78 Years Ago Yesterday…

In a house that someone used to live in, little Donny Preston, also known as little Dom DeWilde or little Biff Debrie, was born on September 21st, 1932 in Flint, Michigan.

Happy Birthday, Don!
Continue reading “78 Years Ago Yesterday…”

200 Motels DVD – Review by SOTCAA

Frank Zappa’s 1971 big-screen venture 200 Motels has not been particularly well-preserved on VHS over the years. Although there have been several releases and re-releases, these have tended to be sourced from the same slightly iffy video masters with no attempts at any kind of upgrade.

The first ever (official) DVD release of the film last month on the Voiceprint label should have been the perfect opportunity to rectify this. Sadly, this release – overseen and ‘restored’ by original co-director Tony Palmer – stands out as not only the worst edition of the film ever commercially released but could actually hold the honour of being the worst DVD ever compiled. (…)

It looks like shit.

Full – very very detailed – article here (see our previous post about the DVD!) Just one side-note: on the official site of the DVD one will find where the trailer should be: “This video is no longer available because of copyright reasons – belonging to  Metro-Goldwin-Mayer”.
(Sorry, the latter had to be translated back to English from Hungarian… I’m not sure whether it’s perfect, but you’ll understand anyway.)

New Zappa Release: Congress Shall Make No Law

By now I guess you all know about the Zappa event in Baltimore that is to take place on September 19. A couple of days ago, a new Zappa Records release was announced for this date:

September 19, 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of Zappa’s testimony on Capitol Hill and at Annapolis against the censorship of free expression by artists. In commemoration of this event, Zappa Records is preparing to release ‘Congress Shall Make No Law,’ a CD containing Frank Zappa’s testimony.

More info about the event here.

Update Sep 13 2010: Here’s the ZFT announcement as featured on their mailing-list from Sep 11, included for archival purposes. Pre-order link!

Zappa, Palladium Shows, October 31st, 1981

What has gone down in history as probably two of the worst produced Frank Zappa concerts are the early and late Palladium shows from October 31st, 1981. Neither presented in their entirety then or since. MTV broadcast one live and a slightly shortened and modified rebroadcast of the late show (omitting Sinister Footwear). To add insult to injury, what could have been a distinctive live concert experience of Frank Zappa in the 1980s – on par with the 26th – 29th December 1976 Palladium shows which made Zappa In New York a quintessential example of 70s Zappa – were cut up and delivered piecemeal to Zappa’s fans, instead. The promise of the Big One – still unfulfilled almost thirty years later. Yes, like all fans of these shows, I have all the various recordings and DVDs, both unofficial and official, including most recently, The Torture Never Stops (which also has Sinister Footwear omitted). Until that day comes when these shows are released in their entirety, and given the treatment they deserve, I’ll have to enjoy these sporadic YouTube clips – “Sinister Footwear II“, “Black Napkins“, “Black Page #2” – and dream:
Continue reading “Zappa, Palladium Shows, October 31st, 1981”

One Size Fits All – Best Album Art

With the recent news of an upcoming Zappa release, my thoughts turned to releases of days gone by – in particular, 1975’s ‘One Size Fits All’ and its magnificent album artwork. Zappa fans who only know of FZ’s albums through CDs, missed an era when his album covers were almost as anticipated as was his music. View the album artwork in the video above, along with the album’s first track, “Inca Roads”, or download the artwork here.

Thanks to gvmota.

The Next Zappa Release: Joe’s Menage a Trois

Shore Fire, the PR firm that has the ZFT as one of its clients states it quite clearly:

June 11
Zappa Records releases Frank Zappa’s Joe’s Menage a Trois’

The new release is also mentioned in this Variety article.

(Hat tip: Maroual)

Update June 12 2010: No mention of a release anywhere. KUR-reader Rob wrote to Shore Fire yesterday, and got this rather odd answer:

Hi there,
Lauretta at Shore Fire here. Will you please let me know where you received info on a Frank Zappa release?

You’d think the people at Shore Fire at least read their own press releases…

Greasy Love Songs: “Cruising With Ruben & The Jets” Vinyl Version Re-released

Email from the ZFT, christal clear and full of detail as usual (click to enlarge):

The blurb at Barfko Swill:

Yum & Cheap Thrills together at last. It’s 40+ years later for this Anniversary FZ AudioDocumentary in the project/object series. Cruise again with Ruben & The Jets playing all your favorite greasy love songs.

Pre-order at $21 a pop.

Update: This press-release has more info (thx Tim!):

Among additional tracks included are alternate mono mixes, an unreleased cover of “Valerie” which enjoyed heavy rotation in the Mothers’ concerts circa 1967 and a version of “Love of My Life” from Studio Z, bringing this CD from 40 minutes in the vinyl release to well over an hour of “the stuff of teen-age legend,” according to Gail Zappa’s text. “The thrall, the threnodies, the three and four part harmonies, the keys to the kingdom of sociological and panchromatic sexual edification.” The package, #3 in the FZ Audio Documentary Series, also contains Cheech Marin’s highly evocative liner notes recalling his 1968 audition for Zappa.

New Frank Zappa Release: Philly ’76

Zappa: Philly 76

Here’s the email announcement, and here’s the pre-order page.

The internet largely agrees this 2 Disc release is the Spectrum Theater in Philadelphia show from 29 October 1976. The band: FZ, Bozzio, Ray White, Patrick O’Hearn, Eddie Jobson and Bianca Thornton.
Continue reading “New Frank Zappa Release: Philly ’76”

Dweezil Zappa: A Son of (a Mother of) Invention

Another big thing for next year is another DVD, our Roxy concert that we did 35 years to the date that Frank last played at the Roxy. We’re also working hard to complete Frank’s Roxy film, so hopefully both of those can get released by the end of 2010.

In an interview including also some other news: a new ZPZ CD, some other musical experimentations, Dweezil’s guitars, and the What the Hell Was I Thinking project – with a downloadable part from Zomby Woof’s solo.