Reviewed! Frank Zappa - From Straight To Bizarre

Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa: From Straight To Bizarre
Sexy Intellectual

Frank Zappa: From Straight To Bizarre tells the story of Frank Zappa’s quest to break the shackles and closing-in-walls feeling of the team of suits over at MGM/Verve Records, so he set out to start his own venture, Bizarre, later renamed Straight. Though the back cover of the DVD states "this program is not sanctioned by any of the performers or companies on which it focuses,” Frank Zappa: From Straight To Bizarre plays just as good as any other biographical Zappa release you’ll find whilst trolling stores shelves. It holds water because it houses past and present-day interviews and performance clips featuring most of, if not all, the major players – Alice Cooper and Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet), as well as the Persuasions, an acapella gospel and doo-wop quintet, young Hollywood groupies GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously), and perhaps the most oddball of the lot, Larry "Wildman" Fischer, a twice institutionalized paranoid schizophrenic. Frank Zappa: From Straight To Bizarre also features Beatles biographer Barry Miles, and Rolling Stone writer Richie Unterberger to help put the labels' five year history (1968-1973) into perspective. At a whopping near three hours in length, Frank Zappa: From Straight To Bizarre is far from convoluted – it’s actually quite precise. The music pieces included on this DVD help drive the doc on the whole, though it’s not entirely complete since most of the labels catalog is currently unavailable. Bonus content features a pair of five minute interviews cut for time, one being a present day interview with Jerry Lawson of The Persuasions. It’s pretty easy to say that Frank Zappa: From Straight To Bizarre is a recommended experience for any Fappa fan.

Grade: C