Hammersmith Odeon

The Project

Mike King, "Interview with Gail Zappa: Copyright, Creativity, Covers, and More," Music Business and Trend-Mongering, September 15, 2010

Oh what just happened recently? We sat down (in [Joe Traver's] office) and I said, "Joe, I need a really good concert and it has to be English. It has to be from Britain" and he said, "OK!" So he knows right where to go because he's been through there so many times, that he knows.


The Recordings & Mixing

Liner notes

Original Recordist, Peter Henderson
Recording Trucks by Basing Street Mobile, 25-27 January
& Manor Mobile, 28 February; 1978

Soundcheck Recordings

Adrian Belew, Guitarhoo!, April 16, 2004

I'm sure I did participate in things because we recorded everything. In fact I remember very clearly being at the Hammersmith Odeon, which is a large theatre in London, and we spent three hours recording things in the theatre because Frank said, "Well, here I've got a space that I can record in." He had some of us up in the, some of us were up in the balcony shaking bits of metal and things. Then he would point to someone down at the stage and they'd hit a timpani drum and so on. He was really recording parts that would become xenochrony parts for him. And I'm sure that I'm a part of some of those in his records. It's really hard to tell though what anythings particular source is.

The Keyboards Panning

Bill Not Lantz, alt.fan.frank-zappa, November 21, 2010

For most of the CD so far, I have been noticing that, Tommy's keyboard is stage right, but on King Kong, it is stage left.
Did Peter and Tommy swap stage positions the night that song is taken from?

Pat Buzby, alt.fan.frank-zappa, November 30, 2010

After listening to parts of each disc on headphones yesterday it sounds like most (all?) of disc one has Peter mixed to the left, and Tommy to the right.

However, some later tracks like "Jones Crusher" seem to have Peter right and Tommy left.

Perhaps the track assignments were different for the January 25-27 shows compared to February 28th, or perhaps there just isn't any special reason.


The Concerts

MS, alt.fan.frank-zappa, December 9, 2010

FZ speaks to the audience of "...50 or 60..." but does anyone know how many people actually attended these concerts? How big of a place is / was this place anyway? Were the concerts sold out?

The Idiot (alt.fan.frank-zappa, December 9, 2010)

I was there for two of the shows (27 Jan and 28 Feb—hey, I'm on all of Disc One; kiss my 'groovy aura'. And that's Ben Watson dancing to The Black Page #2, as 'Eric Dolphy'). The shows looked pretty much sold out to me.


disc 2

1. I Have Been In You

it has a Jimi Hendrix poster on the wall


4. Punky's Whips

Byron Holmes, May 9, 2016

I found a quotation in the version of "Punky's Whips" featured on Hammersmith Odeon, strange as it may seem. From 7:12-7:16, Bozzio sings the lyrics "Funky Punky" to the tune of "I'm So Cute". It's easy to miss, but the melody is recognizable.

Of course, it's entirely possible that it might have been a reference to Billy Star's "Let's Play Doctor", the song that inspired "I'm So Cute" [see notes for "Titties 'N Beer"]; the former was a secret word during the 1/26/78 show and some of those references ended up on the album.


5. Titties 'N Beer

FZ: Look, you either take my soul or play doctor. What it's gonna be?

Charles Ulrich, alt.fan.frank-zappa, May 13, 2012

Let's Play Doctor by B. S. (Billy Star):

The song title was a secret word at the 1/26/78 London show, as heard in Titties & Beer, Disco Boy, Watermelon In Easter Hay, and Dinah-Moe Humm on Hammersmith Odeon.

The inflection of "D-O-C-T-O-R" at the end inspired the coda of "I'm So Cute".


6. Audience Participation

What's your name?
Eric Dolphy.

The Idiot, alt.fan.frank-zappa, December 9, 2010

That's Ben Watson dancing to The Black Page #2, as 'Eric Dolphy'.

disc 3

5. Disco Boy

Take you home tonight
(Leave his hair alone,
But you can kiss his comb)
And play doctor

7. Watermelon In Easter Hay [Prequel]

FZ: Let's play doctor.

8. Dinah-Moe Humm

Tommy: Doctor? D-O-C-T-O-R?

FZ: Let's play doctor.
Tommy: Play doctor?


10. Muffin Man

Patrick Buzby, December 27, 2010

The dialogue at the end of Muffin Man about whether to play new or old songs is actually from January 25.



Research, compilation and maintenance by Román García Albertos
This page updated: 2024-04-11