The Mothers of Invention

By Al Kamin

The Varsity, 1 December 1967

There is a strong possibility that the rock group "The Mothers" (their record company curiously made them add "of Invention" to their name) will be coming to the U.C. Festival in late January.

"The Mothers" qualify as definitely the "freakiest" of the groups which are presently big on the American music scene. Led by ex-ad-man Frank Zappa, "The Mothers" come on as biting satirists of everything American โ€“ in fact, of everything human or inhuman โ€“ from Vietnam to night clubs to sex to that "psychedelic bullshit". The only thing positiv e that they ever get into is instrumental excellence.

The number of "Mothers" varies from performance to performance (sometimes they bring along their children, too), and their performance is as likely to consist of an hour of jazz improvisation as it is to be an hour of verbal freakout, complete with the tossing of toys and fruit to the audience (they're really hung on prunes).

An example of their touch was to call their New York show "Absolutely Free", and then chuckle as a legion of "straights" from the suburbs collided with a man demanding $2.50 admission at the door.

Their forte is insulting their audience to its collective, stereotyped face, and then chuckling as the audience, getting right into the spirit of being cool, laps it up.

Examples: "Plastic people; O, baby, you're such a drag", and "If your children found out what you're really all about, they'd kill you in your sleep."