Re-The Frank Zappa Movie

I think every American who’s been following the news lately, and even those who haven’t, should take the time to read the lyrics of Trouble Comin’ Every Day, from the Freak Out album.

This tune and these lyrics are what made me a Zappa fan early on.

R Lowenstein


I loved Zappa when I saw it at the Belcourt Theater last year, the same theater I saw Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words in 2016. I’ve been a fan since Phish turned me onto his music in the late 90s via their cover of “Peaches in Regalia.” ALL of my friends knew I was a Zappa head because the music stuck out to them with its distinct mix of serious compositions and Zappa’s lyrics written with his brand of irreverent humor. There are no musical artists like him in the 21st century that combine his artistic talent and willingness to speak his mind regardless if it jibes with mainstream public opinion.

Agreed that any and all music and counter-culture heads need to see this doc.

-Stu Walker


Thanks for the heads up on this.

There is a song on the 1966 Mothers Of Invention “Freak Out” LP titled “Trouble Every Day” that I’ve been listening to a lot lately for its biting lyrics and driving force.  It could have been written an hour ago, and it would still be more current as anything out there, yet, it’s 45 years old.  On the liner notes Frank says “ It was written during the Watts riots as it developed. I shopped it briefly all over Hollywood but no one would touch it…everybody worries so much about not getting any air play.  My, my.”

The lyrics are riveting and disheartening; we’ve come so far, but so little has changed.

Music only had one Frank Zappa, a contemporary madman well versed in all music, fierce and funny plus a hundred other adjectives.  I once represented him in a deposition; in the middle of a response to a question he looked at the opposing counsel and remarked, “Your tie reminds me of Red Norvo’s mallets”.  Brilliant.


Fred Ansis


We opened for the Mothers of Invention on two separate, short residences. Of course, it was great! The band was a truly cool collection of people, very approachable and totally into what they were doing.

At one point, Gail bought a six-month-old Moon Unit into the dressing room, and we all oohed and aahed over the cute kid. Didn’t think about it much until years later, when I was looking at MTV and she was…all grown up.Time flies.

Craig Anderton


As a doc filmmaker I was intensely jealous when I heard Alex Winter was on the Job.  And the film he made was not the film i would have made.  But I’m so glad he made it.  It’s not a bio pic by any stretch. And as you say it doesn’t even try to be comprehensive.
Think of We’re Only in it For the Money. There’s a gorgeous solo piano piece that you wish would go on forever when suddenly Suzie Creamcheese says “I don’t do publicity balling for you anymore”. A piano chord and then “The first word in this song is discorporate – it means to leave your body”.
There are fragments  and hints of this compositional beauty on every MOI LP through to One Size Fits All. Maybe beyond.  Frustrating because you wish they would go on forever. But then you realize that Frank had so much to say as an artist and composer, and somehow intuited that he was not going to have enough time to get it all out there.  This is what the structure and form of the Winter movie seems to be. Compelling stories and music, glued together with mini collages of Frank’s half realized musings. It was such an appropriate approach. Loved it. Still jealous.

Michael McNamara


So I’ve watched the movie: very good.  And saw him and the Mothers of Invention 3-4 times; can’t remember exactly, it was the 60s. The first time I saw them was my first time time attending a rock concert. I was 16 years old and the concert was at a local university in western NY where I lived.  They were joined by their special friends: Tom & Jerry (aka Simon & Garfunkel). Another time, saw them at the local symphony hall with another pair of special guests: the two singers from the Turtles.  Some of the most memorable times of my life. I support your recommendation.

William Hultman


The movie was great and educational.
I always get asked if I’m related
And I always say:
“No, but I am in the music business and I did get to meet Frank’s children Dweezil and Moon at a record release party for Extreme”
So thank you for the article,
and I also wanted to thank you for the article you did on my band Open Skyz and our album of the same name.
Gerard Zappa
(Valentine/ Open Skyz/ Steve Augeri Band )


Spot on!  This doc came out at almost the exact same time as the Bee Gees doc, and it provides an amazing juxtaposition to that piece of promotional garbage.  The Frank doc was open, honest and true to the artist’s vision.  The Bee Gees doc was overseen by Barry and, as such, was as vapid as most of their music.  Yet, everyone seemed to be praising the shit out of it.  There was little honesty and depth to it, it played more like a Hallmark movie than anything else.   Thanks for shining a light on the real deal; it is truly an inspiring film.

Iain Taylor


True, very much an impressionistic view of Zappa. I like how they didn’t get too caught up with Frank’s music, more about his motivation, and his scintillating intellect. I saw it at a cinema when it came out here in February. I was the only soul in the theatre.

My first big concert was Frank in Sydney in ’73, it was quite mind altering, I was 14. They don’t make ‘em like Frank anymore… Brendan

Brendan Gallagher


Great Piece Bob.  You’re so right – The greats don’t conform.
He was an iconoclast.  BTW, I guess I was one of the few WHO DID SEE IT on PPV last fall and absolutely loved it.

Best Always,



I was particularly moved by the notion that everything else, family and friends included, came second to him realizing the goal of witnessing others performing his compositions. Just to hear out loud what was in his head. And… that vault!!! Sweet Jesus!!! Be a little bit Frank if you’ve got it in ya.

Keep it up, Bob.

Terry Gottschalk


Indeed Zappa was one of a kind. A true original. He was my teenage idol and he continued to be my hero through all my life. He was true to himself and he never compromised.
A true musical genius. He had so much more to give us. I miss him every day.
I’m glad I was part of the kickstarter project. This project was the closest I could get to him. My name with many others was immortalized in his book and in the end credits of the documentary. Thank you Alex Winter for this great tribute featuring a true Master.
Jean Anfossi
Music For Productions


Glad for the head’s up about this being on Hulu. Tempted to rent it on a streaming service just to generate some income for the film makers.

Zappa had a run of brilliant records through the early 80s. After that, he had his moments, but Them or Us and You Are What You Is, to choose just two, lacked some of the inspiration that drove his great records before that. Brilliant musicianship, but the songs weren’t quite there. I liked the later symphonic stuff a lot, but I don’t know enough about that kind of music to judge if he was innovative there.

I’m a couple years younger than you and Zappa was in my pantheon of satirists who were truly heroic. He, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Richard Pryor–they offended people and made them think. They offended me sometimes. Boy, you sure don’t want to offend these days. That attitude will kill satire.

Joseph Taylor


The one and only time I got to see Zappa live in concert was in March of 1988.  A magical evening,  as he brought his satirical Broadway the Hard Way tour to Chicago’s palatial Auditorium Theatre. Zappa loved to skewer anything and everything musically. His target was the disgraced preacher Jimmy Swaggert. Using a medley of Beatles songs and his lyrics, Zappa proceeded to eviscerate the televangelist in song. Best surprise of all –  he mentioned meeting this guy at the Grammy’s – a Mr. Sting. Yes that Sting,

whom he brought onstage, and they played “Murder by Numbers,” a Police song. Even better, he tossed some Zeppelin and Allman Brothers into the mix. I took my wife, who is not the world’s biggest concert goer, and she still talks about that show.

Steve Leventhal

SRN Broadcasting


I was working for Bob Jones at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1969.  On Saturday, the main act, on at 8 PM, was Erroll Garner. I don’t know if you were there but they had music all day, starting at around noon, so…at noon on that Saturday, the Mothers went on.  I was watching from stage left and from the first note, I was transfixed.  I had heard their records but the records were NOTHING like the live show.  I think it was eleven guys (it was a long time ago) playing the most intricate, muscular, fantastic music I’d ever heard.  Nothing clever or edited like the LPs. I doubt either Bob or George Wein had heard them before booking them because I am certain they would have realized this was a primetime outfit.  They only got 45 minutes but the crowd went wild and all of us were left wanting WAY more.

That Zappa guy was somethin’.

Gregory Prestopino


Frank Zappa was the reason I became a full time musician. The way he controlled his art and viewed it as an ongoing work always resonated with me since I was twelve. And thus, forty years later (I’m 60 now) I’m still writing and recording, creating a vast catalog of interconnected music that few will ever hear. And I couldn’t care less. Through the digital outlets and what ever venues I will play in the future I believe my music will reach those it needs to reach. Though I’ve never conformed to any particular trend in the music world I never saw that as a big deal. I just do what comes naturally and the universe sort of takes care of the rest. And thanks to FZ, at least I don’t feel alone going down this solitary path. His presence still looms over me and guides me. As he would say: “Anything anytime anywhere for no reason at all.” Yup.

Thanks Bob for letting others know of this movie. Frank Zappa is inspirational in any generation.

Kindest regards,


How did you get into Frank Zappa? For me, it was an article in Hit Parader magazine. In the mid 1960s, when I was in junior high, Hit Parader was not what you expected from a magazine whose main feature was the printed lyrics of top 40 songs. Hit Parader had interviews with Pete Townshend (pre-Tommy, and pre-Sell Out), Otis Redding, Frank Zappa, and other artists whose only broadcasting outlet was on the fledgling FM radio stations that could no longer simulcast the programming of its AM counterparts. These so-called “underground” stations could play tracks and album sides that AM would never touch. Hit Parader and FM radio is how our fellow NYC junior high outcasts discovered “Freak Out” with its epic “Return of the Son of Monster Magnet”, the doo-wop satires, the background story behind “Trouble Coming Every Day”. We became fans forever. The rest of the early albums on Verve sealed the deal.

Stuart Taubel

M.C. Mentholyptus Productions


I’m 65 and discovered Zappa back in 1968….First purchase was ‘Weasels Ripped My Flesh’…saw him live 4 times and each time gained some insight of what the fu** was going on with me and the world..Today my copies of ‘Freak Out’, ‘Only In It’ ‘Lumpy Gravy’ etc. are among the ony material possessions I consider truly valuable, documents of who I am, what I believe…After Frank died, I never cried, back in the Fall after seeing Zappa, I cried like a fountain, delayed grieving is better than no grieving at all… Thanks the article, I’m with you all the way buddy, you nailed it! As I have often said/texted to a 32 year old friend of mine….”Think More Zappa, Less Kanye”…

All the best,

Chris O’Shea

Cascade, CO


First heard Zappa (other than Valley Girl) my first week in the dorm my freshman year in college. It lead me down a rabbit hole of discovery of so much other music. It seemed to be what Zappa intended through his writing and interpretation of many musical styles, the level of musicianship and general lack or fear or care of what others thought.

Neal Bookspan


Great perspective around the flick and the man.

I discovered Zappa at age 14 through “We’re Only In It For The Money,” as a child of boomers who discovered music through the lens of The Beatles. “Who was this freak who ripped off Sgt. Peppers?!“  – Little did I know what I was in for!

For folks who are intimidated by his seemingly endless catalogue and archive (as you noted- he created THAT MUCH) i’d suggest the album/concert film “Does Humor Belong In Music?” from the mid-1980s. It neatly encapsulates his expansive “brand” (Frank’s rolling in the grave at the sound of anyone referring to him as a brand) of genre-mutating, anti-iconoclast, hilarious yet virtuosic self-depracation.

Who knows what Frank would have to say had he lived through the culture-war political theatre nonsense permeating from the political and corporate media establishment?! Maybe we’d have some REAL influential influencers, not brand-whoring vanity-chasing money-grabbers. What would a Frank song ripping on influencers sound like?!? Good grief… we’ll never get that and we’ll see another human like Frank.

Now, on to Hulu!!

Dylan Muhlberg


Saw it in the theater last Fall and loved it…

My journey with Frank began as a pre-teen in Texas in the latter half of the 60’s. My brother told me about a new show that came on the am radio station at midnight…KONO Koncepts. I tuned in that night and the first song I heard on my little transistor radio was “Who are the Brain Police?”. Imagine being 10 and up late in a dark bedroom when someone sings

“What will you do when the label comes off,

And the plastic’s all melted,

And the chrome is too soft?”

It blew my mind and we bought the compilation “Mothermania” not too long afterward and played the shit out of it…it’s a very heavy record with a good deal of juvenile humor mixed in.

I got to see him perform twice in later years and he didn’t disappoint.

I implore everyone to list to “Trouble Every Day”…it could have been written yesterday and needs to be heard today.

“You know something people

I’m not Black

But there’s a whole lots a times

I wish I could say I’m not white”

Too true

Bill Lambrecht


As soon as this came out my wife and I paid to stream it. And it is a fantastic document of the times.

High School in New Rochelle NY ’67-69 was all “Susie Creamcheese” and “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” for my misfit friends and I.

So we would go off to the city, hang out in the Village, and 3 or 4 times we caught The Mothers at The Garrick Theater.

The audience would straggle in at night, and then at some time or other the band would gather on the stage, and then launch into the MOST amazing music, everything from Frank’s doo-wop songs to half hour free jams to “The Planets” by Holst. It was performance theater at its finest, it seemed often like total chaos but you knew that Zappa was in control the whole time, and you went along for the ride.

IN 1976 I moved to Los Angeles, and continued to follow Zappa’s career. A few of my musician friends rotated through Frank’s bands, every one of them saying it was the most challenging music they ever had to play or memorize.

Yes, there are some albatross items in the catalog (1000 Motels, anyome?) but there is so much brilliance there.

George Kahn


We need a big dose of Frank right now! Someone who can provoke, challenge and make fun of us at the same time. Can you imagine what he would of made of the Trump phenomenon, as well as the feckless opposition? He would have wrapped it up in  amazing music and arrangements. It sure would be great to chew on that.
His music has provided me with endless enjoyment. Had he lived, I suspect he would have been unable to resist commenting on our current societal absurdities. I think he went down a rabbit hole with his Synclavier compositions toward the end of his life, but would have come back in a big way to set us straight if he could have seen where we’re at now. The film is a great overview of his life and work and will hopefully inspire our “next” Zappa, if we should be so lucky.
Kyle Peterson


Hi Bob! The Vietnam War ended in 1975, but in the middle of one night, in 1973, a rumor went around Boulder’s University of Colorado campus that the war had ended. People were outside dancing, shouting, and celebrating. I put my stereo speakers up to my dorm room window, turned up my Marantz amplifier to maximum, and blasted Frank Zappa’s “My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama” for all to hear. It somehow expressed the feeling. Not necessarily in the words. But sort of. (Great instrumentals in the middle of that one too.)


There was also a great small club in Boulder called Tulagi, where, that same year, I saw Bonnie Raitt, Randy Newman, Muddy Waters. I went to the bathroom during one of the shows, and in the urinal next to me was Mothers of Invention drummer Jimmy Carl Black (“The Indian of the Group,” as he called himself). He was quite drunk but communicative. “Some people say fuckin’ is better than pissin’,” he said. “But I don’t know. . . .”


I don’t know if you were the only man left on shore after the sixties, but I look forward to the documentary.


–jeffrey ainis


Thanks for the tip on the Zappa movie. Frank was the first rock star I ever met. My friend Tom Smith and I were working at a Top 40 station in Flint, Michigan in 1974 and Zappa and The Mothers were in town for a show. Frank’s incredible live album “Roxy And Elsewhere” had just been released. Against all logic, Tom had been assigned to do an interview with Frank that night after the show. He was justifiably nervous and borderline terrified at the prospect and begged me to accompany him to the interview. We attended the soundcheck and the show which was basically a 90-minute non-stop virtuoso performance. The band was incredibly tight and Frank commanded the stage from start to finish. After the show, we were escorted backstage where we greeted Frank who was reclined in a chair eating blueberry pie from a plastic cup. It only took a couple questions from Tom to signal Frank that Tom knew little about his career or his music. The whole episode was awkward and painful to watch as Frank’s patience steadily wore thin. I kept my mouth shut and suffered along with my pal. After Tom fumbled through his last question, Frank made a point that connected with me and I innocently commented, “I know what you mean.” There was a deathly pause as Frank turned to me, affixed a cold stare and said with most condescending tone I’ve ever felt, “You couldn’t possibly know what I mean.” With the smite completed, he polished off the cup of blueberry pie as we said goodnight, thankful to get out of there alive. Twenty years later, Dweezil Zappa was visiting my station (WLUP/Chicago) for an interview and I shared the story with him. He laughed out loud and said, “Yeah, that sounds like my dad. He loved doing that.”

Dave Logan


I went to Berklee in 2004 after being a high school rock star. Well, more like a high school member of The Wrecking Crew. Anytime there was music to be made, I was there with my bass. But I was influenced by jam bands that were popular where I grew up around the ski hills in the Poconos and stuff on the radio. It wasn’t 2 months after moving to Boston that I got tipped off to Zappa. It changed my life. Literally every $15 I acquired for maybe a year went to buying a new FZ record until six had them all. Maybe the only other thing that educated me as deeply was listening to Prince rehearsal tapes, hearing him build shit until it was great…much like Frank rehearsals!

In 2008, I hosted the first show on the Berklee radio station that was broadcast from the incredible studio complex they built after, essentially, a closet. The feeling was that it was a new era for the station…the next evolution. I got to hit the button when we switched signals to the new room, and the first thing I played was “My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama”. I couldn’t think of anything better to plant a flag in the ground. Billy Bob Thornton once said that Zappa’s guitar playing came at you like razor blades. It sure fucking does, and that’s what I wanted to put out there.

I did it for like 5 years. I’m a junkie for all the genres, but Zappa is just special. I always kept him, at the very least, in the sidecar. Then I moved to Nashville and started playing. I still buy every new Zappa release, but it’s not a passion. This is where you come in, Bob: I trained, I took his musical, philosophical, and social lessons and moved into my adult life. You’ll never REALLY notice it in me playing or producing Nashville stuff, but everything I do is informed in some way by Frank.

FZ hated a lot of aural entertainment out there, but he’s always been right when he said, “Music is the best!” Damn right it is.

Matt O’Donnell


I think a lot of people “had a Zappa period” when you found out about his music and dove in and listened to nothing but for months on end. i know i did, and you’re right.

the movie reminded me that Frank changed me. He inspired something inside of me that i think is inside all of us.

He inspired me to be free.

Did i start an avant garde, free jazz band? nope. i like Cheap Trick too much. I ended up wanting to be  the Replacements or Guided By Voices.

Would Frank have cared that i like power pop? i doubt it.

Would he care to know he gave me the gift of freedom? I hope so.

i think the high point of this story is Frank standing up for all of our freedoms to say what we want. He fought for free speech and nobody has since.

It’s a stark contrast to watching Zuckerberg testify. The opposite of someone fighting for Our free speech.

The hope of the internet was the freedom Frank fought for, i think.

i wonder if Frank would have fought Twitter shutting down Trump. I kind of think so.

Would Barking Pumpkin and that amazing claymation be at the forefront of NFTs and cryptocurrency? I’d like to think so.

i’m not saying i would vote for Trump and invest in Bitcoin. my IQ is higher than that 🙂

i played drums and bought a bunch of tour buses so i could stay free. I bitch about social media fucking everything up and i don’t trust governments.

I think things are basically spiritual, which i don’t think Frank could see. You pointed out that the film didn’t show “how he learned to write music” Maybe he didn’t “learn” Maybe he just knew. Maybe it’s spiritual and he was reincarnated, Bach or Tesla or Rockefeller. I think YOU miss those points in YOUR columns all the time Bob.

and i still love you. i don’t care who you vote for. i don’t care if i don’t agree with you. i care that you feel free enough to say what you think.
I’m sure we all have Frank to thank for that.

ian lee. a guy with some tour buses


I so appreciate your review of the Frank Zappa documentary.

I was 8 and over at a friend’s house and we were goofing off hanging out and doing something that bothered his older brother and he came in and shoved Freak Out in my hands and said “Listen you little shit you don’t know nothing now go home and listen to this record.”  I did.

Frank’s take on racism/relations from when, 1965?, ‘Trouble Every Day, is still as relevant as ever, 50+ years later.

It’s a few months later and I see an ad for the Mother’s Fan Club, United Mutations, in the back of my Marvel comic and I send it away.

I get a questionnaire with this wonderful packet and I fill it out and, on the back, write him a fairly lengthy letter. I think I was bitching about my parents. Frank actually writes back. Sadly, that letter is gone into the ethers but I remember well what he said which was, ” Look kid I’m not Ann Landers, don’t bitch to me, go to the library and educate yourself.”

They say when the student is ready the teacher will appear.  I actually took him at his word and began to do just that and have been doing it ever since. Frank’s influence on my life was massive and you captured it well.

He also said something along the lines of “Drugs are stupid” that I didn’t listen to.  I needed to find some pain.

Eventually recovery set me on the path to understand, grow, amend and leave my regrets behind.

Alex Winter rocks. He’s a leading documentarian and I recommend his take on ‘The Panama Papers’.


Jimmy Cioe


The Frank Zappa documentary is one of the very best and most moving films I’ve ever seen.  I spent $6.99 to watch it and would have spent $100.00.  It’s that good, that compelling, and that important.


Unless you are an avid fan, you probably don’t know that much about Frank Zappa.  I know I didn’t.  To me Frank was this far out guy who played quirky music with alluring lyrics that made you think.  I never listened that much to his albums but admired and had the utmost respect for what he did.  He was the thinking man’s rock artist.


But it turns out he was so much more than that.  He was a brilliant composer reimagining how music might be created, and beyond all The Mothers of Invention music, he also wrote a copious amount of some of the most amazing pieces written for a 36-piece orchestra.


In the beginning, the music Frank and The Mothers of Invention did was so unconventional they couldn’t get a foothold in Southern California.  People there seemed to only want to hear the familiar sounds, musical styles, and types of songs they were used to.  Moving to New York, they found an audience with more open minds, while playing a residency at the Garick Theater.  In 1967, doing a show there almost every night, Frank and The Mothers were able to work on their craft, try new stuff out, and really perfect their art.  I’m thinking that’s the reason why I may not have been properly introduced to The Mothers’ music, and Frank’s aesthetic.  Growing up in L.A., they simply weren’t around for me to see them.  Frank and the band happened in New York, where friends of mine today tell me they used to go see The Mothers of Invention all the time.

I was lucky enough to meet Frank in the early 70’s and hear some of his experimental electronic music.  One of my buddies, a disc jockey named Martin Perlich, had an interview show on KMET-FM in Los Angeles called “Electric Tongue.”  One day he told me he was going up to Frank’s house to interview him and asked if I wanted to come along.  I was very intrigued and, of course, said yes.


Frank lived with his family, wife Gail and two children at the time, daughter Moon Unit and son Dweezil.  Frank answered the door to his now legendary house, by himself—no manager, no assistants.  He invited us in and immediately my mind was blown.  All of the walls were painted a deep purple and the thick wall-to-wall carpet was a shocking bright orange–you felt like you were inside an impressionist painting.   Over the fireplace was a huge mural of a ’59 Chevy with flames coming out of side exhaust pipes.


We sat down in the living room and Martin put his small tape recorder on the coffee table between a couch and a couple of chairs to do the interview.  I did not know at the time how much Zappa had been influenced by classical music and composers.  And Zappa didn’t know that my friend Martin, aside from being an FM rock DJ, was well steeped in classical music and could go toe to toe with him on the subject.


And toe to toe they went, until Frank said, “You’re getting into some deep stuff right there unless you want to get into a big philosophical discussion.”  “I do,” pressed Martin.  “For a teenage radio station…you kiddin’ me?”  Martin, forged onward, “I’ll kid you.”


Martin could be very intense, and so could Zappa.  They started to talk about deep classical music philosophies and composers and before long had a big disagreement about one of them.  That disagreement got heated and turned into a bull-blown argument resulting in loud voices as they began to talk over one another.


I’d never seen anything like it.  Usually, DJ’s tread lightly around rock stars, not wanting to rock the boat.  These guys were now yelling at each other, and over a classical composer!


It was getting close to noon and I was getting hungry.  On the coffee table there was a plate of chocolate chip cookies under a glass dome.  Losing my willpower, I interrupted the argument.  “Hey guys, sorry to interrupt, but Frank…could I have a cookie?”  Turning towards me, still in a rage, he yelled, “YES, you can have a fucking cookie!!”  Then he went back to arguing with Martin.


Eventually, they both calmed down and had quite a productive interview.  Towards the end things got much more lighthearted when the kids ran into the room.  Zappa gave them big hugs and it was nice to see some normalcy in what appeared to be a very weird household.  Of course, normal only lasted a few seconds until he called them by their names.


Frank, now in a much more lighthearted mood asked us if we wanted to hear the latest music piece he’d been working on.  Thrilled, we followed him down the stairs to the basement (on the way, I was able to snatch a second much-needed cookie).  The Zappa house had a pretty large basement where Frank had some recording equipment and shelves of recorded tapes.  What he played us that day was one of the most amazing pieces of music I’ve ever heard.


Frank had put contact microphones on every instrument of a 36-piece orchestra.  So, when you heard that instrument, you only heard the electronic tactile sound it made without all the usual overtones that you hear from violins, woodwinds, etc. Hearing all these different odd electronic sounds in the context of a classical music piece was indescribable.  In fact, it was music like his hero, French composer Edgard Varese had described, music being like a mass of organized sounds or noises.  The only thing I could think of was that it sounded like “ant music”—like watching the hustle bustle of ants going in and out of their anthill home but organized, each with a purpose.  Just incredible.


We had easily spent half a day with Frank and I felt like I’d fallen down Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole—engulfed by the weirdest surroundings, meeting weird characters, and listening to some of the most far-out music I’d ever heard.


When we walked out the front door our eyes had to adjust to the light, and also to the normalcy of the outside world—tress, the sky, cars going by.  We had been visiting a completely other universe.

There is so much to learn watching this documentary–it’s a MUST SEE for any music person, Zappa fan or not.  I don’t think I’ve been more moved by any other rock dock.

PS. If you are interested, the Martin Perlich interview is available on YouTube—sans argument and me asking for a cookie.


Paul Rappaport


Bob..  Thank you soooooo much for your epic review of Zappa. Made me so emotional. Made me cry.

You rock.


Ahmet Zappa

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