ZU was a project of UK scenemaker Giorgio Gomelsky, who relocated to New York after helping launch the careers of the Rolling Stones and Yardbirds from his Crawdaddy Club and producing early sessions for John McLaughlin, Graham Bond, Alexis Koerner and Soft Machine. He was soon forcing the likes of Magma, Henry Cow and Plastic People Of The Universe on unsuspecting Americans as well as encouraging young Bill Laswell to form a band that became Material after backing Daevid Allen as ZU Band and New York Gong. The present concert took place some two months after Gomelsky's ZU Manifestival - the first progressive rock summit in the United States. Frith played several Manhattan solo shows around this time, including one at Artists Space in Soho where he fell in behind sirens passing in the street below. There was also a misguided booking at the Mudd Club, where devoted fans were refused admittance for showing up in jeans, stocking caps, long hair and pimples. I was once halfway through the door behind two downtown celebrity pals when a great arm came down like a railroad crossing gate. Quality control figured there was no way the two sharp suits had come with Travis Bickle. According to the wondrous Blegvad discography @ idiot dog, there should be a nine minute reading between Silence and Big Guns Theme, where there is an audible edit. At any rate, it's great to hear the tapers gasping in wonder as they experience their imported heroes in the flesh for the first time.
Fred Frith, John Greaves, Peter Blegvad
w/ Bill Laswell, Fred Maher, Lisa Herman, Eugene Chadbourne, Michael Beinhorn, Dr. Dan
ZU Loft, New York City, December 19, 1978
02 Mostly Twins And Trios
03 For Bearings
04 The Rose Sob
06 Big Guns Theme
09 Actual Frenzy
10 22 Proverbs
11 Riding Tigers
12 A Little Something
Photograph from Peter Blegvad / Andy Partridge Orpheus booklet.
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