Unreleased Records

These records don't really exist; mostly, they were plans that were never fully carried through. Some exist in test-pressing or tape form, some not at all.

Special note: Cruising with Ruben & the Jets was first planned as a mono album with pre-recorded crackle! ;)

The three albums below were finished before Zappa died, but haven't been released yet. Hopefully, they'll be released in the future. These links are external.

Another unconfirmed release is The Petit Wazoo, lookingly Spencer Chrislu's last Zappa project.

And here's a couple of working titles:

  • Whatever Happened to Ruben & the Jets? (Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, mentioned in a Rolling Stone interview, July 20 1968)
  • Night of the Iron Sausage (Zoot Allures, when it was a double album)
  • Hot Rats III (Sleep Dirt - Waka/Jawaka was "Hot Rats II", because it says "HOT RATS" on the cover)
  • Leather (Läther) (?)
  • Läther (Pronounced "Leather") (Läther) (?)
  • Martian Love Secrets (Sheik Yerbouti - Steve Vai later made an album called Alien Love Secrets)
  • Arrogant Mop (Joe's Garage, Läther - there's also a bootleg called Arrogant Mop)
  • NYC & London (Warts & All)
  • The Helsinki Tapes 1974 (You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore Volume 2 - The Helsinki Concert - it is not a single, complete concert, it's edited together from at least two shows in Helsinki, so the working title was more honest)
  • Lumpy Gravy Part/Phaze 3 (Civilization Phaze III - see also this pre-release version)

In July 2000, in a spirit of overall fun and merriment, the idea was tossed around alt.fan.frank-zappa that "one of the early '80s albums" would have had Fred Zeppelin as a working title. He was really drunk, though / I don't know if it's real - of course, there's a (completely unrelated) bootleg called Fred ZAPPELIN.

(An interview CD called In the Beginning, planned for release in 1999, was cancelled and is now in a way another unreleased album. :)

The Mothers Live at the Whiskey

From Michael Gray's MOTHER!, pages 67-68:

Kim Fowley ought to be the subject of a book himself - an amazing hustler who has been involved with more hit records, in one capacity or another, than almost anyone alive; his participation on the Freak Out! sessions was followed by live appearances with The Mothers at the Whiskey and the Cafe-A-Go-Go, and it is interesting that as he recalls it there was, around the same time that Freak Out! was recorded, 'a Mothers Live at the Whiskey album too, but it never came out.'

Our Man in Nirvana

According to NOBBI, "this album was to be released in September 1967. The music was taken from live performances of the Mothers of Invention with Lenny Bruce". It may or may not have something to do with the well-known bootleg called Our Man in Nirvana (which does not have Lenny Bruce, but Wild Man Fischer).

From Lewis Saul's interview with Cal Schenkel at ralf.com:

I mean, when you say "pre-planned" you also have to realize that everything was always evolving, changing - from one day to the next it was something different; and, originally, at the time I started this [We're Only In It for the Money] - and I don't want to make the assumption as to knowing exactly what's what here, because my memory's vague about a lot of it - but, when I started on this, there was an album called Our Man in Nirvana that Frank was working on. And this was an outgrowth or an evolution of that to some extent - now, to what extent, I can't say.

From Peter DB Harrington:

My memory which is somewhat faulty was that among the many versions of We're Only In It for the Money [versions that Zappa experimented with, not released versions - Ed.], there was one version where Frank had bits of Lenny's routine between tracks as sort of as early musique concrete. This info was extracted from an interview that Frank gave [probably in a magazine or something called Jazz & Pop - Ed.].

From a 1967 interview by Frank Kofsky:

ZAPPA: We have some material that's going into the next album about the concentration camps in California - you're seeing this before the world even knows what the tune is because I turned these out the other day. These are going on the album, the Mothers and Lenny Bruce, which is due for September release.

FRANK KOFSKY: Well, how does that go? Is it going to be real Lenny Bruce on there?

ZAPPA: Yeah. I'm editing the tapes of Lenny's and interspersing these special tunes, so we come up with an oratorio thing, and the name of the album is Our Man in Nirvana.

"Our Man in Nirvana", of course, is a play on Graham Greene's book title Our Man in Havana.

We're Only In It for the Money Demos

According to information submitted, the item known to traders as "Money demos" contains the following:

1. Lonely Little Girl (Instrumental) [01:06]
2. Oh No [00:47]
3. Lonely Little Girl (Reprise) [01:02]
4. Theme from Burnt Weenie Sandwich [04:06]
5. Mom & Dad [03:02]
6. Bow Tie Daddy [00:33]
7. Harry, You're a Beast [01:14]
8. What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body? / What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body? (Reprise) [02:22]
9. Guitar Solo [03:46]
10. Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance [01:33]
11. Mother People [01:45]
12. The Idiot Bastard Son [02:24]
13. Who Needs the Peace Corps?


Most of the tracks segue directly just as on the album. Many are very similar to the released versions, but the ones which are different are enough so to [illegible!].

  • The instrumental version of "Lonely Little Girl" is clearly the backing track of the released version (but a lot slower). It has an extra bridge, also performed in fall 1975 [external link]. (The title "It's His Voice on the Radio", used for this song on some versions of the album, can be traced to this bridge.)
  • "Oh No" is based on the Lumpy Gravy version (with full orchestration). 
  • "Theme from Burnt Weeny Sandwich" is the basis for the album version, but mixed and edited differently there. This one lacks the percussion overdubs. It segues directly out of "Lonely Little Girl (Reprise)", instead of fading in underneath the percussion, and ends with the guitar riff/fill-thingee from "Flower Punk" instead of the fade-out behind the overdubs on the album version.
  • "Mom & Dad" begins similarly to the album version, although a bit faster and with flute. It abruptly switches to some completely different instrumental music (which sounds like its based on the riff to "What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body?", partly) for about a minute and then shunts back to the normal song. [This "new music" sounds like backing tracks that went unused to me - David Goodwin]
  • "Bow Tie Daddy" is the same as on the album.
  • "Harry, You're a Beast" is not censored, and instead of the snorks and music at 00:45 we get a weird measure in a different time. It's the only original-drums uncensored version we have, and that "extra measure" where they would splice in the snorks is very interesting.
  • "What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body?" is again very similar until the 01:00 mark when it switches to some of the "new" music that is in "Mom & Dad". This then hits a tape speed effect and switches into the reprise version of "What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body?".
  • The guitar solo is a different edit of the one in "Stuff up the Cracks" on Cruising with Ruben & the Jets. Oddly enough, instead of the final chords of "Stuff up the Cracks", it segues into "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance".
  • "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" is very similar to the final record, with slightly more prominent guitar.
  • "Mother People" again isn't censored, and ends with "... holding you near me?" rather than the needle scratch into Lumpy Gravy music and the coda.
  • "The Idiot Bastard Son" has a longer intro and is missing the musique concrete/dialogue segments. It's different from the Mothermania version, but that is the closest resemblence. It sounds unmixed ... all instruments are up the entire time.
  • The complete "Who Needs the Peace Corps?" - the sax is audible during a lot of it, and it keeps going ... past where it ends on the record! You finally get to hear the real ending.

Informants: Corey, Charles Ulrich, David Goodwin

All-Orchestral Lumpy Gravy

This early version of Lumpy Gravy was released on 8-track only. It contains only orchestral music, about a couple of minutes of which is unique material which is not on the LP/CD version. From NOBBI:

Zappa had a contract with MGM Records, when Capitol Records wanted him to record an orchestral album. Zappa was to appear only as conductor and this wouldn't have touched the contract with MGM. Zappa recorded this album with the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Orchestra in New York, but it wasn't released. Only 8-track tapes exist. Later Zappa added some Mothers music to the recordings and MGM released the well-known Lumpy Gravy album in may 1968.

You can read a little bit about this Capitol 8-track on the Lumpy Gravy page in the Return of the Son of the alt.fan.frank-zappa Vinyl vs CDs FAQ. There was also a single ("Gypsy Airs"/"SinkTrap") slated for release with the album, but it was never released. From David Goodwin:

Presuming that some of the orchestral music in the We're Only In It for the Money demos is legit, I think some of it may be from the 8-track tape of Lumpy Gravy, as I've been relistening to the demos, and some of the music sounds like it's from the Lumpy Gravy sessions, but doesn't appear on Lumpy Gravy ... and yet would fit in quite well.

From an interview in Society Pages USA #2, 1990:

FRANK ZAPPA: Alright, let's see. It was, uh ... '66. This guy named Nick Venet, who was a producer at Capitol, came to me, and offered me the chance to write something for a forty-piece orchestra, to do a recording of that kind of stuff. I looked at my contract with MGM, 'cause we were signed with MGM at the time. Nowhere in my contract did it preclude me from being a composer, or a conductor. So long as I didn't perform on an album that was released by another company, I didn't think I had a problem.

DEN SIMMS: By "performing", you mean something with an instrument.

"In 1966, Nick Venet offered me the opportunity to write [LUMPY GRAVY]. I thought 'Whoa! This is fabulous. I'll just dive in there and compose my little buns off, and I'll get this performance.' I was writing around the clock."

FRANK ZAPPA: Right. I wasn't singin', I wasn't playin'.


FRANK ZAPPA: Nonetheless, MGM refused to allow this album to be released, and there was an argument over it for a year, finally resulting in MGM buying the master tape from Capitol, and then, I added the vocal parts in there, and it came out.

In February 2000, super collector Isamu Shimizu's World's Greatest Sinner page shocked the world with pictures of what could only be a vinyl version of this release: 

  • picture 1 (with previously unknown short story written by Zappa!)

  • picture 2 (with track list!)

Zappa's story reads like this:

It has been raining all night. A black car is driving through the damp woods. The wind is blowing and it is chilly outside. We can hear the rain. We cannot hear the car.

There are two people in the car. One of them is dead. He is 19 years old. We can see what is left of his eyes. It is as if some strange, soft instrument had struck them, causing the eyelids to become translucent and gray and swollen. We can barely see the pupils beneath. His name is Bernie and he used to work on a farm.

It is very late. The silent black car finds it way through a maze of hastily planned streets in a tract of new homes. The Cinderella Gingerbread Wonderland Estates are all empty. The little plywood curlycues on the eaves of each dream castle are splitting and peeling. The stingily spaced nails that hold them on are bleeding rust. The windows are mostly broken. The tract is held together by chicken wire and cheesy strands of cotton string and screaming neon pennants ... in every direction from one to another and up and down and sideways: little plastic triangles on those marvelous never-rot cables, from house to house, providing God knows how much necessary structural support.

The silent black car stops at a turquoise house on the corner of Wanda Parkway and Thornhaven Court. The driver gets out and walks slowly to the door of the turquoise house. It is still raining. He opens the buckled plywood door and turns on the living room light. We can see from outside that the turquoise house is furnished. The driver beckons from the doorway. Bernie gets out of the silent black car and walks up the path to the door, carefully avoiding the muddy spots between each uniquely wonderful, hand-cast, circular concrete stepping-stone. We hear some frogs and the rain.

By the light of a lamp shaded like a covered wagon with a bucking bronco painted on the shade, we see the grim face of the driver clearly for the first time. He looks like everyone's personal image of their father when he gets mad. He speaks: "Bernie ... why'd you run away, son?" Bernie doesn't look at him. He shuffles his feet a bit and looks around the room at the furniture ... through his translucent bulges. He seems to find things just as they were before ... the naugahyde vibrator chair, the three color reproduction of the Grand Canyon in the embossed maple frame over the brown sectional with metallic threads that used to get caught on the buckles of his jacket, the walnut step-end tables with the old magazines and doilies and the Kleenex box with the matching mahogany low-boy coffee table with the contrasting doilies and book matches from all over in a little brass silent butler. He gets up and goes into the kitchen, silently thinking to himself (and hating to admit it) that it felt good to sit in the old green platform rocker again, but he knew he needed a Coke.

"You want me to really louse you up, kid? What I did to your eyes wasn't enough for you? You got any idea what that thing could do to your mouth if I used it on you? Why'd you run away, son?"

Bernie nervously gulps his Coca-Cola. It foams within him as he turns to
answer, "I dunno, dad ... I just dunno. Why'd you have to go and use that thing on my eyes? They hurt sort of ... and I feel weird all over." Another hearty snort of his beverage and Bernie continues, "How'd you find me?"

"Don't ask me questions! I'm askin' the questions! Tell me why you'd run off like that! Wasn't this a good enough home for you? Everything in here: brand new ... we never had brand new stuff before we moved in here! I work my butt off at that place for the government and get enough money to buy all new stuff ... new house, new furniture, portable record player ... everything like we never had before ... and you go work on a farm!"

"I had to, Pop. I missed things they used to be when we lived in the country. I missed the animals and everything. I wish you'd never taken that job in the Alabama plant ... then they never would of transferred you here ... and I never would of had to run off and get caught ... and never of got my eyes hurt. Did Mom buy an baloney this week?"

"It's in there somewhere. You know what I did to your Mom?"

Bernie bites through the tough plastic baloney wrapper with an expertise known only to people who love baloney and hate to get a knife out to cut it open. Years have taught him just where to bite it. We hear the plastic rip and the teeny-weeny "poof" of the vacuum breaking. Bernie takes three slices and rolls them up. While chewing, he says, "Whatdja do to her? Her eyes like me?"

"She wanted me to quit and move back. I got her in the eyes and in the mouth ... two weeks ago. She won't do shopping any more so Sharva's got to do it."

"Sharva buy this? How come she got this brand?"

"She might've been worried about you and Mama. It's hard on a kid seein' her Mama's eyes and mouth like that. I give her a little more for her allowance now. She bought a basket for her bike so she won't have to carry everything from the supermarket. She makes it in three trips now."

Bernie takes three more slices of baloney and rolls them up, only this time he gets the mustard out and dips them in while he eats them. "Boy, I sure feel funny. I don't know whether I'm gettin' sick or I been sick or what. What's her mouth look like?"

"That's a hell of a thing to ask about! What you think it looks like? It's all puffed up ... and grayish-like ... and you can sort of see her teeth all the way up to the roots ... and both of her eyes are like yours ... and she's already made THE TRANSITION. We get along a lot better now, so don't you go smartin' off about her! Your transition's due shortly too. I'll teach you your DISCIPLINE and MANNERS and RESPECT FOR YOUR ELDERS."


And the track list looks like this:


Other visible notes read:

a subsidiary of THIRD STORY MUSIC BMI



Nick Venet is listed as producer. 

GREG RUSSO: Isamu is posting the album slick from the unreleased Capitol Lumpy Gravy album. I checked Capitol's files a few years ago and found out that someone had stolen [!] the original artwork. If I had found a copy, I would have included it in my book [Cosmik Debris]. The album's original 4-track tape is still in Capitol's tape library in California. In any event, it's a fascinating discovery.
RON SPIEGELHALTER: I think we need to find whoever stole the original artwork and send them on another raid to get those tapes!!!

Has been bootlegged as Lumpy Gravy & Elsewhere.

June 2000 E-Mail from HanZ Bohlmeijer, Holland

The unrevealed world of the Zappa archives will always be a tantalizing story of mystery and hope of treasures to find, knowing there must be so much out (in) there, so much in the hands of collectors. The holy quest for finding his secret, never published works remains a lifetime duty, especially those early Mothers years. Enjoying the musical happening, the Holland Festival in Amsterdam, I was reading your Patio pages. I read the part of the Lumpy Gravy album and was interested in the part about the Capitol sessions. Well, I do not know if some mysteries should be revealed and published for the public, or if they should be a mystery forever ...

As it happened, a few years ago, someone offered me a test pressing from the Capitol studios. He had a friend working in these studios, and as they where cleaning up their archives, he saved a pile of unreleased acetates from being destroyed. As on the label on one of these metal acetates the name was written of FRANK ZAPPA, he thought it could be worth something.

When it was offered to me, I asked him to give me all the information on the label, and by the time I got all the details and put them together, I knew that if the record company and date was correct, it could only be the unreleased Lumpy Gravy - or a bootleg, or someone just trying to frame me. After some restless nights - as it wasn't offered to me for 25 dollars (like The Grand Wazoo) but for a substantial amount of [3 figures] dollars (and money doesn't grow on my back, witch in itself of course is a fairly common statement) - I decided to take the chance and buy it. Of course I couldn't say no, there was some kind of fever over me.

After the days slowly passed in wich my acetate was sent to me and in wich everything could go wrong, it finally arrives. It arrives in a sleazy brown paper bag, the type in which the winos drink their alcohol, but there it glitters!!!

After blowing the dust from it and cleaning it carefully, I was ready to play it, not knowing what to expect. So I installed my tape recorder to tape it once and never play the original again. YES, IT WAS, at last, the all-orchestral Lumpy Gravy album, with that lovely metal sizzling sound of the genius of the young Zappa as it was first intended to be.

Side 1: recording date 5-19-67: total time 11.12
Side 2: recording date 5-19-67: total time 11.33

The master no: ST-1/2-2719 on the test pressing label form 6076-C 2/62. The test label clearly says "stereo", so no mistake about that. Of course you'll understand how I treasure this relique!

Only a relatively short time afterwards, a proof print of the Capitol front cover was offered for sale (not especially to me), but it was sold by the time I reached the phone. Anyway, it's actually the same picture of Zappa as on the Verve back cover, although with a white border, and slightly zoomed out, so that his top hat and gloves are fully visible. It says (in almost the same font as "MOTHERS" on the Absolutely Free cover) "Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphonie Orchestra", the title (straight font) "LUMPY GRAVY", and then, at the bottom, "ZAPPA" (with some small notes I can't read.)

Hope to have a little piece of the conceptual continuity revealed.

(Don't ask me for his e-mail address so you can ask him for a copy, because you will not get it! All such requests will be ignored.)

Gypsy Airs / Sink Trap Single

ONE SIDE: Sink Trap (03:04)
OTHER SIDE: Gypsy Airs (01:40)

"Sink Trap"/"Gypsy Airs" - or "Gypsy Airs"/"Sink Trap", because the sides are not marked on the only existing copy - was recorded at the Lumpy Gravy sessions (date is marked as June 15, 1967), and intended for single release on Capitol Records, together with the original version of Lumpy Gravy, which was all-instrumental. The instrumental Lumpy Gravy was only released on 8-track, and the single was never released. The only existing copy is an "8-inch master record", probably a studio acetate.

"Gypsy Airs" consists of the parts of Lumpy Gravy that are called "King Kong" and "Oh No Again" on the 1995 CD - 07:37-08:19 of "Lumpy Gravy Part 2" and 07:01-09:16 of "Lumpy Gravy Part 1". From Peter Öberg:

I believe both of the tracks are on the Lumpy Gravy album. The other one ["Sink Trap"] is some of the more scary-sounding orchestra stuff.

Both "Gypsy Airs" and "Sink Trap" appear as bonus tracks on a Russian CD bootleg of Mothermania. A live recording of "Sink Trap", from the Royce Hall concert in 1975 (the same concert as the Orchestral Favorites album) is on the bootlegs Zut Alors and Apocrypha. From Jon Naurin:

"Sink Trap" has 12:03-13:38 of "Lumpy Gravy Part 2". The beginning and the end of "Sink Trap" are not on Lumpy Gravy.

Teenage Bill of Rights / Autumn Love

From Greg Russo's Cosmik Debris, page 36:

Burt Ward, the "Boy Wonder" Robin on the "Batman" TV series, was signed to MGM Records in June 1966 after an unproductive stint on the ABC-Paramount label. Tom Wilson produced with Zappa arranging and conducting, and they laid down four songs: "Boy Wonder, I Love You" (written by Zappa), its flipside "Orange-Colored Sky" [these two were released as a single], and two unreleased tracks: "Teenage Bill of Rights" and "Autumn Love".

We Are the Mothers & This Is What We Sound Like!

Columbia test pressing 6477
Unique material: a couple of tracks

From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

We Are The Mothers & This Is What We Sound Like was a compilation of early material put together by Zappa himself but never released legitimately in this form. The Necessity Is ... bootleg (also known as Rustic Protrusion and We Are The Mothers & This Is What We Sound Like) originated from a cassette dub of a Zappa-edited album master, said to be one of the discs from the notorious unreleased History & Collected Improvisations box set.

From an anonymous source:

As for "1 of 9 Mothers" ... I am fortunate to have gotten into Zappa through a couple of the original BIG '60s Mothers freaks, Rob and Waldo of Mother People magazine. Through them I've learned much great stuff ... as you know, the tape of Hartford '69 is actually an excerpt from side two of what we used to call the "unreleased LP". This was an acetate given to one of the members of the original Mothers, who allowed it to be taped (for an exorbitant fee of course - stories of this band member's money problems are legend! Know who I'm talking about now?) by the producers of the old Mud Shark bootleg label, who released it as Necessity Is ... / Rustic Protrusion in 1979 or so. This bootleg has been copied as We Are The Mothers & This Is What We Sound Like (1985). The acetate label reads "1 Of 9 Mothers" as it was the first disc of the unreleased legit 9-LP box The History & Collected Improvisations of the Mothers of Invention which was to be sold through the Playboy Record Club (!!) in late 1969. Thus, while parts of the tape ("skweezit") come from Hartford, I'm not sure it all does. It sounds definately studio-overdubbed too. Incidentally, according to Rob, on the bootlegs, the sides are reversed. Side one of "1 Of 9 Mothers" begins with "Lost in a Whirlpool"; side two ends with "Igor's Boogie".

The original title is not known; maybe it was Rustic Protrusion.

1. We Are the Mothers (3:32) ["Mothers at KPFK" on Mystery Disc]
2. This Is What We Sound Like (3:51)
3. Right There (4:15) ["Skweezit Skweezit Skweezit" on Mystery Disc plus a bit of "Right There" on Stage #5]
4. The Jelly (2:22) [last part of the CD version of "Didja Get Any Onya?" from Weasels Ripped My Flesh - plus a little extra]
5. Igor's Boogie (6:54) [including parts of "King Kong" on Ahead of Their Time]

6. Lost In a Whirlpool (2:13) [The Lost Episodes version]
7. Do It in C (1:35) ["Ronny Sings?"] [The Lost Episodes version]
8. The Story of Kenny & Ronny (2:08) [also on The Lost Episodes]
9. The Booger Freaks of America (1:22)
10. Any Way the Wind Blows (2:26) [The Lost Episodes version]
11. Fountain of Love (2:16) [The Lost Episodes version]
12. Opus 5 (3:43)
13. Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance (4:02) [The Lost Episodes version]

From Chris Ekman:

"We Are the Mothers" is definitely the same as "Mothers at KPFK", no edits at all. "Right There" is the Mystery Disc version ["Skweezit Skweezit Skweezit"], with about 40 seconds of the Stage #5 version tacked on the end. "The Jelly", I am VERY sure, is the same as the last 2 or so minutes of "Didja Get Any Onya?" from Weasels Ripped My Flesh (only on the CD). I listened to both simultaneously and am convinced that it's the same performance. (If I'm right, this also would bear on [the bootleg] Apocrypha.) [It actually goes on for slightly longer - see below; Ed.] "Igor's Boogie" actually contains a large chunk of "King Kong" from Ahead of Their Time. From about 01:30 to about 05:00 in "Igor's Boogie", you get the blamph! that put an end to Motorhead's shenanigans at about 02:50 on Ahead of Their Time, then Bunk's or Ian's sax solo from around 04:30 to 07:00.

From Patrick David Neve:

"This Is What We Sound Like" is definitely one of my top 5 favorite Zappa solos. It should also be noted that this song is the instance where Roy Estrada was heard to utter, "Wanna-wanna-wannan-enema ... enn-ema ..." - remember, Zappa sung this on Zappa in New York. Also, the band says in unison, "Ray Collins, We Love You." I forget this part of the history ... did Ray quit, or was he fired? And why? One thing is that Ray's exclusion dates this recording to 1969, and I think I can also hear Buzz Gardner tooting away.

Oh yeah, one last thing. The bootleg version of "We Are the Mothers" sounds a little bit better than the official "Mothers at KPFK." Go figure.


"The Jelly" is not exactly the same as the last couple minutes of "Didja Get Any Onya?". Almost all of it is, indeed, exactly the same, but whereas "Didja Get Any Onya?" ends with a single blunt note, "The Jelly" goes on with a few bass notes, a long pause, and Zappa introducing the next song: "The name of this next song is 'Igor's Boogie'".

Ronny and Kenny's booger stories on The Lost Episodes are both part of "The Story of Kenny & Ronny. "Booger Freaks of America" is an interview between Zappa (I think it's Frank) and someone named Leonard:

LEONARD: Well, it's an organization, the Booger Freaks of America, and I belong. It was started by a bunch of those fellows that found out that they couldn't kick their habit. And we'd find that no matter what we did, we'd - eventually, we'd turn to picking our nose and flipping it. That was a booger freak. A booger freak is someone that [inaudible]. I belong to that group.
ZAPPA?: Leonard, I'd wish you'd tell us ...
LEONARD: Yeah, man?
ZAPPA: What are you doing to overcome this habit?
LEONARD: Well, I ... this is my second time back in the BA, Booger Freaks of America. I, uh, I was out, I was clean, man. I had the mucus off my back. I was - I was really making it. I went to Hawaii and I was playing a couple gigs over there.
ZAPPA?: Right.
LEONARD: I just fell right back into it, man.
ZAPPA?: What are your plans for the future, Leonard?
LEONARD: 'Scuse me, I think I got a hold of one right now, baby ... wait a minute ... lemme get it ... got it now. You mind if I wipe it on your coat or something, man?

"Igor's Boogie" is a live version, probably from the same show as "The Jelly". Most of side 2 has been officially released on the Lost Episodes: "Do It in C" is "Ronnie Sings?". "Opus 5" is a different edit here, starting 70-80 seconds before the official version and ending some 45 seconds earlier.

This album has been bootlegged as Necessity Is ..., Rustic Protrusion and We Are the Mothers & This Is What We Sound Like!. The bootleg versions have a bonus track: "Hey Nelda" by "Ned & Nelda" - see Zappa's single discography for more info. Tracks 2-5 also appear as bonus tracks on a CD re-issue of the bootleg 'Tis the Season to Be Jelly and the Live USA re-issue of the bootleg The Ark - track 2, "This Is What We Sound Like", is listed there as "We Are the Mothers & This Is What We Sound Like", even though the "We Are the Mothers" track is not included.)

A little something from Charles Ulrich:

"The Jelly" was a fully composed piece that was performed identically on several occasions (including Detroit May 17 1969 and Appleton May 23 1969. The two Stratford shows were definitely on February 16, 1969. However, the so-called Stratford tape is not really from those shows. And, anyway, "The Jelly" is not on the so-called Stratford tape. It's on the tape known as Hartford '69 or Hartford '68. There is no evidence that the MOI ever performed in Hartford. The so-called Hartford tape (also bootlegged as We Are the Mothers & This Is What We Sound Like!) is believed to be one side of an unreleased LP, edited by Frank Zappa from several sources. So it's not clear exactly when and where this performance of "The Jelly" comes from. But it's presumably from spring 1969.

Columbia test-pressing informant: ninja

No Commercial Potential

From (allegedly) an interview in the July 20 1968 issue of Rolling Stone magazine:

ROLLING STONE: Are you recording at all now?

ZAPPA: We have 2 albums in the can. We've been working on this for the past 5 months. We bought a huge block of time in a studio in New York with our own teenage money, secretly knowing that MGM would bite the dust ... becausegood guys always win. [---?] 2 albums. One is Whatever Happened to Ruben & the Jets? - a secret project [which obviously ended up as Cruising with Ruben & the Jets - Ed]. The other is No Commercial Potential - a 3-record set. Six sides. It has such 8-minute tidbits as police busting our recording session. New York cops! Live! In person! You can't dance to it! It also has a piece where Jimmy Carl Black, the Indian of the group, is bitching because we are not making any money, and it's taking too long for the band to make it. 2 songs about El Monte Legion Stadium. A song about fake IDs. Another song about teats. A surrealistic R&B song called "The Air Escaping from Your Mouth". 2 other surrealistic things: "Mr Green Genes" and "Electric Aunt Jemima". Lots of instrumentals. On one song, we used 40 tracks and the tune lasts 90 seconds.That took us 4 days to put together. It'll probably be released in the fall.

From this interview segment, we can conclude that No Commercial Potential was a project best described as Uncle Meat plus some other stuff, such as a longer edit of "Cops & Buns" (released later on The Lost Episodes). But the source of this information is notoriously unreliable - can someone confirm the interview?

The History & Collected Improvisations of the Mothers of Invention

Alternate title: No Commercial Potential (?)

As early as in the late '60s, Zappa was planning a big box The History & Collected Improvisations of the Mothers of Invention - his large-scale retrospective that didn't come into being until many years later, with the series of albums called You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore.

An article in Rolling Stone magazine October 18 1969, Mother's Day Has Finally Come, by Jerry Hopkins, has it as a 12-record set, with the following twelve titles:

  1. Before the Beginning
  2. The Cucamonga Era
  3. Show & Tell
  4. What Does It All Mean [no question mark]
  5. Rustic Protrusion
  6. Several Boogie
  7. The Merely Entertaining Mothers of Invention Record
  8. The Heavy Business Record
  9. Soup & Old Clothes
  10. Hotel Dixie
  11. The Orange County Lumber Truck
  12. The Weasel Music

NOBBI's ZAPPALOG has Hotel Dixie as number 12 and The Weasel Music as number 10. Furthermore, it says:

Parts of the 12-LP set came out on Weasels Ripped My Flesh and Burnt Weeny Sandwich and the set was reduced to a 10-LP set. Afterwards the set was reduced once more to a 9-LP set, divided up into three 3-LP sets, [and] stayed under discussion. This set [which set?] was to be titled "No Commercial Potential".

The Scrapbook that came with the Beat the Boots 2 box contains a reprint of a "circular"/"weekly news device from Warner/Reprise", volume 3, number 29, monday September 20 1971 (Burbank, California), which says:

Maybe you know (maybe you don't know) about our plan for the release of the 9-disc History & Collected Improvisations of the Mothers around Christmas or after the first of the year. Maybe if you're in the promotional areas of WB/Kinney entertainment factory and heard about this unprecedented release you might have scratched your head and mumbled to your buddies at lunch "... I never heard of these guys and I'm supposed to promote a NINE DISC HISTORY ALBUM ... I mean 'I HEARD OF THEM A LITTLE BIT', but I mean I never HEARD of them. ... I mean so who else ever HEARD of them and THEY SHOULD CARE? Some group dumping NINE FUCKING ALBUMS? During the depression and everything?" [Thanks to Mikael Agardsson for pointing it out.]

As we can see, the plans had changed from 12 to 9 albums between 1969 and 1971. And the plans were not abandoned; according to Jon Naurin, Zappa referred to the set as "upcoming" in a 1975 radio broadcast, where it was 10 albums, so the 12>10>9>3x3 evolution the ZAPPALOG proposes can not be entirely correct. In a 1989 interview in Goldmine Magazine (january 27), provided by Ryan Davenport, Zappa talked at greater length:

GOLDMINE: Let me go ahead and get into the "Onstage" thing in a kind of roundabout way in that sense that anyone who's followed your career over a fair amount of time has at one time or another heard about a 10-record set or a 12-record set, with various titles; I think one of them was "No Commercial Potential". There's even a little Warners promotional thing that you included in the "[Old] Masters".
ZAPPA: It got so far as test pressings. But, see, the problem was that Warners wanted a rate on the publishing and refused to pay full publishing on the thing, so I said forget it.
GOLDMINE: What was on that record at that time? Was it 10 records, or how many records was it?
ZAPPA: It was 10.
GOLDMINE: And what was that material that was on there?
ZAPPA: It was live recordings, basically, that were done either using a Scully two-track or a Uher two-track with a portable mixer, mostly from '68 and '69.

(From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

Zappa is oversimplifying here. As we know from the material that has escaped into the semi-public domain (for example the Necessity Is ... bootleg, also known as Rustic Protrusion and We Are the Mothers & This Is What We Sound Like, and the 1975 Zappa/Beefheart broadcast), the box set would have included a substantial amount of early studio material, as well as "field tapes" like "Lost in a Whirlpool" and the booger stories.)

Continue the interview:

GOLDMINE: Do you still have that stuff?
ZAPPA: Yeah.
GOLDMINE: And do you have any plans to include any of it with - I guess a couple of things have already turned up on the first "Onstage".
ZAPPA: Yeah. But I just think that there's so much better material since that time and there's no reason to dwell on the '68-'69 period, just in terms of listening quality. Unless you're an archive freak or a music historian or something like that, it is not necessarily a pleasurable experience to listen to the technology of 1968, and some of the tunes that were played by that band have been played by other bands so much better.

Lastly, one bootlegger who put together a 10-LP box retrospective of the Mothers, called it The History & Collected Improvisations of Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention. The Cucamonga Era, Show & Tell, Hotel Dixie, and Soup & Old Clothes were used as names for bootlegs in another big box (12 LPs), Twenty Years of Frank Zappa. A bootleg called Rustic Protrusion is said to be taken directly from an album master intended for the actual History & Collected Improvisations box (although a bonus track got added along the way). That bootleg has also been issued as Necessity Is ... and We Are the Mothers & This Is What We Sound Like.

Sharleena / Bognor Regis Single

1. "Sharleena" (02:54)

2. "Bognor Regis" (04:45)

From Geir Corneliussen:

An on-line friend of mine that has a web site has an old friend that visited his web site and this guy, I can't tell you the name of this guy, but, anyway, the first guy I mentioned asked me if I know something about this so he could tell his friend, whose name will remain a secret, if I knew anything about this. This happened some time ago, and I never found out. Here is what the friend of my friend asked my friend with that web site to ask his visitors about, not that I am a visitor, but a friend. It looked like this:

Looking through my old boxes ... I came across a record Frank gave me some years ago ... a single edit of "Sharleena" ... on the B-side is "Bognor Regis". Would you see if any of your guests have any idea of its origin, as it does not appear in any of his catalogue and is not registered with BMI or ASKAP.

From an anonymous trader (I know who he is, but he has asked to be kept anonymous):

The A side, "Sharleena", is just an edited down (2:54) version of the Chunga's Revenge track. "Bognor Regis", on the other hand, seems to be a leftover from the Hot Rats sessions, the ones that spawned "Willie the Pimp", "Li'l' Clanton Shuffle" and others. Basically, it's "Merely a Blues in E", Zappa and Sugarcane Harris soloing over the tasty accompaniment of Underwood, Guerin and Bennett (the last two are guesses). 4:45 min of great jamming, and one must wonder, why wasn't this on The Lost Episodes?

Note: Bognor Regis is a town in the UK.

Fillmore East, June 1971 Double Album
Just Another Band from LA Double Album (?)

From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

Zappa did have plans for a double-LP version of Fillmore ... it would have included "Billy the Mountain" from the Fillmore (presumably the same version that's on Playground Psychotics) and the John & Yoko jam on the other two sides.

From an anonymous trader:

Yes, it's in circulation, though a very limited such. And will have to remain that way, I'm afraid. So-called "no-trade items" have always existed among collectors ... Believe me, I'd love to see it circulate widely, but it's been given to me in confidence, with a promise not to spread it. A track listing would look extremely simple, like "Jam / Studebaker Hoch [a part of "Billy the Mountain" - Ed.] /Jam". Right now, though, I'm trying to find out ... if what I have on that tape really is the planned second Fillmore East LP. I'm actually thinking more and more that it's a second Just Another Band from LA LP.

From Jon Naurin:

We don't know for sure what was supposed to be on LP 1, but most certainly, it was not identical to the 1-LP Just Another Band from LA that was released, since, as you say, this would mean that some material would be repeated. My guess is that the double would look something like this:

Side A: "Billy the Mountain", part 1 (19:41)
Side B: "Call Any Vegetable"; "Eddie, Are You Kidding?"; "Magdalena"; "Dog Breath" (20:35)
Side C: solos (20:21)
Side D: "Billy the Mountain", part 2; solos (19:12)

The full "Billy the Mountain" from the Pauley Pavilion August7 1971 concert is over 33 minutes long, which surely was more than Frank wanted to stuff onto one LP side. Eventually, his solution to this problem was to edit out the two solos from the "Studebaker Hoch" section, but let's say that his original intention was to keep the solos, and split "Billy the Mountain" into two parts: part 1 (19:41) ending with "OUT OF THE PARKING LOT, AND INTO THE SKY!" (now, that's what I call a cliffhanger!), and part 2 (13:55) starting with "Studebaker Hoch".

NINJA: my gut instinct tells me that this is from the same show as the lennon concert

JON NAURIN: You mean the solos on side A [C?], and the ones after "Studebaker Hoch"? I haven't checked it closely, but I'm pretty sure none of them is from the Pauley Pavilion show. So yes, it's quite likely that it's from Fillmore East.

From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

Zappa did say somewhere that he had planned to make the Fillmore album a double, but the second disc would have consisted of the Lennon jam on one side and "Billy The Mountain" on the other ... The reason for scuttling the second disc of the Fillmore LP was trouble with Lennon's business manager, Allen Klein - this is why the Lennon jam ended up on a John & Yoko album at the time, but not on a Zappa album until two decades later.

The Official Mothers of Invention Bootleg Album

From Christopher Ekman:

I've been doing more digging at the astounding FTP site In the folder zappa/interviews, there is one very long program of what sounds like a German or Scandinavian interviewer talking to Zappa and some band members around 1992.

In segment zappa21.mp3, we hear from Mark Volman, who, at the time, was running an LA health food store called Sprouting Wings. Playground Pyschotics had come out, and Mark revealed that the "Typical Day on the Road" parts had been assembled way back in 1971. He said that Frank owed Warner Bros. two albums, and wanted to get out of his contract (little did he know how fervent that desire would become 6 years later). Therefore Frank delivered Just Another Band from LA and The Official Mothers of Invention Bootleg Album, which seems, by Volman's account, to have been the "Typical Days" plus a little bit of music, a rehearsal version of "Easy Meat" and a live version of "Tears Began to Fall". [Extra, extra - read that interview here!]

This sounds a little wrong - why a live version of "Tears Began to Fall" when there'd just been one on Fillmore East, June 1971? - but otherwise sounds trustworthy.

From Tal:

That's Mark alright, with Co de Kloet, in the Fall of 1993. It was part of the FZ Memorial program, Supplement, December 93. You can find lots of audio from these interviews over at Co's website, www.nps.nl/4fm.

Different Cover for Apostrophe (')

[External link to a picture of it]

From Darkhop:

There's something curious for sale at http://www.rockaway.com [August 1998, folks] - it's called an "unissued alternate front cover slick" for the Apostrophe (') LP and they want $125.00 for it. Anyone know what the alternate cover was supposed to look like? [External link to a picture of it]

From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

I've seen it. Like the issued cover, it's a portrait of Zappa, but not such an extreme close-up. He is lit by yellowish sunlight coming through a window. Very nice image. The album's title is printed in purple letters, with (if I remember right) dots between the syllables.

In March 1999, Biffy published a picture of this cover on his page.

Four Generations of the Mothers


This 4-LP set was to be released in 1974. It included unreleased live recordings. The material was probably taken from the 12-LP set.

Roxy & Elsewhere Quadraphonic Version

From Jonathan Gatarz:

As a quadraphonic collector, I am aware of the quadraphonic mixes of Apostrophe (') and Over-Nite Sensation, and also know that One Size Fits All was scheduled to be released in quad, but never was, but I always wondered about Roxy, since that was released in between Apostrophe (') and One Size Fits All. Well, I wasn't too surprised when I saw an ad for auction on ebay advertising the Zappa quad albums, and Roxy & Elsewhere was included on it. So, it looks like this was also scheduled for quad release, or maybe even possibly released. Interesting.

Zoot Allures Double Album

Possible working title: Night of the Iron Sausage

From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

By request, here's the track listing for the original double-LP version of Zoot Allures. I am copying this from ZAPPALOG, but the info may have originated with the article in the 10/12/76 issue of Circus Magazine that goes through the test pressing played for them by Zappa track by track (Zappa's 'Zoot Allures'!: DiscReet Charm From Un-Bourgeois Z). If we assume the tracks are the same as eventually released, some of the LP sides would be ridiculously short, so either this test pressing had longer versions of some tracks, or the Circus article missed some titles - since they specify that side two contains only "two extended cuts", apparently it's the former. Some of the titles in the Circus article are different from the final titles; I'll give the Circus versions in brackets.

1. Disco Boy
2. Friendly Little Finger ["Friendly Little Fingers"]
3. Wonderful Wino ["Wino Song"] [Zappa/Simmons]
4. Night of the Iron Sausage

5. Sleep Dirt
6. Zoot Allures

7. Ms. Pinky ["Pinky"]
8. Filthy Habits
9. Find Her Finer ["Finder Finer"]

10. Black Napkins
11. The Torture Never Stops

I don't know what "Night of the Iron Sausage" is. The Circus article says: "Zappa won't reveal the story behind 'Night of the Iron Sausage', saying only that 'it's a real long story'. The song was originally a set item from a past tour, but on the new album it's slimmed down to a basic guitar solo. 'Let that be the title of mystery', Zappa offers."

Later Zappa shaved Zoot Allures down to a single LP, but with a different track order than was eventually released. ZAPPALOG lists this track listing, and states that not only do test pressings of this version exist, but some copies of the released LP (at least in Germany) show this track order on the cover, although the actual disc has the normal song sequence.

1. Black Napkins
2. The Torture Never Stops
3. Disco Boy

4. Filthy Habits
5. Wonderful Wino [Zappa/Simmons]
6. Zoot Allures
7. Find Her Finer

Meanwhile, Brian Zavitz, who is a friggin' genius (even if he still persists in trying to prove me wrong about Läther;) has suggested to me in an e-mail that perhaps the reason side two of the double-LP test pressing version of Zoot Allures seems so short is that "Sleep Dirt" could have been followed by "The Ocean Is the Ultimate Solution", as it is on the Sleep Dirt LP, and this song simply didn't get listed. He's right, although perhaps not quite in the way he thought. It's clear from the original Circus article that the "title cut" of Zoot Allures that they refer to is NOT the song we now know by that title, but is actually "The Ocean Is the Ultimate Solution". Here's the complete paragraph:

The second side of Zoot Allures is comprised of two extended cuts with minimal lyrics. The first is "Sleep Dirt", a basically acoustic cut that finds Birdlegs Humans [sic] trading licks with Zappa. The title cut follows, an instrumental that began as a jam between Frank on a 12-string and Terry on drums. Patrick O'Hearn later overdubbed bass tracks, and much later Zappa added a guitar solo played through a Pignose amp.

The bit about "minimal lyrics" must refer to the spoken dialogue between Zappa and Birdlegs Youmans - not what I would call lyrics. Another correspondent claimed that the mysterious "Night of the Iron Sausage" was just another title for "The Torture Never Stops". Since the Zoot Allures test pressing with "Night of the Iron Sausage" ALSO includes "The Torture Never Stops", this is extremely unlikely. Besides, the Circus article specifies that "Night of the Iron Sausage" is a guitar solo. Perhaps "Night of the Iron Sausage" is a solo extracted from a live version of "The Torture Never Stops" (a possibility also suggested by Brian Zavitz), or perhaps the reference to "the night of the iron sausage" in the lyrics of "The Torture Never Stops" is just another instance of conceptual continuity.

"Night of the Iron Sausage" has been confirmed to be a guitar solo, but not identified. Some theorizing. Biffy/Brian Zavitz:

Brian Z has put on his thinking cap again and theorized that if "Zoot Allures" on the test pressing is really what we now know as "The Ocean Is the Ultimate Solution", maybe "Night of the Iron Sausage" (which, if you remember the original Circus quote, is a live set-piece "trimmed down to a basic guitar solo"), might be the instrumental now known as "Zoot Allures". I think this makes a lot of sense. Remember that "Zoot Allures" live used to include the sample-and-hold routine now known as either "Ship Ahoy" or part two of "A Little Green Rosetta", depending on whether you're listening to Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar or Läther, and that this bit was "trimmed off" the album version.

(The above quote is from 1996, but wasn't brought to my attention until Richard Kolke mailed me with the same theory in 2004.)

Other "Night of the Iron Sausage" theories

Charles Ulrich:

"Zappa won't reveal the story behind 'Night of the Iron Sausage', saying only that 'it's a real long story'. The song was originally a set item from a past tour, but on the new album it's slimmed down to a basic guitar solo. 'Let that be the title of mystery', Zappa offers."

Note also that the other songs cut from the double-LP ("Sleep Dirt", "Zoot Allures" [retitled "The Ocean Is the Ultimate Solution"], "Filthy Habits") were released within a few years (namely on Sleep Dirt).

So we have the following clues:

1. A guitar solo removed from the song in which it was played.

2. "a past tour" - sounds like not the very most recent tour with the Bozzio/Estrada/Brock/Lewis band, whence came "Black Napkins".

3. "it's a real long story" - sounds like more was done to the song than just removing the guitar solo from its context.

4. Probably released within a few years.

I think this track was the intermediate version of what started life as "Inca Roads" (9/25/74 Gothenburg) and ended up as "Rubber Shirt" (Sheik Yerbouti). Zappa had Patrick O'Hearn overdub a bass part on his guitar solo. That sounds similar to what he was doing on tracks like "The Ocean Is the Ultimate Solution", which puts it in the right timeframe.

According to the notes in the Sheik Yerbouti booklet, Bozzio's drum track was combined with O'Hearn's bass track "A year and a half later". That would have been after Zoot Allures was released, since O'Hearn didn't start working with Zappa until sometime after March '76, and the album came out in October '76. So if I'm correct, "Night of the Iron Sausage" is Zappa's solo with O'Hearn's bass overdubbed, which is consistent with the fact that Circus described the track as a guitar solo. This combination was played on WSOU in 1978.

Jon Naurin:

Another possible piece to this puzzle: this guitar solo appears on the bootleg Zut Alors under the title "Munchkin Tits". The bootleggers claim that this track, along with "Sink Trap", "Ship Ahoy" and "Hands with a Hammer", made up "the entire side 3 of the unreleased Zoot Allures 2-LP", a claim which I've always taken with a whole bucket of salt. Perhaps it's true? Do we know whether "Night of the Iron Sausage" and "Zoot Allures 2-LP" are one and the same?

I haven't heard the Zut Alors version of this solo in years, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't have the O'Hearn overdub.

From Milhouse481:

Jon Naurin theorized that the song "Night of the Iron Sausage" might be the "Inca Roads" solo that Zappa had O'Hearn overdub a bass part on (and that bass part was eventually used on "Rubber Shirt"), with the bass overdub on it. He was incorrect about that solo being "Munchkin Tits" from Zut Alors, though. "Munchkin Tits" 1) is definitely a solo from "More Trouble Every Day" and 2) definitely does not have an O'Hearn bass overdub on it. "Night of the Iron Sausage" very well could be the "Inca Roads" solo with O'Hearn's bass part on it, but it can't be "Munchkin Tits" from Zut Alors.

A final note, from Michael Gula:

The second part of the section following "... envelops the bathtub" [on Lumpy Gravy] was re-recorded and I heard it was to be on Zoot Allures before Zappa trimmed it down from two LPs to one.

Additional informants: Chris Ekman, Vladimir Sovetov, ninja

Martian Love Secrets (Working title for SHEIK YERBOUTI)

Unique material: none

Martian Love Secrets was a working title for Sheik Yerbouti album, and later then name of a Steve Vai column in Guitar Player magazine. An interview with Steve Vai from the T'Mershi Duween fanzine #46 (September1995 ) went into this:

DOUGLAS NOBLE: The title of your Alien Love Secrets album is almost the same as your widely misunderstood Guitar Player column from a few years ago ("Martian Love Secrets"). Is that where the title came from?

STEVE VAI: Pretty much. I always liked "Martian Love Secrets" and I wanted to use it some place else with more significance. But the word "Martian" sounds so confining: "Alien" sort of gives it a bigger picture. But the actual phrase was written on the wall of a toilet in the men's bathroom at the Record Plant in 1970 that Frank read. So there you have it!

An Alternative Läther Track Listing

The Record Plant tape-box label, a picture of which is in the booklet for Ryko's Läther CD, has a most mysterious track list (the "Zappa/EMI/Arista version"), which differs from Läther as we know it on sides 5 and 6 (that is, record number three):

Zappa/EMI/Arista Version

Läther as we know it

Spider of Destiny
The Purple Lagoon
The Purple Lagoon
Pedro's Dowry
Baby Snakes
Duke of Orchestral Prunes
Pedro's Dowry
Spider of Destiny
Duke of Orchestral Prunes

DAVID DEMERY: Apart from minor typographical differences, and the fact that Watson listed the Sheik Yerbouti titles, the Ryko, Viva! Zappa and Watson versions all agree. However, Zappa's own version differs on Sides 5 and 6. Note that "Baby Snakes" didn't make it onto Ryko's Läther, even as a bonus track. This fact is not addressed in the CD booklet. Note also that Zappa used the title "Leather", not "Läther". Will all these mysteries ever be cleared up?

DFLYNC01@HOMER.LOUISVILLE.EDU: I don't know, but the version Zappa himself played on the radio matches the latter three track listings, and that's the version that appears on all the bootlegs.

DAVID DEMERY: Which seems to indicate a change between the EMI and Mercury versions, making the printing of this "Baby Snakes" track listing in the Läther CD booklet rather confusing. It also means that Läther, as a project, was far from fixed, and one wonders, if we believe Gail's story, whether Frank offered the EMI or Mercury verisons to Warner Bros., or, perhaps,
another version altogether.

MICHAEL GULA: He changed his mind, but never got around to revising the list on the box.

JON NAURIN: Maybe so, but the inclusion of "Baby Snakes" still makes that list somewhat mysterious to me. Läther was scheduled for release on Halloween 1977. "Baby Snakes" was premiered on New Year's Eve 1977 (sounding very "new", and the version we have on Sheik Yerbouti is from two months later. It is of course possible that there existed a studio version of "Baby Snakes" from the spring/summer, and if so, I'd be very interested in hearing it.

ROMÁN GARCÍA ALBERTOS: By the way, does anybody know when in its history this album began to be spelled "Läther" insted of "Leather"? Did Zappa himself have any involvement in the change of the spelling of the title?

BIFFY THE ELEPHANT SHREW: The first I ever heard of Läther was in a Zappa interview in the September 15, 1977 issue of the San Diego Reader. It was already spelled with the umlaut then. In fact, the article suggested that the full title of the album was Läther (Pronounced "Leather").

Robert Kennedy Assasination Documetary Album

From Drew:

I've had access to lots of audio interviews, unlike most people, and ... Zappa revealed a lot of things in audio interviews. Like the Kennedy LP he made, another unreleased project. That is mentioned in the 1980 Rotterdam interview.

From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

The LP that Drew alludes to is a documentary about the assassination of Robert Kennedy. I don't know how well established this is, but I've seen it claimed that this album would have been DiscReet DSK 2293, the missing catalog number between the LP releases of Sleep Dirt and Orchestral Favorites.

From Jeff Szarka:

I was checking a dark, dirty, rarely accessed portion of my hard drive today [December 9 2000] and I found a very interesting mp3 file of Frank Zappa being interviewed. More specifically he was talking about the mysterious RFK assassination album:

"A man came to us with some tapes. He had been making a documentary album about the assassination of Robert Kennedy and he had interviewed all these people and he had put together this really fantastic album. That was when we had the Bizarre label and the deal with Warner Brothers on the bizarre label was we could bring projects to them and they had the right to refuse them and they heard that and that's why it never came out. They were afraid of it."

I haven't heard this before myself. Hopefully I am breaking some news
to brighten an otherwise election-filled day.

From L.R.:

hello: you have the R.F. Kennedy related LP listed as Reprise 2293-that is the # for Essential Jimi Hendrix vol.2--'m pretty sure the RFK record was slated to be Straight #1065 (or whatever the missing # is). Best regards.

Crush All Boxes

Unique material: all Crush All Boxes songs are unreleased mixes

Crush All Boxes was the name of an album that Zappa planned to release in late 1980, but Zappa decided not to release it after it had been bootlegged, perhaps after he had played it on the radio. The songs were released later, on Tinsel-Town Rebellion and You Are What You Is, but in different mixes. The cover was used for Tinsel-Town Rebellion; the old title is still vaguely visible.

1. Doreen
2. Fine Girl
3. Easy Meat
4. Goblin Girl

5. Society Pages
6. Beautiful Guy
7. Beauty Knows No Pain
8. Charlie's Enormous Mouth
9. Any Downers?
10. Conehead

From Jon Naurin:

From what I've heard, someone at the radio station where Crush All Boxes was broadcast got his hands on the test pressing, and leaked it to the bootleg circuits. So some boots have the broadcast as source, while some use the test pressing.

JWB compares Crush All Boxes to You Are What You Is:

All of the mixes on Crush All Boxes are slower and clearer. (See "Goblin Girl" on Have I Offended Someone for an example.) I am listening to it right now, and you can hear EVERY LITTLE DETAIL. It sounds heavenly. Compared to Crush All Boxes, You Are What You Is sounds cluttered and muddy. All instrumentation on Crush All Boxes is exactly the same as You Are What You Is, including all of the vocal guest appearances, with a few minor variations. This brings forth the theory that the entire You Are What You Is album had been recorded by the time Zappa put together Crush All Boxes. Perhaps Crush All Boxes was going to be a double, with the rest of the You Are What You Is material.

And to Tinsel-Town Rebellion:

"Fine Girl" is the same speed and instrumentation is identical. But the mix, of course, is a lot clearer. This version of "Easy Meat" is exclusive to Crush All Boxes. The first section is the same version as Tinsel-Town Rebellion, but the mix is MUCH different. The "classical" section lacks the massive overdubbage by Tommy Mars. The kicker for me is the solo and ending, which remain unreleased. The solo and ending have trumpet overdubs by Bob Harris, which add wonderful flavor. And this is the ONLY version of "Easy Meat" where you can understand the last verse, which is also sung in a unique harmonic arrangement. Always a treat.

He adds:

I have never enjoyed these songs as much as I have on Crush All Boxes. And David Logeman's drumming is great! You can barely hear a note he plays on You Are What You Is, that album certainly doesn't do him justice. Just listening to the great engineering and mixing work, this excellent version of "Easy Meat", and Barrow & Logeman's tight grooves make this album a very worthwhile listen. It is hard for me to believe that these are the same tracks that appear on You Are What You Is.

I recently asked Arthur Barrow when this album was supposed to be released, and if it was supposed to be a double with the rest of the You Are What You Is material or if the rest was to be released later on a single LP. He knew nothing about it. So, I guess it's safe to assume that the tracks on Crush All Boxes were the first finished at UMRK, and it was supposed to be released as a single album at the end of 1980.

From Pat Buzby: 

I've determined that the first part of the "Easy Meat" solo from Crush All Boxes, up to where the trumpets come in, is not from 4/29/80E. Could anyone help? 4/29/80L, maybe?

From #zappa on DALnet, January 19 1999:

<Pogen> there was a stage routine with which he would wind up a show
<pechapai> so the words "CRUSH ALL BOXES" COME from somewhere? tell!
<Pogen> It involved him taking armfuls of sound that he seemed to have dragged from the band, and toss them on the floor
<ResPisces> What, like a conduction thing?
<Pogen> He would then shove 'em together. yes this is conducting the band
<Pogen> He would jump on this invisible pile of sound and compress it
<ResPisces> Hah! Sounds fun.
<Pogen> eventually the sound would get very small and he'd treat it like a box
<pechapai> great!!
<ResPisces> Cool!
<Pogen> shove it in from each side (the band sound squeakier) smaller smaller till he tossed it in the (big swooping sounds) in the air ... crash to the ground and hed jump on it. end of song

From Knut Skogstad:

In the October 19 1980 KPFT Houston broadcast, Zappa talks about (and plays) the Crush All Boxes single LP. First of all, he says that the album's first title was You Are What You Is, but that he changed his mind.

Chalk Pie

Unique material: lots

Chalk Pie was the name of a live album planned for release in 1982. The track list was:

1. Drowning Witch
2. Envelopes
3. Teen-Age Prostitute

4. The Dangerous Kitchen
5. Chalk Pie
6. We're Turning Again
7. Alien Orifice

8. The Jazz Discharge Party Hats
9. "The Torture Never Stops" guitar solo (title unknown)
10. What's New in Baltimore?
11. Moggio

12. "The Black Page #2" guitar solo (title unknown)
13. Clownz on Velvet
14. Frogs with Dirty Little Lips

JWB provides a track-by-track walkthrough:

Tracks 1-3 are identical versions and edits as side two of Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch, except they are mixed much differently.

  1. "Drowning Witch" - Live with studio overdubs. The group vocal section is from Santa Monica Dec-11-1981 (early show), Zappa's vocal secion is from Chicago 27-Nov-1981 (late show), the first guitar solo from the Ritz 17-Nov-1981, and the first third or so of the second solo is from Chicago 27-Nov-1981 (late show) again. The rest of the song is unknown. It all contains studio overdubs, some of which render the basic tracks almost unrecognizable.
  2. "Envelopes" - Live with studio overdubs. location unknown. Same version as on Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch.
  3. "Teen-Age Prostitute" - Live at Santa Monica 11-Dec-1981 (early show) with studio overdubs. All vocals appear in this mix; many were mixed out in Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch, where the lead guitar was also brought forward. Same version as on Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch.
  4. "The Dangerous Kitchen" - Live at Armadillo in Austin, Texas 16-Oct-1980. Same version as on The Man from Utopia original LP but mixed differently.
  5. "Chalk Pie" - Live in Salt Lake City 7-Dec-1981. Same as on Guitar, but mixed slightly differently.
  6. "We're Turning Again" - live in Santa Monica 11-Dec-1981 (early show) and Salt Lake City 7-Dec-1981. Unreleased version. Frank makes hilarious references to Journey, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, and Styx at the end of the song.
  7. "Alien Orifice" - Live in Salt Lake City 7-Dec-1981. Unreleased version.
  8. "The Jazz Discharge Party Hats" - Live in Carbondale, Illinois, 15-Nov-1980. Appears to be the same mix on The Man from Utopia original LP.
  9. "The Torture Never Stops" guitar solo (title unknown) - Live in 1980. Unreleased.
  10. "What's New In Baltimore?" - Seems to be live with studio overdubs, location unknown. Same version as on Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention, but the guitar solo is longer (full & unedited) and the mix is much different with less studio overdubs. [The guitar solo certainly is from Maryland November 15 1981 (late show), or must be, since it's the same as the album version, so I guess it's reasonable that the whole performance is from that show - Milhouse Guidry]
  11. "Moggio" - Live in Chicago #2 11/27/81 with studio overdubs. Same version as on The Man from Utopia, but mixed differently. [Just a clarification ... it is mixed much more like the original LP mix than any other mix. So at least we know that the lead-guitar-prominence idea was there early, and only later did he decide to change it. - David Goodwin]
  12. "The Black Page #2" guitar solo (title unknown) - Live in San Diego 12-Dec-1981 (early show). Unreleased. Might have been titled "Them Or Us".
  13. "Clownz on Velvet" - Live at the Ritz 17-Nov-1981. Al DiMeola guests on lead guitar. Unreleased.
  14. "Frogs with Dirty Little Lips" - Live in Santa Monica 11-Dec-1981 (early show) with studio overdubs. Zappa's son Ahmet guests. Unreleased version. Could have been used as the basic tracks for the Them Or Us version, as the studio overdubs appear to correspond with that version.

It is a shame that Chalk Pie went unreleased. The continuity is excellent, as well as the track selection. Does anyone know why Frank deleted it? Is it because of Al DiMeloa's dissatisfaction with his "Clownz on Velvet" solo? What a shame.

Tracks 13-14 have been bootlegged pretty widely, for example on the bootleg All You Need is Glove. Some people refuse to believe that it's actually Al DiMeola on track 12, but it really is. A bootleg called Chalk Pie only has tracks 5, 6, 12 and 13. The Chalk Pie tapes were leaked to collectors/bootleggers by one of the guys in the band, who shall go nameless, because, you get the idea (yes, I know which guy).

From Mark Pinske, interviewed in Mix Magazine 1/2003

Originally, we edited together four different album sides, and the original album was only two sides. This happened a lot with Frank. As a matter of fact, there's a whole album that Frank and I did together called Crush All Boxes that nobody even knows about [ho ho ho].

MIX: I've heard about that because that was-there was something in the press at the time, and it was mentioned. There was also a stage pass, or a tour pass that had "Crush All Boxes" on it. But that material never came out?

PINSKE: No. As a matter of fact, I mixed the whole album, just before we went into this digital syndrome. Frank and I mixed the whole album called Crush All Boxes. And we mixed it on Telefunken C4D. The Telefunken noise reduction version. We used an Ampex one-inch two-track, and we used the Telefunken C4D noise reduction, which gave us a huge amount of headroom. And we mixed this whole album called Crush All Boxes. The company at the time decided it was too long. They just wanted a two-sided album, and this was four sides. So we took the masters, even after we mixed them, and put them in the tape vault. Little white boxes. I just wrote "Crush All Boxes" on the side of them. I don't think anybody knows what those boxes look like, except for me. Frank's tape vaults, they got quite cluttered. That's when we put out the Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch. We put that out instead, which is a two-sided album. They wanted something shorter. They didn't want another four-sided album. They kept harping about us putting out these big albums. So Frank started saying, "All right. OK. We'll give them two sides." And we did this thing with Moon Unit. And we just threw a lot the stuff together that ... We thought some of it was just for fun, but some of it turned out to make a lot of money later.

From Jon Naurin: 

Sounds like Pinske might be talking about the album we call Chalk Pie. The Crush All Boxes we know was never supposed to be a double (to the best of my knowledge), and had nothing to do with Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch.

Warts & All

Possible working title: NYC & London
Unique material: hmm

From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

... another unreleased album which contained material that would eventually appear on Tinsel-Town Rebellion, You Are What You Is, and various other albums. ZAPPALOG gives the following track listing for Warts & All:

1. Introduction
2. Dead Girls of London [Zappa/Shankar]
3. Suicide Chump
4. Streets & Roads [later "Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar"]
5. 13
6. Magic Fingers
7. Ancient Armaments
8. Ms. X
9. Little House I Used to Live In
10. The Deathless Horsie
11. The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing
12. For the Young Sophisticate
13. More Streets & Roads [later "Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar Some More"]
14. Conehead
15. Jumbo, Go Away
16. Yo Mama (guitar solo) ["Mo' Mama" in the Frank Zappa Guitar Book]
17. Bamboozled by Love
18. I Ain't Got No Heart
19. Easy Meat
20. The Dance Contest
21. Persona Non Grata
22. Duck Duck Goose
23. Rubber Girl
24. Peaches en Regalia

from the IRC channel #zappa on DALnet, October 13 1999
<ResPisces> Ha ha ha: what a pointless alternative title for one "Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar" solo: "Streets and Roads". :)
<pechapai> what a STUPID name! :)
*** pechapai changes topic to 'STREETS & ROADS'
<ResPisces> Yes!
<Furbelly> LOL
<ResPisces> When Zappa heard himself say that title, that might have lead to it being called "Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar". :)

Here's a more detailed track list (with tracks in slightly different order), from Jon Naurin, who has also identified the track sources:

1. Band Intros / Dead Girls Of London
2. Suicide Chump 
3. Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar Some More [longer edit of Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar version]
4. 13 [longer edit of Stage #6 version]
5. Magic Fingers
6. Ancient Armaments [Halloween version]
7. Ms X
8. Little House I Used to Live in
9. Lobster Girl [longer edit of Stage #6 version]
10. Thirteen (keyboard solos)
11. Deathless Horsie [Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar version]
12. The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing
13. For the Young Sophisticate [Tinsel-Town Rebellion version]
14. Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar [longer edit of Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar version]
15. Andy / Conehead
16. Jumbo, Go Away
17. Mo Mama [transcribed in the Frank Zappa Guitar Book]
18. Persona Non Grata [source of "Theme from the 3rd Movement of 'Sinister Footwear'" on You Are What You Is]
19. Bamboozled by Love [Tinsel-Town Rebellion version]
20. Ain't Got No Heart
21. Easy Meat
22. Brown Shoes Don't Make It [fragment of Tinsel-Town Rebellion version]
23. Dance Contest [Tinsel-Town Rebellion version]
24. Pound for a Brown Solos [Stage #4 version]
25. Rubber Girl [Stage #4 version]
26. Peaches III [Tinsel-Town Rebellion version]

  • Tracks 1 & 3 live at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, 17-Feb-1979. A shorter edit of track 3 was released in the Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar box. 
  • Tracks 2-4 are edited together from Palladium (New York) shows on Halloween 1979 and 27-Oct-1979. A shorter edit of track 4 was released on Stage #6.
  • Track 5 live at the Palladium, New York, 27-Oct-1978 (late show).
  • Tracks 6-7, 10 & 25 live at the Palladium, New York, Halloween 1978. Track 6 was released as the B-side of the "I Don't Wanna Get Drafted" single and on the Halloween audio DVD; track 25 was released on Stage #4.
  • Tracks 8-9 & 17 live at the Palladium, New York, 29-Oct-1978. A shorter edit of track 9 was released on Stage #6. A transcription of track 17 appeared in the Frank Zappa Guitar Book.
  • Tracks 11, 16, 19 & 21 live at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, 19-Feb-1979. Track 11 was released in the Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar box, and track 19 on Tinsel-Town Rebellion.
  • Track 12-14 live at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, 18-Feb-1979, late, late and early shows, respectively. Track 13 was released on Tinsel-Town Rebellion, and a shorter edit of track 14 in the Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar box.
  • Track 15 has a few seconds of "Andy" from London 18-Feb-1979 and "Conehead" from New York Halloween 1978 with Laxminarayana Shankar guesting on violin.
  • Track 18 live at the Palladium, New York, 27-Oct-1978, late show. This is the original recording of "Theme from the 3rd Movement of 'Sinister Footwear'".
  • Track 20 live february 1979.
  • Track 22 is a few seconds of the Tinsel-Town Rebellion version.
  • Tracks 23-24 live at the Palladium, New York, 27-Oct-1978, early show. They were released on Tinsel-Town Rebellion and Stage #4, respectively.
  • Track 26 is edited together from both Hammersmith Odeon shows on 18-Feb-1979 and was released on Tinsel-Town Rebellion.

This would have been a three-record set. "Persona Non Grata" was the original name of a vamp Zappa used to solo on. This recording provided the guitar solo basis for "Theme from the 3rd Movement of Sinister Footwear" on You Are What You Is (although parts of the live solo were edited out). The solo was later orchestrated as part of the third movement in the "Sinister Footwear" ballet. 

There are bootleg versions of Warts & All

Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar Different Track Order

From Dan the Kitti Man:

Does anyone remember the ORIGINAL track lineup of Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar? I have the original vinyl LP record of Tinsel-Town Rebellion with the original inner sleve ad for the three LP records (available via mail order). Originally, "Pink Napkins", "Gee, I Like Your Pants", "Canarsie" and "Ship Ahoy" were on Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar, "Heavy Duty Judy", "Soup & Old Clothes" and "While You Were Out" were on Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar Some More, and "Stucco Homes" and "Canard du Jour" are listed as the first two tracks of Return of the Son of Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar.

From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

So it appears on the inner sleeve you cite, but it was not the case with the actual records. Even the first pressing (the three individual volumes) had the same track order as the current Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar CD.

Thing-Fish Pre-Release Version

From Jon Naurin:

The story of the Thing-Fish demos, and three Zappa fans called X, Y and Z:

  1. X acquires the pre-release tapes from Zappa.
  2. X makes a complete copy to Y, and an abridged one to Z, under the condition that they won't spread them.
  3. Z makes a bootleg, and trades his tape.
  4. Several different versions of Z's recording makes it onto other bootlegs and tapes.
  5. X and Y never spread their recordings any further, but play it to friends and at Zappa days. [Jon has heard these tapes - Ed]

So all bootlegs originate from the same recording, and the only difference betweeen them is the length and sound quality.

From Chris Ekman:

I noticed you've got no entry for the original Thing-Fish yet, so I thought I'd sent this track listing I'd made for a tape purported to be it. It's 90 minutes long, and some, but not all, of it would seem to be on a couple of bootlegs you've got listed [Thing-Fish - The Real Tapes and Frank Zappa's Thing-Fish]. I don't have the tape here, so I can't check on some of the things that strike me as squirrely now. Tracks are different from the official version only when noted.

1. Prologue
2. The Mammy Nuns
3. Harry & Rhonda
4. Galoot Up-Date
5. Approximate [!!]
6. The Torchum Never Stops 
7. You Are What You Is
8. Mudd Club
9. The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing
10. Dumb All Over 
11. Heavenly Bank Account
12. Teenage Wind
13. Suicide Chump
14. If Only She Woulda
15. Drafted Again 
16. The Massive Improve'lence
17. Artificial Rhonda
18. Amnerika 
19. No Not Now
20. Briefcase Boogie
21. Drop Dead
22. The Crab-Grass Baby 
23. Won Ton On [True Glove version]

  • Track 3 has different backing - Synclavier, I seem to remember.
  • Track 4 is backed by a guitar solo, not by " The Blue Light" - part of this can be heard during the "an' how many think my potato been bakin' too long?" outtake during " Porn Wars" on Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention.
  • Track 6 has " The Evil Prince" interposed, but the original Zoot Allures solo and grunts as the backing.
  • Tracks 10-15: Like the other You Are What You Is songs, the vocals are redone and slightly altered. This is a lot of You Are What You Is, isn't it?
  • Track 15 is a very different version: Moon sings a verse and does a Swedish Valley- Girl aerobics routine over most of the song, some of which wound up backwards on " Ya Hozna" on Them Or Us.
  • Track 18 is the Synclavier instrumental, which, oddly enough, doesn't have Napoleon Murphy Brock's vocals.
  • Track 21 has doo-wop vocals backing the conversation between Thing-Fish and the Evil Prince.
  • Track 22 is totally different - it's a mishmash of all of the Baby's lines on the official album, with a different backing.
  • Track 23 has no dialogue, just some of Johnny "Guitar" Watson's exclamations from "He's So Gay" (which, again oddly, doesn't appear in this version). [This "Won Ton On" version was officially released, in Germany, on a maxi single called True Glove - Ed.]

Alternate MYSTERY DISC Track List

When the Old Masters "Mystery Discs" were re-released on CD, as Mystery Disc, a tape box label was depicted behind the transarent CD tray, listing tracks for a different "Mystery Disc":

03:00 Sharleena
15:17 Wiki-Wiki
16:31:27 Willie Story
18:05:17 Bass/Drs.
19:28:28 96 Tears
24:30:04 Harry/Beast
Eend: 24:44:16

26:00 Fest Hall Show
End: 48:01

From Charles Ulrich:

  • "Sharleena" is 23 seconds longer than on The Lost Episodes - presumably the same recording.
  • "Willie Story" is clearly "The Story of Willie the Pimp", one second longer than the released version.
  • "Buns Trim" is almost two minutes shorter than the Lost Episodes version of "Cops & Buns", if that's what this is [trimmed down] from.
  • "96 Tears" is half a minute longer than "Tiny Sick Tears". No doubt the Stage #4 version edits out the first 33 seconds because they're too recognizable as "96 Tears" [by Question Mark & the Mysterians, parodied in "Tiny Sick Tears"].
  • "Harry/Beast" is five seconds shorter than the released version, but "Fest Hall Show" is two seconds longer than cuts 21-26 of the released Mystery Disc (including "Harry, You're a Beast").

So all we're missing is "Wiki-Wiki" and "Bass/Drs.", for a grand total of 01:56.

From JWB: 

"Bass/Drs" is 42 seconds long. The bass/drums jam from "Black Beauty" is EXACTLY 42 seconds long! Mystery solved?

About "Wiki-Wiki":

CHARLES ULRICH: (I don't know if it's relevant, but in the 1960s, Chevron gas stations had some promotional contest thingie called Wiki-Wiki Dollars. Some sort of Polynesian theme. I don't know if wiki-wiki is a real word in Hawaiian or Tahitian or some other actual language.)

KEN WALTER: The term "wiki-wiki" means "quick" or "quickly" in Hawaiian. It is also the name of the free shuttle buses between terminals at the Honolulu airport.

Additional informants: Patrick Neve, Christopher Ekman

Lumpy Gravy Remix

When Zappa made the remixes of albums like We're Only In It for the Money and Cruisin' with Ruben & the Jets, for the CD releases and the Old Masters LP re-issue boxes, he also made a remix of Lumpy Gravy, which was never released. Just like the remixes of Money and Ruben, the Lumpy Gravy remix had new drums and bass overdubs. Bob Stone, his sound man, talked him out of releasing it, but a little bit trickled out on the sampler album for the Old Masters box I. The released excerpt includes, using the indexes introduced on the 1995 CD, "Almost Chinese", "Switching Girls" & "Oh No Again".

(Zappa played another excerpt of this remix "at a lecture", tapes of which circulate among collectors, in a quality less than sterling.)

See also: the original all-orchestral Lumpy Gravy
See also: Unreleased Studio Tan Remix

Anthropology of a Rock & Roll Band

Zappa is said to have talked about this album in interviews as late as 1993 (BBC Radio 1 documentary in two parts) - an album based on breakfast interviews with band and crew on tour. He said he didn't think it would ever be released, as it would be upsetting to many old band members.

Informants: Master Ringo

Studio Tan Remix

There seems to have been a remix of Studio Tan with drum overdubs by Chad Wackerman. Why? Because it seems that an excerpt from this version showed up on the Guitar World According to Frank Zappa cassette from 1987 (available then by mail-order from Barfko-Swill and Guitar World magazine).

See also: Unreleased Lumpy Gravy Remix

Resolver + Brutality

Some newly-unearthed (as of 2005) Synclavier music, believed to be from 1986. See more details at http://www.online.ee/~afka/Books/resolver-brutality.htm. Tracklisting is as follows:

1. Resolver ED. 19:57
2. Big Sequence 15:54
3. Brutality 4:22
4. Bondage 3:31
5. Oral Sex At Gunpoint 5:18
6. Bondage (Maniac Mix) 4:11
7. Oral Sex At Gunpoint (Maniac Mix) 1:49
8. Brutality (Maniac Mix) 2:34


From Chris Ekman:

I was just poking through deja.com, and found Bill Lantz writing, back in January 1997, that "the We're Only In It for the Money box (long rumored) has been assigned numbers so maybe that will come out sometime this summer as well." Vas ist dis? I haven't heard of it. All I can find on deja is Calvin, saying this project was not quite completed in 1995 and then dropped due to friction with the ZFT. Does anybody know what's supposed to be on it? (I'd ask Calvin specifically, but I doubt he's at liberty to say.)

From Calvin Schenkel:

Calvin's "at liberty" to say whatever he wants to.

The We're Only In It for the Money box was to be essentially just a deluxe version of the regular release. In its form when abandoned, it was also going to include a 45 of the single ["Lonely Little Girl" (non-LP) / "Mother People"], but there was no additional unreleased recording material. A large book with the complete history and photos including out-takes from the cover session, plus some facsimile elements, poster, stuff like that.

I think it was a mistake for Rykodisc to try to do this project when they did - simultaneously with the re-releases. There wasn't sufficient time to develop it properly, or deal with the prevailing "politics".


Frank Zappa Plays the Music of Frank Zappa IS a real album, even if you haven't heard of it, and has been released. It's available by mail/internet-order only from Barfko-Swill on-Line at zappa.com. The released version was compiled by Dweezil, and contains live versions of "Black Napkins" (Ljubjana 1975), "Zoot Allures" (Tokyo 1976), "Watermelon in Easter Hay" (1978), and a blues jam in A (Paris 1974), plus some previously released material (original versions of the aforementioned guitar tunes). However, we have some info on a pre-release version, from a Stan:

Mike [Keneally] compiled an earlier version of the album, which in his version contained a complete "Black Napkins" from 1976 or 1977 with Eddie Jobson's violin solo. This was before Mike left Dweezil and Ahmet's band Z.

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