| alt.fan.frank-zappa FAQ               Videography              |
|                                                                |
| Maintained by Robbert Heederik (heederik[at]fwi.uva.nl)           |
| Original version by Rob Sweet (sweet[at]skat.usc.edu)             |
| Version 1.9, September 26, 1994                                |

   Barking Pumpkin/Honker Video has released a (small) number of Frank
   Zappa videos:

    1. Baby Snakes
    2. The True Story of 200 Motels.
    3. Does Humor Belong in Music?
    4. The Amazing Mr. Bickford
    5. Video From Hell
    6. Uncle Meat
    7. Dub Room Special
    8. Zappa's Universe (released September 1993)

   As of this writing the Zappa family does not own the (distribution?
   publishing?) rights to "200 Motels" but it is available on video.

   Frank's first television appearance was in the early 60's on the Steve
   Allen Show. He played a "bicycle concerto".

   He played a drug-lord in an episode of "Miami Vice".

   Frank makes a brief appearance in the Monkees' film, "Head". He also
   appears in an episode from the Monkees' TV show.

   Zappa made appearances on two episodes of Saturday Night Live. He
   performed in two skits and performed the songs "I am the Slime", "The
   Meek Shall Inherit Nothing", "The Purple Lagoon", and "Dancin' Fool".
   The song "Conehead" from YAWYI, was inspired by the SNL Conehead

   Frank is the voice of "The pope" on an episode of "Ren and Stimpy" The
   episode is titled "Powdered Toast-Man". [ed. note: The credits at the
   end of "PTM" were changed from "The pope" to "The man with the funny
   white hat".]

   Mr. Zappa also appears in A&E's series "Class of the 20th Century".


   The following reviews are from Richard Fox (fox[at]cs.panam.edu)

        Uncle Meat
                A movie started in 67 with the original Mothers of
                Invention. Finished in 88 or 89 and released on
                videotape. The movie has basically 2 parts to it. One is
                based on the live concert footage of the Mothers plus a
                small orchestra in the London Festival Hall in 68. This
                footage is based on the story of members of the band
                quitting to start their own band either because they want
                a band of all disciplined music or they want to escape
                from under Zappa's shadow and play real rock and roll.
                The remainder of the movie is made up of Dom DeWild (Don
                Preston) pretending to be a Jeckyl and Hyde sort. Really
                wierd. There are also some videos of the band for the
                songs Mr. Green Genes and Holiday in Berlin (from Burnt
                Weenie Sandwich). The concert footage is good and the
                videos are fun, but the rest is just plain bizzare.

        200 Motels
                Movie from 1970 starring Ringo Starr (as Zappa), Theodore
                Bikel, the Mothers of Invention (this is the Flo and
                Eddie band with George Duke, Ansley Dunbar, Ian Underwood
                and Ringo Starr's chauffeur playing bass), and Keith Moon
                as a nun!! Its a surrealistic look at how touring makes
                you crazy and the efforts that band members have to go
                through to get some action (women). The entire movie is a
                musical with some lines of dialogue but mainly songs. The
                London Royal Philharmonic orchestra and some choir play
                through most of the movie. The Mothers do several songs
                as well. The movie is wierd (of course) and would have
                been much better had they been given more than 7 days to
                film it. It is very difficult to watch if you do not
                understand the context behind much of it. The movie also
                features a 10 minute animated sequence. I would recommend
                watching the True Story of 200 Motels either right before
                or right after you watch the movie.

        The True Story of 200 Motels
                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.

        Baby Snakes
                a 3 1/2 hour feature based around the Halloween concert
                in 1977 in NYC. There is about 1 1/2 hours of concert
                footage and the rest is composed of the typical Zappa
                wierdness, noise, crowd scenes, backstage scenes,
                claymation scenes and a look at Barking Pumpkin's
                warehouse. The concert footage includes Titties and Beer,
                Punky's Whips, Camarillo Brillo/Muffin Man, San
                Bern'dino, Dinah Moe Humm, Black Page #2, Disco Boy,
                Jones Crusher, City of Tiny Lights, Tryin To Grow A Chin,
                I Have Been In You, Broken Hearts are for Assholes and a
                few more. There is also a video to Peaches En Regalia at
                the end. The intermission portion shows clips from
                Barking Pumpkin distribution.

        Does Humor Belong in Music?
                a 1 hour video of a concert from 1984. There is also a CD
                of this name but the songs and performances differ on the
                CD. This is an excellent video and shows off the vocal
                talents of the 84 band. Songs include Zoot Allures,
                Tinseltown Rebellion, Trouble Every Day, He's So Gay,
                Bobby Brown, Keep It Greasy, Honey Don't You Want A Man
                Like Me?, Cosmik Debris, Dinah Moe Humm, Be In My Video,
                Dancing Fool and Whipping Post. There is also a little
                interview footage.

        Video From Hell
                Contains clips of the above videos, a sort of best of
                video Zappa. Of particular interest is Zappa addressing
                the Maryland State Legislature about censorship laws.
                This part is very amusing. There is also a clip from an
                Australian talk show appearance by Zappa in which Frank
                conducts the audience and show's band in a wierd little
                improv. There is also a clip from the 82 band playing
                King Kong (the "Blowjob" portion which is on Stage III)
                and a guitar duet between Steve Vai and Frank during
                Stevie's Spanking. Also, there is the song from Jazz From
                Hell, Night School, played over footage of the making of
                200 Motels.

        Dub Room Special
                Combination of interviews, 1974 KCET footage, and 1981
                MTV footage (see below)

        Zappa's Universe
                this is the video release from Zappa's Universe and
                follows most of the CD release. The video and CD have
                some different songs, most notably are the inclusions of
                Jesus Thinks You're A Jerk, Black Page, Uncle Meat, Wet
                T-Shirt Nite (sung horribly by Dale Bozzio) and the full
                Waka/Jawaka. Waka/Jawaka is the highlight of this video
                which is well worth buying. Also highlighted are the
                guitar duet between Steve Vai and Dweezil on Dirty Love.

        Yellow Shark
                a performance of Yellow Shark was broadcast in Europe.
                With some hope, this will be released on video at some
                point in the US. But so far, noone seems to know if this
                will happen.


   "Illegal Videos": There are several unofficial videos available, all
          from tv appearances. The ones I know about are:

        1973 Stockholm TV
                50 minutes of the Little Wazoo band (featuring Jean Luc
                Ponty). Consists of Montana, Duprees Paradise and a
                medley of basically the Adventures of Greggary Peccary
                and Be-Bop Tango. There is another version of this which
                features about 80 minutes of music and has 3 or 4 more
                songs including Stinkfoot and Cosmic Debris (if I
                remember correctly)

        US TV (from KCET LA I believe)
                1 hour of this band performing songs like Florentine
                Pogen, Oh No, Inca Roads, Stinkfoot, Cosmik Debris and
                others. Some claymation over parts. This has been
                released as A Token of His Extreme. Portions of this
                performance also appear on Dub Room Special.

        1980 French TV
                An appearance on French TV. The footage is about 30
                minutes in length and includes Joes Garage, Why Does It
                Hurt When I Pee?, Ms. Pinky and ILlinois Enema Bandit.
                Some additional footage might also be floating around on
                the Mudd Club footage.

        Saturday Night Live
                2 appearances, once as guest in which he performs in
                Coneheads and Night on Freak Mountain plus songs I'm the
                Slime, Meek Shall Inherit Nothing and Dancing Fool. A
                bootleg exists of the songs performed during one of these
                appearances, this bootleg also includes Rollo (Son of St.
                Alphonzo), Purple Lagoon featuring John Belushi as Samuri
                singing along, Peaches and others.

                some footage from the 1979 band. I have seen about 10
                minutes of this. I don't recall a name for it though.

        Mudd Club
                some footage from Zappa's 1978 (or 1980?) appearance at
                the Mudd Club. Not very good footage at all.

        1981 MTV
                from Halloween at the Palladium in NYC. MTV broadcast
                some of this show (or all of it?). It was subsequently
                spliced up and shown as various features such as Dumb All
                Over (45 minutes), You Are What You Is (45 minutes) and
                the Torture Never Stops (1 hour 50 minutes). Also parts
                are shown in Dub Room Special. Songs mainly consist of
                You Are What You Is plus songs from Sheik Yerbouti. Also
                has Strictly Genteel.

        Spanish TV
                Almost all of a concert from Barcelonia including Big
                Swifty, I am the Walrus, Bolero, a few songs from
                Broadway the Hardway, The Torture Never Stops/Lonesome
                Cowboy Burt, and others.

        Zappa Compilation
                there exists some form of compilation video which has
                interviews of FZ throughout his career.

   There is also appearantly a 2 video set of various interviews of FZ
          throughout his history including stuff as recent as his
          reactions to the Persian Gulf War.


          ~From: 4-tea-2[at]bong.saar.de (Marc Aurel)

          Two more illegal (?) videos, both from German TV:

        Zappa at Circus Krone
                In 1978 Zappa rented the big top of Circus Krone for some
                days to rehearse with his band. Parts of the rehearsals
                were videotaped by the BR (Bayerischer Rundfunk) and
                aired on some sunday morning ;) in 78 or 79. Added
                footage contains Frank shopping in Munich and an
                interview with his bodyguard. The band: Arthur Barrow,
                Denny Walley, Tommy Mars, Vinny Colaiuta, Peter Wolf, Ed
                Mann, Ike Willis. The songs: mostly '78 tour stuff, incl.
                'Bobby Brown Goes Down'. 45 min.

        The Yellow Shark
                The German pay-tv station "Premiere" did a live broadcast
                of "The Yellow Shark", performed by "Ensemble Modern" at
                the "Alte Oper" in Frankfurt. Intermission is used for a
                special on FZ incl. lots of verbal and musical quotes
                (and German comments).


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>CONCERTS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>INTERVIEWS, DOCUMENTARI


~From: "G.D. Pratt"

     Here is some stuff from Fred Tomsett about Videos:-

     FZ videos: there is indeed a video of Zappa on the Steve Allen show.
     Very odd. Lots of chat, then the concerto. B&W, natch.

     'Baby Snakes' also exists as an edited down version, running 90 mins
     or so. Not seen it.

     There are also audience vidos of various 1988 gigs such as Vienna,
     and a few German shows. Quality varies, but Vienna is OK.


~From: cate[at]brahms.udel.edu (Glenn)

     FZ was on a Make Me Laugh & _Dance Fever_ in Dec, 1979. Did they
     have a celebrity guest thing on MML? I had assumed FZ was trying to
     get a contestant to laugh.


~From: bill[at]ERA.COM (Bill Flynn)

     (this is from old FZ interview around time of Joe's Garage,
     unfortunately I did not save it.)

     Frank was actually a contestant! FZ won - no one made him laugh.


~From: tom.brunetti[at]satalink.com (Tom Brunetti)

     As someone has previously wrote, Frank did an episode of dance fever
     as a talent judge. He came out on stage doing a goofy shuffle so to
     speak. I took it as he was sort of mocking the disco thing. All the
     other judges seemed to take it to serious.


~From: dsilver[at]panix.com (David Silver)

     I remember this show very well. He did a "goofy shuffle" at the very
     end of the show when all of the judges were invited to dance on the
     stage with Denny Terio and the contestants during the closing
     credits. I don't recall anything about that being taken badly by
     anyone. He seemed to take the judging seriously, giving some pretty
     high scores. One thing I remember wast that every time he spoke he
     leaned way down toward the microphone so you could barely see his
     face. I figured this was because as concert performer, he was
     accustomed to speaking directly into microphones. On TV, you just
     tend to speak naturally and let the mic pick your voice up from
     wherever it is. I think one of the other judges was the den mother
     from the TV show Facts of Life. I found it really amusing seeing him
     up there next to her.


~From: aup[at]ddci.dk (Anders Uhl Pedersen)

     I have an update on the section of illegal videos, since English TV
     broadcast a FZ special a couple of times and one of the times with 1
     1/2 hours of prev. unreleased live material (mainly).

     It was broadcast in "The Late Show" in the summer of 1993 including
     interviews with FZ, Dweezil, Ahmet, Jim "Motorhead" Sherwood, Ruth
     Underwood, Steve Vai and "The Father of the Simpsons" (I'm sorry,
     but his name eludes me for the moment.) The "videos" afterwards
     includes a BBC recording of King Kong (not broadcast since the late
     60's), a lot of live material from various tours and some "videos"
     of Baby Snakes, Night School and G-Spot Tornado.

     Here is, as promised, a more detailed listing of the contents of
     "The Late Show"'s FZ special:

     Length: App. 45 min

     The show includes lots of material from Frank's career from the
     earliest days to rehearsing with Ensemble Modern in the preperation
     of The Yellow Shark. Also, there are interviews with the following
     persons: (The brackets is "The Late Show"'s introduction of the
     persons when they appear)

     Matt Groening (Cartoonist "The Simpsons")
     Jim 'Motorhead' Sherwood (Saxophonist MOI 1964-69)
     Ruth Underwood (Percussionist Zappa Band 1972-76)
     Steve Vai (Guitarist Zappa Band 1980-82)
     Dweezil Zappa (Son)
     Ahmet Zappa (Son)
     Frank Zappa

     After the show there is 90 min. with music ONLY. These are the
     titles and the years in which the performance was recorded:

         1. King Kong (BBC Studio Recording) 1968
         2. This Town Is A Sealed Tuna Sandwich from 200 Motels (Royal
            Festival Hall) 1968
         3. Cosmik Debris (Probably the same show as "A Token of His
            Extreme") 1974
         4. City Of Tiny Lights 1979
         5. Stink Foot (Same as 3) with claymation) 1974
         6. Baby Snakes (Studio version - the same intro as on the album
            'Baby Snakes'. The video contains FZ working with some
            claymation) 1982
         7. Stevie's Spanking 1982
         8. Inca Roads (Same as 3) with claymation) 1974
         9. San Bernadino (Probably same show as 4)) 1979
        10. Nigh School (Claymation) 1986
        11. You Are What You Are Is (Official Video)
        12. Camarillo Brillo (Probably same as 4)) 1979
        13. Muffin Man (Continued directly from 12) 1979
        14. G-Spot Tornado (Synclavier? Rapidly changing pictures) 1986
        15. Montana (Same as 3)) 1974
        16. Black Napkins (Probably same show as 4)) 1979


~From: (ivester[at]utkvx.utk.edu) Stan Ivester

     Stockholm '73 is circulating in an old 60-min version and, I'm told,
     in a newly uncovered 75-min version on video. My copy is not great,
     being the old version and partly from an optical transfer. Someone
     in Europe (that's a big help, I know) must have a low-generation


~From: Zomby Woof

     There is a old video tape of Frank appreaing on The Steve Allen Show
     playing, of all things, a bicylce.

     If you listen real close, as he slaps a pair of drum sticks along
     the wheel spokes as the tire is being rotated, you can hear it's his
     type of music.

     There is also the immortal version of Frank on Australian TV as he
     takes over the show and conducts the band and the audience.

     It was a real moment.


~From: northcot[at]med.unc.edu (Robert W. Northcott)

     I have a very fond memory of watching Steve Allen's mid-sixties
     show, which I assume was syndicated since I got it on a UHF channel
     from Charlotte, NC, and one of the best I saw was when the Mothers
     appeared. I do remember that they played "Hungry Freaks, Daddy" and
     I think "Americal Drinks Up..." and Steve announced the first song
     with quite a bit of surprise and good-natured humor in his voice. I
     don't remember enought to state who was actually on stage; I assume
     it was the 67-68 original Mothers line up. Absolutely Free must have
     been the most recent LP at that time. Anyway, having owned Freak Out
     at the time, I was already familiar with HFD and it made quite an
     impression when they appeared. FZ sat down at talked for a minute;
     unfortunately time has eroded my recollections. Is this anywhere on


~From: dm144[at]cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Jeffrey M. Gold)

     I don't know why Zappa did not release Sofa until One Size Fits All,
     but I do remember seeing the '71 band perform Sofa on TV. It was the
     Dick Cavett Show, which used to be on opposite Johnny Carson in the
     early 70's. No one had VCR's in those days, so I suppose there is on
     point in asking if anyone has a tape of it. Does anyone else even
     remember that performance?


~From: obrecht[at]imagen.com (Doug Obrecht)

     Yeah, I remember it. They also did "Who are the Brain Police". But I
     thought it was on a show in the middle of the afternoon (in L.A.).

     Ah, the things you can do on a large floating purple sofa. (Just
     don't get any jiz on it.)


~From: natola[at]coos.dartmouth.edu (Mark A. Natola)

     Somewhere I think I have an audio tape made from this show. The
     Mothers also did "Who are the Brain Police". I believe FZ is
     interviewed and he comments that he is amazed that he was asked to
     be on the show. 200 Motels was also discussed during the interview.


~From: fox[at]cs.panam.edu (The Guitarist From Hell)

     A little less than 1/2 of "The Dub Room Special" is stuff from the
     '74 TV show

     I've seen snippets of "The Dub Room Special" [...] which can't be
     the Roxy and Elsewhere TV thing because there was no Bruce Fowler,
     Ralph Humphrey (? - Chester's co-drummer) and whoever else was on
     Roxy but not on YCDTOSA Vol.2. So this TV recording is still a
     mystery to me.



The footage on Dub Room Special is from KETC (sic) LA tv, a 1974 show that
was broadcast.  The footage for this performance exists in two
forms, about 5 songs on Dub Room Special, and a 60 minute chunk
on a tape later named "A Token of His Extreme".  These two forms
have overlapping footage, but each has different footage as well. Songs
include Inca Roads, Florentine Pogen (both of which were used for
the studio versions on One Size Fits All), Approximate (intro only),
Stinkfoot, Cosmik Debris, Montana, Dupree's Paradise (intro), A Token
of His Extreme, and a few more I am probably forgetting.

The only footage of the Roxy video that I have seen is on The True
Story of 200 Motels in which we see Dummy Up.  Supposedly much of
the Roxy & Elsewhere concert that originated from the Roxy, was
filmed.  You can hear a comment on Stage 3 about "while we
reload the cameras" before they do Dickie's Such an Asshole.
And on parts of Roxy, you hear Frank talk about this "movie".

I believe the plan was to air the film/video on US tv (or maybe
European TV) like they did with the 1974 performance for KETC (sic)
in LA, or the mTV concert from 1981.  But as far as I can tell though,
it was never aired.  I have dug around for a copy of a videotape of
this performance and the only feedback I have been given from a videotape
collector/bootlegger was that "yes the tape does exist, it is
EXTREMELY rare and very expensive and the copy you might obtain would
be of horrid quality".  I take it that this means that the guy
at one time did see a bad copy and it would be very difficult for him
to track down another.


Re: Zappa on Saturday Night Live

~From: dsilver[at]panix.com (David Silver)

     The first appearance was around Halloween, 1976. He performed "I'm
     the Slime" and "Approximate". If you look at the band credits on
     "Zappa In New York" you will see several SNL band members listed.
     (Lou Marini, Ronnie Cuber, etc.) He evidently brought them along for
     just the NYC gigs. I saw FZ in Boston the week before with Eddie
     Jobson, Patrick O'Hearn, Terry Bozzio, and the immortal Bianca Odin
     (who was canned soon after).


~From: ivester[at]utkvx.utk.edu (Stan Ivester)

     On that first show, Frank & band actually did 3 songs. They
     performed a very lively "Peaches en Regalia"; unfortunately, when
     the SNL shows were later rerun in the '80s in a one-hour format (and
     after VCRs became available to the general public), "Peaches" was
     cut, which is why very few copies of that song on the show survive.
     I have a copy, but the quality is so awful that it's barely
     watchable even for a fanatic like myself. A few visual highlights of
     that particular "Peaches" performance: Eddie Jobson plays a
     clear-plastic violin; and Frank, Ray White, & Patrick O'Hearn bow
     and make some kind of semi-religious gesture toward Terry Ted during
     his brief solo.

     Also, it was closer to Xmas than to Hween; thus all the references
     to Xmas in the show (Candice Bergen introduces the first song as "a
     special Xmas treat, the mellow sounds of FZ," or words to that
     effect). Plus Frank made a brief appearence in the "Killer Xmas
     Trees" sketch; one of the trees killed him in a police lineup.

     I saw it when it happened, on a tiny little black&white TV.


~From: pking[at]magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Peter Overton King)

     Last week I came into possession (hrumph) of an FZ videotape not
     mentioned in the FAQ anywhere. It contains two very different items.

        FZ + the Mothers of Invention, 06.10.68 German TV: "Happening im
                Like the title says... it was a "happening" in the
                studio. The set opens with a loosely-coordinated rock &
                roll jam, interrupted by a commercial or whatever they
                had instead of commercials in 1968 Germany, a brief
                interview with FZ from 1970 or so, and then back to 1968
                for the happening. This consisted of a performance with
                all songs segue and partial improvisation. Sombody more
                familiar with early Mothers could identify the parts
                better than I, surely, but I can make out the following:

              1. Pound for a Brown
              2. Sleeping in a Jar
              3. [???] instrumental improvisation
              4. Let's Make the Water Turn Black
              5. Who Are the Brain Police?

        FZ 1992: Austrian TV: "PEEFEEYATKO"
                This show is a documentary concentrating on FZ's
                technique of composition with the Synclavier. It has some
                great bits of dialogue, and there are wonderful intercut
                remarks by several composers such as Boulez, Xenakis, and
                Stockhausen (and some footage of FZ with the first two).
                The director also felt compelled to periodically insert
                b&w sequences from monster movies here and there, and
                also footage of some bozo talking about Bigfoot.

                Well, to hear FZ talking about his music and
                demonstrating what he can do at his Synclavier is great
                fun. But the real gem here is that the musical background
                is ALL BY FZ -- from his Synclavier. And there is a
                several-minutes-long segment in the middle entitled
                "Electronic Music by Frank Zappa" with no dialogue or
                distractions, not a demo, either, but what sounds like a
                well-realized piece of music already. (Maybe from CP3?)

                The dialogue etc. is in English, with what looks to me
                like Finnish (?) subtitles. (Anyway, not German!) If
                anyone knows how to get a high-quality transfer of music
                off a videotape I'd be very pleased to know.