Lennon & Zappa - Baby Please Don't Go

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dr. Robert, May 16, 2019.

  1. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Curitiba, Brazil
    First time I heard this live jam in a while and I'm amazed at how damn good it actually is!

    John's powerful vocals, the rhythm section of Aynsley Dunbar and Jim Pons holding it down, Zappa's inspired lead playing (Lennon's scream of "ZAPPA!" right before the solo is hilarious, by the way), all that make for a memorable performance. And strangely enough, even Yoko's screams fit in well with the song, for me, giving it a slight air of chaos and uncertainty.

    Any more love for this one off?

  2. FredV

    FredV Forum Resident

    Perhaps the last time Lennon and Zappa were on the same page until John & Yoko took credit for a couple of Zappa tunes and removed Flo & Eddie’s vocals in the remix of the concert they used for their ‘Sometime In New York City’ album.
  3. Christian Hill

    Christian Hill It's all in the mind

    Lennon ripped off Zappa's King Kong and renamed it.

    The bad part is, there's a song that I wrote called King Kong which we played that night, and I don't know whether it was Yoko's idea or John's idea, but they changed the name of the song to Jamrag, gave themselves writing and publishing credit on it, stuck it on an album, and never paid me. It was obviously not a jam-session song – it's got a melody, it's got a bassline, it's obviously an organised song.......
    Frank Zappa
  4. Culpa

    Culpa Forum Resident

    Philadelphia, PA
    Cool track, it's always been a favorite of mine. Zappa's mix is available on his "Playground Psychotics" CD.
  5. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    Love it. Respect to Zappa for not suing Lennon's ass.
  6. Rob Hughes

    Rob Hughes Forum Resident

    Yoko and Zappa are really at such opposite ends of the avant spectrum that I don't really hear them working well together. Yoko's earnest screaming (and Lennon's impassioned singing) in contrast with Zappa's incorrigible irony, Lennon's musical conservatism in this era in contrast with Zappa's idiosyncratic jazzed-out prog -- it's not hard to see why they fell out, even leaving aside the crediting fiasco (which I pin squarely on the Lennon-Ono camp).

    It's like with Yoko and John in this era, there always has to be a personal reference to the song and, ultimately, to, like, personal trauma -- for example, for Yoko, the existential trauma of being an embodied woman subject to corporal frailty and all that entails. I'm trying right now and failing to think of a personal lyric that Zappa ever wrote (Stinkfoot?) -- basically he never makes a direct appeal to the authority of personal experience or suffering -- that's just not how he thinks about the lyrical dimension of his art.

    It's not impossible to imagine Lennon in a more Zappa-like humor, but I don't see that Yoko's company allowed for this in late Spring 1971.
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  7. daveidmarx

    daveidmarx Forem Residunt

    Astoria, NY USA
    I've always quite enjoyed this fun little, whimsical number
  8. Not of fan of Yoko's contribution to this performance.
    geo50000, BryanW, Mt.Elga and 3 others like this.
  9. WillieDaPimp

    WillieDaPimp Some surface noise, but plays well

    Philadelphia, PA
    This is the original.
  10. MarcS

    MarcS Forum Resident

    Oradell NJ
    Zappa's solo is amazing on this; I always wondered why both live releases faded out until I saw the video and the song kind of falls apart. Supposedly, when Zappa suggested playing together Yoko wanted to and John didn't, so its cool that he changed his mind. I think this experience however, (which is the only time a Beatle took the stage at the Fillmore East) galvanized John as live performer a bit as he did a bunch of performances after in 71-72.
  11. Darrin L.

    Darrin L. Forum Resident

    Golden, CO
    As usual, Yoko ruins it with catterwauling...

  12. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident

    yoko should've waited till the instrumental part to being her wailing, its actually fit there but doing it over johns vocals mired it a bit
    BeatleJWOL likes this.

    PIGGIES Forum Resident

    Agreed, hearing this was my first exposure to FZ in the late 70’s & it changed my life :righton:
    mark winstanley likes this.
  14. KDubATX

    KDubATX A Darby Man Never Says When

    My favorite thing about this is that on Playground Psychotics the Yoko screeching bit is called, "A Small Eternity with Yoko Ono". That cracks a smile out on me.
  15. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident

    I ain’t got no heart to give away?
    mark winstanley and Rob Hughes like this.
  16. Joseph LeVie

    Joseph LeVie Forum Resident

    South Florida
    Village Of The Sun

    That’s possibly his most sentimental biographical songs.
    seacliffe301 likes this.
  17. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident

    Zappa seemed almost completely devoid of sentimentality. His strength?
    Charlie Z. likes this.
  18. RAJ717

    RAJ717 Forum Resident

  19. Tom Daniels

    Tom Daniels Forum Resident

    This is the only truly great thing on Some Time in NYC, buried on the tedious “free” live.

    One of the high points of John’s solo career. I simply love it.
  20. dlokazip

    dlokazip Forum Transient

    Austin, TX, USA

    When Zappa finally released his mix, he divided "Jamrag" into "Say Please", "King Kong", and "Aaawk". Then, he removed "King Kong". While this might seem odd considering the fact that it was the track that he was upset to not be credited for, it was likely that he had edited it that way even prior to STINYC being released.

    Despite Zappa's and Ono's contrasting styles, I believe that "Say Please" and "Aaawk" work well. When Yoko performed and recorded with the Plastic Ono Band, their disjointed blues riffs made her wailing more digestible, but, for this short set, Zappa presented a unique backdrop for Yoko that she had not had before or since. Her riffing may have been different from The Mothers' riffing, but at least she was going with it, which is more than I can say for John. His musical conservatism did not serve him well in this instance.

    The true incompatibility is evident in the difference between the two mixes. Zappa was arrogant, but he was always about the interaction between the musicians. The mix on Playground Psychotics presents that interaction in all its glory. The tragedy of the mix on STINYC is that John and Yoko made it about themselves. On one level, that makes sense given that it's their record. On the other hand, it indicates that the moment was a bit lost on them. Turning "Scumbag" into a minimalist chant may have been on brand, but was it really necessary? Taking credit for "King Kong" just added insult to injury. They literally threw away what Zappa willingly gave them while stealing something that was rightfully his.

    It doesn't really matter if you call it "Aü" or "A Small Eternity With Yoko Ono". It's self-indulgent. Even if you like what Yoko does, it's not one of her better moments.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
    smoke, geo50000, MungoMusic and 3 others like this.
  21. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Levittown. NY
    ..furthermore, it shows off how great John could sound live when backed by a great sounding band (as opposed to, say, Elephant's Memory ). I think another highlight of the STINYC album is the live version of Cold Turkey.
    seacliffe301, Chuckee and tug_of_war like this.
  22. Trader Joe

    Trader Joe Forum Resident

    New Hampshire
    No, I really, really do not enjoy this.

    John Lennon should have been playing with his own band mates.
  23. tug_of_war

    tug_of_war Sassafras & Moonshine

    My favorite moment is during the jam that follows this track, when the melody of Zappa's "King King" pops up.

    I wonder what John was thinking when he renamed it and removed Zappa's credit.
    musicfan37 likes this.
  24. Rob Hughes

    Rob Hughes Forum Resident

    Really interesting post! You've given a lot to think about -- thanks for sharing! RH
  25. RAJ717

    RAJ717 Forum Resident

    Does Zappa's mix of "King Kong" from that concert exist anywhere?

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