with the experimental "You There, With The Hard On": Our special relationship with the audience.
Then there's the next track, where it gets very experimental, with sound effects -- "Zanti Serenade" This was the opening vamp for the
ill-fated Rainbow Theater show. One week earlier, all of our gear was destroyed in a fire at the Montreux Casino. We cancelled a week's worth of dates,
went shopping for new gear, and were still trying to make it all work correctly as the show began. What purports to be some sort of avant garde
extravaganza was really just a sound check with the audience in attendance.
Frank Zappa's music has been called "strange," "weird" "weird psychedelia." "Strange" seems to fit for "Divan": This recording from
the Pauley Pavillion is all that remains of a larger piece which included "Sofa" and other material. Your typical Zappa styled "Sleeping In A
Jar": Album(s) in which song was appeared: Uncle Meat. More of the "avant garde" as described on Zanti Serenade" on "Don't
Eat There"," and more dialogue.
"Brixton Still Life" is a good Zappa rock track. Strange and experimental gets "Super Grease." "Wonderful
Wino" is another rock track, yet novelty'ish; Album(s) in which song was appeared: Zoot Allures. Zappa Rock (with an exclamation point !)
on Sharleena"; Album(s) in which song was appeared: Uncle Meat. The same explanation point on the next track, "Cruisin' For
Burgers; Album(s) in which song appeared: Uncle Meat.
"Diptheria Blues" is "strange zappa"; From a Florida dressing room. While Dunbar keeps time and bottle of scotch whisky and a wooden
table, Howard relates the tale of the San Antonio diptheria epidemic which we had just escaped.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono accompanies Zappa and his crew for the four tracks, as Lennon and Yoko were co-writers of each with Frank Zappa.
"Well": This song would be penned by Walter Ward, and it definitely has a Lennon'ish style. "Say Please," "Aaawk," "Scum Bag"
and "A Small Eternity With Yoko Ono": Some of you might have heard another version of this material on the John & Yoko album "Some Time In
New York City" when they sat in with us that night. We were in the process of recording the
Live At The Fillmore East, June 1971 album, and all of this
insanity was captured on tape. After the show, John and I agreed we would each put out our own version of the performance, and I gave him a copy of the 16
track master tape. Here is our version -- a substantidlly different mix from what they released.
Disc Two: A Typical Day On The Road, Part 2: Track 1 is dialogue -- "Beer Shampoo": An argument in Ohio regarding beer being
poured on Howard during the show. Track 2, "Champagne Lecure" i more novelty; Somewhere in the midwest the intimate details of our adventures
in Jacksonville are revealed.
More and more dialogue, tracks 3 through 10: "Childish Perversions": More arguments about wetness. "Playground
Psychotics": Compare this plane interior conversation from the middle of the tour with the one that begins on the first disc. When Simmons
blurts out "Playground Psychotics!" We experience a small revelation. "The Mudshark Interview": An actual interview with the front office
manager concerning unorthodox seafood usage. "There's No Lust In Jazz": Use your imagination. "Botulism On The Hoof"
Howard experiences scheduling problems. "You Got Your Armies": Simmons offers an opinion to a Dutch TV journalist. "The Spew
King": Howard attempts to initate Ian into the mysteries of spew bonding. "I'm Doomed": Howard at breakfast.
Returning back to "Zappa Rock" -- "Status Back Baby": Album(s) which song has appeared: Absolutely Free. An unreleased cut
from the Fillmore East 1971 recording. Dialogue on "The London Cabtape": Dunbar and I were hanging out one night after the gig in my
motel room. Mark knocked on the door and offered to play a cassette recording he had made of Howard Simmons, and Underwood, riding in a London cab.
Planning to have some sort of confrontation with me. As he played the tape, I turned on my Uher. This is a recording of the three of us listening to
Mark's very own anthroplogical field recording.
Another word for Zappa's music is "unusual," and this fits "Concentration Moon, Part 1": Album(s) in which song has appeared:
We're Only In It For The Money". More on the unusual, there's unusual stage dialogue on the next two tracks: "The Sanzini Brothers":
Back to the Fillmore East for a moment. The audience used to enjoy the Sanzini Brothers sodomy trick... whatever it was. I can't remember what
they were actually doing, except that it sometimes involved an over-sized drum stick. "It's A Good Thing We Get Paid To Do This":
Another piece of tape supplied by Mark. By this time, he always had a Uher, and on this occasion, the first script reading for 200 Motels, had it
hidden in a canvas bag on a chair next to him.
As the first part -- unusual: "Concentration Moon, Part 2": Album(s) in which song appeared: We're Only In It For The Money.
More "unusual" -- "Mom And Dad": Album(s) in which song appeared: We're Only In It For The Money. Experimental, yet pleasant, on
"Intro To Music For Low Budget Orchestra": Album(s) in which song appeared: Studio Tan.
Then there's the basic live Zappa Rock ensemble, as this track is a half-hour long: "Billy The Mountain": Album(s) in which song
appeared: Just Another Band From L.A.. References to "Little Carl" pertain to a small inflatable penguin (purchased at Stuckey's) which used to
get launched through a flaming hoop (two twisted coat hangers with burning toilet paper wrapped around it) every once in a while on stage.
The rest of the album is dialogue, entitled The True Story Of 200 Motels: "He's Watching Us": More tape from Mark... Later in the
script reading session. "If You're Not A Professional Actor": From the soundtrack of the Honker home video "The True Story Of 200 Motels."
If your local dealer doesn't carry it, you can get it by calling: 818 Pumpkin (818 786-7546). "He's Right": More tape from Mark... Later in
the script reading session. "Going For The Money": From "The True Story Of 200 Motels." "Jeff Quits": More tape from Mark...
The following evening of the second script reading. Jeff, as advised by his wife, quits the group and bails out of the movie.
"A Bunch of Adventures," "Martin Lickert's Story," "A Great Guy," "Bad Acting," "The Worst Reviews," "A Version Of Himself," "I Could Be A Star
Now": All above selections from the dialogue track of "The True Story Of 200 Motels." Strange yet true.
Playground Psychotics is more of a novelty/comedy album, especially focused on the spoken dialogue, throughout the entire album. There really aren't
any music tracks, as most of what people remember of Zappa.
The best reading of this album is from here. Zam BZ
says: This album basically consists of segments of music, and segments of dialog recorded mostly by Zappa on a portable tape recorder, featuring the
Mothers’ line-up of 1970-71 (as seen on 200 Motels).
The dialog sections follow the band on the road: travelling to the next gig, arriving, setting up, sound-check, checking into the motel, getting drunk,
doing the gig. There are some hilarious moments here, eg the first read through of the 200 Motels script, or Howard Kaylan getting annoyed about having
beer poured on him on stage.
The musical sections are fun (in particular Billy the Mountain), although the sound quality isn’t so good, and the band isn’t as tight as the later
Zappa bands became.
All in all, I’d say this album is more for the Zappa enthusiast. If you’re new to his music, perhaps check out some of the other albums by this
particular Mothers’ line-up first.
kzdarwin says: The music segments are great, but I often find myself programing out the dialogue segments, although some of them are funny and/or
revealing. Alot of the material, specificly “Billy The Mountain” and the John Lennon Jam were, I believe, originally intended for a second disc of “Fillmore
East, June 1971”. (A different mix/edit of the John Lennon jam has been available on his “Sometime In New York” album since 1972). If you liked “Fillmore
East”, “Just Another Band From L.A.” and ” 200 Motels”, then you’ll like this because it is more of that same band, but this is more of an album for true
fans and not for casual listeners and is not a good place to start.
More reviews are shown on this page, but the above mentioned sums it up. It's not your typical Zappa album, but it does have the "uniqueness" of
how Zappa was in his career, and in his prime with the Mothers of Invention. All in all, it's Frank Zappa, doing what he does best, in his own unique
way and Zappa style. More of a "what goes on, behind the scenes while touring" -- A Typical Day On The Road is the appropriate title, and a look at
another album of his, 200 Motels, a 1971 American-British musical surrealist film cowritten and directed by Frank Zappa and Tony Palmer and starring
The Mothers of Invention, Theodore Bikel and Ringo Starr. A soundtrack album was released in the same year, with a slightly different selection of music.
The film attempts to portray the craziness of life on the road as a rock musician, and as such consists of a series of unconnected nonsense vignettes
interspersed with concert footage of the Mothers of Invention.
A Typical Day On The Road, yes... But not your typical Frank Zappa album of music.
© 2017 WSVNRadio.net. All rights reserved.
Review or any portion may not be reproduced
without written permission. Cover art is the
intellectual property of
and is used for reference purposes only.