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Frank Zappa at Bath.
6-28-70. 2.45pm.
 

© Marcel Just , RM and Pavel"detritus " B.

 

Frank  Zappa and the Mothers of Invention

June 28th 1970 

Frank Zappa-   Vocal/guitar.
Mark Volman - Tambourine /Vocal.
Howard Kaylan.  Vocal.
Aynsley Dunbar- Drums.
Jeff Simmons -    Bass

Ian Underwood-  Sax /keyboards.
George Duke -     Keys.

 

The late great FZ . Photos © Marcel Just , RM and Pavel"detritus " B.

 

  The Mothers went on stage at 2:45pm on Sunday.The afternoon was a windy and at times , overcast one .As the band sets up, Frank remarks 

 Hello boys and girls, do you have any idea how cold it is up here on this stage  ? 
Its ridiculous., you're lucky to be sitting in the sun.

    So it was hardly ideal weather for playing, or for taping . 
Talking of which, I now know of  a tape of this show, is this the only one in existence ? As far as I know , this has never been circulated previously .

    The quality is not very good, there are distortions pretty much throughout the tape, but it is mostly listenable, and at least it allows us to know what was played. Flo and Eddie give this band a definite crazy edge and they are clearly to the fore , with their weird falsettos splitting the air and perfectly counterparting the cheesy  do wah doos that feature on a number of these songs.

     Theres a pretty powerful version of King Kong to close out the show.

 

Still taken from a few short seconds of 8mm footage of Zappa onstage

shot by Jochen Laschinsky ©

    Rolling Stone declared the band finished off pelting the crowd with oranges, but this happened during Call any Vegetable , as Frank says, enjoy your oranges -and immediately afterwards he adds - 

    I'm going to warm up my hands on the amplifier , they're totally numb
which gives an indication of how nice a day it was. Melody Maker mentioned fireworks ( fairly useless during the day I would have thought and I can't remember seeing any , although there are noises on the tape that sound like fireworks exploding at one point. ). Unfortunately I was at the middle of the field selling posters at the time, so I have few recollections of the set. although I enjoyed the lengthy jams and general sillyness.
      Now of course I wish I'd ventured down the front, as I never did get to see Frank close up.

Zappa and band onstage at Bath © Derek Halsall.

 

   FRANK Zappa's greatest claim to fame in Britain has been a poster portraying
him perched on the loo in the nude.
It costs fifteen shillings and has sold 3,000,000 copies.
Zappa is leader of the underground group Mothers of Invention, whose records don't usually sell so well. But this weekend 150,000 fans made the trip to the Bath Pop festival at Shepton Mallet to hear him and other top groups
such as Jefferson Airplane and Led Zeppelin.
And the fans had an unexpected bonus yesterday - an impromptu concert from British star Donovan.
   Zappa is twenty-nine. He was last in Britain to give a lecture to the London School of Economics - not on revolution but evolution. He wants to be remembered for his music more than his poster.
Yet he is more likely to succeed through his ideologies, to which more of the new generation listen, than to his music.
 

Babies
   Zappa originates from California, where he lives with his 24-year-old wife, Gail Adelaide Sloatman, and their two youngsters - three-year-old Moon Unit and nine-month-old Dweazil.
 

It was Zappa's second marriage.
Eleven days in jail got Zappa out of conscription and Vietnam, where he had no plans to go in any event.
 

   Zappa's mode of living, its brutal honesty and contention, is hailed by hippies as an example for tomorrow. There's no aggro, no bovver in his life. He has a comfortable, modest house in Los Angeles, its most ostentatious feature is its swimming pool.

Helping

He has a bunch of poor friends who kip down whenever they are wandering past the door.

    Zappa said: 

I half expect to see beads around his neck but Zappa condems them as a symbol of the flower power era which he dismisses as insincere and highly commercialised. Zappa is one of the few American beat musicians who has openly expressed himself against drugs.

But he firmly believes that drugs should be legalised which, he says, would help the addicts and would give the curious a chance to reject them.

   As always, Zappa's case in all arguments, censorship and the rest, is to give people free choice.
On language and four letter words he holds views to shock the last of the Victorians.Children using four letter words never grow to see any meaning in them, he contends. His children, well the three-year-old at least, are picking them up, and he isn't worried.

Hope

   His father, a history teacher, wanted him to be a chemist and he thought hewould achieve this until he nearly blew himself up in one experiment and then set fire to his school on Speech Day on another occasion.
If there is any judgement on Zappa - and after Bath the tales of the pilgrims will be many and legendary - he hopes he will not be discarded as a drop-out.
 

Zappa, the underground leader; Zappa in leather jacket, purple pants and gold neck chain, has found the action.



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Ross Mortimore's streaming Quicktime movie of the crowd features clear images of the stage PA , Colosseum onstage and bikers with Canned Heat at Bath as a soundtrack provided courtesy of Bob C .

Bandwidth and copyright restrictions mean we cant host audio/video so you will have to do with stills at the moment until we can do an alternative stream elsewhere. Please don't bug us to add it , we will do it when we have the time.


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To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1970 Bath Festival we have brought out a special commemorative set. Anyone interested can view it on http://www.rockmusic-offer.co.uk/

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