Frank Zappa Newcastle City Hall 13th February 1979

Frank Zappa Newcastle City Hall 13th February 1979
zappatix79After many years of not visiting the UK, Frank Zappa made up for it by coming every year during the period 1977 to 1979. In 1979 I saw his concert at Newcastle City Hall. I went with a group of mates and we had seats quite close to the stage, and a great view of Frank and the band. This was an excellent performance, easily on par with the concert I had seen in Edinburgh a couple of years earlier. Zappa’s guitar playing was simply outstanding and I was delighted that they played the old Mothers’ favourite “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” and “Peaches en Regalia” from “Hot Rats”.
I found this great discussion about the tour and the setlist: “The setlist for this tour was rather odd – you’d expect an artist who’d released 4 albums (including Sheik Yerbouti, which would come out in the middle of this tour) to be playing the songs from those albums. Frank, however, had been playing some of those songs since 1975-1976, and was ready to ditch them and work on the songs he’d introduced in the previous Fall 1978 tour. zappaprogHe also was doing more and more interviews and business stuff, and so Arthur Barrow, the bass player, was left in charge of most of the rehearsals. This meant that much of the setlist had a tendency to be Arthur’s favorites, as they’re the ones he wanted to spend time on. Hence the appearance of a lot of the One Size Fits All album. The band was the same as Fall 1978s, mostly.” (from Sean Gaffney’s Suitable Case for Treatment blog).
Setlist: Treacherous Cretins; Dead Girls of London; Ain’t Got No Heart; Brown Shoes Don’t Make It; Cosmik Debris; Tryin’ to Grow a Chin; City of Tiny Lites; Dancin’ Fool; Easy Meat; Jumbo Go Away; Andy; Inca Roads; Florentine Pogen; Honey, Don’t You Want a Man Like Me?; Keep It Greasey; The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing; For the Young Sophisticate; Wet T-Shirt Nite; Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?; Peaches en Regalia; Yellow Snow Suite (Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow / Nanook Rubs It / St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast / Father O’Blivion / Rollo); Dinah-Moe Humm; Camarillo Brillo / Muffin Manzappamitch
Thanks to Mitch for the photo which he took at this concert.
Frank Zappa left us far too soon on December 4th 1993, and the music world would never be quite the same. Son Dweezil does an excellent job of playing his dad’s music to a whole new generation of fans.

I’m going to jump out of sequence again for the next week or so. I have a few events to cover that I promised myself I would write about before I completed my project. They are mostly rock related, but one or two aren’t quite. There are about 10 of them, and then I’ll return to Z with Z Z Top to finally close this daily project. Not far to go now.

5 responses to this post.

  1. This was my first ever gig. Had been listening to the moi albums for a couple of years as school kid. Had Bingo Fury and was stunned at how good this gigs version of Muffin was. I’m 54 now and listen th FZ almost daily still. Miss him hugely. DZ’s guitar skills are staggering. Sen ZPZ. Few times and love them / him too.


  2. Glad I came across this article. I was at this concert with a friend. I was studying art in the of England North East at that time. I remember the show fondly. I live in Australia now. Thanks for posting. ‘Music is the best’. Cheers.


    • Posted by vintagerock on March 7, 2022 at 12:33 pm

      Hi David Glad you found my blog and that you enjoyed reading about Frank Zappa. Yes music is a powerful force and brings back many happy memories. Happy days Peter


  3. Posted by Terry D on December 27, 2022 at 12:42 pm

    My Mum bought me a ticket for this gig for my 18th birthday, 7th Feb, and it is one that I still remember with great affection. There was a member of the audience who was heckling Frank and FZ gave easily more than he got. At the end of the gig I still smile when recalling how Frank reckoned we were the best cardboard cut outs he’d played to on the tour.
    Many years later with the advent of computers and the digital age I managed to track down a copy of the show which I still listen to from time to time. Brilliant!!


    • Posted by vintagerock on December 27, 2022 at 1:27 pm

      Thanks for sharing Terry. I think I remember the heckler and Frank dealing with it well. He truly was a one-off and one of the small number of musicians who deserves the title “genius”. We may never see his like again. Happy days Peter


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