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

Dropping June 18th

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Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa, photo courtesy of artist’s estate

    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.

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    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.

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    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

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    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

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    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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