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200 Motels
January 29, 2010 8:30 AM   Subscribe

WTF? Achtung! Nothing here is safe for anyone ever. Ringo Starr as Frank Zappa / Centerville / Dental Hygiene Dilemma / Lonesome Cowboy Burt / Mystery Roach / Magic Fingers / Finale / Special Bonus: Penismobile / Specialer Bonus: The Making of 200 Motels 1 2 3

NB: these clips are not in order, I have rearranged them to form a more coherent narrative.
posted by Meatbomb (32 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Music is the best.
With leather.
posted by Drasher at 8:35 AM on January 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


yup, really coherent.

That said, I do suddenly feel like I don't need my morning coffee.
posted by philip-random at 8:56 AM on January 29, 2010


Yes please!
posted by Pollomacho at 8:59 AM on January 29, 2010


I have rearranged them to form a more coherent narrative.

That's unpossible!
posted by lumpenprole at 9:04 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


You gotta love Lonesome Cowboy Burt
posted by nola at 9:09 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Where have you been? =)
posted by rmmcclay at 9:24 AM on January 29, 2010


High on the list of rock films that I've tried on several occasions to watch all the way through but could not do. Maybe I'll try it in the Meatbomb sequence - at least that way I get Ringo first.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:26 AM on January 29, 2010


This is still my favorite Zappa cinematic role.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:32 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Slack-a-gogo, my one successful completion of the film was with the assistance of a moderate dose of LSD, and I can honestly say that it made for a very pleasant viewing experience. I can only conclude that this sort of audience participation was a part of the original creators' intent.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:34 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Slack-a-gogo, my one successful completion of the film was with the assistance of a moderate dose of LSD, and I can honestly say that it made for a very pleasant viewing experience. I can only conclude that this sort of audience participation was a part of the original creators' intent.

Considering Zappa's strong distaste for drugs in general and psychedelics in particular (which didn't exactly stop Frank from dabbling in druggy imagery), I'm going to say probably not.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:49 AM on January 29, 2010


I'm like you Slack-a-gogo. I have everything he's recorded, filmed and written. 200 Motels is the one thing I seriously dislike. Knowing how it was filmed and all of the problems that went along with it, makes it tolerable but still, WTFFZ?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:51 AM on January 29, 2010


What will I say the next day to whatever I drag to my hotel tonight?
posted by pahool at 10:58 AM on January 29, 2010


While touring with the band back in the day, it was standard procedure to wander into the town agape at the "Chuuuuuuurchesssss! And Liiiiiiiquor stoooooorrrrressss!" Good times.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 10:59 AM on January 29, 2010


> WTFFZ?

It's a matter of taste, then, because I love 200M with great passion. I can't listen to Stockhausen without thinking of "Nun Suit" any more than I could watch Shogun (assuming I were ever roped into watching Shogun again) without seeing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (wherein our boys are transported back to feudal Japan) playing in the background and ghostly guys in turtle suits running around waving swords in every scene.

> I have rearranged them to form a more coherent narrative.

R U kidding? The opening fanfare is clearly an opening fanfare, and "Every Poor Sailor Adrift on the Sea" is clearly the big finale but in between... well, I personally wouldn't mess with FZ's sequencing but I would let my monkey here with the dartboard do it. But thanks for the post!
posted by jfuller at 11:08 AM on January 29, 2010


Just tell me which part has door number 3 or the lonely guy. That's my favorite thing from any Frank movie ever. I like this movie better than Baby Snakes and the 200 Motels soundtrack is also better than the Baby Snakes soundtrack. Adrian Belew is good. Flo and Eddie are better.
posted by irisclara at 11:35 AM on January 29, 2010


Man, I don't let that monkey go anywhere near those goddamn darts since the incident.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:49 AM on January 29, 2010


I will never forget watching this movie for the first time.

There was a little video store down the road from my house that had the oddest selection, run out of a storefront that was 500 square feet at best. I trundled home with all kinds of odd films from that place.

So I took home 200 Motels and sat down on the floor to watch it, stone-cold sober on a Saturday morning.

After three minutes I was bewildered and throughout my viewing could not process anything about it. I have never taken hallucinogens, but I can only imagine it's similiar to the complete cognitive and perceptive breakdown I experienced. Then, confused and disoriented, I watched it again. It made a bit more sense the next time, but one of the catchphrases in my circle of friends is my plaintive cry, 'But why are the lizard-headed orchestra members escaping from the concentration camp?'

It is a movie everyone should watch at least once, if only for the experience of abject befuddlement.
posted by winna at 11:53 AM on January 29, 2010


I've always liked Mike Nesmith as Frank Zappa, and vice versa.
posted by anazgnos at 12:20 PM on January 29, 2010


I had the 200 Motels soundtrack for a while. Those were among my favorite cds -- though I've not yet had the opportunity to see the actual film. I've no idea where they are now ... I'm betting an ex-girlfriend has them.

Well, now I miss them, again. Thanks.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:33 PM on January 29, 2010


If you wanted to find the crazy in the 1970s, you just followed a drummer.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 2:45 PM on January 29, 2010


Help, I'm a rock!

Halp me!

A yellow shark is out to get me.

Undaunted, the band plays on

Necessity is...

doo wop, doo wop-wop, doo wop, doo wop-wop.

That's right!

posted by ersatz at 4:50 PM on January 29, 2010


I love a lot of Zappa, and 200 Motels is actually one of my favorite albums of his, but the clips I've seen of the movie don't lead me to believe that it would be a good idea to watch any more of it.
posted by dfan at 6:10 PM on January 29, 2010


Considering Zappa's strong distaste for drugs in general and psychedelics in particular (which didn't exactly stop Frank from dabbling in druggy imagery), I'm going to say probably not.

Yeah, but everyone else in the Mothers was basted out of their mind almost all the time. That's a big part of why they split according to his auto-bio.
posted by lumpenprole at 8:32 PM on January 29, 2010


Yeah, but everyone else in the Mothers was basted out of their mind almost all the time. That's a big part of why they split according to his auto-bio.

I question this. Much of what I've heard regarding the Mothers intensely freaked out image is that it was just that, image. Listen to something like King Kong and ask yourself how, even with tape editing, mindblown fuckups could have even imagined playing that shit.
posted by philip-random at 9:08 PM on January 29, 2010


I have it second hand, from a former groupie, that it is not a bizarre coincidence that 200 Motels works better on acid. People in the Mothers of Invention took LSD. Look at the "penismobile" clip and judge for yourself.

Frank was pulling many strings, but things do not get that psychedelic, in the middle of the drug crazed early 70s, with everybody sober.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:14 PM on January 29, 2010


Frank claims to have never done any drugs, and while that may be true, he was certainly catering the movie toward an audience that had.

That said, the movie itself has a strong anti-drug message. A large part of the plot consists of calling out Jeff Beck for being an asshole while intoxicated and essentially showing him having a bad trip/excessively drunk. Not to mention the other psychedelically questionable aspects of the story. You have to watch it knowing that Frank intended to mess with your head.
posted by o0o0o at 12:28 AM on January 30, 2010


I miss Frank.
posted by DonnyMac at 12:26 PM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes.

.
.
.

There I said it.
posted by Splunge at 7:25 PM on February 25, 2010


I was searching for Frank Zappa thinking that my first FPP would be about him. Then I found this and others and decided not to. This is so cool.

Yes I'm a Zappa freak, why do you ask?
posted by Splunge at 7:32 PM on February 25, 2010


If you've got good links, you can still make a Zappa FPP. The more the merrier.
posted by ersatz at 3:54 AM on February 26, 2010


Yes, please do!
posted by Pollomacho at 6:23 AM on February 26, 2010


There should be too much Zappa on Metafilter as it would be an honest reflection of his career output. And I mean this in the best possible way.
posted by philip-random at 9:48 AM on February 26, 2010


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