Frank Zappa fans have been waiting nearly 40 years for a video release from the legendary guitarist’s epic three-night stand at The Roxy in Hollywood, California, which took place on December 8 – 10, 1973. Zappa was backed by arguably the best band he’s played with, including keyboardist George Duke, Don Preston on synth, Ruth Underwood on percussion and Chester Thompson on drums. These performances were shot in film by multiple cameras and multi-track recordings were made of the audio. 2003’s Baby Snakes DVD featured a three-minute trailer for a DVD called The Roxy Performances, but all these years later we’re still waiting for what’s considered by many Zappateers The Holy Grail.
Today, an email for Zappa Records included a note on the video from Gail Zappa…
Hello Boys & Girls,
About 10 Years Ago, shortly after Al Gore invented the internet, we here at UMRK, where we feel it is our duty … decided to announce plans for the Roxy Performances to be unleashed at last on a wholly suspecting public and others besides. What We Knew Then compared to What We Know Now about what is possible is something completely different. I could romanticize and say that over here at the Other Side of the Miracle of Time & Space there is nothing stopping us but the Movie Monster. Every Monster Movie has at least one. Our Movie Monster is THE BUDGET.
Because of the condition the condition was in – no synch, no idea what was what, no idea of the actual coverage, no idea of the quality; all the et ceterae that caused FZ to abandon the project completely – it took all this time (if you include all the other priorities and distractions) to get to this point, so near and yet so far: All of the footage has now been transferred on a best light basis into HD and all camera angles have been “synched” by eye and heart and hand and edit to the original Nagra tapes. We now need to identify all usable camera angles and begin the actual edit. Still, we have miles to go in order to bring the best of the possibilities to a screen near you. And we need your help.
We still have a few wrinkles but our irons are hot and the details of our plan for the next Official Release is bundled in a unique opportunity to participate in a special, social experiment designed to open lots of doors for all Artists and their fans everywhere. Participate and You’ll be First. First with your own copy of a Soundtrack to The Roxy Performances. First with your name credited in The Roxy Performances, The Movie. And there are more Firsts. Stay Tuned.
But first, a word from our sponsors. We’ll be back with all the relevant details right after the other Mothers’ Day. Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.
So, if we read this right, we’re still a while away from an actual video release. However, the audio is ready and Gail will start some sort of Kickstarter-esque program in order to fund the rest of the project. We’ll let you know when Mrs. Zappa issues another missive about the status of the program and lets us know how much she wants fans to kick in.