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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:44 pm 
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I just watched this very good DVD for the second time, and I’d give it 4 stars. Naturally it was fun to watch a documentary about the Mothers in the 1960s, but it was also touching to see so much footage of my old friend Jimmy Carl Black—which, sadly, was probably one of Jimmy’s very last performances.

The exceptional Alec Lindsell was the producer for Prism Films, and he also did all of the recording and much of the editing. I was impressed with Alec’s integrity, and also his determination to present a good portrait of the original Mothers of Invention.

The film did suffer from the absence of Roy Estrada and Ray Collins. To Mr. Lindsell’s credit, he evidently approached Roy, but Roy was reluctant to agree to the interview—I think in part because of earlier interviews that may not have come out truthfully. In Ray’s case, apparently he could not be reached. In hindsight I should have convinced Roy to do it, and also should have contacted Ray for prodding. To be honest, one never knows how these things are going to turn out, so it’s hard to get too excited about some projects.

Roy and Ray were of course the other 2/3 of the band (along with JCB) who hired Frank before they were the Mothers. Roy was the only other guy besides JCB who was with the band from the beginning to the end. His commentary would have been very entertaining and enlightening.

Ray would have added immeasurably to knowledge about the early years. I don’t think that the average fan realizes how important Ray was to the spirit of the Mothers. Ray is a natural comedian, and has a sense of rebelliousness or defiance that formed the heart of the early Mothers. When Ray left the band I was heartsick. I’d have to say that the band after Ray’s departure was not able to fully maintain its original spirit.

It was great to see Bunk and Don, since we haven’t met in the flesh for 25 years. Hell, Bunk looks better than I do, and he’s several years older! Don still has his wry sense of humor, and can relate a good story.

I was very impressed with Richie Unterberger. His insights and grasp of the band’s philosophy, and the way the organization developed was intuitive. Billy James also did a fine job of commentary. His remarks were intelligent and fresh. One point though: the name “Mothers of Invention” was established after the initial record company insisted that the name “The Mothers” (or The Muthers) by itself was way too provocative. The name then was fittingly taken from the Plato quote.

The British commentators were of fair quality. Alan Clayson had some nice recollections from his first exposure to the band. Although one had to pick his points out from a sea of “sort of’s”. Ben Watson obviously admired the band, but his ideas of the band’s early days were peculiar, if not goofy. His attempt to make a connection between Lowell George, the Uncle Meat album cover, and Nazi Germany was pretty far-fetched and silly. Since Watson is a Marxist, I suppose his pragmatic abilities have long been impaired. Of course musicologists in general tend to try to fabricate symbolic events and conspiracies where none exist.

I’d heartily recommend this film, both as enjoyment and as a mostly accurate presentation of the 1960’s Mothers of Invention.

Art Tripp


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:54 pm 
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art tripp wrote:
Ben Watson obviously admired the band, but his ideas of the band’s early days were peculiar, if not goofy. His attempt to make a connection between Lowell George, the Uncle Meat album cover, and Nazi Germany was pretty far-fetched and silly. Since Watson is a Marxist, I suppose his pragmatic abilities have long been impaired. Of course musicologists in general tend to try to fabricate symbolic events and conspiracies where none exist.
Art Tripp

great minds think alike: 8)
Lumpy Gravy wrote:
and ben watson got a bit silly, making references between the uncle meat cover and nazi-germany's treatments of the jews...
moi doc coming soon

art tripp wrote:
I was very impressed with Richie Unterberger. His insights and grasp of the band’s philosophy, and the way the organization developed was intuitive.
The British commentators were of fair quality. Alan Clayson had some nice recollections from his first exposure to the band. Although one had to pick his points out from a sea of “sort of’s”.

I agree. they both made some good points.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:09 pm 
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I finally got my copy of this DVD and watched it yesterday. Loved the interviews with the ex band members and yes couldn't get over how youthful Bunk Gardner was / is.
I've been waiting for a documentary like this for years.
I definitely thought it suffered from the absence of Roy and Ray which Mr. Tripp covers in his review above. I find that pre-Muthers period from the 1960ish to 1964 fascinating.

I would like to have heard more from Mr. Tripp, the best percussionist, but I guess enough praise was given by JCB (Artie was off beyond the moon) and it was nice to hear about his audition. I bet it was very impressive!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:40 pm 
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I just watched this tonight. Got it from Netflix. It's definitely worth seeing. I really enjoyed it.

I saw the return of a critic that was in a Who (or was it Pink Floyd? or Stones?) documentary I had seen. I don't know his name, but he's the British guy with white hair and a scarf. It's sometimes hard to keep track of what he's saying because of the eccentric stresses he puts on his words. It's like he randomly emphasizes syllables constantly. haha. It's one of the strangest speech patterns I've ever heard. It's really distracting. It's not as bad in this one as it was in the other documentary, though; maybe he watched that one and heard how he sounded and toned it down a bit.

But yeah, check it out. It's good.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:53 pm 
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swiftkicknow wrote:
...the British guy with white hair and a scarf.


That'd be Mr Alan Clayson, who's written books on the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Varese, wrote JCB's obit, and recently interviewed Gail for Record Collector.

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"Remarkable in detail and interview, an unexpected and invaluable look at a such an important and ill-fated moment in Frank's career."

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:19 pm 
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swiftkicknow wrote:
...the British guy with white hair and a scarf.

The Idiot Bastard wrote:
That'd be Mr Alan Clayson, who's written books on the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Varese, wrote JCB's obit, and recently interviewed Gail for Record Collector.

I liked him, he had a lot of good things to say about the mothers of invention. interesting speech pattern, yeah...

he's also in this new dvd about john lennon (which isn't too bad, actually...).
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