“Frank Zappa: From Straight To Bizarre” tells the story of Frank Zappa’s quest to break the shackles and closing-in-walls feeling of the team of suits over at MGM/Verve Records.
The back cover of the DVD states “this program is not sanctioned by any of the performers or companies on which it focuses,” “Frank Zappa: From Straight To Bizarre” plays just as good as any other biographical Zappa release you’ll find. It holds water because it houses past and present-day interviews and performance clips featuring most of, if not all, the major players – Alice Cooper, Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet), as well as the Persuasions. Also included is young Hollywood groupies GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously), and perhaps the most oddball of the lot, Larry “Wildman” Fischer, a twice institutionalized paranoid schizophrenic. The DVD also features Beatles biographer Barry Miles, and Rolling Stone writer Richie Unterberger to help put the labels’ five year history (1968-1973) into perspective.
At a whopping near three hours in length, “Frank Zappa: From Straight To Bizarre” is far from convoluted – it’s actually quite precise. The music pieces included help drive the doc on the whole, though it’s not entirely complete since most of the labels catalog is currently unavailable. Bonus content features a pair of five minute interviews cut for time, one being a present day interview with Jerry Lawson of The Persuasions.
It’s pretty easy to say that “Frank Zappa: From Straight To Bizarre” is a recommended experience for any Fappa fan.