The Mothers – “Fillmore East – June, 1971”


The Mothers – “Fillmore East – June, 1971”

That’s right, my friends!  It’s the 40th anniversary of one of the funniest Frank Zappa LP’s, “Fillmore East – June, 1971” – with it’s Cal Schenkel pencil cover and Mark Volman & Howard Kaylan of The Turtles.  Some folks will simply know this as the “Mud Shark” album – others may never have heard it at all.

It’s a live album, too – and so was it’s Flo & Eddie follow-up, “Just Another Band From L.A.”.  So, while not sonically stellar, one could say there was a ‘lot of feeling’ that went into the performances.  For those wishing further illumination of the Flo & Eddie version of The Mothers, I would recommend the 2CD set “Playground Psychotics”.  That even has an alternate “Billy The Mountain”!

Of course, additional enlightenment can be had in seeing the feature film “200 Motels”.  Flo & Eddie are all over that one, too.  And let’s not forget “Chunga’s Revenge”!

But “Fillmore East – June, 1971” will forever be the story of the mud shark, and “Do You Like My New Car?”.  The CD has always bore the indignity of having some material missing that was on every LP version; some of the actual non-comedy music that used to bridge the LP sides.

So maybe I didn’t exactly fully understand this LP when I first got it in August 1971.  I mean, the vocalists of The Turtles?  By the time of “Just Another Band from L.A.”, I totally warmed to them.  And by age 13, I could figure out some of the sexual obscurity.

And after their tenure with FZ, Flo & Eddie did make some superlative ‘solo’ albums!  Two for Reprise and two for Columbia – all four worth owning.

But – like some of 1971’s releases, I guess you had to be there.  As “Fillmore East – June, 1971” was released around the time of my birthday, I was even given a discount on the original LP at the hippie record store in downtown Long Beach, CA.  I never forgot about that, even 40 years hence.

I first listened to this LP with my dad.  He was somewhat tolerant of my ‘rock music’, and I think he may have enjoyed the smutty lyrics.  He must’ve realized that Frank Zappa wasn’t going to go away – Zappa has been a part of our household, first for my older sisters, then for me – since about 1965.

It’s so true – they don’t make ‘em like this one anymore.  Filthy comic playlets!  Live rock music recorded professionally, for a major record company (Warner Brothers / Reprise Records).

I later found a white label copy of this LP – like it was ever going to get ANY airplay!  In 2011, I own 11 different variants of the album, on both LP and CD.  I wish there was video for it, but…haven’t seen any as yet.

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