1967 (filmed c. 1965-67)
The underground cult classic of the 1960s—banned in France as "A danger to Mental Health" to be shown at MIDNIGHT, Saturday, June 10, 2006
Chaplin Screening Theater
5300 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, California
MOONDANCE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
June 8 to 11, 2006
photography and editing
Robert Carl Cohen
produced and directed by
Robert Carl Cohen
Lewis Beach Marvin III
Dale E. Davis
Henry Scott Jr.
Richard Alpert, Ph. D.
"Great God Pan"
Mary Ewalt Guggenheim
Jimmy Carl Black
1965-67: MONDO HOLLYWOOD (Feature length documentary) Includes: Julie Andrews, Paul Newman, Sean Connery, Bridgit Bardot, Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor, director Alfred Hitchcock, LSD guru Dr. Richard Alpert, musician Frank Zappa, Manson Gang victim hair stylist Jay Sebring & Manson Gang member Bobby Beausoliel, & actor-politician Ronald Reagan. (Considered a bizarre work of prophecy, it has become one of the most frequently mentioned yet unseen underground cult classics)
Midnight screening, opening of 1967 Mannheim Film Festival.
Invited to open 1968 Avignon Festival & Venice Film Festival Paris worldpremiere; (canceled due to: "Interdiction Totale," by French Ministry of Information as: "A danger to mental health.")
I finally saw this infamous low budget documentary film about Hollywood in '67. It's supposed to have FZ in there somewhere but (I may have been dozing, damn Benedryl) I didn't see him . . . anyone know when and if he's really in it anywhere?
The story goes:
Herb Cohen wanted the filmmakers to pay the Mothers. Instead, they just cut the scene (or at least the music).
But I haven't seen the film, so I don't know if you can still spot FZ or other Mothers if you watch closely.
I found this web page so maybe all the Mothers did on this film is not lost. http://radfilms.com/mondo_hollywood_photo_album.htm
Having subsequently seen the film, I can verify that both FZ and JCB are very briefly visible in the party scene.
Zappa's scenes were not cut. There are only a few fleeting moments of him and his group, then known as "THE MOTHERS," in MONDO HOLLYWOOD. The stills contained in my website are actually frames from the film itself. Your being impressed by (radfilms.com) shows you to be a person of refinement able to appreciate the surrealistic nature of existence. Keep it up!!!
As for my comments re working with Zappa and the rest:
Zappa: I was introduced to him by his then-manager Mark Cheka, a painter friend (As you know from my Filmography I did my BA in Art and still paint occasionally) who offered to let me use The Mothers for a monster party I threw in Hollywood for the various people who'd participated in the film. I also recorded The Mothers that night, but the mike was unshielded and picked up too much crowd noise. It's my understanding that Zappa, or Cheka, or someone else also recorded that evening, and that there is a tape in underground distribution which purports to be from MONDO [the tape was eventually released oficially on the Mystery Disc as Party Scene From Mondo Hollywood]. The tape may well be from that party, but Zappa's music was NOT actually used in the MONDO sound track—which was primarily done by Davy Allen and THE ARROWS. The one or two brief conversations I had with Zappa aren't worthy of discussion. My only recollection is that he tended to be somewhat acerbic. Herbie Cohen, a New York neo-hoodlum type whose competitors received stones through their windows, with whom I'd been somewhat acquainted since 1960, and who ran up thousands of dollars in debts while running COSMO'S ALLEY prior to fleeing the USA and his creditors for several years, took THE MOTHERS from Zeka and commercialized them with the help of people at Capitol Records—which pitched them as every good conservative middleclass American's worst nightmare (How would you like your daughter to marry somebody like that?) You might want to get some input from Cheka.
QUESTION: How do you get a copy of MONDO HOLLYWOOD?
ANSWER: I've been told that there are very poor quality bootlegged VHS copies being sold at swap meets, etc. But if you'd like a moderately good copy made by me, I'll sell you one for $99.99, tax and postage included. What a deal! And made by Cohen, who left Hollywood after 55 years and now lives in the newest center of national insanity: Boulder Colorado. However, if $99.99 is too steep, and if you don't mind waiting awhile, I plan to invest a few thousand bucks in a digital video master and, using the offices of Amazon.Com or some other similar entity, selling it for a standard market price over the WWW in the next millenium.
Looking forward to hearing from you re the above.
Boulder, CO 80306
I was friendly with Mark Cheka. Mark Cheka was a painter... And so Cheka said to me, "I understand you're gonna have a party. Who's going to play the music at your party?" I said, "I thought we'd just have some records playing or something." He said, "No, I've got this group of young guys, call themselves The Mothers. And why don't- I'll have them perform at your party." I said, "Okay." I mean, I'd never heard their music. I had no familiarity with them at all. And so we had a party with I think a hundred, two hundred people. And they were the band that was playing. I didn't bother to record them because I- First of all, the party scene was too noisy to record properly. It should have been done in the studio, the way most of our music, all of our music was done in the studio, basically, with a good set-up. And also I had no familiarity with their music whatsoever. And I said hello to Zappa. We said hello. Everyone signed a release they could be used in the film.
What's the Zappa footage on this?
One second of FZ. One second of JCB. No Mothers music.
I purchased a VHS tape of the movie via Yahoo Auctions a few years ago and haven't watched it in several years so I cannot be more specific with details. Some segments are quite short in duration and overall, the film left a lot to be desired, in my estimation. I would have liked a lot more emphasis on the freak scene rather than a general overview of the denizens of the L.A. area. It was nice to see Vito in it although he was in a parking lot lilting about whereas I'd like to see him doing some real freak activity instead.
In the film Mondo Hollywood, where you see Bobby Jameson ranting about his life on the beach, is that Gail Zappa walking with him? I know that she was his girlfriend for a little while before Frank Z came along. What do you think?
It is indeed Gail Zappa with Bobby Jameson, she is even "subtitled" as Gail and credited in the end.
It was early 1966 and a lot of things happened in that year. When "Vietnam" was recorded with The Leaves, Bob Cohen filmed it for a movie he was making called "Mondo Hollywood." [...] I moved out of Lois Johnston's house again and was going out with a girl I'd met at "The Trip" on Sunset Blvd. It was a new rock n roll club on the strip and she was a cocktail waitress there. Her name was Gail Sloatman. If you've ever watched "Mondo Hollywood," and depending on which version you watch, there is a scene at the beach where I am walking with a girl, that's Gail.
Additional informant: Marco RicciMaintained by Román García Albertos