Frank Zappa – I Wanna Have A Little Tush (Guitar Master GM018/019)

I Wanna Have A Little Tush (Guitar Master GM018/019)

Jenison Field House, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI – November 23, 1974

Disc 1 (72:02):  Tush Tush Tush, Stinkfoot, Rdnzl, Village Of The Sun, Enchinada’s Arf, Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing, Apostrophe, Penguin In Bondage, T’Mershi Duween, Dog Meat, Building A Girl, stage banter, Dinah-Moe Humm, Camarillo Brillo

Disc 2 (56:30):  Montana, Dupree’s Paradise, solo/ Chunga’s Revenge, encore intros, Son Of Orange County, More Trouble Everyday

Frank Zappa hit a peak in popularity in the early seventies spurred on by the success of Over Night Sensation and Apostrophe.  The early seventies were a rare time when artistic experimentation and commercial viability met and such acts were able to explore various permutations of musical styles and find themselves on the charts selling records. 

I Wanna Have A Little Tushis a very good to excellent soundboard recording from the Michigan State University show on November 23rd, 1974.  There are cuts at 2:04 in “Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing” and at 2:46 in “Dinah-Mo Humm” and some distortion is present on the tape, but it’s never distracting.

And this is a fascinating document of Zappa at a height of popularity and, some would argue, his expression as well.  This show clocks in almost two and a half hours and explores rock, jazz, and Zappa’s brand of pointed humor and absurdity.  It starts off with “Tush Tush Tush,” a rageing cacophony of voices swirling around the stage before the more accessible “Stinkfoot.” 

The Pygmy Twylyte sequence, which was played at many shows on this tour, is dropped.  The first long improvisation is “RDNZL,” lasting over ten minutes of free form improvisation and is the beginning of a long schizophrenic medley of tunes.  “Village Of The Sun” conveys strange humor and is followed by the heavier “Enchinada’s Arf.”  In “Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing” Chester Thompson has a short drum solo by the end, right before it segues into “Apostrophe.”  The long piece ends with “Building A Girl.”

Zappa explains that their bass player Tom Fowler is out of commission because of a football injury and is replaced by Mike Ersal, who has to follow along the chords written on cards to keep up with the arrangements.  Ersal’s playing is fantastic in the challenging “Dinah-Moe Hum.”  Zappa brings some audience participation during this tune, encouraging some members of the audience to provide erotic groans for the song.  “Now that’s what college is all about, ladies and gentlemen” he laughs. 

The ending of the show are the long improvisations in “Dupree’s Paradise” and “Chunga’s Revenge.”  For a half hour this sequence lasts and weaves Zappa’s delicate and ferocious guitar playing around otherworldly keyboard sequences.  Guitar Master have released several very interesting Zappa releases of late and I Wanna Have A Little Tush is worth having. 

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