Stage I
Stage II
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Stage VI


the Sex and Halloween Candy tapes


NUMBER OF OTHERWISE UNRELEASED TRACKS- 11 (MOI Anti-Smut Loyalty Oath, Madison Panty-Sniffing Festival, Farther O'Blivion, Lonely Person Devices, Make A Sex Noise, Tracy is a Snob, Emperor of Ohio, NYC Halloween Audience, Thirteen, Lobster Girl, Lisa's Life Story)


YEARS COVERED- 11 ('70, '71, '73, '76, '77, '78, '79, '80, '81, '84, '88)


THE MOI ANTI-SMUT LOYALTY OATH (1)- Playing in Miami shortly after Jim Morrison's unveiling of his Serpent King, Frank opens the show with this improvised "oath of decency" to the imbecilic state of Florida. I think it is funny. It works nicely as an opening to this disc, though it would work much better if it did not segue into…(1970)


THE POODLE LECTURE (0)- As a segue from "Stinkfoot" into "Dirty Love", Frank gave this little spiel at way too many concerts in '76 and '77. If you have heard this once, then you have heard it too many times. It should lose points for breaking the momentum created by "…which is the Ramada Inn".(1977)

BETTER SELECTION: No. All Poodle Lectures sucked.

DIRTY LOVE (1)- Harmless yet fun.(1979)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  How about a Fall '76 Bianca version?

MAGIC FINGERS (1)- Love you Ray. Love you.(1980)


THE MADISON SNIFFING PANTY FESTIVAL (0)- Another version of Tinseltown Rebellion's "Panty Rap". It is this kind of stuff which ruins the stage series. (1980)


HONEY DON'T YOU WANT A MAN LIKE ME? (0)- No. I don't want another version of you either.(1988)


FARTHER O'BLIVION (1)- This is a too-short snippet of a '73 performance of a not-fully evolved "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow Suite". Yes, this is nice, but why not release an entire version of these interesting and frequently funny performances? That way you do not have to rely on Panty Sniffing festivals and Sex Noise contest to fill-up otherwise valuable disc space.(1973)

BETTER SELECTION: No.  But the entire suite would have been nice.

IS THAT GUY KIDDING OR WHAT? (0)- Unfortunately, no. He really does think stuff like this deserves to be released. This is Frank's opening monologue for "I Have Been In You"- the same one seen on "Baby Snakes", and basically the same one heard before every '77 and '78 performance of that "Sheik Yerbouti" tune.(1977)

BETTER SELECTION: No.  More worthless tripe.

I'M SO CUTE (1)- You are no Terry Ted, but you will do. Frank could have scored major points here by releasing the 1976 debut performance, which sounds like a Rolling Stones "Exile on Main Street" extract.(1980)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  The aforementioned '76 version.

WHITE PERSON (1)- A little slice of Winter '78 "King Kong" madness. This is the Mystery Word portion of the aforementioned tune. Again, a full-blown "King Kong" would have made us all happier, but we will have to make do with this.(1978)

BETTER SELECTION: No.  This is a good example of the Mystery Word madness.

LONELY PERSON DEVICES (0)- Frank's explanation of "Ms. Pinky." Only a lonely person would listen to this more than once.(1976)


MS. PINKY (1)- An incredible improvement over the lethargic "Zoot Allures" version. With the awesome segue into...…(1980)


SHOVE IT RIGHT IN (SUITE) (1)- As Sean Gaffney says, "but of course". Get rid of those annoying classical interludes, and you have one ferocious rocker. Plus, yet another awesome segue, this time into...…(1971)


WIND UP WORKING IN A GAS STATION (1)- I like the "Zoot Allures" version, but nothing compares to Bianca.(1976)


MAKE A SEX NOISE (0)- This is an edited version of one of the two Sex Noise contests from the 1988 tour. The band vamps along, Ike says "make A Sex Noise", and audience members moan and groan. This is from an '88 "Pound for a Brown", where it was bearable thanks to the incredible music which preceded it. (1988)


TRACY IS A SNOB (1)- This is an excellent example of the insanity that the Fall '80 band would slide into in the waning days of their tour. Again (the question of the day), why not release the entire song Frank, and put the improvisation in its proper context?(1980)

BETTER SELECTION: No.  But again, how about the whole song?

I HAVE BEEN IN YOU (0)- One too many times, for my taste.(1977)


EMPEROR OF OHIO (1)- Again, a nice little slice of improvisation, but how about an entire sandwich for once, and not just the meat?(1978)


DINAH-MOE HUMM (1/2)- Sue me for liking this.(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  Both the Fall '74 band and the Fall '76 band performed much better, funkier versions of this.

HE'S SO GAY (1/2)- This earns its points for giving us another reason not to have to dig out our "Thingfish" CD's.(1984)


CAMARILLO BRILLO (1)- I like the live version of this. The '84 band probably did the least inspired version of it, but this is better than nothing. I would have preferred a Fall '74 version, with the funky George Duke keyboard solo ending, but beggars cannot be choosers.(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  A Fall '74 or Spring '75 version would have been a treat.

MUFFIN MAN (1/2)- Yet another Zappa classic falling sick with the dreaded (is that a pun?) reggae disease. Will we ever get an officially released "Muffin Man" that does not fade out at the end?(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  An instrumental performance from the Spring '75 tour would have been a true rarity.


NYC HALLOWEEN AUDIENCE (0)- This is one of the sickest audience jams you will ever hear. Listen closely. The guy in the left channel is yelling in 5/8, the girl in the far right channel is clapping in 21, and the little boy in the middle is blowing his nose. Phenomenal. (1981)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  Track down some audience bootlegs and release some of the utter nonsense that can be overheard on these tapes.   People talk about the strangest things while at a Frank show.

THE ILLINOIS ENEMA BANDIT (1)- The '84 band probably performed the least interesting versions of this tune, but the Secret Word usage pushes this performance to another level.(1984)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  The Fall '80 tour witnessed some truly outrageous IEB guitar solos.

THIRTEEN (1)- For the '78 Halloween run, "Pound for a Brown" contained a thirteen vamp which was used to showcase the solos of special guest L Shankar and Zappa himself. This release edits together Shankar and Zappa solos from separate nights, and contains only the Thirteen portions of the respective monster "Pound for a Browns". This is the type of stuff that the Stage series should have mostly consisted. But again, I must ask, why give us only a portion of the jam, and why not the whole Monster "Pound for a Brown" performance?(1978)


LOBSTER GIRL (1)- This is a Patrick O'Hearn bass solo/improvised rant from a Monster '78 "Little House I Used to Live". Several questions this track leads me to ask. One, is there a better bass player than Patrick O'Hearn? Two, why not give us the entire Monster "Little House" performance"? Three, why does FZ get a songwriting credit on this one?(1978)


BLACK NAPKINS (1/2)- Oh, Frank. Why in the world would you edit an '84 guitar solo onto Brecker's inspired '76 horn outing? You ruined what should have been one of the best tracks of the series.(1976, 1984)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  Any selection that does not include an '84 performance. How about oneof the mini-Monsters from Fall '76/Winter '77?

WE'RE TURNING AGAIN (0)- We really do not need another one of these.(1988)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes. Release a 1981 tour rehearsal version which had bits of "Uncle Meat" thrown in between the verses.

ALIEN ORIFICE (0)- As much as I love this tune, and the always forceful solos contained within, this is another tune that does not need another official release.(1982)


CATHOLIC GIRLS (1)- Not as good as the studio version, but worth being released. Wouldn't it have been great if he chose to release one of the "Easy Meat-> Catholic Girls" medleys from the '79 tour? Now that is something that you can't do on stage anymore.(1988)

BETTER SELECTION: Yes.  See above.

CREW SLUT (1)- Frank always gave great solo during these riotous '88 performances. And kudos to Bobby for some inspired keyboard support.(1988)


TRYIN' TO GROW A CHIN (0)- This is my favorite version of this way-too-often released tune. The middle instrumental section has more punch here than in any other version (thanks to O'Hearn, of course). Still, is it worth releasing yet another version?(1977)

BETTER SELECTION: Maybe.  A 1981 performance with Thunes on vocals would probably be a little more significant.

TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF WHEN YOU DANCE (1)- For the Halloween '78 performance, the band performed an instrumental version of this ignored dance classic. Four officially released versions of this one, and all of them well worth the attention.(1978)


LISA'S LIFE STORY (1)- This is from a 1981 "Pound for a Brown". Special guest Lisa Popeil tells her life story while Frank conducts the band through some random noises. Pretty funny, you have to admit.(1981)


LONESOME COWBOY BURT (1)- Yet another version of this song, combining an '88 and a '71 performance (featuring Jimmy Carl Black himself). The '88 portions contain enough Secret Word usage to differentiate this from the Best Band version, and the contrast between the years makes for some interesting inter-song segues. (1988, 1971)

BETTER SELECTION: No.  Another rare example where Frank's editing choices reult in a better track


200 MOTELS FINALE (1)- Off "200 Motels", this uncredited track (which appears at the end of "Strictly Genteel") musically describes what happens at the end of filming "200 Motels" the movie. Another one of those tracks which makes you realize that Flo 'n' Eddie were not that bad after all.(1971)


STRICTLY GENTEEL (1)- The perfect ending to the not-so perfect series. Now let's all go get some Hawaiian Punch. It's on me.(1981)


TOTAL SCORE- 64.9% (24 out of a possible 37)

Songs earning a 1= 22

Songs earning 1/2= 4

Songs earning a 0= 11

While this Volume ranks second in the overall scoring, it is harder to listen to than most of the other Volumes because, as least as far as disc one goes, the tracks that do not work really do not work. Lectures about poodles, Sex Noise contests, the origins of songs- there is simply too much material here that you listen to once and never want to hear again. Even the tracks that work ("Farther O'Blivion", "Tracy is a Snob") are disappointing because they are only a small portion of what we know is a much more enjoyable whole. Disc two succeeds much better, and despite containing a little too much '88 material, is one of the better discs in the series. When all is said and done, however, this is probably the most frustrating Volume thanks to Frank's frequently frustrating editing techniques. "Tracy is a Snob", "White Person", "Emperor of Ohio", "Thirteen", "Lobster Girl", and "Lisa's Life Story" are only small portions of mighty impressive Monster songs. "Black Napkins" jumps from a passionate '76 horn solo to a sterile '84 guitar solo. "Farther O'Blivion" merely teases at the majesty that was the '73 "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" suites. If Frank had put his editing knife down and allowed himself to release the complete, unedited versions of all of these songs, then we would have on our hands one of the most amazing sets of music ever. Instead, we are left with a final Stage Volume which appears more impressive than it actually is.

Diseases of the Fans

-who they are and what they are thinking

#1) Sean Gaffney rates this volume a 48.6% (18 out of 37)

Songs earning a 1= 12

Songs earning 1/2= 12

Songs earning a 0= 13

The only songs we completely disagreed on (with a whole point difference) were "Dirty Love", "Emperor of Ohio", and "Catholic Girls", all of which I gave a full point to, he none. This Volume has the biggest discrepancy in our scores, mainly due to the fact that I was generous with the one's, or that possibly Sean was stingy with them.

#2) Jon Naurin rates this volume a 43.2% (16 out of 37)

Songs earning a 1= 8

Songs earning 1/2= 16

Songs earning a 0= 13



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