First we have a rare film simply called “Frank Zappa”, a Dutch documentary for VPRO Television, directed by Roelof Kiers, originally broadcast on February 11, 1971.
The documentary features interviews with Zappa, Gail Zappa, Lucy Offerall and Pamela Miller. Moon Zappa and Dweezil Zappa can also been seen as very young children. The film shows a lot of footage recorded in Zappa’s house and footage with Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan during the Fillmore West concert on November 6, 1970.
Zappa is interviewed about his youth, love for music, personal life and politics. The documentary shows him composing music for 200 Motels and rehearsing songs like This Town Is A Sealed Tuna Sandwich (prologue). Unique footage of him and Wild Man Fischer playing guitar together is also shown.
Back in 1971 the documentary caused enormous controversy with Dutch TV audiences, even to the point that questions were asked in the Dutch House of Commons, “De Tweede Kamer”. The controversy was caused by the following scenes: Zappa’s children walk around completely naked in his house and are babysitted by groupies Miss Lucy and Miss Pamela. Lucy & Pamela talk freely about their sex life on the road and even Zappa himself later admits that he commits adultery with groupies during tours, but that his wife is aware of this. Another scene features Zappa watching an amateur sex movie featuring Aynsley Dunbar with a groupie. Backstage footage of Zappa’s band with groupies is also shown. The most notorious scene however showed Zappa using a vacuum cleaner on Miss Lucy’s breasts and genitals, while little Moon Zappa is present in the same room.
Roelof Kiers also directed the documentary Frank Zappa Filmt 200 Motels, which was filmed around the same time. Parts of this documentary were featured in The True Story Of 200 Motels.
More details about the film below.
“Frank Zappa” – Dutch Documentary, 1971
Part 2, Part 3, Part 4,
Frank Zappa – BBC Documentary, 1993
Frank ZAPPA’s 200 Motels (Full Film)
“Touring makes you crazy,” Frank Zappa says, explaining that the idea for this film came to him while the Mothers of Invention were touring. The story, interspersed with performances by the Mothers and the Royal Symphony Orchestra, is a tale of life on the road. The band members’ main concerns are the search for groupies and the desire to get paid.
Frank Zappa’s legendary appearance on “Crossfire”
Zappa on CNN’s Crossfire in 1986. Discussing copyright.
Frank Zappa on Wikipedia – Zappa.com