Twenty Years Later | Still Missing Frank Zappa

It’s hard to believe legendary composer and guitarist Frank Zappa has been gone for two decades as he passed 20 years ago today after a battle with prostate cancer. His influence can still be heard in many band’s music and his son, Dweezil, continues to carry his father’s flag with the long-running Zappa Plays Zappa project. Also, the Zappa Family Trust continues to mine FZ’s vault for gems, though we’re still waiting for the Roxy film to surface.

We want to celebrate Frank’s life and music by sharing a full show from his last world tour in 1988. FZ embarked on a lengthy world tour in 1988 backed by the self-proclaimed “Best Band You’ve Never Heard In Your Life” which included Ike Willis, Mike Keneally, Scott Thunes, Chad Wackerman, Ed Mann, Bobby Martin, Bruce Fowler, Walt Fowler, Paul Carman, Albert Wing and Kurt McGettric. On May 17, 1988, about halfway through the European leg of the tour, Zappa and his band played at Palacio de los Deportes in Barcelona, Spain for a show that was broadcast on Spanish Public TV station RTVE and subsequently re-broadcast a number of times.

This performance has been bootlegged many times but has never been officially released. It features many classic Zappa tunes such as “Black Napkins,” “Watermelon In Easter Hay” and “Illinois Enema Bandit” as well as a few choice covers, namely “Whipping Post” and “I Am The Walrus.” Thanks to YouTuber brainphreaky we can watch over two glorious hours of FZ and Co. in action: