Zappa On HollandDoc — Not

Remember this? Well, I just received a press-release from the Dutch TV-channel VPRO, stating (roughly translated):

Gail Zappa, widow of Frank Zappa, does not allow Holland Doc to broadcast the 2-part documentary “Frank Zappa – A pioneer of the future of music” by Frank Scheffer. (…) Instead of the aforementioned film, Holland Doc will now broadcast “In The Ocean”, another film by Scheffer, in which Frank Zappa plays a prominent role. Apart from Zappa, this film from 2001 brings together such composers as Steve Reich, Brian Eno, Philip Glass and Louis Andriessen in an attempt to portray the complexity in contemporary music of the past 35 years.

I think I’ll need a new category here, called “Zappa NO Audio/Video”.

Update 04/21: It appears Scheffer’s newest documentary (mentioned above) will be shown on “regular” TV; but not on the digital channel that is Holland Doc. The reason being that the 7 year old contract between the ZFT and Scheffer does not take in account distribution via digital channels. Via Marco.

31 thoughts on “Zappa On HollandDoc — Not”

  1. Yes, that’s right. You heard right. WE ARE ASSHOLES! So, stomp, already! (and don’t forget to drop by and buy)

  2. That second programme ( the one which will be broadcasted ) looks more interesting than the other one.

    Don’t kill me now, KillUglyRadio.

  3. This documentary was available on youtube yesterday. I found its focus was less musical and concentrated largely on Frank’s oft visited childhood anecdotes and ‘alternative’ lifestyle.

  4. Guess we still have to wait on Gail’s leaving this planet?
    What a huge amount of material will be then released then:)

  5. After viewing said documentary on youtube, I can see why Gail didn’t want it broadcast. At 28:58 Frank talks about being occupied and entertained by groupies while on the road and coming home to Gail with the Clap, upon which she “grumbles” for a couple of weeks while they both take penicillin.

  6. Can someone post a link to the youtube version of this documentary? Couldn’t find it there — and I’m not so sure it ever was there. I suspect you guys are talking about “FZ – The Present Day Composer Refuses to Die” (which is available)?

  7. I believe that link doesn’t lead to a Frank Scheffer documentary but to a Roelof Kiers one that was on german tv (we’ve seen this one Barry).
    However, i can’t find “Frank Zappa – A pioneer of the future of music” listed or mentioned in any place. Would this be the “third film” referred to in wikipedia:

    “Scheffer is also working on several in depth films on specific composers — The Present Day Composer Refuses to Die on Frank Zappa, in cooperation with the Zappa Family Trust (2000, featuring The Mothers of Invention, Pierre Boulez and Ensemble Modern), and the 90-minute Zappa feature Phaze II, The Big Note (2002), to be followed by a third film which will complete his Zappa trilogy.”

    Dazed and confused…

  8. Yeah, it’s me again. Apparently this would be the official list that would replace Scheffer’s “Frank Zappa – A pioneer of the future of music”. So Gail wouldn’t have a problem neither with the one posted in youtube nor with “The present-day composer refuses to die” and “In the Ocean”, the first two of the trilogy since they are listed as the ones they are going to broadcast.
    What’s the problem with “Frank Zappa – A pioneer of the future of music” then?

  9. “frunobulax Says:

    April 20th, 2007 at 9:15 am
    fuck gail”

    got penicillin??? if so, give us a call (and don’t forget your credit card)

  10. Ok, from the (paper) VPRO guide which discusses the Zappa programs:
    “His (Scheffers) new 2 films (“Frank Zappa: A Pioneer Of The Future of Music 1 + 2”) can be seen as an adaptation of especially “The Present Day Composer Refuses To Die”. The new films also use material from the Rudolf Kiers documentary form 1970″. (which can be seen on Youtube).

    Well, I previously saw both Scheffer’s films “The Present Day Composer Refuses To Die” and “Phase II, The Big Note”. They are wonderfull. So, it’s a big pity the new ones are not aired. BUT: these new ones could be seen in a preview organised by the VPRO in Amsterdam, a short time ago, in a movie theatre. I wasn’t able to attend this preview, maybe someone else in Holland did???????

  11. “At 28:58 …”

    Ee-yowch! Y’know something? FRANKLY … I wouldn’t want all that personal dreck about a dead spouse suddenly being purveyed as entertainment EITHER, especially considering it has sweet Fanny Adams to do with his MUSIC.

    Folks’ need for yet another novelty can quickly strip them of their better judgement … & now I speak of me & thee.

    “KNIRPS for Moisture!”

  12. Be assured. The Frank Scheffer documentaries have only one subject: Music, Music, Music, Music, Music, Music, Music, and, some mo Music.

    So, get ready and watch…….

  13. Corné: I think you’ve got things mixed up a bit. Scheffer’s newest documentary, “Frank Zappa – A pioneer of the future of music”, is not scheduled to appear on vpro, due to Gail’s intervention. The program, as it is currently listed at the page you link to has:

    – “Zappa” – Roelof Kiers (’71)
    – “Frank Zappa filmt 200 motels” – Roelof Kiers (’71)
    – “The present-day composer refuses to die” – Scheffer (2000) <-- this one is available on YouTube - "Wonderland" - Charles Leeuwenkamp ('76); all about Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan - "In the Ocean" - Scheffer (2001) <-- this is the replacement for “Frank Zappa - A pioneer of the future of music” which GZ veto'ed.

  14. Hi Barry, I hope you’re wrong. The page that link links to, is the webpage of Holland.doc, which is a web-only medium. It is hosted by the VPRO, which also broadcasts through ‘regular’ TV.

    Those broadcasts, of “Frank Zappa – A pioneer of the future of music”, parts 1 + 2, are still scheduled for april 22nd and 27th, on ‘Nederland 2, 19.00 local time’. The other programs are only shown on the web (although most of these were shown on VPRO Television before).

    Again, I hope you’re wrong……..

  15. Translation of the advert:
    Frank Zappa
    A pioneer of the future of music
    (not available online)

    Film in two parts by Frank Scheffer about Frank Zappa (1940-1993), not only one of the most exceptional rock-artists, but also one of the most unique composers of the 20th century. The documentary is a tribute to a self-willed genious; to the man who – as an intangible critic – observed the (American) society for decades with sarcasm and ingenious wit.

    “If you deviate from the norm, it might lead to progression”
    Frank Zappa

    A Pioneer of the future of Music Part 1 & II exists of archived material and interviews with people who worked very close to Zappa and have been inspired by him. This material to a large extent is derived from the Vault, the massive – for a large part still unrevealed archive, in which everything which Zappa has ever recorded is stored: performances, studio-recordings, experiments, family-events, meetings, movies, and everything else he was interested in.
    Also in this documentary are parts of former Frank Scheffer films and the 1971 Roelof Kiers VPRO film about – and in collaboration with – Frank Zappa.

    Part I is a renewed acquaintance with FZ, his music, the seventies, era of performances of Freaks, flower children…
    Interviews with Gail Zappa and famous Mothers of Invention: George Duke, Ian Underwood, Mark Volman and Bruce Fowler.

    Part II focuses on the influences of Frank Zappa on the music industry. Musicians like Steve Vai, Terry Bozzio and Napoleon Murphy Brock talk about their collaboration with Zappa. Frank Zappa’s compositions today are being performed in concerthalls. Not just by the Ensemble Contemporain, but also by the Teheran Symphony Orchestra from Iran. Both are to be seen in the documentary, as well as Dweezil Zappa, who performs today with his father’s material.

    A documentary from Frank Scheffer.


  16. God, that was really beautifull….

    Differences compared to the previous FS films:

    – GTO’s dancing onstage with MOI
    – Petit Wazoo orchestra footage
    – FZ walking in a difficult way as a result of the UK orchestra pit fall.
    and probably some other stuff…..

  17. Well, a lot of it was familiar. Basically it was two old documentaries thrown together. About the new stuff:
    FZ’s Big Limp was shocking to see.
    Unfortunately the Petit Wazoo orchestra footage had Big Swifty straight from the record as sound track, so no new musical experience there.
    I’ll be on holidays next week (in Antwerpen, Belgium no less) but I’ll tape it and hope for more new goodies in part 2.

  18. Here’s a message from another Dutch fan, who also watched “Pioneer Pt1” last Sunday (and taped it). I thought it was great, but I would have to agree that Scheffer used quite some material from his earlier documentary “The Present-Day Composer Refuses To Die”. However, here’s a list of the things that I thought were new:

    – Interview with Denny Walley (BTW, I didn’t know he was one of Zappa’s high school friends), including a tour through Zappa’s adolescent neighbourhood, and Walley singing Suicide Chump in the desert.
    – Footage (on- and off-stage) of the GRAND Wazoo orchestra (no accompying sound though). Yes, it’s the Grand one, ’cause Ruthie wasn’t part of the Petit; and the song you heard was also called The Grand Wazoo (studio version indeed). I didn’t notice The Limp though, but maybe I should go back and watch more carefully for it.
    – GTO dancing with MOI, and new interviews with Miss Pamela and Miss Mercy.
    – Special effects: more than in “Present-Day Composer…” Scheffer made extensive use of cinematographic tricks with color and lighting (usually with Synclavier music in the background), in order to give the film a kind of Zappa-esque flavor.

    I didn’t see “Phase Two: The Big Note”, so I don’t know which material was in fact previously unreleased, but maybe other people who have seen both will be able to clarify.

  19. The Denny Walley footage was indeed released in “Phase Two: The Big Note”, but without the Halloween “Suicide chump” DVD parts. In fact, in Th Big Note you could hear DW actually sing and play in the desert, instead of having the Halloween DVD sound playing over the desert sound. Great stuff, and I think it was apparent that Denny was really moved.

    Indeed, Grand Wazoo instead of Petit Wazoo, thanks.

  20. Back from Belgium (and lot of Beligian Beers) just saw part two.
    Now that was The Real Stuff: Piquantique live in colour; more of the 70’s concert that wasn’t on The Dub Room Sprecial, ZPZ: new stuff all over the place. Great entertainment.
    (Now I hope someone with more Internet skills than I have will point me to the whole Helsinki concert thay is featured on the Piquantique bootleg).

Comments are closed.