c. late 1965
Probably filmed mid to late 1965.
This piece of music was recorded at a party in Hollywood. It was the first time the Mothers Of Invention had appeared in the civilized world. We had made our emergence from the Pomona area into Hollywood, and we were the entertainment at a party that they were using in conjunction with the filming of a picture called Mondo Hollywood. The amplifier that the bass is playing through was lent to us by Jim Guercio, and meanwhile, over on the side watching the band, for some sort of future purpose, was Herbie Cohen, who eventually turned out to be our manager.
December 15, 1965
78 min. B&W
In the March Hit Parader, Eric Burdon told a British reporter about the way-out people he had met on his last American tour.
"Before returning to Britain I recorded some material with Frank Zappa, the leader of the Mothers of Invention, who is regarded as the leading light on the 'freakout' scene in America," said Eric.
"Zappa is a very interesting character—about 28 years old. He makes these weird movies and puts the soundtracks on them himself. He showed me one of a guy picking spots on his leg, and another with a sequence taken by an infra-red camera of a guy necking with this typical Hollywood blonde, all 'lipsticky' and 'high-heely'. It's not meant to be entertaining so much as effective—and that it is!"
When we showed the article to lead Mother, Frank Zappa, he exclaimed, "Gads! Spots on his leg! Oh, no! There's a guy who'd just had a motorcycle accident. I got a picture. He had scabs on his legs and he was squeezing them."
Frank also explained that Eric had his age wrong. Frank is really only twenty-five.
July 12, 1966
CKLW-TV, channel 9, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Hosted by Robin Seymour
Tuesday afternoon the Mothers appeared on Robin Seymour's TV show. As Art Cervi, Swingin' Time talent coordinator said, "We've never had anyone on the show that brought anything near the controversy they caused. The switchboard was flooded with viewers either saying the Mothers were great or awful."
The first place we got off the plane when we did our first tour was Washington, D.C. We were doing a thing on a UHF station where a guy announced they were gonna have a freak out party on this record hop dance show and told all the kids to wear the weirdest clothes they could wear. And we had kids wearing two different socks and you worked your way down from there. That was a freak out party at the time.
It was a low-budget promo tour, set up by MGM, taking us first to Washington, D.C., for a television show called Swingin' Time on channel 20—a TV dance show for the sons and daughters of our nation's leaders.
The show had put together a "Freak Out Dance Contest," and invited the contestants to dress "freakishly" for the event. How freakish were they? The weirdest guy in the room was wearing two different-colored socks.
On Tuesday 12 July, Zappa and The Mothers appeared on the afternoon TV show hosted by Robin Seymour in Los Angeles.
Not too long after their release of "Freak Out" in 1965, the Mothers of Invention appeared on Seymore's Swingin'Time. Frank Zappa came out in front of the TV camera barefoot and while painting weird scribbles on an easel, invited the Swingin' Time dancers to "Freak Out". Robin Seymore apologized the next day for having the Mothers on his program.
4-5pm, CKLW-TV, channel 9, Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Not Los Angeles. Sources: Loraine Alterman, "If You Get Headache...", Detroit Free Press, 7/15/66. (Reprinted in the Old Masters Volume 1 booklet.) Tim Kiska, "'Swingin' Time Again' captures the rocking '60s", Detroit News, 6/12/99, http://detnews.com/1999/entertainment/9906/12/06120047.htm. Rob Lindsay, "Stand By To Laugh", http://www.airfarce.com/info/pat.html.
Both Windsor and Southfield are suburbs of Detroit.
Windsor is actually in Canada, not a suburb of Detroit.
In the late 1960's, CKLW [located in Windsor, Ontario] started their long running musical series, "Robin Seymour's Swingin' Time". Between 4 and 5 p.m. every weekday, Robin Seymour (a popular radio DJ) hosted the live dance and music show from the Windsor studios.
Additional informant: Javier Marcote.
July 23, 1966
WXYZ-TV, channel 7, ABC, Southfield, Michigan
Hosted by Dave Prince
If you missed them [The Mothers Of Invention] Tuesday, you can see them Saturday, July 23, on Dave Prince's "Club 1270" TV show. Pity the poor WXYZ switchboard operators!
From there we went to Detroit and did a television show there. There was no audience to see and we played at a roller rink in some part of Detroit and the kids were still 1950's there.
In Detroit, we did a television show where we were asked to do something perverted: "lip-sync our hit." We didn't have a 'hit,' but the producer said, "Lip-sync your hit—or else." So I asked, "Do you have a prop department here?" Fortunately, there was one.
From it, I gathered an assortment of random objects and built a set. We had been asked to pretend to play either "How Could I Be Such a Fool?" or "Who Are the Brain Police?" so I suggested that each member of the group choose a repeatable physical action, not necessarily in sync with (or even related to) the lyrics, and do it over and over until our spot on the show was concluded—Detroit's first whiff of homemade prime-time Dada.
On Saturday 16 July, The Mothers again appeared on TV, this time on Dave Prince's Club 1270 show on WXYZ.
7/23/66. WXYZ-TV, channel 7, ABC, Southfield, Michigan. Not 7/12/66. Sources: Loraine Alterman, "If You Get Headache...", Detroit Free Press, 7/15/66. (Reprinted in the Old Masters Volume 1 booklet.) Bob Burnham, "A new slant on 'looking back'", http://www.brcradio.com/nonprofit/slant/slant2.html. Art Vuolo, "Talkradio 1270 WXYT History", http://www.wxyt.com/history.html.
Both Windsor and Southfield are suburbs of Detroit.
July 24, 1966
KTTV Channel 11
SUNDAY, July 24, 1966—10:30—[Channel] 11—(Color) Louis E. Lomax Show, with vocal Lomax critic Rena Rogers, musician Frank Zappa, trader-with-Russia Romaine Fielding
The first time I ever saw the Mothers of Invention was like 1966-67 on the Louis Lomax show on KTLA. Zappa & Co. were introduced and proceeded to 'FREAK OUT' (which was there description of their musical style & the title of the 1st record).
Primary informant: Avo Raup
c. July, 1966
WFAA-TV, Channel 8, Dallas, TX
Hosted by Ron Chapman
Then we went to Dallas and worked in a shopping center at a place with a TV show emanating from it. It was a sunken room with high windows that were at street level so the people could look in and see a TV show going on. And the kids were 1950's, still doing the dance where the legs go off to the side,
Next stop: Dallas. We flew into Love Field and found ourselves walking down a long hall, full of soldiers and sailors—stopped dead in their tracks, staring in utter disbelief. They didn't say anything. They didn't throw anything at us. They didn't shoot us like Easy Rider—they just stood there.
We were then whisked off to a shopping mall, to some downstairs place where yet another TV teenage dance show was in progress. We played live on that one.
The high point of the performance was Carl Franzoni, our 'go-go boy.' He was wearing ballet tights, frugging violently. Carl has testicles which are bigger than a breadbox. Much bigger than a breadbox. The looks on the faces of the Baptist teens experiencing their grandeur is a treasured memory.
There was another brief television encounter on Sumpin Else—a teen go-go music and dance show shot in Dallas in the late 60's. In 1966 (first tour I think) FZ and the Mothers were between cities and had a few hours lay over in Dallas' Love Field airport. Some west coast promo man had set up a "suprise" visit of the band to the live show.
It was run by local DJ, Ron Chapman. During an "on air" music break,
Chapman looks up to see this band of renegade pirate-biker-ballerina freaks storming his studio to the tune of "Wowie Zowie". Collins, Black and Carl Frazoni jumped up on the go-go stage and started doing the Monkee (among other things). The go-go girls jumped off stage as Chapman attempted to interview FZ.
FZ looked up to the viewing audience in the North Park Mall. They were on the other side of thick sound proof glass. "When are they going to fill that aquarium?" FZ asked.
When the boys left. Chapman talked to the show's go-go girls. "Why did you leave the stage?" he asked. The most debutante of the group pinched her nose with her left hand and, waving the air with her right, said, "They SMELLED!"
c. July, 1966
WDCA-TV, Washington, DC (Studios in Bethesda, MD)
Hosted by Kerby Scott (aka Kerby Confer)
After that [Club 1270], the band took a quick trip across the States to Washington DC, where they appeared on Scott Kerby's Dance Party on WDCA-TV and put in a surprise disruption visit to a Georgetown night club called the Roundtable.
Immediately after appearing on Swingin' Time, the band went on a brief promotional tour set up by MGM/Verve. The first date was in Washington, DC, where they appeared on the Kerby Scott Dance Party on WDCA and went on to make a surprise appearance at Georgetown's Roundtable nightclub.
Here is the definitive list of hosts [of WDCA's "Wing Ding"]... compiled by Fall Church's own Jack Maier, with refinements from materials found in the DC Public Library, Washingtoniana Room: === Kerby Scott (M-Sat) 4/21/66, WDCA's First Full Day On-The-Air, through 3/18/67 === === Cousin Duffy (Saturday Only) 3/25/67 through 5/13/67 === === Bill Miller, [not the same BM as WPGC's Bob Raleigh] (M-F) 4/3/67 through 9/15/67 === === Bill Miller (Sat) 5/20/67 through 8/26/67 [when Saturday show was cancelled] === === Scott Wallace (M-F) 9/2/67 through 5/10/68 === === Jack Alix (M-F) 5/13/68 through 11/29/68 === === "Wing Ding" renamed "The Jack Alix Show" (M-F) with same format 12/2/68 through 1/3/69 [when show was cancelled] === === "The Jack Alix Show" was retooled (without studio dancers) Saturdays-only from 1/18/69 through 4/20/69 as "Washington's only underground progressive rock TV show" === Newspaper listings don't indicate who filled-in as weekday host after Kerby's departure on 3/18/67 until Bill Miller arrived on 4/3/67.
Every so often when there was a shortage of teens on Kirby's show, I was asked to be one of the dancers. Frank Zappa and the Mother's of Invention made a live appearance on Kirby's Show. His drummer was sick; Frank asked me if I knew a drummer and I suggested my best friend's 12-year-old brother. That was good enough for Frank who picked the kid up and brought him to the studio to play with him.
Additional informant: Javier Marcote
prob. September 17, 1966 (or August 13, 1966)
Shrine Exposition Hall, LA, CA
This clip from You Are What You Eat is the best surviving examples of Vito's Dancers in action. This was shot when the Mothers were playing at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The producers of the film could not get the rights to Zappa's music, so they replaced it with some Paul Butterfield stuff. No matter, this is classic Vito's Dancers.
These screenshots come from the documentary Frank Zappa. The Present Day Composer Refuses To Die. It's a Freak Out party, where we can see the Mothers, Carl Franzoni and Del Kacher.
c. September-October, 1966
Hosted by David Susskind
Frank employed me to perform with him on the David Susskind TV show featuring a "Freak Out" concert. I met with Frank a few years ago and he mentioned this show to me.
We also did a TV show called David Susskind Presents Freak Out. We filmed this at TTG studios in Hollywood.
October 22, 1966
Hosted by Joe Pyne
[Channel] 11—(Color) Joe Pyne Show with sculptor Vito and his "freak-out" band, writer-producer Jerry Hopkins, Peace Corps official Ray Holland, "human physics" exponent Dr. Champion K. Teutsch, feminist Velma Menelkoch
I am a long time Zappaphile.
The first time I saw him was on a show in the LA area. It was called The Joe Pine show. He was this right wing wind bag who had on guests and would badger them with his right wing bull shit. Well, he mad the mistake of have Frank and MOI with the 3 Cherry Sister on, (who were I think some of the GTO's) Any way they brought a bunch of Freaks in with them, probably from Laurel Canyon or maybe some people from The United Mutations, and proceded to have a FREAK OUT all over the studio. I was pretty young and dumb then but it was the best thing I ever saw. If you can imagin the face of Joe Pine when his studio filled up with freaks dancing all over his furniture and the cameras it was probably one of the great moments in Los Angeles television. WOW I wish they had that on tape. Just thought you would like to hear the story. Sincerly John Titter.
It must have been 1965 as I was still pretty nieve!!!!!
The person writing about the Joe Pyne show had the wrong spelling. It is P-y-n-e.
An exchange between Joe and musician Frank Zappa went like this:
Pyne: "So I guess your long hair makes you a woman."
Zappa: "So I guess your wooden leg makes you a table!"
Additional informant: Avo Raup
October 28, 1966
January 4 or 11, 1967
ABC-TV, NYC, NY
Carl Franzoni & some other freaks
Your mothers and fathers who are drinking beer, they're watching Roller Derby and then they change the channel, and then they see you guys on the floor. They say, "Oh, boy, they're really sick."
In an interview conducted at the Edgewater Inn on August 27, 1971, the interviewer and FZ mention a television appearance by the MOI circa Freak Out! It was about 30 seconds of concert footage in a show entitled "Sex in the Sixties" on ABC.
A web search yielded the CV of Ira L. Reiss, then Professor of Sociology at the University of Iowa, which listed the following under "Professional Talks":
October 3, 1966: "Sex in the Sixties," Extended Interview for use January 4 or 11, 1967 on Wednesday Dramatic Show, taped on Stage 67, ABC-TV. New York, NY.
The dates match up, so that must be it.
Another new Internet Movie Database entry for Frank! There's almost no information about "Sex in Today's World," except that it's a 28 minute USA film from 1968. Frank is the only listed cast member.
What could this be? A public service announcement? A documentary? A hygiene film? The kind of movie that would run one afoul of the San Berdoo Vice Squad?
Sex in Today's World (color), "an examination of sex in the 1960's," is a time capsule which neatly captures many of the conflicting attitudes of a cross section of people—doctor, psychologist, professors, students, and preachers—caught in the sexual turbulence of 1966. The so-called Sexual Revolution happened so quickly and with such across-the-board pervasiveness that this little film, like most of the people interviewed, seems not only dazed, but trying to catch its breath. It also includes some great glimpses of mid-sixties adult book stores, 42nd Street in its glorious grindhouse heyday, Bunnies doing a go-go at a Playboy Club and, most surprising of all, concert footage of FRANK ZAPPA and THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION! The inevitable conclusion: Yeah, there's sure a lot of sex out there!
The video is actually 27 min long (but something may be missing from this rip at both ends, so the information on your site is quite right).
The Mothers performance appears at begin of the video in three snippets (for a total of one minute the first two, and another half a minute the last one) and it is also used as Main title background. There is also some live music being performed, even if in the last snippet it's mostly covered by the voice of a psychologist saying something about youth and sex.
The mothers play some kind of jam while a crowd of young freaks (?) madly dance on the floor. The film editors seem more interested in showing the girls in the audience than the band members...
The line-up is quite the same of the 66 picture at the Whiskey, even if I can't swear the guitarist is the same.
I include some snapshots.
9 min. 38 sec.
April 25, 1967
INSIDE POP: THE ROCK REVOLUTION (aired April 26, 1967) on CBS, with a 20 minute opening wherein Leonard Bernstein sits at the piano with a reel to reel player, giving examples of what he likes about current pop music (about 5%), including The Beatles, The Association's "Along Comes Mary" and introducing a performance of "Society's Child" by 15 year old Janis Ian. Zappa is shown three times in quick clips, the latter two featuring him talking about the youth revolution, how it may be messy and that the kids need to get organized and lay off the drugs. He seems out of place amidst the metaphysical "love everyone" talk featured through out. Also includes Brian Wilson singing "Surf's Up", The Hollies, Herman's Hermits, Tim Buckley, Canned Heat, etc. About 45 minutes without the commercials. The copy I have is a solid B.
the airing date is wrong—it was Tuesday, April 25th 1967 (not 26th). Several clippings all have airing date Tuesday, April 25th.
A contemporary press clip:
Study of pop music planned for Tuesday
"Inside Pop—The Rock Revolution," a one-hour news special will be seen at 9 p.m. Tuesday on channel 13.
The special explores the composition, beat and meaning of the pop music scene.
Leonard Bernstein, music director of the New York Philharmonic, and such contemporary pop stars as Herman's Hermits, Brian Wilson, leader of the Beach Boys, The Hollies, Janis Ian, and spokesmen of some of the new music world's leading groups are among the participants.
Bernstein, famed for his conducting of classical works and composing music for Broadway and ballet, takes a hard look at pop—the music, lyrics and sound—and describes what he thinks is and is not valuable in it.
He invites the viewer along to study pop music and pop musicians because "perhaps by learning about them, we can learn something about our own future."
Following Bernstein's segment, the broadcast looks at pop music and its musicians in terms of the people directly involved with this phenomenon of the 1960's.
In conversation, these people tell about the nature of their music and what it means to them an their contemporaries. They also talk about such subjects as universal love, personal freedom and drugs.
Jim McGuinn, leader of The Byrds, Frank Zappa, leader of the Mothers, and the rock musicians on "the L.A. scene" talk about their participation inside pop.
Informants: Avo Raup, Javier Marcote, Marco Ricci
Luden's Cough Drops TV Commercial
19. The Big Squeeze
Date: 1966 or '67
Location: Mayfair Studio, New York City
Original recording medium: 8-track analog
Recording engineer: Gary Kellgren
Remix engineer: Gary Kellgren
Remix facility: Mayfair Studio, New York City
Musicians: DICK BARBER (snorks); FZ (kazoo, percussion, celeste)
FZ: "This is the actual track for a Luden's Cough Drop commercial that won a Clio Award in 1967 for Best Music for a Commercial. A freak in an ad agency who was an animator, Ed Seeman, who came to the Garrick Shows, did the pictures and recruited me to do the music. I went along with it. The commercial shows a squiggly white thing that's supposed to be the cough wriggling around. A box of Luden's appears on the left side of the screen, like a monolith, and squashed it." MOI road manager Dick Barber supplied the nasal embellishment.
I first met Frank when He was playing a steady gig at the Garrick Theater in Greenwich Village. I hired him to score a 30 second animated TV commercial I was animating and producing FOR LUDEN'S COUGH DROPS. He requested $2,000 plus a studio for a day with a wide variety of instruments plus a guy to do cough sounds.
Entry Type: Television/Cinema
Category: Sound Design
Advertiser/Product/Service: Luden's Cough Drops
Title: Big Squeeze
Advertising Agency: Phila. Agency
Production Company: Gryphon
FZ: I did one commercial in '67 for Luden's Cough Drops, and that got an award. It got a CLIO for the best music in a commercial in '67. [...]
EB: Do you have the CLIO?
EB: Was it presented to you?
FZ: No, I found out about it after the fact. I mean, they don't invite me to CLIO ceremonies, but the advertising agency that did it, y'know, they told me that it got a CLIO.
Additional Informants: Jon Naurin, Patrick Neve, John Henley, Marco Ricci
Garrick Theatre, NYC, NY
Filmed by Ed Seeman, Ray Favata and Tom Mangravete
Attrocities on stage and shots of the audience from the stage. FZ is playing the Gibson Switchmaster ES-5.
c. Spring-Summer 1967
Garrick Theatre, NYC, NY
Filmed by Ed Seeman, Ray Favata and Tom Mangravete
FZ (wearing the PIPCO T-Shirt and playing a Trini Lopez Standard Gibson E-335 guitar) & The Mothers Of Invention playing on stage at the Garrick Theatre, ripping off their own albums covers and playing with dolls.
c. July 18, 1967
Calvin creates a Zappa Dummy for the cover of We're Only In It For The Money, assisted by Gail and filmed by Ed Seeman.
July 18, 1967
Filmed by Ed Seeman and Calvin Schenkel
Frank Zappa himself attended the Jimi Hendrix Experience recording session at the Mayfair Recording Studio on 701 Seventh Avenue, New York, on 18 July 1967. Although his presence is unconfirmed, Zappa may very well be one of the many people who made up "the Milky Way Express" for "The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice" [S020], contributing an assortment of voices, whistles, cheers, et cetera.
JHE roadie Neville Chesters remembered the day well . . . "Quite a few people dropped in on that session. It was a really shitty studio, it was about six or eight floors up . . . Midtown New York, a pretty dreadful place. It was just like offices and they converted it into a studio, most odd. I remember a photo session came out of that. It was the same day or later in the day of that session" (UniVibes #18, May 1995, p. 18).
Neville Chesters was referring to the photo session on 18 July that yielded the inside cover of We're Only In It For The Money—the Sergeant Pepper parody. Fortunately, this happening was also captured on 8mm film—a glimpse of Jimi during the photo call by Jerry Schatzberg can be seen in the TV documentary on Frank Zappa, entitled Biography (released in 1994—for more details refer to Michael Fairchild's feature 'Live Boa & Pigtails,' published in UniVibes #18, May 1995, p. 32).
c. July-September, 1967
Mayfair Studios, NYC, NY
Partly filmed by Ed Seeman
Mayfair or Apostolic Studios, NYC, NY
Filmed by Ed Seeman
Garrick Theatre, NYC, NY
Filmed by Ed Seeman
The Mothers Of Invention depart to Europe from outside the Garrick.
Filmed by Ed Seeman
September 23, 1967
Royal Albert Hall, London, UK
Filmed by Ed Seeman
September 24, 1967
Filmed by Ed Seeman
September 30, 1967
TV Series: "Good Evening!" (1967)
Original Air Date: 30 September 1967 (Season 1, Episode 1)
Frank Zappa ... Himself
Jonathan King ... Himself—Host
Informant: Javier/Al Fresco
c. September 29-30, 1967
Black and white silent footage of The Mothers Of Invention posing for some pictures, apparently taken in Gothenburg, Sweden, during the 1967 European tour. Pamela Zarubica can also be seen in her Suzy Creamcheese role answering some journalist questions.
??-??-67 Swedish Press Coverage (Silent, 5 Min, A-)
Additional informant (SevenLoad alert): Javier Marcote
October 9, 1967
B&W 5 min.
Complete program available here: Hoepla! 2e aflevering (56:14 min.), including performances by Soft Machine and Olga Lowina, an interview with Mick Jagger and some other interesting stuff.
October 15, 1967
The Bitter End, NYC, NY
Hosted by Fred Weintraub. In the interview FZ talks about how he always wanted to be a serious musician. A short fragment appears on the 1995 Hall Of Fame Induction video presentation.
This footage is included in the first volume of "Live From Greenwich Village". Venue is also listed as "Bottom Line", but I have doubts. Confirm/deny?
The "Granny's Gossip" column in the February issue [of Hit Parader, 1968] mentions Moon's birth, and also has this nugget about the Bitter End TV appearance, during which FZ repeatedly mouthed the word "motherfucker" while the band mimed to "Son Of Suzy Creamcheese":
"The Mothers made a rare TV appearance on Fred Weintraub's new show, 'From The Bitter End.' The minute the camera focused on Frank Zappa the picture went off, a 'Please Stand By' sign appeared and it occupied the screen during most of their first song, 'Son Of Suzy Creamcheese.' Later, the Mothers performed 'In Memoriam, Heironymus Bosch' from their new 'We're Only In It For The Money' album."
[Note that WOIIFTM was not yet out at the time. Bonus point to Granny for spelling that title correctly.]
Watching CBS's Sunday Morning News program this morning, they had a segment on Neil Diamond and highlighted was the fact that he was doing a special concert at the Bitter End in Greenwich Village. They flashed back to some old footage from the last time he played there in the 60's, and sure enough it was the same show The Mothers were on. Seen in back of Neil on the tiny stage is the Mothers stage gear.
Year: 1967 Color: COLOR
Genre: ROCK MUSIC
00:03:44 NEIL DIAMOND—SOLITARY MAN (live)
00:06:22 INTERVIEW WITH PLAYBOY PLAYMATE SURREY MARSH, MISS JANUARY '67
00:08:01 WOODY ALLEN INTERVIEW WITH COMEDY
00:16:54 FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION—SON OF SUZY CREAMCHEESE (lip-sync)
00:19:29 FRANK ZAPPA INTERVIEW
00:25:55 ODETTA—GIVE ME YOUR HAND ()
00:28:54 ODETTA—CHILDREN, GO WHERE I SEND THEE (live) (UNDERGROUND RAILROAD SONG)
00:33:22 NEIL DIAMOND—KENTUCKY WOMAN (live)
00:35:49 INTERVIEW WITH RUFUS MAYFIELD, DIRECTOR OF AFRICAN AMERICAN YOUTH ORGANIZATION "PRIDE". BLACK ACTIVIST
00:46:52 FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION—IN MEMORIAM, HIERONYMUS BOSCH (live)
Informant: Javier Marcote
Here's a signed contract between Frank Zappa and manager Herb Cohen and Imperator Films (believed to be a division of MGM) regarding a Zappa-created film treatment entitled "The Rise and Fall of Suzy Creamcheese." Dated December 1967, Zappa and Cohen grant the film company the right to develop and produce a film based on the character that Zappa had created and sang about.
Italo-French co-production film directed by Sergio Spina in 1967 also known as "La Donna, il sesso e il superuomo".
At 12:23 in this part 3 we can hear an excerpt of "The Return Of The Son Of The Monster Magnet" from "Freak Out!" and the very beginning of "It Can't Happen Here".
And also a bit in this final part 4:
Late 1967-Early 1968
Charles St., NYC, NY
Filmed by Ed Seeman
This adventure took me to many more nights at the Garrick Theater; in his apartment on Charles Street shooting baby MOON UNIT and barefoot "hippie" wife GAIL.
Prob. Apostolic Studios, NY
Filmed by Ed Seeman
Studio recording session, including appearances of FZ, Herb Cohen, an unidentified girl, Ray Collins, Roy Estrada, Ruth Komanoff playing percussion, Ian Underwood, FZ hands playing acoustic guitar, with Uncle Meat's "King Kong" as background music.
I shot Zappa and the original Mothers in a recording session and rehearsal in 1967 while filming the original footage for Uncle Meat. Using a 16mm camera that can shoot two frames a second I produced this section with no editing.
Short version: B&W/Color 3 min.
Long version: B&W 42 min.
Complete version: Color 14 hours.
There's an old TV show that I have never seen anyone mention—I do not know if anyone filmed or taped it . . .
Around 1968, FZ was a guest on a NY talk show, the Alan Burke Show.
I was young and uninterested, but a guy at my bus stop talked about Zappa being on the show, and giving Alan a hard time, at least twice . . .
I was asked to write a book for a publishing firm named Stein and Day; they've published Elia Kazan's book and David Frost's new book. Anyway, I was on the Alan Burke Show, and about a week after that the publisher called me up and asked me to write a book. I thought he wanted some rock and roll thing about The Mothers, but he asked me to write a political book. I was very flattered that somebody would ask me to do that, so I might just go ahead and do it. It would take a long time to finish it, though.
Us: What kind of response was there when you appeared on the Alan Burke Show?
Frank: Well, on the show I talked to Alan Burke for a few minutes. I'd never seen his program before I went on. He asked me if I knew anything about his show, and I said no. Then he said, "Did anybody ever tell you anything about my show?" I said "Not much." He said, "Come on, now. Honestly, what did they say?" I said, "Well, you're rude and you persecute your guests." And he said, "Well, that's not exactly true." Then there was a little bit more chit chat, and then he said he'd see me upstairs and we'd do the show. I didn't know what to think of the guy. So we went up. They had a little audience warm-up, had a couple of people up there babbling about whatever they babble on that show. It's all stupidity. It's a bunch of people who like to be put down. There were masochistic tendencies reeking all over the place. They stand up at this little podium and they speak their piece. I'm sure they know deep down in their hearts that each one is just really an idiot, and they expect that this guy with a beard is going to tell them to flake off. He's very forceful and they all go "OH!! He made me shut up! Wonderful! That hasn't happened to me in a long time!" They eat it up on that level.
Us: Like Groucho Marx?
Frank: No, it's not like that. Groucho is a little bit more humorous. Burke is pretty perceptive, considering the type of show he runs. Anyhow, they did a few of those. One guy was talking about America as a nation of racists, and this other guy got up and talked about smut available to young people in department stores, and the Kama Sutra is even being sold at Macy's. He was outraged. Dumbness! Finely I got up there and sat down in the chair. Before the cameras were turned on I said: "Boy, I don't even believe how hard it must be for you to understand what these people are saying, let alone answer them back intelligently." He started laughing. I knew he had some kind of a Service record, and I said "Boy, the only way you could possibly be able to decipher what they're saying is you must have been in the Signal Corps." He laughed, and about two minutes later we started the show. He was very nice to me. Then this girl from New Jersey came up and started attacking me and the music and everything on sort of a superficial level. She was just one of these unfortunate people who just didn't know any better, but she was up there to show off. You know. Like: "I'm on television, and I'm a young person speaking my mind. Maybe my father belongs to the John Birch Society, and I'll impress him, and status of the masses. Therefore, I will talk." So she was wailing away, and the most amazing thing happened. He started defending me against her. It must have gone on about ten minutes. He was really ranking this chick. I just let it go.
Us: Who was she?
Frank: Just a girl. They probably brought her down, though. The Burke Show, the way it operates, aside from what you see on television, they have these people. A woman and couple of men that are prodding the audience in the background. "Are you going to let him say that? Get up and say some thing!" They're throwing these people up there; they're inciting them to do all sorts of things. Really trying to get them ticked off. It's a whole rabble rousing scene they've got going on behind the cameras. And also, I found out that there was this guy who represented the American Symphony Orchestra, and some kids from a group called The Elephant's Memory, who were brought down there by the show to add color and all. It looked like a very phony put-up job, so I just sat there and watched it all happen. Then after that blew over, they showed a piece of this film we're making, and played "What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body" (from the album, "We're Only in It for the Money". Ed.). We had a little chit chat about politics, and that was it.
March 11, 1968
May 5, 1968 (taping date)
July 17, 1968—WKBS-TV, Philadelphia, Channel 48
July 24, 1968—WKBF-TV, Cleveland, Channel 61
[Channel] 48—Les Crane Show (C)—"Rock Rhythm and Blues" Lalo Schifrin; Johnny Otis, leader of "Mothers of Invention"; Frank Zappa and Joseph Byrd
11:00 p.m. Ch. 61—Les Crane Show. "Rock, Rhythm & Blues" Jazz, and its relationship to the new music of our times, is discussed by award-winning composer Lalo Shifrin, legendary rhythm and blues leader Johnny Otis, Frank Zappa and Joseph Byrd.
Frank appeared on the Les Crane Show on 22 May.
During recent nationally syndicated Les Crane TV show on pop music, Frank Zappa of the Mothers of Invention noted the importance of classical background for today's pop music and cited such composers as Pierre Boulez, Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg. The influence of Charles Ives on the first United States of America album also was discussed as Joseph Byrd, leader of the Columbia group, also was a panelist along with Lalo Schiffrin of Dot, and Johnny Otis. Karlheinz Stockhausen was another classical composer referred to during the pop music program.
It was about 10:30 p.m. on a Sunday, May 5, when I phoned Los Angeles to see if my brother, Frank had arrived from New York. [...] I asked Frank if the Mothers were going to be doing any shows in the near future, and if he had any plans to do some guest spots on television. He said that the Mothers were scheduled to do concerts in Los Angeles, Fresno, and Miami, and that, as a matter of fact, he was going to tape the Les Crane Show that evening.
In the mid-1960s, he hosted late-night talk shows on ABC-TV in the network's attempt to compete with Johnny Carson's program. As a talk show host, he occasionally intersected with rock'n'roll history: the Rolling Stones made their first American TV appearance on Crane's show in June 1964, and Bob Dylan did a rare TV spot with Crane in early 1965.
The gigs Bob Zappa refers to are presumably 5/10-11/68 Los Angeles, 5/18/68 Hallandale, and 5/25/68 Fresno.
By all accounts, the Les Crane Show that Unterberger is talking about above (also known as Nightlife) went off the air in November 1965. In 1968, ABC's late-night talk show was hosted by Joey Bishop.
Talk show hosts who exhibited too obvious sympathy for movement political positions found themselves the recipients of an alternative form of repressive force: censorship and cancellation.
Les Crane was one such personality. His late-night program, produced in Los Angeles and syndicated to eleven major markets, garnered a certain amount of youth movement support, at least within the pages of the Los Angeles Free Press. Regular columnist Elliot Mintz praised Crane's show but acknowledged some ambivalence within underground circles about the show's merely capitalizing on youth style and politics. Mintz made his case for taking Crane seriously: "His program is a McCluanized [sic] diary of the great revolution of the senses currently taking place in our country. He provides the vehicle for turned-on people to rap about their trips without nasty provocation or unwarranted put-downs. He masterfully creates a mood and a magic which is so necessary for a healthy and often times, inspiring dialogue." Other talk shows, such as The Alan Burke Show or The Joe Pyne Show also invited countercultural guests and young politicos, but their "shock talk" formats were more conducive to reinforcing moral panics about crazed youth than to providing a forum for dialogue.
In September 1968, on the heels of the events in Chicago, The Les Crane Show was canceled. Despite good ratings and unchallenged popularity, another Freep article pointed out, the show's sponsors were not eager to continue supporting Crane.
Informants: Charles Ulrich, Avo Raup (press clippings), Javier Marcote
May 18, 1968
Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, FL
Video..er 8mm movie film...shot by my 16 year old self (with dad's movie camera) of Arthur Brown, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Blue Cheer and Frank Zappa and his Mothers of Invention. The stills here show the vantage point: http://www.rockprophecy.com/abcmiami.html
The last ABC log listing is dated May 19, 1968 and the location is still Miami. Stanford is the cameraman and he shot the following roll: "ORIG. COLOR 625 SOF. MAG.". The content of this footage is an interview with Jimi. Jimi discusses his work while a friend listens to him. "Hendrix talks about his group getting started, playing blues, rock and free form musics. Jimi introduces 'Frank' (Zappa) and a back-up member of the group. They discuss audience reactions. When Jimi isn't playing music he writes 'words'. He likes football. He says he's working on a new type of music which will give pop more respect. Discusses his moods and ideas."
Entitled the "Underground Pop Festival", this was an important show for several reasons. For one, it would produce the version of King Kong that appears on the Uncle Meat album as: "King Kong (live on a flatbed diesel in the middle of a race track at a Miami Pop Festival... the Underwood ramifications)" Add to this that Hendrix was on the bill, and after burning a strat gave it to Zappa. Zappa would rebuild it and play it for years to come, and the word is that Dweezil plays that guitar to this day. Now throw into the equation that the whole mess was filmed. Would you like to see such a film? Read on:
I recently saw concert footage from a festival in Miami at a race track in what I think was 68. Along with the Mothers—great shots of Frank, was the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Best damn footage of Hendrix I have ever seen. He's in prime form. The best shot was a slow mo of Jimi humping his guitar during a solo. Pure power in the shot. But to the question, I guess, has there been a legit or bootleg of the Mothers from this show? The woman who owns the footage (her late husband promoted the festival) also has four track tapes of the show. Eddie Kramer engineered Hendrix's set. Not sure who twiddled the nobs for the Mothers.
Update: Not sure what is going to happen to the Mothers film, but I found out the Hendrix people cracked and cut the "proper amount" check. The footage and soundtrack will probably be hitting the stores in a year or perhaps Christmas. It'll be worth the pennies.
Further update: The woman who owns the film is going to approach the ZFT about the footage. Not sure if they'll want the board tape since they've probably already got their own mix—as shown by using a live take of King Kong on Uncle Meat. I've talked to the woman's entertainment lawyer. He said they were approaching the ZFT.
Some pictures of the festival here: NOVAPALOOZA
July 23, 1968
[I] joined a whole crowd of us at the Lindy Theatre to watch Frank's footage from the Whisky a Go-Go gala. With good sound but poorly lit and grainy, it made no difference to Frank. Unfazed, he planned to sell it to television.
July 24, 1968 (taped June 25, 1968)
Hosted by Steve Allen
[Channel] 9—STEVE ALLEN—Variety—COLOR—Guests: Godfrey Cambridge, Oscar-winning actor Ed Begley, singer Jaye P. Morgan and the rocking Mothers of Invention, led by Frank Zappa. (90 min.)
The Steve Allen Show (March 5, 1968-November 6, 1969): This was a syndicated (by Filmways, Inc.) comedy talk show that ran five days a week.
Allen had a syndicated afternoon talk show circa 1967-69. The Mothers of Invention performed on that show—I remember they sang "America Drinks & Goes Home", and there was another piece that I don't recall. When they were done with the first piece, Allen invited Frank to come and sit in one of the "guest chat" chairs, where they discussed politics and "the youth movement." Steve asked Frank what he thought "today's young people" wanted and Frank replied, "I'll tell you what they NEED—they need representation in government." Another guest on that show was old Ed Begley Sr., who seemed fascinated by Frank and peppered him with questions of his own. Later in the show, after a commercial break, Frank wasn't in his chair and Steve said something like "We'll resume our chat after Frank Zappa returns," at which Frank came strolling in from off camera with a cup of coffee. As he sat down, he made an unheard remark to Ed Begley Sr., which made the old guy chuckle.
I remember that Allen series well because he had all kinds of rock bands of that time, good and bad, on the show. I've not seen one second of it rebroadcast at any time since those ewsyears. It may not even exist any more.
I have a very fond memory of watching Steve Allen's mid-sixties show, which I assume was syndicated since I got it on a UHF channel from Charlotte, NC, and one of the best I saw was when the Mothers appeared. I do remember that they played "Hungry Freaks, Daddy" and I think "America Drinks..." and Steve announced the first song with quite a bit of surprise and good-natured humor in his voice. I don't remember enough to state who was actually on stage; I assume it was the 67-68 original Mothers line up. Absolutely Free must have been the most recent LP at that time. Anyway, having owned Freak Out at the time, I was already familiar with HFD and it made quite an impression when they appeared. FZ sat down at talked for a minute; unfortunately time has eroded my recollections. Is this anywhere on tape???
A true moment in the history of rockaroo. There sits Steverino reading the lyrics from "Hungry Freaks Daddy" tinkling his bell, tooting his horn, all the while espousing the musical completeness of Zappa and the Mothers. Zappa comes out and talks, real smart, very intelligent, a true spokesman for the race of hippydom. Then the Mothers play and blow away the entire studio. They scared a lot of people that night.
The other guests were comedian Godfrey Cambridge and actor Ed Begley [Sr.].
Audio recordings of two fragments are in circulation. See FZShows.
To the Steve Allen Show in 1968 I would like to add only one guest more in this show—singer Jaye P. Morgan
They'd played two numbers, "America Drinks and Goes Home" and "Hungry Freaks, Daddy." Then Steve Allen interviewed Frank and asked him what he thought young people wanted.
Frank replied, "I'll tell you what they need. They need representation in government." I thought, "Gosh, he's going to announce his run for the presidency," but Steve Allen threw questions open to the audience and the moment was lost.
When PamZ drove us back, Frank sat in the front seat, sullen and annoyed. Steve Allen had not taken him or his music seriously, had treated him like any old hippy in fact. He'd made fun of Moon's name and asked Frank if he'd really eaten shit onstage. They'd shown a clip from an earlier show, before Frank was famous, before the Mothers of Invention had ever existed.
Informant: Charles Ulrich, Avo Raup
Black & White scenes of Calvin Schenkel, Ray Collins, FZ, Gail Zappa and a table.
September 9, 1968 (taped September 6, 1968)
Hosted by Shelley Winters
[Channel] 7—(C) Joey Bishop Show. Shelley Winters is hostess to Tammy Grimes, the Pair Extraordinaire, Alejandro Rey, Rip Taylor
Joey Bishop had one week vacation starting from Monday, September 9. Every day the show had a different substitute host. On Monday, September 9 it was Shelley Winters' turn.
We did our first national television show about a month ago—by accident. See, they have a show there called the Joey Bishop show. And it's a very dull program that comes on late at night, and it's largest audience is in the South. And . . . he went on a vacation, so they had these other people come in to be the host of the show. It's a variety show. So, ah, you know the American actress Shelley Winters? You know? Well, she was the hostess on the program. And she requested that we come on and play—and there was a lot of problems when she asked to do that, the producer of the program didn't want us to come on, so she said she would not do the show unless we went on. And she forced them to put us on television. And so we played. That was our—that was our first national television program. [...] She wanted to help us, she wanted to put us on television; she liked our music . . . y'know, which I thought was strange. [...] I'd never met her before either, it came as a surprise.
They were almost canned from a segment of the Joey Bishop Show, with guest host Shelley Winters protesting that if no Mothers, no Winters.
"We finally got to do four minutes," Zappa cooed. "They thought we were wonderful—very psychedelic."
Friday, 6 September 1968, [...] I borrowed Ian's car and, after dropping him and Frank at The Joey Bishop Show, drove onto the office.
I saw his Joey Bishop TV Show appearance (Sept 68) and as I recall he wore a tee shirt that said "Kill The Boy Scouts" on the front.
My favorite Joey Bishop Show moment was when Shelley Winters guest-hosted, and Frank Zappa was among her guests. Throughout the segment, Shelley was reduced to crying plaintively, "Joey! Where's Joey!"
Additional informant: Avo Raup
Directed by John Hofsess
Hofsess' PALACE OF PLEASURE is a dual-screen sexual fantasy. [...] Climatic sounds are provided by Leonard Cohen, and such groups as The Mothers of Invention and the Velvet Underground.
Informant: Javier Marcote
c. September 27, 1968
probably Essen, Germany
FZ, laying in bed, talks about activism, politics, revolution, US and this being his first visit to Germany.
One of the ways in which our music is effective is— If a person is already an activist, then he does not really need to hear what we have to say. If a person is apathetic, he might [...].
Well, the mistakes that I see being made in the United States— The government is not sensitive to the needs of the young people in the United States—there are so many young people there [...] and I think that there is going to be a lot of trouble within each country as long as the government continues to ignore what the young people have to say.
It's possible that we would have a revolution, but there is so many people today who think that they are involved [...] in advance, who lack wisdom, and they are leading other people to make mistakes within the revolution.
I don't know enough about Germany, this is the first time I've come here, we haven't play here yet [...], political discussions rather than concerts of music. I don't know whether or not the audience would respond favorably to the way which we present our music.
Informant: Oscar Bianco
September 27, 1968
Internationale Essener Song Tage 1968
B&W, 3 min.
23.30 Uhr: Olympia-Kino am Wasserturm: "Mixed Media", zusammengestellt von Ferdinand Kriwet, Happening mit mehreren Gruppen.
Olympia am Wasserturm, Essen
Source 1 (a report from a guy who attended the show):
Am Freitag 27 Sept. gab es um 23.30 in einem ausgeräumten alten Kinosaal eine Mixed Media Show. was immer das auch sein sollte ein zu dieser zeit sehr populärer bildender Künstler Ferdinand Kriwet war mit dabei und es sollte irre Lichtshows Tanz, Musik, Lesung usw geben. [...] Tatsächlich, auf einmal begannen Roadies Verstärker und Lautsprecherboxen auf die Bühne zu rollen und wenig später standen die Mothers und Zappa auf der Bühne und begannen mit einer rund einstündigen Show. [...]
Source 2 (a report from a Songtage's account manager) :
Zu den spektakulären Veranstaltungen gehört auch die Multimedia-Show des Düsseldorfer Künstlers Ferdinand Kriwet, die allerdings durch einen holzlattenschwingenden Rainer Langhans von der Berliner Kommune I (der hat in Essen Uschi Obermaier kennen gelernt und befindet sich vermutlich im Hormonstau) rüde gestoppt wird. Aber auch viele andere Besucher im damaligen Olympia-Kino wollen keine Sprachkunst mehr, sondern den angekündigten ersten Auftritt der Mothers of Invention in Deutschland erleben.
September 28, 1968
Internationale Essener Song Tage, 1968
B&W, 14 min.
B&W footage from a "King Kong" performance. The complete audio version can be heard on Beat The Boots: Electric Aunt Jemima. A short extract (1 min.) appears on "Schöner Poesie Is Krampf..."—Internationale Essener Songtage 1968 (West 3, 1989); a longer version (14 min.) from an unidentified broadcast appears on the DVD Bootleg . . . And Fuck You Too.
Grugahalle: Folk- und Pop-Show mit den Blossom Toes, Tim Buckley, Degenhardt-Beat, Julie Felix, Mothers of Invention, Olympic, Soul Caravan, Amon Düül, St. Gile's System, Time is Now
Informant: Oscar Bianco; additional informant: Javier Marcote
B&W, 41 min. (FZ content: 6 min.)
Zwischen Pop und Politik
Beobachtungen auf den
Essener Song-Tagen 1968
Henric L. Wuermeling
© 1968 Bayerischen Rundfunks
German documentary about the Internationale Essener Song-Tagen, 1968. Also known as "Essen, Germany—Outtake—1968-09-28." 5:42 min.
October 4, 1968
Images of The Mothers Of Invention at the Central Station and the Atlantik Hotel in Hamburg, Germany.
Informant: Javier Marcote
October 6, 1968
Beat Club, Radio Bremen TV, Bremen, Germany
FZ—guitar, piano, vocals
Don Preston—keyboards, electronics, vocals
Ian Underwood—alto sax, clarinet
Bunk Gardner—tenor sax, soprano sax
Motorhead Sherwood—tambourine, percussion, snorks
Roy Estrada—bass, vocals, gas mask
Jimmy Carl Black—drums
Arthur Dyer Tripp III—drums
In Europe we could do anything and they loved it. Like we played for an hour and fifteen minutes on a Bremen tv station, and the guy went out and got us food to squash, smoke bombs to ignite, anything we wanted.
Beat-Club premiered September 25, 1965. (...) Around 1967, the series switched from live performances to lip-synching. (...) "Beat Club" switched from black & white to color on December 31, 1969 (episode #50). Also around this time, the music guests started performing live again.
I have my doubts that The Mothers recordings for Bremen TV on 6th October 1968 was broadcast as a Beat Club special. The programme was still very pop orientated at that time and I suspect the Mothers were recorded with the intention of using one number on a regular show, but as the whole set was so far out—the footage was shelved until 1970 when Zappa was more famous. Notice that Zappa is hardly on screen during the entire set, suggesting the director had little knowledge of who the band were, which would make the idea of a special being shown in 1968 seem even less likely.
c. October 12, 1968
Photography by Hermann Jauk
October 16, 1968
SportPalast, Berlin, Germany
The Mothers were playing in W. Berlin in 1968. During afternoon soundcheck, FZ was approached by a group of German youths, who paid him compliments, described themselves as activists and asked for his assistance in a project. He asked them What project? They said, tonight we are marching to the American Center in order to burn it down, and we want you to lead the parade. FZ said, in so many words, get lost.
At the concert that night, these same "activists," with reinforcements, disrupted the concert, chanting anti American slogans and piling onto the stage while the band was playing, and you know how pissed FZ got whenever a concert was interrupted for no "good" reason. There's film footage of the incident.
Additional informants: Jillis Stada, Javier Marcote
c. October 16, 1968
Hotel Room, Berlin, Germany
The Cast: Manfred Lerch, Jimmy Carl Black & Motorhead Sherwood
October 23, 1968 (Broadcast date)
TV Studio, Paris, France
As it is written in the book "Zappa In France 1968/1988" (published in 2003) with photos (225! mainly from different Paris concerts) by Christian Rose and text (in french) by Philippe Thieyre, the October 26, 1968 Olympia Concert was the first venue in Paris by Zappa and The Mothers. They also participated a TV program called "Forum Musiques" (...). The show was broadcasted on October 23, 1968. In the same program there was mainly the french singer Michel Polnareff and the jazz saxophone player Phil Woods and Joe Cocker.
June 21, 1969
First appearance on the French tv of FZ & MOI. Presented by Philippe
Koechlin, the group interprets on the set of the program an only
instrumental performance; extracted from 10 minutes of a suite of 45
Graham Connah, Jon Naurin, Jillis Stada, Charles Ulrich
October 23, 1968
Don Preston—keyboards, Dom DeWild
Ian Underwood—alto sax
Bunk Gardner—tenor sax
Motorhead Sherwood—tambourine, baritone sax, snorks
Roy Estrada—bass, vocals
Jimmy Carl Black—drums
Arthur Dyer Tripp III—drums
We told the guy we wanted a bed.
A bed? he says. I said, yeah. We're gonna do something that's never been done before on British television.
See, we got a couple of real freaks in the band who every once in a while want to demonstrate some of the things they learned in Germany. Like Bunky Gardner, our saxophonist, has this thing he calls the "Buster Crab Hold," To demonstrate he needs a victim, a bed, and a headboard for leverage.
Well, in the middle of one number, Bunky grabs Don Preston by the throat and drags him over to the bed. Now Bunky didn't know it, but earlier in the day Don had been in to a magic store and bought these foaming blood capsules, one of which he now squashed between his teeth.
Pretty soon a couple of the other guys got into the act, Jimmy Carl Black got his leg tied with a belt, and they were all on the bed humping and slugging each other in the crotch.
All this time the music was still going on.
I love this version of King Kong. Motorhead blows a mean, mean solo. There is at least one listing for this video as being 31 minutes long, but I don't know if that's a mistake or not:
From: Brian Lagerman
1968 BBC RAW FOOTAGE (KING KONG SESSION) BBC 31M 2
The Mothers definitely did NOT appear on "Colour Me Pop", the performance of "Oh in the Sky" and "King Long" recorded October 1968 was first shown on the BBC2 magazine show "Late Night Line Up" on 26th May 1969 together with a feature on a horse trainer.
It is possible that the Mothers were originally recorded with the intention of broadcasting the footage on "Colour Me Pop" (curiously the show did take a break on 19th and 26th October 1968—although at least one of those Saturdays off the air would have been due to coverage of the Olympic Games), but The Mothers were never broadcast as part of that series.
Jillis Stada, Charles Ulrich
c. October 24, 1968
Seven Sisters Road, London, UK
The rehearsal at the Festival Hall which is pixilated footage that was out at this pub on Seven Sisters Road when we were rehear[s]ing. It was great. We had fifteen members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Mothers in the back room of this pub—it was the only place we could find to rehearse. We wheeled in a baby grand piano. Really great.
October 25, 1968
Royal Festival Hall, London, UK
This concert was recorded at Royal Festival Hall, London, England on 28 October 1968, using a rented 4-track remote system (a single 3M one-inch 4-track machine, 8 microphones, and an 8-channel mixer). There are no over-dubs. It was also filmed by a semi-professional 16mm camera crew. (For those of you who might wonder what everybody is doing while the audience is cracking up, an edited version of the 'dramatic' portion of the show can be seen in the HONKER HOME VIDEO release of "UNCLE MEAT".) (...)
Throughout the tour, I had been writing chamber music pieces in airports & hotels. Somewhere in the middle of the tour, when asked about an opening act for the London show, I opted to hire 14 members of the BBC symphony to play these pieces, and build a cheesy little psycho-drama around them, featuring the band doing something other than our usual stuff.
November 3, 1968
BBC 1, UK
Directed by Tony Palmer
Re-broadcast by BBC-4 on June 5, 2004
WITH HIDEOUS, clamorous force, Tony Palmer's film about the pop world, All My Loving, burst out of the TV screen last night.
Other artists included are The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and many others, across a 55 minute film by Tony Palmer. First broadcast in November 1968 in black and white, the following year saw a colour broadcast, and one destined to put strain on the red guns of television tubes!
Studio: Mvd Visual
DVD Release Date: September 18, 2007
Run Time: 52 minutes
I asked if Zappa had seen Tony Palmer's All My Loving TV film, in which he is interviewed, and told him that the National Viewers And Listeners' Association was taking legal action against BBC-TV for showing it.
Did they, I wondered, have similar censorship problems in the States.
He said he hadn't seen the film but warmed up on TV censorship.
"Look, you guys over there are so advanced in the shape of things you can catch on TV. Believe me, you would die if you had to sit in front of an American TV set.
"When I was last in England I watched a special on nudism in Manchester. I thought it was excellent but we could never have seen it on TV in the United States. Americans are too obsessed with people with their clothes off to be able to take it."
Brian Lagerman, Jillis Stada, Ken Langford
November 6, 1968
Directed by Bob Rafelson
c. November-December, 1968
Los Angeles, CA
Filmed by Cal Schenkel
(December 6-7, 1968, Shrine Exposition Hall, LA, CA?)
(July 23, 1968, Whisky à Go-Go, LA, CA?)
B&W footage of the GTOs dancing on stage with The Mothers Of Invention.
Frank and the Mothers were going to play the Whiskey, and glory of glories, he asked us girls to work up our theme song, "Getting to Know You," to perform on Saturday night! [...]
August 31 ... [...] We saw the films of our Whiskey show, and they made me realize we're going to make it!
Solarized scenes of Captain Beefheart, probably some members of The Magic Band, and a mannequin, probably at FZ home.
Filmed by Motorhead Sherwood
Informant: Javier Marcote (Freak Out In Cucamonga screenshots)
April 30, 1969
The Dilexi Series
KQED TV, San Francisco, CA
18 min. B&W and color
May 19, 1969
CBC Television, Canada
THE DAY IT IS
(C) AN INTERVIEW WITH ROCK SINGER AND WRITER FRANK ZAPPA, LEADER OF THE GROUP THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION. ZAPPA TALKS ABOUT THE CORRUPT STATE OF AMERICAN CULTURE.
Frank Zappa discussing television, sin and language on Canadian TV show The Day It Is in 1969.
"If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it." —Frank Zappa.
Informants: Javier Marcote, Charles Ulrich
May 26, 1969
The Mothers definitely did NOT appear on "Colour Me Pop", the performance of "Oh in the Sky" and "King Kong" recorded October 1968 was first shown on the BBC2 magazine show "Late Night Line Up" on 26th May 1969 together with a feature on a horse trainer.
Animation set to the song. European TV advertising.
July 5, 1969
Festival Field, Newport, RI
Newport Jazz Festival
July 5, 1969
NEWPORT JAZZ-ROCK FEST 1969:
UNKOWN GIRL, SLY STONE, CROWD, MOTHERS OF INVENTION, JOHNNY WINTER & BB KING, BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS W/ DAVID CLAYTON THOMAS, JOSHUA LIGHT SHOW IMAGES, JEFF BECK, JETHRO TULL, TEN YEARS AFTER W/ ALVIN LEE (MOS)
7'.20'' FRANK ZAPPA & MOTHERS OF INVENTION AT NEWPORT.
VARIOUS SHOTS OF ZAPPA CONDUCTING BAND MEMBERS.
CU BASS PLAYER PLAYING.
August 3, 1969
Atlantic City Race Track, Atlantic City, NJ
Two audience silent 8 mm. film sources: 4 min. & 10 min.
August 10, 1969
Warrensville Heights, OH
2 min. 8 mm. silent film
Mothers seen on stage: FZ, Roy Estrada, JCB, Don Preston, Art Tripp, Buzz Gardner, Motorhead, possibly Ian Underwood, and maybe also: Kansas & Dick Barber.
On August 10, 1969, the town of Warrensville, Ohio was host to the Cleveland Music Carnival, which in part was a Herman Spero Upbeat Show Production.
The "Upbeat Show" was a legendary Cleveland music tv show that ran from 1964 through 1971 & was aired weekly. Upbeat was produced by Herman Spero, and hosted by Don Webster.
Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were on the bill that day and David Spero, 8 mm camera in tow, was on the side of the stage to film the performers.
After nearly 4 decades, only a small portion of the tape was saved, which contains 1'39'' of silent stage color footage, slightly grainy in parts and suffers from modest stage lighting.
August 15 or 19, 1969
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
"The last live Mothers performance was in Montreal. The last 'otherwise' performance was a television show in Ottawa the following night"—August 18th and 19th.
I suspect he was incorrectly quoted or just remembered wrong...
I saw the CJOH broadcast and it was either on the 15th itself, or the 16th (next day)...not any later than that...
I'm pretty sure they performed "Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused Gas Mask" with a lot of Ray Estrada falsetto...(I think...something off WRMF...)
At any rate, I can't see them travelling from Ottawa to Montreal, then back to Ottawa just for that short recording...
Alison Gordon developed something called Up Against the Wall that was explicitly aimed at the hip sixties generarion and raised a lot of eyebrows during its brief life.
One day she announced that she had talked her way backstage at the National Arts Centre where Frank Zappa and the original Mothers of Invention were about to give their last concert before breaking up. She had persuaded Zappa and the guys to come out to CJOH around midnight, after their show wrapped at the NAC, to improvise a couple of hours of television horseplay, their very last gig together. The only crew we could get that night was the mobile unit crew who had to leave for Montreal and a football game by, at the latest, 4 a.m. So they would be going live to tape, probably starting around 1:30 a.m., maybe laying down ninety minutes of tape, they would see.
Imagine anything as shapeless and risky being undertaken today. Perhaps at Bravo!, but even there . . .
In any case, they pulled it off. I sat there at the back of the control room more often in a state of mystification than anything else, but Gordon and her director, Chris Braden, were cackling with delight, the whole control room had a marijuana perfume to it, the six or eight long-haired and T-shirted guests hanging around at the back were saying they had never seen anything so wonderful in their lives, and there was no doubt that Zappa and Motorhead and the rest of them were playing it right our at the end of the schtick.
The TP (Technical Producer) called a wrap at 3 a.m. He had to get the crew on the road with the mobile unit. They were taking some of the studio equipment with them, so they needed a little extra time. Zappa invented some kind of extravagant closing, Braden rolled the closing credits, and we retired to the empty lobby of the station to tell each other how wonderful we all were.
In the midst of the celebration, the TP came into that lobby with a long face to tell us that there was a problem with the tape, and it was mostly unusable.
Frank Zappa then gave one of the most generous performances I have ever seen. Alison Gordon had fallen back onto a couch in the lobby, pale, shaking her head blindly, unable to speak, the tears pouring down her cheeks. It would have been quite normal for a star of Zappa's stature to fly into a rage about the ineptitude of this bunch of amateurs and the waste of time: one would expect some kind of outburst. Instead, he did one of the most generous things I have ever seen in a showbiz environment (where generous deeds are, sometimes, quite spectacular).
Zappa sat down and put his arm around Alison, lightly patting her shoulder. After a while he said, "Listen. I've got an idea."
Gordon shook her head like a dog drying off, and gulped a few times, and became very alert.
Zappa said, Look, of course this was terrible, but he had another project he wanted her advice on, maybe they could work together on it, she should listen, it was really cool. And he then sketched the outline for, well, this great movie project—the onlookers could see that he was making it up as he went along, but I don't think Alison realized that until much later. It was a movie—perhaps she could come up with a title, they needed a title—it was a movie about how
the Mothers of Invention had discovered that Colonel Sanders was really a profoundly evil would-be dictator who was trying to take over the world. Nobody in Washington would believe the Mothers, so single-handedly, so to speak, they had to plan and carry out a campaign to bring the KFC monsrer to his knees. It was like Howard Hawks' wonderful 1951 sci-fi flick The Thing From Another World, where you never saw The Thing (James Arness) excepr for a fleeting moment when it attacked, but you always knew when it was coming near because the Geiger counters in the Arctic research station would begin to click. In the Mothers against Colonel Sanders, whenever danger was near chicken feathers would drift in from the sky.
He kept this up for abour twenty minutes, the whole room spellbound and laughing. Alison was laughing. There was lots to drink back at the hotel, Zappa said, why didn't they go back and celebrate, who needed to go to bed (well, I did) and off they all went.
I just found a web site that has a CFL football game between Ottawa and Montreal on August 20, 1969... That would mean the MOI did go back to Ottawa on Aug. 19th.
It is very confusing but unless somebody comes up with hard evidence to prove me wrong, this is what I think happened:
After the [August 15, 1969] second show at the NAC, [Alison Gordon] spoke to FZ and told him that she could get him and to band an opportunity to use the CJOH studios to put down on videotape whatever he wanted, that now was the right time because it was late the final news cast was done and the whole place was empty and quite.
FZ told her that they had to leave for Montreal for three days but that he loved the idea so much that he was willing to come back on the 19th, wait until the midnight hour (the final news, empty studios blah blah blah) and then let 'er rip.
Additional informant: Denis Griffin
August 16, 1969
CFCF-TV, Channel 12, Montréal, Canada
FZ appeared on a local Montréal television show entitled Like Young, on CFCF-TV, channel 12. See the article at Montreal Mirror.
Host Jim McKenna remembers An Evening With Wild Man Fischer (released in April 1969), so FZ's appearance on Like Young was probably sometime later in 1969.
The MOI played Montréal on August 16-18, 1969. Like Young aired at 6pm on Saturday nights.
So the most likely date for FZ's appearance on the show is August 16, 1969.
"I remember when Frank Zappa did our show," recalls [Jim] McKenna. "He was at the height of his hipness then. He'd even recorded a two-album set with Wild Man Fischer, this totally psychotic freak he found on Sunset Boulevard. Off-camera, the guy was intense but friendly, but as soon as he got on-camera he suddenly became this big counterculture creep, saying stuff to me like, 'I don't really dig doing these stupid interviews,' giving me a rough time, being aloof, challenging me on everything, not answering questions, basically just putting me down. He certainly wasn't all that aloof or anti-establishment when it came to the record business though. His record exec told me that when he met him at the airport the first thing Zappa wanted to know as soon as he got off the plane was how his sales were doing."
August 27, 1969
107 min, color
October 24-28, 1969
Mont de I'Enclus, Amougies, Belgium
December 30, 1969
TVE 2, Spain
1969: "El último grito" directed by Iván Zulueta, TVE ( Spanish tv series) . Compilation of five episodes. Original broadcast 1969. 2nd channel. Time:1':58'' "Photomontage of the American underground group " The Mothers of Invention" leaded by Frank Zappa".
Directed by Agnes Varda. Drawings of FZ and Jim Morrison appear on a wall.
Jim Morrison, Agnes Varda and FZ. Image from Brandon's Movie Memory.
Informant: Javier Marcote