“This was put together with my own money and my own time, and it’s been offered to television networks and to syndication and it has been steadfastly rejected by the American television industry. It’s probably one of the finest pieces of video work that any human being has ever done. I did it myself.”-Frank Zappa, appearing on The Mike Douglas Show in 1976, discussing A Token of His Extreme
Filmed on August 27th, 1974 in the original KCET studios in Hollywood, A Token of His Extreme has remained the “holy grail” of coveted Frank Zappa programs. It was originally produced and edited by Frank Zappa himself for Honker Home Video, and Zappa took special pride in this project, regarding it as among the finest in his long and illustrious career.
Appearing on the popular Mike Douglas Show, two years after A Token of His Extreme was filmed, Zappa noted, with more than a trace of regret in his voice, that the American television industry had uniformly rejected broadcast of it, quickly adding that “It has been shown in primetime in France and Switzerland, with marvelous results.”
On June 4th, 2013, Eagle Rock Entertainment and The Zappa Family Trust will officially release A Token of His Extreme, almost 39 years after its filming for television was completed in Hollywood, California. For many fans of Zappa, especially those in the USA and those who simply weren’t alive/old enough to remember its broadcast nearly 40 years ago, this is a thrilling opportunity to finally watch and own this made for television program in a high quality official release, rather than the scruffy PAL transfers to NTSC that have been bootlegged about in the USA for far too many years. For Zappa’s fans who did manage to catch this program’s original broadcast overseas, their upcoming opportunity to finally own a high quality release of this mega-rare program is awaited with enthusiasm equal to-if not greater than-that of Zappa’s fans elsewhere.
The made for television program, personally funded and edited by Zappa himself, was produced by Zappa with Kerry McNabb at Paramount Studios in 1974, and was later mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering in 2009.
A Token of His Extreme features Frank Zappa and his lauded, phenomenally talented band members. The line-up consists of the following:
Frank Zappa-vocals, guitar, percussion
George Duke-Keyboards, tambourine, finger cymbals, vocals
Napoleon Murphy Brock-sax, vocals
Among its highlights are sterling performances of such Zappa standards as Inca Roads (quite possibly my favorite performance ever of this Zappa classic), More Trouble Every Day, Stink-Foot and of course A Token of My Extreme.
To paraphrase Frank Zappa, “It’s a gas, man!” Don’t miss this golden opportunity to enjoy and own this ingenious and truly inspired program that’s been on the “Christmas Wish List” of every Zappa fan for 39 years. Nothing beats having Christmas come early, lol!