Come On Punky! Get Funky! (Godfather Records GR 627/628)
Leroy Theatre, Pawtucket, RI – October 23rd, 1977 (early show)
Disc 1 (59:50): Intro, Peaches En Regalia, The Torture Never Stops, Tryin’ To Grow A Chin, City Of Tiny Lights, A Pound For A Brown, Bobby Brown, Conehead, Flakes, Big Leg Emma, Envelopes
Disc 2 (65:18): Disco Boy, I Promise Not To Come In Your Mouth, Wild Love, Titties ‘n Beer, The Black Page, Jones Crusher, Broken Hearts Are For Assholes, Punky’s Whips, Camarillo Brillo, Muffin Man
Warner Bros. refusal to release the 4LP work Läther and the ensuing lawsuit meant Frank Zappa was extra busy playing live shows in the late seventies. The fall 1977 tour produced his best film Baby Snakes, documenting the New York shows.
About a week before he played two shows at the Leroy Theater in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, almost a year to the day after his first played the venue. Come On Punky! Get Funky! uses the Dan Lampinski tape of the early show. The sound quality is as good as his other tapes from the late seventies. It’s clear, dynamic, and rich in the detail so important to appreciating Frank Zappa.
The first side of the master cassette was erased many years ago, but luckily the taper dubbed a copy for a friend. The first third of the show, from the introduction into about a minute into “Conehead,” is a first generation copy. The rest comes from the master tape.
The tape switches to mono in “The Torture Never Stops” between 7:30 to 11:22, a cut in “Conehead” at 5:41 and the first generation tape was used to fix a flaw from 5:45 to 5:48. A flawed portion of “Wild Love” is filled in with the 1st generation between 20:17 to 20:32, and there is a tape flip in “Titties ‘N Beer” at 4:11. All of the edits are professionally handled and are not an issue.
Zappa in 1977 toured with one of his best ensembles with Terry Bozzio on drums, Adrian Belew on guitar and vocals and Ed Mann on keyboards. The show begins with “Revenge Of The Knick Knack People” from the rejected Läther project before Zappa intones: “Welcome to the Frank Zappa 1977 Pawtucket Leroy Theater Extrava-fucking-ganza.”
Of particular note is the inclusion of several new songs that would appear several years later on Sheik Yerbouti, namely “Bobby Brown,” “City Of Tiny Lites” and “Broken Hearts Are For Assholes.” The LP was recorded live and overdubbed in the studio, but most were taped in London the following February.
“Wild Love,” another new song, is expanded past its four minute official release to almost a half hour of jamming. Featuring not only the fuzz-laden abrasive guitar of Zappa, keyboardist Tommy Mars pulls out several Keith Emerson style improvisation, making the piece resemble a wired “Tarkus” at certain points.
The show comes to an end with “Punky’s Whips.” Zappa tells the audience that the next show’s audience are waiting in the lobby, so they play two encores, “Camarillo Brillo” and “Muffin Man.” Come On Punky! Get Funky! is packaged in a tri-fold gatefold cardboard sleeve and is another excellent Godfather release.