Frank Zappa, the unreleased live "Whisky a Go Go, 1968" from the archives

Frank Zappa, the unreleased live “Whisky a Go Go, 1968” from the archives

The Mothers of Invention cordially invite you to join them Tuesday 23 July 1968 to the Whiskey a Go Go for an unprecedented 5 hours that will be secretly recorded for a future album. Dress optional. Undefined time. RSVDT”. So he recited, as reported in a press release, the invitation scribbled in the LA Free Press to an evening with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention in one of their favorite places, the historic one Whiskey a Go Go of Los Angeles.

The show, advertised on marquee of the Whiskey with the title “Mothers Of Invention – Recording Session“, was entirely recorded by Zappa with the intention of releasing an album, a project that never fully materialized, and which has remained mostly unreleased, to this day.

Whiskey a Go Go, 1968“, the latest live collection taken from the historic Zappa archive, will be released via Zappa Records/Universal Music next June 21st on 3CD And digital and the July 12th in two vinyl editions.

Produced by Ahmet Zappa and Joe Traversthe new release compiles everything Mothers of Invention played that night in their three sets, with sound remixed in 2023 by Craig Parker Adams in high resolution from 24 bit/96 kHz digital transfers of the original 8-track analog tapes. A box set will also be made available super deluxe edition either in five-disc 180g black vinyl or as a 3CD, and will contain a booklet with unpublished photos of the evening, together with bio-recording notes edited by VaultmeisterJoe Traversa writing by Pamela Des Barres (of the female group The GTO's who played that evening) and an interview with Ahmet Zappa ad

Alice Cooperalso present as a guest musician of the evening at the Whiskey.

Along with the announcement of the release of “Whiskey a Go Go, 1968“, is now available for listening on digital platforms an unreleased version of The duke, which at the time of the live recording was a brand new composition. Zappa played it twice during the show and both versions are included on this new release.

The five-LP version contains ten discs for nine sides of music, while the tenth side features a silk-screened image with the band's logo. Mothers and also includes a special stylized and personalized turntable mat. In addition to the five-vinyl set, another abridged two-vinyl edition will also be available, featuring highlights from all three sets. The vinyl cutting was made by Chris Bellman to the Bernie Grundman Mastering using a high resolution digital file and the LPs will be pressed from Optimal: Medium in Germany on BioVinyla new ecological and sustainable compound made with PVC of biological origin (polyvinyl chloride).

Through the use of renewable energy and recycled raw materials, CO2 emissions are significantly reduced.

As reported in the press release, at the beginning of the show at the Whiskey a Go Go in Los Angeles, Zappa declared to the audience: “The purpose of this evening is presumably to create some music with live recordings of the Mothers”. The intent of the musician, who passed away on December 4, 1993, that evening was precisely to capture an entire live performance of the group on multitrack tape and for the Los Angeles venue he had rented the Wally Heider Studio remote truck with the sound engineer Dick Kunc ready to record.

Led by Zappa on guitar and vocals, the Mothers' lineup for the “Whisky extravaganza” included Ray Collins (voice and percussion), Ian Underwood (alto sax), Bunk Gardner (tenor sax and flute), Don Preston (keyboards and gongs), Motorhead Sherwood (baritone sax and percussion), Roy Estrada (bass and vocals), Art Tripp (drums and percussion) e Jimmy Carl Black (Drums and percussion).

In addition to the Mothers' three sets and performances by Alice Cooperthe evening included performances by Wild Man Fischerfrom the GTO's and a mysterious guitarist from New Jersey named Joe Piresanti. Among the audience present, people such as Kim Fowley, the Turtles, John Mayall, Elliot Ingber (ex Mother who later moved to Fraternity Of Man) and members of the Rolling Stones are remembered.

For his part, Alice Cooper he will remain forever grateful to Zappa for supporting him with his nascent group and for giving him a precious place on that fateful night of the Whiskey. “No one cared about us, only Frank. He was the only one who paid any attention to us,” Cooper recalled to Ahmet Zappa in the interview accompanying the box set. “He saw something unique in us that was pretty crazy. All the record companies wanted the next Buffalo Springfield , and we weren't like that.”

In the liner notes, Travers writes: “It truly was the night of nights. The Mothers' performance was not perfect, but very good. Frank was in good spirits, the band played well and the song sequence captured the group's live repertoire of the time.”

The advice given by Miss Pamela Des Barres of the GTO to best listen to the content of “Whisky a Go Go, 1968” is to “listen to this entire album in its entirety and try to imagine the Whiskey a Go Go that night long ago. It happened in a space and in a time that will never return, so buckle up, darling, close your eyes, let your imagination fly and unleash your monsters.”

Here is the complete tracklist of the super deluxe edition of “Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention: Whiskey a Go Go, 1968“:


CD 1

1. Whiskey Improvisation: Episode I

2. America Drinks & Goes Home

3. Help, I'm A Rock / Transylvania Boogie

4. My Boyfriend's Back

5. Bust His Head

6. Tiny Sick Tears Jam

7. “The Purpose Of This Evening…”

8. Whiskey Improvisation: Episode II

9. Status Back Baby

10. Memories Of El Monte

11. Oh, In The Sky

12. Valerie

CD 2

1. “Fun & Merriment”

2. Hungry Freaks, Daddy

3. King Kong – Part 1

4. King Kong – Part 2

5. Octandre

6. Whiskey Improvisation: Episode III

7. Meow

8. God Bless America

9. Presentation Of Wings

10. Plastic People

11. Della's Preamble

12. The Duke – Take 1

13. The Duke – Take 2

14. Khaki Sack

CD 3

1. The Whip

2. Whiskey Chouflée

3. Brown Shoes Don't Make It

4. Brown Shoes Shuffle

Bonus Vintage Mixes

5. The Whip (FZ Mix)

6. Hungry Freaks, Daddy (FZ Mono Mix)


Side 1

1. Whiskey Improvisation: Episode I

2. America Drinks & Goes Home

3. Help, I'm A Rock / Transylvania Boogie

Side 2

1. My Boyfriend's Back

2. Bust His Head

3. Tiny Sick Tears Jam

4. “The Purpose Of This Evening…”

5. Whiskey Improvisation: Episode II (Part 1)

Side 3

1. Whiskey Improvisation: Episode II (Part 2)

2. Status Back Baby

3. Memories Of El Monte

4. Oh, In The Sky

5. Valerie

Side 4

1. “Fun & Merriment”

2. Hungry Freaks, Daddy

3. King Kong – Part 1

Side 5

1. King Kong – Part 2

2. Octandre

3. Whiskey Improvisation: Episode III

4. Meow

5. God Bless America

6. Presentation Of Wings

7. Plastic People

Side 6

1. Della's Preamble

2. The Duke – Take 1

3. The Duke – Take 2

4. Khaki Sack

Side 7

1. The Whip

2. Whiskey Chouflée

Side 8

1. Brown Shoes Don't Make It

2. Brown Shoes Shuffle

Side 9 – Bonus Vintage Mixes

1. The Whip (FZ Mix)

2. Hungry Freaks, Daddy (FZ Mono Mix)

Side 10

No Music – “Mothers” Silkscreen Image


Side 1

1. Help, I'm A Rock / Transylvania Boogie

2. My Boyfriend's Back

3. Bust His Head

4. Tiny Sick Tears Jam

Side 2

1. “Fun & Merriment”

2. Hungry Freaks, Daddy

3. King Kong

Side 3

1. “The Purpose Of This Evening…”

2. The Duke – Take 2

3. Khaki Sack

Side 4

1. The Whip (FZ Mix)

2. Brown Shoes Don't Make It