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
Live album by
ReleasedAugust 2, 1971
RecordedJune 5–6, 1971
VenueFillmore East (New York City)
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.


Frank Zappa at the Fillmore East during the album's recording on June 5, 1971

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 Turtles' hit "Happy Together" - Kaylan, Mark Volman, and Jim Pons having been members of the Turtles - to the girls to give them their "bullet". The album ends with an encore excerpt including both Zappa's familiar "Peaches en Regalia" and a pastiche of early-rock and roll, "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 released on CD on the 2012 reissue of the album.[1] 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.[2]

John & Yoko and the Mothers

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic     [3]
Christgau's Record GuideC−[4]
Uncut6/10 [6]
The Village VoiceD+[5]

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. It also appears in its complete unedited version, along with the "original" version of "Billy the Mountain", on the expanded triple-LP reissue of Fillmore East and the anniversary set The Mothers 1971, released simultaneously on March 18, 2022.[7]

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 listing


All tracks are written by Frank Zappa, except where noted

Side one
1."Little House I Used to Live In" (June 5)4:58
2."The Mud Shark" (mostly June 6, with intro recorded on June 5)5:16
3."What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?" (June 5 & June 6)4:51
4."Bwana Dik" (June 5)2:27
5."Latex Solar Beef" (June 5)4:22
6."Willie the Pimp, Part One" (June 5)2:50
Total length:23:33
Side two
7."Willie the Pimp, Part Two" (June 6) 1:54
8."Do You Like My New Car?" (June 5 & June 6) 7:08
9."Happy Together" (June 6)Garry Bonner, Alan Gordon2:57
10."Lonesome Electric Turkey (encore excerpt featuring Don Preston on Minimoog)" (June 5) 2:34
11."Peaches en Regalia" (June 5, 2nd show) 3:22
12."Tears Began to Fall" (June 6, 2nd show) 2:46
Total length:20:44

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

Bonus tracks (2022)


The following tracks appear on this album's anniversary expanded edition, released on March 18, 2022.[7][8]

All tracks are written by Frank Zappa, except where noted

Side three (featuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono; June 6)
13."Well"Walter Ward5:29
14."Say Please"Zappa, Lennon, Ono1:00
15."Aaawk"Zappa, Lennon, Ono2:59
16."Scumbag"Zappa, Howard Kaylan, Lennon, Ono5:54
17."A Small Eternity With Yoko Ono"Lennon, Ono6:10
Side four
18."King Kong Solos" (June 5)18:49
Side five
19."Billy the Mountain"
  • "Phase One of 'The Plot'"
  • "Phase Two & Newscast"
  • "The Legendary Low Budget Hero"
  • "The Flies"
Side six
20."Billy the Mountain (Continued)"
  • "Studebacher Hoch"
  • "The Conclusion"
21."Homemade Radio Spot" 2:16
22."Tears Began to Fall (Single Version)" (June 6) 2:48
23."Junier Mintz Boogie" (Detroit, May 25)Billy Dexter2:56




  • 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)[9] 24


  1. ^ "Would You Go All the Way? Zappa Reissues Arrive and Details Emerge, Next Batch Announced « the Second Disc". Archived from the original on August 2, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  2. ^ Release details
  3. ^ Huey, Steve (2011). "Fillmore East: June 1971 - Frank Zappa & the Mothers | AllMusic". Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert (October 14, 1971). "Consumer Guide (19)". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  6. ^ Cavanagh, David (2016). "Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention reissues". Archived from the original on 26 December 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Zappa's Legendary 1971 Fillmore East Run, and Shocking Final Rainbow Theatre Gig Commemorated with Definitive Eight-Disc Boxed Set". Universal Music Enterprises. January 13, 2022.
  8. ^ "The Mothers – Fillmore East - June 1971 (50th Anniversary Expanded Edition)". Discogs. March 18, 2022.
  9. ^ 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.