Rolling Stone - Ahead of the November 27th release of Zappa — a documentary about the unclassifiable rocker, composer and guitar god Frank Zappa — Rolling Stone is premiering the latest trailer for director Alex Winter’s long-in-the-works film.
The documentary — the first made with the approval and cooperation of the Zappa estate — features tons of never-before-seen home movies, interviews and live footage excavated from Zappa’s enormous vault.
“We were loud, we were coarse, and we were strange,” Zappa says in voiceover of the initial reaction to his music.
Zappa charts the late icon’s career as a self-taught teenaged musician with a taste for the avant-garde to his pioneering Mothers of Invention and his many musical left turns, as well as his censorship battle with the Parents Music Resource Center and the productive years prior to his death.
“Frank embodied everything,” Mothers of Invention percussionist Ruth Underwood says in the trailer. “You couldn’t say, ‘Oh yeah, that’s rock n’ roll.’ It wasn’t. ‘It’s jazz.’ No. ‘It’s pop music.’ No. ‘What the hell is it?’ It’s Zappa.”
I'm not going to sit here and pretend I'm the biggest Zappa fan of all time. Quite the contrary, aside from "Bobby Brown", "Muffin Man", and "Dancing Fool" I couldn't name you more songs of his off the top of my head.
But that's the main reason I'm looking forward to this documentary being released on the 27th.
I do know the massive role he played in shaping and morphing the sound of music in the 1970s however. And the fight he took up against censorship to protect his art and other fellow artists.
And everybody from John Lennon to Mick Jagger called the man a genius.
So learning all about Zappa's life, in his own words, and set to never before seen footage from his family's archives is the recipe for a great documentary.
Add in the fact that Bill from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (and Marko from The Lost Boys) directed and produced this documentary and that makes it even more awesome. (Real name is Alex Winter)
Winter added, “It’s not your standard album-to-album music doc. It’s really an in-depth examination of an artist’s life, using mostly Zappa’s own words and media from his personal archives. The film is filled with surprises for fans, but I think they will be most struck by the intimacy and a real sense of who Zappa actually was.”
(Fun fact - did you know Alex Winter (Bill) has directed a ton of documentaries including - Downloaded (Documentary film on Napster and its community) Deep Web: The Untold Story of Bitcoin and the Silk Road, The Panama Papers, Trust Machine: The Story Of Blockchain, and Showbiz Kids (Documentary film on child actors in Hollywood))