Fillmore East – June 1971

Fillmore East – June 1971 is a live album by The Mothers, released in 1971. It is the twelfth album in Frank Zappa's discography, and was produced by Zappa and mixed by Toby Foster.

Fillmore East – June 1971
Frank Zappa - Fillmore East-June 1971.jpg
Live album by
ReleasedAugust 2, 1971
RecordedFillmore East, New York City,
June 5–6, 1971
GenreComedy rock, jazz rock, hard rock, progressive rock
ProducerFrank Zappa
Frank Zappa chronology
Chunga's Revenge
Fillmore East – June 1971
200 Motels
The Mothers of Invention chronology
Weasels Ripped My Flesh
Fillmore East – June 1971
Just Another Band from L.A.
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Record GuideC–[2]
Uncut6/10 [4]
The Village VoiceD+[3]


Frank Zappa at the Fillmore East, June 5, 1971, during recording of the album

Fillmore East – June 1971 is a live concept-like album. It portrays a peek-behind-the-curtain of the life of a rock band on the road as narrated by Frank Zappa, and contains many thematic elements that, because of time and budget constraints, couldn't be included in the similar movie 200 Motels. The most famous part of the album is "The Mud Shark", a telling of a story told to Mother Don Preston by some members of Vanilla Fudge about a hotel, Seattle's Edgewater Inn, where guests could fish from their rooms. In the tale, a mud shark is caught by one of the members of Vanilla Fudge or its crew and, when combined with a groupie and a movie camera, depravity ensues. Although not stated in "The Mud Shark," this 1969 incident, now referred to as "the Shark episode," also involved Led Zeppelin's drummer John Bonham and road manager Richard Cole, with Vanilla Fudge's singer/keyboardist Mark Stein operating the movie camera.

The band then portray stereotypically egotistical members of a rock band "negotiating" for sex with a groupie and her girlfriends. The girls are insulted that the band thinks they are groupies and that they would sleep with the band just because they are musicians. They have standards; they will only have sex with a guy in a group with a "big, hit single in the charts – with a bullet!" and a "dick that’s a monster." In "Bwana Dik", singer Howard Kaylan assures the girls that he is endowed beyond their "wildest Clearasil-spattered fantasies." And, not to be put off by the standards of these groupies, the band sings the girls the Turtles (of which Kaylan, Volman, and Pons had been members) hit "Happy Together", to give them their "bullet". The album ends with an encore excerpt including both Zappa's familiar "Peaches en Regalia" and what was possibly his most successful early-rock and roll pastiche, "Tears Began to Fall" (also issued as a single).

When this album was first reissued on compact disc by Rykodisc, "Willie the Pimp, Pt. 2" was omitted from the track line-up. It was finally released on CD on the 2012 reissue of the album.[5] Also, in the CD edition, the last minute of "Latex Solar Beef" was placed at the beginning of "Willie the Pimp Part One", making it longer. It is unclear if this was intentional or not.[6]

John & Yoko and the MothersEdit

As an encore on one of the two nights of this Fillmore East appearance John Lennon and Yoko Ono emerged from the wings to play a half hour set with the band. This part of the show was released under Lennon's name on a disc called Live Jam, which was included as a bonus disc with Lennon's album Some Time in New York City. It can also be heard on Zappa's 1992 release Playground Psychotics.

Lennon used a copy of the cover of the Zappa album (adding his own red-inked credits to the album's black-ink handwritten ones) to provide liner notes for Live Jam.

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Frank Zappa, except where noted.

Side one
1."Little House I Used to Live In"4:58
2."The Mud Shark"5:16
3."What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?"4:51
4."Bwana Dik"2:27
5."Latex Solar Beef"4:22
6."Willie the Pimp, Part One"2:50
Side two
7."Willie the Pimp, Part Two" 1:54
8."Do You Like My New Car?" 7:08
9."Happy Together"Garry Bonner, Alan Gordon2:57
10."Lonesome Electric Turkey (encore excerpt featuring Don Preston on Minimoog)" 2:34
11."Peaches en Regalia" 3:22
12."Tears Began to Fall" 2:46

On early CD editions, "Willie the Pimp Part Two" was removed. The track was restored on the 2012 CD reissue.




  • Producer: Frank Zappa
  • Engineer: Barry Keene
  • Mixing: Toby Foster
  • Mastering: Toby Foster
  • Digital remastering: Bob Stone
  • Cover design: Cal Schenkel
  • Artwork: Cal Schenkel
  • Repackaging: Ferenc Dobronyi


Chart (1971/72) Peak
United States (Billboard 200) 38
Australia (Kent Music Report)[7] 24


  1. ^ Huey, Steve (2011). "Fillmore East: June 1971 - Frank Zappa & the Mothers | AllMusic". Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: M". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 8, 2019 – via
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (October 14, 1971). "Consumer Guide (19)". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  4. ^ Cavanagh, David (2016). "Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention reissues". Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 2, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Release details
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 348. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.

External linksEdit