The True Story Of 200 Motels

January 31, 1989 (Published: May 15, 1988)
Honker Home Video
59 min.

Includes footage from:
The music heard:

Cast & Crew

Cast (mostly in order of appearance, playing themselves):

Janet Neville-Ferguson
Miss Lucy
Jimmy Carl Black
Ian Underwood
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Art Tripp
Mark Volman
Howard Kaylan
Jeff Simmons
Aynsley Dunbar
Moon Unit Zappa
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Martin Lickert
Jim "Motorhead" Sherwood
Bunk Gardner
Dick Barber
Gail Zappa
Roy Estrada
Don Preston
Tony Palmer
Keith Moon
Jerry Good
Roelof Kiers
David Van Asch
Phyllis Bryn-Julson
Ringo Starr
George Duke
Ruth Underwood
Theodore Bikel
Peter Bos
Phyllis Altenhaus
Napoleon Murphy Brock
Bruce Fowler
Tom Fowler
Ralph Humphrey
Chester Thompson
Steve Vai
Warren Cuccurullo
Al Malkin
Ike Willis
Jeff Hollie
Pamela Miller
Elgar Howarth
Dweezil Zappa
Dick Kunc


Roelof Kiers—director of the original documentary
Peter Bos—photography of the original documentary

Written, produced & directed by FZ
Edited by Raymond Bush and Booey Kober
Associate producer: Jill Silverthorne

Audio: Bob Stone
Assistant: Arthur Sloatman

Additional Photography:
Haskell Wexler ("Uncle Meat")
Hermann Jauk (Vienna)
Barry Feinstein (Roxy)
P.M. Magazine (video interview)


Release Information

Barfko-Swill/MPI #MP 4003

True Story Of 200 Motels

Video was packaged with Honker "No-D" Glasses (source: Ulrich)

From: Patrick Neve

It was brought to my attention that a laserdisc of this title was advertised as "for sale" by video dealers Jim, my informant, recieved a print catalog with this listing. Searching their website came up with the following info:

True Story of 200 Motels

A one-hour documentary on the making of Frank Zappa's bizarre 1971 comic musical. Vintage private footage from Frank's personal archives plus behind-the-scenes of the actual shooting and recording. With Ringo Starr, Theodore Bikel, Keith Moon and such songs as "Sleeping in a Jar," and "Strictly Genteel." The inside history of the first feature-length film to be shot on video in 6 days. 60 mins.

Item# LD: LD70196
Price $39.98
Qty To Order
OUT OF STOCK TEMPORARILY- Expected to ship within 4 weeks.

My informant's print catalog had no indication that it was out of stock, it was listed as a regular item. I called the company, and after speaking with a few different reps I got the information that their last order for the item was from MPI in 1995, and that they had never recieved a copy of it. Furthermore it was one Facets rep's opinion that the title had been announced to vendors, with a catalog number and everything, but that for some reason distribution was cancelled at the last minute.


Notes & Comments

From: Richard Fox

A 1 hour look at how 200 Motels was made. It is very informative and includes outtakes from the movie plus a look at the filming of the movie. There are interviews and also some live concert footage from 1970 and 1973 (Dummy Up from Roxy and Elsewhere!!!). It was released in 1989 and is a nice little look at what making 200 Motels was like.

"Jeff's wife Breena"

Charles Ulrich, May 23, 2014

It had occurred to me that his wife's name might be short for Sabrina, and thus spelled Brina. So I asked Jeff.

It turns out that it's actually Brena. Apparently she had dropped the d from Brenda.

David Alexander, Assistant Director

The True Story Of 200 Motels


During production...

The True Story Of 200 Motels

Locations, Cast & Music

Time Location Cast Notes Music
00:00-00:02 Pinewood Studios   FZf200M  
00:02-00:13 Pinewood Studios Miss Janet, Miss Lucy; David Alexander (assistant director) FZf200M  
00:11-00:54 Zappa House FZ (shirtless) FZVPRO Overture (Bogus Pomp, LSO, 1983)
00:53-01:20 Pinewood Studios orchestra, chorus  
01:20-01:53 Royal Festival Hall, 1968 JCB, Ian Underwood UM Progress? (1968)
01:52-05:58 Fillmore West MOI FZVPRO Do You Like My New Car? (1970)
05:58-06:24 Pinewood Studios (rehearsals) Howard, Mark, Martin Lickert, FZ FZf200M Centerville (Bogus Pomp, LSO, 1983)
06:24-08:06 Do You Like My New Car? (1971)
08:06-10:22 Royal Festival Hall, 1968 Motorhead, Ian, Bunk, FZ   Progress?/Like It Or Not (1968)
10:22-11:42 Vienna, Austria, 1968 FZ, Gail; JCB, Motorhead; Roy, Don Preston, Bunk, Ian, Art Tripp  
11:42-11:59 Royal Festival Hall, 1968 Art Tripp  
11:59-12:30 Los Angeles, 1982 FZ    
12:30-13:40 Editing room, London Tony Palmer, etc.    
13:40-14:29 Pinewood Studios Tony Palmer FZf200M  
14:29-15:00 Pinewood Studios FZ, Keith Moon, Janet, Lucy, Tony Palmer FZf200M  
15:00-15:25 Pinewood Studios Tony Palmer FZf200M  
15:25-15:58 Pinewood Studios Jerry Good FZf200M  
15:58-16:16 Zappa House FZ FZVPRO  
16:16-16:21 Airplane FZ FZVPRO Sleeping In A Jar (Playground Psychotics, 1971)
16:21-16:31 NYC streets FZ FZVPRO
16:31-16:58 Fillmore West MOI FZVPRO
16:41-16:58 Pinewood Studios (rehearsals) FZ, Dick Barber  
16:58-17:06 Airport (outside) FZ, Aynsley Dunbar  
16:58-17:06 Zappa house (piano room) FZ (shirtless)  
17:06-17:21 Zappa house FZ  
17:06-17:10 Airplane Howard, Jeff, Mark  
17:10-17:14 Airport (boarding) FZ (red jacket)  
17:14-17:21 Airport (corridor) FZ, Mark  
17:21-17:29 Fillmore West MOI FZVPRO
17:21-18:03 Pinewood Studios (rehearsals) FZ, Dick Barber, Motorhead  
17:29-17:46 Car FZ (red jacket)  
17:48-18:03 Pinewood Studios Jerry Good; Tony Palmer FZf200M  
18:03-18:30 Pinewood Studios (rehearsals) FZ, Dick Barber, Motorhead   Touring Can Make You Crazy (Bogus Pomp, LSO, 1983)
18:29-19:37 Zappa house (piano room) FZ (shirtless)  
19:36-20:19 Pinewood Studios (rehearsals) Orchestra, chorus   The Pleated Gazelle (1971)
20:18-21:25 Zappa house (piano room) FZ (shirtless)    
21:25-21:46 Pinewood Studios (rehearsals) Orchestra, chorus   The Pleated Gazelle (1971)
21:45-22:14 Zappa house (piano room) FZ (shirtless)   Progress? (Prologue) (Bogus Pomp, LSO, 1983)
22:14-23:07 Los Angeles, 1982 FZ    
23:07-23:22 Pinewood Studios Orchestra; David Alexander FZf200M Dance Of The Rock & Roll Interviewers (200 Motels, 1971)
23:22-23:46 Pinewood Studios (fake motel room) MOI FZf200M Mystery Roach (1971)
23:44-24:04 Los Angeles, 1982 FZ    
24:04-24:08 Pinewood Studios (fake motel room) MOI FZf200M  
24:08-24:38 Pinewood Studios Howard Kaylan FZf200M  
24:38-25:15 Pinewood Studios (fake motel room) MOI FZf200M  
25:15-25:42 Pinewood Studios FZ FZf200M  
25:42-26:02 Fillmore West (backstage) Aynsley, girl, FZ, etc. FZVPRO  
26:02-23:12 Pinewood Studios FZ FZf200M  
26:12-27:14 Pinewood Studios Lucy, Dick Barber FZf200M Centerville (Bogus Pomp, LSO, 1983)
26:55-27:22 Zappa house FZ (shirtless), Lucy FZVPRO
27:22-27:50 Pinewood Studios Jerry Good FZf200M Lucy's Seduction Of A Bored Violinist (200 Motels, 1971)
27:50-28:21 Pinewood Studios (rehearsals) JCB; Motorhead; Ringo   Progress? (Prologue) (Bogus Pomp, LSO, 1983)
28:21-28:43 Pinewood Studios John Williams & guitar ensemble, Ruth, orchestra FZf200M
28:43-31:01 Pinewood Studios Theodore Bikel, Howard, Mark, FZ; David Alexander, Ringo FZf200M  
31:01-32:15 Pinewood Studios Mark FZf200M  
32:15-32:25 Fillmore West (backstage) Jeff FZVPRO  
32:25-34:49 Fillmore West MOI FZVPRO Penis Dimension (1970)
34:49-35:17 Airport (corridor) Howard, Mark, Jeff, Brena    
35:17-36:07 Pinewood Studios FZ FZf200M  
36:07-36:31 Pinewood Studios Martin Lickert, Mark FZf200M  
36:31-36:50 Pinewood Studios FZ FZf200M  
36:50-37:01 Pinewood Studios (corridor) Martin Lickert, Ian Underwood FZf200M Strictly Genteel (1971)
37:01-37:39 Pinewood Studios Martin Lickert, Don Preston FZf200M  
37:39-38:05 Zappa House (Uncle Meat shooting) Phyllis Altenhaus, Don Preston, Motorhead    
38:05-38:34 Pinewood Studios Mark, Martin FZf200M  
38:34-41:33 Roxy, 1973 FZ, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Jeff Simmons, George Duke, Bruce Fowler, Ruth Underwood, Tom Fowler, Chester Thompson, Ralph Humphrey   Dummy Up (1973)
41:33-41:58 Palermo, Sicily, 1982 Steve Vai    
41:57-42:31 Village Recorders, 1979 Warren Cuccurullo, Al Malkin, Ike Willis, FZ, Jeff Hollie    
42:29-42:57 Pinewood Studios Ringo FZf200M  
42:57-43:42 Pinewood Studios Ringo, Keith Moon, orchestra FZf200M  
43:42-44:35 Pinewood Studios (make up room) Keith Moon, Gail FZf200M  
44:35-45:27 Hollywood Ranch Market, 1970 Janet, Lucy UM  
45:27-45:59 Pinewood Studios Janet, Lucy, Keith Moon FZf200M  
45:59-46:28 Pinewood Studios Howard FZf200M  
46:28-51:13 Pinewood Studios Ringo, Elgar Howarth, Ruth, Keith Moon; FZ, Janet; Martin, Howard; Lucy, Ian; Pamela, Don Preston; Mark, Aynsley, George, JCB; orchestra; David Alexander   Night School (Jazz From Hell, 1987)
51:12-51:38 Pinewood Studios Howard FZf200M  
51:35-55:35 Zappa House Peter Bos, Roelof Kiers, Moon, FZ; Lucy, Dweezil; Gail   Strictly Genteel (LSO, 1983)
55:35-55:44 Editing room FZ (print shirt)  
55:43-58:25 Zappa House (Uncle Meat shooting) Motorhead, Ian Underwood, Dick Kunc, Janet, Lucy  
56:34-57:12 Editing room FZ (print shirt)  

Additional informants: Charles Ulrich, James Wyant

Maintained by Román García Albertos
This section formerly maintained by Reverend Neve
This dog last modified: 2022-07-23