Let's Move To Cleveland

FZ album(s) in which song has appeared


Tour(s) on which song is known to have been performed (main source: FZShows, v. 7.1)



Go to:
Foggy G, "The Songs That Were Played," We're Only In It For The Touring

1975-76: Oh, what a mess. This version of this classic guitar solo vehicle sounds as if the song was being put through a blender. All the parts are here, but they are either shortened, or sped up, or arranged so dramatically different that you cannot be sure that this really is "Let's Move To Cleveland". In fact, roughly half the tune is performed in a cheesy swing style, and parts of the song sound more like "T'Mershi Duween" than anything else. Frank takes a solo, but its rather short and uninvolved, and does not seem as if it really belongs. This is an highly interesting listen, don't get me wrong, but its quite different from the monster number that would appear 6 years later. I wish that Frank had given this tune more work at this early point in time, as I would love to hear what the Fall '77 and Fall '78 bands would have done to this song.

1982: Essentially performed as on "As An Am" from Beat the Boots volume one. This is the definitive version of this song. Vai's guitar lends a cutting edge to the main theme and written parts, and without the piano/drum tomfoolery of the following tour, Frank was able to get right to the heart of the matter and simply play guitar. And play guitar he did. For my money, Frank's guitar playing is at its peak during this tour, and I credit the presence of the experimental Vai as the main influence. Vai seems to bring out the best in Zappa, and as a result, the '82 "Cleveland"'s produced some of the most intense and offensive guitar playing you may ever hear. If you are lucky enough to only have heard '82 performances of this song, I suggest you don't seek any others out. The odds for disappointment are high. "Is That All There Is?" from "Guitar" is a rather subdued yet interesting "Cleveland" extract.

1984: The monster of the '84 tour, and sadly, it was more of a Fido than a King Kong. This was the one chance each show that the band got a chance to stretch out, and, well, frankly, they didn't. Zavod got to noodle around on the piano (electric) for about five minutes (oh oh, volcano solo- watch out), Wackerman would play with his electronic drum (sic) kit for a couple minutes, and then (actually you may want to be awake for this), Frank would solo. He frequently struck gold on his excursions, but had some bad stretches where "Cleveland" sounded like, well, like Cleveland. For me, it all boiled down to what the rhythm section was doing that would make or break the solo. Sometimes Scott and Chad would hit a groove, or ride a vamp that just took off. They would lock in together, and Frank would just soar. Higher and higher and higher until they all gloriously returned to the main theme. Other times nothing would work, and you would end up with something that sounded like a real bad result of xenochranization. So, apart from the solos, this song sounded essentially like the version on "Does Humor Belong in Music?"

NOTE- This song is known by many names. In the closing section, where the band sings "Let's Move to Cleveland", they also sang many other lines, depending on the theme of the show or a predetermined line. Thus, other names for the song have been "Kreegah Bondola","Young and Monde", "Rowland in the Whorehouse?", "Where's My Vacation?", "Je Suis, Je Suis", "It's My Volcano"- actually, that's all I can think of right now. Anyone got other '84 titles? "Republicans", "GOA", "Sunrise Redeemer", "Once Again Without a Net", and "Canadian Customs" from "Guitar" are all "Cleveland" extracts. [One last thing- Having just completed the '82 write-up for this song, I realize that all things considered, this tune was quite a disappointment on this tour. The piano/drum solos are simply a waste of time (FZ cigarette break?), and by the time we get to Frank, we're lucky he's still awake. Plus, Vai was such an integral part of the '82 Cleveland's sheer madness, that without him, this song sounds like a pleasant stroll in the park, instead of forced relocation to Cleveland. Sorry for the digression, but I feel really let down by this tour's Cleveland's after having just heard several '82 performances.]

1988: Essentially performed as on TBBYNHIYL, with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. Note that the end of the song- where the band sings "Let's Move to Cleveland"- is not present on the official release due to the real time edit into "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling".

Yojimbo, Zappateers, January 20, 2010

LMTC was supposedly written in the 60's already (1968?), but we aren't aware of any performances before Dec. 1975.


Conceptual Continuity

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