the recording below has been seeded on DIME.....

if anyone here who has access starts a vine for those
of us who have not been able to get on, then please
add  me into the queue somewhere........


Frank Zappa & Jean-Luc Ponty 
Festival de Valbonne 
July 25th, 1970 

source: audience recording 

1. tuning up (1:21) 
2. jam 1 (16:04) 
3. King Kong (17:22) 
4. jam 2 (8:09) 
5. jam 3 (3:40) 

Frank Zappa - guitar 
Jean-Luc Ponty - violin 
Alby Cullaz - bass 
Aldo Romano - drums 

The Valbonne festival was organised by Claude
Rousseau, who had organised the Bourget festival (near
Paris) the previous March. 

The programme, as announced in late June, was as
follows : 
July 23rd : Iron Butterfly, Warm Dust, Swegas & Moving
Gelatine Plates 
July 24th : Gong, Brigitte Fontaine, Amon Duul II &
Red Noise 
July 25th : Zappa/Ponty, King Harvest & Ame Son 

It seemed like it was going to be a great Summer for
lovers of rock music, with no less than three major
festivals announced in the South of France for late
July and early August : in addition to Valbonne, there
was another one in Aix-en-Provence on August 1st-3rd,
organised by trendy fashion designer Jean Bouquin, as
well as the follow-up to the 1969 Amougies festival by
Jean Karakos, in Biot, beginning on August 5th. 

However, around mid July it all went wrong : all three
festivals were banned by the authorities, who used the
risk of forest fires as an excuse. In the event, they
did go ahead, but in this pre-Internet age lack of
reliable information ensured that attendance was well
below expectations, and that the promoters lost a lot
of money. Many bands weren't paid or refused to play,
and in the case of Biot the event ended prematurely,
degenerating into a riot. 

The Zappa/Ponty jam was expected to be the highlight
of Valbonne. However it didn't turn out quite as
planned either. According to Ponty, Zappa was supposed
to come with the new incarnation of the Mothers of
Invention, but turned up on his own, Amougies-style !
A pick-up band had to be assembled at short notice,
and the duo ended up sharing the stage with two noted
French jazz players, drummer Aldo Romano and bassist
Alby Cullaz. 

As far as I know, this is the first time this
performance has been heard since the event. Once
again, we have the intrepid JJB to thank for
preserving the moment for posterity. Amougies was the
beginning of his taping exploits; Valbonne was the end
- and what an end it was ! 

(Technical note: the sound quality on this is
significantly better than the Amougies recording - JJB
had upgraded his recording equipment in the meantime)

For further Z-related fun, please visit or , thank you. 
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