The Mothers of Invention
Three clips of John and Yoko onstage with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention at the Fillmore East in NYC, June 5, 1971. For whatever reason, Lennon re-titled the Mothers’ song “King Kong”—the centerpiece of their live act for years and one that took up an entire side of the Uncle Meat album—as “Jamrag” and credited it to “Lennon/Ono” on their 1972 Sometime in New York City live album. Zappa’s own mix of this material—radically different from the Phil Spector produced tracks on John and Yoko’s album—came out on his Playground Psychotics album in 1992.
The Mothers at this time were comprised of Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman on vocals, Bob Harris—keyboards, Don Preston—Minimoog, Ian Underwood—keyboards, alto sax, Jim Pons—bass, vocals and Aynsley Dunbar on drums. If you’re a Yoko fan, towards the end of the third clip, Lennon starts doing some feedback stuff with his guitar as she wails over it. It’s a fine Yoko moment, albeit brief.
This is either a fan-shot film that was synced up with soundboard audio or else something that came via Bill Graham’s archives or a mixture of both. The audio quality is quite good and the video quality is certainly watchable, although there are dropouts to black at times. Still, this is an amazing, historic concert to have footage of, I’ll take what I can get. This probably got onto YouTube by way of the amazing Zappateers fansite (truly one of the greatest fan communities on the Internet).
Below “Scumbag.” I love Don Preston’s Mini-Moog improvisations here: