1987—Chronology Sources, Notes & Comments


FZ, quoted by Paul Gilby, Sound On Sound, February 1987

My agent looked into [doing concert with the Synclavier] and most people were afraid of doing it and didn't think they could sell any tickets. You see, in order to perform the music, all I would have to do is walk on stage and push the 'start' button on the control panel and the Synclavier would play itself. The question is, "Will anybody buy a ticket to see that?" And the answer is probably "No!"

I have considered performing as part of a band, which would obviously give people more to look at. But you know, I'm so involved with the Synclavier and what it can do and being able to hear my compositions played exactly, that I'm not even interested in writing or performing any other kind of music.


Rykodisc Promo

Rykodisc promo insert, c. 1987

FZ on CD

Frank Zappa is one of today's most respected, prolific, and outspoken artist/composers. He is also a pioneer in the field of Digital recording and technology.

Rykodisc has designed each release specifically for Compact Disc. Wherever appropriate, the discs have been resequenced for continuous play and extra tracks added, when available. And on "We're Only In It For The Money," for example, Mr. Zappa has gone back and digitally re-recorded bass and drum tracks. All of the masters have been re-EQed during the mastering process to take full advantage of the wider frequency range inherent to the CD.

RCD 10020/21 - DDD

includes 32 page libretto

RCD 10022 - DDD

60+ minutes
Includes the 25-minute "Bogus Pomp"

RCD 10023 - DDD

Includes two extra tracks from Euro-album

RCD 40024 - AAD

60+ minutes
Two albums on one disc

RCD 40025 - AAD

60+ minutes
Two albums on one disc

RCD 10026 - AAD

RCD 40027 - DDD

60+ minutes
Equivalent to two Lps

RCD 10028/29 - AAD

Complete set

RCD 10030 - DDD

Live concert recordings.
Coming from Rykodisc in 1987.

RCD 10060/61 - AAD

Complete set
Includes 24 page libretto

"Havin' A Bad Day"
RCD 10057 - DDD

Digital recording

Coming soon on CD:

RYKO is a Japanese word which means "Sound From A Flash Of Light.'
RYKODISC is a CD-"only" music label that specializes in the release on Compact Disc of some of the best music from various genres. Each RYKODISC release is conceived and designed for Compact Disc; we use the original masters for our reproductions and sequence and configure each uniquely for CD.

Box 5418
N. Hollywood, CA
91616- 5418
or call: 818 PUMPKIN



Slev Uunofski, "Slev Uunofski's Trip To Studio City—1987", Bill Lantz's Homepage, July 29, 1998

Throughout the late afternoon and evening the band arrived one by one and I got to stay until the late evening hours. There was Ed, Chad, Scott, Tommy, and I remember Ike arriving fairly late. It's so long ago now that my memory of it is a little fuzzy to say the least. I seem to remember Flo & Eddie being there but I can't remember for sure.

Later in the evening, Frank came over to me and said... "OK, you can go now." And that was that... The end of my day watching Franks new band rehearse. I heard from someone afterwards he wanted to have a band meeting and that Tommy was about to be fired. Whether this is true or not I don't know, but I heard about some logistical argument that it would take a five piece horn section to replace Tommy, which coincidentally, is what ended up going on tour in '88.

Flo & Eddie

Howard Kaylan, quoted in "Frequently Asked Questions," The Turtles Featuring Flo & Eddie—The Official Site

Frank's original intention was to get the "Filmore East" band back together to do one huge world tour [...]. So we got together in L.A. at a rehearsal hall for two days.

Ed Mann, interviewed by Andrew Greenaway, The Idiot Bastard, March 14, 2004

They were not there long. I think it was difficult for them to fit in—they were not band members (too big for that), but not the stars either (that is Frank only, and Frank was paying the bills). I think the most fun they had was on the first day—remembering old routines a capella over the mic with Frank. That was cool to behold . . . "Jewish and short," (I can say that) etc.—they were just cracking each other up—and it was always so great to see Frank laugh like that. I think right after that, it hit home for them that "you can't go back again"—and so they bailed.

Warren Cuccurullo

T'Mershi Duween #36, February 1994

AG: Mark and Howard remained friendly on and off with Frank over the years, didn't they? At one time they were gonna be on the 'Broadway' tour.

WC: So was I—Frank invited me to join him.

Chester Thompson

Jonathan Mover, "Phil Collins & Chester Thompson Turning It On Again," Drumhead, January-February 2008

JM: There were rumors that Frank wanted to reassemble the band with you, Napoleon and the others. Was that something that was really happening?

CT: Frank did ask me to do the last tour that he actually ended up doing (before his death). I was up for it. I went to his house, and the only reason I didn't do it was due to the fact that by then I'd become a Christian, and Frank had a real issue with religion. The lyrics and the stuff he wanted to do on that last tour were just completely and totally against everything I believed in and I just couldn't do it. It was pretty much anti-Christian, anti-religion of any kind, and I just didn't care to go there.

The music was always interesting, as usual, but for me it was deeper than that and I could'nt support it.

Tommy Mars

Tommy Mars, interviewed by Axel Wünsch & Aad Hoogesteger, T'Mershie Duween, July-September 1991

I was really into painting and I just couldn't see myself going out on the road for that period of time; and I knew it was going to be a really difficult tour that year. I did a week of rehearsals.

[...] There are a couple of things I remember from the early days of rehearsals in 1988. I said 'Hey Frank, why don't we do a Beatles' cover?' We started doing Xmas Carols and I thought it was rather blasphemous. I was saying 'Just change the lyrics. Hell, I don't want to be involved if you are going to talk about Jesus. I don't want the repercussions of that'. When I heard that they did 'I Am the Walrus', I was ahhhh. I really wanted to do that song for years. They did my favourite Beatles' song of all time.

[...] Let me explain something about that tour, one of the reasons I didn't do it. That tour with Flo and Eddie was the situation. We were gonna do a TV show in New York for a whole month. We'd stay in New York, get a set together and Frank was gonna have a TV show called Art World or Art Class. And when he called, I said 'Fantastic, you mean we're not going on the road?' He said, 'No, maybe after the month we might do something.' He already knew up front that they couldn't do the tour. They were just going to sit in, not be regulars. But then it turned into a whole tour which they couldn't do. But it sounded great, huh? Mark and Howard back. And I was grooving to work with them, because the harmonies were incredible. It was real loose; then the rehearsal situation got real tight all of a sudden. I told Frank I didn't want to use a lot of synthesizer, I just wanted to play piano and organ. Then the second day we were using a lot of synths and the music was getting really technical again. I just wanted to go back and do my artwork.

Chad Wackerman

Chad Wackerman, ZappaCast #50, June 11, 2021

So originally it wasn't a tour, it was a TV show. It was gonna be the Frank Zappa TV Show on Fox. They had worked it out and he—of course, Frank, Frank, his deal was uh, which he told me and the band—he said, "The deal is I would only do it if I have total creative control." So Flo & Eddie, yeah, they were rehearsing with us and . . . and maybe a couple weeks later he'd invite the Fowlers down and they would try some different sax players, you know. [...] Tommy Mars was there originally. [...]

We were gonna be the house band, that was the whole concept. And Ray White was there, Ike Willis was there, and various people were kind of coming and going and—I can't remember how long we rehearsed, maybe a month and a half, maybe two months? Maybe a month and a half, and then Frank got word that they pulled the plug. So it was like, "Well, I've got to make a decision now." Like, you know, "You guys have been working on these tunes, it might makes sense to do a tour."

Chad Wackerman, Zappa '88: The Last U.S. Show, liner notes, June 2021

In December 1987 I got a call from Frank Zappa to play drums in the house band of a new TV variety show on the Fox Network starring Frank. Of course, the only way Frank agreed to do the show was if Fox gave him complete creative control. Frank's concept was to put people together who otherwise wouldn't be caught dead with one another and get them talking while he moderated the discussion. Guests could possibly include scientists, priests, politicians, musicians, authors, astronauts—just a lot of diverse people with big personalities and contrasting views. Frank was especially excited to explore a new video technology that allowed drawing on the screen in real time. He thought it'd be fun to grow a Pinocchio nose on any fibbing politician.

The band Frank put together would be the show's "house band," ready to back any potential musical guests and participate in various skits and skirmishes. So we started rehearsing. Five days a week, on a giant soundstage in Hollywood. From the downbeat on Day One the band went through various incarnations. The Turtles' Howark Kaylan and Mark Volman (aka Flo & Eddie) were there at the beginning—and then left to do a movie. Frank auditioned tons of guitarrist/singers until Mike Keneally got the gig. Others came and went.

[...] So we rehearsed and rehearsed on the giant soundstage in Hollywood and just when we got close to starting the TV show, Fox pulled the plug. It was a shame, too; clearly, the show would have been interesting, informative, unique and odd—and all at the same time. Just like Frank. So no Zappa TV Show. The good news? A really tight Zappa Band! So cue the tour, titled "Broadway The Hardway."

After all that rehearsing for the non-starting TV show the band had memorized more than a hundred songs. We were ready to hit the road.

Ray White

Axel Wünsch, Aad Hoogesteger, Harald Hering and Achim Mänz, "Urban Leader: Ed Mann and Tommy Mars interviewed in Wuppertal 10.3.91," T'Mershi Duween, #18-19, April-May 1991

Q: Is it right Ray White was also rehearsing for the 1988 tour?

E: Ray White? He never . . . no, he came for two days and then he left. No-one knows why.

Q: I think Frank said something about problems with his home or something.

E: Yeah, but nobody really knows. Or maybe he knows more than I do. I don't really know, let me put it that way. He was there and then he left. It was strange. And then Ike left too. He was gone for three weeks and no-one knew where he was and then all of a sudden, he came back.

Ray White, "Ray White's Bio"

I stayed with Frank until the tour in nineteen eighty four, I was asked to do the next tour but that's another story . . .

Ray White, interviewed by Andrew Greenaway, June 10, 2019

Are you able to clarify why you didn't actually make the 1988 tour?

I left rehearsals for that tour due to a family safety issue.

Mike Keneally

R. Andrew Rathbone, "Profile: Mike Keneally," Guitar Player, December 1990

[Mike Keneally] began practising Frank Zappa songs on guitar when he was just 13. [...] A keyboardist since age seven, he played mostly keyboards in his own band, Drop Control. "I thought that was going to be my fate," he laughs, "to wear polyester white suits and play nice little organ tunes." Instead of a leisure suit, the self-described "progresso-head" picked up a guitar and plopped himself in front of the turntable to explore the instrument: "I decided a good discipline exercise would be to learn all the guitar parts on all the Gentle Giant albums," he says. "It turned out to be very valuable." But even more valuable was the time spent learning from Zappa's discs: "I managed to develop a pretty good memory by playing stuff off of them," he says

Mike Keneally, "All About Mike!," keneally.com, c. 1998

I called 818-PUMPKIN and discovered that Frank was in rehearsals with a new band. My initial thought was "Cool. I get to see another Zappa show." But upon further reflection I realized that this would very likely be my final opportunity to work with him [...].

So the day after hearing the message on the PUMPKIN answering machine, I called back early enough to get an actual human on the phone. It happened to be Gerald Fialka (to whom I owe an EXTREMELY IMMENSE debt of gratitude). I informed him who I was, that I could sing and play keyboards and guitar, and that I didn't know if Frank was auditioning but I was highly conversant with the Zappa repertoire and would love a chance to try out. [...] Gerald thanked me for calling and said he'd pass on the information. I hung up, thinking that nothing would come of it but I was glad to have taken the initiative.

To the best of my recollection it was THE NEXT DAY when I got a call from the office, a woman (it might have been Muriel) who asked if I could come up to audition for Frank THAT NIGHT.

Here's where I did something that I would never ever do now. I TURNED DOWN the audition because [my group] Drop Control had a gig at the Moonglow that night. [...] So I asked the mystery woman if it would be possible to come up during the weekend (it was Friday when this conversation took place). She said she wasn't sure if Frank was conducting auditions during the weekend but someone would get back to me if he did. I hung up and suddenly felt really stupid about what I'd just done—there was a very real possibility that I had blown my chance; what if another guy got an audition before me and got the gig?—but tried to comfort myself with the thought that I had done right by my band. [...] Walking into the club I saw another band's equipment on stage. Huh? I asked the club owner Jim Duncan what was up. Oh, sorry, he'd meant to call me . . . he decided to hire another band for the evening.

I won't attempt to put into words how I felt then. [...]

The next day I was alone in the house staring at the phone until it rang. I said hello and was asked by a woman if I would hold for Frank Zappa. I suggested that this was a definite possibility. Frank got on a few seconds later, genially introduced himself and got to the point.

"I understand you know everything I've done." (Hmm, a slight exaggeration . . . how should I deal with this?)

"I'm familiar with all of it, yes."

"Do you have any idea how many songs that is?"

"Yeah, they're all in the other room."

"I don't believe you. Get your ass up here and prove it."

I suggested that this was a definite possibility.

Frank gave me a list of some of the tunes the band was soon to rehearse (I still have the titles scrawled in a lyric book within which I was writing a song called "Targetland" when the phone rang). He said I should come up that evening for an audition, prepared to play "What's New In Baltimore?" and "Sinister Footwear II". I can't remember why now, but I didn't have access to a car right then, and Viv wasn't around for some reason. I got in touch with Marty and made plans for him to drive me up. Then I frantically learned those two tunes—utter bears, both of them—and got them to a respectable level of playability ("Sinister" I'd messed about with a few years earlier and promptly forgot, "Baltimore" I'd never played before).

Marty drove me up to LA and I practiced the tunes, and every other FZ song I could think of, in the back seat. I remember sweating over a couple of notes in "Little House I Used To Live In"—Marty noticed my building panic and said I was as prepared as I was going to be, and Frank would either realize it or not. Lurching into a frenzy at this point wasn't going to help me at all. I recognized this for the sage advice it was and calmed greatly, although I kept playing. We even stopped for burgers.

We had more trouble finding the rehearsal studio than we should have and I began to worry that Frank might leave before our arrival, but this was not the case. The rehearsal space was enormous (formerly part of Francis Coppola's Zoetrope Studios) and occupied only by my brother and myself, Bob Rice, Bruce Fowler (just leaving) and FZ. Since I'd been playing the guitar in the back seat I didn't bother to put it in its case. Frank's first words to me were "nice case". [...] Bob Rice was playing a Synclavier sequence of "The Black Page # 1"; I plugged into Ike Willis' rig and chumped along with it. Frank was not horrified. He asked to hear the two songs he'd mentioned on the phone and I chumped through those as well [...].

Then Frank wanted to test my repertoire comprehension and started suggesting random song titles. The ones I remember now are "Cheepnis", "We're Turning Again" and "Studebacher Hoch". I presented presentable versions of each. We harmonized, vocally, on a couple of things (he liked the blend but was a little concerned about the "shaky" quality of my voice, which I assured him was pretty much unique to this event) and he made me try to sing "he could be a dog or a frog or a lesbian queen" to watch me struggle through the leaping fourths. He put a chord chart for "Yo Cats" up and I failed miserably, which he acknowledged.

He asked if I knew "G-Spot Tornado" on guitar. I didn't but I had learned "Night School", so he had Bob Rice get the Synclavier print-out of the score to read along as I played the melody. When I got done one of the famous eyebrows rose heavenward. "There was only wrong note". I started feeling really good around this time.

Then he set out the music for "Strictly Genteel" on top of a DX-7 and asked me to play the piano part. I couldn't sight read worth a damn, still can't, so I squinted at the page and played it by ear. Now I've heard interviews where Frank says he's gotten incensed at auditioners who pretended to read, but I must have done a reasonable job because even when I copped to doing exactly that, Frank was visibly amused rather than offended. And at this point he shook my hand and said I was a remarkable musician, and that I'd best return for the rehearsal on Monday so "the rest of the band can witness your particular splendor".

Marty and I did a lot of screaming in the car on the way home.

[...] The following Monday marked the beginning of my audition period with the full band. When my brother and I arrived at the rehearsal hall I was instructed (I don't recall by whom) to set up my gear on the upstage riser, in the same portion of the stage the horn section would soon occupy. At this point the horn guys might have been hired, but if so they didn't start attending rehearsals until a while later. And when they did, they were originally positioned on the floor in front of the riser, in the position that I would eventually occupy. One day I came in to rehearse and found that the positions had been switched, the horns were now behind me. But I get ahead of myself now, as I always do. On my first day of rehearsal/audition the band consisted of Chad, Scott, Ed, Robert, Frank and, tentatively, myself. Ray White had just done a disappearing act and there was not yet anyone to fill the lead vocalist chair—Ike made a social appearance on that first day but I don't recall him singing; there was about a week of vocalist auditions before Ike officially joined (thank God—the other guys who auditioned were a shockingly motley lot. I remember being stunned that a person of Frank's position in the industry was giving any of these guys a shot—but then he was doing just that for me, wasn't he?).

Back yet again to my first day. I was busily setting up my little amplifier and little effects (borrowed from Marty—a Roland Jazz Chorus amp and a couple of blue rackmount effects units—none of which I had any idea how to work. I was a keyboard player y'understand) in my little station next to a Yamaha DX-5 synthesizer (Frank's synth, and the one I would come to use on the tour—I especially liked a combo patch which had a very chiffy tuned percussion sound stacked with a French Horn—most readily audible on the fast written sections of "Inca Roads" on "Best Band"). I introduced myself to Chad, Bobby and Ed, all of whom received me with politeness.

Then came a tall, head-shaven, impolite force of nature skateboarding into and all around the enormous facility. This combination punk-rocker/Marine drill sergeant on wheels was, of course, Thunes.

He skated up to my feet (he was on the floor, I on the riser, y'understand) and I immediately proffered my hand. "Hello, my name's Mike Keneally, I enjoy your playing a great deal and I'm pleased to meet you".

"Thank you what are you DOING here?"

"I'm auditioning to play in the band".

"OH GOD". He skateboarded away and left me to my shiftless tinkering. Instantly he returned.

"Can you play 'T'Mershi Duween'?"

The song had yet to be released officially, though I was exceedingly familiar with it through bootlegs. I'd never played it, and as this was my first day I didn't want to misrepresent my knowledge of the repertoire, so I told him I didn't know it. He snuffed, huffed and skated away.

I began to gingerly piece the "Duween" melody together on the guitar. I was playing unamplified, and Thunes was about a football field and a half away, but somehow he heard my unplugged electric over the sound of his racing wheels.

"YOU KNOW IT!" he shrieked and skated back. He began barking string/fret positions at me and after a minute I was playing the melody to his satisfaction . . . at least he appeared satisfied because he didn't say anything to wound me, he just skated away once again.

Frank wasn't there yet (he rarely was for the first several hours of each rehearsal—which were five-day-a-week, eight-hours-a-day affairs). Scott, in his appointed role of clonemeister, ran the early part of the rehearsal, and called "Alien Orifice". This is the moment when I learned that picking up FZ tunes off of an album is no substitute for seeing the stuff on paper, especially when it comes to odd groupings, because when I played what I believed to be the weird section after the guitar solo, the other gentlemen of the group found my efforts to be greatly amusing. After my attempt at playing the main "Alien" melody in Tommy-style block chords limped to a miserable death, Scott padded over to me from his position of authority, seemed to grow several inches and glowered: "That was BAD MUSIC". Other tunes were called and I struggled through, not nearly as ragingly as I'd hoped, but evidently some sort of impression of my knowledge was being formed—Robert Martin asked me during a break how come I knew Frank's material so well. This was the first semi-encouraging sign of acceptance from the other band members. Making a good impression on Frank was apparently a breeze compared to these guys.

As night commenced, Frank arrived and took over the rehearsal; the lighting got very moody and the situation very dreamlike. Frank started a Synclavier sequence of "Mo 'n' Herb's Vacation" and Scott ran like a motherfucker to find the printed bass part, spread it out on the riser and began to play along with it. For many minutes this went on and no one spoke a word. I watched Scott negotiate that fucking piece, my every sinew suffused with awe. This guy was a dead-on motherfucker and I was NOWHERE near his league. Frank called "Filthy Habits" and I chumped the fives—Frank sang the subdivisions to me and it took me embarrassingly long to nail it. He said something like "why is that so hard for you to play?" Fuck. Yet somehow he was not offended by my presence and at one point Frank, Scott, Chad and I played a quartet version of "Sleep Dirt" which had my brother swooning.

[...] I didn't get the big yay or nay after the first night. [...] The fourth day of my audition/rehearsal period, Frank calls me over to say that Ray White's whereabouts are still a mystery, and I seem to be doing an OK job in the vocal/guitar slot (plus keyboards as kind of a bonus skill), so it would appear I'm in the band. But if Ray returns, I'm the fuck outta there. He extended his hand and I had no choice but to accept the gig on these shaky terms. Even to get that much, though, was a mind-blowing triumph. The rest of the band congratulated me enthusiastically, none more so than Scott, who had not stopped giving me shit for four days solid. Thank, well, Gail, that about a week later Frank came into the rehearsal and announced that he'd been talking over the Ray situation with Gail and they decided that if Ray was irresponsible enough to disappear without warning and then not contact them afterwards, that he would not be welcomed back into the band even if he were to return. Although he didn't then turn to me at that point and say, "Your position in the band is now secure", I felt that it was safe to take it that way. And it was.

Rehearsals continued, the horn guys arrived, Ike was installed permanently. The twelve piece band was now intact. I had, of course, the time of my life. Many tunes were rehearsed which did not make their way into the live repertoire. Many hours were spent on a weird, mechanical Devo-sounding arrangement of "I Come From Nowhere". I sang lead on a medley of "She Painted Up Her Face", "Half A Dozen Provocative Squats" and "Shove It Right In" which we rehearsed constantly, then stopped rehearsing suddenly. We rehearsed "Jezebel Boy" a trillion times, getting into the energy the neighborhood supplied, then played it ONCE during the tour (and didn't play it at all well—it's the version you hear on BTHW). One day I spent about twelve hours in Chris' apartment learning "Moggio"—when I was done I felt like I'd been skiing for a week solid. When Frank called the tune in rehearsal, most of the guys in the band hadn't worked on it and it didn't sound very promising, so he said "Omit that". The song was stricken from the repertoire that quickly. Scott saw my jaw hit the floor and said "That's what you call The Clamp". And no impassioned defense on the song's behalf could loosen it. (It was I who insisted on playing "Moggio" at the Zappa's Universe shows—I wasn't going to have learned that fucker for no reason.)

We messed around with "Night School" and "G-Spot Tornado". All the new songs which would become "Broadway The Hard Way" were pieced together without charts, Frank would bring in a printout of the song's lyrics and conjure up musical settings on the spot, dictating parts to the band as he went. [...]

And so rehearsals came to an end. And it was time to hit the road.

Mike Keneally, interviewed by Slang and Cube, Guitarhoo!, June 25, 2004

G!: Legend has it, that you called Frank and told him you could play all his music and when he said, "Come for an audition", you learned the entire catalog in a van on the way to the audition. Is this true?

MK: Nope! I told him that I was familiar with all of his material and that I was capable of playing all of it, but I didn't want him to think that I was ready to play anything he ever wrote at a moment's notice, without having to practice it first (although I was prepared to play a lot of his material without having to practice it, because I'd learned a lot of his songs for fun by that point). The point I made to him was just that I was extremely familiar with all of his material and that I'd be ready to play any of it for him given a short amount of preparation time. I'd been listening to Frank for 16 years by the time I got the audition, had played many of the songs, and had listened to them over and over again for years and loved it all, and could easily learn the material in a short amount of time.

During the car ride to the audition I didn't "learn" the catalogue, just played every single Zappa melody I could think of, kind of as an exercise for my memory, and I was getting a little panicky at one point about what other songs I should practice, and my brother Marty who was driving the car advised me to relax, if I wasn't ready for the audition at this very moment I wouldn't be any more ready an hour from now. I recognized the truth of that and relaxed a lot for the rest of the ride, although I continued practicing a lot of different stuff. On the phone the day before Frank had told me to have "What's New In Baltimore?" and "Sinister Footwear" ready for the next day's audition, and I'd played "Sinister" before but not "Baltimore?", so I'd just learned that and was practicing that song in the car a lot. I also remember playing "Little House I Used To Live In" during that car ride quite a bit mainly because I was enjoying the melody so much.

Mike Keneally, "Really, Keneally?,"keneally.com

Q: Did you do any work with FZ in the studio? If so, is any of that going to be released?

A: Unfortunately not.

Albert Wing

Albert Wing, interviewed by Fred Banta, February 17, 1998

So anyway, [FZ and me] kept in contact throughout the years until '88. I mean we had meetings and he'd send me literature, this and that saying "I'm thinking about doing these pieces," which I'd always take them and learn the pieces, or try to learn them. Some were so hard, you know what I mean. It was like, "Wow, I think I need a rhythm section on this one." But I got them basically down and I'd try get them as good as I could without sitting there with the band. But nothing really ever happened until late '87, I mean when we started rehearsing. That's when it happened, so you know I was ready (laughs).


Patrick Buzby, RE: '88 Tour, Zappateers, August 5, 2013

As far as I can work out from the available evidence, the chronology seems to have been something like this:

early pre-88 rehearsal lineup: FZ, Ike, Ray, Tommy, Robert, Ed, Scott, Chad, Flo & Eddie (Robert Martin seems not to have been present at some early rehearsals, but perhaps he was occupied somehow and expected to join later.)

—Flo & Eddie leave
—Tommy leaves, FZ begins considering using a brass section
—Ray White disappears
—Mike Keneally joins (MK has said it wasn't certain yet when he joined that Ike was to be in the band, which Ike disputes. Ike does seem to have been present at the rehearsal with Flo & Eddie circulating on tape, and F&E have also mentioned Ike being there.)
—brass section joins

Ed Mann, Facebook, September 23, 2021

87 the band started as Frank, Mark and Howard, Tommy Mars, Scott, Ray and myself. Soon Mark and Howard left which is a shame because they and Frank were having a great time together. Then Tommy left. Then Ray left. By that time Frank was barely coming to rehearsals. 87-88 to me was not an authentic Frank Zappa band experience, because of his absence. I realized that as a result, there was no room for me to operate as usual, but I remained aware of Frank's mandate that I find the weird and bring it to the stage. And so the vocal samples were created. Walt and Bruce Fowler doing their weirdest stuff, Ike, Bob Rice and other crew guys. The samples modulated and placed as part of an arrangement. Once Frank said "never do that again." But next show I did it again and then he said nothing. It's unsettling that those sample became a signature for the tour, but in retrospect I think it's accurate commentary.



Research, compilation and maintenance by Román García Albertos
This page updated: 2024-04-21