From: Charles Ulrich forthcoming book Project/Object
The first four songs on Apostrophe form a suite. As is often the case
with FZ, the same title serves for both a single song (the first
track on Apostrophe) and for the whole suite (as on the last track of
the first disc of YCDTOSA 1). On Apostrophe, the suite consists of
four songs: "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow", "Nanook Rubs It", "St.
Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast", and "Father O'Blivion". In concert, the
suite often included additional songs: "Mar-Juh-Rene", "Farther
Oblivion", and/or "Rollo".
The "Yellow Snow" suite was first performed in April, 1973.
By early May, the suite ran as follows: "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow",
"Nanook Rubs It", "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast", "Father
O'Blivion", "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast" (reprise),
"Mar-Juh-Rene", "Father O'Blivion" (reprise), "Farther Oblivion". The
reprise of "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast" was very fast. The
lyrics of "Mar-Juh-Rene" continued the discussion of the margarine
stolen in "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast". In each performance, FZ
would improvise on the letters of mar-juh-rene, his fanciful spelling
of margarine (also seen in the printed lyrics of "St. Alfonzo's
Pancake Breakfast"). For example, m might stand for "the Majesty of
the mar-juh-rene", while a might stand for the "anguished experience
when there's no vocal in the monitor system". The hyphens were
generally suitable for employment as dildos for bugs or for letters
on a typewriter.
[VS: See Ben Watson' comments on mar-juh-rene here].
The reprise of "Father O'Blivion" ends with the
priest making a gesture that he learned in divinity school and saying
"Join the march and eat my starch," which is the cue for the "Farther
"Farther Oblivion" is itself a suite consisting of three
parts that were later used in other contexts. The first of these is
the "Steno Pool" section of "The Adventures Of Greggery Peccary" (see
Studio Tan). The second is "Be-Bop Tango" (see Roxy & Elsewhere). And
the third is "Cucamonga" (see Bongo Fury). All of these were
performed without lyrics, although Kin Vassy sometimes vocalized
"ah-ah-ah" on "Cucamonga" during his brief tenure in the band (April
7-May 1, 1973). "Farther Oblivion" can be heard on Piquantique (Beat
The Boots I), where it is mislabeled "Father O'Blivion". The tune
labeled "Farther O'Blivion" on YCDTOSA 6 is actually the reprise of
"Father O'Blivion", cut just before "Join the march and eat my
"Farther Oblivion" existed before the composition of the
"Yellow Snow" suite. It was performed on the Petit Wazoo tour of
October-December, 1972. It is debatable whether it should be
considered part of the "Yellow Snow" suite, since it was often played
by itself, not preceded by the other songs of the "Yellow Snow"
suite. However, virtually every time that the "Yellow Snow" suite was
performed in 1973, it was immediately followed by "Farther Oblivion".
On the 1978/1979 tour, the "Yellow Snow" suite was revived
(as heard on YCDTOSA 1). It now had a new fifth song, namely "Rollo".
Like "Farther Oblivion", "Rollo" predates "Don't Eat The Yellow
Snow", having been performed on the Petit Wazoo tour in 1972. In its
original form, "Rollo" had two parts. The first was a bluesy song
with two verses: the first about a man and a dog, and the second
about another man and a lady who is about to give him a blowjob. The
dog and the second man are both named Rollo. The spoken line "Rollo,
if you love me, do like I told ya/And fetch unto me a baroque
magnolia" serves as a cue for the second part of the song. The second
part begins with a trumpet fanfare that evolved into "St. Alfonzo's
Pancake Breakfast". As performed by the Petit Wazoo band, the second
part of "Rollo" was an instrumental."
The second part of "Rollo" was performed by the Abnuceals
Emuukha Electric Orchestra in the concerts at Royce Hall, UCLA, in
September, 1975. Other pieces performed at these concerts were
released on Orchestral Favorites, but this version of "Rollo" remains
unreleased. This same second part was incorporated into the '78/'79
version of the "Yellow Snow" suite. By this time, it had acquired
lyrics. These lyrics continue the religious theme of "St. Alfonzo's
Pancake Breakfast", having nothing to do with the lyrics of the
original first part of "Rollo", which was never performed after 1972.
The version of the "Yellow Snow" suite heard on Apostrophe
was probably recorded in September or October of 1973. It features
all of the musicians from the spring/summer line-up who remained in
the fall line-up-George Duke (keyboards, vocals), Bruce Fowler
(trombone), Tom Fowler (bass), Ralph Humphrey (drums), and Ruth
Underwood (percussion)-as well as new member Napoleon Murphy Brock
(saxophone, vocals), but not new drummer Chester Thompson. The suite
also features backing vocals by Ruben Guevara and Robert Camarena of
Ruben and the Jets, Ray Collins of the original Mothers of
Invention,, engineer Kerry McNabb, plus three women identified only
as Susie Glover, [delete?] Debbie, and Lynn.