Frank Zappa: The Torture Never Stops


Live 1981 version of the track from the Zoot Allures album, chosen mainly because of FZ’s ridiculous frock.

Here’s another, more jaunty take, this time with Captain Beefheart on vocals.


2 Replies to “Frank Zappa: The Torture Never Stops”

  1. Just paid my first visit here, won’t be the last. Thanks for posting the Zappa clip. I don’t get around much any more, not because I’ve lost interest in music, but because there’s so little being performed these days that I want to see. It’s nice to recall just what it was that motivated me to go out to gigs back then.

    I remember first seeing Frank and the Mothers at Birmingham Town Hall in 1967, doing mostly stuff from ‘Uncle Meat’ and the follow-up record ‘Burnt Weeny Sandwich’. I was at art college and in those days, I could barely afford to pay for my girlfriend and I to go to a concert at the Town Hall, but I’m so glad I did. it was extraordinary. I’d been playing in a band myself for around five years and I’d seen just about everyone else of the moment from the Shadows to the Who, via both the Duke Ellington and the Count Basie Orchestras.

    But I’d never seen or heard anything like the Mothers. They played with a skill and precision completely off the scale from anything I’d ever heard. Kept in line by Zappa’s strict, authoritarian manner, they managed to switch from powerful rock riffs to zany instrumental interludes and long passages of absolute beauty.

    Throughout all this, Zappa was conducting the band and playing his Les Paul. One of his long solos, which seemed to presage his ‘Willie the Pimp’ piece a couple of years later on ‘Hot Rats’, had me literally in tears at its relentlessly creative beauty.

    Jimmie Carl Black’s rock drumming and Arthur Dire Tripp’s more orchestral percussion approach never got in each other’s way and was another unique feature of an evening I can still recall over fifty years later.

    The other memorable aspect was that, standing in front of me in the queue to get in was none other than Roy Wood (no VIP lounge in those days), who was as enthusiastically looking forward to the concert as the rest of us were. Everyone knew who he was, of course (this was Birmingham!) but he behaved as if nobody did and was very modest and unpretentious. His obvious enthusiasm for Zappa made the emergence of the Electric Light Orchestra seem less of a surprise when it happened, as Roy had been playing around with augmented instrumentation on the two late Move albums, ‘Looking On’ and ‘Message From The Country’.

    1. Welcome, Brian, good to hear from you. Hope you’ll find plenty of Zappa around the site. Just use the search button.

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