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Frank Zappa's mid-70s live sets explored in Erie 6-disc box set

Frank Zappa
(Image credit: WATFORD/Mirrorpix - Getty)

Zappa Trust, Ahmet Zappa and Vaultmeister Joe Travers have gathered together a trio of Frank Zappa's live shows from the mid-70s in a new box set. Zappa/Erie is out on June 3 via Zappa Records/UMe and includes more than seven hours of previously unreleased performances from three different line-ups.

The three complete Zappa shows included are: Edinboro State College in May 1974 (celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Mothers), his concert at Gannon Auditorium at Gannon University that same November, and his last Erie show in November 1976 at the Erie County Fieldhouse. Bonus tracks are taken from performances in South Bend, Toledo and Montreal around the same time.

Says Travers of the 71-track project, “When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, I found myself, like so many others, with a lot of extra time on my hands. Because of this, I threw myself even more deeply into archiving the fabulous vault of Mr. Frank Zappa. During this time, it dawned on me that in all my years being the Vaultmeister for Zappa, I had never prioritised documenting the concerts FZ played in my hometown of Erie, Pa.” 

Fans can pre-order an exclusive edition of the box set with an illustrated Fantoons poster. A version of the set without the poster will be available to pre-order on April 22.

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Natasha Scharf
Natasha Scharf

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.