200 Motels - Dental Hygiene Edit Version 4

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Re: 200 Motels - The Dental Hygiene Edit

Postby Champniss » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:28 pm

Dug out an old unfinished webpage in which I attempted to create a proper 'chronology' of the making of the film, based on all the information currently available. The article was split into three main sections - 'pre-production', 'production', and 'post-production'.

You've read a bit of the 'production' stuff in that Zappateers post. Here's a big chunk of the 'pre-production' stuff, illustrating how the project took shape throughout 1970. Some of the facts here may conflict with others, but I never got round to a full 'edit' of the page...

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Saturday, October 25 1969

Melody Maker publishes an interview conducted over the phone with Zappa in which he talks about the Mothers' demise and current plans.

I expressed a sincere hope that the end of the Mothers would not mean the end of Frank's compositions, and he replied: "Well I've booked the Albert Hall for a concert on April 25 next year. It'll be an orchestra playing my compositions, which will be the first time this has happened."

No more cruising past the hamburger stands, digging the music of Ruben and the Jets, but . . the Mothers are dead: long live Frank Zappa!


The Mothers Are Dead, But Zappa's Still Very Much Alive
By Richard Williams, Melody Maker, October 25, 1969


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Saturday, April 11 1970

Melody Maker reports that the organisers of the Isle of White festival have approached Zappa to appear on the bill, either with a reformed Mothers of Invention or with the Hot Rats line-up (neither will occur at the Isle of White festival however).

The article does however mention that Zappa plans to reform the Mothers for two gigs - one at the Fillmore East on May 6, the other at the University of California, Los Angeles on May 15, the latter with a 100-piece orchestra, performing a ballet called '"200 Motels," described as a "love triangle involving a boy, a girl and an industrial vacuum cleaner."'

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May 1970

After a chance remark concerning the lack of good facilities to perform modern orchestral music, an aquaintance arranges a meeting with Zubin Mehta. This leads to a concert at the UCLA featuring an asembly of the Mothers and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

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Friday, May 15 1970

Music: Hit It, Zubin

"Most rock groups could not do this sort of thing because they cannot read music," said Zubin Mehta confidently. "Frank Zappa, on the other hand, is one of the few rock musicians who knows my language." As conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mehta is known not only for his willingness to step in where many Angelenos fear to tread but for his ability to get away with it musically. In the peerless leader of the Mothers of Invention (TIME, Oct. 31), however, Mehta was taking on a man whose main goal in life seems to be to zap the musical establishment.

The odd musical conjunction of the two men also involved 104 stunned members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic gathered for the world premiere of Zappa's 200 Motels, written for the Mothers and orchestra. What the concert, held before 11,000 rock fans at the U.C.L.A. basketball arena, mainly proved is that any marriage between rock and the classics is likely to be stormy indeed. As the Mothers' Bassist Jeff ("Swoovette") Simmons said tolerantly of the orchestra: "Those dudes are really out of it, man. It's like working with people from another planet."

There were times when the orchestra players felt the same way about Zappa. and his matriarchy. Attired in pony tail and yellow-striped pants, Zappa started things off himself: "All right, Zubin, hit it." That was a bit brazen and did not go over too well with the violins, who outnumber everybody else and use their weight to preserve a little decorum now and then. Nonetheless, when Zubin hit it, they hit it too. When the rest of the orchestra said "Bleep," the violins joined in. When they were required to do fey finger snaps over their heads, they complied. When asked to belch, literally, they drew the line and said "Blurp." When Percussionist William Kraft, dutifully following the score, fired a popgun, they played on unblinking. Meanwhile, platformed six feet above the orchestra, the Mothers were lullabying away at some of their "greatest hits," like Lumpy Gravy, Duke of Prunes and Who Needs the Peace Corps. Then, everyone in the orchestra suddenly screamed, one final frightening chord was heard, and with a giant blurp 200 Motels closed down for the night.

No complaints, however, were heard from the Philharmonic management, clearly overjoyed to have got its players into the same hall with that many young people and brought $33,000 into the box office. As for Mehta, if he did not have the last laugh, he at least had the last lash: despite Zappa's protests, he cut out the entire second part of 200 Motels. Just as well. Part 2 calls for a chorus to blow bubbles through straws and the soprano soloist to sing "Munchkins get me hot."


Music: Hit It, Zubin (author unknown)
Time, Jun 1 1970


UCLA '200 Motels' concert with Zubin Mehta and the LA Philharmonic. Zappa meets Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan after the gig and invites them to a barbecue at Chez Zappa on Sunday.

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Sunday, May 17 1970

The Zappa barbecue. Zappa holds a semi-audition for Volman and Kaylan. After a false start with some saxophones, Zappa invites them to join the band.

"He put up these music stands with this sheet music and he said, 'Well, can you guys play this?' Howard could read a little, but I couldn't read at all, and we both kind of looked at it. Howard honked around a few lines and I just stood there smiling, and I think Frank realized almost immediately that the sax concept was a waste of time."

But he also knew the pair could sing, so he folded away the music stands, played some notes on his guitar, "and asked us to do some musical things and muck around. Then he said, 'I'm going to England and Europe. We're doing seven concerts including a TV show [for Dutch television]. Would you guys like to come? I'll pay you as members of the band.'" Of course they agreed.

Frank Zappa: The controversy and touring hell of 1970-71
By Dave Thompson, Goldmine, November 29, 2002


The article in the 200 Motels CD booklet tells a similar story, suggesting that the tour began ten days after the barbecue, but quotes Zappa as saying "shortly after that we'll be making a movie", which may either be a bit of cosy biographical license or an actual confusion between the planned Dutch TV show (a straight gig) and the 200 Motels project.

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Saturday, May 16 1970

Bath Festival promoter Frederick Bannister books Zappa and the Mothers to appear at this year's event. The following Saturday, Melody Maker reports on the booking, adding that he's "he's bringing some of the original Mothers over with him".

"Mothers coming with Zappa are Motorhead Sherwood (saxes), Ian Underwood (saxes and keyboards), Don Preston (keyboards) and Ray Collins (vocals). Completing Zappa's outfit is another new musician named Scalas."

Obviously this info revealed was prior to Volman and Kaylan joining the group. From the above list of names, only Ian Underwood would be part of the first incarnation of the reformed Mothers. It isn't known who 'Scalas' is, if indeed he was anyone at all.

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June 12 1970

The tour commences with the newest line-up of the Mothers, consisting of Zappa, previous band-member Ian Underwood on keyboards and sax, Aynsley Dunbar on drums, George Duke on keyboards and trombone, Jeff Simmons on bass and vocals, and of course Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan on vocals. Often referred to as the 'Vaudeville' line-up (and sniffed at in some circles of Zappa fandom as an artistic step backwards after the avant-garde jazz middle-finger of the original Mothers of Invention.

The sets played by the band during this initial European stint mainly consisted of rocked-up renditions of previous Mothers songs ('Concentration Moon', 'Mom and Dad', 'Call Any Vegetable', 'You Didn't Try To Call Me', etc, with very little new material at this stage. The few bootleg tapes available from this period showcase a band which, although pretty tight, come across as almost stilted when compared to just a month later.

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June 18 1970

Uddel, Holland. The Mothers perform a half-hour set for Live at the "Piknik", a progressive music show on Dutch TV channel VPRO. Introduced by Jan Donkers and Wim Noordhoek, each show tended to feature two groups. Seemingly all tapes of this series were wiped but professionally-recorded audio exists for several shows, including this seminal Mothers gig, revealing them in all their primordial glory.

The recording also features an opening interview with Zappa conducted by presenter Jan Donkers on the stage. On the VPRO site, Donkers recalls:

"Piknik was the first and last television I have ever presented for the VPRO. The program went quite well musically. It was never shown to just one hour long live music broadcast.

I was especially the interviews with musicians. Those conversations did I prefer face to face on a deserted corner of the site. Others insisted that the interviews were held on stage for a large group of people behind a microphone placement.

The interview with Zappa was so nice because he took advantage of the crowd and gave real answers. Not of course on a podium.

The Mothers of Invention made a great impression on me. That was the most innovative music that came from the United States. The audience sat there in pads, with sandwiches and stickies."


Piknik presenter Jan Donkers interviews Zappa onstage before the gig commences:

JAN DONKERS
A few years ago you told me you were planning to live in Amsterdam for a while. Ah, what's... have you any plans in this direction now?

ZAPPA
Well, uh, if they do... there's talk about doing '200 Motels' on VPRO television... and at that time I was thinking about living here for about a month prior to the production of the show.

DONKERS
When will it be...?

ZAPPA
December.

DONKERS
December. (DONKERS PROCEEDS TO TRANSLATE THIS NEWS INTO DUTCH FOR THE 'PIKNIK' VIEWERS)

ZAPPA
(INTERRUPTS) It hasn't... it hasn't been set yet!

DONKERS
No no, ha, I said 'Probably'!

ZAPPA
(DRAMATICALLY) Well how was I to know!

DONKERS
Yeah, he he...


Onstage Interview
Piknik, VPRO, June 18 1970


Exactly recording date is hazy but plans for mounting a TV production of 200 Motels for VPRO were presumably set in stone at this point. A retrospective in the New York Times on September 30, 1984 ('Meeting of Musical Extremes' by John Rockwell) suggests that Zappa had hoped to stage the show at the Holland Festival.

The Gig-list mentions a cancelled Zappa concert apparently scheduled for 27/06/70 in Amsterdam which would have involved a 130-piece orchestra.

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Saturday, June 20 1970

A few days in London, during which the band perform at the Speakeasy. It's likely that this is also the point at which they book into Trident Studios for a bit of recording. The FZ chronology notes that takes of 'Sharleena' and 'Wonderful Wino' were recorded during the sessions. The Mothers' current set-list often began with the latter (the song had already been released on Jeff Simmons' own Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up LP). 'Sharleena' was a new song and this version would be released in October on Chunga's Revenge. It would also become a staple of the live performances, as well as forming part of an unused animated sequence in 200 Motels often referred to as 'The Red Throbber'.

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July 31 1970

The Guardian publishes an interview ('Quote Art unquote') namechecked as having been conducted at the Hilton, Rome (interview date is uncertain since no gig-list for 1970 features Italy - although Zappa himself was in Europe at the time, guesting at a Jean-Luc Ponty gig at the Riviera Festival, Valbonne, France on 27/07/70). It's entirely likely that his presence in Rome was for the Prix Italia Festival - and, if so, this would have been the occasion where he caught up with Tony Palmer - and most likely the occasion when Palmer showed him his VT-to-35mm transfer Colosseum and Juicy Lucy (which was released as a support feature that month).

The article reveals that 200 Motels will be staged as a two-hour TV production for VPRO in December:

He went over it for me, playing his red Gibson electric guitar. It's a documentary on the life of a rock 'n' roll star travelling from concert to concert and country to country, encapsulated like a tape cassette to be plugged into the recorder of the auditorium. The life is a speeded-up version of that of a travelling business man: car, plane, car, hotel, room-service, car, event, car, hotel, room-service, car, plane.

"It's just another
Sealed tuna sandwich
In the rack
On your way
To Gate 46E."

The town is a tuna sandwich. The goal is a room with a wall-mounted television.

200 Motels will be featured in the Mothers' European tour this autumn. It includes, in its full setting, a chorus of 48 and an orchestra: a narrator, a soprano soloist, 11 dancers, four mimes; and a dwarf (or "an extremely convincing doll.")

Business man

Its music will amplify the theme of each song, rather than contrast with it. For example, "What the road ladies do to you" is played as a slow blues shuffle. "It's got to sound like John Mayall," says Frank, breaking up in laughter as he sings:

Don't it ever get sad when you go on a 30-day tour
Got nothin' but promoters and groupies to love you
And a pile of laundry by the hotel door."

Isn't Dutch Television concerned about some of the songs which are rather - uh - strong? "No," says Frank. He's been over it with them. As long as they're encased in quote Art unquote, there can't be any problems. Anyway, there's a 48-piece chorus and orchestra playing. "Of course it's artistic, whaddya mean?" and Frank gives a very large grin.


Quote art unquote
(author unknown), The Guardian, Jul 31, 1970


The song 'Road Ladies' has clearly been completed by this time. It will eventually be recorded on August 28 1970 and released on the Chunga's Revenge LP - but won't feature in the film. 'This Town Is A Sealed Tuna Sandwich' will feature, but - as the unfamiliar lyrics above suggest - it will go through a few more drafts before it arrives in the form released on 200 Motels

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August 1970

Zappa's article '50s Teenagers And '50s Rock' is published in Everegreen Review. Tony Palmer later cites this as one of the influences in terms of the 'message' of the film.

Zappa will spend most of August completing new material for 200 Motels.

Ten straight days of band rehearsals - 5pm to 9pm - lead up to the second leg of the 1970 tour, including the honing of some interesting new songs.

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21 August 1970

The second leg of the 1970 live tour commences with a show at the Civic Center, Santa Monica, CA. Zappa explains to the audience what the plans are:

ZAPPA
See, we have some new songs. In fact we have a bunch of very elaborate songs that we've been practicing for the past, uh, ten days, trying to get them together so that they'll be hot for ya! I'll tell you the story of what these things are. We did that thing with the, uh, LA Philharmonic in December... [sic] (AUDIENCE APPLAUDS) Since... ever since that time we've, uh, managed to get a chance to do it again in Holland this next December. We're gonna do a TV show called '200 Motels' which will be about two hours long! But... but it's changed a little bit since the time you saw it at that basketball place. Now it has... now it has a storyline, it has a continuity and to carry along with the orchestra music we have this series of songs which are dedicated to life in the music business - especially life on the road, dealing with Groupies...


Intro to 'Road Ladies' (unreleased)
Civic Center, Los Angeles, 21/08/70


After a performance of 'Road Ladies', the 'Groupie Opera' is performed here for the first time, and certainly appears to be taking shape as a piece of theatre as well as a musical production. Zappa invites the audience to imagine that the four microphones at the front of the stage are invividual motel rooms - and the members of the band run through a routine of getting ready similar to that which kicks off 'What Will This Morning...' in the film (including the line about the application of tinsel glitter ("the same brand Danny Hutton uses") and moans about how Aynsley Dunbar always gets to the girls first. Here however it's mainly presented as a two-hander with Kaylan and Volman speaking simultaneously, only coming together on the final line - "It worked for others... perhaps it'll work for me!" (a device Zappa used previously for the duologue at the close of 'Flower Punk' on We're Only In It For The Money.

What Will This Morning Bring Me This Evening?
Howard Kaylan sings a song of hopes and aspirations in terms of getting laid, although most of the song is an anthrolological summary of the difficulties of doing so. At this stage the song closes with the band offering up a Time Out-style guide to the best clubs to score whilst out "on the road". On this occasion this ends with a plug for the Speakeasy in London.

What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?
A bluesy seduction song. Kaylan chats up an apparently willing groupie (played by Volman) who bigs up her bizarre sexual preferences and appears to be up for anything, only to retract her offer, insisting that she isn't a groupie. She does however insist that her suitor has "a thing in the charts" and should be particularly well-endowed.

Bwana Dik
Kaylan insists he's the man for the job at hand. He is "the main man in the monster dick category". In fact, he is 'Bwana Dik'. The melody for this song dates back to a demo Zappa made while at Studio Z - and was also used as the opening theme for the LP Lumpy Gravy.

Latex Solar Beef
More boasting about penis-size plus the suggestion that "all groupies must bow down in the sacred presence" of a rock star's phallus.

Daddy Daddy Daddy
Another song about a mythical groupie, effectively describing her as a well-to-do woman with a lot of mod cons (including an expensive car bestowed upon her by her father).

Do You Like My New Car?
Named after the repeated refrain in 'Daddy Daddy Daddy', this is a comedy routine which rather drives forth the points made earlier. Based on a true story, the groupie tells Kaylan that she can't sleep with him unless he sings her his big hit record on the chart (with the bullet) first.

Happy Together
At this stage, the 'big hit record' is simply a rendition of the Turtles' greatest hit. Later versions of the Groupie Opera (including the 200 Motels shooting script) will substitute a new song called 'Magic Fingers'.

What Will This Evening Bring Me This Morning
A reprise of the earlier song - an after-the-event scenario posing the question "What will I say the next day to whatever I drag to my hotel room tonight"

Note: A bootleg recording of the Groupie Opera has circulated under the erroneous title 'Butte, Montana 1970/71' - but no actual audience is evident on the tape (The line in 'What Kind Of Girl...', "This is the swingingest place in New York City - no shit!"[/i] tended to change from gig to gig and reference the locale - in this case, "the swingingest place in Butte, Montana..."). The evolution of the arrangements certainly place the recording in 1970 rather than 1971.

While others have speculated that the tape is actually a studio recording, we'd posit that it's actually a soundboard affair recorded by Zappa during a soundcheck, most probably to use as part of the pitch to MGM for the film. On several occasions he mentions that the pitch included nothing more than a 'ten page outline, some clippings and two reels of tape'.

The recording of 'What Will This Evening Bring Me This Morning' is in fact the same basic track used in the film and on the soundtrack album, albeit with an alternate bassline (probably to remove Jeff Simmons' contributions!).

Also performed at this concert were Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink' and 'Sharleena'.

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August 28 1970

The Mothers book into Whitney Studios for two days of recording. By the end of it, much of the new material on Chunga's Revenge is in the can: 'Would You Go All The Way?', 'Tell Me You Love Me', 'Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink' and 'Road Ladies'.

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August 29 1970

Disc and Music Echo publish an interview with Zappa ('A frank talk with Zappa on being a 'rebel chief'!'). The plans for the TV special are seemingly still extant:

At the moment he's mainly preoccupied with his "200 Motels," an orchestral piece incorporating a chorus, some of the Mothers, and actors. The whole thing, which lasts for about two hours, took Zappa three years to complete and the theme is how touring can send you mad. So far it has only been performed once, in a basket ball arena at the University of California in Los Angeles, but it is to be specially performed on Dutch television in December. Zappa thinks that TV will be a good media for it, and is altering it here and there to fit.


A frank talk with Zappa on being a 'rebel chief'!
Disc and Music Echo, August 29, 1970


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October 23 1970

Chunga's Revenge released.

Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan appear incognito as 'The Phlorescent Leech and Eddie' (a lawsuit with the Turtles' record label White Whale prevented them from performing under the name The Turtles, or indeed their own names).

The LP sleeve states that 'All the vocals in this album are a preview of the story from 200 Motels. Coming soon'

Shortly after the release of the LP. Zappa gives an interview to the New York Times - published as 'Zapparap on the Zappaplan' on November 8 1970. It's revealed once again that Zappa and the band will fly to Amsterdam on December 27 to "videotape the entire opera for Dutch televison", and also mentions that they're in the process of raising the money to make a movie. At this stage, sections of the film 'Uncle Meat' are still included in the plan - and Phyllis Altenhaus is specifically named. Zappa doubts the TV show will ever be shown on US television due to censorship issues (and suggests that one of the reasons for doing it in Amsterdam is that they're so relaxed, morally). He gives a general synopsis of the movie which includes a few scenarios which sort of made it and several which didn't...

He is also a film maker and has 17 hours of uncut footage in the can for his "Uncle Meat" movie, a weird surrealistic epic about the Mothers and Mothermania - "I cut about 40 minutes of it, but the first time I showed any of the financiers the footage they backed out of the deal completely."


Zapparap on the Zappaplan
Craig McGregor, The New York Times, November 8, 1970


Zappa may, in fact, turn out to be our first authentic master of mixed media. Not only is he the first full-blown composer to emerge from the seething pop underground since Gershwin, he is also a McLuhan-age media freak who has mastered the techniques of making music, movies, lightshows, opera and drama (his concerts with the Mothers have always been as much theatrical as musical events, with the group members acting out Zappa's zany surrealist concoctions on the stage while they played) and can manipulate them at will: in "200 Motels" he will be doing everything from leading the Mothers on stage to cueing the video director as to what the audience sees. Unfortunately, it's unlikely ever to be seen on American TV.

"You have to remember that there's no censorship problem on Dutch television: there isn't any kind of nudity, any kind of language you can't use," says Zappa. "So long as you've got a symphony orchestra in the back of it, it's Art. Get the picture? Okay. Now, the first movement in '200 Motels' is the real world, in quotes, which shows the environment the rock and roll creep functions in. Like one of the songs is 'This Town Is A Sealed Tuna Sandwich,' and after the song there's a 'Sealed Tuna Sandwich' ballet. We're in this town, see, and it's really dull, and there's nothing to do but go to the local redneck bar and grill and we meet this guy named Lonesome Cowboy Bert who's operating this enormous surrealistic pinball-game type machine which has a rifle on it, and cardboard cutouts of replica Communists, long-haired creeps and faggots, Supreme Court judges and so on are wheeling by, and he's blowing their heads off with this rifle and lip-synching this song, called 'Lonesome Cowboy Bert,' which is supposedly coming over a jukebox. At the end of this confrontation we feel obliged to remind him in a cheerful sort of way that his problem is between his legs, and we sing a song called 'Penis Dimension.' The whole first movement is made up of those kind of scenes.

Zapparap on the Zappaplan
Craig McGregor, The New York Times, November 8, 1970


The scenarios described in 'Lonesome Cowboy Burt' made it to the film in some shape or form (including the rifle/pinball machine - shooting a Hippie scores the player 100 points!) but the link to 'Penis Dimension' will be dropped in subsequent drafts in favour of an alternative set-up (see the entry for November 14 1970).

"Then the second movement is the girls on the road, you know, the groupies you run into. Now I have a tape of most of the movement already sequenced out, but what goes in between is a fantasy that's going on in my mind while I'm on the road. The third movement is called 'The Red Throbber'; it views the groupie phenomena from another angle, through the eyes of a Custom Inspector. Who has a girlfriend called Sharleena. Who is a groupie. And then the Grand Finale comes when the Mothers are sitting in an airplane on the way back from Europe, and we are about to go through customs with this inspector who has fallen in love with his dog, it's a cardboard dog and we can hear it snarling, and on the plane, man, we have just learnt that this chick...."

*

The rest of the opera isn't really the sort of thing Spiro Agnew would approve, but that doesn't worry Zappa. "I like it. I think it's really entertaining, It's the kind of TV show I always wanted to watch. It's dealing with something people can understand. The cardboard dog may be a little peripheral, but most of the stuff is right down there, you know, in the real world where you can get into it."


Zapparap on the Zappaplan
Craig McGregor, The New York Times, November 8, 1970


The 'tape of the movement already sequenced out' is most likely the 20-minute 'studio' version which has been heavily bootlegged over the years. Note that the 'Red Throbber' sequence isn't described as a potential animation during this interview (again, see the entry for November 14 1970 for further revelations on this).

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October 24 1970

Mothers show in Beloit, Wisconsin. Zappa records this show and, for a while, it's pencilled in as a potential live album. A few days later, Zappa gives an interview via the telephone to Sounds (published as 'Zappa - The Great Satirist' in the November 7 1970 edition). He points towards this gig as a turning point in the evolution of the band:

"An interesting thing was that we were playing a small place in Wisconsin a few days ago and in the middle of the show all the newer guys in the group finally discovered what they are really supposed to do. Up to that point there was a lot of pressure on the new guys. They had to have one eye on me to watch for the hand signals and that made only one eye for the improvisation. A couple of days ago they really caught on and forged ahead."


Zappa - The Great Satirist - Interview by Bob Dawbarn
Sounds, November 7 1970


When the subject of the impending VPRO TV special 200 Motels comes up, Zappa is curiously enigmatic...:

Speaking to Frank this week via that modern marvel the transatlantic telephone, I built up my own confidence by first asking about his forthcoming visit to Europe, and in particular to his latest project "200 Motels" which, it has been reported, is to be filmed by Dutch television.

"We will be performing the material from '200 Motels' which we can do without an orchestra throughout the tour," reported Frank without obvious hidden meanings. "It depends on the scheduling of the concerts how much we do on any one show, anything between ten and 40 minutes from '200 Motels.'

"I'd rather not make any more statements about it right now as we are involved in an expansion of the project."

Zappa - The Great Satirist - Interview by Bob Dawbarn
Sounds, November 7 1970


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NOVEMBER 1970

Early in November, the plans for 200 Motels change radically. The VPRO TV special is cancelled. In an interview for Dutch magazine OOR, published November 29 1971, Zappa explained the situation:

(Translated)

---What was the original plan for "200 motels"?

I had a huge amount of orchestral music, written during tours with the Mothers in recent years. That was a time I was relatively peaceful in my hotel and not required to, as now, sit through 14 interviews in 5 hours. When I arrived in Holland it was intended that we'd make a TV special VPRO television. Edo de Waart would be conducting the music. I had to come back a couple of times to discuss it with him. But then there were various problems. The main one was that the studio was not big enough for the orchestra. It looked like the whole project wouldn't go ahead, but fortunately United Artists showed some interest. They wanted to make a movie.


Zappa gelooft dat meer popgroepen in de filmbusiness zullen gaan
Willem Hoos & Robert Briel, OOR, November 29, 1971


Roelof Kiers and a VPRO film crew follows Zappa on tour. Dates aren't certain but, with the general unfolding of events, certain sections can definitely be placed around this time.

One section shows Zappa busily editing some dodgy home-movie footage featuring Aynsley Dunbar and some female friends in a New York suite. The movie deal appears to have been worked out at this stage, as has the notion of using video rather than traditional film effects.

ZAPPA
I've been shooting films since 1958 and looks like just recently we acquired a large budget - or a decent budget - to finish a real motion picture.

ROELOF KIERS
Is it just for fun or does it attract you as a medium?

ZAPPA
As a medium? Oh, I think that for the type of writing that I do, that the perfect medium for it would be film or some... some sort of visual thing, perhaps, eh, an advanced form of video tape would be the perfect medium for me to work in, because when I conceive the music I always think in terms of possible visual elements to go with it, and to be able to exercise control over the visual elements as well as the music, that's something that I've always wanted to do. So now in the case of '200 Motels' I have a chance to write the music, write the story, direct the action, direct the photography, and actually edit the film when it's done. And... hopefully with all of that control I'll be able to get as close as possible to the original fantasy that I had in my mind when I started to put the thing together.


'Frank Zappa'
Dir. Roelof Kiers, tx VPRO Feb 11 1971


Other sections of the film show Zappa hard at work writing the score - including a scene where he's sat at the piano in the midst of composing 'Lucy's Seduction of a Bored Violinist', and another where he and Ian Underwood run through 'This Town Is A Sealed Tuna Sandwich' (again, with simple piano accompaniment - and now in a far more recognisable form)

Zappa explains the set-up of the film to Roelof Kiers:

ZAPPA
It's a mixed-media presentation, a combination of a film, an opera a television show, a rock & roll concert, various different elements that all tells a story of when you go on the road it makes you crazy. There's one special section that deals with a special fantasy that I had one time when I was stranded in Kentucky. That's the section called The Pleated Gazelle, and that tells about a love affair between a boy and a girl and an industrial vacuum cleaner...


'Frank Zappa'
Dir. Roelof Kiers, tx VPRO Feb 11 1971


Unfortunately, any interesting revelations Zappa may have divulged at this point don't appear in the documentary since Kiers apparently assumed that a scene in which Zappa demonstrates the use of a (domestic) vacuum cleaner on Lucy Offerall's tit would be more entertaining for the Dutch TV audience. Well, who's to say he wasn't correct on that score.

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Thursday November 5 - Friday November 6 1970

Two shows at the Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA. The second of these is filmed by a VPRO crew, perhaps a consolation for the 200 Motels Dutch TV special falling through. Lengthy chunks of the concert will feature in an hour-long TV documentary about Zappa, directed by Roloef Kiers, which is broadcast on VPRO on February 11 1971.

During the intro to 'Penis Dimension', Zappa claims that the money from United Artists to make the film came through that day!

A new addition to the setlist is the old Mothers of Invention song 'Holiday In Berlin' (from Burnt Weeny Sandwich) which now has lyrics telling the story of a riot which erupted during a German concert in 1969 (after Zappa refused an offer from a local student activist group to help them incite the audience to burn down a local government building). The song would be revamped again for the 200 Motels project, omitting the Berlin riot references but keeping the first verse which sets up the storyline of the band heading out on tour. The new version of the song will be rechristened 'Would You Like A Snack?'. The opening melody will also be incorporated into the main titles theme of 200 Motels.

A particularly interesting intro to the piece during the live performances saw Volman and Kaylan chanting the refrain "Rantz Muhammitz... Snatz Muhammitz... Trance Muhammitz"

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November 7 1970

Sounds interview published ('Zappa - The Great Satirist').

During an interview with International Times on November 14 1970 (on the day the money apparently came through), Zappa claims that the deal struck with United Artists only took about two weeks to finalise.

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November 1970

Interview (eventually published in Rock Magazine, 'I Dreamed I Interviewed Frank Zappa In My Maidenform Bra', January 25 1971). Date uncertain but certainly while their run at the Fillmore West was occuring. Mentions that the RPO have been hired and are hoping to hire Gunther Schuller to conduct. Also repeats the idea of including old footage of the Mothers, mentions that they're negotiating to have Theodore Bikel and that 'half an hour' of the film will be animated.

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13 and 14 November 1970

Two days at the Fillmore East, New York (with two shows a night). Joni Mitchell joins the band onstage for the late show on the 13th singing Duke of Earl and reciting her naughty poem 'Penelope':

Penelope

Penelope wants to fuck the sea
Tired of waiting
Tired of the stitches
In her tapestry
She spreads
Goosebumps on her winter flesh
Foam
Licking at her up the stone
Salt on its teasing tongue
It comes
Wide blue lipped
Hissing
Wet kissing
Like electric Jaggar
It comes in spurts
It waves obscene
She wrinkles up her nose and screams
A haunted laugh
That rocks the rocks
And calls in metaphors
For metamorphic cocks.


Joni Mitchell - Penelope
Published in 'Morning Glory On The Vine'


Backstage footage in the VPRO documentary shows Mitchell reacting coyly to the camera.

An early version of 'Penis Dimension', pops up in the middle of 'Little House I Used To Live In' and the Groupie Opera is once again performed in its entirety,

At the beginning of the the beginning of 'Do You Like My New Car' section, Zappa offers up a particularly graphic visual description, suggesting that Cal Schenkel had been particularly busy with his designs for props...

ZAPPA
Now, you'll just have to use your teenage imagination and picture that this scene is transpiring in a penis-shaped automobile made out of some sort of paper mache and it's... I'll describe it to you - like, the balls are at the back where the trunk is, and the door hand comes snooting down with a little bulb here... and two little headlights on either side of it with eyeballs in 'em which can turn and face Motorhead and seduce him in this one particular scene that they, uh... and the interior of the car is three-quarters cutaway, and, uh, Mark is dressed as Janet Ferguson, and he's sitting behind the wheel and, uh, Howard is sitting next to Mark in the front seat of this, uh, automobile which is known as the 'Tinsel Cock' car! And they're on their way back to the motel...

Intro to 'Do You Like My New Car' (unreleased)
Fillmore East (early show), 14/11/70


As the scene was eventually dropped from the filming schedule, the Penis-mobile/Tinsel-Cock car never found its moment of glory within 200 Motels itself, although rehearsal footage features in VPRO's behind-the-scenes documentary showing Howard and Mark (the latter not in costume) corpsing their way through the routine while Ian Underwood plays the musical vamp on a keyboard offscreen.

A special mention here for the phrase 'Tinsel Cock' to describe the car - a phrase which also appears in 'The Girl Wants To Fix Him Some Broth'.

Also on the 14 November, Zappa is interviewed by Miles for International Times (eventually published in the January 28 1971 edition as 'Zappa 200 Motels: File Under Popular' - with a longer edit of the same interview was published in the March 1 1971 edition of Changes). Plans are gathering speed by this time. Mentions Pinewood, RPO, Tony Palmer, negotiations for Theo Bikel (as narrator of the 'Pleated Gazelle' and an 'interrogator'). Much talk of the design for the set (including a discarded idea for having the orchestra placed in a mountain). The concentration camp is named as 'Camp Untermunchen'. Zappa also mentions that United Artists will release *all* the music from the film - even if it means it's a 4-LP set. Mentions that parts are written for Lowell George and Roy Estrada. 'The Red Throbber' animation sequence is mentioned in detail, as are the original plans for 'What's The Name of Your Group' (and how it links to the Festival Hall sections of 'Uncle Meat' (film) via the Frank/Gail/Foot/Tit film.

Tony Palmer is going to be the video-director. We're doing a video thing which is transfered to 35 mil - that's for the orchestra section. ... Have you seen the film that Tony made of Juicy Juicy and Coliseum? ... They staged a concert someplace, brought in an audience, set up four cameras and shot video tape synchronised with a four-track machine - in color - and then transferred to 35 mil. With all the opticals and all the editing done with the push-buttons - it was great! The color was very true. the resolution was good: the only time the line-scanning broke up was in the medium long shots but all the close-ups and ECU's were just fantastic. It really had a lot of intimacy to it ... When we decided to do this in England, Tony was the only person I knew who could possibly co-ordinate this particular thing because he had previously done that film with video transferred to 35 and I liked the cutting that he did on this rock film - he did a thing with a drum solo with John Hisemans. Really good cutting - he had three cameras set up. One on his face, one on a medium shot of the set and another looking down on the drums. And in time with the solo he was intercutting those things: he was holding a master shot of the drums and punching-in between the drum that he was hitting and his face. It was very effective ... You see, the way that this thing is set up, all the shots that you see are indicated in the score. Bar by bar it tells what's supposed to be seen, so it's just a matter of someone executing the score. So I've got as much control as I could possibly want over it.


Frank Zappa, talking to Miles
November 14 1970


Note: Colosseum and Juicy Lucy is the name of the 1970 film Tony Palmer shot on video and transferred to 35mm. Released on July 5 1970 as a support feature to Peter Sellers' Hoffman (in 'major provincial centres', according to The Guardian). Palmer's TV film of Cream's farewell concert did the rounds as a limited theatrical release around the same time.

In the Red Neck Bar there's this one sequence where Jimmy Carl Black is Lonesome Cowboy Bert, he's shooting a real shotgun, it really blows up those things on this pinball machine. Simultaneously is this Western Band in the corner which consists of Ian's wife Ruth [Underwood], Motorhead playing this guitar which doesn't have a body - just this neck which comes out of his pants. Don Preston on piano, and it's a phoney cowboy band and they're lip-synching 'Lonesome Cowboy' while Jimmy Carl Black sings along with it. At the end of the song we walk into the place and Cowboy Bert looks around and says: "What the fuck is going on here, blah, blah ..." they laugh at us and say "Are you a boy or are you a girl or are you a turkey?" Then the dancers and the chorus who are sitting at the tables get up and start making a lunge towards the group, with stylized dancing and we dance back at 'em. Meanwhile Ian has seen Ruth sitting at the drum set and he falls in love with her. There is this old clunky drum set so he dreamily goes over there and sits down and there is this atonal elaborate duet for drums and piano which is played while we dance around with the Oakies in the bar. Meanwhile Aynsley is playing the exact thing that Ruth plays on the drumset, with his rings on the tables and bottles while we're jumping around. And when that's over there is an elaborate cadenza. The orchestra and piano hits this chord and Cowboy Bert turns around and says: "What the fuck was that?", "I wonder if these twerps can play anything that I might play?" So Ian reaches over and drops a dime into the jukebox and out comes 'Would You Go All The Way For The USA?" [From Chunga's Revenge album]. Well, there's a line in there which says, "Whose this dude with his hair straight back and his new white sox and his pants all black," that'll be a lip thing, we're just doing action to the track. And I'd love to have Jagger walk through in his Performance costume with his hair all back. Just let him do that!


Frank Zappa, talking to Miles
November 14 1970


Zappa discusses 'The Pleated Gazelle', a fantasy sequence:

The narration is stylized. At one point, when I'm doing some narration and some action, I'm sitting in a motel room with an open window and I'm writing and I'm talking about how I'm doing this thing called Fleeting Gazelle [sic] and then the camera pans over my shoulder and you can see through the window the action that I'm describing: which is this girl coming out of the Colonic Parlour wearing the overcoat with the weanies on the shoulder and all that stuff ...


Frank Zappa, talking to Miles
November 14 1970


In the film we do see Zappa (or rather Ringo Starr as Larry The Dwarf as Zappa) in his motel room, writing. However, the scene has transformed by that point. Rather than discussing the 'Pleated Gazelle' he's shown playing back the covert tape recordings of the band talking and then transforming it into sheet music, while muttering insanities. In the edit these scenes were intercut with the revised Redneck Eats fight scene.

Interestingly though, one shot does a slow-zoom past Larry The Dwarf towards the open window, suggesting that this linking device was still extant by the time of the shoot at least. And although the 'Pleated Gazelle' sequence (well, part of it) does follow this scene in the film, there's a short detour showing Larry chasing Keith Moon through the orchestra and - as promised - attempting to stick his magic lamp up her 'reproductive orifice'. The latter scenario was presumably scripted, but where it would have appeared in the overall plot is anyone's guess.

A lengthy description of 'The Red Throbber' is also offered up.

The Red Throbber is the thing about this guy who's a custom's inspector and has a cardboard dog named Babette that's been trained by the government to sniff out hash and marijuana at the airport. He just recently managed to shack up with his high school friend, Charlene, that he's been secretly beating-off over for ten years, and they've been going steady for three weeks, and he gets home from work one night with a lot of beer and he's ready to get it on, and Charlene has gone! So he goes into this frenzy, gets drunk, whips out his ouija board & asks it what's going on: the ouija board spells out: R.E.D.T.H.R.O.B.B.E.R. And he passes out in a coma and in this dream he imagines that this girl is at the Chateau Marmont, Bungalow B (Hollywood's hip hotel) being thrashed and eroticised by the Led Zeppelin. Then there is this elaborate dream sequence in which you see the guy that's doing it to her standing over the bed, (this is really not the Led Zeppelin you know — it's a figure of speech). The guy, all he's got on are these python boots and a black mask and this battery belt over his shoulder and this huge vibrator with wires hanging out. And he's holding it like a Krupp armament, standing over this chick on the bed. The thing goes off like a pneumatic drill on the street. And that's the kind of stuff that's going to be animated. Cal is doing all the designs all the characters, all the backgrounds, and then the stuff is executed, by this company.


Frank Zappa, talking to Miles
November 14 1970


'Charlene' is a mishearing of 'Sharleena' - a song from Chunga's Revenge. A song about Babette the dog meanwhile reappeared during the 1974 shows.

Note: at some point between the 14 and 21 of November, the 'negotiations' for Theodore Bikel to appear in the film prove fruitful. An interview with Zappa conducted on the 21st for Seed magazine confirms he's definitely on board.

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November 15 1970

Mothers gig at University of Maine, Gorham. In the intro to 'Penis Dimension', Zappa describes the song as leading on from the 'Redneck Eats' scene (as described to Craig McGregor from the The New York Times).

ZAPPA
I'd like to, um, perform for you a new piece of material from '200 Motels'. This is a song that takes place in this, uh... well, it's... it's all a big story about how when you go on the road it makes you crazy. And this is one of the verifying elements of that.

The basic premise of this tune is that there is this cowboy who gets pissed off at us in a restaurant called 'Redneck Eats'. (Audience laughs) And at the conclusion of a confrontation scene with the cowboy, we are forced to remind him that the basis of his neurosis lies between his legs - that is to say an overwhelming concern with his penis dimension.

VOLMAN
This section of the show is definitely rated GP!

ZAPPA
Parental discretion required for children under 17. If stuff that deals with 'peepees' makes you feel a little weird, leave now!

VOLMAN
If it doesn't, I'm in Room 229...


Intro to 'Penis Dimension' (unreleased)
University of Maine, Gorham, 15/11/70


Considering the revised storyline described to Miles the previous day, one must presume that, at this stage in the script's development, 'Penis Dimension' came after 'Would You Go All The Way'...

This performance also reveals the originally-planned words to say to someone who taunts you with "Eight inches or less...". In the film we simply cut to Ringo Starr as Larry the Dwarf and his infamous line about "three pair o' socks and a bar of beauty soap". In this performance we link to a version of 'Bwana Dik' with the following lyrics:

What's between your legs is just
The last few inches of a complex
Mechanism which runs up and down
The spinal cord and all hooked up to the human brain

Which if used correctly
Can effectively increase the dimension
And the fire power of your dick
To the point where...(ooooh)
In some instances it could be classified as a lethal weapon


'Penis Dimension' (unreleased)
University of Maine, Gorham, 15/11/70


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November 21 1970

Mothers gig at Auditorium Theatre, Chicago. Mike Gold interviews Zappa for The Seed magazine (published in the December 1970 edition). He reveals who Rance Muhammitz really is:

SEED: I understand you're using professional actors in 200 Motels. What's the film about?

ZAPPA: It's a musical film. The villain is played by Theodore Bikel. He plays a guy called Ranc Muhammintz who owns a town called Centerville. He's got an orchestra called the Centerville Philharmonic, which bit the bag last season financially. He owns everything in town - the Calamus Parlor, the Redneck Restaurant, the psychodelic [sic] nightclub, he's got it all covered. It's the orchestra that he used to keep around so he could listen to Wagner every once and a while because he's got this Nazi-type syndrome; they didn't do too well, so He's looking for a way for the orchestra to bread [sic] even;

That's one sub-plot that's happening. The main thing that's happening in the film is it's the diary of how you go on the road, it makes you crazy.


Zappa by Mike Gold
The Seed, December 1970


SEED: Are you writing the flick as well as producing it?

ZAPPA: I'm directing it, I'm scoring it, I'm cutting it, and I'm writing the script. Cal Schenkel (art director for Bizarre/Straight Records, and responsible for the collages and weird shit on most of the Mother's records) is handling the art direction, he's designing the sets; there's a lot of animation involved in it, he's designing the characters for that and that's going to be executed by a company in Los Angeles that does commercials.

SEED: Are you dissatisfied with the $630,000 budget?

ZAPPA: I'm surprised we got any at all. If you were to see the project on paper, I don't know whether or not you would have taken it. It was amazing, because we went to the head of United Artists, we gave him a tape that had a half hour's worth of songs on it, a ten page treatment of the plot line, and some clippings and a couple of photographs. He studied it for about five days, we had a meeting, walked into the office and before we even sat down he said "We've got a deal."

SEED: How will 200 Motels affect the group's career?

ZAPPA: This tour ends in Europe December 17th, and then I've got about three or four weeks to finish the pre-production on the film, then we shoot and I've got some video post-editing - part of the film is being done on video tape - and we won't take any more concert dates until May (Mothers Day), when we take about ten days. We're supposed to do a big pop festival in Cologne, Germany, in August, and that's all the concerts we're doing next year.

I have to put out another Mothers album prior to the release of the 200 Motels album because that won't come out until next Christmas. It's probably going to be a live thing. I've recorded a concert in Beloit which really turned out groovy.


Zappa by Mike Gold
The Seed, December 1970


The tape with "half an hour's worth of songs" is most likely the studio/soundcheck tape of the Groupie Opera. According to Charles Ulrich's gig list, the December 17th show (to take place in Lille, France) was cancelled. The Beloit show was never released on LP. Instead, Zappa would record the Fillmore East shows in June 1971 and released that instead.

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Thanksgiving - around 26 November 1970

Pre-production begins. Jerry Goode and Cal Schenkel move to England. Weeks of pre-production involving Schenkel, Goode, Tony Palmer, Art Director Leo Austin and Zappa. Continuity and plot details worked on prior to Palmer writing the screenplay.

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29 November 1970

Mothers gig at the Coliseum, London.

(DESCRIPTIONS HERE)

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30 November 1970

Coliseum gig reviewed very favourably in the Guardian newspaper

(QUOTES and FULL ARTICLE AS JPG HERE)

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3 December 1970

A small ad in The Guardian ('MOTHERS' UNION') mentions that Zappa and the Mothers hit London last week to 'play Zappa's greasy epic, "200 Motels"' and adds that they talk about it in this week's Melody Maker.

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6 December 1970

Mothers play two shows in Amsterdam. The first of these causes some inner turmoil in the group as Jeff Simmons decides he doesn't much care for playing the part of Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer in their opening 'Christmas' section...

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12 December 1970

The Mothers play Vienna. A pretty typical gig, judging by the audience recording. 'Penis Dimension' is given another airing.

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15 December 1970

The Mothers play Paris - REVIEW AUDIENCE TAPE

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16 December 1970

The Mothers play Brussels - REVIEW AUDIENCE TAPE

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By Christmas 1970

Zappa, Gail, Moon and Dweezil move into a house 56 Ladbroke Grove. Lucy Oferall travels with them to babysit. Janet Ferguson also moves in.

On the DVD commentary Tony Palmer claims that he attended a Christmas party given by Technicolor in London in 1970.

PALMER
So, by an extraordinary fluke, I was at a... a Christmas party befo... this was done in January, as you say, January, February, I was at a Christmas party and... just happened... the guy at this party given by Technicolor in London said 'What are you up to?', and I told him, and I said 'We've got this problem...'. So he said "Ah, you know, somewhere in this building we've got the old Technicolor film machine' - cos pre-War Technicolor was shot on three separate negatives - red green and blue - and then simply printed together, which is why Gone With The Wind looks so wonderful. Three separate negatives printed together. And, um, a television image is also red green and blue, let's try to do red to red, green to green and blue to blue. And, God, it worked, and we just fell a... we couldn't believe that it worked. Since then, laser-scanning tape to film is - as in Jurassic Park and everything that's followed - is easy peasy, but at that time, I mean, it was totally new!

200 Motels, DVD commentary
(c) Voiceprint November 2009


Well, in fact the Vidtronics Department at Technicolor first showcased their tape-to-film process in 1969, so not as new as Palmer claims.

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January 4 1971

Stage A at Pinewood - the set begins to be built.

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January 8 1971

Frank and Gail Zappa are photographed together at their temporary Ladbroke Grove house by a Mirror reporter.

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January 11 + 12 1971

Dancers auditions

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January 13 - 17

Dancers rehearsals and costume fittings. Ringo Starr is most likely hired around this time.

There are conflicting stories as to how Ringo Starr was hired. Zappa's story simply involved him asking him - and Ringo insisting he'd like to do it because he'd been "getting a bit browned off with his 'good-guy' image". Tony Palmer, on the commentary track for the Voiceprint DVD, claims to have set those particular casting wheels in motion, and obliquely refers to a film he'd previously made with Peter Sellers which may or may not have featured Ringo Starr in some capacity.

It would appear that the film in question was a documentary called Will The Real Peter Sellers? (BBC2 10/12/69) which was made around the time that The Magic Christian was in production (hence Starr's presence).

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Friday, January 15 1971

Band arrives in London. Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman, Jimmy Carl Black, Don Preston, George Duke, Jeff Simmons (and wife Breena), Dik Barber, Ian and Ruth Underwood. All are booked into the Kensington Palace Hotel.

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Monday, January 18 1971

Zappa and the band meet in a Kensington Palace Hotel room for the first read-through of the script. Even the setting for this read-through could be seen as a masterstroke of perverse engineering as much of it involved Scene 32, set in a fictional hotel room, with much of the dialogue more or less transcribed, word for word in some instances, from the road tapes and secret conversations recorded by either Zappa or Volman.

In its original form the scene was much longer than later appeared in the film, and involves the band questioning the validity of Zappa's leadership to the overall importance of the ensemble, moaning about the 'comedy music' they were being forced to play and insisting he covertly steals ideas from the group and perverts them - all the time being watched over (and taped) someone who appears to be Zappa, but who later turns out to be a character called Larry the Dwarf (who himself is purportedly under Zappa's employ). After Aynsley Dunbar leaves to "try out his new binoculers", Ian Underwood leaves to conduct the next sequence and George just leaves generally, Larry the Dwarf reveals that Jeff Simmons will soon start a new group. Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman assign themselves roles and nominate Larry as drummer.

Naturally, the read-throughs were also taped and excerpts appeared on the LP Playground Psychotics. A longer edit of the hotel read-through was actually assembled in 1971 for an unreleased LP called, alternately, The On The Road Album or The Official Mothers of Invention Bootleg Album. The longer edit revealed Dik Barber to be deputising for Ringo.

Also today - according to a later report in The Times - the management of the Albert Hall request a copy of the full libretto to 200 Motels, having been tipped-off by a certain member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra that the content was 'obscene'. For some reason the libretto didn't arrive until Friday, 5 February...

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January 19 1971

Despite sounding pretty keen on the script during read-throughs the previous day (even breaking into infectious laughter during his line "That's why you don't get laid - who wants to fuck a comedian?"), Jeff Simmons has evidently had a troubled night, pondering on exactly what he's gotten into. At some point this morning he evidently discusses the matter of quitting the band with Howard Kaylan.

The matter comes to a head during a second read-through at the Kensington Palace Hotel. As usual, the meeting was taped. The following transcript also includes sections which appear on the never-released Official Mothers of Invention Bootleg Album album - but were snipped out for Playground Psychotics.

SIMMONS
This is what I joined for. This, I don't think is pretty...

ZAPPA
In other words, you don't wanna be in the movie?

SIMMONS
Yeah...

ZAPPA
Are you sure?

SIMMONS
Mm-hm.

ZAPPA
(DEADPAN) Is there anybody else that doesn't want to be in the movie? (NO RESPONSE) Is there anything specific that you don't like about the script?

SIMMONS
No. In fact my part is the best part in the movie, I think.

ZAPPA
You've got the biggest part!

SIMMONS
I didn't know how far... this could go, y'know.

ZAPPA
Well why do you think it went so far?

SIMMONS
It was probably boiled in ammonia.

KAYLAN
I'm curious to know why... like I asked you this morning, why it puts you out so much to do it, man. Unless you're just a little afraid that what you got to say is too much what you'd say anyway...

SIMMONS
It is what I'd say, it's exactly... it's there!

KAYLAN
So you're not even acting... why are you afraid to say it to the people out there when you've been saying it to us for so long...

SIMMONS
I'm not afraid to say it to the people out there. I'm just afraid to be in this band anymore.

ZAPPA
Why?

SIMMONS
I just am, man!

ZAPPA
Why? Look, the lines...

SIMMONS
And when it reaches that point I don't think I can do it anymore!

ZAPPA
Look... The lines that are in this film are based on things that I've heard people say for years, y'know. From Jimmy Carl Black's "When do I get paid?", y'know, all the way back to the very beginning. I don't think anybody should have any objections to saying any of those things because you're playing yourself, y'know.

SIMMONS
(REFERRING TO THE SCRIPT) Should I turn this in?

ZAPPA
Sure.

JEFF SIMMONS APPEARS TO LEAVE THE ROOM. AN AWKWARD SILENCE...

ZAPPA
Scene 17, Page 18...


Jeff Quits
Kensington Palace Hotel, 19/01/71


Note Simmons' reference to the whole situation being "boiled in ammonia" - which is one of his lines from the actual script (and presumably therefore something the bass player had previously said).

During a Radio Seattle interview with Zappa, Volman and Pons on August 27 1971, Mark Volman gave his take on events. This version suggests that everything happened during the first read-through and that Zappa gave everyone a chance to opt-out of the movie if they weren't happy:

MARK VOLMAN
This is actually... there's a far out story that goes along with this about, uh, us going to England to shoot the movie and the last... the last, uh, scene that was actually written in the script was a scene about our bass player who was gonna quit the band because he didn't wanna play Frank's comedy music. And, uh, and we got over to England and we got out the scripts, and we got one night to read the scripts and then the next day was gonna be, like, our first talk-through of the script all together and we were gonna meet Ringo and Theodore Bikel and everybody was going 'We're gonna do this movie!", y'know. And we got down... and we all sat in this room and Frank, uh, said "Well? What does everyone think?", and, uh, "If there's anybody who doesn't wanna do the movie..." ...and the bass player raised his hand and quit! He quit the band, and he handed in his script and walked outta the room. And there we sat... Quit! So that added a touch of drama to the shooting of the movie that was beyond separation with any other endeavour!

Interview with Frank Zappa, Mark Volman and Jim Pons
Radio Seattle, Edgewater Inn, 27/08/71


In a November 1972 interview with Jerry Williams for WGOE-FM, Zappa put forward another reason why Jeff Simmons quit the group:

ZAPPA
Unfortunately, just before we began to shoot the film, one of the members of the group - under the influence of his old lady, who was telling him he was 'too heavy to be in the group', decided to quit. And this caused a number of problems because he was one of the main characters in the film and, uh, we had to replace him as a character and also as a musician in the soundtrack, cos the concept was to play the music while we were shooting the film. This is something that hasn't been done in Hollywood for about 40 years. We usually pre-record music for musicals and then you pretend to play it while you're on the screen - but we're really playing it! so consequently, when we lost the bass player, we had to find someone to not only play his part as a character, but to play the bass in the film.

1972-11 WGOE-FM Richmond VA interview by Jerry Williams


Simmons 'old lady' was his wife Breena. Quite how much one should trust this somewhat 'Phew, rock n' roll, eh?' take on events is perhaps debatable (the old cliche of 'the chick' messing up the otherwise smooth running testosterone-driven rock group). Zappa explained a little more about the Breena equation in an interview with Dutch magazine OOR in 1971:

---What happened exactly with Jeff Simmons?

Jeff Simmons is a great bass player, that became clear to everyone during the European tour. But I thought he had another talent: he was a comedian. And I wanted to play on that, especially since there's a big visual aspect to the show. So I let him play Rudolf the Reindeer, which was always a big success. Initially he had no objections but after a while I was told that he was a heavy bassist and not a clown. I realised which way the wind was blowing when Jeff's wife told me something. His wife was complaining that he'd let me insult him, and the group had to go. Jeff told me honestly and said he seriously considered becoming self begin. So I said: can't we use that conflict in the movie? He seemed fine with that. When we were at Pinewood Studios in London I thought up a storyline which covered that kind of situation. Jeff is in a hotel room pondering and racked with doubt. His Good Conscience tells him to stay with the group, but his Bad Conscience tells him he's crazy to stay with Zappa and should leave and become the heavy bass player he really is. When Jeff heard about what I'd planned, he went pale and took this as a dig, although he still knew exactly what I meant. Shortly afterwards he left. At the exact time when we'd really miss him - in the middle of the shooting. Eventually we decided to do Jeff partly as animation. For the rest of it, the role was taken by Martin Liquort [sic], Ringo Starr's driver, who looks slightly reminiscent of Jeff. In those scenes where Jeff plays bass, Martin stands in the background with a guitar in his hand, he can not actually play.


OOR
(details)


What is interesting however is that this event too appears in the script - in a scene in which Jeff wrestles with his 'Bad Conscience' who's telling him to quit the Mothers for that exact reason. Originally planned and scripted as a live action scene (some reports suggest that Zappa's plan was to have Keith Moon play the 'Bad Conscience' while Pete Townshend would play his opposite number) and effectively provide a closer to the storyline as Jeff flips out on a 'mystery roach' covertly fed to him by Zappa, the whole sequence eventually became the 10-minute 'Dental Hygiene Dilemma' animated sequence in the middle of the film.

Tony Palmer meanwhile insists simply that the whole upheavel occured because Simmons had the audacity to tell Zappa he was "full of shit".

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January 19 - 25 1971

Noel Redding, bass-player for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, auditions for the part of 'Jeff' but is unsuccessful (according to the CD booklet Zappa had issues with his acting abilities).

Wilfred Brambell auditions for the role. Certainly one of the more oblique turns in the whole of the planning stage of the film (although since he'd acted opposite Ringo Starr in another United Artists pop film, namely A Hard Day's Night, you can kind of see the way Zappa was thinking - ie the sheer silliness of having two stars of the Beatles first movie performing in his.

Brambell turns out to be a hit at audition stage and gets the part (according to an interview with Martin Lickert on Danny Baker After All in 1994, Noel Redding would have played the actual bass parts while Brambell mimed). Series 6 of Steptoe and Son had just finished its run on the BBC. The most recent episode, 'Cuckoo in the Nest' had been broadcast on December 21 (recorded on the 6th) so it's possible that Frank Zappa may even have seen the show.

MARK VOLMAN
Because at that point we got this famous English actor named Wilfred Brambell to play the part, and we were going to overdub the ba... we only had... less than ten days to learn the whole script, and do all the music live, because that was the way the film was shot - we had to learn it all and it was filmed the same time we recorded it, live, and then we were gonna come home and beef it up so that it was a 'soundtrack', so that the soundtrack was 'alone', you know? So that... it is alone, Okay, so we have Wilfred Brambell come in, now he was the guy who played the dirty old man in the Beatles' 'Hard Day's Night'. And for... we rehearsed with him for about six days, and he was gonna be the bass player and we thought "Anybody, man!", you know what I mean? We were so desperate, the bass player had flown back to the United States. At this time we had no-one who'd even play bass with us! We were gonna have... Noel redding was gonna come down play bass on... for the track.


Interview with Frank Zappa, Mark Volman and Jim Pons
Radio Seattle, Edgewater Inn, 27/08/71


ZAPPA
The first person who was going to play the part was Wilfred Brambell, who you might remember as the 'clean old man' in A Hard Day's Night. Wilfred Brambell was hired for the part, he rehearsed with us for a week and he was great, because, y'know he's like 60 years old and we had him fixed up with a crazed wig and he was actually gonna stand up there and play the bass, and it was really funny!


1972-11 WGOE-FM Richmond VA interview by Jerry Williams


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, January 26 1971

Wilfred Brambell arrives at the studio having stayed up all night drinking a whole bottle of scotch. He insists he can't play the part anymore. He quits.

MARK VOLMAN
So, about six days later, one morning, Wilfred Brambell came in and said "Do you know what I did last night? Last night I went home and I drank a whole bottle of scotch by myself!" And, like we were all... check the guy, y'know? He's having a hard time breathing. And then... and he says that... he can't act that role because the role called for a lot of "Hey maaaan"s and "Say, what's happennning"s and stuff like that. And he couldn't put himself into that role, y'know. So he quit. And that left us four days...


Interview with Frank Zappa, Mark Volman and Jim Pons
Radio Seattle, Edgewater Inn, 27/08/71


ZAPPA
So we get to the studio and we're ready to shoot. He comes walking in, he looks really wasted and he says "I can't do it! I stayed up all night last night. I drank a whole bottle of whisky! I've never drunk a whole bottle of whisky..." He grabbed my hand and put it on his heart, he says, "Listen, that! Feel that! I can't do it! I quit!" So here we are, all the cameras are there, all the dancers are there, there's a hundred-piece orchestra in the corner ready to make a movie and we got nobody to play that part in the film.


1972-11 WGOE-FM Richmond VA interview by Jerry Williams


Other related versions of the event include this by Keith Moon, talking to Melody Maker, February 4 1971 (published Feb 13 1971)...

The whole movie is based on a group's life on the road so those with experience of that are used to what is going on. We had Wilfred Bramble to take one part but he gave it up in despair because he didn't know what was going on.


Blue Moon! by Chris Charlesworth
Melody Maker, February 13, 1971


...and this, from an interview Zappa gave to Impact magazine in late 1971 (published January 1972)

It must have seemed strange, though, to anyone associated with normal film production. Wilfred Brambell, the old character actor, was supposed to be in the picture, you know, but when he came out and actually saw what we were doing he almost passed out. He ran off screaming that he'd never seen anything so weird in his life.


Zap! Zap! Zappa!
By Bill Gray
Impact, January, 1972


Both of the above accounts differ quite a bit from Tony Palmer's take on events from the current 200 Motels DVD commentary.

PALMER
We did have one disaster on the casting - again, which I've read... I've read nonsense about what happened. Erm, at that time there was an extremely famous, um, er, sitcom, as I think it was... I think it was called a sitcom, erm, called 'Steptoe and Son'.

KIRKMAN
Ah! Wilfred Brambell! I was just about to ask you about this.

PALMER
Wilfred... I knew... I knew pretty well - again through the Beatles connection cos he's in A Hard Day's Night. And I said to Wilfred, 'Do you really want to co..." - and he was tiny, he was kind of five foot high, and as gay as fourpenny piece, and, y'know, just loved doing wacky, silly things. He was also desperate to get out of, um, er...

KIRKMAN
The B-casted role. Old man Steptoe.

PALMER
Exactly. It wasn't that he didn't enjoy doing it, cos he did. I mean, after all, he created one of the great iconic characters... but, he's not unlike Warren Mitchell...


200 Motels DVD commentary track
Voiceprint 2009


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday, January 27 1971

Martin Lickert is hired

MARK VOLMAN
And one morning we were sitting around in this dressing room with Ringo and Frank and Herb Cohen and Theodore Bikel and all the members of the cast and we said "Okay, man, this is it. I'm tellin' ya, the next guy who walks through this door, he's gonna play the part!" It was just one of those type of things. And at that moment, the door opened, and in walked Ringo's chauffeur... and everybody in the room just looked up and, I mean, you could... that was it, everybody just zeroed in... and Frank says "Have you ever been in a movie?" And he read some lines, got... Ringo said it was okay with him... and that's him! Martin. (POINTS TO THE LP BOOKLET) That fellah right there with the Yoko Ono shirt.

ZAPPA
And also we found out that he could play bass!


Interview with Frank Zappa, Mark Volman and Jim Pons
Radio Seattle, Edgewater Inn, 27/08/71


ZAPPA
So we went in the dressing room - this is true too by the way - go in the dressing room. There's all the Mothers and Ringo and Herbie Cohen the manager and a couple of other people sitting around, scratching their heads saying "Well <u>now</u> whadda we do, Zappa?" And so we were saying "Well, who could possibly fill in, mumble mumble mumble...", so I said "Okay, the next guy who walks through the door gets the part!"

WILLIAMS
Martin Lickert!

ZAPPA
That's right. Ringo's chaffeur, Martin Lickert, came walking in and everybody turned and looked at him and went "Heeyyyy!" So we handed him the script and said "You - read!", and he picked it up and he read it and he was good! And then he said, "You know, I used to play bass with this little group up in Birmingham," and we said Okay, go get your bass. Start learning these parts! Well he wasn't a great bass player but he willing to learn the stuff and he managed to cover the bottom end of the band. So Martin is actually acting the part and playing the bass and he learned all that stuff in about five days. Y'know, while still driving Ringo around - which is quite an accomplishment!

WILLIAMS
He did a good job too, I might add.


1972-11 WGOE-FM Richmond VA interview by Jerry Williams


Many many years later, Martin Lickert was invited onto the BBC chat show Danny Baker After All to retell his story:

LICKERT
I was a bit of a frustrated pop star...

BAKER
Uh-huh?

LICKERT
...came down to London, got a job cleaning dirty marks off walls...

BAKER
Yeah.

LICKERT
...uh, was sent to Apple, got a job as an office boy there. Then, was Ringo's assistant. Uh...

BAKER
You were Ringo's assistant?

LICKERT
Yeah. I used to drive him around and answer mail and stuff like that... and, um...

BAKER
Uh-huh. Of all the Beatles...

LICKERT
Of all the Beatles, that's right... (AUDIENCE LAUGHS. LICKERT WAVES) And one day...

BAKER
You really are on the sidelines and in the shadows here, I feel...

[REMAINDER TO BE TRANSCRIBED]


Danny Baker After All


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And on and on it goes...
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Re: 200 Motels - The Dental Hygiene Edit

Postby SirQuacky » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:14 am

Brilliant work man! Even unfinished as you say, top notch, :3
I had no idea there was an 'Official Bootleg' in the works, though that does explain where Zappa found the time to edit together those road tapes!
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Re: 200 Motels - The Dental Hygiene Edit

Postby Champniss » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:53 am

Cheers, matey. The 'Official MOI Bootleg Album' is available at Zappateers (think they've named it 'Mark Volman Field Recordings' or something similar - because the original edited master got leaked by Volman somewhere along the line). Well worth acquiring for the longer edits of the dialogue - especially the extra script revelations in the read-through of Scene 32:

MARK
Me too, I don't even care about the part where he goes, 'What can I say about this elixir?' so long as me and Howard and Jeff get credit for special material.

IAN
See you guys later.

HOWARD
Where are you going, man?

IAN
I have to conduct the next orchestra sequence... Motorhead's Industrial Vacuum Cleaner and the Hot Nun Debris and so forth.

HOWARD
Nun Debris?? Where is she at?

IAN
Where isn't she?

HOWARD
Where is he at? What's this stuff mean in this movie?

JEFF
He's out of his fucking mind.

IAN
I'll see you guys later.

AYNSLEY
I'm going too, lads.

HOWARD
Where are you going?

AYNSLEY
I'm going to try out my new binoculars.

MARK
What do you mean, man? You look through the binoculars and beat your meat to it or what?

AYNSLEY
That depends largely on what I see through the binoculars!

HOWARD
What if you see Dik Barber's forehead?

AYNSLEY
You can't see it too good with that Industrial Vacuum Cleaner costume, and the hose and everything. It's sort of incognito.

OMNES
Whaaat?

JEFF
Did you hear that?

MARK
I heard it. He said 'incognito'!

JEFF
Rivet Boy Dunbar, ladies and gentlemen. Lord God King of the Snappy Reports. And here he is.

HOWARD
Yes, Dunbar, you Liverpudlian lycanthrope. Your retorts have been remarkably snappy just now. Something must be wrong.

MARK
There's some bad brown acid going around, Aynsley. You can take it with a grain of salt, heh heh heh heh...


Marvellous!
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Re: 200 Motels - The Dental Hygiene Edit

Postby SirQuacky » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:01 am

Hehe, I remember I planed early on to try and reconstruct Scene 32, but without visuals that's something more for a "meatier soundtrack album" as this point. Though if any extra footage outside of the VPRO extracts ever surfaces, call me hooked!

I believe I found the one you mean: http://www.zappateers.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=3365 Definitely keeping an eye on this for the future, :3



Oh, while I'm typing, and since I can't work on it for now, I guess I should mention my current edit idea, xD I am trying to convince anybody who reads this topic the thing on Youtube is not "it" after all.

I don't have my notes on hand but I remember very well the scene order I chopped together on audio and list as a test. It's not a reconstruction of the original script sadly but more a little reordering to maybe make it flow a little better. As I agree with Ebert that the film does make you sleepy halfway in. I believe it all has to do with the placement of the "penultimate" cartoon section though. It's why I call this a Presentation Edit over anything else. Though a proper reconstruction would be quite the dream, eh? x3

I've listened to the audio in this order again and again to see if it could work. It goes something like:

- MGM Logo/UA Logo (82' or 68')
- From opening credits to Jimmy's Briefing as is. (I'd love to reconstruct these scenes, but not having a script or -any- proper deleted scenes apart from the helpful extracts from VPRO, Playground, Beyond The Fringe boot and Remington, it makes that quite improbable to do smoothly)
- Cut to Ringo writing the score to the end of A Nun Suit.
- Fade out and in to Ringo's first "Hello There" and at the end of the speech fade to She Painted Up Her Face through to the end of Shove It Right In.
- Cut to black as a sort of 'end to Part One', then fade in to The Nun O'Ding scene.
- On the drumroll that plays after the Groupie's slap the Nun cut into the boing sound that opens Ringo's second "Hello There".
- Go through the dressing room scene to What Will This Morning and Daddy, Daddy, Daddy as in the movie but on the end of Daddy vamp, cut to the VPRO footage of the Groupie Routine rehearsal.
- Fade through that footage to Magic Fingers on the guffed line "...I am NOT a Groupie!" (At least it'll be something of a link, xD)
- Cut from the end of the Magic Fingers to Don and Jeff's scene, right on the last beat.
- As the footage ending "Your Dick" and beginning Penis Dimension is the same that cuts into Don's transformation, a quick edit and Don's phone click cuts to Penis Dimension.
- After the speech cut into the VPRO footage of Bikel singing Bwana Dik, incompletely though.
- After Bikel's Bwana Dik, cut to "Your Dick".
- After Kaylan's "Dosen't anybody care what's in my pants?" cut to Ringo saying the famous Stuffing line.
- Which cuts to What Will This Evening which goes through Mysterioso which during those cuckoo calls fades into Dental Hygeine Dilemma!
- To make the peice as complete as it is on the album, it'll cut back and forth between the live action and animated sections (Including the one "What can I say about this?" that's missing.) till it gets to Strictly Genteel which while tempting, I'm not touching. I love the finale and I'd hate to leave holes in there, xD
- Postlude and optional MGM logo.


For a listen to an (unfortunately mp3 format backup copy) of the mono film audio cut around the idea, found this in my storage thankfully: http://www.mediafire.com/listen/c9nisat ... -dr-cr.mp3 A nice a bit of reference my latest intentions, x3 Though not to be taken as final yet thanks to this new wonderful source, :3

Now an actual reconstruction of the whole thing as intended would be great, though unless any big deleted scenes turn up, or a script comes into view, it'd have a lot of blank spaces sadly. I like to think of this idea above though as a little boost to the flow, and hopefully colours and speed when I can actually get to that, :3
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Re: 200 Motels - The Dental Hygiene Edit

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:52 pm

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Re: 200 Motels - The Dental Hygiene Edit

Postby Champniss » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:45 pm

That's all looking rather splendid - and I suspect Ringo's "three pairs of socks" line probably *was* scripted as coming after Kaylan's pants-content anxiety too (I can't think where else it might have gone)! Apropos of nothing, in the live orchestral performances, there are a couple of extra lines to that routine - eg "Don't let the size of the curtain fool you..." or somesuch.

Speaking of which, the Zappa Family Trust are purportedly planning to release the recent Disney Hall performance officially at some point, which may give some scope for any kind of full reconstruction. Even now there's the BBC broadcast of the Festival Hall London performance doing the rounds, which of course fills in plenty of music gaps (I was there on the night - and the sight of the entire chorus section clicking Poloroid cameras in unison during What's The Name of Your Group was pretty glorious to behold!).

Once upon a time I pondered over some 'reconstruction' plans - part of which was to cartoon animate the Groupie Opera based on audio from the demo tape and the Cal Schenkel designs of the group from the cover of Just Another Band From LA. I gave up on this plan when I realised just how much work it would entail, but I did manage slap together a few seconds of it, just to see how it would look. Just scraped it off an old disc and uploaded it here: http://www.sendspace.com/file/txw95z
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Re: 200 Motels - The Dental Hygiene Edit

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:23 pm

That's cool.

SirQuacky is a cartoonist as well, by the way. So far in a "Disney Afternoon" style.
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Re: 200 Motels - The Dental Hygiene Edit

Postby SirQuacky » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:58 pm

Yeah, I think it fits there at least. Plus it sounds pretty neat before the explosion. If the line went anywhere else, I can't think of it, xD

Oo, lucky guy to be there! Oh yes, I hope a ZFT release will come out of that, though I did grab the the Zappateers copy of the BBC Radio broadcast ahead of time. Could use tweaking to the levels in some areas, but a fantastic performance for the most part. The freak out section of Strictly Genteel was so punchy! And yes, a very useful performance should a "more complete" soundtrack compilation be made.

Hehe, downloaded the bit and that's not bad job man! I like the concept, :3 It might be the only way to see such segments as 'What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?' and of course 'Do You Like My New Car?' as intended. Of all the songs to be deleted from the shoot/possibly not even performed, the former one might be one of the most important. I didn't realize how much "conceptual namechecking" there was in that song until I listened the Opera demo, xD And the shorter enactments of DYLMNC? are just hilarious.

To chime in the cartoons though, I remember wanting to do a short parody/crossover thing, cause I love that type of stuff. But that ultimately became this poster from last October. Took about three weeks and it was a fun item to do! :3 http://sirquacky.deviantart.com/art/Ste ... -404681591
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Re: 200 Motels - The Dental Hygiene Edit

Postby Champniss » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:47 pm

Ha, that's fantastic stuff. Dave McMacken would surely be proud. Have you thought of sending him a link?

Probably the most exciting aspect of the Festival Hall evening was seeing Scott Thunes completely nail it as Jeff - especially the vocals in 'Does This Kind of Life...', a task which has thwarted many previous performers (even the Ensemble Modern couldn't manage it - their performance of the music was perfect, but presumably that kind of stacatto sprechgesang isn't fully notated in the score. Sometimes only a fully-fledged Zappa fan knows where the dots go).

An upgrade to the Groupie Opera demo tape was recently posted to Zappateers, which includes the full studio track of Phyllis Altenhaus beating Aysley Dunbar (which you may know was originally going to kick off Chunga's Revenge as a 'preview of the Uncle Meat movie' - before the plans changed to 200 Motels). Looking back, I'm surprised Zappa didn't use selections from the demo tape as part of the 'True Story of 200 Motels' video, since he clearly couldn't use any of the official MGM-owned music. He was certainly fond enough of that tape to consider it for official release as part of the Lost Episodes CD at one stage.
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Re: 200 Motels - The Dental Hygiene Edit

Postby SirQuacky » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:27 pm

Y'know, it hadn't occurred to me, x3 His email is on his site after all, so I think I will, thanks man! :3

Oh yes! I was surprised too hearing someone other than the fantastic Kaylan hitting nearly every point he needed to. It was quite a nice thing to hear, :3

Oh and yes, I read the 'Preview to Chunga' article floating online. By all intents and purposes I'm rather glad it didn't come out that way, x3 I mean if a Zappa fan out there could find the dialogue in 200 Motels tedious or confusing, Uncle Meat's dialogue is ten times that. (On an UM movie note, I think the only bit of dialogue from the non-live footage I thought was rather fun and clever was the bit near the end where the band tries to make a hit single out of food products, xD The whole bit with "It always comes back to the bun!" and the 'freak out' recording. It's oddly a good metaphor IMO! But anyway.)

I didn't know the demo was intended for the Lost Episodes! That would've been a great bonus though, :D The version of "What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?" done for the Groupie demo is the best one I've heard so far, and I've been going through a bunch of live shows for one, x3
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