Last year, British film maker Alex Winter was granted access to one of the most coveted pieces of music history- the huge media archive of the late Frank Zappa.
Speaking to The New York Times, Winter revealed that he was granted access to the archives by Zappa’s recently deceased wife Gail Zappa, in order to create a documentary that will detail the life and music of one of musics greatest enigmas, titled Who The F*@% Is Frank Zappa.
“I was intent on not making a musical biopic, but making something that’s more like a novelistic examination of this man” stated Winter, adding that “Gail granted us, for the first time, access to the Zappa family vault, which is literally a vault — it’s a giant, floor-to-ceiling space under their house in the Hollywood Hills that is filled with 40-odd years of unseen and unheard material. It’s stuff that he wrote, family stuff, art, music and film. Some of it had been preserved by the family, but it’s not been thoroughly archived.”
To help both finance the project and protect the artifacts from the vault, Winter launched a Kickstarter project yesterday that will include some pretty incredible prizes.
A casual pledge of $7,500 can get you actually playing the guitar that was used on Baby Snakes, in his own personal studio… Plus you get the recording that comes out of it.
Got $10,000 lying around? You can be an executive producer of the film, meaning you get to hang out in LA with both Winter and his Oscar-winning film partner Glen Zipper. You also get a guided tour of the Zappa household and access to items in the vault.
However, it’s the top prize that is the most absurd of all.
If you’ve had a really good tax return and find a spare $9 million lying around, you can own Zappa’s house, in addition to everything else on the rewards list.
Which begs the question-although being a ridiculous rewards list, is this an example of a Kickstarter taking things a little to far?
Despite the fact that his family have given permission to his personal items, these are not just novelty items that have been touched or breathed upon by the man.
Prizes include use of his studio, his own instruments and even personal items that Zappa used for everyday purposes, including clothes, towels or bathmats.
One can only speculate how Zappa himself would have felt at the consumerist nature with which his personal items are to be dealt with.
The campaign itself, which has a short-term goal of $500,000 and long-term outlook of $3 Million, has received nearly $60,000 worth of pledges in its first day.
Speaking on the documentary, Winter notes that “Frank is someone who a large part of the population absolutely adores, and probably a healthy part of the population doesn’t like at all. That’s really compelling to me. There are so many paradoxical aspects to him that represent the paradoxical nature of that period of history. On the macro side, I love what that allows me to do as a documentarian. But on the micro side, I’m just really fascinated by who he was.”
Watch this space…
Image: New York Times