200 Motels

Beverly Hills, CA: United Artists, 1971. Vintage black-and-white studio still photographs from the 1971 "surrealist documentary" rock film. The still depicts composer/screenwriter Frank Zappa conducting and singing.

In 1970 Zappa completely re-formed the Mothers of Invention to include drummer Aynsley Dunber, jazz keyboardist George Duke, and three members of The Turtles. Zappa began to write a film for the new lineup, and recorded "Chunga's Revenge" (1970) with them as a "preview." Subsequently Zappa met conductor Zubin Mehta and worked with him to produce a concert in May 1970 wherein the Los Angeles Philharmonic was augmented by the Mothers (or vice versa, as you like), and referred to this as "the second preview."

The film itself, shot in a week at Pinewood Studios outside London, was a tripped-out documentary about life as a musician on the road, and Zappa characteristically chose an eclectic group of celebrities to join the proceedings, including Theodore Bikel, Ringo Starr, and Keith Moon. The resulting soundtrack is a matter of debate among Zappa enthusiasts, but is notable for its orchestral finale, "Strictly Genteel," a touchstone for the variety of classical music experimentations Zappa would subsequently pursue.

8 x 10 inches. Near Fine.


[Book #137953]