Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Frank Zappa 47: You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 3

The third of six projected volumes in the You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore series returns to the grab bag style of the first. It’s not completely random, but it’s really of interest for fans only.
Disc one focuses on the 1984 band, which had a tendency towards reggae rhythms and had been represented in the racks solely on Does Humor Belong In Music?, which wasn’t available worldwide. Nowadays that disc is preferred, but there are some unique moments here, including 15-year-old Dweezil soloing on “Sharleena”, an extended jam on “Owner Of A Lonely Heart”, and “Drowning Witch” pieced together from three shows from 1984 and one from 1982. In-jokes abound, inspired by game shows and Ron Popeil gadget commercials, but we always like hearing Ike and Frank crack each other up throughout “Bobby Brown” and “Joe’s Garage”. Some “new” songs appear: “Ride My Face To Chicago” is a chance to solo, “Carol, You Fool” pits doo-wop against a reggae beat (which this band tended to fall back on to its detriment), and “Chana In De Bushwop” features lyrics from the mind of four-year-old Diva Zappa.
Disc two offers more variety era-wise, beginning with the original Roxy performances of “Dickie’s Such An Asshole”. A Terry Bozzio drum solo leads into an early performance of “Zoot Allures” that unfortunately switches to a guitar solo six years later over, yes, reggae. A chunk of the side two suite of You Are What You Is comes from an MTV concert in 1981, and the start of “Cocaine Decisions” from 1984 is edited onto a 1982 performance in a Sicilian soccer stadium during a riot, as depicted on the back cover of The Man From Utopia. Still trying to play through the tear gas, they segue into the unfortunately titled “Nig Biz”. For some reason 24 minutes is devoted to a confusing medley of “King Kong” compiled from three 1982 concerts, with a seven-minute detour into the Rainbow show in 1971 where he was knocked off the stage, all in different tempos. For further conceptual continuity, there is a reference to a poem read during “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow” on Volume 1.

Frank Zappa You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 3 (1989)—3

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