1988 The Easy Way
An Overview of the Tour
Twenty Shows to Get on Tape
- 2/2 Albany : First show of 1988. FZ's remarks on the new songs, a good "King Kong" and the extended "I Am The Walrus" elevate this above "historical interest only" status.
- 2/9 D.C. : Best of the February "Republican Medley" shows. Excellent FZ solos, first complete OSFA Medley, experimental "Black Napkins," and a classic "Pound For A Brown."
- 2/13 and 14 Philadelphia : Highpoints of the most eventful multi-night run. The 13th has Diva, Dweezil and a very exotic setlist; the 14th has Brother A. West, audience requests and the tour's first "Zoot Allures."
- 2/27 Detroit : No politics, no Secret Words, just great music. Includes the rare "Uncle Remus" and the premiere of two "Texas Motel" songs w/original Beatles lyrics.
- 3/4 Chicago : Several wild FZ solos; early "Texas Motel Medley" including "What Kind Of Girl; superb "Torture" medley.
- 3/5 Cleveland : Ultrapoliticized first set ("Republican" and "Texas Motel" medlies); "Andy"/"Inca Roads" to close set two; extended "Oh No" solo.
- 3/17 Binghamton : Best of the March '88 East Coast one-nighters. Extensive secret word damage ("Golden Pheasant"), "Pound" w/"Make A Sex Noise," and more.
- 3/25 Uniondale : Final U.S. show. Opening appearance by Mario Cuomo; another Brother A. West spot; extended encore ending with "America The Beautiful."
- 4/14 Köln : The first great Secret Word show ("sheep"); "Pound" w/the first "Dessicated."
- 4/22 Würzburg : "Ring Of Fire." Any questions?
- 4/25 Copenhagen : Secret word : "airhose"; strong "Big Swifty"; excellent guitar.
- 4/27 Oslo : Secret word : "Schauschegh"; "Torture" including Walt's solo; the other "Make A Sex Noise"; "Rhymin' Man" premiere.
- 5/1 Stockholm : Secret word : "Dragonmaster"; superb "Torture" solo; "Big Swifty" w/Mats & Morgan; FZ and Dweezil jam.
- 5/4 Rotterdam : The "rehearsal"/stuttering show; excellent "Pound" and "Torture" medley.
- 5/5 Dortmund : Son of "No politics, no Secret Words, just great music."
- 5/9 Munich : Secret words : "Mudshark"/"jazz noise"; another great FZ/Dweezil jam.
- 5/24 Stuttgart : The "Star Wars" show; first circulating version of "Marqueson's" with "21" solo; rare "Pick Me I'm Clean."
- 5/25 Mannheim : Secret word : "cornhole"; superb "Pound" with heavy FZ solo; rare "Easy Meat."
- 6/9 Genoa : The last night of the last tour. Epic "Big Swifty," high-energy FZ soloing in "Outside Now" and "City Of Tiny Lites," and a hilarious "Torture" medley that turns serious for FZ's solo.
Ten typical shows with unusual moments.
- 2/10 D.C. : Opening appearance by Daniel Schorr.
- 2/19 Boston : Several amusing instrumental and vocal mishaps (listen to "Black Page," "Stolen Moments," "Advance Romance" and "Stairway To Heaven").
- 3/3 Chicago : Mr. Sting!
- 3/15 Portland : "Stainless The Maiden."
- 3/19 Allentown : Onstage tension between Ed and Scott during "King Kong."
- 3/21 Syracuse : Amusing running commentary by FZ during Mike's "Peace Corps" monologue. (See also 3/13 Springfield.)
- 4/16 Brighton : Only stand-alone "Dessicated."
- 4/26 Lund : FZ whips out the tour's only "Dangerous Kitchen" during "Pound."
- 4/29 Helsinki : The long-awaited Helsinki premiere of "Whipping Post."
- 5/26 Fürth : "Valkyries"/"Purple Haze" : perhaps the most remarkable onstage train wreck of all time.
From shows not cited above.
- 2/8 D.C. : "King Kong"
- 2/12 Philadelphia : "Pound For A Brown"
- 2/25 Pittsburgh : "King Kong"
- 5/11 Zurich : "Pound For A Brown"
- 6/7 Rome : "Pound For A Brown"
Five Songs The '88 Band Should Have Played
(A few personal fantasies - allow me to indulge myself.)
- Call Any Vegetable
- Holiday In Berlin
- Waka Jawaka
- Don't You Ever Wash That Thing
- Wild Love (w/solos)
Five Songs The '88 Band Shouldn't Have Played
- Dancin' Fool
- Keep It Greasey
- Tinseltown Rebellion
- You Are What You Is
At Their Best In '88
- King Kong
- OCLT Medley
- Cruising For Burgers
- Heavy Duty Judy
- Find Her Finer
Five Songs That Should Have Been Released
- "Packard Goose" : Admittedly, much of the '88 arrangement doesn't differ much from the original, but it was a tour favorite for a reason, and the Stravinsky/Bartok interlude demonstrates that music is the best if anything does.
- "Marqueson's Chicken" : When Trance Fusion finally appears, everyone will get to hear the new solo section, but they should be allowed to hear how it fits into the complete piece.
- "Texas Motel Medley" : A priceless document of its time.
- "Trouble Every Day" (European version) : The 1988 13 vamp isn't even slated to appear on Trance Fusion. Bummer.
- "Easy Meat" : Nothing groundbreaking (especially as far as FZ's solos are concerned), but if we need [insert dull '84 YCDTOSA inclusion of your choice here] on CD, this should come out as well. The horns sound beautiful in the "classical" section.
Five Songs That Shouldn't Have Been Released
- "Stairway To Heaven" : An overfamiliar song minus secret words minus shock value equals a waste of time. Should have left this one to the tape collectors.
- "Stevie's Spanking" : The "heavy metal" drums are kind of amusing, but, needless to say, this song is pointless without Mr. Vai.
- "Advance Romance" : Three 80's versions on CD, one from each of the last touring years, and none of them come anywhere close to the original. This and "Stevie's" are the only dull moments on Make A Jazz Noise Here.
- "Let's Move To Cleveland" : Always a nice piece, but this edit is inconsequential compared to versions from previous tours (or even some that could have been constructed from this tour).
- "We're Turning Again" : One of the more inexplicable filler items in the Stage series.
Five Released Songs That Inspired Me To Set Up This Site
- "When Yuppies Go To Hell"/"Fire And Chains" : Some of the most inspired onstage improvisation of FZ's touring career.
- "When The Lie's So Big" : Of the "Republican" songs, it seems that only "Any Kind Of Pain" gets its due among fans. "Lie's So Big" is not only a beautiful and straight-to-the-point song, it offers two in-built chances for Secret Word-play.
- "King Kong" : Great from start to finish - the sort of multifaceted improvised epic that many previous FZ touring lineups tried to do without as much success.
- "Cruising For Burgers" : Even though it wasn't intended this way, it's easy to view the '88 tour as FZ's farewell to his rock fans. With the band nailing the complex arrangements with style, and with FZ's chops in good enough shape to produce some dignified solo statements, this song demonstrates how good a final statement this tour was.
Back to the main FZ '88 page.