Fillmore East - June 1971

Some vinyl pressings start
side 2 with a fade, some with a cold start. Now, which version has "the most music" on it? ;)
"What is this shit?" - Ike Turner, 1973
The ugly item above was sold on in the summer of 2000, said to be the Taiwanese First Records TD-1116 blue-label issue. 

What to Get: The 2012 CD.

Summary: The 2012 CD restores "Willie the Pimp Pt. 2" and eliminates the 1980s-era digital processing FZ added to the album, which debuted on the 1986 "Old Masters" LP. All previous CDs are missing the second part of "Willie" and have additional reverb, echo, and stereo processing.

ESSENTIAL VERSIONS FOR COMPLETISTS: The (non-Old-Masters) vinyl or 2012 CD. The old CDs can be safely discarded. [completist's guide]


  • Original vinyl (Bizarre MS 2042, August 1971 (repressed in 1973))
  • Canadian & European vinyl (Reprise MS 2042 in Canada, Reprise K 44150 in the UK, REP 44150 in Germany, 44150 in France (and possibly Germany) August 1971)
  • Greek vinyl (Reprise 44150)
  • Japanese vinyl (Reprise P-8151R)
  • Mexican vinyl: The Mothers en el Fillmore East - 1971 (Gamma GX01-01494, entire sleeve in Spanish)
  • Brazilian vinyl (re-issued in 1979 as WEA 28.026 ("LIVE IN CONCERT" on label))
  • Australian vinyl (Reprise MS 2042, 1971)
  • New Zeeland vinyl (Reprise RS 2042, side 2 "cold start")
  • Taiwanese vinyl (First Records TD-1116, blue label, "different cover, soft cover" - legit?)
  • Cassette (Bizarre M 52042)
  • 8-track (Bizarre M 82042 (US?) and/or Reprise 8RM-2042 (Canada?))
  • The Old Masters vinyl (Barking Pumpkin BPR 8888-6, November 1986)
  • Original CD (Ryko RCD10167 in the US, Zappa Records CDZAP29 in the US, May 1990; VACK [50-something] in Japan; Ryko D30380 in Australia, 1990)
  • 1995 CD (Ryko RCD 10512, May 30 1995; VACK 5121 in Japan, renumbered 5256 in 1998; also in a BMG Record Club version (1088061))
  • 1995 cassette (Ryko RAC 10512, May 30 1995; also in a BMG Record Club version (1088061))
  • Japanese paper-sleeve CD (Ryko/VACK 1213, October 24 2001 - Bizarre inner sleeve)
  • 2012 UMe CD (Zappa Records ZR3845 July 31, 2012)
  • "Little House I Used to Live in" bootleg CD

And on the weird side, parts of this album seem to have been issued in Poland as a set of flexi-disc postcards.

Track Titles

  • "Little House I Used to Live in" is listed as "Little House I Used to Stay in" on the Australian vinyl.

Original Vinyl

There are two versions of the LP: one where "Willie the Pimp Part 2" fades in and one where it starts cold. No idea which is which, how to tell, etc. From Vladimir Zak:

I got the Fillmore East vinyl, Bizarre MS 2042, Made in USA, repressed in 1973 (mustard yellow label), and "Willie the Pimp Part 2" fades in.

Mike Espinoza weighs in:

I've solved the issue with the two versions of Willie The Pimp, Part Two on Fillmore East, June 1971.

I compared an MP3 that I have of the cold start with my own vinyl copy of the fade in version that I recorded onto a wav file.  I have determined that the cold start version is one second longer than the fade in from the point where the fade in version is first audible.  The two files that I have are the exact same length, but the cold start MP3 is about one second off of the other file and ends sooner.  This means that the cold start version has more music, but not by much; the cold start version goes for about six seconds before the fade in version reaches full volume.  So, the cold start version is preferable, but, ultimately, who gives a fuck anyway?.  We are talking insane completist territory.

Had Frank actually included the song on the CD, the fade in version probably would have sounded better anyway.

Canadian & European Vinyl

On the Canadian and European vinyl issues, the last track on side 1, part one "Willie the Pimp", ends cold instead of fading out as on the US vinyl. Except the Greek version:

Greek Vinyl

From Ryan Davenport:

The Greek version of Fillmore East - June 1971 is a bit different than I expected. Unlike the other European releases, "Willie the Pimp Part I" fades out, like the American version. Side 2 starts cold. The album cover is derived from the English version of the cover, which has a different "Fine Print Dept." than the American version did. The artwork on the spine is different on the Greek release, however. The English and American releases both have the same spine, with "MOTHERS - Fillmore East, June 1971" taking up the top half of the spine.  On the Greek cover, the handwriting is smaller, is placed in the middle of the spine, and is not written by Cal Schenkel.

Japanese Vinyl

LP obi (courtesy of Mikael Agardsson)From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

Well, it was like this: we were in the South Bay already ... I'd picked up a copy of French TV's Intestinal Fortitude at CD Warehouse ... and I asked my wife to drive into San Jose so I could buy an E-flat blues harp at Guitar Center. With that mission accomplished, we stopped off at Tower Records in Campbell (I picked up a Sonny Boy Williamson CD for $8.99) and then to a nearby used record shop, where I found a Japanese copy of Fillmore East, June 1971. As many of you know, Japanese albums usually come with lyric inserts that are transcribed by ear, with frequently bizarre results. And this was a goodie. Some of the errors are merely misspellings, such as "mud shark arpedio", "Tiera Del Frago" or "a succlent young lady with a taste for the bazzar". But here are some of the other amusing transcriptions (all spelling, capitalization and punctuation as printed, but I won't attempt to replicate the eccentric spacing):

  • Not only do they have mud sharks up here,
    they got little octopus, chicken-cats
  • This is the swingingest place
    in New York City
    (No shirt?)
  • My girl friend digs it with a hot to do dadel
  • Don't call us groupies that is going too far.
    We wouldn't ball you just to keep after us all.
  • Steamroller.
    Talking about your paranoids baby.
  • didn't you just say
    that you got off being duped with a baby
  • What say we hop, in trunk of your Cremlin
  • one enchillada raped with pickle sauce

But the best of all is "Bwana Dik", which I present here in its entirety:

I got the thing you need.
I am endowed beyond your whildest creams
Spattered fantastic.
Girls from all over the world
flock to write my name on tolit walls
of the whiskey-Ago-Go.

Boy, I am Bwana Dik.
I am Bwana Dik,
we want a nickle,
we want a nickle.

My Dick is a monstar.
Give me your heart,
my dick is a lecture he knows it by heart.
My dick is a harley, your ticket to stars.
One of it speaks the others for park.
My dick is a dazen of fortitude babe.
My dick is a reamer to scream up your snatch.
Steamin', creamin', creamin'.

Funny that they heard the word "slit" as "snatch," which has the right meaning but the wrong sound. Later on, they substitute "slit" for "clit", so the slit quota is at least maintained.

A number of lines were even beyond the power of the Japanese transcriber to guess at, like "acetylene nirvana hemorrhoids," "iridescent naugahyde python screaming steamroller" or the three lines beginning with "Wall-mounted TV screen". These are replaced with dotted lines.

Hey, it's just a bunch of to do dadel, anyway ...

From Mikael Agardsson:

Let it be said that the lyric transcriptions are much better on later albums. One little thing about the lyric sheet: the front page has a black & white picture of Zappa (the same picture as on the gatefold Hot Rats cover, and the Zappéd LP). And the obi  is a bit special, with the big kana having the same jagged edges as the English writing on the cover.

Australian Vinyl

From Collecting Frank Zappa in Australia - Part 1: The Early Years, an article by Stuart Penny in it - The Australian Record Collectors Magazine, Issue #14 June-July-August 1995 (provided by Henry Griggs, Sydney, Australia):

Not only was heavy lamination the order of the day here (thus, presumably, negating the whole point of the primitive bootleg-style artwork?), but a wonderful schoolboy-style howler on the label changed the opening "Little House I Used to Live in" to the distinctly more Australian-flavoured "Little House I Used to Stay in"!


There used to be a little note here that said:

On the 8-track, part two of "Willie the Pimp" (the first track on side 2 of the vinyl; left out from the CD) fades in instead of the abrupt start on all vinyl releases.

But now we know that there are two versions of the LP: one where it fades in and one where it starts cold. No idea which is which, how to tell, etc.

Old Masters LP

"Fillmore" was released in the second Old Masters box. This version contained the extra reverb and delay that would later appear on the pre-2012 CDs, although it lacks other audio problems that those CDs have (and has "Willie the Pimp Pt. 2."

Original CD

From Neil in the UK:

This album was badly recorded to begin with. The CD makes that all the more apparent. Vocals have been treated and improved.

From JWB:

I don't know why people keep saying that this album "can't be helped". "Shove It Right In" and the Playground Psychotics tracks sound fantastic. This album would benefit massively from a remix (preferably done by Spence Chrislu). If not, the original master definitely needs to be pulled.

Apparently, some artwork from the vinyl was also missing, but this was restored on the 1995 re-issue.

"Willie the Pimp"

On the vinyl, part one of "Willie the Pimp" concluded side one, and part two opened side two. For the CD release, they could not be edited together as one track, because they were in fact not from the same solo. On pre-2012 CDs, instead of using both tracks as they were, Zappa kept only the first part and left out part two completely.

DANIEL NORRIS: Is it indeed worth getting the vinyl Fillmore East album just for the second half of the "Willie the Pimp" solo? Like I'm not going to buy it anyway, I just want someone to encourage me to spend my money this way.

CHARLES ULRICH: It's not the second half of the "Willie the Pimp" solo; it's a different "Willie the Pimp" solo. It works fine when you have to flip the LP in between the two parts. But they couldn't be edited together elegantly because they are at different tempi.

CHRIS MAXFIELD: All of the above is true, but it doesn't change the fact that the track in question that was left off the CD was called "Willie the Pimp Part Two". And who told Frank that every song on every CD had to segue? If we didn't mind flipping over the record and hearing the other version/second half, why would we mind a fade, a brief pause, and a start up of part two?  Why? Why? I discussed this further in some other post in this thread when I complained about similar "segue crimes" on Tinsel-Town Rebellion.

MICHAEL GULA: When the compact disk was a new, breakthrough medium, I believe there was an effort, especially on the part of pioneers like Frank Zappa, to distinguish it from any previous medium. That is probably why Zappa was displeased with the EMI CDs [of Tinsel-Town Rebellion, Sheik Yerbouti and You Are What You Is - Ed.] since they largely utilized the same masters used for the vinyl disks. He didn't want the only audible difference between his CDs and the vinyl issues to be the absence of surface noise. I believe he wanted the CDs to sound as though the albums had been originally recorded and sequenced with the CD in mind. A fade, followed by a blank space and the continuation of the song would serve as a reminder, "This CD is just a copy of a vinyl record." He evidently wanted to avoid that effect. If Zappa had been forced to wait until the CD was no longer a new technology before re-issuing his catalog, he likely would have made quite different decisions and we would have better Zappa CDs available today.

We do now, thankfully.

1995 CD

The 1995 CD re-issue featured some new artwork: an inlay sheet behind the tray, which Cal Schenkel identified as "an ad from the campaign". Official Ryko statement: "New master. New timing sheet. Restored artwork." [full statement] The 1995 does not differ in sound quality from the older discs.

From Juha Sarkkinen:

On the CD, tracks are indexed slightly differently. On the LP "Do You Like My New Car" is given an incorrect time (07:49 should be 07:08); also "Tears Began to Fall" (03:50 should be 02:46). The latter mistake also on (at least) the original CD.

Japanese Paper-Sleeve Version (2001-2002)

Starting in 2001, Video Arts Music released a limited-edition series (2000 copies each) of Zappa CDs in paper sleeves - miniature LP sleeves. There was nothing special about this series other than the covers, which were very well done - inserts and "bonuses" were reproduced, the albums that originally had gatefold covers got little miniature gatefolds, and cover track lists were exactly as on the corresponding LPs, even in cases where the CD has bonus tracks or a different track order. Included in this series were some entries that never had "proper" LP issues, i.e. Läther. Additionally, some rarities--like the "green/gold" cover of Chunga's Revenge--were reproduced as special items in this run.

We need to stress that the sound quality of these discs matches the US Ryko issues, which they are clearly derived from. These are collectors items, not new remastered editions.

Late-2012-update: It appears as if the Japanese may be warming up the mini-LP ovens for a new batch based on the 2012 UMe remasters. We'll let you know if this happens.

From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

A few anomalies in the lyric sheet for Fillmore East - June 1917: the phrase "acetylene nirvana" in "Latex Solar Beef" is transcribed as "a Sara Lee nirvana". (Flo & Eddie reveal their cheesecake fetish?) "Bead jobs" in "Do You Like My New Car?" becomes "B-jobs." In "What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?", Mark's girlfirend digs it with a "yahoo bottle" - which is what Mark says, even if he means "Yoo-Hoo" - and then refers to "corks and sandies". The remark by FZ that I've never been able to get, after the reference to "Manhattan Island clit," is presented here as "Save us in Manhattan Island".

2012 CD

Mastered by Doug Sax with Robert Hadley & Sangwook "Sunny" Nam, this disc eliminates the digital processing added to previous editions of the album an restores "Willie the Pimp Pt. 2." An essential purchase.

Brainpang observes a packaging difference between this edition and the 1995 Rykodisc version:

The Ryko was printed on uncoated paper to mirror tactile sensation of original LP.


A bootleg CD called Little House I Used to Live in is a direct copy of the original CD.


  • Any details on cassette versions?
  • Any other details on 8-track versions?
  • Old Master's version: what's it like, ey?
  • Some vinyl LPs start side 2 with a fade, some with a cold start. Now, which version has "the most music" on it? ;) 

Additional Informants

  • Toshi Okada
  • Patrick Neve
  • Molten Core Records
  • Gonçalo
  • Mexpressings
  • Massi Storey, LP fade-in
  • Depugh
  • Jade, NZ

home - vinyl vs CDs - weirdo discography - bootlegs - misc - hot lynx - e-mail us at zappa dot patio at gmail dot com 2006-04-22 20:02

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