January 12, 2011 – 3:55 am


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


Kansas City 1972 [no label, 2CD]

Live at the Cowtown Ballroom, Kansas City, MO; December 2, 1972. Early and late shows. Very good soundboard (?) audience.

Recovering from a fall at the end of 1971, Frank Zappa spent a good part of 1972 working on the Waka Jawaka and The Grand Wazoo albums. The Grand Wazoo (short) tour started on September 10, 1972 and, encouraged by the response, Zappa trimmed down his group to 10 musicians, which was then dubbed the Petit Wazoo, and went on the road on October 27, 1972.

Reviewing the November 11, 1972 show at Washington DC’s Constitution Hall, Richard Harrington wrote in The Star News:

What they [musicians and critics] found was the master, the leader fronting one of the most dazzling, powerful and talented horn sections this reviewer has seen in a long time. They are mostly respected Los Angeles studio musicians, and their dexterity was not at all hampered by having at times to work closely with charts.

When was the last time you saw a popular, ostensibly “rock” band working from charts? More than anything, Zappa’s section reminds me of what’s left of the big bands, with emphasis on a more energetic and creative kind of music. Much of the shows were taken up not by Zappa’s zany songs, but by stinging ensemble work and masterful solo after masterful solo. Particularly impressive in solo sessions were Bruce Fowler with a simmering tuba solo (a true to life jazzy tuba solo) and Dave Parlatto with a driving bass that started off in virtual seclusion and ended up driving the band to a fabulous finish.

Anyone who still needs convincing can check out the instrumental version of Duke Of Prunes. It really swings.

Click here for the September 10, 1972 show at the Hollywood Bowl.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

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. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1 (early show)
Track 101. Rollo (15.3MB)
Track 102. Duke Of Prunes (10.2MB)
Track 103. Montana (11.7MB)
Track 104. Little Dots (14.6MB)
Track 105. Cosmik Debris (9.7MB)
Track 106. KC Blues (19.1MB)
Track 107. Father O’Blivion (22.5MB)
Track 108. America Drinks & Goes Home (8.4MB)

Disc 2 (late show)
201. Been to Kansas City in A Minor Merely A Blues In A - Omitted*
Track 202. Son Of Mr. Green Genes (16.0MB)
Click here if you reside in North America
Click here if you reside outside North America
Track 203. Rollo (16.4MB)
Track 204. Imaginary Diseases (16.3MB)
Track 205. Cosmik Debris (12.0MB)
Track 206. Chunga’s Revenge (20.8MB)
Track 207. Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing (10.9MB)

* Available on Imaginary Diseases.

The Petit Wazoo Orchestra:
Frank Zappa - guitar, vocals
Tony Duran - guitar
Dave Parlatto - bass
Jim Gordon - drums
Bruce Fowler - trombone
Malcolm McNabb - trumpet
Tom Malone - tuba, trumpet, trombone, saxophone
Earle Dumler - oboe
Glenn Ferris - trombone
Gary Barone - trumpet

Imaginary Diseases is the only official album documenting the Petite Wazoo tour of 1972. One other Petite Wazoo track, Trudgin’ Across the Tundra (Washington, Nov 11, 1972), was featured on the One Shot Deal album. Click on the link to order Imaginary Diseases.

  1. 31 Responses to “FRANK ZAPPA - KANSAS CITY 1972”

  2. Great!

    By bill on Jan 12, 2011

  3. YaHOOO-WaZOOOO!!! Great!!!! The petite Wazoo tour was one of Uncle Frank’s indisputable career highlights. Sure is a few notches above stupid songs about huskies pissing and enema bandits.

    By lowendbill on Jan 12, 2011

  4. hey bigo, if for some reason track 6 gets reinstated like on jeff beck a few weeks back, let me know. i’ll download this.


    By Ed Saad on Jan 12, 2011

  5. Ahh, the genius of Frank Zappa! I saw him in ‘81 in KC. I’ve been a fan since 1973. Thanks for posting this great music!

    By Hulkzilla on Jan 12, 2011

  6. Very good soundboard????? Not even close. good audience, MAYBE.

    By Timmy on Jan 12, 2011

  7. Ditto above. Decent audience tape.

    By Not James on Jan 12, 2011

  8. Is there a good, real soundboard full Grand Wazoo ROIO out there somewhere?

    By beanzalo on Jan 13, 2011

  9. Thanks for this. Though not the soundboard recording I was hoping for, it still is a decent audience recording. And let’s face it, there’s not a lot of recordings of this phase of Zappa’s band out there so I’m pleased you provided it.

    Thanks once again bigo. And for those of you who haven’t picked up Imaginary Diseases, do yourself a favor and do so.

    By Rick D on Jan 13, 2011

  10. Thanks to all who commented. Cheers.

    By bigozine2 on Jan 13, 2011

  11. So now that this is an audience recording will we get to have the omitted track?

    I saw Frank a bunch of times between 1974 and 1980. The last shows I saw were in San Berdino one night and the next night in Los Angeles. He used to do a lot of New Years shows in LA. In 1975 Frank was billed with Todd Rundgren’s Utopia and Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band. Beefheart opened the show and returned for Zappa’s set. Todd Rundgren didn’t show up. Thanks Todd! Leon Russell and his piano filled the spot. Leon’s cool but it sure put a damper on the New Year Eve momentum.

    Thanks for this

    By Sking on Jan 13, 2011

  12. hey bigo, i guess, i’ll get it. i don’t want any regrets, and it is free. zappa is probably the only one i would download an incomplete show of.


    By Ed Saad on Jan 13, 2011

  13. The Zappa Family Trust did release a “Zappa/Wazoo” album, which is the full orchestral menagerie.

    However, of all the Petite Wazoo shows I’ve DL’d over the years, they are all audience tapes. This posting actually ranks pretty well in comparative quality.

    And yes, wonderful soundboard tapes definitely exist… all forever hoarded deep in a doberman (or perhaps it’s a poodle)-guarded basement in Laurel Canyon.

    What a shame….

    By lowendbill on Jan 14, 2011

  14. this vintage frank zappa is a nice treat!


    By I-) on Jan 14, 2011

  15. Good news and bad news:

    The good news is that track 106 is not on Imaginary Diseaeses.

    The bad news is that most of track 201 IS on Imaginary Diseases as “Been to Kansas City in A minor”.

    Just did a comparison and it’s for certain.

    Thanks for this great Zappa!

    By ltw on Jan 14, 2011

  16. Hello ltw
    Thanks for the feedback. Track 106 has been reinstated and Track 201 removed.

    By bigozine2 on Jan 15, 2011

  17. Thanks Itw and BigO!

    By Geoff on Jan 15, 2011

  18. hey bigo, thanks!!!!!!!!

    i got a great show from a friend off dime. look for evan parker, william parker and hamid drake. it’s from somewhere in ma in april, i think. i am not looking at it so i can’t be exact. if you post it, i will download it so i can play it walking. i hate ripping discs. i enjoy listening to them.


    By Ed Saad on Jan 15, 2011

  19. once again you’ve made my day. great zappa shows as if there’s any other kind. even though it’s a pain sometimes, i appreciate you’re telling where the omitted songs can be found, since i own most of the artists i like commercially available music.

    By donald sherlock on Jan 15, 2011

  20. always nice to have more Frank. Thanks BigO

    By Matt on Jan 17, 2011

  21. You guys are awesome, thanks so much for this and the Hollywood Bowl concerts.

    By Kevin on Jan 20, 2011

  22. Quality from ‘72 is wicked hard to find. Great sets here and a very good audience recording. It was hard to do the; the equipment, portable that is, sucked!
    Thanks MUCH.

    By John P McNea III on Jan 22, 2011

  23. this is actually one of the better audience recordings I’ve heard, especially the instrumentals. Thank you BigO

    By beanzalo on Jan 30, 2011

  24. can anybody test it Track 105.
    Don’t work on my Browser…

    By Eddie_1412 on Jun 29, 2015

  25. Eddie_1412 on Jun 29, 2015,not workin

    By bronze medal on Jun 29, 2015

  26. i think u are humoring him for some reason. there is nothing wrong with the track. try using firefox or google chrome or something other than whatever it is u are using. i dl’d the entire thing a 2nd time just now in 10 seconds and every song is working fine. odd that there are so many sbds from 73 and 74. we need more from 72.

    By darth on Jun 29, 2015

  27. so the neighbour hood bully is back in full swing ,i bet you did not have so much say when you where in the big house, im sure your cell mates did not put up with your shit and for the record eddie it was not worin my time

    By bronze medal on Jun 29, 2015

  28. I know ‘bronze medal’, but some people simply believe they were as smart as Li’l Bulb… :))

    By Eddie_1412 on Jun 29, 2015

  29. If this is the show with Steely Dan, I was there at least at the late show. I may have been there at the early show, but hey it was the 70’s.

    By zappa fan on May 24, 2016

  30. Help me out, please. A recent death has reminded me of something FZ related.

    Does anyone besides me remember him in concert, when introducing the band, ending with, “And yours truly, David Cassidy, on guitar?”

    This would’ve been in the early to mid seventies. All the times I saw him were in Kansas City. Did he say it elsewhere?

    Thank you. Noah

    By Noah on Dec 2, 2017

  31. hey noah, ive heard frank say that too and recently! I know ive heard that intro in the past month of listening, but still trying to figure out which show or shows..

    By Cromas on Dec 2, 2017

  32. Hey Cromas,

    Thank you so much. I was certain I’d remembered accurately. (My mind wasn’t really all that altered at the concert, anyway!)

    Please let me know what year(s), if you find the quote. Thanks.

    By Noah on Dec 2, 2017

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