|What follows is
an ongoing attempt to document the Frank Zappa orchestral performances
that took place in Los Angeles in September 1975. Very little has ever
been documented about these shows and this serves as an attempt to shed
some light on them.
The Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Orchestra was put together in September of 1975 to present a series of orchestral pieces written by Frank Zappa. Michael Zearott was the conductor and Frank produced and recorded most of these shows along with special recording sessions. Forty musicians were assembled by Zappa with help from Earle Dumler and Mike Altschul. Frank stated that the cost to present this material was $120,000, twice what it cost to put on the Zubin Mehta, L.A. Philharmonic Contempo Concert that included a special cast of Mothers. Royce Hall at UCLA held 1500 people for two public performances on the 17th and 18th of September 1975, and with as much money as Frank had put into the project, he was sure not to see any profit at the door. So the 18th performance was recorded along with some separate earlier closed recording sessions that day. On the 19th, the Hall was closed for recording only. Much of these performances were released on the album "Orchestral Favorites" a controversial release put out by Warner Brothers against Frank's wishes. Check out Biffy's website for more on this. The orchestra seemed to really get into the spirit of the pieces. Pamela Goldsmith talks about the shows elsewhere on this web site. Frank said that after the orchestra went through 'Pedro's Dowry' for the first time, there was an ovation from the performers themselves.
This is the list of musicians that I have put together from various sources. Big thanks to Charles Ulrich (and the many musicians who he's contacted), Pamela Goldsmith, Bruce Fowler, Malcolm McNab, Don Waldrop, Ralph Grierson, David Ocker, Rob Sweet, Reinhard Preuss, Uli Mrosek, Michael Gula, Román García Albertos, David Sherr and to Frank for talking on the radio a little about it in 1975.
September 17, 1975
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