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From Straight to Bizarre: Zappa, Beefheart, Alice Cooper and LA's Lunatic Fringe

From Straight to Bizarre: Zappa, Beefheart, Alice Cooper and LA's Lunatic Fringe
2:41:10 | 2012

Categories: Documentary, Music, Arts and Culture, Biography

Desperate to remove himself from Verve Records, Frank Zappa he set up the Bizarre and Straight labels in 1968 with manger Herb Cohen—and so began a string of records which remain extraordinary in the extreme. Albums by Frank and his Mothers of Invention would rub shoulders with releases by notorious paranoid schizophrenic and part-time songwriter Wild Man Fischer, ex-groupie girl group The GTOs, and a cappella gospel collective The Persuasions; the first clutch of Alice Cooper records; Tim Buckley's enigmatic Starsailor; live recordings by Lenny Bruce and Lord Buckley; and a range of other oddities. But it would be a 1969 disc by the Mother Superior's old pal Don Van Vliet—aka Captain Beefheart—that would provide the pinnacle of achievement for Bizarre/Straight. This illuminating documentary revisits the labels' musical output, and reveals the lives of the musicians, performers and management who made this enterprise the legendary reality it became. FROM STRAIGHT TO BIZARRE features exclusive interviews with label contributors including Pamela Des Barres, John French, Jerry Lawson, Jeff Simmons, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith, Essra Mohawk, Miss Mercy, Kim Fowley, Bill Harkleroad and many others; plus rare footage, archival interviews, and, of course, the astonishing music itself.

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