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Music / Fillmore East, June 1971

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Not in the charts with a bullet (drum beat)!

Fillmore East, June 1971 is a 1971 album by Frank Zappa. It was his first official completely Live Album. Just like on Chunga's Revenge (1970) Mark and Howie (a.k.a Flo & Eddie) from The Turtles appear as his lead singers. They would return on two albums more: 200 Motels (1971) and Just Another Band from L.A. (1973). As was common with most of the music made with their collaboration all tracks are a Satire on rock musicians and their interactions with groupies. Fillmore East, June 1971 is mostly comedy sketches set to music and some tracks from his previous albums performed live and in a diferent arrangement. It's generally regarded as one of Zappa's more minor works, but it has its loyal fans.

The CD version removed a track, Willie The Pimp, Part Two, which was finally re-added on the 2012 reissue of the album. 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.


Side One
  1. "Little House I Used to Live In" (4:42)
  2. "The Mud Shark" (5:22)
  3. "What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?" (4:17)
  4. "Bwana Dik" (2:22)
  5. "Latex Solar Beef" (2:38)
  6. "Willie the Pimp Part One (4:03)

Side Two

  1. "Willie the Pimp Part Two" (1:54) note 
  2. "Do You Like My New Car?" (7:08)
  3. "Happy Together" (2:57)
  4. "Lonesome Electric Turkey" (2:32)
  5. "Peaches En Regalia" (3:22)
  6. "Tears Began to Fall" (2:46)


  • Frank Zappa: guitar, composition, dialogue.
  • Mark Volman: lead vocals
  • Howard Kaylan: lead vocals
  • Jim Pons: bass, vocals, dialogue
  • Ian Underwood: vocals, winds, keyboards
  • Bob Harris: vocals, second keyboard
  • Aynsley Dunbar: drums
  • Don Preston: mini Moog

Tropes Began To Fall

  • All Men Are Perverts: Especially when they are part of a rock band.
  • All Women Are Lustful: For a group with a hit with a bullet in the charts who have a dick that's a monster, anyway.
  • Annual Title: "Fillmore East, June 1971".
  • Audience Participation: The audience is invited to sing along during "Happy Together".
  • Bawdy Song: Virtually all tracks with lyrics!
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: According to the groupies on this album.
    • "Bwana Dik"
    And if his dick is a monster!
    • "Do You Like My New Car?"
    But he's got to have a dick that is A MONSTER!
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Bwana Dik", the word "bwana" is Swahili for "master".
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Happens a few times during "Do You Like My New Car?", especially when the girlfriends of the groupie have to have all male names and not only that they are all names of Zappa's band members.
  • Break Up Song: "Tears Began To Fall", about someone left alone by her former partner.
  • Call-Back and Continuity Nod:
    • Zappa continues his songs about groupies, tour buses and rock stars, a theme that started with the album Chunga's Revenge. The lines "If your dick is a monster" and "do you like my new car?" from "Do You Like My New Car?" would return again during "Daddy Daddy Daddy" from 200 Motels (1971).
    • "The Mud Shark" would be referenced again on Apostrophe ('), during the track "Nanook Rubs It" when Nanook rubs the snow crystals in the fur trapper's eyes.
    But destined to take the place of the mud shark in your mythology...
    • "What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?" mentions "pigs 'n' donkeys", a call back to the "pigs" from Lumpy Gravy, and "magic fingers in the bed", which would become a song, "Magic Fingers" on 200 Motels (1971). The song would later be played live with different lyrics on Zappa's Broadway the Hard Way (1988).
    • "Bwana Dik" refers to someone named Madge, a character referenced before in "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" from Absolutely Free ("Time to go home. Madge is on the phone.") and "Harry, You're A Beast" from We're Only in It for the Money ("Madge, I couldn't help it, I, doggone it..."). The melody of "Bwana Dik" is "Duodenum" from Lumpy Gravy
    • "Bwana Dik", "Do You Like My New Car?" and "Tears Began To Fall" all make mention of cars, a part of Zappa's conceptual continuity.
    • "Latex Solar Beef": The lines "Hear the steam, See the steam, Hear the steaming hot black screaming, Iridescent naugahyde python gleaming steam roller" would be resung during "Stick It Out" from Joe's Garage. "What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?" uses the line "What's a girl like you doing in a place like this?", which was used earlier during "Flower Punk" on We're Only in It for the Money (1968) and would re-used later during "Dancin' Fool" from Sheik Yerbouti and "Stick It Out" from Joe's Garage.
    • "Do You Like My New Car?" talks about groupies on the tour bus, a theme continued on "On The Bus" from Joe's Garage. After "Happy Together" the album seagues into "Lonesome Electric Turkey", followed one track later by "Tears Began To Fall", about a lover who feels lonesome after his/her partner left by car. It seems all these songs are a continuing story.
    • "The Little House I Used To Live In" from Burnt Weeny Sandwich, "Willie The Pimp" and "Peaches En Regalia" from Hot Rats are played live.
    • "Lonesome Electric Turkey" has Mark and Howie sing "Arf!" in unison at one point, a word that is part of Zappa's conceptual continuity.
    • On the album cover of Over-Nite Sensation a Holiday Inn hotel can be seen, a throwback to the hotel mentioned on this album.
    • Zappa's later album The Yellow Shark would continue the shark imagery of the mud shark.
  • Concept Album: Sort of, the entire first side of the album on the original record deals with the Urban Legend about the mudshark. The second half deals with a rock star seducing a groupie and ends with tracks like "Lonesome Electric Turkey" and "Tears Began To Fall" about someone who feels lonesome after his/her partner left by car. It seems all these songs and stories are in some way connected.
  • Cover Version: "Happy Together", originally by The Turtles.
  • Double Entendre: "I'd really like to come in your bus!"
  • Evil Laugh:
    Ever been to a Holiday Inn? M-Hah hah hah hah hah!
  • Fading into the Next Song: All tracks until "Willie the Pimp, Part One". Then again from "Do You Like My New Car?" until the end of "Happy Together".
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: The track "Happy Together" ends with Zappa and his band saying goodbye to their audience, but the album isn't over yet after that. There are still three tracks that follow immediately afterwards.
  • Fetish: Mark drives Howie into a frenzy with the promise of increasingly bizarre sexual fetishes:
    Howie: Take me, I'm yours, you hole...fulfil my...wildest dreams!
    Mark: Ooooh! Anything for you, my most seductive, seclusive...pop star of a man...
    Howie: Yeah?
    Mark: Picture this if you can...
    Howie: [moaning] Oh...
    Mark: Bead jobs!
    Howie: Oh!
    Mark: Knotted nylons!
    Howie: Oh!
    Mark: Bamboo canes!
    Howie: Oh!
    Mark: Three unreleased recordings of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fighting in the dressing-room of the Fillmore East!
    Howie: Oh!
  • Groupie Brigade: Most songs deal with the topic.
  • Implausible Deniability: "What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?" and "Do You Like My New Car?", where some groupies deny being groupies, despite all evidence to the contrary.
    Mark: H-HEY! listen! Hey, listen to me tellin ya: we are not groupies!
    Howie: Naw, I never...I never said...
    Mark: We are not groupies! You better understand that! ...I told Robert Planet, I told Elton John, I told all those big guys...
    Howie: Robert Planet?!
    Mark: We are not groupies!
    Howie: No, I never...
    Mark: Roger Daltrey never laid a hand on me!
    Howie:'s obvious to see why...listen, I never...
    2nd girl: Howie —
    1st girl: Tell him! tell him right now!
    2nd girl: We only like musicians for f-friends, you know?
    Girl (Zappa): Real straight arrow, Howie, really...
    Girl: Just for friends, Howie...
    2nd girl: But we still like you yeah...we wouldn't mind coming in your bus, but...
  • Instrumental: "The Little House I Used To Live In", "Lonesome Electric Turkey".
  • Intercourse with You: Topic of "The Mudshark", "Bwana Dik", "Latex Solar Beef" and "Do You Like My New Car?"
  • Live Album: All tracks are live.
  • Location Song: "The Little House I Used To Live In", a melancholic instrumental piece, supposedly about Zappa's home from his youth.
  • Mating Dance: The song Mudshark is described as such.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The album cover is completely white, with only the band's name and title handwritten on it in marker pen.
  • Mythology Gag: Howie is asked by a groupie to "sing her his big hit single." Since Howie plays in Zappa's band he, off course, doesn't have a hit in the charts. To make up for that he sings "Happy Together", a song from his and Mark's former band The Turtles.
  • Non-Appearing Title: Though the Fillmore itself is mentioned during "Do You Like My New Car?" and after playing "Happy Together".
  • Product Placement:
    • "Bwana Dik"
    I've got the thing you need
    I am endowed beyound your wildest
    Clearasil-spattered fantasies,
    Oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-ohhh!
    • "What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?"
    Rancid Budweiser on my beard right now, baby.
  • Questioning Title?: "What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?", "Do You Like My New Car?"
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The songs were inspired by what Zappa heard and saw while touring with a band that attracted groupies. Howie having to sing his "big hit single" to a groupie was a true story. The "mudshark" tale was an actual Urban Legend from that time.
  • Rearrange the Song: "The Little House I Used To Live In" is a rearranged and shortened version of the composition heard on Burnt Weeny Sandwich. "Willie The Pimp" was also heard earlier on Hot Rats, but is shortened here. On the original LP it was cut into two parts, but the CD version has omitted the second part. Also from Hot Rats is "Peaches En Regalia", played in a different arrangement.
  • Satire: Zappa satirizes the private life of rock stars and groupies on the road.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Howard Kaylan imitates a car rewwing at the start of "Do You Like My New Car?"
  • Secret Word:
    That's right, you heard right: the secret word for tonight is "mudshark"
  • Shout-Out:
    • "The Mud Shark"
    Let's say you were a traveling rock and roll band called the Vanilla Fudge. Let's say one night you checked into the Edgewater Inn with a 8mm movie camera, enough money to rent a pole, and just to make it more interesting – a succulent young lady (mnaaaah!) with a taste for the mind drifts a meeting, a chance meeting in the Chicago O'Hare airport where the members of the Vanilla Fudge told Don Preston about a home movie they made at the Edgewater Inn with a mud shark. I'm gonna tell you, this dance, the mud shark, is sweeping the ocean!
  • Singer Name Drop: "Do You Like My New Car?", a sketch about a rock star and a groupie meeting each other drops Zappa and his band members Jim Pons, Ian Underwood, Aynsley Dunbar and Bob Harris.
    You gotta tell me something...I mean, seriously, I'm tellin' you this is the first time that any of my girlfriends and I have ever met anybody really from Hollywood! I mean, really my girlfriend Jim, and Ian, and Aynsley, and Bob, and Frank...I mean, none of us...
  • Spoken Word in Music: "The Mud Shark", "Bwana Dik" and "Do You Like My Car" all have spoken interludes, much like a comedy sketch.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: Compared to the comedic bawdiness of the other tracks "Tears Began To Fall" is quite moving.
  • Time Marches On: Most of the references are made to rock bands who were popular at the start of the 1970s.
  • Urban Legend: "The Mud Shark" was inspired by an urban legend about Led Zeppelin and Vanilla Fudge in which the band members supposedly penetrated a groupie with a mudshark. In reality only Led Zeppelin's road manager Richard Cole, John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) and Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge) participated in this incident and the fish was a mere yelloweye rockfish/red snapper. (And only Cole has actually claimed to have witnessed it.)