Sunday, 1 December 2013

Frank Zappa - Armadillo World Headquarters Music Hall, Austin, Texas 1973 (Bootleg)


Size: 197 MB
Bitrate: 320
mp3
Found in my Blues Mobile
Some Artwork Included

This has got to be one of the finest sounding shows ever to circulate and this version delivers an astonishing upgrade to all known previous versions of this excellent show. All thanks to the tape contribution provided by fzmoi69, which was diligently transferred via NAK DR-1 by doctorzap then made available in the Shoebox. If you have heard this show from any other known source, then be prepared to experience an absolute jaw dropping experience. It captures FZ & The Mothers Of Invention during their final North American Tour in 1973 with superb clarity and amazingly detailed stereo separation. Speed correction advice by flambay." 

Armadillo World Headquarters Music Hall:
The Armadillo World Headquarters (usually called simply The 'Dillo) was a music hall and entertainment center in Austin, Texas, United States from 1970 to 1980.

In 1970, Austin's flagship rock music venue, the Vulcan Gas Company, closed, leaving the city's nascent live music scene without an incubator. One night, Eddie Wilson, manager of the local group Shiva's Headband, stepped outside a nightclub where the band was playing and noticed an old, abandoned National Guard armory. Wilson found an unlocked garage door on the building and was able to view the cavernous interior using the headlights of his automobile. He had a desire to continue the legacy of the Vulcan Gas Company, and was inspired by what he saw in the armory to create a new music hall in the derelict structure. The armory was estimated to have been built in 1948, but no records of its construction could be located. The building was ugly, uncomfortable, and had poor acoustics, but offered cheap rent and a central location. Posters for the venue usually noted the address as 525½ Barton Springs Road (Rear), behind the Skating Palace (approximate coordinates 30.258 -97.750).

The name for the Armadillo was inspired by the use of armadillos as a symbol in the artwork of Jim Franklin, a local poster artist, and from the building itself. In choosing the mascot for the new venture, Wilson and his partners wanted an "armored" animal since the building was an old armory. The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) was chosen because of its hard shell that looks like armor, its history as a survivor (virtually unchanged for 50 million years), and its near-ubiquity in central Texas. Wilson also believed the building looked like it had been some type of headquarters at one time. He initially proposed "International Headquarters" but in the end it became "World Headquarters."

In founding the Armadillo, Wilson was assisted by Franklin, Mike Tolleson, an entertainment attorney, Bobby Hedderman from the Vulcan Gas Company and Hank Alrich. Funding for the venture was initially provided by Shiva's Headband founder, Spencer Perskin, and Mad Dog, Inc. an Austin literati group.

Frank Zappa 1973
The Armadillo World Headquarters officially opened on August 7, 1970 with Shiva's Headband, the Hub City Movers, and Whistler performing. The hall held about 1,500 patrons, but chairs were limited, so most patrons sat on the floor on sections of carpet that had been pieced together.

The Armadillo caught on quickly with the hippie culture of Austin because admission was inexpensive and the hall tolerated marijuana use. Even though illicit drug use was flagrant, the Armadillo was never raided. Anecdotes suggest the police were worried about having to bust their fellow officers as well as local and state politicians.

Soon, the Armadillo started receiving publicity in national magazines such as Rolling Stone. Time magazine wrote that the Armadillo was to the Austin music scene what The Fillmore had been to the emergence of rock music in the 1960s. The clientele became a mixture of hippies, cowboys, and businessmen who stopped by to have lunch and a beer and listen to live music. At its peak, the amount of Lone Star draft beer sold by the Armadillo was second only to the Houston Astrodome. The Neiman-Marcus department store even offered a line of Armadillo-branded products.

The unique blend of country and rock music performed at the hall became known by the terms "The Austin Sound," "Redneck Rock," progressive country or "Cosmic Cowboy." Artists that almost single handedly defined this particular genre and sound were Michael Martin Murphy, Jerry Jeff Walker and The Lost Gonzo Band. Many upcoming and established acts such as Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and ZZ Top played the Armadillo. Freddie King, Frank Zappa, and Commander Cody all recorded live albums there. Bruce Springsteen played five shows during 1974. The Australian band AC/DC played their first American show at the Armadillo with Canadian band Moxy in July 1977.

The Clash played live at The Armadillo with Joe Ely on October 4, 1979 (a photo from that show appears on the band's London Calling album). The show was so successful that Joe Ely and The Clash teamed up for a 1980 U.S. tour.

Despite its successes, the Armadillo always struggled financially. The addition of the Armadillo Beer Garden in 1972 and the subsequent establishment of food service were both bids to generate positive cash flow. However, the financial difficulties continued. In an interview for the 2010 book Weird City, Eddie Wilson remarked:

"People don’t remember this part: the months and months of drudgery. People talk about the Armadillo like it was a huge success, but there were months where hardly anyone showed up. After the first night when no one really came I ended up crying myself to sleep up on stage."

Frank Zappa - Apostrophe 1974
With the success of the Armadillo and Austin's burgeoning music scene, KLRN (now KLRU), the local PBS television affiliate, created Austin City Limits, a program showcasing popular local, regional, and national music acts.

The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar began in 1976 at the Armadillo, and is still held annually during the Christmas season. The Bazaar was another attempt to improve cash flow for the hall. When the Armadillo closed, the Bazaar first moved to Cherry Creek Plaza (1981–1983), and then on to the Austin Opry House (1984–1994). In 1995, the Bazaar settled at the Austin Music Hall for twelve years. Due to remodeling of the Austin Music Hall, the Bazaar had to move its 2007 show to the Austin Convention Center. The Bazaar has become one of the top-ranked arts and crafts shows in the nation with a long waiting list of artisans who wish to show their work.

On August 19, 2006, the City of Austin dedicated a commemorative plaque at the site where the Armadillo once stood. Co-founder Eddie Wilson was on hand and stated:

"It is still on the lips and minds of a lot of people 26 years after it closed. This is noteworthy for me because of the zero-tolerance mentality, and now the city erected a memorial that glorifies the things of the past that are not accepted today."

Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention -  Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin, TX 1973-10-26 

Frank Zappa
 Napoleon Murphy Brock 
 Tom Fowler 
 George Duke 
 Ruth Underwood 
 Bruce Fowler 
 Ralph Humphrey 
 Chester Thompson 

01. Cosmik Debris (06:59) 
02. Inca Roads (10:29) 
03. Pygmy Twylyte (4:56) 
04. The Idiot Bastard Son (2:15) 
05. Cheepnis (3:38) 
06. Big Swifty (9:25) 
07. San Clemente Magnetic Deviation Preamble (1:26) 
08. Dickie’s Such An Asshole (world premiere) (8:41) 
09. Farther Oblivion (14:41) 
10. Encore Tune Up (1:41) 
11. Mr Green Genes Medley (16:07) 
Medley includes: Son Of Mr. Green Genes, King Kong, Chunga’s Revenge, Mr. Green Genes & Dickie’s Such An Asshole reprise

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Armadillo World Headquarters

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi, chris, very nice bootleg, zappa with the best mothers of invention band. a great creative time, the mid seventies, sagdly he never reached this again.., lg, m

Anonymous said...

Muchisimas gracias.Perfecto sonido.Maravilloso Bootleg.

Anonymous said...

Intressant läsning!
Cheers,
S

Timmy said...

YES! Gotta love it.... Thanx.......

DoKtor Alphonzo said...

what can I say - christmas has come early - many thanks for psting this classic show

Anonymous said...

Excellent sound quality for a first class concert! (it sounds even great on my very old V70 stereo!)
Thanks very much. All the best.
JJ

michael said...

Wonderful stuff !!! ty so much mate

Rochacrimson said...

Excellent Chris!!!
Thank you!

boogieman said...

Thanks my friend. I concur with the anonymous comment, it was Zappa at his peak. Superb musicianship.

john said...

Thanks for showing the Armadillo World Headquarters. It's always informative to actually see places you've heard about. Great posts as usual have a Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

Thank you . Saw many shows at the Armadillo and miss it to this day. Thank you for this post. I was at this show !!!!