Frank Zappa ‘The Mothers 1971’ Box Set Features Fillmore East Run & Ill-Fated Rainbow Theatre Concert

Frank Zappa ‘The Mothers 1971’ Box Set Features Fillmore East Run & Ill-Fated Rainbow Theatre Concert

Iconic guitarist Frank Zappa’s 1971 touring lineups are showcased on The Mothers 1971, a Super Deluxe box set chock full of previously unreleased tracks due out via Zappa Records/UMe on March 18. The huge collection features each of the four shows Frank Zappa & The Mothers played to help close down New York City’s Fillmore East on June 5-6, 1971 as well as the group’s full concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London from December 10, 1971 that ended in tragedy and an unreleased hybrid concert documenting performances from Scranton (June 1, 1971) and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (June 3, 1971).

The Mothers 1971 celebrates the 50th anniversary of an important year in FZ history and is coming in physical form as an 8CD box set as well as in digital form for streaming and download, in standard and hi-res audio (96kHz/24-bit). Additionally, a pair of 3LP vinyl sets are available for pre-order with Fillmore East 50th Anniversary Edition and Rainbow Theatre.

Highlights from the Fillmore East run were originally released mere months after the shows as Fillmore East – June 1971. The forthcoming box set gives fans the chance to hear every note played during the four concerts which took place as part of the final month of the venue’s existence, including a legendary encore with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Frank Zappa’s band for the historic two-night stand at Fillmore East featured Ian Underwood (winds/keyboards), Aynsley Dunbar (drums), Jim Pons (bass/vocals/dialog), Bob Harris (keyboards/vocals) as well as Howard Kaylan (lead vocals/dialog) and Mark Volman (lead vocals/dialog), aka Flo & Eddie (The Turtles). Don Preston served as special guest on Mini-Moog. Preston took over for Bob Harris on keys in August 1971 well before the Rainbow Theatre concert but otherwise the lineup stayed intact throughout the year.

Frank Zappa’s December 10, 1971 show at London’s Rainbow Theatre was supposed to be his first of two concerts at the venue. However, a deranged fan pushed the guitarist off stage during a cover of The Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand” which resulted in many medical issues and kept FZ off the road for nearly a year. “My head was over on my shoulder and my neck was bent like it was broken. I had a gash in my chin, a hole in the back of my head, a broken rib and a fractured leg. One arm was paralyzed,” Zappa explained of the results from the terrible incident in his 1989 autobiography, The Real Frank Zappa Book.

Zappa was wheelchair-bound for nearly a year and led to Frank suffering from chronic back pain for the rest of his life. He also wound up with one leg shorter than the other and his voice was permanently lower-pitched. It was long thought audio of the shocking end to the Rainbow Theatre show wasn’t recorded officially. However, official audio surfaced as The Mothers 1971 project came together. The incident led to the end of Zappa’s 1971 band and the cancelation of the rest of his tour.

The Mothers 1971 and accompanying vinyl sets were overseen by the Zappa Trust and produced by Ahmet Zappa and Zappa archivist Joe Travers. The 100-track set, which is rounded out by a handful of studio tracks from the era, arrives with an expansive 68-page booklet featuring words from legendary producer/engineer Eddie Kramer, photos by Henry Diltz, an interview conducted by Ahmet Zappa with Ian Underwood, liner notes from Travers and notes from Jim Pons.

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The Mothers 1971 Super Deluxe Edition Tracklist

CD 1: FILLMORE EAST, NEW YORK CITY, NY, JUNE 5, 1971 – SHOW 1

  1. Peaches En Regalia
  2. Tears Began To Fall
  3. Shove It Right In
  4. Status Back Baby
  5. Concentration Moon – Part 1
  6. The Sanzini Brothers (Sodomy Trick)
  7. Concentration Moon – Part II
  8. Mom & Dad
  9. Intro To Music For Low Budget Orchestra
  10. Billy The Mountain
  11. King Kong

CD 2: FILLMORE EAST, NEW YORK CITY, NY, JUNE 5, 1971 – SHOW 2

  1. Peaches En Regalia
  2. Tears Began To Fall
  3. Shove It Right In
  4. Intro To Music For Low Budget Orchestra
  5. Billy The Mountain
  6. Little House I Used To Live In
  7. The Mud Shark
  8. What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?
  9. Bwana Dik
  10. Latex Solar Beef
  11. Willie The Pimp

CD 3: FILLMORE EAST, NEW YORK CITY, NY, JUNE 5, 1971 – SHOW 2 (CTD; TRACKS 1-6)

  1. Do You Like My New Car?
  2. Happy Together
  3. ”Any Chord Of Your Choice”
  4. King Kong – Part I
  5. Lonesome Electric Turkey
  6. King Kong – Part II
  7. FILLMORE EAST, NEW YORK CITY, NY, JUNE 6, 1971 – SHOW 1 (TRACKS 7-15)

  8. Fillmore Improvisation
  9. Peaches En Regalia
  10. Tears Began To Fall
  11. Shove It Right In
  12. Status Back Baby
  13. Concentration Moon – Part I
  14. The Sanzini Brothers (Sodomy Trick)
  15. Concentration Moon – Part II
  16. Mom & Dad

CD 4: FILLMORE EAST, NEW YORK CITY, NY, JUNE 6, 1971 – SHOW 1 (CTD; TRACKS 1-4)

  1. The Story Of Billy The Mountain
  2. Intro To Music For Low Budget Orchestra
  3. Billy The Mountain
  4. Chunga’s Revenge
  5. FILLMORE EAST, NEW YORK CITY, NY, JUNE 6, 1971 – SHOW 2 (TRACKS 5-8)

  6. “Herd Of Cattle”
  7. Peaches En Regalia
  8. Tears Began To Fall
  9. Shove It Right In

CD 5: FILLMORE EAST, NEW YORK CITY, NY, JUNE 6, 1971 – SHOW 2 (CTD)

  1. The Story Of Billy The Mountain
  2. Intro To Music For Low Budget Orchestra
  3. Billy The Mountain
  4. “Conglomerate Assembly”
  5. Little House I Used To Live In
  6. The Mud Shark
  7. What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?
  8. Bwana Dik
  9. Latex Solar Beef
  10. Willie The Pimp
  11. Do You Like My New Car?
  12. Happy Together

CD 6: FILLMORE EAST, NEW YORK CITY, NY, JUNE 6, 1971 – SHOW 2 (CTD)

JOHN & YOKO ENCORE SET (TRACKS 1-6)

  1. Well
  2. Say Please
  3. King Kong
  4. Aaawk
  5. Scumbag
  6. A Small Eternity With Yoko Ono
  7. RADIO SPOT, SINGLE VERSION, B-SIDE & OUTTAKES (TRACKS 7-10)

  8. Homemade Radio Spot
  9. Tears Began To Fall – Single Version
  10. Junier Mintz Boogie – Single B-Side
  11. Homemade Radio Spot Outtakes
  12. BONUS HYBRID CONCERT: HARRISBURG/SCRANTON, PA 1971

    STATE FARM SHOW ARENA, HARRISBURG, PA, JUNE 3, 1971 (TRACKS 11-20)

  13. Peaches En Regalia
  14. Tears Began To Fall
  15. Shove It Right In
  16. Status Back Baby
  17. Concentration Moon – Part I
  18. The Sanzini Brothers (Burning Hoop Trick)
  19. Concentration Moon – Part II
  20. Mom & Dad
  21. My Boyfriend’s Back
  22. Tiny Sick Tears

CD 7: BONUS HYBRID CONCERT: HARRISBURG/SCRANTON, PA 1971

STATE FARM SHOW ARENA, HARRISBURG, PA, JUNE 3, 1971 (CTD; TRACKS 1-3)

  1. Call Any Vegetable
  2. The Story Of Billy The Mountain
  3. Intro To Music For Low Budget Orchestra
  4. STATE FARM SHOW ARENA, HARRISBURG, PA, JUNE 3, 1971 & WATRES ARMORY, SCRANTON, PA, JUNE 1, 1971 (TRACK 4)

  5. Billy The Mountain
  6. WATRES ARMORY, SCRANTON, PA, JUNE 1, 1971 (TRACKS 5-6)

  7. Willie The Pimp
  8. King Kong (Outro)
  9. RAINBOW THEATRE, LONDON, ENGLAND, DECEMBER 10, 1971 (TRACKS 7-9)

  10. Zanti Serenade
  11. Peaches En Regalia
  12. Tears Began To Fall

CD 8: RAINBOW THEATRE, LONDON, ENGLAND, DECEMBER 10, 1971 (CTD)

  1. Shove It Right In
  2. “Pain In The Ass”
  3. Divan: Once Upon A Time
  4. Divan: Sofa #1
  5. Pound For A Brown – Part I
  6. Super Grease
  7. Pound For A Brown – Part II
  8. Sleeping In A Jar
  9. Wonderful Wino
  10. Sharleena
  11. Cruising For Burgers
  12. “That’s Your Tough Luck”
  13. King Kong
  14. I Want To Hold Your Hand