Line-ups and activities of the first Zappa rocking combo, featuring FZ on conduction, guitar, vocals and, sometimes, percussion and keyboards.
In this table are listed only musicians that have played with The Mothers on stage, and not players like, for example, Ruth Komanoff (later Underwood) who took only part to studio recordings.
For a very detailed discussion about the Mothers early days check these pages: FZ 1956-1969 by Román García Albertos.
Many dates and facts regarding the original Mothers are still very uncertain.
Ray Collins left the Mothers for short times in more occasions. The exact date of his definitive leftover is still unsure (anyway between August and September 1968).
Main sources still have different approach about dates and timing when some occasional members joined The Mothers, in particular uncertain is the period when Van Dyke Parks and Del Kacher shortly joined The Mothers on stage: Russo and Ulrich say mid '65, Garcia between the Ingber and Fielder membership (mid '66). I have chosen this second option.
The musicians listed in the 'other players' column, as far is known by now, don't appear in any actually available recording (official or unofficial, live or studio) of The Mothers (even if it is available a short video segment that show the Mothers with - probably - Del Cacher and Van Dyke Perks).
The following table list the main Mothers line-ups in a different fashion (the link in the line-up column will bring you at Charles Ulrich's Frank Zappa's Touring Band).
|line-up||begin||end||guitar||vocals||bass||drums||guitar||drums||keyb.||keyb./winds||winds||sax||trumpet||studio rec. / tours|
|1aŁ||65 09||Zappa||Collins||Estrada||Black||Henry Vestine|
|1a#||66 04||Zappa||Collins||Estrada||Black||Elliot Ingber||Freak Out!|
|1a$||66 09||Zappa||Collins||Estrada||Black||Del Cacher||Mundi||Preston||Van Dyke Parks|
|1a€||66 10||Zappa||Collins||Estrada||Black||Jim Fielder||Mundi||Preston||Bunk Gardner||Absolutely Free|
|1a%||67 03||67 08||Zappa||Collins||Estrada||Black||Mundi||Preston||Bunk Gardner||Garrick Theatre|
|1aa||67 09||67 11||Zappa||Collins *||Estrada||Black||Mundi||Preston||Ian Underwood||Bunk Gardner||Motorhead||1st European tour|
|1b||67 12||68 08||Zappa||Collins||Estrada||Black||Tripp||Preston||Ian Underwood||Bunk Gardner||Motorhead|
|1c||68 09||68 10||Zappa||Estrada||Black||Tripp||Preston||Ian Underwood||Bunk Gardner||Motorhead||2nd European tour|
|1d||68 11||69 05||Zappa||Estrada||Black||Lowell George||Tripp||Preston||Ian Underwood||Bunk Gardner||Motorhead||Buzz Gardner|
|1e||69 06||69 08||Zappa||Estrada||Black||Tripp||Preston||Ian Underwood||Bunk Gardner||Motorhead||Buzz Gardner||UK tour|
|No live recordings are known for line-up with yellow background - * There's a live recording with this line-up without Ray Collins|
Román García Albertos's Frank Zappa Chronology and FZ 1956-1969
Charles Ulrich's Frank Zappa's Touring Band
Jon Naurin's FZShows
This page created on February 2005 and latest revised on December 8, 2007
Touring Can Make You Crazy