LITTLE FALLS, NJ -- Joe Travers, archivist of the works of Frank Zappa, spoke to TAPintoTV Executive Producer Brian Brodeur about the Zappa Trust's latest box set entitled "Halloween 81"
"This is the third box set that we've done," Travers said. "Celebrating Halloween runs that Frank did in New York." Halloween was Frank Zappa's favorite holiday and it became a tradition for his tour to stop in New York City and perform multiple concerts.
Travers explained that the new box set commemorates a four-night concert series performed at the Palladium from October 29th through November 1st in 1981. "That's a real special year," Travers noted. "That was a really really great band."
Zappa had assembled a group of musicians including brand-new members along with members from earlier years. New members including drummer Chad Wackerman, bassist Scott Thunes, and keyboardist/vocalist Robert Martin, joined existing personnel Ed Mann, Tommy Mars, Ray White and guitarist Steve Vai. "It was a big year for Frank," Travers said.
"New York was Frank's favorite place. He loved New York, he lived in New York in 1967," Travers explained. "It's just the right place for Frank. He just really dug it there." Travers noted Zappa's personal connection to the New York audience and Zappa's many special friends that lived in New York. "The more they would play there over the years, the more that kind of snowballed," Travers told Brodeur.
Frank Zappa performed many Halloween shows in New York City over the years, starting in the early 70s, and his last NYC Halloween show was in 1984 at the Felt Forum. Even though the Frank Zappa Halloween concerts in New York City ended in 1984, Zappa performed many more times in NYC at other venues. Notably, the 1988 Zappa tour was recorded live at the Beacon Theater in New York City and was released as a live CD entitled "Broadway The Hard Way," which featured musicians such as Mike Keneally and a guest appearance by Sting.
Along with the Halloween 81 box set, the Zappa Trust has released two other Halloween concert box sets, Halloween 73 from the Auditorium Theater in Chicago and Halloween 77 from the Palladium in NYC. "The first box set that we did is the Halloween 77 run, it's every show from that year," Travers explained. "For this current box set, we didn't do every show, we only did three complete shows."
For more information about Frank Zappa and his Halloween concert box sets, visit www.ZAPPA.com