More Ruthless Rhymes: FRANK ZAPPA and The Mothers Of Invention UCLA NYE 1977 on:’WAX FLAGS’

Zappa Wax Flags pbZappa Wax Flags bFold over insert, reminiscing of the Dragonfly/Duck releases, perhaps one of the last bootlegs to feature this style of insert produced in early 1978. I did not find a good enough image of this on Ruthless Rhymes but you can take my word for it. Credited to a Danish Fan Club on the spine, which was of course meant to throw the FBI off.

Zappa Wax Flags blankAlso with red & orange blank labels.

Zappa Wax Flags Raring 2Later reissue with Raring labels

Zappa Wax Flags yel100 numbered copies only on yellow PVC reissued as part of the LXXXIV series, # 59

Zappa Wax Flags Raring 3With an alternate cover around 1984

Zappa Wax Flags RE


Zappa Wax Flags RE 2Yet another version – can you tell that this sold well?

Zappa Wax Flags RE 2 b


One more super rare reissue – supposedly as few as 75 copies were made:

Zappa Martian Love SecretsZappa Martian Love Secrets bZappa Martian Love Secrets detail(“Martian Love Secrets” was the working title of the Sheik Yerbouti album).

Issued with blank blue and red labels. Below, side C matrix:

Zappa Martian Love Secrets matrix

Pauley Pavillion, University of Californa, Los Angeles, 31-Dec-1977

Length: ~90 min
Sound quality: Audience B+
Label: Ruthless Rhymes FZ500 / Raring Records Rarities

Musicians: Frank Zappa, Adrian Belew, Patrick O’Hearn, Tommy Mars, Peter Wolf, Ed Mann, Terry Bozio and Roy Estrada

1. Instrumental [mislisted as “Envelopes”]
2. Is This Guy Kidding or What? / I Have Been in You
3. Flakes [the last part only, listed as “Tom Snyder vs the Red Spiders from NBC]
4. Flakes [the last part continues] / Broken Hearts Are for Assholes
5. Wild Love (part 1) [listed as “Stinky Finger”]
6. Wild Love (part 2) [listed as “Fancy Stinky Part 1”]

7. Wild Love (part 3) [listed as “Fancy Stinky Part 2”]
8. Punky’s Whips

9. “Stink-Foot” Solo
10. The Black Page #2
11. Jones Crusher [listed as “Deadly Jaws”]
12. Disco Boy
13. Dinah-Moe Humm
14. Bobby Brown

15. Conehead [different, instrumental version]
16. Camarillo Brillo
17. Muffin Man
18. San Ber’dino
19. Black Napkins
20. Auld Lang Syne


“This show was around 3 hours long, so this is edited down. The sound is not too good, audience-recorded in a boomy hall, with some instruments not always audible, but the performance is good. The track list on the cover is not at all correct (the above is much better).

Track 1 is listed as “Envelopes” but is really a jam, probably a solo section from “A Pound for a Brown on the Bus”.
Track 2 is “I Have Been in You” with an intro like the one on Stage #6, “Is This Guy Kidding or What”.
Track 3 is just the end part, with Adrian Belew’s e-bow solo.
Track 4 has 30 more seconds of “Flakes”.
“Wild Love”, including improvisations, is split up over three tracks, listed as “Stinky Finger” and “Fancy Stinky Parts 1-2”. At 01:21 in track 6, a wild solo section ensues, with Tommy Mars and Peter Wolf doing keyboard improvisations. Then the first 01:57 of track 7 is Adrian Belew on guitar, 01:58-08:23 a “Yo’ Mama” type Zappa solo, and the remaining 08:24-09:09 the last part of “Wild Love”.
Track 15 is a different, instrumental “Conehead” (and may belong last on vinyl side 3 instead).

A variant cover of Wax Flags has been reported. It has a live picture of Zappa with a microphone, a picture of Zappa holding a picture of himself playing guitar while “shooting the finger”. The vinyl is multi-coloured, and the label of one disc has a drawing of a gargoyle with two heads in front of a tombstone with “Verzyl” inscribed on it, while the other label has what “appears to be a Chinese-style drawing of a warrior with a spear and a sword attacking a serpent in front of a pyramid”. (This cover and these labels don’t list any tracks at all.)” [I guess, I’m missing that variation] \


Notes from a needle drop/remastering project:   
” …this show was horribly panned to the left, … The show, recording or equipment in use then, was over driven and clipped, so the high end is rough, real rough.  It is listenable, the FZ solos are awesome, Tommy Mars is good. The show or the taper or someone lost it as it goes on, so it degrades towards the end. “

  1. Tommy said:

    Great post, never heard of that one before.

  2. Moreno said:

    At the beginning of side 4 there’s a little fragment of “Black dog” play by Led Zeppellin… very strange and out of context!

  3. Woodstock31 said:

    This LP epitomized what Zappa hated about bootlegs… not very good quality recording and I remember some store trying to get $30 for it. In my ears, what a great era and time for the band and of course … wish I was at that show.

    • Only $30 for a double? 😉 I had to pay much more in the 80’s. “Middle man mark up” cannot really be blamed on the bootleg record producers.

      I think almost all artists hate unauthorized live recordings because they tend to be perfectionists and all bootlegs/audience recordings are by nature imperfect. Technology has helped to close that gap significantly though in the last 20 years.

      The best way to combat bootleggers is to have the artist record the shows themselves and offer it for purchase – although you won’t get a great audience recording that way OR a great mixed multi-track live album.

      The need for (good quality) audience recordings has endured until today (see the torrent sites like dime). The fact that many bootlegs did not possess good audio quality becomes meaningless if no other recording is available.

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