The story of a remarkable solo - 27th October, 1978

The opening solo of the 2nd Halloween show is the basis for the You Are What You Is track. This vamp was used frequently through the Fall 1978 tour, and seemed to provide FZ with the space he needed to explore his guitaristic tendencies to the full while also allowing Vinnie Colaiuta and Arthur Barrow to take off into meter-stretch-city. Incidentally, the original version of this solo was to be released (in complete form?) as a track entitled Persona Non Grata.

A soundclip of the first few minutes of the Halloween solo, from before the YAWYI edit occurs.

The solo was transposed up by just over a semitone - that is, the original was in Eb (presumably FZ used to tune down a semitone, although I've never heard it mentioned before) and the You Are What You Is track is tuned a little above E. This means you can't really play the two side by side, because a) the pitch is different, and b) because the latter version is a touch quicker. There are four main edits in the solo, represented in the diagram below.

The original solo works very well as a whole, but it would be true to say that FZ kept all of the good stuff - what's missing is good, but there's nothing that really jumps out at you, whereas the edited version is full of hummable melodies and motifs given extra oomph by the added percussion. Given that the edit is half the size of the original, it has excellent continuity; similar to Inca Roads on One Size Fits All, you'd never think that you weren't hearing the entire solo as it was originally played. The resulting melody sounds very composed, and works extremely well both as a guitar solo and as an orchestral piece, though both have very different character.

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