THE GRAND WAZOO
(out of a possible five)
This is my favorite album. While it did not floor me upon first listen as many of Frank's
other releases did (WOIIFTM, Burnt Weeny Sandwich, OSFA), the more I listen to it, the
more I love it. While I recognize that it is not as accomplished as some of Frank's other
albums, and while I realize that it is probably not his actual best, I still find the
music contained on these five tracks to be the most satisfying and thrilling in his
"For Calvin" is the perfect opener (despite what anyone else might say),
starting the album off in a deceptively calm mood. The eerie vocals disturb the somewhat
mellow tone, before the music itself starts to breakdown, and before long, chaos reigns.
"The Grand Wazoo" sounds like a '70's theme song (I imagine the Beastie Boys
"Sabotage" video as a companion piece to this tune)- ambitious, musically
humorous, and deliciously over-the-top. When we are dropped off into the lengthy solo
section, the sense of space is immense, with Aynsley and the percussionists keeping very
busy, yet still leaving lots of room for the two soloists to explore their instruments to
the fullest. "Cleetus Awreetus-Awrightus" is one of the funniest songs Frank
ever wrote (despite not having any actual lyrics), and "Eat That Question"
contains some of the sickest drumming ever committed to vinyl. Finally, "Blessed
Relief" provides just that, and may be the purest display of emotion Frank allowed
the public to witness.
THE LIVE EFFECT
Sadly, only three of the five songs were ever performed live, and not very often at that.
FOR CALVIN (AND HIS NEXT TWO HITCHHIKERS)- This was only performed during the Fall
'72 Grand Wazoo tour, and it was basically performed as heard here, with slight
THE GRAND WAZOO- This was also only performed during the Fall '72 Grand Wazoo tour, and
typically contained some outrageous solos.
CLEETUS AWREETUS-AWRIGHTUS- Never performed live.
EAT THAT QUESTION- This track is known to have been performed live a handful of times
during the Spring '73 tour, and was quoted heavily during a late Fall '74
"Montana". Amazingly enough, it found its first permanent job during the '88
tour, where it appeared in the shortened version heard on MAJNH, and always performed as
an intro into "Black Napkins".
BLESSED RELIEF- Never performed live.
Back to reviews