Frank Zappa & Zubin Mehta – 200 Hotels (Bootleg)

By Mr. Jelly

Door, April 28, 1971

 Willie, tightly fitted to Suzy’s side, tapped his finger on her thigh in time to the music. Suzy stood up and said, “I need a drink of water,” as she left the room.

Two nights later Suzy still had not returned to Willie’s room. “I wonder if she’s locked in the refrigerator,” thought Willie. He thoroughly searched the kitchen but found only a few long blonde hairs sticking out of the garbage disposal. “Whelp, that’s another girlfriend down the drain,” Willie said to himself.

Willie, deciding to check the mail, found a package from Continental Records and a bill from Chewo Garbage Disposals. He had ordered an album from C.R. only three days earlier.

The good packaging (C.R. mails their records between six thick pieces of cardboard) impressed him very much. And when he saw the disk itself he flipped out. The 200 Motels bootleg was pressed on bright clear green plastic with a brilliant pink label.

“I sure hope it’s good quality,” thought Willie as he rushed the black market album to his phonograph.

200 Motels was the legendary performance of the Mothers of Invention and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in U.C.L.A.’s Pauley Pavillion, May 15, 1970.

Frank Zappa wrote it and Zubin Mehta conducted the Philharmonic.

The album opened with Frank Zappa’s distinguishable and intelligible voice. After a short humorous intro bit, Frank said, “It’s not really a great piece of music but we might be able to get off on it a couple of times. Alright Zubin ... hit it! You know what the cue is to come in right?”

Behind a wall of thundering orchestration, Frank took off on a wah-wah guitar excursion. “Whew,” sighed Willie, “this album is  incredible. No background noise, listenable music, and well balanced sound. There’s mild distortion, but it’s not even noticeable.”

Musically, 200 Motels ranged from electronic furry to soft classical to orchestrations of familiar Zappa tunes. There were only a few seconds of vocals in the '54 minute composition, but what the heck? Zappa’s music makes it.

Since Willie fave raved Frank Zappa already, plus admired pieces of orchestras he could get off on, he was destined to go strawberrys over 200 Motels.

Every serious Zappa collector, of course, would be lost without 200 Motels. It did, for classical music what Hot Rats did for jazz. Besides, this concert masterpiece will never be released aboveground.

However, Willie felt a stinging pain in his left ventricle. He knew Zappa would not receive one hot cent of the week’s allowance he spent on 200 Motels.

“It sure is lonely around here,” thought Willie. “I think I’ll go cruising for nookie.”

200 Motels is available for $5 (check or money order) from Colonial Records. P.O. Box 10294 Glendale, California 91209. Price includes tax, postage and handling.

Mr. Jelly

Note. Richard Alden Peterson wrote a column called Mr. Jelly for the San Diego Door. (OB Rag)