A Token of His Extreme
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Recorded on August 27, 1974 at KCET in Hollywood, A TOKEN OF HIS EXTREME features Frank Zappa with five incredibly talented band members for this extravaganza of live music.
The line-up exists of Frank Zappa guitar, percussion, vocals; George Duke keyboards, finger cymbals, tambourine, vocals; Napoleon Murphy Brock sax, vocals; Ruth Underwood percussion; Tom Fowler bass; Chester Thompson drums.
The Program, as edited and thoroughly tweezed & produced by FZ for Honker Home Video includes these delights: The Dog Breath Variations/ Uncle Meat, Montana, Earl Of Duke (George Duke), Florentine Pogen, Stink-Foot, Pygmy Twylyte, Room Service, Inca Roads, Oh No, Son Of Orange County, More Trouble Every Day, A Token Of My Extreme.
Stereo Mixes Produced by Frank Zappa with Kerry McNabb at Paramount Studios, 1974.
Mastered by Bob Ludwig, Gateway Mastering, 2009
FZ: This was put together with my own money and my own time and it's been offered to television networks and to syndication and it has been steadfastly rejected by the American television industry. It has been shown in primetime in France and Switzerland, with marvelous results. It's probably one of the finest pieces of video work that any human being has ever done. I did it myself. And the animation that you're gonna see in this was done by a guy named Bruce Bickford, and I hope he is watching the show, because it's probably the first time that a lot of people in America got a chance to see it.
- FZ appearing on the Mike Douglas Show, 1976
Because Token has never been commercially released until now, it is one of the most sought after Frank Zappa programs.
1/2) The Dog Breath Variations/ Uncle Meat 3) Montana 4) Earl Of Duke (George Duke) 5) Florentine Pogen 6) Stink-Foot 7) Pygmy Twylyte 8) Room Service 9) Inca Roads 10/11) Oh No/ Son Of Orange County 12) More Trouble Every Day 13) A Token Of My Extreme
Top Customer Reviews
The 73 minute "concert" program was transferred from the Original 2" Quad Video Master in 2009 and looks and sounds great. The 11 songs are performed by FZ and the Mothers with George Duke on keyboards (and finger cymbals) and Ruth Underwood (percussion) and Chester Thompson (drums) providing the beat with Tom Fowler on bass and Napoleon Murphy Brock on sax and vocals. Performed in front of a live audience, a few of the numbers feature wonderful stop-action animation by Bruce Bickford (a name new to me).
But there is more to the DVD. Bonuses like a "Discography" and "DVDography" are merely a collage of images of album and DVD covers but then there is 17-minute (!) video of FZ's appearance on the Mike Douglas Show in 1976 (two years after ATOHE was produced. Douglas, who was very supportive of rock stars (John and Yoko spent a week as co-hosts) on his afternoon show from Philadelphia - chats with FZ and gives him a solo performance spot (with FZ accompanied by Douglas' house band). Frank discusses the film and his music tastes along with other guests Jimmie (JJ) Walker (from TV's "Good Times) and Kenny Rogers). This is obviously a rare TV appearance for FZ.
The DVD comes with a six-page foldout that resembles a TV guide cover and listing.Read more ›
But, that doesn't mean it's perfect. This DVD has several lengthy stretches of video editing that hinders an otherwise beautiful audio-visual Zappa document. Most frustrating is the strobe effects used in countless sections of the concert footage in which the camera rapidly switches between various members of the band. It occurs so fast, it's impossible to see exactly what ANYONE is doing. So rather than taking in the performance and visualizing what is being played, the viewer is left to make sense of the headache inducing slideshow. It's a relief when one of these segments end.
The decision to use these moments is perplexing. Clearly, there is plenty of footage of each band member. Why ruin large chunks of it by splicing it all together? If they really wanted to give the fans what they wanted, they would have allowed the ability to switch between cameras. It might have taken a much larger investment of time and money, but I would shell out triple what I paid on Amazon for a feature like that.
My biggest gripe is the inexplicable scarcity of solo footage, most notably of Zappa on his guitar. I can understand us not getting to see ALL the solo's throughout the performances, but when Zappa is playing a guitar solo, that's what I want on the screen! I want to watch the man on his instrument!
So, in conclusion... yes, you should buy this.Read more ›
Also included is an interview and performance of Black Napkins on the Mike Douglas show from 1976 that includes an excerpt from the DVD. Also on the set are Kenny Rogers and comedian Jimmie Walker (popular at that time from the contemporaneous Good Times television series). Douglas asks what music Zappa likes to listen to "to relax", and Zappa responds that for light relaxation he listens to disco since it's utterly predictable, but for more deep relaxation he prefers Webern and the string quartets of Elliott Carter (presumably the first three, given the date).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good perfromances - mainly circa 1974 - and interviews from the same time. Interesting and worthwhile.Published 1 day ago by Marcus Garvey
Great performance... Wish there was more live footage from that era of FrankPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
So many jump cuts makes me wonder. Zappa or trust Zappa? After you have had a drink and smoke it's too much. Ears are fine I guess close my eyes, florentine pogen yes!!Published 4 months ago by Aaron Alexander
If you are any kind of fan of Frank Zappa I would recommend this video is for you. Classic MOTHERS OF INVENTION line up. The content is definetly a 12 out of ten. Read morePublished 5 months ago by James T. Davis
The music is great, but the video editing is awful, just jumping around with no coherency. Even worse, it is full of claymation, which ruins most Zappa DVDs. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Patricia Wade
This is a classic show. Have never seen any of this until now. Original "One Size Fits All" band members - just awesome. Very clear picture and sound considering the time. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Bill Denny