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The Messenger DVD Review

Frank Zappa is such a unique icon in pop culture in the fact that as iconic as he was to his many fans, there were and are still many music followers who not only do not realize his genius impact, but couldn't even name one song from his vast catalog.

Except for perhaps "Valley Girl" (which isn't even his song, but his daughter's) or "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow". For the true fans, that is just wrong.

However before going the solo route in 1970, Zappa fronted the zany and maniacal Mothers Of Invention, who released six albums on the Verve music label between 1966 and 1969 including their groundbreaking concept debut Freak Out, which was rock's first double-album.

Released by Sexy Intellectual/MVD Video, In The 60's chronicles Zappa's early musical path and then the formation of The Mothers ("Of Invention" was added later, under the request of their record label) and explores in grand detail the releasing of perhaps Zappa's most influential work including the aforementioned Freak Out, along with Absolutely Free, We're Only In It For The Money, Lumpy Gravy, Cruising With Ruben & The Jets and Uncle Meat.

In The 60's is not authorized by the Zappa Family Trust, however that really does not matter and is certainly no surprise because for some strange reason, Mr. Zappa's widow Gail does not cooperate with anyone (other than son, Dweezil) in regard to others releasing Zappa material, which is a shame.

Aside from that, this film is arguably the most well-rounded Mothers Of Invention documentary out there. It is 134 minutes full of informative narratives, rare, live concert and in-studio footage, interesting still-life images and most importantly, insightful interviews with former Mothers band members Don Preston, Jimmy Carl Black, Bunk Gardner and Art Tripp, as they talk about their unique musical experiences as members of The Mothers Of Invention.

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