Roxy & Elsewhere is a double live album by Frank Zappa and The Mothers, released in September 1974. Most of the songs were recorded on December 8, 9 and 10, 1973 at The Roxy Theatre in Hollywood, California.
The material taken from the Roxy concerts was later amended with some overdubs in the studio, while the "Elsewhere" tracks ("Son of Orange County" and "More Trouble Every Day") were recorded on May 8, 1974, at the Edinboro State College, Edinboro, Pennsylvania (and parts of "Son of Orange County" on May 11, 1974, at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, Illinois ) and do not contain overdubbed material.
This album is considered a high-water-mark recording of one of the most celebrated incarnations of the Mothers. It features an array of highly challenging instrumentals such as "Echidna's Arf (Of You)", "Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?", and the opening theme of "Be-Bop Tango (of the Old Jazzmen's Church)". It also features "Cheepnis", Zappa's tribute to low-budget monster movies, and reworked versions of earlier songs such as "More Trouble Every Day" and "Son of Orange County" (excerpted from the songs "Oh No" and "The Orange County Lumber Truck" and given an extended guitar solo). "Village of the Sun" is about Sun Village, California, an unincorporated area near Palmdale, and also makes references to Lancaster, California, twin city to Palmdale and Zappa's hometown.
The album primarily comprised recordings from three shows at the Roxy Theater in Hollywood, and featured tracks never before or thereafter released on any Zappa/Mothers album. Material from the Roxy performances were partially overdubbed. The other tracks came from the 8th May 1974 show in Edinboro State College and the second show on 11 May (Mothers Day) 1974 at the Chicago Auditorium Theatre.
The opening track, "Penguin in Bondage" is edited together from performances at the Roxy and the Chicago date. The guitar solo on "Son of Orange County" is one of the few Zappa guitar solos edited together from more than one concert, in this case the Edinboro and Chicago dates.
Some of the unused tracks from the Roxy shows circulate as bootlegs, as well as the entirety of the Edinboro show. Other tracks were released on Volumes One, Three and Four of the You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore series. On a side note, Zappa can be heard, on the released and unreleased Roxy tapes, speaking of the making of a 'film' that could potentially be "broadcast on television", as well as reminding the audience not to be "uncomfortable around the intimidatingly large 16 mm cameras."
A four-channel quadraphonic version of the album was prepared and advertised, but not released.
The 2014 CD Roxy by Proxy includes other material from the Roxy shows, including alternate versions of some songs from Roxy & Elsewhere, with no overdubs.
In the documentary Genesis: Together and Apart, Phil Collins states that the twin drum solos in "Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?" is what inspired him to ask Chester Thompson to join the touring version of Genesis. Collins and Thompson also used the drum fill from the chorus of "More Trouble Every Day" in the coda of live versions of the Genesis song "Afterglow."
On February 2, 2018, Zappa Records/UMe released The Roxy Performances, a definitive set that collects all four public shows from December 9-10, 1973, and the December 8th film shoot and soundcheck, each presented in their entirety without overdubs, along with bonus content featuring rarities from a rehearsal, unreleased tracks and highlights from the recording session at Bolic Studios.
There was a 3-minute trailer released in the new millennium advertising a Roxy DVD, which could potentially contain the footage from all three nights. The trailer was later included on the Baby Snakes DVD as a bonus feature.
Joe Travers has stated that "It's sitting in the vault. Waiting for a budget to do it properly. Basically the film footage, the negatives were transferred by Frank in the '80s using '80s technology. What we want to do is go back to the original negatives and do it in High Definition and then create a 5.1 mix from the original masters so that we have surround sound as well as Frank's 2 channel stereo mix. Once we get all that together, then we need to cut the program. Edit the program together, camera angles, what shows, what we are going to include from what shows or include all the shows. I have no idea what Dweezil and Gail want to do. It's great stuff, but the process of just getting to that point is going to cost a lot of money and take a lot of time." Two songs from the unreleased film ("Montana" and "Dupree's Paradise") were used as opener for the Zappa Plays Zappa concerts in 2006.
On April 1, 2007, Zappa.com unveiled a redesigned website, which included the 30-minute segment from the Roxy performances, which had been used at the Zappa Plays Zappa concerts, on its new videos page.
The clip for "Montana" was included as a bonus feature of the Classic Albums: Apostrophe(')/Over-Nite Sensation DVD, which was released on May 1, 2007.
The Blu-ray Roxy: The Movie was released in October 2015, and is available on Amazon. It includes some of the takes released on Roxy & Elsewhere and others from Roxy by Proxy, revealing some editing that went into those releases. (For instance, the second half of Zappa's "Be-Bop Tango" intro mostly matches Roxy & Elsewhere while the first half is different.)
All selections composed by Frank Zappa and performed by Frank Zappa & the Mothers, except where noted. All tracks recorded at the Roxy, except "Son of Orange County", "More Trouble Every Day" and parts of "Penguin in Bondage".
No. Title Length
1. "Penguin in Bondage" 6:48
2. "Pygmy Twylyte" 2:13
3. "Dummy Up" (Brock, Simmons, and Zappa) 6:02
No. Title Length
4. "Village of the Sun" 4:17
5. "Echidna's Arf (Of You)" 3:52
6. "Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?" 9:40
No. Title Length
7. "Cheepnis" 6:33
8. "Son of Orange County" 5:53
9. "More Trouble Every Day" 6:00
No. Title Length
10. "Be-Bop Tango (Of the Old Jazzmen's Church)" 16:41
Frank Zappa – lead guitar, vocals, producer
Jeff Simmons – rhythm guitar, vocals
Napoleon Murphy Brock – flute, tenor saxophone, vocals
George Duke – keyboards, synthesizer, vocals
Don Preston – synthesizer
Bruce Fowler – trombone, dancer
Walt Fowler – trumpet, bass trumpet
Tom Fowler – bass guitar
Ralph Humphrey – drums
Chester Thompson – drums
Ruth Underwood – percussion
Robert "Frog" Camarena – backing vocals on "Cheepnis"
Debbie Wilson – backing vocals on "Cheepnis"
Linda "Lynn" Sims – backing vocals on "Cheepnis"
Ruben Ladron de Guevara – backing vocals on "Cheepnis"
Stephen Marcussen – digital remastering
Kerry McNabb – engineer, remixing
Wally Heider – engineer
Coy Featherston, Steve Magedoff – photography
Cal Schenkel – graphic design, design
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