Filmed on 19th June 1970.
Frank Zappa is considered one of the most interesting musical artists in the last 50 years. Famous for his groundbreaking work both with The Mothers of Invention and later in his career as a composer of incredible breadth and imagination working in the genres of rock, jazz and classical composition. Since his death in 1993 his profile has been elevated to that of a true original groundbreaking artist whose work is appreciated worldwide.
The original Mothers of Invention was put together by Frank in the mid-sixties and immediately attracted attention from both critics and contemporaries alike. Between 1966 and 1969, while the original line-up of the Mothers were operating as a band, they released a number of critically acclaimed albums including Freak Out, Absolutely Free, We’re Only In It For The Money and his own debut solo album the classically inclined Lumpy Gravy.
Frank split the original version of The Mothers of Invention in late 1969 citing amongst other reasons the financial strain of keeping a large band on the road and working in the studio. He would, however, in the seventies retain the use of the name The Mothers of Invention with a revolving line-up of musicians.
Throughout the seventies and eighties Frank Zappa enjoyed commercial success with albums such as Apostrophe, Sheik Yerbouti and the three-act Joe’s Garage. During this period Frank Zappa was incredibly productive, releasing more than forty albums - both studio recordings and live recordings either with The Mothers of Invention or as a solo artist. In the years leading up to his death Frank also composed and released a number of Classical albums.
The footage contained on this DVD is a real find for Frank Zappa fans being as it is an extended interview with Frank conducted in June 1970. The footage here is the original unedited footage and once again in keeping with the Lost Broadcasts series, much of this interview is previously unseen.
Frank Zappa as well as being an incredible music artist was a highly intelligent and articulate man and later in his life was even able to talk at a very high level about the concerns of censorship in music and the arts even butting heads with Tipper Gore who in the mid-eighties headed a group called the Parents Music Resource Centre. Gore’s view was that music should be “stickered” giving a warning as to content. Frank Zappa, as you can imagine, saw this as a form of censorship and attended many public committee meetings, speaking intelligently and articulately against any such censorship.
The interview here filmed in June 1970 covers many subjects such as the control that television had on the viewing public, Drugs, The media and the new Mothers of Invention line-up, which at the time included drummer Aynsley Dunbar and former Turtles vocalists Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, and interestingly the interview also touches on political subjects but we must bear in mind that this interview was conducted in those pre-Watergate days when a 'Rock Star' rarely talked about such subjects. Here as throughout the interview Frank Zappa gives relevant articulate and intelligent answers.
The length of the interview is interesting in itself considering in the modern era when artists rarely allow themselves to be interviewed at length about anything other than the current product, be it an album film or a book that they want to promote. Interestingly, Frank talks about his thoughts on people’s perception of himself as an artist and as a composer. The interview as a whole is incredibly honest and again Frank Zappa is articulate and intelligent in his answers to the interviewer’s questions.
Edited portions of the interview were subsequently broadcast in August 1970 and again in December 1970 but the full-length interview, which runs to 86 minutes, now makes its commercial debut on DVD and for Frank Zappa fans this interview will be of immense interest.
1. MAIN INTERVIEW 01:26:44
2. EDITED INTERVIEW 7:58