Frank Zappa - Zappa '80: Mudd Club LP
During the spring/summer tour of 1980, Frank Zappa played a set at his favorite NYC nightclub – the famous Mudd Club. Zappa adored the place and even wrote a song dedicated to it. Mastered by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering in 2022, the complete performance is included here on two 45rpm 180g audiophile vinyl LPs. The package also features photography and a memoir from George Alper, who worked for FZ and was at the event, along with liner notes from Arthur Barrow, Steve Vai and Vaultmeister Joe Travers.
In 1980, The Mudd Club was a happening, underground venue in lower Manhattan best known for being a popular hangout for the counterculture and a bastion of new wave and punk which dominated NYC's music and fashion scene. As Travers writes in the liners, "celebrities and musicians alike would frequent the 'art bar cabaret' during its heyday between 1979 and 1983, dancing, drinking and making the scene amongst the New York City denizens of the deep." Zappa loved the small, seedy club and the punks, posers and hipsters that called it home, and so made it a priority to play there while on tour, scheduling a performance on May 8, 1980, at the tiny 240-capacity room, sandwiched between much larger arena dates in Cincinnati, Philadelphia and the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island where he played two shows in one night to more than 20,000 fans total.
Zappa and his five-piece band treated the sweaty, packed club to a thrilling 15-song, hour-long set filled with tracks from the recently released 1979 albums, the triple LP rock opera, Joe's Garage ("Joe's Garage," "Keep It Greasy," "Outside Now," "Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?"), and Sheik Yerbuti ("Bobby Brown Goes Down," "City Of Tiny Lites"), along with songs from across his prolific catalog, including "I Ain't Got No Heart" and "You Didn't Try To Call Me" from 1966's Freak Out!, and the title track from 1970's Chunga's Revenge. Additionally, the band played early versions of Zappa's homage to the club, "Mudd Club," "The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing," and "You Are What You Is," which would all be recorded after the tour and released the following year on You Are What You Is. The show was famously captured by an Austrian film crew DoRo (Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher) who included two songs – "Mudd Club" and "Chunga's Revenge" – in their documentary, Frank Zappa: New York and Elsewh