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A Token Of His Extreme (Video DVD) (2004)
Frank Zappa

User Rating: 5 / 5 [ Add Your Rating ]


Name:  Juergen Martens <dj.martens@t-online.de>
Rating:  4 / 5
Comments:  I came across this pretty obscure DVD release just recently (a less than $5 bargain basement goodie) and couldn't believe how lucky I was!
I had seen this TV-studio live recording on European telly way back in 1976 and was completely blown away by the great playing and Cal Schenkel's weird clay animation inserts - and had been looking out for it ever since. So, now the bad news first: The video and audio quality on this DVD are indisputable lousy; pretty obviously it has been taped from TV with a VCR back then. But there's reward, of course: Zappa leads the best band he'd ever had (Chester Thompson, Ruth Underwood, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Tom Fowler AAAAND... George Duke!) through a stinging set of to-become-classics like "Montana", "Cosmik Debris", "More Trouble Every Day" and some more. The playing is unbelievable, the fun the band is having too, Zappa's smoking his lungs out (asalways), and his announcements and comments are as witty as we know them from "Roxy and Elsewhere".
But the one who really steals the show here once more is Duke! Sitting in his keyborad castle of Rhodes plus a roster of obscure 70's items, he produces the weirdest 50's sc-fi-B-movie-noises as well as burtsts at the seams with greatest musicianship - noteworthy of course his live solo
on "Inca Roads" which also features him as vocalist. So, Zappatistas: if you come across this purple-colored gemstone someplace (like, let's say, a 99-Cent-Store), go for it without hesitation - instant gratification will be yours!


Name:  Juergen Martens
Rating:  5 / 5
Comments:  Good news here: Under the title "The Dub Room Special" you can have the most of this great performance in superb visual and sonic quality now - PLUS performances from the early 80s (Steve Vai, Tommy Mars, Chad Wackerman) PLUS typical FZ interludes that take the truly dedicated Zappatista to appreciate. Buy it.


Name:  John Garaguso
Rating:  5 / 5
Comments:  Great performance and DVD. Unfortunately it only seems to be avaiable on PAL European version DVD.

Also a minor point to correct a previous review, the animations are by Bruce Bickford, a master of clay animation and highly regarded as one of the true pioneers of the art. See the documentary on his life called Monster Road. It's won a lot of awards and critical praise. Bruce did all of the clay animations on Frank's DVDs.