Skip to main content

Frank Zappa and The Mothers' legendary 1971 Fillmore East shows to be released in their entirety in mammoth new eight-disc box set

Frank Zappa performs live in France in 1970
(Image credit: Alain Voloch/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images)

The entirety of Frank Zappa and the Mothers' legendary June 1971 run at New York City's Fillmore East will be released on a massive new 8-CD box set, The Mothers 1971.

Set for a March 18 release via Zappa Records/UMe, the collection notably features Zappa's June 6, 1971 encore jam at the Fillmore with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. It was produced by Ahmet Zappa and Zappa archivist Joe Travers.

The Mothers 1971 also contains Zappa's infamous December 10, 1971 show at the Rainbow Theatre in London, during which – after a rendition of The Beatles’ I Want To Hold Your Hand – Zappa was attacked by a deranged fan, suffering serious injuries that left him wheelchair-bound for almost a year. 

Back in 1971, Zappa hastily culled the best of the Fillmore performances for the live album, Fillmore East – June 1971. That album has also – in tandem with The Mothers 1971 – been separately re-mixed and remastered for a 3LP deluxe reissue.

The 12/10/1971 Rainbow Theatre set has also been given a separate, 3LP deluxe vinyl reissue, with a brand-new mix and liner notes by Eddie Kramer.

The Rainbow Theatre performance would turn out to be the last to feature the Mark II Mothers lineup of Ian Underwood on winds and keyboards, Aynsley Dunbar on drums, Jim Pons on bass, Bob Harris on keyboards and backing vocals, and Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman (aka Flo & Eddie of The Turtles) on vocals/dialog.

Also included in The Mothers 1971 is the Tears Began To Fall/Junier Mintz Boogie single, and a previously unreleased "hybrid concert" of sorts, culled from the band's June 1 and June 3, 1971 performances in Scranton and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The box set also comes with a 68-page booklet featuring an in-depth interview with Underwood (conducted by Ahmet Zappa,) plus notes from Kramer and Pons, tape-by-tape liner notes from Travers, and photos by Henry Diltz.

The cover of The Mothers 1971

(Image credit: Zappa Records/UMe)

You can check out The Mothers 1971's cover art above, and preorder the album via Zappa's website.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Jackson is an Associate Editor at guitarworld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.