Ahmet Zappa and Frank Zappa Vaultmeister Joe Travers will host a special virtual listening party on Friday, June 26 at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT where everyone can collectively listen together to the unreleased studio recordings from The Mothers 1970, the new 4CD and digital collection of 70 unreleased live and studio recordings engineered by the then-unknown producer Roy Thomas Baker, which make up the box set’s first disc.
The hosts will also discuss the creation of The Mothers 1970 and the unreleased performances, tell stories about Zappa and answer questions. To join the party, click here.
Fans can also get into the spirit and show their love for Zappa on Instagram with a new filter unveiled today that superimposes his trademark mustache and soul patch onto their face. Click here to access the filter on the official Frank Zappa Instagram and Zappa-ify yourself.
Overseen by the Zappa Trust and produced by Ahmet Zappa and Joe Travers, The Mothers 1970 collects together more than four hours of previously unreleased performances by the celebrated lineup which lasted roughly seven months: Aynsley Dunbar (drums), George Duke (piano/keys/trombone), Ian Underwood (organ/keys/guitar), Jeff Simmons(bass/vocals) and Flo & Eddie aka Howard Kaylan (vocals) and Mark Volman (vocals/percussion) of The Turtles who performed under these aliases to skirt contractual limitations of performing under their own names. This iteration of The Mothers, which likely began rehearsals fifty years ago in May 1970, came to an end in January of 1971 when Simmons quit the band during the making of the “200 Motels” movie.
To celebrate the momentous release of “The Mothers 1970” due out today via Zappa Records/UMe, join co-producers Ahmet Zappa & Zappa Vaultmeister Joe Travers for a special virtual listening party today at 12:00 PM (PT)/3:00 PM (ET) on Spotify Premium. https://t.co/omh0Lrf20n pic.twitter.com/2OuUxq8yvV
— Frank Zappa (@zappa) June 26, 2020
The Mothers 1970 encapsulates the band’s brief but productive span, which included two visits to the studio – resulting in the fantastic 1970 album, Chunga’s Revenge – and tours across the U.S., Canada and Europe. Divided into four parts, the collection is anchored by top-notch studio recordings recorded at the famed London-based Trident Studios on June 21-22 with a then-unknown producer in the engineer chair by the name of Roy Thomas Baker, several years before he’d go on to have massive success working with Queen, The Cars and Alice Cooper to name a few.
An unreleased early mix by Baker of the Chunga’s Revenge track, “Sharleena,” is just one of the many highlights of the studio recordings that also boasts several unearthed rough mixes of the Zappa/Simmons co-write, “Wonderful Wino,” including a rare version that showcases vocals and an alternate guitar solo by Zappa that has been lost to the ages as the original multi-track stems were recorded over. Of the material recorded during this two-day span, “Sharleena” was the only song ever officially released – so tracks like “Red Tubular Lighter,” “Giraffe” and an unheard version of “Envelopes” are completely brand new to fans half a century later.
The band’s live prowess is represented with a slew of concert recordings, including the first official release of the oft bootlegged “Piknik” performance originally broadcast on Dutch radio station VRPO, and live performances from concerts in Santa Monica, Calif. and Spokane, Wash. which have been edited together and presented as a hybrid concert since both shows were not fully captured. The release is rounded out with a selection of live highlights recorded around the U.S., interspersed with candid moments recorded in dressing rooms, motel lobbies and the stage by Zappa who took his personal UHER recorder everywhere. All recordings comprising The Mothers 1970 were sourced from their original tapes discovered in The Vault and digitally transferred and compiled by Travers in 2020. Some tracks were mixed by longtime Zappa Trust associate Craig Parker Adams and the collection was mastered by John Polito at Audio Mechanics.
The Mothers 1970 is out now and can be bought here.