Television Special, KCET

August 27, 1974
KCET Sound Stage B

Eat That Question

The music known to have been played:
The Mothers Of Invention:

FZ—guitar, percussion, vocals
Napoleon Murphy Brock—sax, vocals
George Duke—keyboards, finger cymbals, tambourine, vocals
Ruth Underwood—percussion
Tom Fowler—bass
Chester Thompson—drums

Parts appear in:
Some music appears on:


Production Assistants


The Edits

Special thanks to Tan Mitsugu.

OSFA (1975) ATOHE (1976/2013) ATOHES (2013) TDRS (1982/2005) TDRS (2007) "NFB" (MLO)
        1. A Token Of My Extreme (Vamp)  
  1. The Dog Breath Variations/Uncle Meat 1. The Dog Breath Variations/Uncle Meat 1. "Kim?"/The Dog Breath Variations/Uncle Meat 3. The Dog Breath Variations  
  0:00:02-0:01:44 00:00-01:41 0:00:32-0:02:14 00:00-01:41  
        4. Uncle Meat  
  0:01:44-0:04:00 01:41-03:57 0:02:14-0:04:29 00:00-02:16  
  2. Montana 2. Montana 7. "The Massimo Bassoli Instant Italian Lesson"/Montana 7. Montana  
  0:04:07-0:04:22 00:00-00:14   00:01-00:15  
  0:04:22-0:05:56 00:14-01:48 0:38:19-0:39:54 00:15-01:49  
  0:05:56-0:06:36 02:18-02:58      
  0:06:36-0:07:37 03:09-04:10      
  0:07:37-0:09:41 04:10-06:13 0:39:54-0:41:57 01:49-03:53  
    06:13-06:23   03:53-04:03  
  0:09:41-0:10:00 06:23-06:42 0:41:57-0:42:17 04:03-04:23  
  3. Earl Of Duke   8. "In Case You Didn't Know . . . "/Tengo Na Minchia Tanta    
  0:10:00-0:10:01 06:42-06:44 0:42:17-0:42:18    
    3. Earl Of Duke      
  0:10:01-0:15:24 00:00-05:22      
  0:15:24-0:15:41 05:22-05:39 0:45:16-0:45:33    
      9. Florentine Pogen 9. Room Service  
  0:15:41-0:15:51 05:39-05:49 0:45:33-0:45:42 00:00-00:09  
5. Florentine Pogen 4. Florentine Pogen 4. Florentine Pogen   11. Florentine Pogen  
  0:15:51-0:15:55 00:00-00:04 0:45:42-0:45:46 00:00-00:04  
00:00-05:27 0:15:55-0:21:22 00:04-05:30 0:45:46-0:51:14 00:04-05:31  
  0:21:22-0:22:44 05:30-06:53 0:51-14-0:52:36 05:31-06:54  
  0:22:44-0:23:33 07:22-08:11 0:52:36-0:53:25 06:54-07:43  
  0:23:33-0:25:46 08:41-10:55 0:53:25-0:55:38 07:43-09:55  
    10:55-10:59 0:55:38-0:55:42 09:55-10:00  
    10:59-11:08   10:00-10:11  
  5. Stink-Foot 5. Stink-Foot 11. Stink-Foot 5. Stink-Foot 1. Stink-Foot
  0:25:53-0:26:06       00:00-00:12
  0:26:06-0:30:05 00:00-03:58 1:03:03-1:07:01 00:00-03:58 00:12-04:11
1. Inca Roads 8. Inca Roads 8. Inca Roads 13. Inca Roads 8. Inca Roads 2. Inca Roads
00:00-00:33 0:47:26-0:47:59 00:00-00:33 1:12:16-1:12:49 00:00-00:33 04:59-05:22
  0:47:59-0:48:03 00:33-00:37 1:12:49-1:12:53 00:33-00:37 05:22-05:36
00:33-02:00 0:48:03-0:49:30 00:37-02:04 1:12:53-1:14:20 00:37-02:04 05:36-07:03
[Helsinki] 0:49:30-0:52:57 02:04-05:31 1:14:20-1:17:47 02:04-05:31 07:03-10:30
04:36-08:45 0:52:57-0:57:05 05:31-09:41 1:17:47-1:21:54 05:31-09:38 10:30-14:38
  0:57:05-0:57:12 09:41-09:48   09:38-09:45 14:38-14:45
  0:57:12-0:57:14 09:48-09:50      
  6. Pygmy Twylyte 6. Pygmy Twylyte     3. Pygmy Twylyte
  0:30:08-0:34:07 00:00-03:58     14:45-18:44
  0:34:07-0:34:45 04:20-04:57     18:44-19:21
    04:57-05:07     19:21-19:32
  0:34:45-0:34:56 05:45-05:56     19:32-19:43
  0:34:56-0:35:58 06:44-07:46     19:43-20:45
  7. Room Service 7. Room Service 2. Room Service 9. Room Service 4. Room Service
  0:35:58-0:38:26 00:00-02:27     20:45-23:13
  0:38:26-0:38:48 02:27-02:49   00:09-00:31 23:13-23:35
  0:38:48-0:41:02 02:49-05:02 00:08:01-00:10:15 00:31-02:45 23:35-25:49
    05:02-05:03 00:10:15-00:10:15 02:45-02:45  
    05:03-05:03 00:10:15-00:10:15    
  0:41:02-0:47:13 05:43-11:55 00:10:15-00:16:26 02:45-08:56 25:49-32:00
  0:47:13-0:47:23 11:55-12:04   08:56-09:06 32:00-32:08
    12:04-12:11   09:06-09:13  
      4. Approximate    
      5. Cosmik Debris 10. Cosmik Debris  
      0:27:09-0:34:48 00:00-07:39  
  9. Oh No/Son Of Orange County 9. Oh No/Son Of Orange County      
  0:57:16-1:04:23 00:02-07:09      
  10. More Trouble Every Day 10. More Trouble Every Day      
  1:04:23-1:11:41 00:00-07:17      
  11. A Token Of My Extreme 11. A Token Of My Extreme      
  1:11:41-1:13:06 00:00-01:24      

Notes & Comments

Richard K Fox, a.f.f-z, June 25, 1992

1 hour of this band performing songs like Florentine Pogen, Oh No, Inca Roads, Stinkfoot, Cosmik Debris and others. Some claymation over parts. This has been released as A Token of His Extreme. Portions of this performance also appear on Dub Room Special.

Patrick Neve

A swell video. The version of Inca Roads, minus the solo, was the version used for One Size Fits All.

Mary Perellis attacks Chester Thompson in a gorilla costume. Does anyone know when or why the sound effects were added? They are in conjunction with the versions of the tape that include Bruce Bickford's claymation segments.. some tapes have it, and others don't. The portion that was used in "Video From Hell" has the animation and sound effects. While it's interesting, and in some way adds something to the music, many viewers find the mix to be too extreme in the sound effects department which only seems to detract from the music.

Also, what is the relationship between this video and "Indiscreet Picture Show?"

David Millman, a.f.f-z, January 22, 1997

What was the a) exact date? b) name of the venue?

Jon Naurin, a.f.f-z, January 21, 1997

a) Not sure. Most people list it as Dec '74, because that's when it was aired (it's from a TV broadcast, KCET, LA). I believe it's Aug. 6th or 7th, at least that's the date on a ticket stub reprinted in the BTB#2 booklet (p.31). Not sure if that ticket is for this TV show though it just says "FZ & Mothers TV special"

b) KCET TV studio, according to the same ticket "Culver City Studios".

Milhouse Guidry, September 4, 2004

Those curious about the actual date of the "Token of His Extreme" taping may want to examine this listing.

KCET, Aug. 27, 1974

A Token Of His Extreme

Known broadcasts:
February 12, 1976
French TV (probably on "Juke Box" from Antenne 2)

There are at least two known versions, one broadcast (with video effects and some different footage) and another one released on DVD (with no video effects).


A Token Of His Extreme On Ruth

FZ, interviewed by Keith Elshaw, CFNY, Toronto, Canada, October 2, 1978

It's been showed in prime time in France, it's been shown in prime time in Germany and in Switzerland, but not in Canada and not in the United States or any other place in the world. [...] There's two versions of it, one is 60 minutes and the other one is 90 minutes.

Rip Rense, A Unique Musical Force or Blasphemous Freak: Which Is Frank Zappa?, The Valley News, June 27, 1976

Zappa was speaking from his suite in the Beverly Hilton Hotel; where he gave a preview screening of a remarkable videotape creation, "A Token of His Extreme." [...] The creation's been shown on European television, but has yet to be bought in the U.S.

FZ on The Mike Douglas Show (October 28, 1976):

[A Token Of His Extreme] was put together with my own money and my own time, and it's been offered to television networks and to syndication and it has been steadfastly rejected by the American television industry. It has been shown in prime time in France and Switzerland, with marvelous results. It's probably one of the finest pieces of video work that any human being has ever done. I did it myself. And the animation that you're gonna see in this was done by a guy named Bruce Bickford, and I hope he is watching the show, because it's probably the first time that a lot of people in America got a chance to see it.

varanasibull (Germany), Zappateers, June 30, 2013

Good era, great show—saw it around X-MAS 1975 or 1976 at lunchtime on the telly. My parents were NOT shocked, but I was impressed with RUTH and fell in love.

Alain Dister, Best [c. early 1976]

En France, on les attendait avec une certaine curiosité. Beaucoup de non-zappa-phile avaient pu découvrir le maître au cours du show télévisé du 12 février. Cette émission spéciale, entièrement produite à Los Angeles par Frank et ses amis vidéo-électroniciens, avait été envoyée gracieusement à Freddie Hauser par Herb Cohen, manager des Mothers. Elle a nécessité un an de travail, en particulier sur les parties de pâte à modeler animée, œuvre de Bruce Bickford. Et la France est le seul pays à avoir pu profiter de ce chef-d'œuvre, la télé américaine, pas si progressiste que ça, l'ayant refusé...

La formation présentée au cours de ce show dont le titre à peine évocateur était «A Token Of His Extreme»—est dissoute depuis belle lurette.

Google Translate:

In France, they waited with some curiosity. Many non-Zappa-phile had discovered the master during the televised show on February 12. This special, produced entirely in Los Angeles by Frank and his friends video electronics, was graciously sent to Freddie Hauser by Herb Cohen, manager of Mothers. It required a year of work, especially on the parts of plasticine animated work of Bruce Bickford. And France is the only country to have benefited from this masterpiece, American TV, not so progressive as that, having refused ...

Training presented in this show whose title was hardly evocative "A Token Of His Extreme"—has long since dissolved.

"Freddy Hauser" (Wikipedia, December 21, 2010)

In 1976, he stopped reporting from war zones in order to create, produce and star in "Juke Box", a music television program on the national French television channel, Antenne 2. In this capacity, he introduced millions of French people to many new pop and rock groups, especially from England and America.

Paul Rambali, "Stern Words In Knightsbridge," New Musical Express, January 28, 1978

Also shelved for the time being is a TV special Zappa made. Described as a combination of advanced video editing techniques, animation and live performance, it has been shown in France, Switzerland and Germany, but ongoing litigation between Zappa and his previous manager, Herb Cohen, reduces its present chances of being shown here or in the States, even presuming the TV companies would take it.

Scott, "Frank Zappa | Fort Homer Hesterly Armory 10.14.76," Tie Your Shoes Reviews, [2014]

Backstage before the concert, Zappa was characteristically generous with his time in answering questions from several interviewers. [...] His TV special ran prime time several places in Europe, but nobody here seems to want to touch it.

Eagle Rock DVD

June 3, 2013

A Token Of His Extreme

Liner notes from The Dub Room Special! DVD (2005)

This program contains excerpted material from not one, but two performances. [...] These 2 programs are slated for DVD as whole concerts, mixed in multi-channel.

A Token Of His Extreme DVD vs. short broadcast

All camera angles, shots and animation are the same except where indicated. All through the short broadcast version there are some video color effects added.

DVD music broadcast differences (in broadcast)
  Dog Breath/Uncle Meat 0:00:00-0:00:02 video color effects (all through the movie)
0:00:00-0:00:48 0:00:02-  
0:00:48-0:01:03 0:00:50-0:01:05 the name of the group and the list of musicians appear slightly before
0:01:03-0:03:27 0:01:05-0:03:29  
0:03:27-0:03:37 0:03:29-0:03:39 Bickford's clay animation
0:03:37-0:03:56 0:03:39-0:03:58  
1:04:13-1:07:29 Trouble Every Day 0:03:58-0:07:14  
1:09:28-1:09:58 0:07:14-0:07:43  
(1:07:45-1:07:49) 0:08:25-0:08:28 (FZ close-up doesn't correspond to audio)
1:10:26-1:10:55 0:08:28-0:08:57  
1:10:55-1:11:09 0:08:57-0:09:12 Malcolm McNab in the recording truck ("meanwhile, in the recording truck")
0:04:07-0:04:11 Montana 0:09:12-0:09:17 Malcolm McNab in the recording truck
0:04:11-0:04:50 0:09:17-0:09:55  
0:04:50-0:04:56 0:09:55-0:10:01 audience woman close-up
0:04:56-0:10:00 0:10:01-0:15:06  
0:10:00-0:15:49 Earl Of Duke 0:15:06-0:20:54 includes on screen caption "Jazz is not dead . . . it just smells funny"
0:15:49-0:25:39 Florentine Pogen 0:20:54-0:30:45  
0:25:39-0:25:44 0:30:45-0:30:50 Bickford's clay animation
0:57:13-0:57:23 Oh No/Son Of Orange County 0:30:50-0:31:00 Bickford's clay animation
0:57:23-1:01:07 0:31:00-0:34:44  
0:30:07-0:30:31 Pygmy Twylyte 0:34:44-0:35:09  
0:31:04-0:35:56 0:35:09-0:40:02  
0:25:54-0:30:03 Stink-Foot 0:40:02-0:44:13  
0:47:24-0:50:27 Inca Roads 0:44:13-0:47:15  
0:50:27-0:50:32 0:47:15-0:47:21 different Bickford's clay animation (only FZ)
0:50:32-0:53:45 0:47:21-0:50:34  
0:53:45-0:53:57 0:50:34-0:50:45 different Bickford's clay animation
0:53:57-0:54:52 0:50:45-0:51:41  
0:54:52-0:55:31 0:51:41-0:52:20 Bickford's clay animation
0:55:31-0:57:02 0:52:20-0:53:51  
0:35:56-0:38:01 Room Service 0:53:51-0:55:56  
1:11:37-1:13:00 A Token Of My Extreme 0:55:56-0:57:18  

Mort Libov's Outtakes

43 min., also listed as 30 min. "B"

a.k.a. Not For Broadcast


Unreleased "Inca Roads" intro (over "Stink-Foot" vamp)

I presume that at this point in the actual broadcasting of this program they're gonna fade out in the middle of that guitar solo there and then fade back in after the standard commercial, and then we're back after the commercial right now and we're gonna go directly into another song which has to do with the delicate subject of flying saucers and information pertaining to the origins thereof previously withheld from the American public, and I'm saying simply this: the song should have been entitled "It Was Only Swamp Gas," but it's really called "The Inca Roads." And it goes like this . . .

DVD vs. "Not For Broadcast"

All camera angles, shots and animation are the same except where indicated. No different video color effects.

DVD music "not for broadcast" differences (in "not for broadcast")
(0:29:56-0:30:02) (no sound) 00:00-00:06 (Bickford's clay animation)
0:25:55-0:27:05 Stink-Foot 00:06-01:15  
0:27:05-0:27:15 01:15-01:27 no audience shots; different edit
0:27:15-0:29:05 01:27-03:16  
0:29:05-0:30:04 03:16-04:15 no Bickford's clay animation
  04:15-05:03 commercial break speech and "Inca Roads" intro
0:47:25-0:50:00 Inca Roads 05:03-07:38  
0:50:00-0:50:26 07:38-08:04 some different Bickford's clay animation
0:50:26-0:50:27 08:04-08:05  
0:50:27-0:52:17 08:05-09:55 some different Bickford's clay animation
0:52:17-0:53:32 09:55-11:10  
0:53:32-0:53:33 11:10-11:11 different Bickford's clay animation
0:53:33-0:53:36 11:11-11:14  
0:53:36-0:53:37 11:14-11:15 different Bickford's clay animation
0:53:37-0:54:24 11:15-12:02  
0:54:24-0:54:25 12:02-12:03 no "later that night" caption
0:54:25-0:56:11 12:03-13:49  
0:56:11-0:56:25 13:49-14:03 no George Duke close-up; different edits
0:56:25-0:57:10 14:03-14:49  
0:30:07-0:34:44 Pygmy Twylyte/Room Service 14:49-19:26  
  19:26-19:36 FZ's guitar; girls in the audience
0:34:44-0:34:56 19:36-19:49 FZ's guitar (no George Duke); girls in the audience; different edit
0:34:56-0:47:22 19:49-32:14  

Notes & Comments

Brian Lagerman

Seems to be a combination of "Token" and "Indiscreet" clips.

Chris Rigas

This Token of his Extreme footage supposedly came from Mort Liebov's private colection.

Craig Jones

Has anyone noticed that the Stinkfoot solo has no animation over it, & that it has the full introduction to Inca Roads after it? There is a lot of different camera angles, unedited footage in this. Shame about the quality.

Additional informants: Chris Rigas, Javier Marcote

Maintained by Román García Albertos
This section formerly maintained by Reverend Neve
This dog last modified: 2017-11-04