If You Get Headache

By Loraine Alterman

Detroit Free Press, July 15, 1966

Mothers and fathers, you thought the Beatles were bad. You got up in arms about the Rolling Stones. Sonny and Cher made you cringe. Well, as the man said, you ain't seen nothing yet.

The Mothers of Invention are here with an album called "Freak Out!" (someone suggested it should have been called "Flake Out"), They come from Hollywood. Their clothes are dreadful – and I dig mod clothes.

Their hair and beards are filthy. They smell bad. You just can't believe it.

Tuesday afternoon the Mothers appeared on Robin Seymour's TV show. As Art Cervi, "Swingin' Time" talent coordinator said. "We've never had anyone on the show that brought anything near the controversy they caused. The switchboard was flooded with viewers either saying the Mothers were great or awful."

If you missed them Tuesday, you can see them Saturday, July 23, on Dave Prince's "Club 1270" TV show. Pity the poor WXYZ switchboard operators!

Meanwhile here's what lead Mother Frank Zappa had to say.

"We play the new free music – music as absolutely free, unencumbered by American cultural suppression. We are systematically trying to do away with the creative roadblocks that our helpful American educational system has installed to make sure nothing creative leaks through to mass audiences.

"The same patriotic feeling expressed in songs like "The Green Beret" and "Day of Decision" are embodied in our every performance only on a more abstract level. Blatant flag waving gets to be a little nauseating. We present the only true patriotism left.

"Here's instructions on playing our album. First you buy it. Second, don't leave it on the backseat of the car so it melts. Third, take out disc two and play the last side first ... Turn off all the lights and sit in front of the stereo with your head in front of the speaker anf turn the volume all the way up.

"Fourth, the cut lasts 12 minutes, 37 seconds. If by eight minutes you have a headache burn the album being careful not to inhale the fumes of the liner notes. Save the ashes because they're useful in the removal of warts and athlete's foot. Fifth, if you live through the 12 minutes 37 seconds proceed ..."

Why the Mothers of Invention? Explained Frank with a popsicle dripping on his moustache, "We're here to help them. Them being the non-thinking plastic robot targets of Madison Avenue nonsense, poverty programs and all that red, white and blue rigamarole."

So mothers and fathers, next time the Beatles, the Stones, or Sonny and Cher come to town, welcome them with open arms. Next to the Mothers of Invention the other groups come on like the Bobbsey Twins. 

Read by OCR software. If you spot errors, let me know afka (at) afka.net