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Author: Subject: Volkskrant Parool Handelsblad Trouw translations
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rodent.gif posted on 13-12-2017 at 01:11
Volkskrant Parool Handelsblad Trouw translations

These will be published in batches. The two interviews mentioned will be translated soon. Right now it's running late...

The following articles were accessed using the Royal Library's online archives. Today some major newspaper titles were added to the archive, which is why I got started.

Volkskrant - leftwing quality newspaper
Trouw - Christian quality newspaper, former WW2 resistance magazine
Algemeen Handelsblad - rightwing quality newspaper, later merged to become NRC Handelsblad
Telegraaf - rightwing tabloid
Het Vrije Volk - socialist paper, split up in regions and struggled like a lame dog until the 90s, when they were finally merged with Rotterdams Dagblad. Vrije Volk was a continuation of Het Volk, the notorious socialist paper that was the platform for brilliant spirit Albert Hahn.
Parool - local Amsterdam paper, borne from WW2 resistance.
Limburgsch Dagblad - regional for the south-west weenie.
De tijd: Catholic paper, later turned opinion pages. Merged with Haagse Post to become HP / De Tijd.

Het Vrije Volk: democratisch-socialistisch dagblad (future HVV)
11-11-1966 Mentions in an article about psychedelic music that FZ's music is usually filed under "psychedelic" in the English press. The article mentions this must be a mistake since Zappa's influences are musical and not chemical.

Highly praising review of a repressing of Freak Out by Polydor, which fits on one vinyl and leaves some stuff out.

16-09-67 announcement of the 24-9 concert of the Mothers (who apparently come from San Francisco

A review of the Mothers' concert, described as "musical slapstick".

25-9-67 Algemeen Handelsblad:
Another confused concert review. Caustic comments are mentioned:("The United States known as the John Birch Society, that opposes the Flower movement)

25-9-6 Trouw
"In a sold-out Concertgebouw the Mothers of Invention, a pop group from America that makes the impossible on present-day pop music. It's almost impossible to believe what this 9-headed group manages to put on stage. It has very little to do with beat. It's something completely new, where other present-day groups fail over lack of craftsmanship, perfectionism and musicality.
Paul Acket, the man who's organized large pop music concerts in The Netherlands for years, did a very good job in bringing these Mothers of Invention to our country.
The Mothers Of Invention are led by 22-year-old (sic) Frank Zappa, and they use a lot of instruments: winds like saxophone, trumpet and flute, percussion, bass, electric piano, organ, tambourine, timpani, gong and of course guitars to bring a pop concert with the tight timing of a classical music performance.
In America Frank is called a "super-talent" and honestly, after last night we don't find this title to be out of place. Almost all existing keys were used by the Mothers and Frank Nappa (sic) was literally the conductor of the pop-orchestra. Sometimes they used silly twist tunes, Shadowworks and similar popular songs from ages ago. Zappa used these kinds of songs to create incredible improvisations.
After the Mothers of Invention, one can only say of the Stones et al, that it's confection beat. It's no miracle that the group was poorly received in England. The chauvinist Brits apparently can't take it that something completely new can come from the USA in the realm of pop music.

25-9-67 Parool
Confused review that mentions several anti-American remarks: "Salutations from the American president" and "I hope you'll be able to understand it here, the programme is horrible, it was tuned to horrible Americans."

29-9-67 HVV
Interview with Tom Wilson:
Q What's it like to work with the Mothers Of Invention?
TW With an artist like Frank Zapp I do less as a producer on every record. He enters the studio with a clear idea of what he wants. Every note and every word on the record is from Zappa. He has so much material that I help him sorting out what ends up on the record.

On the same page we find a glowing review of Absolutely Free, saying the "progressiveness" of Beatles and Stones is toddler's work in comparison.

30-9-67 Parool
Similar review of Absolutely Free

7-10-67 Parool Zappa is quoted as having said in Music Maker: "We make a lot more money than people would admit when they see what we look like."

19-10-67 Limburgsch Dagblad quotes Zappa:
"There's a village idiot in every village, but he's accepted. Most people are afraid of things they don't understand."

28-10-67 Article about drugs in Limburgsch Dagblad quotes Zappa's interview in Hitweek:
"I think LSD is disastrous in comparison to music. But I think a lot of people are going to be pissed off when you tell them to quit. I don't tell anyone to do anything. When somebody wants to blow up his chromosomes, that's his business. The only thing I care about is to get people interested in politics.

Apparently FZ arranged the songs "All Night Long" and "The Other Side Of This Life" from The Animals

30-3-68 Parool reviews WOIIFTM

1-6-68 Volkskrant places a large, glowing review of WOIIFTM

8-6-68 De tijd: dagblad voor Nederland
Short review of WOIIFTM

22-6-68 Parool
Negative review of Lumpy Gravy

31-8-68 Volkskrant
Glowing review of Lumpy Gravy

4-10-68 HVV
Zappa is being quoted as calling himself: "electronic social worker"

12-10-68 Parool quotes FZ from Record Mirror:
"When people come to our concerts, they don't come to listen to our music - they come hoping we do something obscene or something filthy onstage. Even the most normal things we do mean a lot to the audience. If my shoe falls off halfway during a show, it's a satyrical remark."

They also quote Tony Palmer's interview with him (Observer):
"My aim is to kill pop channels. They're unethical, not musical and they stink. Worse, the classical radio stations aren't much better.
"People buy carefully packaged classical music at bargain basement prices. Bring some Mozart into your home, so at least you know what's happening.

19-10-68 HVV
Short article on Zappa refusing his Edison, how elated he initially is to win an official award (the most important Dutch music award) while his music is normally not even played on the radio in the USA - and how quickly it melts away when he hears the record is censored.

19-10-1968 Nieuwsblad van het Noorden
Another article on Zappa refusing the Edison, explaining a little on how it happened (the original masters were censored, Zappa convinced the record company to release the uncut version, but the cut version was sent abroad. The paper mentions the pressings were made in Germany, so "we are not to blame."

19-10-68 Trouw
Article on Zappa being presented with an Edison but doesn't mention Zappa gave it back at all!

19-10-68 Volkskrant
About refusing the Edison. Also mentions Zappa was very pleased with the 67 concert, which he considered the best one he'd yet given abroad. Initial plans for the 68 concerts were showing film and incorporating Dutch classical musicians.

21-10-68 De Waarheid
Reviewer was not impressed by the 68 concert. Mentions ticket price was 20 guilders.

21-10-68 HVV
Extensive and positive review of the 68 concert. Quotes Zappa a couple of times:
(after In The Sky, which gets a thunderous applause:) "Thank you, thank you, you have an exceptional taste in music. After this positive response we'll play more of this kind of songs." Cue Valerie.
On Captain Kangaroo: "An American TV-show for children and retarded grownups. The type of show that keeps America the great nation it is."

21-10-68 Algemeen Handelsblad
Disappointed review and short interview with FZ

21-10-68 Parool
Glowing review of the concert.

21-10-68 Volkskrant
Moderately positive review

22-10-68 Trouw
About the refusing of the Edison.
Mentions that, after Hitweek received the statuette, a wig maker added some hair to the head and chin, after which the Hitweek people added a paintjob. They intended to publish a photo in colour.
After that a short mediocre review of the concert.

22-10-68 Volkskrant

The manager of a group called Ro-d-ys said their music apparently charmed the MOI to the extent that Zappa saw potential in them and would give them a ring if he saw an opportunity.

23-10-68 De tijd: dagblad voor Nederland
Short article about FZ with some standard blurbs and mention of the concerts.

26-10-68 Volkskrant
Letter writer complains about the brevity and uselessness of the Mothers concert review. Editors reply that they hope that, after seeing the interview the next day, his disappointment was relieved.

28-10-68 Volkskrant
Mentions a review in Haagse Post. Zappa has apparently stated "We can't give you anything but bullship and Amsterdam.
Apparently bullship is a drink.
4-11-68 Author corrects himself after being told that it was an error and it was supposed to say "bullshit".

Around this time there's a brief feud between Hitweek and Parool about the verity of the statuette being given to Hitweek.

9-11-68 Parool quotes Haagse Post:
"What's wrong with politics, is that most people who are in it, aren't really interested in whay they're doing, and because of that they do things that really don't help people."

Column about FZ by Paul Bollen

Lengthy review on Ruben, mentions that Ramses Shaffy visited FZs concerts (guy goes way up in my estimation now). Author loves the music, not caring about sarcasm.

24-1-69 Nieuwsblad van het Noorden
Glowing Ruben review: "With this record you can go in all directions, except for the wrong one."

25-01-69 De tijd: dagblad voor Nederland
Glowing review of Ruben. Mentions it costs 19 guilders.

1-2-69 Parool
Mediocre review of Ruben, mentions it costs 19,90. Ho hum.

31-03-69 Parool
States that a cinema in New York will premiere a 14 hour Mothers film. Premiere is slated for next month.

26-4-69 Telegraaf
Short review of Uncle Meat, calls it a must-have.

3-5-69 Volkskrant
Glowing review of Uncle Meat, calls it a masterpiece.

17-5-1969 De tijd: dagblad voor Nederland
Uncle Meat review, calls it "phenomenal". Price was 38 guilders.

30-5-69 Nieuwsblad van het Noorden
UM review, calls it awesome.

30-5-69 Algemeen Handelsblad
The MOI will be touring the UK, but not the continent - apparently because the prices they asked were too high.
The paper blames the disappointed audience on the record company MGM, since they waited a very long time with bringing their records overseas.
On with positive review of UM

In an attempt to bring the word of God to the people, IKON has filmed the stories of Amos and Jesajah and set it to music by Procol Harum and FZ.

News of breakup of the MOI treacles down in small blurbs.

1-11-69 Parool
Re breakup of MOI, mentions FZ is making a TV show

27-11-69 Telegraaf
Announcement that FZ will play the Royal Albert Hall in 1970

29-11-69 Parool
Glowing short review of Hot Rats

4-12-69 Telegraaf
Glowing review of Hot Rats, calling it a masterpiece

Some announcements of FZ playing at a festival on Dec 21st 69, later denied by his agent. The entire festival is cancelled a short time later, after the main sponsor quits.

Review of a dance performance where FZ music was used.

18-12-1969 Algemeen Handelsblad
Glowing review of Hot Rats

20-12-69 De tijd: dagblad voor nederland
Positive review of Hot Rats

30-12-60 Trouw
Glowing review of Hot Rats

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[*] posted on 13-12-2017 at 17:05

Volkskrant 22 Oct 1968:

Frank Zappa criticises method youngsters
They don't know that they're doing
Infiltrate in existing media

Amsterdam,22 Oct

Frank Zappa, 27, avant-garde American composer, leader of his own performing ensemble The Mothers Of Invention (after Plato), at night in his suite in the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel. His shoulder length hair that hung loose in the afternoon, is tied back into a pony tail in his neck. The expensive ocher yellow costume he wore when getting off the plane has been replaced by a thin T-shirt and much too short tight khakis.

on the writing desk of the hideous cabinet that's part of the interior is a partly completed score, for the orchestra that'll play with the Mothers in the London Albert Hall next week. Zappa tells us aggravatedly about the riots during the concert of the previous evening, in the Sportpalast in Berlin.

"In the afternoon, while we were setting up our equipment, I was approached by a couple of youngsters who called themselves student leaders of a radical branch of the SDS. They asked if I wanted to cooperate in a programme they had dreamed up for that evening, something that'd bring some life into the social scene. They planned to go to the Allied Command that night and burn the building down.
They wanted me to call up the audience in the Sportpalast to join and to lead the group of people that would carry out this bizarre act. I said no, there's very little sanity in that. And they left. When our show started that night, the same people were in the hall with some followers, and the moment the music started they began to march up and down the hall, shouting "Ho-Ho-Ho-Chi-Min", "no music but discussion," "begone with the Mothers of Reaction" and "Frank Zappa is a coward."
They started to blow horns, throwing tomatoes, eggs, cucumbers and little bombs at us, in short, it was as if they had their own revolution and they were very happy with that. At one time a boy with a nice red scarf, symbol of some radical movements, jumped on stage to speak to the audience, but we drowned out his voice.
In all sorts of horrible sounds, it was a funny sight, you could just see him moving his mouth fiercely but no-one could hear what sort of interesting things he said. After the intermission the stage had filled with people, but we got them off quickly. Whatever you can say of German mentality, they're very good at following orders.
What's nice to mention in this context in a German newspaper, they wrote the next day that our performance wasn't autoritary enough."

Manager Herb Cohen: "When we cleared up the equipment, they were still yelling they wanted a "political discussion". I was furious, I thought "if one of you touches me I'll beat you up." I called them anything that came to mind, fascists and so on, but the only reply was "Nein, nix fascist! Revolutionair!"

Zappa: "The terrible thing is that we're very popular in Germany, but it seems like it's for the wrong reasons altogether. One of the students made me take a photo where he was being beaten by a cop. I said, if that's what makes you happy I'll gladly punch you.

Q: But there were also a lot of Americans in Frankfurt. How did they react, enthusiastic, quiet?

Zappa: There were a lot of children of American soldiers in Frankfurt, they were listening quietly, but not because they all understood,but because they are pigs. stupid pigs. For as far as they were concerned it might just ave well have been the Monkees. They were there like American kids listening to an American teen-rock combo. Simple as that.

Q Do you belong to a political group?
Z Yes, the Mothers Of Invention.

Q What do you think will happen in the next four years under Richard Nixon in America?
Z Things will probably get a lot worse.

Q How bad is it now?
Z Not that good, but in four years it'll be right rotten. Richard Nixon is not suitable to be president, not a member of parliament, not as mayor, not as dog catcher, nto for anything except as trader in second-hand cars. He'd be an excellent trader in second-hand cars."


Q Is there an American political movement you sympathise with, like the Youth International Party?
Z I don't believe in any American political movement, not even YIP, because one of them have a sufficient sociological basis. Tey consider revolution to be on the same level as recreation, the same as with the German students, they mainly owe their following to the fun you have when a cop beats you over the head with a stick.
Although I agree with a large amount of their ideas, I believe their method is fuck. It's childish, based on oneliners and not thoughght through, and I believe that the mass, the mass from the revolution they preach would eventually profit from it, has nothing better to expect. I believe that when the so-called revolutionaries that are being talked about in all the teenage hotspots in the world would take over, things wouldn't get better at all, because they don't know what they have to do.

Q But if you agree with their motives, what alternative do you suggest?
Z I believe in the first place that you think before you act because your actions could have major consequences. It's better to be an intermediator of the ideas you're behind, to the people who aren't as well-informed. In such a teacher's position you can reach more than as flag-waver or as cheer-leader. It's important that young people infiltrate in existing media, because they are being checked and they teach the people. Much better than publishing your own underground-magazine you could go around like an undercover agent with short hair and a tidy suit in the existing media. That is really underground and being courageous and it's more revolutionary than getting beat up by a cop.
The courage you need to work your way into there and fighting a daily woar with the ignorant, that achieves things, not waving a flag around. It's a very ungrateful task, it seems a lot more heroic to scold cops on the street, but in the end you have more chance you can make a change.
And I believe that the best opportunity for youngsters is to attempt to infiltrate in the record market: record sales often surpass book sales. You don't have to be a good musician, but as long as you try to make people think with whatever you put on the record.

Thus spoke Frank Zappa, for the people who didn't discover it in his music, one of his motivations why he he puts his sharp satiric oratoria on the record with his bizarrely dressed teen-rock combo, his fellow-Mothers.

Zappa: Half of the American population, almost a hundred million people, is under 25, but I think you'll be disappointed if you think that's a potential revolutionary generation. The people who just became adults grew up with music like Hanky Panky, Woolly Bully, Louie Louie and that kind of horriblestuff, and in a few years, when that generation is in power, you'll notice it in the politics of the country. The whole hippie-philosophy was a lot of cheating. They thought that by dressing differently, curling your hair and using a lot of dope you'd do something very different from your parents.
But it's all exactly the same pattern, it's no different from the attitude of mom and dad who are drinking cocktails in front of the TV. They're more colourful than mom and dad, you have to admit. You can set much more hope on the generation that's about 12 now. They grew up with Bob Dylan and see what nonsense their older brothers and sisters do. I meet a lot of people from that age group, they seem a lot wiser, soberder. And they have short hair, that too.

Zappa, who's seriously considering to move his group to Amsterdam for a couple of months, tells us about his own newly founded record label. One of the first records that'll appear is by Lenny Bruce, the records of the last two shows he made before his death and that the MOI took part in.

After several hours of talking, manager Herb Cohen phones the Hilversum restaurant to see if it's still open. When asked, he's told that guests aren't let in without a tie. Cohen explains to the point why he thinks that someone who lets others prescribe what he should wear is an idiot. They decide to have dinner in the city center. When Zappa gets out of the lift in a long, way too rloose moped coat with a fur collar, his hair still in a pony tail, the waiting American tourists back up in fright.

-Jan Donkers

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[*] posted on 13-12-2017 at 23:13

27-1-1970 Parool
American popstar-composer Frank Zappa, leader of the former Mothers of Invention, has, during a stay of several days in The Netherlands, talked to Hans Boskamp of Bovema * about a pop festival, to be held in Amsterdam this summer and the performance of a concert composed by him.
The pop festival, that Boskamp will organize, will host at least Zappa with his group, and John Lennon. Talks with prominent foreign groups are still in the pipeline, says Boskamp, who added that it can't happen if the best groups in the world can't be contracted. Zappa and Boskamp talked about what Amsterdam location (Bosplan or Nieuwe Rai) would be the most suitable for a massive festival.

*Bovema - record company, part of EMI
*Hans Boskamp - professional football player later turned stockbroker, then singer and actor. Forever known as the Dutch Oscar the Grouch.


De Tijd, 28-1 1970
Frank Zappa, composer-philosopher and former leader of pop group Mothers of Invention, has offered his newest composition Two Hundred Motels to the organisation of the Holland Festival. At the moment it's being investigated if the composition for symphony orchestra and pop group can be performed here, during the festival.

J. Elsendoorn, press-chef of the festival, spoke to Zappa:
"He came here during the weekend with his composition under his arm, because he wanted it to be performed here. His record company provided the numbers and show that the Netherlands has the biggest interest in his music per capita. He went to de Kring and met people like Peter Schat, Louis Andriessen and Reinbert de Leeuw.* Their mind was blown by the score and set Zappa up with me. I'm a classical kind of guy, I can only look at the classical side of the composition, but I could see it was exceptionally clever. That was also the verdict of the people who knew something about pop groups. The way in which Zappa brought the score. The inventivity and the skilled instrumentation. Although the piece will be experienced like entertainment music, there are themes and structures that are reminiscent of Chopin, Schubert, Rachmaninoff and Strawinsky.
No matter how good a piece is, it's demanding of the performers, and now the point is to find people who are capable of performing it. It'll require a 96 piece orchestra, who'll have to understand this kind of music. For a conductor we have Edo de Waart in mind, who was enthusiastic about Zappa's piece. There's a chance John Lennon will play with the orchestra. Zappa himself will bring a group for the popular music part. When you look at the names, you'll notice they're none other than the complete MOI of way back when.

*Three of the five most prominent Dutch composers of the era. Louis Andriessen has the biggest name of all these. Later they'd perform the rock opera Reconstructie, which was based on the alphabet in which the M stood for Mothers of Invention. The MOI influence is prominent in the grand piece which is about the most important moment of 20th century Dutch classical music.

28-1-70 Volkskrant
Announcement of the same article.

9-2-70 Parool
Humorous column about the FZ toilet poster

19-2-1970 Algemeen Handelsblad
Zappa on the front page with the header Zappa Strikes Again, speaking of Burnt Weeny Sandwich as a masterpiece. Reviewer Tom Flesseman is certainly very impressed.

20-2-1970 AH
Announcement of Uncle Meat. Although Zappa lacks the 300K to finish it, a short 20-min blurb has been released, VPRO intends to buy it and show it on national TV.

21-2-70 Volkskrant
In a lamentation on the delapidated state of festivals the festival germ of FZ/Boskamp is mentioned, with Amsterdamse Bos as location.

28-2-1970 Telegraaf
Apparently Cees van Zijtvelt of Groep 1850 impressed FZ to the extent that he wanted to release them on Bizarre, but things didn't go as planned.

28-2-70 Volkskrant
Positive review of Burnt Weeny

28-2-70 Parool
Announcement of BWS release

7-3-70 Parool
Glowing review of Ponty's album

14-3-70 Telegraaf
Mention of the festival again.

14-3-70 Trouw
Reviewer Willem-Jan Marten complains BWS should really be reviewed by a classical music person, but gives a moderate to good review.

14-3-70 Parool
Not too hot review of Trout Mask Replica

19-3-70 Parool
Article about a newly founded peace thing (Plastic Peace Production), that mentions they assist in organizing both the Holland Festival 200 Motels concert (date is set to 27 June) and the Zappa/Lennon festival, which has now moved to the Olympisch Stadion.

28-3-70 De tijd
Highly rating review of BWS and less enthusiastic review of Trout.

28-3-70 Nieuwsblad van het Noorden
Good news: the MOI have rejoined!

28-3-70 Trouw
About Plastic Peace Production, mentions the concert is still on and to be set in July or August, Herb Cohen may help organizing

4-4-70 Parool
FZ quote: "I don't like commercial pop, because I can't accept the intentions behind it. Most groups and singers aren't in this business to make music, but to make hits, to turn themselves into heroes instead of creating something valuable and artistic."

11-4-70 Volkskrant
Negative review of Trout Mask Replica

17-4-70 AH
Finally all the financial kinks have been ironed out of the 200 motels performance at Holland Festival. As musicians the Nederlands Blazersensemble and Slagwerkgroep Amsterdam. Plastic Peace Production will help out financially.

18-4-70 HVV
Announcements that the Mothers are back together and that the 200 Motels concerts will take place.

18-4-70 De tijd
Enthusiastic review of Jean-Luc Ponty's album

2-5-70 Telegraaf
Glowing review of Burnt Weeny

27-5-70 AH
PPP failed to take 200 Motels to Holland Festival on June 27, but hopes that the concert will happen later in the year

6-6-70 De Tijd
About the Holland festival - mentions 200 Motels fell through because the RAI was already booked.

13-6-70 De Tijd
Interview with Jo Elsendoorn who confirms the RAI story

16-6-70 AH
Announcement of Piknik televised live, with the Mothers concert
Similar announcements appear in Volkskrant and a day later in Het Vrije Volk and Trouw and Parool (with photo) and again Volkskrant (with photo)

18-6-70 De tijd
Interview with photo

Tonight they'll perform in VPRO Piknik, yesterday they were in Amsterdam: a new Frank Zappa with his new Mothers Of Invention: Mark Volman and Howard Kelen, ex-Turtles, George Duke off Jean-Luc Ponty, Jeffrey Simmons, Ainsley Dunbor and Ian Underwood, the last one was also with the early Mothers as saxophone player.

That Rick Zaal managed for the VPRO to contract Zappa after the Byrds couldn't come, is believed to be special by the everybody at the VPRO, including their head of music, Han Reiziger*. Especially because he turned out not to be so expensive, "Much less expensive than the Byrds," he smiled.

Tonight, after nine months of complete silence, Zappa will perform with his Mothers for the fourth tie. He says that he'll do more vocal work because he has two strong vocalists. The ex-Turtles. Not too surprising when you know Zappa has known these people for five years. The music, says Zappa, will be more powerful than with the old Mothers. More drums, more saxophones and as many animal sounds as possible. But when he says that, he and his Mothers are seated neatly behind the bar of folk song stable "'t Schaartje" in Amsterdam. He hands a sherry to his colleagues, puts one light-blue clad leg over the other, pulls his short black pointy beard and confesses that for his business it's good to answer all journalist questions, even if they're stupid and even if he answers them for the hundredth time.
The last record he made, Hot Rats, was chiefly instrumental, "but that was mainly a product of myself. I love making music and I wouldn't know any other reason for doing it. With the Mothers I do more vocal work. Then you easily get satirical lyrics. My instrumental music? I guess you could call that satiric.


His first large piece of music was a ballet. It was years ago.
"Ballet? There's too little humor in it. And ballet needs it, or else it won't live long. Orchestral music too. There it happens too little."
He wrote a musical piece "two hundred motels" about his tours, that has to be performed by a large orchestra and choir. Several months he premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
"It felt really good. But to be honest, I'm not too sure. I was 12 foot higher behind the orchestra and all I could hear was the percussion. I don't know if it sounded right."
Smiles: "The percussion sounded good." Earnestly: "Two hundred motels is an example of a twisted sense of humor."
"Two hundred motels" was the piece that Zappa would initially perform - with choir and orchestra - at the Holland Festival. Zappa now says that there is a possible contract with VPRO,so he may stay in The Netherlands for three or four weeks in December and perform the work on TV.


Frank Zappa has changed when you compare him with three years ago, when he performed with the old Mothers in the Concertgebouw. Not a word anymore about political engagement.
"Ah," says Mother Ian Underwood, "but you can't always stay a politician. We have different kinds of music. On Thursday we will probably play some old hits (mocking). We still have our message, because the situation in America hasn't changed at all. But we are, also because we're with different people, changed."
Zappa: "We've aged. That's not too bad. I want to be entertained. And I love comfort. I'll send
my kids - a three-year-old son and a nine month old daughter - to a public school later, so that they can meet normal people. With that I mean people who adapt to the norms of their environment, in their behaviour, mentally etc. When they get the hang of those people, it'll be easier for them to work out of their life. When you're creative you have to understand what it's like to be normal to work from your own personality. For as far as myself: do you understand the terms ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph? The first is about people who love electronic music, solving crosswords and solving algebra problems, the second for someone who wants to be comfortable at home with coffee and cookies, and the third is the outgoing type. I'm an ectomorph endomorph."
What his other plans are? "I try not to have them anymore," he smiles. "I try to get rid of them. God or something? More domething like that. I do believe in a destiny. You can try to control your destiny, but I don't believe that's right. It's against nature. If I have a plan now and see it's not working, I shrug and change it.

"After The Netherlands I'm going to make a TV show in West-Germany. With Juan Luc Ponty (who was also on Hot Rats) I'll perform in Antibes on 24 July." If it's true he has enough Mothers material to fill 12 LPs with? "Oh certainly, but we're not going to publish them because they wouldn't sell. There will be one more record. The title is "Weasels ripped my flesh." There will be a new record with the new Mothers, around January. First we'll publish a single."

And then he has to leave his stool to pose with the photographers.
(text gets jumpy here)
He characterizes Holland as pleasant and wanted to live here. Now he says, that he only wanted to know how much a house costs here. And Holland, that he liked so much three years ago because it goes the furthest in accepting its music.
-Susanne Piet

*Han Reiziger would later host Reiziger in Muziek. In his summary interview, when he was asked what was his favourite experience in all those years, he said it was driving around with FZ in his old Citroen 2CV.


The location for the VPRO show is kept a secret to prevent hordes of fans from invading.

18-6-70 Nieuwsblad van het Noorden
Mention that FZ might come to a Rotterdam festival - apparently he initially charged 100,000 dollars but his price dropped to 18,000.

18-6-70 Parool
Teaser on the front page for Piknik and an interview.

Composer, writer and filmer without plans

Frank Zappa (29), father of a nine month old son and a three year old daughter, creator of the "Mothers of Invention" will be on TV tonight. Yesterday he was at a press conference in a dark, small Amsterdam cafe. Half an hour late he came in with his fellow Mothers, seven men who were immediately organized behind the bar.

Zappa up close: cut sharply, definitely narrow face, accented by the long curly hair that's tied in the neck. Dark eyes with an expression between friendly and amused, to ironic, to absent. Thick dark mustache with vertical bits on the side, under a hooked nose. Under the bottom lip a small beard that appears to be a bit off centre. Around the neck a thin chain, made of two metal shackles. In a bright purple sweater he sat there - behind the bar that formed a decent barrier between him and the assembled Dutch press - willing to answer the question hotpot.
The Mothers Of Invention, the experiment started on Mother's Day 1965, have only been in this line-up for two weeks. In reply to rumours that the group with only two old Mothers will be disbanded, Zappa replied: "Ask me after this 24 day tour. Maybe I'll know more then. After the Netherlands and the UK we'll go to the USA, where we'll perform on July 1st in Chicago.
What will you do when the Mothers really fall apart?
"I have no plans. I try not to make them anymore."
THe new line-up is the biggest change since the group formed. Tonight we'll get a more vocal programme than one would expect from the largely instrumental LP Burnt Weeny Sandwich. At least two songs that aren't on the record will be known, Zappa promises: "Giraffe" and "Sharleena". The show will take place somewhere in The Netherlands. The visitors will be transported there almost blindfolded: one can get on a bus but not know where one gets out. Negrams Evert Wilbrink: "The only thing I can say is it's somewhere in The Netherlands."
About the current group, Zappa says he's built an oeuvre that's 70% vocal. "I have two good singers and it would be a pity to let them play triangle."
A record of this group is not to be expected until January next year. A record of the old Mothers, 2/3 live recording, will appear soon: Deasels whipped my flesh."
Some time ago, Zappa wrote a symphony for orchestra. It was recently performed in Zappa's home town Los Angeles The title is 200 Motels, because Zappa wrote it in motels. There are plans to perform this work before Dutch television, together with the Radio Philharmonisch Orkest.
Other occupations?
Zappa: IN september there'll be a book about groupies (group of people) entitled Groupies-papers. It contains two diaries, together with interviews I had with groupies.
Besides that, Zappa is working on a film, entitled Uncle Meat. Finally some quotes by the master of classical pop, a handful of currents in the {Dutch proverb, sorry} porridge of a press conference.

Q What do you think of life?
Z "Not too bad." (eyes look thinking) "Well, it's a bit of a tough question to someone who's seated at a bar."
Q Politics of the USA?
Z Repressive.
Q Nixon?
Z A psychiatrist will appreciate him more than I do.
Q Goals in life?
Z I don't know. I think of past and future, but also about the present. It's not natural to lock your destiny.
Q God?
Z I believe in something, I don't believe in organized religion.

And that was it for the press. It was more than the around a hundred fans were told who were waiting for FZ and the MOI in Fantasio II. The publicity had worked: Zappa would rehearse at 4 in the Fantasio in Haarlemmerhouttuinen. They came by the dozens and waited patiently on the street, baffling the neighborhood residents who aren't used to this much attention for this sleepy buillding. The golden membership was wasted: at 5:30 they were informed that Zappa didn't feel like rehearsing. He was in Zuid-Holland. "Guys of Zappa-level can do what they want," is announced with regret through the Fantasio-microphone.

--Ada van Benthem Jutting


Piknik itself is reviewed poorly but the concert is well-received. HVV, Parool and Volkskrant give reviews of this nature. 11% of the potential market watched the show (there were only 2 channels mind you) and got a 67% approval rating - for VPRO not bad numbers.

Glowing review of GTO's in Parool 20-6-70 ??

20-6-70 Volkskrant
Short talk with FZ, who mentions that they skipped a festival in Kralingen because they only were offered 2500 dollars or 9000 guilders, but would do it for the VPRO for 2000 because it was going to be televised.
The paper relates that Zappa received 10 guilders in change at the restaurant, which he donated to a young American in Paradiso.

11-7-70 Parool
Zappa is quoted as liking music by Soft Machine and The Nice. The type of music that leaves something to the imagination of the listener. That's why I call this music a movie for your ears.

25-7-70 Parool
Zappa is quoted from Melody Maker:
"I'm not in favour of violent protest. All you get is that the soldiers come back from Vietnam - the black soldiers who return to their getto's and use their violence, and the white ones, who beat up the hippies.

31-7-70 HVV
Edo de Waard is going to perform 200 Motels with Zappa in autumn 1970. Zappa speaks highly of Edo de Waart in this interview.

7-8-70 VOlkskrant
Announcing the 200 Motels concert

28-10-70 Trouw
Bad short review of Weasels

27-11-67 Numerous papers announce Zappa will perform in Amsterdam on Dec 6

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[*] posted on 14-12-2017 at 12:00

Let's wrap up the crowded year 1970 in this post:
5-12-1970 HVV
Article outlining FZ's career up to that point and announcing the upcoming concert

5-12-70 Parool
Good review of Chunga

5-12-70 Volkskrant
Double review of Weasels and Chunga, both positive

7-12-70 De Tijd
Glowing review of the 6 Dec concert. Quotes FZ as saying: "This is a good hall, you can wake me for a performance here"

7-12-70 Telegraaf
Relates that the equipment didn't arrive in time for the first concert due to bus failure, but Zappa had arranged a quartet of carnaval musicians to play some of their comic simpe antics. *

*Zappa would rekindle this touch of carnaval on Yellow Shark

7-12-70 Now called NRC Handelsblad announces the review on the front page. It also starts off with the brass group De Bierdrinkers who had half an hour to showcase their cheery music, before the equipment finally arrived and during setup the entertainment was provided by Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman as Zanzini Brothers. After which Mark and Jeff Simmons performed a sketch about an oak tree and a reindeer.
Review also mentions 200 Motels fell through over financial reasons.

7-12-70 Trouw
Positive review of the concert, mentioning that Mark Volman spoofs Roger Daltrey's microphone juggling.

7-12-70 Parool
Positive review of the concert. Mentions the Bierdrinkers ensemble played songs like Blote Marie and De Jongens Van Plezier.

7-12-70 Volkskrant
Positive review, mentions that the Bierdrinkers were booed after a few minutes.

11-12-70 Het vrije volk
Glowing review of the 10-12 Rotterdam concert in De Doelen.

Both Amsterdam concerts, and the Rotterdam concert were sold out at 2000 tickets each.

12-12-70 Telegraaf
Positive review of Chunga

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[*] posted on 14-12-2017 at 13:01

2-1-71 De tijd
Good review of Chunga

5-1-71 Nieuwsblad van het noorden
Largely positive review of Chunga but with a dislike for George Duke on display

7-1-71 Het vrije volk
Quotes Zappa from an interview by Barend Toet:
"Politics is a game for little old men who sit across each other and talk until they start to cough."

7-1-71 Trouw
Also quotes Zappa's old little men, and quotes on his drugs viewpoint: "I think it's tragic that people feel free because of chemical use. In my environment I've seen more than enough cases of people who live like psychedelic invalids."

8-1-71 NRC Handelsblad
Interview with two members of Nederlands Blazersensemble, who were scheduled to do 200 Motels.
Werner Herbers expresses his regret at the project failing, and says that Zappa showed how well you can integrate classical music in pop.

9-1-71 Limburgsch dagblad
Attempted interview with no mentionable result and a brief mediocre review of Chunga

5-2-71 De Tijd
In-depth announcement and preview of the nefarious VPRO documentary

News item about the ban of the Royah Albert Hall concert can be found in Limburgsch Dagblad, Telegraaf, De Tijd, Nieuwsblad Van Het Noorden, Parool, and a day later in De Volkskrant

11-2-71 Airing of the VPRO documentary

12-2-71 De Tijd has a positive review of the VPRO doc.

12-2-71 Telegraaf's TV reviewer cuts it short by saying he really couldn't appreciate it.

12-2-71 De Tijd again positively reviews the Zappa doc

12-2-71 NRC is cutting the banal route in its review

12-2-71 Trouw's review is caught in the page fold and not readable

Volkskrant mentioned they skipped watching it.

Parool's review praises the colours and camera work but mentions that the reviewer can't stand the Mothers.

16-2-71 Telegraaf
Angry mother of 4 vents about the VRPO doc

17-2-71 Parool mentions that the CRM (secretary of culture, recreation and social work) will investigate the VPRO doc. VPRO is upset that it has to learn this from the media, defends its decision to air, and mentions 12 people have ended their subscription.

18-2-71 Short news item about CRM investigation appears in all papers. Particularly Telegraaf, sensational tabloid that it is, publishes extensively about its filth, the unfortunate positive reviewer of De Tijd is brandished by one of its readers in an angry letter, to the extend that she feels forced to apologize.

20-2-71 Interview with Rudolf Kiers, maker of the VPRO doc, in Het Vrije Volk. Translation up later.

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[*] posted on 14-12-2017 at 22:17

19-2-71 Parool
Battus, famed wordplay author, complains in his column about having missed the FZ bit with the vacuum cleaner.

20-2-71 NRC
Famed bigheaded author Harry Mulisch admits to being interested in FZ in an interview.

20-2-71 Volkskrant mentions the VPRO affair in its faits divers column on the back page.
"After that VPRO Zappa-show you notice that people who come to borrow a vacuum cleaner, are being looked at peculiarly."

24-2-71 Leeuwarder Courant
Letter-writer gets angry at the hypocrites who are opposing the Zappa-doc

24-2-71 Telegraaf
Letter-writer gets angry at the hypocrites who are opposing the Zappa-doc

25-2-71 Het Vrije Volk
Short article opposing one of the main critics of the documentary (Elsevier journalist M. Reckman)

Several mentions about the incident, but a month later all appears to be forgotten.

22-5-71 Parool
Relates of the cartoons by Marc Nadel, who draws present-day stars as aged people. Accompanied by a cartoon of an elder FZ feeding chickens or something.

26-5-71 Leeuwarder Courant
Has the scoop that VPRO won't be charged over obscenity.

Around this time 200 Motels premiers and mentions of the films being shown pop up everywhere. The same goes for announcements of the upcoming concert, 27 Nov 1971. Tickets to that show cost between 10 and 15 guilders.

21-8-71 Volkskrant
Review of Fillmore East, also mentioning the concert with Lennon. Moderately positive, particularly about Happy Together.

28-8-71 De Tijd
Positive review of Fillmore

4-9-71 De Waarheid
Glowing review of Fillmore

10-9-71 NRC Handelsblad
Glowing review of Fillmore, which cost 21 guilders at the time.

14-9-71 Nieuwsblad van het Noorden
Negative review of Fillmore

21-10-71 Parool
Interview with Edo de Waart:
"Frank Zappa told me once that youth doesn't come to us because everything about us is brown, brown violins, brown seriousness, brown atmosphere, sombre music, etc. He may beright about that

22-10-1971 Het Vrije Volk
Good review of Fillmore East

29-10-71 Telegraaf
Announcement of the major article Jip Golsteijn has written about FZ. He apparently travelled with him for 10 days.

30-10-71 Telegraaf
Major article as announced earlier, will be translated later.

5-11-71 Telegraaf
Lengthy article by Jip Golsteijn about 200 Motels,a brief history and a short summary of the film

15-11-71 Nieuwsblad van het Noorden
Appreciating review of 200 Motels album

20-11-71 De tijd
Disappointed review of 200 Motels album

20-11-71 Telegraaf
Big, pleased review of 200 Motels album

26-11-71 Het vrije volk
Big article on the career of FZ so far

26-11-71 Nieuwsblad van het Noorden
Major article on FZ about the upcoming concert

27-11-71 HVV
Disappointed review of 200 Motels film

27-11-71 Telegraaf
Interview with FZ, will be translated later

27-11-71 Trouw
Negative review of 200 Motels album, but with appreciation for the poster.

29-11-71 HVV
Glorious review of the concert - reviewer compares it to religion

29-11-71 NVHN
Another glowing review of the concert, mentioning it was a sell-out with 8000 people in the audience, and says Jim Pons was the one singing the Dutch verses about vloerbedekking.

29-11-71 De tijd
Third glowing review of the concert, with a summary of Billy The Mountain (which premiered in Europe at that concert)

29-11-71 NRC
Fourth glowing review of the concert, mentions the standing ovation

29-11-71 Trouw
No review, but a pic of the show.

29-11-71 Telegraaf
Glowing review of the concert

29-11-71 Parool
6th glowing review of the concert, with a nice photo of Aynsley Dunbar doing a dance with Volman and Kaylan

Nothing can be found in the papers on the Casino fire. The Rainbow-incident however:

Leeuwarder Courant, De Tijd, NRC, Volkskrant publish the AP on the 13th.
Het Vrije Volk follows on the 16th with more accurate information about his injury and his road to recovery.
Parool on the 17th has a bit more information about Zappa's future and also mentions the Montreux fire (and misplaces Montreux in France)
Telegraaf posts "Frank Zappa Injured" in a corner of its paper.
De Tijd publishes the same AP update as Parool a day before.
NRC posts the AP update on the 18th.

18-12-71 Interview with De Tijd, to be translated later

23-12-71 Various articles announcing the airing of the 200 Motels documentary by Kiers, Telegraaf has a bigger article on it.
Of note: cameraman Peter Bos had just passed away and was sorely missed.

24-12-71 HVV
Reviewer wasn't too enthusiastic about Story Of 200 Motels

24-12-71 Leeuwarder Courant and NVHN
Reviewer is more impressed by the documentary.
Not so much by the movie's prospects though.

24-12-71 Trouw
Show was mentioned in the review

24-12-71 Parool
Uninterested 30 word review.

31-12-71 Telegraaf
Jip Golsteijn reviews 200 Motels as not bad, but misses logic.

31-12-71 De Tijd
Reviewer mentions it's not too bad but it's really about taste.

31-12-71 NRC
Reviewer calls 200 Motels a genial flop.

31-12-71 Trouw
Bored review of 200 Motels

31-12-71 Parool
Negative review of 200 Motels

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[*] posted on 14-12-2017 at 22:45

Here's a photo of Frank with a harp re the 200 Motels talks. Published in Algemeen Handelsblad on 17 April 1970

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[*] posted on 14-12-2017 at 23:11

Het Vrije VOlk, 20 Feb 1971

Strange, weird and late protests
By our reporter Ale van Dijk

Amstelveen - "It's become impossible to make a TV programme that can make a difference from grey mediocricy. As soon as a programme like that appears - and especially when the VPRO airs it - people beg for the government to intervene. That asks for a strong arm. That asks for colonels. And the nasty thing is it will cause intolerance to increase."

Roelof Kiers (32), director of the Frank Zappa-documentary that was aired on Thursday last week by VPRO, thinks it's "strange and weird" that protests weren't heard until a week after the emission. "Clearly it isn't about the emission, but about the intentions of a newspaper," he says. On the cutting roo table before him lies a new TV documentary he made in London, during the shoot of Frank Zappa's film 200 Motels.

Q: Do you understand why viewers complained to the secretary of CRM? They only speak of "scenes that hurt morals."
Kiers: I don't know. I could imagine there are some old people, who are separated from this world and these pop music people and who think it's strange and crazy. But the reactions don't show up until it's been in the newspaper.

Q: Have there been a lot of reactions on the night of the emissions?
Kiers: A couple of phone calls and a few cancellations of memberships. On that first night there were 12 in total. The most important thing is that that night 350 new members were added to VPRO. In the newspapers you read about the 12 who quit. You don't read about the 350. That's terribly tendentious.

Q And the newspaper reviews?
Kiers: The newspaper reviews about the Zappa-film are very positive. De Tijd, not the most progressive magazine, wrote: "Not one moment were they dirty, or even sexy." And that's a lady who writes that. I think that lady felt it right. Also in the protestant-Christian Trouw there was a praising review.

Q But was there anything in the documentary that was never taken to Europe by Zappa?
Kiers: All songs he sang in the documentary were performed in Europe. In my documentary, that was made in the US late last year, he also sang some preliminary studies for 200 Motels. For the film they were recorded in London with a large orchestra. There wasn't one musician that protested.

Q Protesters say that the VPRO shouldn't air documentaries when they know there are morally hurting sections in it.
Kiers: I don't know what they mean. When you make a TV-show about a painter, you show his paintings, don't you? Well you shouldn't underestimate Zappa, he's not a small guy. Musicians of all styles and genres acknowledge his skill, even great classical musicians. Last year 200 Motels almost premiered at Holland Festival, as led by Edo de Waart. Well, the Holland Festival is an officially acknowledged [institution], even by the government. When you're invited for that, you've at least shown your cultural importance, I think.

Q: Did you think while editing that there would be response?
Kiers: There's response to every show. And there are always a couple of reactionaries who write a letter or a telegram to the secretary. I think it's important that all people, who are in favour of the programme (the younger generation), also send letters and telegrams to the CRM. They shouldn't be pushed in a corner by reactions. They want to be served too don't they?

Q: Do you understand the mentality of a phoner-inner?
Kiers: The Netherlands is known through the ages for its liberal tolerance. That has to be able to continue to exist in The Netherlands! It's well possible, there are enough TV providers* who have something for everyone. As a member of the VPRO I don't call another provider if I'm hurt by one of their shows? Don't let people who are member of another provider complain to the VPRO when they don't agree with its shows.

Q So with your review you intended to give information?
Kiers: Zappa is an important man. All the world acknowledges that. I have given information about him as musician and as human. And most of that came across. In my surroundings I've mainly had positive reactions. The response that comes now is different from concentrated action. This is about calling for colonels.

*State television is provided by numerous different organizations in The Netherlands, a leftover from pillarization. VPRO started off as protestant but became rebellious underground. They are called "omroepen", which I translated here as TV providers.

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[*] posted on 15-12-2017 at 13:21

Published in De Telegraaf, 30 Oct 1971. By Jip Golsteijn

The Turtle-soup of the Zappa-concern

On the way to the Boston Music Hall, the bus is halted in a queue. When Frank Zappa spots a party store somewhere in the street, he sticks his head out the window and lets a small boy buy a bag of party horns.* Besides a few dollars tip, the boy also gets a concert ticket for that night. Two minutes later, everybody in the bus is blowing and peeping like at a children's party and everybody's having fun...
On the way to Springfield, everybody's complaining about hunger and thirst and other misery. Until manager Herb Cohen gets fed up with it and has a food stop. When the complaints are smothered by twenty-five hamburgers and drowned in dozens of liters of ice cold cola or hot coffee, Mark Volman has the idea that a cap, like the staff of Mac Donalds Food Company wears, would look very good on him. On all of us by the way. So at the end of the dinner on the pavement, he walks in, to come back later with an armful of caps. Everybody wears one and on the way to the concert hall everybody has lots of fun again.
On the way to the inth Holiday Inn on this tour, publicity agent Barbara Scott stands up in the bus to make a general announcement. Upon arrival, everybody has to freshen up rapidly, because in half an hour the various buses will go to their various destinations. Everybody protests, but miss Scott cannot be perturbed. Mark Volman stands up, looks at the rain outside the bus and says: "if I get so little time, I'll take a shower here." And he gets off the bus. Everybody roars with laughter.

You don't like these stories? I could imagine. But I can assure you that just like everybody else, I was under the table with laughter. Everybody in this case means: Frank Zappa, Ian Underwood, Don Preston, Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan, Jim Pons, Aynsley Dunbar - in short, the Mothers of Invention - and their following that for this seven day tour means a publicity agent, a manager, ten roadmanagers and sound technicians, and eleven European journalists who are invited by United Artists to follow the trip, partly because UA thought it would be such a nice idea for a couple of European journalists who appreciated Frank Zappa's music over the years, and partly because all publicity for Zappa's soon-to-be-released film 200 Motels is useful.
Especially in The Netherlands, where Zappa has been incredibly popular from his first album up with the progressive pop people, led by Frits Boer and Hitweek.

I don't know how you feel about this, but when I heard complaining of pop musicians (a horrible existence, all that travelling, away from home most time, no private life) I'd always think "Yes, that may be, but it's better than sitting in an office or working in a factory, and besides you earn considerably more money. And of course that makes everything OK, especially when it's a lot. But after ten days "on the road" I've understood: you work your butt off, have two concerts in a night sometimes, are continuously in buses and for the sparse leisure you have to resort to the dull entertainment in Holiday Inn's bars. And rely on your own sense of humor of course, and with that the Mothers of Invention don't have a bad hand.
The Mothers of Invention form two groups within the group. One is made from Frank Zappa, the (mildly dictatorial) leader and the trinity Ian Underwood - Don Preston - Aynsley Dunbar. Only organ player Preston will be caught in Zappa's iron grip. He's left the group six times, but he's come back six times. Second orfanist Underwood has been with the group since the beginning - the LP Freak Out, now six years ago. He is an excellent musician, but lacks any ambition to do something else than Zappa prescribes. That goes too for the English drummer Dunbar, who used to give over to the mood swings of John Mayall and will now accept the part of skilled and energetic performer of Zappa's will. The group Underwood/Dunbar/Preston is either working with music, or not working at all.

The other group is made up of Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan and Jim Pons. Zappa has musically had an unmistakeable influence on them, but beyond that he has little power over them. That has a special reason. Around the age of 18, Kaylan and Volman were commercial superstars. As the Turtles they had gigantic superhits like Happy Together and She'd Rather Be With Me. And guys like that don't allow Mr Zappa to tell them how to sing. Some indications by the Great Director are accepted, but most are laconically ignored, ie heard and not or barely performed.

From the press side, Zappa had to endure a lot of criticism for attracting ex-Turtles Kaylan and Volman, now a year and a half ago. That's partly his own fault. On his second or third record he says sarcastically that his aim is to form a group that is "as good as the Turtles." And then you look like a fool when you have three of them in your group four years later. Without wanting to claim that there's a race to power in the group, it's clear that Volman and Kaylan have strengthened their position now that ex-pal Jim Pons joined to play bass after Jeff Simmons left (everybody's very angry with [Simmons] because he left the group just before the recording of 200 Motels). After being imposed by him and looking for a spot in Zappa's shadow, he's now firmly rebelling against his authority.

The Kaylan/Volman/Pons group has its footing in commercial ground, keeps in the cheery mood with an unimaginable sense of humor, sings ancient hits in the back of the bus and bet on the World series, the unofficial world championship baseball for clubs that grip America and the ex-Turtles.

With the coming of the Turtles, the political engagement on Mothers records has been reduced to a minimum, but on the other hand the group has never been this good musically. The sound stands firmly. Architect Frank Zappa laid the goundation of concrete (Underwood cs) under a roof of supple yet razor sharp steel (Volman cs). He got the Mothers Of Invention.

This is a travel report, the book of a tour of a pop group. For an analisys of Zappa's film 200 Motels and lengthy interviews with the Mothers of Invention, I'd like to refer you to the film page of next week.

Chief cook Zappa and his musical Clowns, by Jip Golsteijn
London, Tuesday:
Assembly of the non-British European press. I meet a German and two French colleagues, who appear to know a lot of popular music, a trait so little seen in their respective countries. But the most impressive is the Danish Hella Helleman, who claims to have never even set foot in the States, yet still knows that Americans love to watch horror series on TV to distract themselves from Vietnam.
It's acknowledged by host Ronnie Bell of United Artists, who'll take us to the airport in his super-fast Rolls Royce, acknowledged tiredly. After all, it's still early; apart from the energetically chatting Hella nobody has really woken up yet.

BOSTON, Tuesday
Flying a Jumbo Jet is the most boring way of travelling there is. You hear nothing and you see nothing, besides the second-rate films that are being played onboard. But it's very fast: in less than seven hours you're on American soil. You haven't left the airport yet though: customs have frown so paranoid from the strict government orders that everybody who has hair over the ears and who has left the grey-blue three-piece suit back home becomes a narcotic dealer long sought by Interpol.
After a distrusting employee has thoroughly investigated my humble suitcase for "any plants and seeds" I'm put in a room and set to the wall to be searched for needles and containers. I apparently look suspicious, because only after a lengthy meeting do they think 500 dollars of pocket money is enough to get me around for ten days in God's Own Land.
But the cosy reception makes up for a lot of the still shaky Europeans, eleven including the Brits. The untireable publicity apostle Barbara Scott hands out stencilled travelling schedules, of which everybody says they look great and promising, but of which the recently arrived Mothers of Invention say that not much of it will happen as planned in the next few days.
They were right.
Later in the afternoon, the preparations for all of Zappa's interviews are made. A tight schedule that's made, turns out to be of little use the next day. (All interviewers are stuck in a roo chatting, inbetween they all write their own story for the folks back home)

BOSTON, Wednesday
In the morning, Frank Zappa recommended everybody to watch a lot of TV, so that we have a good view on how the various authorities view the average American. As a European it flabbergasts me. Every host talks to you like someone talking to a retarded child, the commercials (which riddle American TV) are so below all levels that our not too progressive STER*-ads look like a remarkable chunk of television.
I'm not sorry that the set in my room turns out to be broken, but when I tell this to Zappa and the Mothers, a mild panic rises. They immediately advise me to ring the hotel electrician, because "without TV life during a tour is unbearable."
Indeed, whenever I enter a room, the TV's on. It's a habit to reach for the dial immediately, just like we reach for the light. It's barely watched, but the blue eye must and shall be turned on, even in the middle of an interview. After a few days, the TV becomes a soothing object, instead of the nerve-wrecking machine I remember from The Netherlands.

Every show starts with a "soundcheck", a depressing event. The sound is tested in an empty, ice-cold hall. Musicians know such a test is a necessity, but it makes them gloomy every time, because it never sounds just right. It can't sound right until the audience is there - the audience doesn't just set the atmosphere, but also dampens the overly loud noise and spreads it evenly across the room.
The hall is not bad this evening. The Boston Music Hall is a beautiful hall, similar to Tuschinski, but much taller and deeper and with a Jugendstil* that makes a good impression in spite of the oppulence. The audience almost clashes.
American audiences are not too easy for someone used to the atmosphere in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. They're very agressive, but that's partly because Chuck Berry opened, an old rocker who attracts scum. Ten heavily armed policemen, that kick everything that moves, don't contribute to a relaxed atmosphere.
Chuck Berry is a phenomenon on his own. For almost twenty years he sings the same repertoire of golden oldies "Roll Over Beethoven", "Nadine", "Sweet little sixteen", "Memphis Tennessee", "Too Late", "Carol" etc. With always the same movements and always the same gimmick, where he hops on one leg, sticks the other out in front and crosses the stage over the entire length. When I ask him backstage if it doesn't bore him, he agrees. "But it's my bread. If I do something new they won't accept it."

There will be two concerts that evening. "Do the Mothers usually do that?" I ask. Mark Volman: "When the organisers have enough money, yes. But usually they don't." I can imagine: the group costs $6,000 on average.
Two concerts is murder. After being on stage for 1 hour and 45 minutes, they stumble exhausted down the stairs into the dressing room, where there's a delicious cold hamburger and cold coffee for all. There's nothing an American truly hates as much as that, so they look at it with an aside glance and turn to the many bottles of whiskey, gin and red wine. The second concert goes very well.
To honor the Mothers, some arties are organized in Boston. One of them is in a huge mansion, where everything is of a bone-chilling luxury. When after an hour I can only find sleepng band members in the twenty rooms, I've seen enough and get in the cab. In the Holiday Inn bar I meet Howard Kaylan, who's also escaped and is melancholically staring into his glass of gin and ice. The entire bar is red leather and black iron, and a lady who looks 50 by day and half that in the dark, sings bad versions of Carole King and James Taylor songs. It's very depressing to an exhausted pop musician. By closing time Kaylan moves to his room with suicidal plans.

NEW HAVEN, Thursday.
Performing in the huge hockey hall isn't everything either. In the stadium of the New Haven Blades, the acoustics sound like a watering can and Zappa doesn't allow us to forget it's the most rotten place where he's performed yet. The audience - 6500 people - react agreeingly and even enthusiastic when Zappa says: "The organizers of this competition probably thought that a guitar looks a little like a hockeystick. In this hall they sound the same at least. Volman, at the end of an exhausting concert: "The audience were better than we."

Although it doesn't look like it until the final moment, the Mothers have a fantastic concert in Smith College, a girl college in Springfield/Massachusetts. A very rich neighborhood with beautiful houses, quite a way apart from each other. Children with expensive toys in the yard. On campus it looks very British. The auditorium is a nice dark brown. The two fat Turtles are grim about it. They call every girl that passes Ali (after Love Story's Ali McGraw) and crow in style: "Ooh, just like England!" But the evening turns out fantastic. The audience responds intelligently. Instead of two, Zappa now plays three of his available lengthy compositions: What Kind Of Girl Do You Think I Am, Divan and Billy The Mountain. They're on stage for over 2 hours and for some it's not enough.
In the middle of the night - after a party reminiscent of Kafka and Fellini - in the lobby at the Holiday Inn, two cakes are cut for Jeff, the rented driver, it's his 50th birthday.
That Jeff is a strange person. The day before he confessed (drunk) to me in tears that he has five children and three grandchildren, and that he regrets being away from home so often. By day you don't see much of that. Jeff's very cheery around the musicians, who let him be involved in everything and make him feel like a very important part of the chain.
When, during the party at the girl's school, everybody (except the musicians who don't drink much and smoke even less) stumble into the sleeping quarters, Jeff surprises the onlookers by stating Merle Haggard is right and America'll go to hel this way. The Mothers burst into a polyphonic "Okie from Muskogee", followed by "Fighting side of me". Jeff has tears in the eyes. During the preparation for the concerts he's been enthusiastically throwing people he didn't like out of the dressing room. To that end he uses an official police badge that Mark Volman talked off an officer in Boston a few days earlier.

NEW YORK, Sunday
Upon arriving, an employee of a (You guessed it) Holiday Inn shows me four hideous paintings in the lobby. Four authentic Dutch masters, two Vermeers, a Ruysdael and a Ferdinand Bol. Or so he says. With a layman's eye I estimate them to be between ten and fifteen years old. The idea that there'd be around 40 million guilders' worth in a hotel becomes more and more ludicrous after an increasing amount of people in the group are being robbed.
Because that's often the case. Three successful and four failed attempts at burglary are counted on the first day. That night it even becomes a furious chase. All of us chase a man who came from my room, as I was about to enter. He escapes in the service lift.
How those people wind up with us, we ask the one (!) detective in his huge hotel. The man, an exhausted looking man in his 50s, whinks we're obnoxious, dumb and annoying. "It has to be an organization," he says. "They've heard there's a pop group on the 11th floor. And that's where the money is, you see."
Barbara Scott, who's mothered the group for days, is at trigger point after two days of New York. She considers going into a different hotel, because this is a madhouse. Barbara knows of a nice old hotel, exploited by a French family.
Zappa advises against it. "You'll have the junkies in your neck," he predicts. And that's indeed worse. Because heroine addicts aren't likely to listen to reason or guns.

NEW YORK, Monday
"Maybe it'd be fun to incorporate all the journalists in a stage act," Frank said at the start of the tour. But we've all forgotten about it when it suddenly happens. After four practice rounds we have all mastered the latest American dance: the Mud Shark. The people from ABC TV, who record the rehearsals in Carnegie Hall for the six-o'clock news don't know what they're seeing. But they do register: a chain of eleven European journalists hopping on stage.
In the evening it becomes a true spectacle. When the Mud Shark is announced, all eleven of us get up from our seats and begin to dance. Within a minute the entire hall is one dancing mass, who are led out of the hall by the Europeans with the magic words "Out, so far out". This merry bit of fun costs Zappa 600 USD, because the Union (I don't know which of the 400) didn't like it that they were working until after 1AM.

NEW YORK, Tuesday
Although everybody's very cheerful, there's a melancholic atmosphere at the farewell lunch in Sardi. Sardi is a very melancholic cafe. In the early days, Broadway artists who had just premiered, would sit and get drunk here while waiting for the morning papers, in which the review that decides between wealth and unemployment benefit is printed.
After two speeches at the table (of the bourgeois kind), we hear from Zappa's mouth what we'd expected: The Mothers have loved this tour. Eleven strange people in the bus at the time have kept the boredom further away than ever.

NEW YORK, Wednesday
The Mothers are going further inlands. Four more shows await, the last one in Kansas City. Then everybody is free until November 20th, when the European tour starts. "It could be fun to bring some American journalists," someone suggests. Barbara Scott suspects United Artists wouldn't dish out 20,000 dollars a second time.

*blaaspiepers. It's such an antiquated term I really can't be sure what it is - looking for it only gives carnaval groups. I guess since it's at a party store and the name implies it peeps when you blow it (giggle) it's what we call "roltong" nowadays, a party horn / blow tiddler etc.
*STER: Stichting Ether Reclame is in charge of the commercials on state television, back in the days when all TV was state TV and only 2 channels
*Jugendstil is Art Nouveau, but German/Dutch.

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[*] posted on 15-12-2017 at 13:36

This cartoon was published in Nieuwsblad Van Het Noorden, 21 March 1969. With the caption "Hermit musician".

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[*] posted on 15-12-2017 at 23:54

Saturday 18 December 1971, De Tijd, by Gert-Jan van Oomen

"I try to be fair and manageable, but it won't work...

Since they started in 1966, FRANK ZAPPA and his Mothers Of Invention have been the subject of fierce debates and writings in a positive and negative sense. At this moment he's in the news with his surreal documentary 200 Motels. In it he gives us his vision of life on the road of a rock group, that's like being in the army: all hotels look alike, all concert halls merge, all the audience too. All you have is each other, a tour becomes an expedition, a performance becomes a march. As entertainment in the travelling vacuum bubble, there's the TV. And the fringes of fame: celebration in the local bars, groupies and more of that kind.
It's a strange group, their experiences, personal relations amongst themselves and with the audience show it. And 200 Motels reports this in a way that's just as bizarre.
This interview took place when Zappa was in The Netherlands three weeks ago. It was intended to be published in this weekend special, ahead of a TV documentary by the VPRO next Thursday. Last Friday however, a strange and sad accident took place: one of the visitors of a Mothers concert in the London Rainbow theatre, who was jealous because his girlfriend loved Zappa, climbed on stage and tossed Zappa into the orchestra. He was seriously injured: a skull base fracture and a broken leg. At the time of writing, there's no news, but whatever the result may be, the reference to Zappa's future plans have sort of become suspended.
After all he has a strong relation with whatever happens around him, so there's no doubt that this event will leave its marks. Even if it was because - not entirely unjustified - he could ask himself why him, why he would be the one to end up in a situation like that: his manner of dealing with all sorts of prejudices and behaviours is hard to take for some people. Add to that his total supremacy over what happens on stage - that could easily pass for arrogance - and the surfacing of latent feelings of unhappiness comes within the realm of possibilities, sadly.

Three weeks ago Zappa performed with his Mothers Of Invention for a -in three hours - sold-out crowd in Ahoy Rotterdam, that holds 8,000. Next Thursday, VPRO will show a documentary about his first life's work, the film 200 Motels, an absurdist socumentary, his vision of a group's life on the road. The film itself will be in cinemas in January 1972. More than enough reason to delve into this curious personality. The myths around him are as strange as the many descriptions that have been given of him: electronic social worker, critical commenter of society, anti-popstar and patron saint of the Freaks.

Zappa is 31 years old, happily married and has two kids, Dweezle and Moon Unit. He reasons carefully and sharply and is surrounded by an aura of flawlessness: if yu haven't corrected yourself stuttering and ashamed in a discussion, he'll interrupt you with the infinite patience of a teacher who has long since wrote off the people on the rear bench for science, and straightens everything he sees. On good days he shows a gigantic amount of self-mockery - then you don't know what to believe anymore - but on the whole he tries to be as exact as possible: he lets people repeat the question to be sure he doesn't talk past you. It's as if Mr Seasoned himself takes as long as possible to make you retire your question if it doesn't fit him as well as he'd like it. Only in tough cases he gets agitated and sticks the term "first of all" at the beginning of his tirade, not because there's a second of all, but because you really need to pay attention now.

Own Interview
Now if you're like him, of course you'll get confronted with the strangest people and questions, like why he had a self-written interview spread around by the time of the 200 Motels premiers, that can be seen as part of the Zappa/Mothers material. It breathes the same ambivalent atmosphrere of the willing lovingness on one side and the patronizing cynicism and mockery on the other side, with which Zappa boils himself into both the virtual interviewer into hideous extrapolations: the dumb hit sensitive journalist opposed to the mad maniac.

To clarify, here are some examples:

"What is so special about you guys?"
"The most unique aspect of the Mothers is the conceptional continuity of the Output Macrostructure (...) In short, there was always a conscious control of thematic and structural elements that are part of each record, show and interview session. "
Then follows a large exposition, accompanied by a weather map, geographical structures and a computer printout. The "blueprints"...
"No wonder you guys never have a hit single!"
This yell hits the nail on the head. When the Mothers were given a for their work very lucrative contract, society assumed to have a runofthemill rock group. A hurridly released single sold eight copies in total, something like scoring 0 right in the pool.

Sense of humor
Another Zappa quote in this little play is actually an important key to his work: "It is, against all the evidence of the opposite, theoretically possible to be earnest and still have a sense of humor."
He directs this especially in the direction of "all people who suffer feelings of ambiguity when they're given the opportunity to laugh at themselves." With this we're inevitally reminded of the Jeff Simmons case, who played bass for the Mothers until the recording of 200 Motels. He handed in his part and left, something I'll come back to later. The Mothers' dogma has often been a source of confusion. Zappa has plenty of examples:
"Take a look at the title of the LP "We're Only In It For The Money." It was, as is indicated by the Sergeant Pepper's spoof on the inside, intended as "send-up" * to the Beatles and not
as declaration of the Mother's financial politics. If a band that looks like us, produces an album like that and says they love money, has to be the greatest joke in the world. And what happened? Nobody laughed. On the contrary, hundreds of journalists took it bloody seriously. It never occurred to them that the Beatles were a teensy bit more commercial than we were. The Beatles made ART after all? And we were but a collection of tone-deaf perverts, who parasited on the social confusion of the kids. And now they're after money!
Look, money plays a part for me to the extent that I like working with sound and image. Making films is very attractive to me because it reaches a lot of people and there's a lot of workability int he information you put into it.
It's however the most expensive medium you could have. If my projects make money, then that goes to new projects."

In 200 Motels, the members of your group complain that you spy on them, boil your observations in ammonia and give them back to perform. Take Jeff Simmons for instance...

"I put them in a caricatural form, so they could deal with it. Jeff Simmons is a complicated case. He was under pressure of his girlfriend, who thinks that he, as a serious blues guitarist, can't play the clown. Jeff turns out to have a great sense of humor, which is what made himgreat for sketches. Often on stage he
built the things in such a way that we could barely play with laughter. His girlfriend thought that was more than his honor was worth and I suggested to him to portray this. His part is that of the blues guitarist torn by duality, who wants to quit the group because he thinks he's too serious. At first he loved it. He
thought he had the best part in the film. And that is true, the film's based on it. But when his girlfriend had come over, he handed in his part. To cover up his departure we've set in a
cartoon and worked with a replacement." (Martin Liquort, Ringo Starr's driver, who accidentally happened to act beautifully.)

Insane myth
I think 200 Motels is really governed by that image of Zappa as the great master, with everybody obeying to his command.
"We settle the image that most people have of me in a humoristic way. I'd have to snap my fingers and people would jump for me."

Why do people think that then?
"Because most people see me on stage like that. When I do this (raises hand) the entire group shouts "BOOM!" And in 200 Motels, that's expanded to the absurd. My almightiness is one
of the crazy myths surrounding the Mothers. It's alluded to in the film, but there'll be people who can't discover the parody and take it for documentary."

I carefully continue on the theme of manipulation. Journalists who are really scared of him, scared to be sent in the wrong direction with their interview. This is because of his "conceptual continuity" and the announcement of the record company that Zappa "only wanted to talk if you'd seen the film and read the press material."
"First of all (careful!), you surely don't believe that anyone has plans up to and including 1975? If anyone plans to see the Great Manipulator in me, he has to do it and put it in his interview. The word's been dropped five times now, and I don't know about how it works here, but in English we call it "evil linguistic implications". Happy? Fine, I've been invited five times now to confirm this, and I won't. But first, take everything that has been written about the Mothers and has been produced by them, spend a day on it, and I'll assure you that my gifts as manipulator will astound you beyond your wildest dreams.
I just try to be fair and manageable to people. It just won't work. When I was 11, I had a mustache, an overly large nose and I was overweight. My appearance had a strong effect on people, I at least repulsed them but in many cases I caused some alarm. If you go in the rock business, where people are supposed to be pretty, you're ten penalty kicks behind. Add to that that most people have never seen me, let alone spoken to me, and I get at least radioactive."

Inside material
Don't you grow extra misunderstanding by using a lot of inside material?
"Some people don't like inside material. I think it's highly necessary because otherwise there's nothing to annotate. Besides I can negotiate a lot of vision on what happens around me in it. You do run the risk of being misinterpreted, but there are people who do get the message, and they have a lot of fun. You'll have to see my earlier political work in this light. I've never really made political material, so the accusation that I stopped doing that, doesn't make sense. They've always been personal observations, completely subjective about politics."

"The alternative is the sentimental nonsense that 90% of the music industry is working with: fabricating generalisations in which people recognize their own little problems without too much difficulty. The main theme is the love songs, people can work nicely to those. But how do they do that when I talk about Mr Greengenes who has to eat his shoes and socks, and the truck and the driver? Or that you have to call a vegetable by its name, that you have all chance that he'll respond? There's no tinkering with that, you can only grab it with its own merits."

Zappa is often very cryptical in this way, and in 200 Motels he sends up Ringo Starr to play Larry the Dwarf, who is in his turn disguised as Frank Zappa (one of the many bits of alienation and jumbled realities). Sometimes Larry offers an explanatio. It's not said with as many words, but that it's done by Ringo and not by Zappa, is because of, besides his busy activities during the one week shooting, also because he's not the kind of guy to to pull the sparse explanations in this colourful and bizarre circus to him. He doesn't like to tell the audience time and time again what he sees. "The film is purely intended to be watched. And if you didn't get it the first time, go watch it again, there's enough in there."
That's definitely been true for Zappa's products up to this point, but that's also where his prime fault is: in spite of all the evidence to the contrary he'll be damned to appraise his audience any lower than his ideal image of it, or to adapt to that for the sake of clarity.

Are you content with the results of your proceedings, recording on coloured video and later transferring it to 35 mm film?
"It's a beautiful method to experiment with visual effects. Whatever you think about the image changing to the beat, I like it a lot and it's better than all the slow cuts in real films. Then you "register", now you "do" with sound and image. Here you do it partly directly with four cameras: you can choose straight away and change in rhythm or not."

Your name has been tied to 200 Motels for four years now. Doesn't it feel abortive, that everything is over with one week of shooting?
"Abortive is not the right word. I'm very satisfied to the extent that everything I don't like now, could have been helped with more money than the 600,000 dollars I had. But this is it, I'm going to do something else now. You should see this as a kind of demo and by now I've stumbled upon other technical possibilities, like putting together sound and image in a computer. Which is going to cost a lot of money, but the effects are grand.
Beyond that we still have the film Uncle Meat from the old days. It was never finished, but it could serve as part of an extensive documentary about the Mothers when the time is right. That'll give 200 Motels an extra dimension. Just like the 9 LP set that's coming in March '72. a lot of the mysteries surrounding the Mothers will be resolved in a surprising way, because the work stretches from 1962, two years before the band was there, up to now, and there'll also be a book with explanations.

New wizards
Speaking of books, there's now a book in Dutch called "Zappa", written by Rolf Ulrich Kaiser, who has been following Zappa for years. It was on Zappa's table but someone will have to translate it. The information is very extensive and to the point, but the author himself often measures Zappa by the standards of 'gurus', conscience-warfarers and meditators about the essence of Einstein's E=MC2*. In short, the new wizards. How does Zappa feel about that?
"What can you do about those people? They have a right to live, I have the right to hate them. But everything contributes to the development of a new mentality among people. That mentality requires an openness for all imaginable forms of information. Not that the gurus matter in any way, but I want to say: that the methods with which information - useful and precious information because of its irreplaceability - is watered down and stretched over the various mass media, are terribly damaging. That has to change.
What's also important to move society along, is to find methods to get rid of the neuroses that change the behaviour of people. Even if legally all imagineable freedom could be guaranteed, that would still be worthless as long as people are tied to their neuroses. They have to get the chance and the means to be able to care for themselves. I feel from an idealistic point of view for anarchy, with no government at all, but that wouldn't get you anywhere right now. If you'd suddenly hand all facilities and regulations by the government into the hands of public organizations, like foundations without profit objective, that would be way too premature. The waterfoundation would still charge gigantic amounts of money because the source material is so filthy."

"One of the neuroses is that everything goes behind the back of the man in the street, so he has a serious suspicion towards technology. TO improve things you'd have to start with the world the way it is now, as a result of that technology. In science and technology there is no evil, but a threat. They have to be used for a different goal."
"That's why I don't like the drop-outs, who want to throw everything away, even everything that's useful. You know, sitting in a hut on the heath, pumping water from the ground and eating home-grown radishes. Those people should realize that if things continue that way and everybody who doesn't see it anymore drops out, in ten years there will be no more huts on the heath that have clean water coming out of the pump. And then their radishes won't grow that well."

*The author doesn't know how to translate send-up and uses the word "kat, but much less friendly"
*Should be superscript

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[*] posted on 16-12-2017 at 20:57

27 Nov 1971 Telegraaf
Interview with Jip Golsteijn

Frank Zappa
'I'm not the boss, I'm a conductor."

"He's a kind of American John Mayall," Howard Kaylan says in an angry mood. "He hires and fires at will. One Mayall is more than enough for me."
If his own solo singer feels that way about him sometimes, how must someone who doesn't deal with Frank Zappa every day judge him?
"He is an apostle of the revolution," Rolling Stone said, the leading (but hated by Zappa) American music magazine.
The people who flooded the VPRO with letters and phone calls to the extent that questions were raised in parliament and the VPRO got admonished, couldn't care less. Throughout the ages, they'll only remember Frank Zappa as the man who put a vacuum cleaner hose on the naked breast of a lady.
Zappa himself has sort of given up trying to explain what he thinks his task is and what he thinks of this, that and the other, now that he's found out that nobody really cares and almost everybody would rather analyse the peripheral phenomena. Here follows an extensive interview, made in luxury suites of Holiday Inns', buses and other locations, varying from posh manors to crummy sandwich-shops.

The world famous café-restaurant Sardi in New York has outdated just as charmingly as, say, the Kurhaus Hotel or the Tuschinsky Theater. It has the same melancholy atmosphere. In early days, Sardy drew the artists who just premiered on Broadway and would get loaded afterwards, waiting for the reviews in the morning papers, that would already be sold near the venues at 4AM.
But the current generation doesn't want to have anything to do with Sardi. Today's famous actor or actress goes home after a premiere and will hear it all there. The staff of Sardi, all deliberately badly English speaking Italians, have a hard time adapting to the change. While the bouncer used to kick out everybody he didn't like while outing hellish Sicilian curses, now he has to make do with whoever still wants to come.
Nonetheless, for the departing lunch of the MOI and the European journalists (who followed the group on tour for ten days) have reserved a table far from the eyes of the stola-wrapped old ladies. Only the highly expensive orders of this freak company allows the staff to reconcile with our presence. A huge tip does the rest.
There's really nothing to complain about us. All of eat - if necessary - with knife and fork, and even speeches are held at the table. Like that of Frank Zappa, that's hardly different from the ones that makes my uncle Jaap so popular on family parties. Thanking everybody, it's been a huge honour, great group, good vibrations, etc etc. Not special, until you hear the last line: "Don't think that you now have a good view of the Mothers on tour. Your presence has influenced us too much to a good end."

Later I ask Zappa what he meant exactly.
Zappa: "In a normal tour, we're completely reliant on each other. Because we've known each other so long and so well, this gives way to boredom. Eleven strangers bring a lot of new life - just getting to know you guys has made the last ten days fly by."

It seemed like a very smoothly running tour to me.
FZ: It was. We haven't even had half of the problems we usually have. Possibly because everything's a little better organized than usual, because of the foreign guests, who need to transfer a positive image of the American organizers.

Last year in Amsterdam, the equipment hadn't arrived in time for the first concert. This kind of problems, you mean?
FZ: Exactly. A German company that had let out their truck to us, suddenly demanded the truck back while we were in Frankfurt, because some office clerk discovered that the truck'd already been let to somebody else. Everything was out on the street and we couldn't get a car, it was Saturday or Sunday.
In the nick of time, the road managers managed to find a truck. In the mean time, we were at the concertgebouw and knew nothing. When the gear didn't arrive and the first concert seemed to be going completely wrong, we decided to do something acoustic. None of us wanted to let down the Amsterdam audience.

Why this charming love for The Netherlands?
FZ: There's a special reason for that. When nobody in America really was interested in me or the Mothers, Frits Boer introduced us in Hitweek, which meant that for a long time, we sold better in Holland than in America. Not relatively, but in real numbers.
When I tried to get 200 Motels off the ground, soon every candidate for the organization was dismissed, except or Holland. Both from the side of the audience as from the side of the musicians, there was only real interest for the project in Holland.
With Edo de Waart - a very strange boy who knows absurdly much about music - I spoke about all the options multiple times, but it didn't work out in the end.

What do you think of the final result, now that 200 Motels has become a film?
FZ: It took time to get used to the idea, but when it turned out that a movie was the only opportunity to realize the project, we went about it very quickly. It took just a few months to record it all. In spite of all the stbacks. Jeff Simmons for instance, had the idea of quitting the group just before the definite recordings.

FZ: His wife had convinced him that he as a 'heavy bassist' was being abused by me. I'd discovered Jeff had a great comical talent. During life shows he'd play for Rudolph the Reindeer. Hilarity ensues.
But Jeff got the idea that he was in a group of musical clowns. He told me that honestly. When I suggested to use his conflict in the film (he'd have to play himself) he became hellish and ran off. He lacked courage apparently. Martin Liquort, Ringo Starr's driver, took over Jeff's part. He does look a little like him, the music was played by someone else.

Is it true the music was recorded directly with the film?
FZ: That's true. Apart from two sections, that were play-backed. And in the animation we couldn't do it live.

You never seemed to have any interest in films, do you?
FZ: That's what you think. In reality I've been filming since 1958. Quite fanatically too.

You're kidding! What did you film?
FZ: My mom and dad in the yard. I zoomed a lot, you don't believe it. Like Andy Warhol, when I look back at those films. It became more serious later on. Frits Boer can tell you that we used to use a lot of home videos on stage. We've had terrible problems with various authorities.

I saw a film yesterday where Don Preston cohabitates with a stuffed toy. Is that what you mean?
FZ: Among others. They thought it was pornographical, but I didn't think so. I still don't.

Last year there was a riot about a VPRO documentary about you and which showed some of the GTO's.
FZ: Yes, I heard about that later. But it was great that it was shown, so I had no reason to complain. People so quickly bring up the word obscene.
I have one standpoint: if it's done by people, it's human. Whatever, including war. There's no such thing as obscenity.

Do you still have similar difficulties with the American authorities?
FZ: No, that's all-right these days. Although Uncle Meat still can't be played in some states because of the introduction with Suzy Creamcheese. The strange thing is that there are a lot more concrete referrals to sex on Fillmore than Suzy did back then. But Fillmore can be played everywhere, even in the south of the US. I don't understand it.

Why a live-LP? You ever liked them much did you?
FZ: The Fillmore LPs were intended to fill the gap between Chunga and 200 Motels. Besides, they threatened to close the building and I wanted to be there. A song like Road Ladies is so much more fun with an audience.

You've had difficulties with the record company about the way Fillmore was advertised.
FZ: Yes. They wanted to make a terribly horny TV-commercial. I protested fiercely against that. If you think that the records are obscene, you shouldn't use an obscene way to try and trick your audience into buying that. They stopped the emission of that commercial.

There was something in Melody Maker about a conflict with David Frost. Could you elaborate on that?
FZ: During the camera rehearsals for the David Frost-show I discovered they wanted me to tell a few fun stories. I passed on that. Questions like "what's the most fun thing that's happened in your life", I've answered enough. In the end the floor manager came with a list of questions they'd deliberately lost first. On it were 40 questions, compiled by Frost. Excellent questions, very to the point.
Frost and I agreed that he'd ask questions from that list. But when it came down to it, he'd gotten me. He asked two questions and then started talking to nowhere. In such a case I'm polite enough to play along, but after the emission I didn't keep my mouth shut.

Frost isn't usually that scared?
FZ: No, but the sponsors are. People still think that I burst out into a stream of dirty words as soon as I get the opportunity. That's an image I can't get rid of. Interviewers are still terrified. If I would lurch at them, just to bully them, they'd lose their job. But why should I?

You have the name that you're a dictator.
FZ: When somebody wants that, he can give you any name he wants. I've gotten the reputation of being the American John Mayall when it comes to firing people. Let me tell you this. I've never fired anyone from the group without talking it over with the other band members. In fact it's only been a close call or I'd never fired anyone. One man got sent away because he was getting on everybody else's nerves, another because he was usually too stoned to perform. For the rest, every change has happened because somebody voluntarily left the group. To illustrate that I don't hold a grudge, take Don Preston as an example. He quit five times and came back six times. If Jim Black would like to come back, and there's a possibility at the time, then it's possible. And that goes for all the others who walked out. There are at least 25 by now. If I had to have a grudge against all of them...

What about the plans on making a record with all the ex-members under the header Grandmothers?
FZ: I don't know too much about it. It's Herbie Cohen's idea. There are some contractual problems with it, from what I understand.

Is it true that the others don't know what's going to be played until the concert?
FZ: That used to happen sometimes, but not anymore. Some pieces take about an hour. Then it's recommendable that everybody knows what will be played. We do change thoughts bout this. Sometimes, Mark and Howard don't feel like a certain song. If the others don't push it then we'll play something else. We have so much repertoire, we can give a four hour concert and put four more hours of different material on record.

In Boston you sang one whole song in German. What's the fun about that?
FZ: It's mainly fun for Europe. Europeans always try their best to approach Americans in their own language. It's very haughty that we always think that's normal. So I put a German song in the repertoire. I've tried it a couple of times in the States and gave a translation every time. I hope that's not necessary for Europe. Or else I'll say it in English there. It's a joke, like all the others we make.

Jim Pons (the new bassist, who is of Dutch extraction) told me you also studied a Dutch text.
FZ: That's true. We keep on breaking our tongues on the word "vloerbedekking". We haven't got much farther. I hope we manage to learn the entire text before Amsterdam, but I'm afraid it won't work. I always thought German and Dutch were practically the same for somebody who speaks English, but I had to back-pedal on that.

How did you meet John Lennon? You recently played with him.
FZ: I was interviewed by Howard Smith of the Village Voice, an esteemed underground magazine in New York. He wanted to surprise me and said at the end of the conversation: "Is it allright if I introduce you to some friends of mine? They're real fans." They were John and Yoko. I'd never met them. Smith thought we'd both freak out, but we just said hi. Very good.

How did the playing together go? I heard John couldn't keep up with your pace on his guitar.
FZ: That's nonsense. John is somewhat limited, but an excellent guitarist. But he initially didn't want to take me up on my suggestion to work with him, because he thought he shouldn't be a part of it. Yoko then said: I'm coming with you and scream along, then John gets so hellish he'll play something. His musician's soul will rebel.
And that's what happened. Yoko screamed and John came to play. Initially we played "Please don't go", which John hadn't played since he performed at the Cavern. After that we messed around for fifteen minutes with "Come Back". A glorious mess. The audience was standing on the seats and had to be calmed.

Will the Lennon show appear on vinyl?
FZ: I don't know yet. I wouldn't know in what context I'd put it, but on the other hand it'd be a pity not to do anything with it at all. It's too good for that.

How do you feel about Yoko's screaming?
FZ: I was never too enthusiastic about that, but I have to admit it fits well in some of our songs.

Have you talked with John about the struggles among the Beatles?
FZ: Yes, but I don't like to talk about that. He has a lot of strife with McCartney, but the way in which he's kicking at Paul, isn't that grown-up to me.

You now have three ex-Turtles in your group.
FZ: I know what you want to say. Whether or not I made a fool of myself because I used to make sarcastic remarks about the Turtles. Is that what you mean?

FZ: I told Jan Donkers of the VPRO last year, that the best way to get as good as the Turtles, is to get as many members of the Turtles in the group as possible. And to be honest I mean that. I've never had a group with such good vocalists and Jim Pons is an excellent bass player. Does it matter where they came from or what I said in the past? I've invited them to my group because I needed better vocalists after a time in which we made almost nothing but electronical music.

The social engagement has almost disappeared with the Mothers.
FZ: That's not true, it's been wrapped differently. I continuously tell young Americans to register to vote.

But that's about it.
FZ: That's enough for me at the moment. You can't always provoke, not to mention you always need people to provoke.

So there's a Turtle-influence?
FZ: They do it their way. If the collaboration remains as good as it is now, it's enough for me.

You seem to be very authoritary on stage.
I'm not the boss. I'm the conductor.

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[*] posted on 17-12-2017 at 00:40

1972's done!

Jan 72: various ads for 200 Motels

6-1-72 De Waarheid
Short story: author compares FZ's music to the sound on a crossroads in France.

7-1-72 Volkskrant
Zappa on the cover announcing the review. The reviewer, however, appears to know little about atonal music and flaunts his ignorance, giving a negative review with much glee.

7-1-72 Telegraaf
Announces Zappa's film is prolonged in cinemas, it's doing better than expected. It's also prolonged a week later. And the week after that.
By the time June rolls by, a lot of cinemas rerun the film. Throughout June, July and August ads can be found.

8-1-72 Waarheid
Negative review of Rudolf Kaiser's biography.

15-1-72 Leeuwarder Courant
One of the people influenced by Zappa is Gerrit Pleiter, audio play maker. He's borrowed the idea of absurd dialogues in one of his more experimental plays.

15-1-72 LC announces Zappa's assaulter has been charged

22-1-72 De Tijd
Attempt to explain classical music to the kids by describing Schiller (German poet) as Bob Dylan and Beethoven as FZ.

29-1-71 LC
Mentions FZ is back in California, and that Billy The Mountain won't be filmend

5-2-72 Nederland Dagblad (Strongly reformed Christian family magazine, won't appear in this list a lot) equates Mary Magdalen's devotion to Jesus to FZ's groupies.

26-2-72 De Tijd:
From the news in the poppress overseas, it appears that the injuries that Zappa sustained in London were slightly exaggerated on the telex in the early days. ThHere was never a skull base fracture, it turned out to be a complicated leg fracture, accompanied with some earnest bruizes. The whole affair had him stay in the London Harley Street Clinic until late January, and he has to be on crutches for two months back home. His manager, Herbie Cohen, implied that it may take a while before Zappa can get back to work. "He's really pissed off about it."

The London incident formed a stylish end of a very turbulent tour, since in Montreux the theatre burned down to the ground during their performance. No accidents happened there, not in the least due to Zappa's bravery. He let his group stay on stage until the entire hall had emptied according to his instructions, and only then took the opportunity to add praising commentary to a beautiful fire, with him and his audience at a safe distance. All their equipment went up in flames, they had to cancel the French concerts and flew straight to England to practice on borrowed and rented equipment for the Rainbow-concert. With the familiar ending.

9 March: Trevor Charles Howell, Rainbow-pusher, is sentenced to one year in prison.
Het Vrije Volk, Telegraaf (with name of culprit mangled),and De Tijd have small articles about it. Leeuwarder Courant is almost a month later at 1 April.

April '74: Announcement that Captain Beefheart is coming to The Netherlands fills the pages.

1-4-72 Volkskrant reviews a bootleg vinyl that has records of the Rotterdam concert in Ahoy - with poor acoustics.

7-4-72 NvhN scores a double whammy with both a review of Kaiser's book (completely different from the one in De Waarheid) and an announcement of Beefheart going to The Netherlands.

10-4-72 De Tijd reviews the Beefheart concert and had a sort of interview with the Captain that didn't go as planned. The concert is also reviewed in Trouw (negative), Parool (positive) and Volkskrant (glowing).

And here comes JABFLA!

12-6-72 De Tijd
Review of JABFLA calls Billy The Mountain the "Peter and the Wolf of the 70s". Reviewer loves the B-side but thinks Billy may run out too fast.

16-6-72 Trouw
Reviewer is tired of FZ's parodies.

17-6-72 Limburgsch Dagblad
Very positive review of JABFLA

17-6-72 De Tijd
Very positive review of JABFLA

7-7-72 HVV
Overdue review of 200 Motels: it's a difficult film but worth watching.

29-7-72 Parool
Very positive review of JABFLA, which apparenty cost 21 guilders

23-8-72 HVV
Anouncement of the Hot Rats orchestra (17 Sept, Houtrusthallen Den Haag). Organized by Paul Acket, who says that the Ahoy wasn't available and the Rai was a bad accommodation, and Houtrusthallen has seats. Concert starts at 7PM, tickets will be 15 to 25 guilders.

Other announcements of the concert appear in NvhN (23-8), Parool (23-8), NRC (25-8), De Tijd (24-8), Leeuwarder Courant (26-8), Volkskrant (29-8, mentions breathing troubles?)

Apparently the 201st issue of Muziek Expres contained a coupon for Zappa's concert, @ 5 guilders.

24-8-72 HVV
Letter by HJL Hofmeester, who's in the Ahoy management, is angry about the statement in the Who review about the poor Ahoy acoustics. He quotes FZ who told journalists he'd never seen anywhere on the world such a large accommodation with such great acoustics.

8-9-72 Trouw
Negative review of Waka/Jawaka

9-9-72 Leeuwarder Courant
Announcement of FZ performance in London

13-9-72 Volkskrant
Further announcing of the concert, expanded with the information about the number of instrumentalists.

14-9 De Tijd
Review of Waka/Jawaka cum announcement of concert. Review says it takes getting used to.

15-9 NvhN
Further announcement of concert

18-9-1972 De Waarheid reviews the concert:
Suggests a musicologist could someday graduate on it. (ouch) Confused but ultimately negative

18-9-72 HVV
Glowing review but is negative about the hall: the audience was like 20m away from the band.

18-9-72 De Tijd
Glowing review of the concert

18-9-72 NvhN
Good review of the concert, mentions there were some 4000 visitors, that the music deserved better than the acoustics.

18-9-72 NRC
Announcement of review on front page
Negative review, compares FZ to James Last

18-9-72 Volkskrant
Negative review

23-9-72 Limburgsch Dagblad
Reviewer is pleased with Waka/Jawaka

23-9-72 Parool
Waka/Jawaka review that apparently hasn't been listened to. Cost 21 guilders.

27-9-72 Apparently Paul van Vliet attended the Houtrusthallen concert.

Around this time numerous reviews of the John/Yoko release of Some Time In New York pop up. Leading to the to be expected conclusion that is along the lines of the song titles Zappa used to review Yoko's performance.

Also apparent are reviews of all opinions about the Alice Cooper concert.

24-22-72 De Tijd
Interview with Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, who hold no grudge against FZ. Apparently Mark is quite the ping pong player!

21-12-1972 HVV
Positive review of Grand Wazoo

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[*] posted on 17-12-2017 at 13:20

De Tijd has a review of The Grand Wazoo. No judgment outspoken, just an outline of the style.

Further announcements of 200 Motels in cinema, in February, May and June...

In the mean time, Hitweek becomes Aloha and has a fundraiser to get more subscribers and money. Zappa's Edison is auctioned, and raises 850 guilders.

By August, FZ's return to The Netherlands for Sep 9 is announced.

8-9-73 De Tijd
Article announcing the concert and sort of reviewing Over-Nite Sensation, of which the publication was delayed until after the concert.

8-9-73 Volkskrant
In announcing the concert the author needs to reiterate how poorly he rated the Wazoo concert. Also with a "thank god back to normal" review of Over-Nite Sensation.

8-9-73 Trouw
Reviews O-S as pleasant

10-9-73 HVV
Mentions the concert was sold out twice. High quality but the large amount of instrumental songs puts off the reviewer.

10-9-73 NVHN
Not too hot review of the concert

10-9-73 NRC
Disappointed review of concert

10-9-73 Volkskrant
Disappointed review, also mentioning the lack of vocal work.

10-9-73 Parool
Moderately positive review of the concert

11-9-73 De Tijd
Glowing review of the concert. Attempts to quote from Cosmik Debris

15-9-73 Leeuwarder Courant
Mentions the concert in Groningen?

11-9-73 HVV Interview. To Be Translated Later

22-9-73 Limburgsch Dagblad
Negative review of Over-Nite Sensation.

5-10-73 NRC
Moderately positive review of O-S

6-10-73 Parool
Moderately positive review of O-S

12-10-73 HVV
In an interview with them, concert organizer Paul Acket claims he lost 75,000 guilders because only 4,000 of the 10,000 tickets to Zappa's concert in Houtrusthallen were sold.

12-10-73 NvhN
Moderately positive review of O-S

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[*] posted on 17-12-2017 at 13:51

Het Vrije Volk, Tuesday 11 Sep 1973
Reporter Arthur Provoost

Zappa: Autoritary? Me? I just indicate the beat!

AMSTERDAM - "Would you like some coffee? One or two lumps? Milk?" I answer affirmative to all these quetions. Because when Frank Zappa asks you if you'd like some coffee, of course you say yes.
When I bought his first vinyl Freak Out seven years ago, I had no idea that a celebrity like Zappa would pour me a delicious cup of coffee. Things work in mysterious ways.

Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the concerts in Amsterdam, I had a conversation with Zappa in his room in the Amsterdam Pullitzer Hotel. Zappa lays back in his chair. He didn't feel like going down for a picture. "At this moment I'm too lazy. I only got up like one hour ago." Well, that's fine, no harm done.
Zappa is very willing. "Ask what you want."
How many interviews have you done?
"I wouldn't know exactly. There have been thousands, in dozens of countries. The result rarely reaches me. What's in it is usually incorrect. But that doesn't frustrate me. You get to know journalists and I don't believe they're always bad."

Which question have you had the most?
"In America they always ask what your plans for the future are. In Germany they always ask what you earn. They never ask me questions about my music. Most journalists aren't interested in that. They want to know what size shoes you wear, how old you are, where you live. I always answer those questions."
Opposed to many others, Zappa does indeed answer a question. He's very nice. Some people claim he's autoritary. Is that true?
"No. I know there are people who think that. They see me standing on stage, conducting the Mothers. Every member of the group is watching me and following my cues. That would be dictorial. Let me explain to you how it works."

Frank tops us off and continues: "The Mothers of Invention make rather complicated music. They need one man to conduct it. That's me. In a classical orchestra it's the same. You never hear people say about classical conductors that they're dictorial when they're conducting. That's the first reason. There's seven of us on stage, you can hardly hear each other for a variety of reasons.
Do you know what I hear? The bass, the piano and the drums, and not all at the same volume. I can't hear the brass. During the concert my own guitar monitor didn't work, I couldn't hear myself. Still somebody has to conduct. Because the drummer doesn't always do that. He also plays melody. So I'm the man who's waving his arms. I do that clearly and tightly. There are classical conductors who do all sorts of tricks with their arms and hands. Then you still can't see the beat. If you think that's dictatorial, then you don't know anything about music. I just indicate the fucking beat."

What did you think about the concerts?
"Not as good as I would've liked. We arrived way too late in Amsterdam, so we didn't have enough time to do a proper soundcheck. It was also very hot on stage. I sweated like hell. You were in the hall and were hot. Imagine what it's like on stage with all those lamps. And then you have to play. I sweated so badly that my fingers slipped on the strings."
Why did people clap so loudly when you announced Brown Shoes Don't Make It?
"The people want to hear what they know. That's what they came for. They want to hear the songs they've heard dozens of times on the record. But we always play differently. The evening- and afternoon concert here in Amsterdam were completely different. If you don't like surprises, don't go to a Mothers concert. Buy records.

HVV 8-10 Machine 30-2856
Inbetween Zappa plays a little on his Gibson. There's a cable running from the guitar to a teensy tiny brown little suitcase that appears to be producing sound. It's no bigger than a shoebox.
"It's a Teenieweenie something-or-other," Zappa says. "Those things are sold a lot in America. It works on batteries and it's intended for teenagers. But I have a lot of fun with it, on my room like this or right before a concert."

The sound is pinched, but I can tell what an exceptionally good guitarist Frank is.
Isn't it difficult, playing, singing and conducting at the same time?
"Yes it's hard. Sometimes I can do it all at the same time, sometimes only one of the three. Yesterday coordinating was hard because of the failing monitor. But I sing every song myself on my latest LP. And I play a lot on it."
The new LP has only just been released, but Zappa is already working on the next one. "it'll be a solo-LP. At least, that's what I call it because not all Mothers are on it. It'll be called Apostrophe, one of those things you put at the end of a sentence."
After I've assured Frank I'll do my very best to explain conducting has nothing to do with being autoritary, I leave the room. Next day he has to get up at 5:30 and there's more stuff that needs to be done. "I'll look out for a not too expensive acoustic guitar with a nice deep sound. And the conducting, it really tires my arm. I'm not doing it for fun."

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[*] posted on 17-12-2017 at 14:22

March 1974: 200 Motels in cinemas again. Even in May and July there are still announcements.

April 1974: Apostrophe released!

8-4-74 NvhN:
'Reviewer is tired of Zappa.

13-4-74 HVV
Review is moderately positive

13-4-74 Limburgsch Dagblad
Very positive review

27-4-74 Parool
Positive review of Apostrophe, that cost 19,50.

7-8-74 De tijd
Moderate review of Apostrophe

By July the announcement comes that FZ will tour Europe in September, and the announcement of the 28 September Ahoy concert comes in late August.

21-9-74 Leeuwarder Courant mentions in a tidbit that FZ cancelled his tour of England, because he feels he's being discriminated by the hall owners.

30-9-74 HVV
Positive review of concert

30-9-74 Parool
Moderate review of the concert

The concert apparently meant that the resident basketball team had to move to a smaller hall.

1-10-74 Volkskrant
Reviewer refuses to be positive in spite of all the qualities she mentions.

7-10-74 NvhN
Negative review of Roxy

9-11-74 Waarheid
Very negative review of Roxy

16-11-74 Limburgsch Dagblad
Very positive review of Roxy

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[*] posted on 18-12-2017 at 12:58

1975's done quickly...

Even in 1975 we still find announcements of 200 Motels in cinema! And being prolonged too!

The Noord-Nederlandse Dansgroep frequently shows up in the searches - they had a ballet called Zappa to the music of FZ. They don't appear to be doing well by 1975, in spite of their successes.

26-4-1975 Parool
FZ is in the courtroom in London over the Royal Albert Hall trial.

Trial is also mentioned in Leeuwarder Courant (3 May 1975)

Announcements for One Size Fits All pop in by late June 1975 in HVV (28-6)
19-7-75 HVV
Curious review: the new record is "actually kind of really very good, but..."

16-8-75 Parool
Adds a large picture to the review, which contains no judgment and only a vague description of what to expect.

23-8-75 Limburgsch Dagblad
"Pretty music but we've heard it before."

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[*] posted on 18-12-2017 at 13:23

In January it's announced FZ will perform on March 6th in Jaap Edenhal Amsterdam.

8-3-76 Telegraaf
Raving review of the concert

8-3-76 HVV
Not too inspired review, but with an interesting interview that'll be translated later.

8-3-76 Parool
Tired review, mentions it's a sell-out

8-3-76 Volkskrant
Negative review but makes a positive note about The Torture Never Stops.

9-3-76 Volkskrant
Bored interview, may be translated but I'm not sure if it's worth it

13-3-76 Leeuwarder Courant
Quotes the anti-stupidity line from the VOlkskrant interview.
Ok so I'll translate it.

16-3-76 Volkskrant
Two men write an angry letter about the review that ends with: "she doesn't have to love Zappa's music but that's no reason to write a misguiding article."

25-3-76 NvhN
Article about apparent tax issues at a Swiss concert?

200 Motels is STILL brought back to cinemas!

September: first announcements of Zoot Allures. It cost 18,90 guilders.

29-12-76 Parool
Short review of Zoot, saying Zappa's music has gotten simpler. Also mentions Torture Never Stops as highlight.

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[*] posted on 18-12-2017 at 13:41

Vollkskrant, 9 March 1976

Frank Zappa, once described as a dying tree wearing suspenders, looks better than ever. Mid-30s and still superslim. When he's praised for it, he replies: "I've got the feeling I'm always praised for the wrong things, just as I often have the feeling that people put words in my mouth. I'd have said once that only music can save our world. Well I'm not that naive. Mental support and alot of food. That's what we need if we want to keep this world liveable."
He reclines in his Amsterdam hotel room and has a bottle of whiskey and a basket of strawberries within reach. He denies stories in the papers that he'd turn his back to America. Nonsense. His music isn't specifically anti-American, but more anti-stupidity. Zappa: "I'm against stupidity, anywhere in the world. I'm also anti-hippie, because that to me is a stupid movement, and against all sorts of trends. Flower power, revolutionary students, they were trends, commercially attractive. After all you could sel underground-magazines in the department stores and they disappeared, like thoe hope of society's innovators on a new and better world. In the past ten years there have been a lot of politicians preaching the new society, but I tell you none of those would have been able to lead the people, to govern a state. They all wanted power to be able to suppress others." The only function that all revolutionary speechers and movements from the sixties have had in Zappa's eyes, was constructing a new trend. "The trend to stop looking for ecstacy in dancing clubs with the twist, but on the street with a Che Guevara portrait in your arms."

America is now caught in the trend of reveals in papers. Zappa doesn't feel they're revealing in order to inform the public, but just as means to sell more papers. And: "We know very little and America won't be a pure country until we know everything. The presidents of America aren't just responsible for burglaries, spying cases and political assassinations, but also for many murders that are committed in the street every day. Things won't be earnest until the papers publish on that. Now we only know some little things and when this trend passes, things will just be like with previous trents, in the garbage can."

Zapa has spoken his longest lines. He says that he's tired after five days of boredom in Copenhagen and only answers questions briefly. His current Mothers, together since August, will probably split after his tour. And did Zappa's audience age with him? Answer: "I've seen younger audience, even from below 20. I'm a new group to them."
He called pop music a political factor because at the time the pop audience was politically motivated. "Now I play what I play for the people who like that I play it.
Rock and roll, that's another trend. So what?
Question: Does the return to rock and roll come from a stagnation in musical development? Answer: There is no stagnation.
And Zappa could continue with this similar ping-pong game for hours, if at that moment a band member hadn't walked in with the toys that Zappa had sent him out to get. It will be part of a new act. A toy poodle he'd asked for, isn't there.

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[*] posted on 18-12-2017 at 18:13

8 March 1976: Het Vrije Volk

Zappa: Only interested in work and women, by Frank van Dijl

AMSTERDAM - "It's a good life, always on the road. I like to keep myself busy, to have fun." Zappa may tell this for the millionth time. He does it without persuasion, but not unfriendly. He hasn't been home since September. One more week and then this world tour ends.

We meet him in his suite in the Amsterdam Pullitzerhotel. That evening he'll be playing the Jaap Edenhal, the day after he's in Brussels. "Yesterday, we had a free day," he says. "Well, free... We spent six hours in a bus until we were here. I don't really have spare time. I don't calculate spare days, but spare hours." Those scarce hours when Zappa doesn't have to work, are spent in his hotel room. He doesn't do sight-seeing. He says: "I'm not interested in countries. I'm only interested in my work and in women, in that order. A tour is not a vacacion."
When he gets back home, Zappa will take a 40-head strong orchestra to the studio to make a new album. There are no plans for touring that orchestra.
"That's too tricky. We talked about it, but the problems are huge. We did a concert in Los Angeles though.

Small Band
The group that played Amsterdam on Saturday was the smallest Zappa ever led. Besides himself there were only four musicians in the Mothers.
"It's easy to travel with a small band. Besides it gives me the opportunity to play more guitar. Oh, I could easily make one record a year and walk around the rest of the time, but I like touring. I can do it as long as I like it. When it stops being fun, I'll quit."
"You feel poorly sometimes, then it's difficult to play, but you still have to do it."

Film plans
After the failure of 200 Motels, Zappa hasn't made anymore movies. Are there plans in that direction?
Zappa: Yes, I'll tell you more about it when it's done. By the way, I made a TV show. It was aired in France. It's available for The Netherlands."
Attention programme managers!
When the conversation goes to the topic of girls, the tour manager tells via the record company representative that this subject is not accepted. At the time, Zappa is explaining that Danish women aren't his style. I wonder why not.

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