- 1970/05/15 concert UCLA, la, usa; part of the contempo '70
On May 15, 1970, the Mothers Of Invention and the
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta, performed
music of 200 Motels at UCLA as part of the Contempo '70 festival.
The Mothers Of Invention: Frank Zappa,
Preston, Jim Sherwood,
Simmons & Aynsley
Parts of this concert can be found on the bootlegs "200
Motels" and "At The Olympic / 200 Motels".
The LAPO are still very active. their
home page is at:
"The LAPO, conducted by Zubin Mehta, played a concert with Zappa and selected
Mothers at UCLA's Pauley Pavillion on May 15, 1970. This incarnation of the
Mothers was a pick-up band put together specifically for the concert, and
included Ian Underwood, Don
Preston, Jim Sherwood, Ray Collins, Billy Mundi, Jeff
Simmons & Aynsley
perhaps The Top Score Singers.
This was the concert which
Flo & Eddie
attended as audience members, and would afterwards approach Frank about joining
his group. It was also the world premiere of much of the music that would later
be performed by the Royal
The musicians union wanted royalties for recording rights, so Frank declined to
record that show. Somebody in
the crowd did have a tape recorder, and the resulting music has wound up on a
variety of bootlegs."
from: Frank Zappa (The Real Frank Zappa Book)
Sometime in 1970, I had an offer for a major concert performance of the
orchestral music accumulating in my closet. During the
MOI's first five years, i carried with me, on the road,
masses of manuscript paper, and, whenever there was an opportunity, scribbled
stuff on it. This material
eventually became the score for 200 Motels (based on an estimate of the number
of gigs we played in the first five years- forty jobs per year?).
The performance was to be held at UCLA's Pauley Pavillion (a basketball arena
seating about fourteen thousand people), with Zubin Mehta conducting the Los
Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. A
pretty big deal.
There was a 'catch,' though - the orchestra didn't really want to play the stuff-
they wanted an event; something 'unique'- like-uhh, maybe a rock group and
-uhhhh- a real orchestra sort of -uhhh- well you know- 'rocking out together.' It didn't matter what the music was.
This eventually led to a few
problems. First of all, i didn't
have a 'rock group'- the MOI had been disbanded for about a year. second, there were no parts copied for the scores, and
i was being asked
to pay for this enormous job (seven thousand 1970 dollars). The third problem was that
I wanted some kind of tape of the show, and
the musicians' union wouldn't allow it. (They
didn't do anything when some asshole in the audience ran a cassette and made a
bootleg album out of it, but they were promising stern action if i made one for
my own use- just to find out what my pieces sounded like... but let me slow down
We solved problem number one by putting together an interim one-shot
did a short tour to warm up, maybe half a dozen dates, and returned to L.A. for
the show. The second problem was solved by me spending the seven thousand bucks
on a team of copyists. The third problem never got solved, and I never got a
tape of the show.
It was the most successful indoor concert of the L.A. Phil's season that year-
sold out. Somewhere in the mass of
spectators were Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, a.k.a. Flo &
Eddie. They came backstage after the show, said they liked it, and told me that
Turtles had split up and they were looking for something to do.
The rest is history.