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Frank Zappa’s Final American Concert to Be Released as Live Album

Dropping June 18th

Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa, photo courtesy of artist’s estate
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Frank Zappa’s final performance on American soil has been collected into the new live album Zappa ’88: The Last U.S. Show. It’s out June 18th via Zappa Records/UMe, and the news is accompanied with the live single “I Ain’t Got No Heart”.

The performance took place at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY on March 25th, 1988. Days later, Zappa and his 11-piece band decamped for a European tour, during which they fell apart from internecine fighting. In 1990, Zappa received a terminal cancer diagnosis and he passed away in 1993. Part of the joy of that March 25th concert is that neither audience nor artists knew it would be among the last.

Zappa was accompanied by a mix of newcomers and veteran bandmates: Mike Keneally (guitar, synth, vocals), Scott Thunes (electric bass, Minimoog), Ike Willis (rhythm guitar, synth, vocals), Chad Wackerman (drums, electronic percussion), Ed Mann (vibes, marimba, electronic percussion), Robert Martin (keyboards, vocals) and the cracking horn section of Walt Fowler (trumpet, flugel horn, synth), Bruce Fowler (trombone), Paul Carman (alto, soprano and baritone sax), Albert Wing (tenor sax), and Kurt McGettrick (baritone and bass sax, contrabass clarinet). Zappa himself showed off his new favorite instrument, the Synclavier.

The tour took place in the heat of the 1988 presidential election, and Zappa’s American shows included a voter registration drive. Zappa ’88 begins with “’We Are Doing Voter Registration Here’”, in which he helped an unregistered voter get registered on stage. Audience members could also register during the concert or in the 20-minute intermission.

Besides that, Zappa ’88 features 29 previously-unreleased performances, including two covers from earlier in the tour: “Whipping Post” by The Allman Brothers and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”. Zappa also covered The Beatles’ “I Am The Walrus,” and performed “The Beatles Medley,” which features “Norwegian Wood,” “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”, and “Strawberry Fields Forever” with new lyrics mocking the recent sex scandal of televangelist Jimmy Swaggart.

Zappa ’88 was produced by Ahmet Zappa alongside Joe Travers, the Zappa Vaultmeister. Last year, the recordings were newly mixed by Craig Parker Adams from the 48-track digital master tapes. It’s available in a double CD or quadruple LP package, and pre-orders are ongoing. Check out the full tracklist and listen to “I Ain’t Got No Heart (Live at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY 3/25/88)” below.

Last year the Zappa estate unveiled The Mothers 70, a massive 50th anniversary box set celebrating Zappa’s The Mothers of Invention. In November, Alex Winters unveiled his documentary Zappa.

Zappa ’88: The Last U.S. Show Artwork:

zappa 88 artwork Frank Zappas Final American Concert to Be Released as Live Album

Zappa ’88: The Last U.S. Show Tracklist:

2 CD/Digital
Disc 1

01. “We Are Doing Voter Registration Here”
02. The Black Page (New Age Version)
03. I Ain’t Got No Heart
04. Love Of My Life
05. Inca Roads
06. Sharleena
07. Who Needs The Peace Corps?
08. I Left My Heart In San Francisco
09. Dickie’s Such An Asshole
10. When The Lie’s So Big
11. Jesus Thinks You’re A Jerk
12. Sofa #1
13. One Man, One Vote
14. Happy Birthday, Chad!
15. Packard Goose Pt. 1
16. Royal March From “L’Histoire Du Soldat”
17. Theme From The Bartok Piano Concerto #3
18. Packard Goose Pt. II
19. The Torture Never Stops Pt. I
20. Theme From “Bonanza”

Disc 2
01. Lonesome Cowboy Burt
02. The Torture Never Stops Pt. II
03. City Of Tiny Lites
04. Pound For A Brown
05. The Beatles Medley
06. Peaches En Regalia
07. Stairway To Heaven
08. I Am The Walrus
09. Whipping Post
10. Bolero
11. America The Beautiful

4LP Vinyl

LP1
SIDE 1

01. “We Are Doing Voter Registration Here”
02. The Black Page (New Age Version)
03. I Ain’t Got No Heart
04. Love Of My Life

SIDE 2

01. Inca Roads
02. Sharleena
03. Who Needs The Peace Corps?
04. I Left My Heart In San Francisco

LP2
SIDE 3

01. Dickie’s Such An Asshole
02. When The Lie’s So Big
03. Jesus Thinks You’re A Jerk
04. Sofa #1
05. One Man, One Vote

LP2
SIDE 4

01. Happy Birthday, Chad!
02. Packard Goose Pt. I
03. Royal March From “L’Histoire Du Soldat”
04. Theme From The Bartok Piano Concerto #3
05. Packard Goose Pt. II
06. The Torture Never Stops Pt. I
07. Theme From “Bonanza”
08. Lonesome Cowboy Burt

LP3
SIDE 5

01. The Torture Never Stops Pt. II
02. City Of Tiny Lites
03. Pound For A Brown PT. I

LP3
SIDE 6

01. Pound For A Brown PT. II
02. The Beatles Medley (Lennon/McCartney)
03. Peaches En Regalia

LP4
SIDE 7

01. Stairway To Heaven
02. I Am The Walrus

LP4
SIDE 8

01. Whipping Post
02. Bolero
03. America The Beautiful

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