More ZappaTube Goodness

Another gem from YouTube (or GooTube if you prefer): here’s a 7:25 minute video from 1981 following Zappa during the recording of You Are What You Is.

… and this, one of the last interviews FZ gave, from NBC’s Today Show:

19 Responses to “More ZappaTube Goodness”

  1. Frunobulax says:

    That second one is tought to watch. I can’t imagine how the Slonimsky interview must be.

  2. Francois Bussiere says:

    I had never seen this one. Just the tone of voice is hard to bear. Silence after this one is heavy.

  3. scott says:

    Frank Zappa, unapologetic till the end.
    Great Man.

  4. Sterbus says:

    I can’t even recognize his voice…
    A genius?

  5. danny says:

    Will always love Frank.
    Here, we get to see him hard at work, and close to the end.
    Hey Frank: Despite your dismissal of remembrance, you will be remembered in a big way.

  6. Another Barry says:

    One of the things that really hit me hard everytime I heard it (and one reason I hated seeing the Chrome Dinette go down) was the bit at the end of the two-hour BBC interview where Frank said he didn’t care (or didn’t want) to be remembered. It just amazed me how he had no desire to be thought of past his existence.
    Regardless, I don’t think he should be forgotten, and do my best to spread the word.

  7. urbangraffito says:

    FZ died just as he had lived. Unapologetic. Unrepentant. A complete & unique original that will not come by this way ever again. Thanks for the trip! My world was never the same because of FZ!

  8. urbangraffito says:

    FZ died just as he had lived. Unapologetic. Unrepentant. A complete & unique original that will not come by this way ever again. Thanks for the trip! My world was never the same because of FZ!

  9. jonnybutter says:

    Note especially little miss Perky (Katie Couric) during the wrap up with the interviewer (Gangel), saying ‘That looks like it was a tough interview’ – meaning that it was tough for the interviewer (because Zappa was frank and didn’t do the normal show biz happy talk). Here is a great artist dying, and all Katie can think about is how tough it might have been on the interviewer – who, to her credit, immediately got the message and defended Frank, etc. Perky Katie is now the host of one of the big nightly news programs here in the states, and she has a segment on that show called ‘Free Speech’, which is, naturally, censored (they would NEVER let someone like Frank on). What’s worse than an asshole? A perky one. Fie.

  10. Keefa says:

    First time I’ve seen that interview. In terms of content, it’s nothing special, but it’s still moving when you see just how tired he got. Terribly sad that he couldn’t appreciate the Yellow Shark performances because he was so ill.
    The look in his eyes towards the end when he said he didn’t want to be remembered is something else, something Civilization Phaze III.

  11. Hipbone says:

    Katie does seem quite perky. She’s probably programmed to go into “Perky TV autopilot” when the mood gets too grim.
    I’m surprised Frank even agreed to do that interview in the first place. He must have felt obligated to the show for some reason?
    Ben Watson’s interview from the poodle play book is was around this time too, and much better of course.
    Are there any other interviews (print or video) from this late in FZ’s life? It’s heartbreaking but fascinating to see what his state of mind was.
    It’s a tough interview to watch for me because I feel like Frank feels like he was cheated in life. He says here that he went to many doctors who told him he was OK, or at least never told him he had prostate cancer. He was “irate” as he put it that he didn’t find out sooner.
    I think he also felt cheated that finally his symphonic works were finally getting as much recognition as his ‘popular’ music (“people gave you standing ovations even when you weren’t there”) and he wasn’t going to be around to see it and make more music.
    He’d probably love the Zappa PLays Zappa tour, but he’d surely HATE this…

  12. mcnastie says:

    katie couric is one silly bitch. *SNAP* – she just made more money than i’ll see in a decade – in approximately one second.
    this world is not fair – just look at what destiny had in store for our favorite resilient iconoclast. and this isn’t even the worst of it – to see the ensemble modern documentary from german t.v. is enough to bring a tear to my eye! he checked out way too fucking early.
    anyway hipbone – i’m sure he’d be perfectly contented with how things are today…out on the golf course…putting a few balls with dweezil…dreaming up another shitty archive release…and kicking back with a bottle of ‘city of tiny light ale’ in that historic, elitist suburban l.a. paradise known as laurel canyon:
    They’re drinking lighter
    They’re full of water
    I hear them say:
    “Let’s jog . . . ”
    They’re playing tennis
    Their butts are tighter
    What could be whiter?

  13. abe says:

    I’m silent after that second video. to go against Frank’s wishes, He will never be forgotten. There has never been another one as him. off to go listen to CPIII.

  14. Trecherous Cretin says:

    You clearly do not have clue one about what matter to FZor how his final years were spent.
    Many of the posters have made references to FZ being “unrepentant and unapologetic”. He had nothing to repent or apologize for. That he held amerikkka’s hypocrasies in our faces and made us laugh (and maybe wince a bit too!)
    That you mourn the passing of this giant among the Lilliputian brain pans of the creatively bankrupt Nig Biz is a sign of your humanity in a world sinking fast into the fetid slime of Dubai Disco.
    Honor the Man
    Honor the Intellect

  15. jim says:

    A Few Observation-like Things:
    “Tobacco is my favourite vegetable” might give some folks a clue as to just HOW unrepentant he was – sorry, Sieg-Health People, but his Dead Composer Ass be right AGAIN: almost ALL yer contemporary corporate Butts’re turbocharged w/ bunk like sugar (so wholesome & delectable when it’s on fire) & nicotine-heavy flavour-syrups … eeeuuuuw indeed …
    I believe he wanted what he COMPOSED remembered, not his own freaky self, which of course he also parodied a mite ruthlessly in 200 MOTELS – gotta muse over how many Zappatistas would be flaming the snot outta FZ if he were Anonymously making that movie w/ an unknown cast today? The guy was a hardcore sceptic & advocated same – when he sang “you’re an asshole, you’re an asshole” live he wore a big fat shit-eating grin & pointed at HIMSELF. Hotcha!
    The prostate sluff-off from some McDoc/s was only the most deadly of MANY instances of Medical Buggery-Pokery fer Frank – & his calm ironic understatement of how “irate” that made him speaks volumes
    Among his sources of greatest honour & joy were his FAILURES – which y’might note are MUCH more impressive than the prefab success of 21st-Century Idol-trons – amazing, unique & truly majestic as well as hilarious … DIO FA or HUNCHENTOOT, anyone?
    I’m not bitter, I’m Extra-spicy.

  16. urbangraffito says:

    Hipbone Says: I can’t help but think:
    I don’t think he’d really give a fuck. Moreover, wasn’t it FZ himself that set up the ZFT in the first place so that his family would be looked after upon his passing (so they could dream up other shitty archive releases whilst kicking back with a bottle of ‘city of tiny lites ale’)?
    What I think was important to FZ was the process of making music (after which it was out of his hands). The same ethic goes I suppose for his so-called Legacy. If there is to be any FZ legacy, it’s to be found in the music itself, not in anything that the media or the ZFT says or does. I am just grateful that FZ left the diverse and discursive body of work that he did.
    And hey, if Mozart were around today, do you think the media would really care about his next new work? Hell no! What is it with that wig of your’s Wolfgang? Is it true you’re gay? Did you really sleep with your mother as a baby…and were breastfed to boot!

  17. Hipbone says:

    urbangraffito, I disagree with you about FZ giving a fuck about the way it’s gone down since his death. I think he may give a whole lot of a fuck.
    That the ZFT would OK the release of a Zappa beer (he said beer and drugs gave people an excuse to act stupid) and dish out a few measly archive releases while letting most of it collect dust is sad.
    You are right, Frank DID set up the ZFT so his family could be looked after by releasing his vast catalog to his rabid fans for $$$. But most of us on this site are unanimous in how we feel about the quality/frequency of releases (and then there is that beer thing). My question was, Do you think FZ would think they got it right?
    “If there is to be any FZ legacy, it’s to be found in the music itself”
    Very true urbangraffito, but we’re still waiting for the music. Roxy anyone? Do you think he worked 18 hours a day making music to have it sit on a hard drive or was it meant to be appreciated?
    I don’t need to point out to anyone reading this that Zappa recorded TONS of music, two to three albums a year sometimes if not more. Plus, he recorded every concert, there are many hours of studio stuff, alternate versions, rarely heard lineups, guitar solos, Synclavier pieces….etc.
    It’s been almost 14 years since he died. Just think about how many concerts and projects could have been released, fairly cheaply on perhaps? As digital downloads (he was all about controlling his music without the need for a shitty record company). And in my opinion, the sheer magnitude of releases, and the diversity of the music would have kept him more relevant in people’s ears, keeping his legacy strong.
    He’d release more albums dead than bands do while alive, by a long shot.
    Why do we have to hunt down inferior sounding bootlegs on and eagerly await KUR’s weekly boot? We already know how he’d probably feel about that…ahem ‘Beat the Boots’. Still, we all do it, and it seems OK because we have no choice.
    My point is that urbangraffito is right that FZ set up the ZFT so his family could be taken care of, but would he be happy that instead of making money on his music that he worked his whole life on, they make money on Freak Out! Ale? Geeezzzus!
    music is the best.

  18. JP says:

    It’s very sad, but at the same time we’re so fortunate to be able to experience a great deal of his work and the essence of his personality.

  19. Robert says:

    I always thought that FZ’s main work motivation was that he *himself* wanted to hear his own music performed just right. Releasing the stuff so that fans out there would buy it was mainly meant as a means to earn more money which enabled him to buy more sophisticated recording gear which enabled him to create better recordings for his own listening pleasure. Going on the road also was mainly motivated by this: Listening to highly skilled musicians playing his stuff correctly. OK, there is an audience involved enjoying the stuff, too, but this was a convenient side-effect. And since the folks usually pay for attending the show: Bingo! Even more money coming in.
    So what is left for a guy like FZ with such a work motivation if he is asked if he wants to be remembered and how? Pretty much nothing.