Here’s a nice – and long – article about and by graphic designer Dave McMacken, from Rock Pop Gallery (april 2010) – the following is a small part of the text:
That night I listened to a truly bizarre take of the scene that Zappa imagined. In fantastic detail, he proceeded to tell me the story of Over-Nite Sensation and that the cover painting was to be done in a formal, realistic “Dutch Master” style, with the objects in the painting to be portrayed as visual elements from the story. (…)
I took tight notes during this session – I wasn’t given a written assignment or description – and worked on this painting for 2 months, meeting many times with Frank to discuss the work in progress. I started with a pencil and it evolved as we went along, with Frank adding more as “more was always better”- it is really cool when the musical act is also the Art Director and owns the production company! (…)
When I was done with the project and my clients were happy, I looked back on the time I’d spent with everyone associated with Frank Zappa and realized that the experience would have a colossal effect on my work going forward. It indeed has lasted all of my life – I worked for Frank Zappa – there’s no need to say anything more.
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.)
While in Stockholm, Sweden on December 4th, 1971 during a short European tour, Frank Zappa and The Mothers appeared on the Swedish TV show entitled “Spotlight“. The 34 minute broadcast had interviews with Zappa mingled with music clips from 200 Motels [“This Won’t Take Long”, “The Final Solution”, “Centerville”] and included performances of “The Air”, “Dog Breath”, “Mother People”, “You Didn’t Try To Call Me”, “King Kong”, and “Who Are The Brain Police?” from Palais Gaumont, Paris, France on December 15th, 1970. Continue reading “Spotlight, Swedish TV, 1971”
Released on DVD for the first time, by original director Tony Palmer, is this flawed masterpiece of circa 1970 Frank Zappa craziness. Obviously shot in a very short time on a very low budget, some of this drags, but some of it is really funny and/or spot-on; I still see the ‘re-education camp for musicians’ sequence in my dreams