Zappa / Mothers - Electric Aunt Jemima (Recorded Feb, 1968 at the Family Dog in Denver, CO)

Little House I Used To Live In (incl. Dog Breath Variations, Blue Danube Waltz & Hungry Freaks Daddy)  14:30
whät (improv)    3:53
Dog Breath    2:10
King Kong  16:30
Trouble Every Day (instrumental excerpt)    5:58
A Pound For a Brown (On the Bus)    7:45
Sleeping In a Jar    0:50
English Tea Dancing Interludes (improv that opens medley of last four tracks)    5:45
Plastic People    3:18
King Kong / America Drinks    2:37
Wipeout    0:18
Total Time: 63 min, 38 sec

This is another of the Beat the Boots discs (this time from the second box) and another one that I only own on store-bought cassette, although someone who read this web page was nice enough to mail me a CDR copy. Many thanks to everyone who's emailed to offer me CDRs of my missing BtB albums over the years.

Recorded in early 1968, it's interesting to note that it's made up almost entirely of songs that hadn't been officially released yet. In the early days, Zappa seemed to like to perfect his material on the road before committing it record. To some degree, this trait remained with him through the mid-80s.

The opening Little House I Used to Live In is a long instrumental that already contains most of the elements that it will have on the studio release almost two years later. All of the other tracks (apart from the three that appeared on Freak Out and Absolutely Free) would show up on the next year's Uncle Meat album.

This boot features pretty good recording quality, and a performance geared mostly towards Zappa's instrumental side. The large amount of improvisation and the short Wipe Out and Blue Danube give it some unique material that makes it worth having for collectors, although being part of the BtB II series, it's almost impossible to find nowadays.

The closing track makes it much more obvious than the studio version does that the music for Plastic People is basically a ripped-off version of Louie, Louie. The lyrics also differ from the studio version, making it almost a completely different song (similar to the version on You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol 1). The ending with King Kong and America Drinks isn't a medley - the melodies of those two songs are played over top of the continuing Plastic People vamp, making for an interesting result.

Overall, despite the decent recording quality, good performance and unique material, this isn't an album that I listen to all that often. But this listen has convinced me that I should play it more.

Album Cover

Image of the Electric Aunt Jemima album cover