The Grand Wazoo

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The Grand Wazoo
The Grand Wazoo.jpg
Studio album by The Mothers
Released November 27, 1972
Recorded AprilMay 1972,
Paramount Studios, Hollywood, CA
Genre Big band, jazz fusion, progressive rock
Length 37:00
Label Bizarre/Reprise
Producer Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa chronology
#15 (1972)Waka/JawakaString Module Error: Match not found
The Grand Wazoo
#16 (1972)
Over-Nite Sensation
#17 (1973)Over-Nite SensationString Module Error: Match not found
The Mothers chronology
Just Another Band from L.A.
(1972) Just Another Band from L.A.1972
The Grand Wazoo
(1972) The Grand Wazoo1972
Over-Nite Sensation
(1973) Over-Nite Sensation1973
Singles from The Grand Wazoo
  1. "Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus"
    Released: 1972[nb 1]
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[2]

The Grand Wazoo is a Jazz fusion album by Frank Zappa and The Mothers, released in November 1972. It was written and recorded during Zappa's period of convalescence after being assaulted in December 1971 in London, UK.


Along with its predecessor Waka/Jawaka (July 1972), this album represents Zappa's foray into big band music, the logical progression from Hot Rats (1969) (which used a much smaller lineup). This was the last release on Zappa's own Bizarre Records label.

Recording and production[edit]

This was the third Zappa album released in a period where he was forced to use a wheelchair. Zappa was unable to tour after being assaulted and pushed offstage into an orchestra pit during a concert on December 10, 1971 at the Rainbow Theatre in London, UK.[3]

The compositions are arranged for a large ensemble which was conceived as a studio recording vehicle, rather than a live touring band.[citation needed] The album is mostly made up of instrumental pieces, similar in style to those of three previous albums: Hot Rats (October 1969), Burnt Weeny Sandwich (February 1970), and Waka/Jawaka (July 1972).

Zappa was also producer and principal composer for Jean-Luc Ponty's album King Kong (1970) during this period.

"Eat That Question"[edit]

The track is a vehicle for George Duke's electric piano and begins with a rubato intro followed by the entrance of the full rhythm section in time. On this and several other tracks, Zappa plays a flat top acoustic/electric guitar using a wah-wah pedal and a Maestro phase shifter or Leslie speaker for a chorale effect.[citation needed] The Barcus-Berry transducer used was at the time a novel way of amplifying the instrument instead of using a traditional magnetic guitar pickup.[citation needed]

The Zappa Plays Zappa tours (led by Dweezil Zappa, the eldest son of Frank Zappa) since 2006 regularly have featured "Eat That Question" with the song serving as a vehicle for both keyboard and guitar solos. Beginning in 2010, the Zappa Plays Zappa shows also have incorporated "Blessed Relief", usually introduced by Dweezil as an underappreciated Zappa composition.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written, composed and arranged by Frank Zappa.

Side one
1."For Calvin (And His Next Two Hitch-Hikers)"6:05
2."The Grand Wazoo"13:18
Side two
3."Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus"2:57
4."Eat That Question"6:42
5."Blessed Relief"8:00
1995 Ryko remaster
1."The Grand Wazoo"13:20
2."For Calvin (And His Next Two Hitch-Hikers)"6:06
3."Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus"2:57
4."Eat That Question"6:43
5."Blessed Relief"7:59




  1. ^ Promo issue, with A-Side Mono (DJ airplay) version & B-Side Stereo version of same track.[1]


  • Musicians and production per CD booklet.
  1. ^ / The Mothers – Cletus Awreetus - Awrightus
  2. ^ Huey, S. (2011). "The Grand Wazoo - Frank Zappa | AllMusic". Retrieved 17 September 2018. 
  3. ^ Miles, Barry. "The Rainbow Theatre Incident." Zappa Wiki Jawaka. N.p., 13 May 2007. Web. 13 May 2015.

External links[edit]