50 years of Freaking Out!
It's been more than an outcry when 50 years ago Frank Zappa slapped out his Freak Out! vinyls to the Americans, who at this time were prudish and already disgusted by the flower children.
Bob Levinson explained in his review in 1966 in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner: "A new "singing group", the Mothers of Invention, have recently released their first album, entitled "Friek Out." They needn't have bothered. With voices that should put an alley cat on a fence at midnight to shame, these "mothers" have wasted two records and an album cover of indescribably poor taste recording 80 minutes of pure trash."
In July 1966 Loraine Alterman (Free Press Teen Writer) enlightened the readers about the outrageous news in the music scene: "Mothers and fathers, you thought the Beatles were bad. You got up in arms about the Rolling Stones. Sonny and Cher made you cringe. Well, as the man said, you ain't seen nothing yet. The Mothers of Invention are here with an album called "Freak Out!" (someone suggested it should have been called "Flake Out")."
Never before someone has spoken so blunt about puberty, questioned love, criticized the American way of life via harsh political satire, provoked with verbal attacks the then already established hippie scene or launched a major offensive against the American establishment by confronting the US Americans with racial discrimination, especially the way they were dealing with this matter in the media.
Although president Lyndon B. Johnson has been very engaged in helping the african-americans to achieve more equal opportunity: this hasn't been well received by the citizens. The racial disturbances of 11th August 1965, where more than 30 people died, have been processed by Zappa in “Trouble Every Day”. In this song Zappa put focus on the manipulation of the media with all their deliberate misinformations.
Of course no American radio station had risked to play titles of this work by then. Nowadays one knows - even in the United States - that in 1966 "Freak Out!" initiated a revolution of music history and the critical handling with the American system.
As part of Z#27 the exhibition recalls the appearance of this first production of Frank Zappa with the Mothers of Invention which happened exactly 50 years ago. Til today more than 70 partly very different versions of Freak Out! on vinyl and CD have been released.
While "Freak Out!" appeared in the USA and Canada as first rock double LP, the Europeans had to wait one more year and on top of everything they had to be be satisfieded with a one LP version. Only in 1971 the complete production has been released in England, containing unknown songs like “Go Cry on Somebody Else´s Shoulder”, “How Could I Be Such a Fool” and “Any Way The Wind Blows”. For the first time “Trouble Every Day” could be heard in full length.
Because the Europeans weren't really affected by the songs, their critics were more sophisticated. They didn't deal with the lyrics so much, instead they put their focus on the musical material. Urban Gwerder noted that "Freak Out!" would radically change the whole rock culture and the contemporary music. Carl-Ludwig Reichert stated that this album would highly contribute to the liberation of the youngsters who were captured by the western culture.
In the exhibition rooms Markt 3 in Bad Doberan all versions of "Freak Out!" will be presented, included in background information, a lecture by Frank Wonneberg, a performance given by the original Mothers musicians Don Preston and Bunk Gardner. There will also be image, sound and video presentations. The smallest stage of Zappanale will provide a live program with Inventionis Mater and the band Z.E.R.O., too.
The opening of the exhibition will take place at 14.oo pm on July 13, 2016. Afterwards the exhibition is open from 14 to 17 July 2016 from 10.oo to 14.oo o`clock. As always there will be free entrance.
Friday July 15, 2016
11:00 -12:00 Z.E.R.O
Saturday July 16, 2016
11:00 -12:00 Don & Bunk
Sunday July 17, 2016
11:00 -12:00 Inventionis Mater
12:00 -13:00 Frank Wonneberg