Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention released the live LP “Fillmore East – Jun…
Written by megarock on August 2, 2018
Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention released the live LP “Fillmore East – June 1971” on Aug. 2, 1971. It was the twelfth album in Frank Zappa’s discography.
‘Fillmore East – June 1971’ is a live concept-like album. It portrays a peek-behind-the-curtain of the life of a rock band on the road as narrated by Frank Zappa, and contains many thematic elements that, because of time and budget constraints, couldn’t be included in the similar movie 200 Motels. The most famous part of the album is “The Mud Shark”, a telling of a story told to Mother Don Preston by some members of Vanilla Fudge about a hotel, Seattle’s Edgewater Inn, where guests could fish from their rooms. In the tale, a mud shark is caught by one of the members of Vanilla Fudge or its crew and, when combined with a groupie and a movie camera, depravity ensues. Although not stated in “The Mud Shark,” this 1969 incident, now referred to as “the Shark episode,” also involved Led Zeppelin’s drummer John Bonham and road manager Richard Cole, with Vanilla Fudge’s singer/keyboardist Mark Stein operating the movie camera.
Frank and the Mothers then portray stereotypically egotistical members of a rock band “negotiating” with a groupie and her girlfriends for a quick “roll in the hay.” The girls are insulted that the band thinks they are groupies and that they would sleep with the band just because they are musicians. They have standards; they will only have sex with a guy in a group with a “big, hit single in the charts – with a bullet!” and a “dick that’s a monster.” In “Bwana Dik”, singer Howard Kaylan assures the girls that he is endowed beyond their “wildest Clearasil-spattered fantasies.” And, not to be put off by the standards of these groupies, the band sings the girls The Turtles (of which Kaylan, Mark Volman, and Jim Pons had been members) hit “Happy Together”, to give them their “bullet”. The album ends with an encore excerpt including both Zappa’s familiar “Peaches en Regalia” and what was possibly his most successful early-rock and roll pastiche, “Tears Began to Fall” (also issued as a single).
Zappa & the Mothers at their best, in our humble opinion.
Happy 47th Birthday to “Fillmore East – June 1971”!!!