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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:35 am 
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pbuzby wrote:
After "Valley Girl" Zappa didn't tour in America until two years later. I don't know if it was a hit quickly enough to increase ticket sales in Europe.


Yes you are right. I remember reading this a few years back - I sort of interpreted as how I posted it.
(from wiki) "Most Americans who only knew Zappa from his few singles successes now thought of him as a person writing novelty songs, even though the rest of the album contained highly challenging music. Zappa was irritated by this and never played the song live."

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:55 pm 
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pbuzby wrote:
downer mydnyte wrote:
KUIII wrote:
Frank didn't want his audience to shrink. That's ridiculous. Frank's audience just shrank a bit in the '80's as most rock acts of the late '60's and '70's did. Most record buyers of any era or genre are in their teens or '20's. As folks get older and they have more responsibilities buying music becomes a lower priority even with people who still love music.

I have no idea what Frank wanted.
Anyway that was an afterthought. Point was: his audience shrank as the bands got softer.

Certain iconic 60s bands were making more money in the 80s than they were in the sixties. The stones and the dead, for example, were raking it in in the 80s.


So the Stones and Dead's music got better in the 80s?


Not in my opinion. But their audience didn't shrink. Zappa's music was not "better" in the 80s either but his audience seemed to get smaller. I thought perhaps it was because others back then felt the same way as I do now about his 80s material/bands. It was just a theory. According to DB his audience was shrinking before 1980. I was under the impression that the decline in ticket sales began in the 80s. My decline in enthusiasm for Zappa's music starts at Tinseltown Rebellion/YAWYI. I'm not the only one. I felt like that was the turning point. What do we attribute his decline in ticket sales to? He couldn't reach the younger audience the way the stones and the dead did. Why? It's just the way it goes, I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:21 pm 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
According to DB his audience was shrinking before 1980. I was under the impression that the decline in ticket sales began in the 80s. My decline in enthusiasm for Zappa's music starts at Tinseltown Rebellion/YAWYI. I'm not the only one. I felt like that was the turning point. What do we attribute his decline in ticket sales to? He couldn't reach the younger audience the way the stones and the dead did. Why? It's just the way it goes, I guess.


That's NOT what I said.

ONE. MORE. TIME. FOR. THE. WORLD.:

In the vast majority of markets, FZ's concert demand (ticket sales gross) did NOT decrease in the '80s, it STAGNATED.

However, because of said stagnant demand in most cases, his attendance decreased because the ticket prices increased.

Here's an example of decreasing attendance as a result of stagnant demand and a ticket price increase:

~ if the projected ticket sales gross is $50,000 and the average ticket price is $6.25, attendance will be 8,000
~ if the projected ticket sales gross is $50,000 and the average ticket price is $12.50, attendance will be 4,000
~ if the projected ticket sales gross is $50,000 and the average ticket price is $25, attendance will be 2,000
~ if the projected ticket sales gross is $50,000 and the average ticket price is $50, attendance will be 1,000
~ if the projected ticket sales gross is $50,000 and the average ticket price is $100, attendance will be 500

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:24 am 
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I was under the impression which I got from an interview that the '82 tour was his longest straight and biggest tour. But I'm not sure, that is why I stated that originally.

I wonder if he would have ever toured again in the 90's...

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:03 am 
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NuclearProstate wrote:
I wonder if he would have ever toured again in the 90's...

Not a chance.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:07 am 
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NuclearProstate wrote:
I wonder if he would have ever toured again in the 90's...


You mean, if his health hadn't prevented it, I guess.

In the big interview with Society Pages in late 1989, FZ stated he would have been in a dressing room that day if the Thunes fight hadn't shut down the 88 band. However, in other interviews FZ said he was done with rock tours, so it isn't clear.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:55 am 
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But didn't the '84 tour supposed to be his last at one point? I dunno, I think he would have hungered for the road. Unless he just took an ensemble out did classical whilst he shredded the guitar.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:58 am 
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NuclearProstate wrote:
But didn't the '84 tour supposed to be his last at one point? I dunno, I think he would have hungered for the road. Unless he just took an ensemble out did classical whilst he shredded the guitar.


He did say during the '82 tour that he would never tour Europe again, and after '84 that he would never tour anywhere again.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:04 pm 
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He also said he would never come back to England again and within a few months he was back...

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Considering he lost money on the '84 tour and chances are there could've been a loss even if the war against Thunes had not led to the cancelling the 2nd US '88 leg, perhaps FZ also realised touring wouldn't necessarily be that much of an income stream for him anymore. He seemed still fortunate enough to earn a fair bit from record sales, enough to make a good living from his cottage industry. No idea how many streams of income he actually had for the last five years of his life, but touring definitely seemed to demand too much money to make any money out of that.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:14 pm 
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You could also consider the cost of moving a large band around as the price of things went up into the 90s... that would have made it almost impossible unless you were selling out large venues consistently. The 88 band was indeed large.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:02 pm 
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And I'll read all about it when I get Zappa: The Hard Way for Christmas.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:11 pm 
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Yes, he was asking for trouble setting up the 88 band if he didn't want to take a financial loss.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:44 pm 
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Strictly 80s

-Envelopes
-Outside now again
-Moggio
-Tiink walks amok
-What's New in Baltimore
-Alien orifice
-Marqueson chicken
-St-Etienne
-While You Were Out
-While you were art II
-Let's Move To Cleveland
-Which One Is It?
-Heavy Duty Judy
-When Yuppies Go To Hell

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:26 pm 
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http://www.cosmik.com/aa-may01/ike_willis.html

Willis: Oh yeah. And then the thing was in July of 93, he gave me a call up here and said "Hey look, I'm feeling better! It looks like this thing may have gone into remission. My weight's coming back, my health is coming back. I don't know what the hell it is but it's starting to work and I got an idea!" So I asked, "Well what's that?" and he said, "Well 1995 will be the 25th anniversary of 200 Motels." And I went "Oh really?" So he goes, "How about this: you, me, Flo & Eddie, George Duke, a full orchestra, people like Tommy Mars -- we'll get some people and go out on a massive 200 Motels World Tour!" and I went, "Yeah, I think maybeee, YEAH!" And so we were making plans for that and then boom! Relapse - a couple months later in November. God, he just deteriorated so fast, it really killed me. REALLY killed me. That was like from July to November, just that quick, and the thing was we were making plans, we were going back out! I hadn't heard him so animated and so happy, and raring to go in such a long time. I was caught up in the enthusiasm, I was ready to rock n roll, not a problem, oh good we're going back out again. And then November, he was gone! I barely had time to get down there and talk to him before he died. That's how it happened.


If only?! :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:57 am 
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I would love to believe the and maybe it is partly true but damn Ike is renowned for Bullshitting people. I would have loved that.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:21 am 
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Phlakaton wrote:
You could also consider the cost of moving a large band around as the price of things went up into the 90s... that would have made it almost impossible unless you were selling out large venues consistently. The 88 band was indeed large.


For Frank it was kind of inevitable that his bands would have to be larger than the standard rock lineup. That's what sort of happens when you:

a) can't sing whilst playing rhythm guitar
b) don't like playing rhythm anymore
c) you write music that's extremely complicated
d) from c), you need exceptionally skilled musicians
e) you also require multi-part vocal harmonies, so good luck finding exceptionally good players who can also sing very well

No wonder his six-piece band in 1980 had only drums, bass, keyboards plus two singers with limited ability on guitar. And FZ that only played solos. Contrast National Health in 1976: two keyboards, a guitar that is always active in either lead and rhythm role, bass, drums and a singer. Bound to sound less thin instrument-wise. Or Henry Cow: almost every member was a multi-instrumentalist. Like a compact orchestra.

Based on Frank's requirements, it was inevitable that he'd have to hire a fair number of people. Just to fill the following roles:
rhythm guitar
stunt guitar
keyboards
bass
drums
orchestral percussion
vocals, vocals and more vocals.

The horn section easily makes the lineup's number a two-digit one.

In order to tour as a power quartet with Thunes, Keneally and some non-Wackerman drummer (maybe Bozzio?), FZ would have had to sit down and really work on the rhythm guitar + singing aspect. At late forties he probably would have not made a whole lot of progress at that. And of course the material would've been rather restricted. Or any kind of power-quartet would've probably required all other members being great singers in addition to being phenomenal instrument players.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:58 am 
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Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
In order to tour as a power quartet with Thunes, Keneally and some non-Wackerman drummer (maybe Bozzio?)


As I recall there were strong hints that if FZ had done another rock tour after 1988 Mats & Morgan would have been in the band.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:37 am 
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pbuzby wrote:
Ed Organus Maximus wrote:
In order to tour as a power quartet with Thunes, Keneally and some non-Wackerman drummer (maybe Bozzio?)


As I recall there were strong hints that if FZ had done another rock tour after 1988 Mats & Morgan would have been in the band.


"After the encores, we met in Frank’s room backstage again. He said we have to do this again sometime and we exchanged addresses. Frank told us that he was looking for a new drummer and keyboard player, and then he just kind of stared at us without really saying anything more. I think he wanted to tease us a little bit too, because he was obviously talking about me and Mats. Frank even wrote down some notes on a piece of paper which showed his way of notating drums. He gave it to me and told me to get used to it. Then it was time to go home; go home and wait for the phone to ring...” - Morgan Agren, as quoted in my book.

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Zappa music and much, much MOO-AH!
www.FestivalMoo-AH.com


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:11 pm 
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Can't wait to read the full thing.

So, FZMTMOI. What do you guys think? I have listened to it a few times in the last couple of days. It's so underrated. Porn Wars should be at the end in my opinion. WNIB? Is beautiful, up there with WMIEA in my opinion and I can't get enough of WTA even though I prefer the NY81/Chalk Pie version.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:44 pm 
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NuclearProstate wrote:
So, FZMTMOI. What do you guys think?


Baltimore is great. That's about it. I probably wont listen to the rest of it ever again but it's fine.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:34 am 
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I love Porn Wars. And Baltimore. And We're Turning Again.

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:12 am 
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BBP wrote:
I love Porn Wars. And Baltimore. And We're Turning Again.


Alien Orifice. Not a big "We're Turning Again" fan although I had fun listening to it the last time knowing how miserable it made Barry Miles feel.

As "Baltimore" was the last track on side one (for those of us who got familiar with the album on LP or cassette) I think of it as the end of the era of FZ making rock albums in the studio (even if most of the 80's albums draw on live material), with side two announcing the new, Synclavier period.


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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:29 am 
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Surely Baltimore was recorded live, just compiled from different shows. And possibly overdubbed. Or was the degree of liveness less than Roxy? Like maybe some more redone in the studio drums?

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 Post subject: Re: 80's Zappa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:40 am 
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The basic track of "Baltimore" was live, yes. For Mothers Of Prevention the acoustic guitar is a studio overdub (Vai played electric sitar live) as are the drums and some other stuff. Chalk Pie has the track with a longer guitar solo and the original live drums.


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