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Setlists Frank Zappa Tour 1982 - handwritten by Steve Vai

Setlists Frank Zappa Tour 1982 - handwritten by Steve Vai

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These setlists were handwritten by Steve Vai, then a member of Frank Zappa's band, during their European summer tour in 1982. They are historic both for the history of Frank Zappa during one of the most influential tours of his career, and for the history and career of Steve Vai, then a young musical prodigy enlisted by his illustrious elder. It's a great opportunity to have a witness to this crucial part of his career.

 

These ten setlists come directly from Steve Vai's personal collection. As a young musician commissioned to transcribe Frank Zappa's music and perform from 1980 onwards, these setlists were handwritten during the 1982 European tour. This tour was intended to promote the album Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch (1982). The latter was an important album in Zappa's career: the single Valley Girl was the only Zappa song to enter the American Top 40. Zappa's 1982 European tour begins in Denmark and ends in Italy. A dozen dates were scheduled, ending in Palermo on July 7, 1982. This Italian leg of the tour has gone down in history.

 

Frank Zappa's 1982 European tour was a carnival of madness - starting with the booking of bizarre venues with unusual stage configurations.

 

In the summer of 1982, Frank Zappa ended his world tour in Palermo, Sicily - the birthplace of Frank's father and grandfather. However, it all went wrong: Palermo had never hosted a major rock concert, the band set up in the middle of a soccer field, fans sat far back in the end zone, and a major religious festival was taking place the same evening. When the area was invaded by hordes of free-riders and curious onlookers, the police were quick to fire tear gas at the rioting fans. The show, which had started normally, degenerated into a full-blown riot, provoked by the questionable use of force by the police and army. Three people were shot and injured, and many others were arrested.

 

The Palermo concert is still considered one of the worst riots of all time, and cut the tour short. These setlists are therefore a true historical record of this period.

 

The setlists represented here are as follows:

 

Geneva (1/7/1982) ; Turin (2/7/1982) ; Bolzano (3/7/1982) ; Bologna (4/7/1982) ; Genoa (5/7/1982) ; Milan (7/7/1982) ; Pistoia (8/7/1982) ; Rome (9/7/1982) ; Naples (12/7/1982) ; Palermo (14/7/1982).

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