January 1, 2013 – 5:11 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

New York 1981 [no label, 2CD]

Live at The Ritz, New York City, NY; November 17, 1981. Very good FM broadcast.

Nothing like starting the new year with Frank Zappa… best wishes to everyone.

Thanks to the person who initially shared it at Dime; to simanb for sharing the show at The Traders’ Den and to everyone for keeping it alive.

This is what HytekFred added at The Traders’ Den:

I believe that within the past few years, Guitar Player magazine conducted a poll to make a list of memorable concerts, and this particular show at the Ritz was named “Best Concert Ever By Anyone.” Pretty high praise, eh?

Al DiMeola played on “Clowns on Velvet” and “Ride Like the Wind” (!) at the Ritz, NYC, with Frank’s band on 11/17/81. I believe Al requested that his solo on “Clowns” not be released because he was unhappy with it for some reason. In fact, they didn’t even play at the same time then since Frank can be heard on the tape complaining that they didn’t have enough hookups to plug in two guitars simultaneously. As far as I know, that’s the only time these two great Italians ever got together in concert.

Master Cassette recorded from WLIR > NAK BX-300 > WAV (SB Audigy) > CD-R > EAC > Flac

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1
Track 101. Treacherous Cretins (fades in) (1.9MB)
Track 102. Montana (6.0MB)
Track 103. Easy Meat (14.2MB)
Track 104. You Are What You Is (4.0MB)
Track 105. Mudd Clubb (4.4MB)
Track 106. The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing (4.9MB)
Track 107. Dumb All Over (10.7MB)
Track 108. Heavenly Bank Account (4.0MB)
Track 109. Suicide Chump (8.1MB)
Track 110. Jumbo Go Away (6.7MB)
Track 111. Envelopes (5.0MB)
Track 112. Drowning Witch (16.4MB)
Track 113. What’s New In Baltimore (9.9MB)
Track 114. Moggio (1.9MB)
Track 115. Bamboozled By Love (9.0MB)
Track 116. Sinister Footwear (15.8MB)

Disc 2
Track 201. Stevie’s Spanking (10.3MB)
Track 202. Cocaine Decisions (5.7MB)
Track 203. Nig Biz (fades out) (8.0MB)
Track 204. Doreen (1.7MB)
Track 205. Goblin Girl (fades in) (3.8MB)
Track 206. Black Page #2 (q: Smoke on the Water) (16.3MB)
Track 207. Tryin’ To Grow A Chin (3.8MB)
Track 208. Strictly Genteel (6.7MB)
Track 209. Al DiMeola Intro (3.0MB)
Track 210. Clownz On Velvet* (world premiere) (9.9MB)
Track 211. Ride Like The Wind** (10.6MB)
Track 212. Zoot Allures (17.7MB)
Track 213. This Is My Story (fades in) (1.9MB)
Track 214. Whippin Post (Reggae Post) (10.3MB)
Track 215. Watermelon In Easter Hay (7.4MB)

* With Al DiMeola on guitar
** With Al DiMeola on guitar and Brian Peters on vocals

Click here to order the 2012 Remastered Frank Zappa albums.

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  1. 10 Responses to “FRANK ZAPPA - NEW YORK 1981”

  2. hey bigo, happy new year! thanks for the starting 2013 off right by offering another zappa show i don’t have! we love him here.

    i was listening to cologne, germany 5.21.82 yesterday. it’s a good one. steve vai plays on it. i think, my version is the fm broadcast cause i saw a longer version on zappa teers. if you ever offer it, i’ll download it too just so i can listen to it on my ipod.


    By Ed Saad on Jan 1, 2013

  3. This is a killer show that everyone should get!

    Happy New Year!

    By Evil dr.Louie on Jan 1, 2013

  4. BIG BAD ED SAAD!!! Happy New Year to you, my friend!

    I actually got to see FRANK ZAPPA twice! Both times at the Fox Theatre here in Atlanta, GA. Both times were on a Sunday Night and both times he did an early 7pm show and a late show at 10PM… I was at both 7PM shows. First time was April of 1980…. he did a complete new-unreleased lp in it’s entirety…. no one knew the songs or music… I believe it was the MAN FROM UTOPIA lp. It was long and boring.

    Second time was with Steve Vai on Oct 25, 1981…. this show was better. He encored with The ALLMAN BROS classic WHIPPING POST. The Atlanta crowd pissed itself with joy.

    Ed… did you ever see MISSING PERSONS? They were all ZAPPA Alumni.

    Take care, my friend… here is hoping 2013 is better than 2012

    By THE Russian Assassin on Jan 1, 2013

  5. hey russian assassin, nice to hear from you.

    i saw steve vai here in bham, al at boutwell auditorium ballroom in march 10, 2005. i never knew the ballroom existed either. it was more or less a cafeteria with a stage. it was a thursday night, and it was on ok turnout. vai had with him tony macalpine, billy sheehan, dave weiner and jeremy colson on drums. it was a killer show!!! most don’t even remember vai played here, but me and my brother were there. he played close to three hours too. eric sardinas opened up. he was great!!! check him out.

    yeah, we saw social distortion the night before, and vai was a much better show. sd were good, don’t get me wrong, but they only played an hour if that. the ticket was $26, and one of the bands, straw dogs didn’t play. to see them, you had to bring your ticket stub to the nick. another band played who were kind of like the cult but not as good as the cult called backyard babies.

    i never listened to missing persons much, but i know terry bozio was in the band. i just know the song that got rotation on mtv.


    By Ed Saad on Jan 1, 2013

  6. How is it still possible to listen to these quasi-systematic boring reggae interludes! Really nothing to save from the 80’s (even from FZ, what a pity)…
    but i try, and i try… I can’t get no!

    All the best to you all for 2013

    By FO on Jan 1, 2013

  7. Thanks bigO! It’s always good to get some new Zappa!

    By Mark E. on Jan 1, 2013

  8. about 2 weeks before this.. on halloween was the palladium show which was shown on mtv and aired on fm as well. that was about 2 hours. in fact.. if u want to see it heres a fantastic quality copy -
    there were no more halloween shows after this. in fact he really only did 2 more performing tours after this.. 1984 and 1988.

    incidentally.. has anyone out there gotten a copy of roxy by proxy? if so.. i am interested in a copy. i guess i could do a quick search for it. if yall arent familiar with what im talking about…

    the Zappa Family Trust is selling master duplication copies of ‘Roxy by Proxy,’ 76 minutes of previously unreleased songs from Zappa and the Mothers of Invention’s performances at the Roxy in Los Angeles on Dec. 9-10, 1973. Other songs from Zappa’s 1973 Roxy dates were released on 1974′s ‘Roxy and Elsewhere.’

    By darth on Jan 2, 2013

  9. Not Frank’s greatest era, yet still better than a bad day fishin’…. THANX!

    By Timmy on Jan 3, 2013

  10. great show this was and thanks for posting the tracks. one thing… everyone who lists this recording at all credits al di meola with appearing on at least two cuts (as per above) or the whole concert (some listings on discogs etc). i think it is hugely unlikely that al di meola was anywhere near this concert!! seriously, has no-one listened to *tinseltown rebellion*? he makes al di meola jokes all over that one, towards the end of the album… because he had warren cucurullo in the band, an “italian virtuoso” who could play very fast (among other things). with warren replaced by steve vai, another little italian virtuoso, the temptaion to keep doing the “al di meola” jokes was apparently irresistible. but i am sure that’s all it is! the guitar player on “clowns on velvet” sounds to me like he’s doing a lot of what would now be called shredding (the term didn’t exist back then) doesn’t actually sound like a jazz player at all - unless someone can actually vouch for the fact that there was a special guest onstage, i think we should assume that it was just vai!

    By cent on Sep 3, 2015

  11. the links they no work

    By 501 on Jan 30, 2018

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