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Author: Subject: Veronica magazine
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[*] posted on 19-6-2023 at 21:39
Veronica magazine

The following interview can be found in the 21-11-1971 issue of Veronica Magazine, which cost 45 cts at the time. Weekly issue of the first offshore radio station of The Netherlands (for more on their turbulent history, Wikipedia is a great source). And a little blurb on Adam West ending up in hospital after rescuing his dog.

This Veronica magazine features FZ prominently on the front cover. Other articles feature the "erotic musical" "Oh! Calcutta", Ringo Starr, sports, and Louis de Funes.
Contents: The two hundred motels of Frank Zappa.
Zappa has been toying with his 200 Motels idea for years. Evert Wilbrink wonders if, now that the movie and LPs are here, Frank Zappa may have gone too far with contempt for his audience.

"200 Motels")

This article is about "200 Motels". Perhaps it's a little confusing article, but we got the same confused impression after studying the record annex book, that was releast to accompany the "200 Motels" project.
"200 Motels' has beome a true obsession for Frank Zappa since the foundation of his private record companies Straight and Bizarre. After "Hot Rats" had to be published as solo album because the first generation of Mothers has been kicked out, Frank tried desperately to gather his thoughts and find a presentation for something he had in his head.

As the Mothers of Invention perfom in the Rotterdam Ahoy on November 27th, 200 Motels will have its Dutch premiere simultaniously. Film company Tuschinski/United Artists couldn't tell us much about it at the moment of writing. Not just because the first copy of the film still had to arrive, but especially because the full staff had gotten overwhelmed by celebrating the company's 50th anniversary.

Quite a challenge.
The first sign of life of Zappas "chef d'oeuvre" is the recently released double album 200 Motels, that unfortunately isn't as much fun as it looks. Tis not a real soundtrack, because not all film music is on it and the order of the joint numbers is completely random as well. Listening to it is for the not too fanatic Zappa followers quite a challenge, because the fun bits of 200 Motels are alternated by lengty reasonably boring things.
The story of 200 Moels has been handed to us bit by bit by Zappa. Since the formation of the second generation Mothers Zappa has always inserted bits of it in the Mothers of Invention programme. For instance, the most recent performance of the group in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw was built around the fragment "Penis Dimension" that takes about seven minutes in the film and was also partially on the Mothers Live At The Fillmore.

Taken from life.

200 Motels is the partially made up and partially taken from life story of the Mothers. The frictions with the not too obliging older and conservative Americans, the events concerning the countless groupies who accompany the Mothers, sometimes a punch in the direction of the sympathetic and for Zappa uncontrollable bassist Jeff Simmons, a chunk of social criticism, sex and sensation. A mad, highly confusing story, that won't sink in until after five times watching and listening. Some inside jokes seem only to be understandable with an accompanying writing by Frank.
It's a query if the countless layers that Zappa put in 200 Motels and all of his music, hasn't become the proverbial pit he dug for someone else that he falls in himself. Zappa's work shows an enormous contempt for his audience and Zappa shouldn't be surprised if the ball is played back and the audience has contempt for him. Zappa is a genius and he realises that. Probably nobody knows more about music, rock 'n roll, satire and theatre than him. He has a massive influence, more than any present-day musician. But at the same time he's the most theatrical snob in the world. that throws a mix of art turned kitsch and kitsch turned art at his audience.

Frank Zappa, the Master of the Bizarre Event, has realised a dream. The Chief of the Mothers has seen all his obsessions blend in the multimedia spectacle 200 Motels, in which he uses film, stage, animation, cartoon, concert and video to create confusion in the mental world of the unsuspecting audience. To make the audience think, earnest satire and Wagnerian theatre go hand in hand, giving shape to what is probablh the most asurdist event in the history of pop culture. (What a hit it will be in Germany!)
200 Motels was written by Zappa in the many more than 200 Motels he visited with his fellow Mothers Ian Underwood, Ainsley [sic] Dunbar, Jeff Simmons, Martin Lickert, Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman, George Duke, James Euclid Sherwood, Jim Carl Black and Jim Pons (not forgetting Bunk Gardner, Billy Mundi and 50 others) during their tours. Tours, that since Zappa founded his Ur-Mothers Captain Flasspack and his Magic Mufflers, and produced a brilliant company of musicians. Henry Vestine from Canned Heat, Jim Fielder from Buffalo Springfield and Blood, Sweat & Tears-fame, CTA-producer James Guerico. Following Zappa's example Jeff Simmons decided to parody ("I prefer writing in airports") and create 300 Airports.

"Jeff, wy do you waste your best years with playing comey music?" "Yes, you're right, I'm too heavy for the Mothers. I get so tense from playing those funny Zappa works over and over. I get out and become a star like Black Sabbath, Grand Funk Railroad. Whoohoo! Jeff goes out, his consciousnous transcending audience comprehension. He's flipping! Dear audience, he's flipping! Howard, we have to bring Jeff back before Zappa sees him and steals the idea for his movie and makes Jeff do it in the film. By the way, dear audience, would you cope with this life? Would you like to be guitarist in a comic group? Travelling from motel to motel? 200 Motels? (Side 3 of the double album in a nutshell)
Zappa's first film "Intercontinental Absurdities" also procured ideas for 200 Motels, while Mothers-connaisseurs and Zappa collectors recognise reprises of Burnt Weenie Sandwich and Chunga's Revenge as ready-mades. A moving MAD-pocket is 200 Motels. A collage of everyday life, in a bizarre and sometimes mind-blowing absurd encasing.

Holland Festival

The first attemt to capture 200 Motels on stage as a concrete artwork, was planned for the Holland Festival. Edo De Waart would conduct the event. Because f all sorts of circumstances, it didn't happen. Later the first symphonic performance happened in the States with moderate success. A younger version of Zappa's idé-fix [sic] was shaped during the Mother's performance in Uddel in De Veluwe for the first Piknik of VPRO-TV. Director Roelof Kiers then planned to hang out with Zappa in the Hilversum RV complex and translate his brainchild to television. From this never realised ut almost definite version was borne the film 200 Motels, directed by Tony Palmer in a London studio.
Ringo Starr appears as Larry The Dwarf and as Frank Zappa. Theodor Bikel, the well-known singer, changes from TV-personality to Nazi officer. Frank Zappa plays among others himself, while the two fattest Mothers, Howard Kaylan and Mark VOlman, shine as "arrived" popstars. The breeding bull of the Mothers, Ainsley Dunbar, shows up as new American sex symbol and Jim "I'm the Indian of the group" Carl Black finally personalizes his historic opponent Lonesome Cowboy Burt.

Now what

The double album contains, apart from conversation blurbs (almost surreal), confused classicy music with Pink Floyd-choirs and a handful of excellend Mothers songs. But an hour and a half can easily be too much. Rock 'n roll, saggy old-fashioned flutes, snippets of Varèse, cliched choirs in Platters-tradition, pompous bombastic rchestration and a lot of theatrical effects, that is 200 Motels. Zappa's life work is premiering, it can't hurt to watch it. And wonder - Zappa, what's next?

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[*] posted on 20-6-2023 at 15:23

Unfortunately, this guy was a fucking moron.

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