January 23, 2014 – 4:56 am

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

BBC Studios 1968 [no label, 1CD]

Live in London, UK; October 23, 1968. Excellent audio extracted from BBC TV.

Thanks to yojimbo; and to chill782002 for sharing the tracks at Dime.

chill782002 noted:

FZ and the Mothers live on BBC TV in 1968, the centrepiece of which is a 20-minute plus “King Kong”. Audio only, taken from a 1st gen VHS copy of the master. Definitely one of the best sounding live’ 60s MOI recordings that I’ve heard. Thanks once again to yojimbo.

From FZShows:

From Colour Me Pop, BBC2 TV show. “FM” probably isn’t really correct here, but it’s sort of become a collective label for everything that was designated for some kind of broadcast.

1st gen VHS cassette > HD > SoundForge (tracking) > FLAC Frontend

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.

Track 01. Intro 1:55 (3.2MB)
Track 02. Improvisations 2:56 (4.9MB)
Track 03. King Kong - Part A 12:44 (21.4MB)
Track 04. King Kong - Part B 8:25 (14.1MB)
Track 05. In The Sky 2:23 (4.0MB)

King Kong is arbitrarily split for easier access.

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  1. 31 Responses to “FRANK ZAPPA - BBC 1968”

  2. hey bigo, this looks good, thanks!

    got another killer zeppelin show you need in your archives. it’s from st. louis, mo 2.16.75. got earls court arena 5.25.75 in october. it’s a great one and right at four hours long. i got 5.24.75 from you a couple years ago minus in my time of dying. two months later i was able to find that track and complete the show. i wish i could find the complete first three nights.


    By Ed Saad on Jan 23, 2014

  3. Thanks Big O! Great sound, great performance. I miss FZ.

    By Eric on Jan 23, 2014

  4. –Right ON! Exactly what I need to torture my (musically) brain-dead co-workers tomorrow! And if any of them are hip to this site, I guess my goose’ll be cooked. As if I care.

    By lowendbill on Jan 23, 2014

  5. Thanks for this BigO! The Mothers were the first and the best when it came to my early music appreciation studies. Absolutely awesome post!

    By Dirk Bill on Jan 23, 2014

  6. ““FM” probably isn’t really correct here, but it’s sort of become a collective label for everything that was designated for some kind of broadcast.”

    Fun fact per Wikipedia - the audio track in an analog television broadcast is transmitted as an FM signal, so FM is correct after all.

    If you need more information on obsolete technology, I’ll be researching buggy whips.

    By drkrick on Jan 23, 2014

  7. thank you!!! Love early Zappa.

    By Paul on Jan 23, 2014

  8. BIG BAD ED SAAD or LOWENDBILL…. did y’all ever see Frank in concert? Of so, when and where?

    I saw him twice… April 1980 at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta and October 1981 at The Fox. He was interesting, but neither show was anything to set the world on fire about.

    PS: Ed… ZEPPELIN DALLAS 1975…. supposed to be one of the best 1975 shows out there… awesome quality and electrifying performance

    By THE Russian Assassin on Jan 23, 2014

  9. hey russian assassin, bigo offered dallas. i have it. they offered several shows from 1975: baton rouge, both long beach arena nights, seattle, uniondale 2.14.75, earls court arena nights and maybe that’s it. if i was looking at itunes, i’d know for sure. i have several 1975 shows. i got every zeppelin show they offered, except all the omitted tracks shows on earls court arena. 5.24.75 was only missing one song so i got it then i completed it two months later.


    By Ed Saad on Jan 23, 2014

  10. good show, thanks bigO!

    By barth on Jan 23, 2014

  11. hey russian assassin, sorry i didn’t answer your question. no, i never saw frank. i did see zappa plays zappa, though, here in b’ham, al at workplay theatre on 7.24.08 this was three weeks after tom waits at alabama theatre 7.1.08. i went to that show too. i have it in my library, i don’t have the zappa plays zappa show.

    now the show you were at at fox theatre i do have. it’s 4.20.80. a friend downloaded off zappateers, i think. i got it for this lady i know at costco who was there too. i burned it for her, and she was real happy about it.

    if you can’t find it and we ever meet in person, i’ll burn it for you. it’s two cd-r’s and has bonus tracks from other cities.


    By Ed Saad on Jan 23, 2014

  12. correction tom waits was 7.3.08 so 21 days later would be 7.24.08.

    By Ed Saad on Jan 23, 2014

  13. if you know how to use this, here’s the show you were at:

    mp3’s are easier for me and less headache than torrent and flac.


    By Ed Saad on Jan 23, 2014

  14. Is there anyone whose excitement and upbeat attiude comes through in an eamail like ed saad ?

    ud-a -man Ed! LOL

    By sluggo on Jan 23, 2014

  15. thanks sluggo! i only wish you loved old school thrash metal just like me. i can go on and on about obscure thrash albums and demos i find.

    i have the same excitement about thin lizzy, boc, ufo and zeppelin. rock music in general.

    got two new great boc shows this month. i counted, and i now have 87 boc shows. maybe i’ll take a break at 90.


    By Ed Saad on Jan 23, 2014

  16. Russian Assassin: I wish I’d seen Frank–even if not one of his best shows. At that time I thought him to be too self-indulgent (which is true, of course—except he’s great at it!!) More to really see him banter inbetween songs. Ah well….I’ll trade you your memory of Frank for my memory of seeing Lynrd Skynrd in 1976 (good, but never really cared much for them)…

    By DanC on Jan 23, 2014

  17. ed…I`m not a fan of that genre but I`m just as rabid a fan about the stuff I do like.
    take care buddy..still walkin`?

    By sluggo on Jan 24, 2014

  18. Hi Russian.. yes, I did see Frank, sadly only once - but what a ONCE - the 73 Hollywood Bowl Grand Wazoo extravaganza. I was more than a little WTFing, as I was expecting the Frank satirical-comedy routine with snarky banter, cheap shots and Brain Police-ing songs. My date, having no real Mothers-familiarity, but a strong classical literacy, was actually far more receptive then I was (at the time). I did tape the show and have come to appreciate his instrumental-orchestral work as ultimately my favorite of his various musical endeavors.

    I can say that it was a ultimately pleasure to be surprised by something so unexpected and overwhelming. No vocals, all music. Time to shut up and listen.

    The LA Phil has put on a few Zappa programs in the last couple years, which I’ve occasionally caught. Good for them! They’re doing far more than the estate to keep his music taken seriously.

    By lowendbill on Jan 24, 2014

  19. hey sluggo, yeah, i’m still walking. january started my fifteenth year. i bundle up and walk around for two hours everyday even in the freezing cold. i listen to boots, demos and albums i find here and elsewhere.


    By Ed Saad on Jan 24, 2014

  20. Hey Ed,
    Check this out-

    By sking on Jan 24, 2014

  21. i bundle up and walk around for two hours everyday even in the freezing cold.

    LOL Ed, I have an idea your freezing cold and mine are two different things. It`s minus 23 here today! I`m doing my listening in the house!

    By sluggo on Jan 24, 2014

  22. Thanks Bigo, I saw Frank by accident at the Varrick Theater NYC in 67, and for the last time at the Beacon in 1988, and many times in between. The Halloween’s in New York were the best! Keep the FZ coming for the uninitiated - lord knows they need it!

    By rich on Jan 24, 2014

  23. Great to have more Zappa - this is my favorite period of Frank and The Mothers.
    Here’s a link to a You Tube video of them playing King Kong from the above mentioned BBC show:

    By Rick D on Jan 24, 2014

  24. This is truly awesome stuff. Thanks, BigO!

    By YogaforCynics on Jan 24, 2014

  25. if anyone is reading this. the first showing tonite is nearly done but its on a few more times tonite. turn on cnn. 10pm eastern time. again at midnite then 1am again. 3am then 4am. check it out. u will find out why.

    By darth on Jan 31, 2014

  26. Bcuz its MOTHERS DAY, f’chrissake!

    By Happy Camper on May 10, 2015

  27. it’s ok happy camper. it never felt like Mother’s Day in our household. we never have celebrated the day. who would with a lunatic son like I have? and his father is was just as bad. that darth sr was just as crazy. the poor lad took after his father. got rid of one nut case god rest his soul but darth turned out to be another head ache pain for me in my life. u are so lucky if u don’t have any one like this in ur family. i knew i should’ve took dr Johnson’s advice & had that abortion.but it was a seedy alley & a seedy part of town. now he really needs is a lobotomy. im just so happy we have him around. although the Feds should’ve locked him up for years committing those pirate crimes. he has never been to smart. whatever he has said in this forum are nothing but lies. i tried to put a stop to it at a young age but he kept on. the soap. the castrol oil didn’t work. he is a sad middle aged old man. im so sorry for having to put this burden on society. darth is a nuisance to the world. happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there with loving sons hope u don’t have to endure children like darthy. bless u.

    By darths mom on May 11, 2015

  28. darth mom: in the spirit of your silly tirade, GET A LIFE.

    By Happy Camper on May 11, 2015

  29. oh happy camper. u sound like a head case just like my son. u need to come to Columbus Ohio & meet up with darth. it would do both of u some good. darth will finally have his first friend in his whole life. please come for both of ur well beings. oh I’m so happy now darthy has a pal. please come.

    By darths mom on May 11, 2015

  30. darth mom: I’m mistaken. being a whining dickwad apparently IS your life.

    By Happy Camper on May 11, 2015

  31. oh happy camper youre just like darthy. please get together with him. u two are so mindless. like two little peas in a pod. I gotta go now. darthy should be up here in a sec tying me to my rocker & putting that old shaw over me.

    By darths mom on May 11, 2015

  32. please reuplaod this audio files. i want king kong tracks in flac format. or video at best quality possible

    By alex on Dec 29, 2018

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