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Baby Snakes [DVD] 
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Il film si basa su alcune registrazioni dei concerti tenuti da Zappa al Palladium di New York tra il 28 e il 31 ottobre 1977, e le sequenze di clay animation realizzate da Bruce Bickford, il tutto intermezzato da momenti di backstage e dai dialoghi surreali tra Zappa e lo stesso Bickford
Touted as "a movie about people who do stuff that is not normal", Frank Zappa's Baby Snakes chronicles a late-70s Halloween stand in New York City (a zany enough proceeding in its own right) with digressions throughout the first half for backstage antics, band interviews and some outlandish clay animation from Bruce Bickford, with whose work Zappa was obviously smitten.
Onstage, Zappa is a live wire, the audience is appropriately rambunctious and the band--an especially potent incarnation of the famous Mothers of Invention--is tight as could be. The film amounts to a three-hour musical carnival whose participants show no trace of artistic or personal inhibition. Zappa, who died in 1993, always worked with consummate musicians and Baby Snakes showcases the cream of the crop: Terry Bozzio (one of the greatest drummers ever to command a kit), bassist Patrick O'Hearn, keyboard wizard Tommy Mars and even pop chameleon Adrian Belew.
Zappa's intelligence and charisma are undeniable, flickering and blazing every second he's on screen. The progressive-leaning rock and jazz music is frequently interrupted for meandering spoken interludes and it's certainly not for all tastes. But Frank Zappa was a force to behold and Baby Snakes offers a unique cultural education for anyone bold enough to give it a spin. "Without deviation," Zappa wrote, "progress is not possible". Baby Snakes is one of Frank's most fervent contributions to progress. --Michael Mikesell
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Top Customer Reviews
Here we are in 2003, just in time for Christmas 20 years later and you can own the full 3 hour version on a pristine new DVD for peanuts! I have just finished comparing my old VHS tape with the DVD and am delighted by the care an effort that has gone into this issue, my only criticism and perhaps I am being a too harsh is that the sound seemed a touch over processed to my ear, maybe it’s because the VHS Tape audio quality was never particularly good and I am hearing extra detail for the first time outside of the superior audio only offerings of similar material? Guess I got used to the old washed out grainy colour and muddy compressed sound. Let’s hope the Dub Room Special and Roxy shows (see the trailer) will follow quickly. “GO BUY IT NOW before it goes out of print” You will kick yourself if you don’t.
For the uninitiated, Zappa is a master composer, guitarist and sattirist. In short a genius.
The DVD offers to some degree only glimpses at Zappas mastery of the guitar, as he is often without it, directing proceedings or simply singing with microphone in hand. That said the glimpses are fantastic and worth the cost of the DVD alone.
Listen to the guitar on "Black Napkins" and "Punkys Whips", and take in the mastery of the drummer Terry Bozzio in the solo at track 11. Zappa attracted only the finest musicians, take a close look at all of them in this brilliant insight, into the man himself.
Also check out the albums Joes Garage Acts I,II&III, Sheik Yerbouti, and You Are What You Is. Not forgetting to mention the most fantastic and mesmerizing Zappa track of all time, "Watermelon in Easter Hay", which is on Joes Garage Act III. The track needs some getting used to, but is really the essence of the man, in musical form. BLESS YOU FRANK !
First The extras are fantastic, you get 3 BBSNX trailers and one for the Roxy shows.
Second - The show itself is pure genius, filmed on Halloween night it has Roy Estrada dressed as the pope, assorted freaks trying to dance to the black page no2 , FZ acerbic commentaries on modern civilisation to Warner brothers.
Third - The music - that speaks for itself.
Just to reiterate what others have being saying if this goes out of print you will kick yourself - so BUY IT.
This DVD is terrific and i feel that in a way i have seen zappa live now. Before this DVD all i had to watch was the BBC2 docs and 'does humour belong' video, which are ok but dont really typify the live zappa concerts i have heard.
Those who are Zappa fans will be familiar with the material on it as it features on some of the live CDs, but to see the perfomance as well as hear it is great. Seeing 'audience participation' for the first time nearly brought a tear to my eye.
For people new to zappa, i think this is a perfect introduction. I think they will understand zappa better, and the show largely comprises his humourous 70s stuff, so they will at least laugh.
I hope similar high quality DVDs of zappa concerts are released, and they will be if this sells well, so buy it!!!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Live Zappa mania interspersed with animation and interviews with Zappa and the band. OK, if you like Zappa you know what you are going to get, nevertheless this was an enjoyable... Read morePublished 4 months ago by oz
Purchase: 24 July 2014
I watched the Bruce Bickford scenes from Baby Snakes online and decided to purchase the DVD so that I'd have the footage at hand, maybe there was... Read more
I have three of his dvds & all of his cds comedy music i usually play them at night well funnyPublished on 2 Dec. 2013 by paul david hurst
Great footage of one of Zappa's best lineups, adrian belew on guitar and vocals + terry bozio on drums, and more amazing musicians. Awesome show. Read morePublished on 10 Jun. 2013 by Calum Jack Hamill Mcmahon
An absolutely excellent dvd/footage, very impressed its so entertaining even for a non-Zappa fan!...and an must for the collection if you like your ZAPPA!Published on 28 Nov. 2011 by fibromite
The first thing I should say is that I'm a huge Zappa fan. Huge. I love Zappa, from the early Mothers stuff (before he digitally remastered and wrecked it) until around '79. Read morePublished on 15 July 2011 by G. R. Davies
artistic , mind blowing , entertaining , funny , musically superb ... the list is endless of what i could write . Read morePublished on 19 Mar. 2011 by shaun the sheep
A must have DVD for any Zappa fan or someone wishing to find out what all the fuss was about, My fav song on the dvd is 'Punkys whips', what a masterpiece.Published on 10 Dec. 2010 by P. Munday