FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION
09-25-1970 Pepperland, San Rafael, CA
Road Trip Part One
I was on a road trip from L.A. to Oregon with three friends named Mike – whenever I would say, “Hey, Mike!” they would either all reply or no one would.
Our destination was to visit with Mike’s parents who had just moved from L.A. to a rural area where they could name their street after their own last name! Trippy!
One of our destinations was Santa Cruz (future “Lost Boys” site) where we stayed with surfer friends there. After a goodtime greet and tokin’ we soon found out that Zappa was playing at a small venue nearby in San Rafael and fortunately we were able to snag some tickets.
We missed opener Lisa Kindred, but caught Tim Buckley and I had a drink with Frank at the juice bar just before he went on. He joked about it being his birthday; it wasn’t.
The evening highlights visually stand out, there’s always a lot to see as FZ keeps his band members busy. I attended the Zubin Mehta/Zappa orchestral “200 Motels” concert earlier this year and the “200 Motels” film was still very fresh in my mind, so to see the rock band versions of those tunes was a hoot!
Fellow Westchester (L.A.) high school alumni’s and ex-Turtles, ex-Crossfires, Volman and Kaylan were getting a workout on stage under Frank’s direction. This was a really musically-tight incarnation of the Mothers with each member an extremely well-respected musician in his own right.
I’ve always loved FZ’s whole satirical approach to rock ‘n’ roll, but even more so for his respect for the art of music that does not compromise.
Pepperland was like an over-sized club and all of us were about twenty feet from the stage; so once again a nice intimate night of Rock ‘n’ Roll Madness courtesy of FZ!
It was a great totally unexpected concert experience, and a great time was had by all that night.
We went back to the surf pad and smoked opium between about eight people. One by one everyone passed into Dreamland – until it got down to me and a Mike – and that’s all I remember.
Lineup: Frank Zappa, Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan, Jeff Simmons, Aynsley Dunbar, George Duke, Ian Underwood.
Setlist: Call Any Vegetable, Pound For A Brown, Sleeping In A Jar, Sharleena, The Air, Dog Breath, Mother People, You Didn’t Try To Call Me, King Kong, Lonesome Cowboy Burt, Penis Dimension, Bwana Dik, Little House I Used To Live In, Mudshark, Would You Like A Snack?, Holiday In Berlin, Cruising For Burgers, Wino Man, Willie The Pimp, Concentration Moon, Mom & Dad, Daddy Daddy Daddy, Do You Like My New Car?, Happy Together, Who Are The Brain Police?