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New Zappa Doc

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Pasta Player, Nov 27, 2020.

  1. Pasta Player

    Pasta Player Tele-Meister

    Feb 5, 2019
    Middle America
    I know, it's Black Friday... and while I've plenty of other projects to do (and I am not shopping) I did just watch the new Zappa Doc streaming on VUDU for $6.99! Two hours+ well spent for this Zappa-phile. Enjoy!

    Available elsewhere too.;)
    Digital Larry and PhredE like this.
  2. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

    Nov 14, 2010
    Santa Barbara
    I loze Zappa, especially in his big-band era ("The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life") where the musicality was both incredible and accessible. I really wonder who his listners are now, given the decline of rock, pop, and experimental music into formulaic dreck, and the anti-originality that pervades the listening public. Jeez, I wish he had had a longer life.
    ce24, Digital Larry and PhredE like this.
  3. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's

    May 30, 2017
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I watched the ZAPPA movie last night. I'd seen probably 75% of the material - it's practically all on YouTube by now. The interview segments with Ruth Underwood are what I found most touching. There's no doubt that she and Frank had an incredible musical chemistry. I've read other interviews where she also said, "he was writing music specifically for ME to play." You can really hear it. The tuned percussion use prior to 1973 was nowhere near as adventurous. Ed Mann, who followed Ruth and played with Frank off and on until 1988, is also really good, but I don't think he was as groundbreaking as Ruth, even though Ruth never (?) took a solo.

    I started listening to Frank in 1974. At that time, me being 14, certainly some of the appeal was the raunchy side of things (Dyna-Moe Humm, Dirty Love), or crude social commentary (I'm the Slime), or ridiculous (Montana). It was a perfect LP for 14 year old me to hear. It was NOT "oh baby I love you". The other things that grabbed me from the Overnite Sensation LP were:
    a) George Duke on keyboards. Had never heard of him. Holy ***!
    b) The horn section, like on Zombie Woof. I REALLY never heard a sound like that before.
    c) The guitar playing - earthy, insistent, evolving. At times funky, aggressive, out of control.
    d) Marimbas and xylophones in rock music? And not playing circus music parts.
    e) The complex arrangements and incredibly virtuosic ensemble parts (the whole "I'm plucking the old dennil floss..." part still blows my mind).
    f) Background vocals. I only learned way later that some of it was done by Tina Turner and a couple of the Ikettes. I read an interview with her (I think) where she played some of the stuff she was doing for Frank to Ike, who responded, "what is that ****?"
    g) Fifty-fifty. Talk about setting the controls for the heart of the sun and flooring it!
  4. lupowitz

    lupowitz Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 31, 2007
    I saw it yesterday.
    It's always great, indulging yourself anything Zappa-related, but I didn't find it particularly good. I'm a fan, so most of the info bore nothing new to me, and I'm with Larry, that the most touching part was the Ruth Underwood segment. Bits of the same interview with her emerged after Frank's death, but not this part of the footage.
    To me, the highlight also came from her: When she played Black Page, on a piano.

    I think too much emphasis was on the '60 crazy stuff, and we only saw glimpses of his most musical era, the '70s, in which he leaded one fantastic banc after another (the roxy band with Duke, Thompson and Brock, the sheik band with O'hearn, Bozzio and Belew, and then the Tinseltown band with Barrow, Collaiuta, and then the '81 Palladium ban that's core members stayed with him till the last tour Willis, Wackerman, Thunes.
    But to an untrained set of ears-eyes as my stepdauther's, it was informative.
    I'will dig up better ones for her from my Vault, mainly The Dub room special that is divided between a Roxy and the Halloween band equally with a good dose of Brickmann claymation thrown in for good measure, and the the Rudy 'Cadillac' Dolezal movies, 20 Jahre extravaganza, and its polished, up-to-date version Das genie Frank Zappa he made current after his death. Dolezal was real close to him, and was allowed to film and interview even when nobody else was. And he clearly was a fan too, so lots of relevant footage and info can be found in those movies.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
  5. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Oct 11, 2006
    Greater Boston
    Thanks for posting. Saw Zappa, the Mothers and Suzie Creamcheeze back in the 70s.
  6. saltyseadog

    saltyseadog Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Apr 24, 2010
    Hartlepool, England
    The most succinct thing said in the whole movie was that if Frank had wanted to write hit songs he could have done it as easy as pie but he was the complete antithesis of the "pop" industry. He was a true revolutionary who went his own way, making music, film and graphic art for his own enjoyment and if others liked it well that was okay too and he would make sure they'd get a copy.
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