Documentary-The Freakout List

The Freakout List
The Freakout List offers exclusive footage of Zappa and the Mothers and also archive film of Freak Out List artists, premium interviews with The Mothers Of Invention’s Ian Underwood, Don Preston and George Duke, 1950s Doo Wop legends, The Cadillacs, contributions from Zappa biographers Ben Watson and Greg Russo, Edgard Varèse biographer Alan Clayson, experimental contemporary music historian Professor David Nicholls, soul and R’n’B expert Robert Pruter, and many others.
Additionally offers many rarely seen photos, news archive, radio spots and a host of additional features which all together make for an exciting, exclusive and hugely watchable package., and targets the influences of Zappa along with the evolution of his music in the beginning.
Extra features include: extended interviews; featurette ‘Frank Zappa’s Record Collection’; illustrated contributor biographies; and more...

When an artist, no matter his importance, lists his most favourite artists and performers it is usually met with little fanfare, as over time the names stated are most likely going to change. However when Frank Zappa did likewise, and actually published a record of his primary influences on the inside cover of his debut album, it became a road map to the music he was to make over the following forty years. Even in the early 1990s, when questioned about his most-loved composers, musicians and artists, he would repeat names from this, by then well-known, index.
This movie explores the musical roots of Frank Zappa by putting The Freak Out List under the microscope and searching for the lineage from the most essential names thereon to the recordings and performances of the man himself.

 The goal for this documentary is to partially discover this list (not all on the list are musicians, such as Wolfman Jack, Sacco & Vanzetti, and John Wayne), and not just show why specific composers and artists are crucial to Zappa, but to the world of music at large.

Once the foundations are set about the Freak Out! album and Zappa in general in act one, if you will, the list begins to be broken down by the experts and band members. The first stop is the classical input, by other 20th Century deconstructionalists, for example Stockhausen and Schoenberg, who used patterns rather than formulaic measures.

Moving on to R&B, there’s the likes of Hank Ballard and the Moonlighters, Richard Berry (who wrote “Louie, Louie”), and Johnny GuitarWatson are introduced, the latter of whom would become both a collaborator and friend of Zappa’s.

The progression goes on into one of Zappa’s much-loved sounds, doo-wop, which has shown up in a number of forms on various Mother’s albums, specifically the Ruben and the Jets LP. Contained in the list is the Cadillacs (“Speedo”).

The progression after that, posits the documentary, is jazz. Miles Davis and his Bitches Brew is mentioned, though Zappa was already releasing comparable sounds before Miles performed. Also stated are the likes of Eric Dolphy, and another Mothers affect and member, violinist Jean-Luc Ponty.

There are numerous clips of music used, and not just of Zappa’s, but of the unique sources (Miles, for example), occasionally demonstrated one after the other, so the spectator can easily see by example. These pieces are given enough time to hear what we need (and sometimes fortunately more), but nothing complete considering the length of the music utilized vs. the length of the documentary.

 A few of the extras in the documentary contain a brief commentary (more like a single-camera class lesson) about a few albums that mattered to the man, titled “Desert IslandDisks,” including Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. There is also a person-by-person text biography for all the individuals who spoke throughout Frank Zappa: The Freak-Out List.

In an interview with Frank Kofsky (in Jazz & Pop, 1967) FZ stated: "That whole Freak Out! album is to be as accessible as possible to the people who wanted to take the time to make it accessible. That list of names in there, if anybody were to research it, it would probably help them a great deal." 

Dave Aerni
Jerry Allberg
Leonard Allen
Phyllis Altenhaus
Bülent Arel
Bobby Atler
Joan Baez
Diane Baker
William Ballard
Dick Barber
John Beck
Molly Bee
Lorraine Belcher
Melvin Mouron Belli
Richard Berry
The Bokelmans
Pierre Boulez
Sylvia Brigham
Sidney W. Brossman
Charles Brown
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
Lenny Bruce
Paul Buff
Teddy Bunn
Captain Beefheart
Don Cerveris
Mark Cheka
Herb Cohen
Albert Collins
Robert Craft
David Crosby
Daddy-o Curtis Crump
Salvador Dali
Rosemarie De Camp
Joe De Santis
Randy De Wees
Frank DeKova
George Di Carl
Skip Diamond
Willie Dixon
Fred C. Dobbs
Eric Dolphy
Don & Dewey
Donna No 1
Donna No 2
Bob Dylan
Jim Economides
Shirley Eiler
Brian Epstein
Bill Evans
Jules Feiffer
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Cecil Forsyth
Johnny Franklin
Ernie Freeman
Snuff Garrett
G cont.
Gene & Eunice
Leonard Gorczyca
Bruce Gordon
Vernon Greene
Carl Greenhouse
James William Guercio
Guitar Slim
Buddy Guy
Alois Hába
Slim Harpo
Jeff Harris
Chuck Higgins
Joe Houston
Howlin' Wolf
Dick Hugg
Hunter Hancock
Roger Huntington Sessions
Animal Huxley
The Hypnotist
Lew Irwin
Charles Ives
Bobby Jameson
Lyn Johnson
James Joyce
Don Julian
Mauricio Kagel
Jesse Kaye
Bob Keane
Roland Kirk
Terry Kirkman
Karl Kohn
Eberhard Kronhausen
Art Laboe
Chatur Lal
Lightnin' Slim
Little Walter
Loeb & Leopold
Preston Love
Elwood "Jr." Madeo
Steve Mann
Little Arthur Matthews
Barry McGuire
Big Jay McNeely
Charles Middleton
Charles Mingus
Vic Mortenson
Nodu C. Mullick
Jerry Murnane
Bob Narciso
Luigi Nono
Leo Ornstein
Johnny Otis
Joe Perrino
Vincent Persichetti
Joe Polly
P cont.
Elvis Presley
J. Arthur Rank
Maurice Ravel
Lance Reardon
B. Mitchell Reed
Robert Lee Reiner
Silvestre Revueltas
Nadine Reyes
Herman Rudin
Lillian Rudolph
Sacco & Vanzetti
Sandy Schwanekamp
Arnold Schoenberg
Ravi Shankar
Robert Sheckley
Kay Sherman
Jim "Motorhead" Sherwood
Frankie Lee Simms
P.F. Sloan
Cordwainer Smith
Phil Spector
Alice Stuart
Karlheinz Stockhausen
Bram Stoker
Igor Stravinsky
Bill Stulla
Theodore Sturgeon
Tim Sullivan
Yves Tanguy
Phil Tanzini
John Tasker Howard
Cecil Taylor
Willie Mae Thornton
Jack Tillar
Tiny Tim
Ernest Tosi
Sonny Tufts
Jerry Ullberg
Uncle Ed
Elmer Valentine
Edgard Varèse
Nick Venet
Henry Vestine
Muddy Waters
Johnny "Guitar" Watson
John Wayne
Sonny Boy Williamson
Tom Wilson
Terry Wimberley
Wolfman Jack
Donald Woods
Pamela Zarubica
Hal Zeiger
Avedis Zildjian
Lee Zugon
Documentary-The Freakout List Documentary-The Freakout List Reviewed by Klemen Hlupič on 02:23 Rating: 5
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