Lohengrin (Act III, Prelude)

Richard Wagner (written c. 1845-48; premiered in 1850)

FZ album(s) in which song has appeared


Tour(s) on which song is known to have been performed (main source: FZShows, v. 7.1)



Foggy G, "The Songs That Were Played," We're Only In It For The Touring

1968: A common musical quote found in Frank's music over the years, this Wagner piece receives due homage in this tour also. During the one well documented performance from this year (10/6), this FZ/Preston performed rendition arises out of a "Gas Mask" type jam, which itself arises out of the ashes of an "Uncle Meat". Frank begins toying with the melody while the band is involved in a percussion heavy jam. The percussion slowly dies out, at which point both Frank and Preston continue teasing the tune. This continues for a short while, with this classical tease culminating in a typically deranged vocalization of the melody. (For those of you unsure about what this title refers to, check out the 2:55 mark of "Big Swifty" on your readily accessible "Make A Jazz Noise Here" CD).

1978: One of Zappa's favorite Audience Participation gimmicks- other than the Dance Contest- is the "this-side-of-the-audience-sing-this-and-this-side-sing-this-and-this-side-sing-this-now-sing" trick. Although it never really seemed to work, FZ never gave up on it over the years, and on 2/18, we got it once again. This time the songs in question were "In-a-gadda-da-vida", "The Rites of Spring", and Lohengrin. Didn't really work, but a truly funny moment occurs about 30 minutes later in the set, when Frank yells at the people in the balcony and says, "You're still supposed to be singing 'In-a-gadda-da-vida'".

1980: Towards the end of the tour, "Pick Me I'm Clean" starts to get a little crazy, consisting of more than just a guitar solo in its middle section. On the late show on 12/05, an improvised performance of ["Lohengrin"] found its way into the proceedings, making things even crazier than normal.

A partial list of "Lohengrin" quotations, compiled by Charles Ulrich

10/6/68 Bremen (stand-alone)
2/21/69 New York (Charles Ives)
"2/29/69" Toronto (stand-alone)
5/24/69 Toronto (stand-alone)
9/23/72 New York (stand-alone)
5/1/74 Binghamton (Dupree's Paradise)
5/8/74 Edinboro (Dupree's Paradise)
11/6/74 Pittsburgh (Stinkfoot)
11/9/74 (late) Boston (Dupree's Paradise)
10/30/77 New York (Wild Love)
2/18/78 Gothenburg (audience participation)
9/21/78 Poughkeepsie (I Have Been In You)
4/13/80 (late) Kansas City (Pound For A Brown)
6/11/80 (early) Paris (Pound For A Brown)
6/26/80 Neunkirchen (Pound For A Brown)
11/28/80 (early) Chicago (City Of Tiny Lights)
12/2/80 Fort Collins (stand-alone)
12/5/80 (late) Berkeley (Pick Me I'm Clean, City Of Tiny Lights)
12/11/80 (late) Santa Monica (stand-alone)
10/25/81 (early) Atlanta (Black Page)
11/3/84 (early) Stony Brook (Illinois Enema Bandit)
2/10/88 Washington (classical medley)
5/9/88 Munich (Big Swifty, as heard on MAJNH, Penguin In Bondage, Let's Move To Cleveland, Sofa)

Any more?

Mike Genovese, March 10, 2021

How about the LOENGRIN quote from lots of the live HUNGRY FREAKS DADDY?


Conceptual Continuity

More Wagner:
Reader's Digest No Unwanted Melodies



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This page updated: 2022-09-24