Frank Zappa And The Original Mothers Of Invention

Short version: B&W/Color 3 min.
Long version: B&W/Color 42 min.
Complete version: Color 14 hours.

The Mothers Of Invention

Check Ed Seeman's Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention webpage

Frank Zappa And The Original Mothers Of Invention

B&W/Color 3 min.

Filmed by Ed Seeman, Ray Favata & Tom Mangravete
Edited by Ed Seeman & Frank Zappa
Winner of CINE's The Golden Eagle award in 1968

The music:


Appears in:

Suzy Creamcheese

Ed Seeman on his webpage:

When the commercial track was finished and a mutual appreciation of our talents was established Frank mentioned that he needed a short film to show at a Chicago Trade Show featuring "UNDERGROUND MERCHANDISING" for Hagstrom Guitars. My Partner and designer at Gryphon Productions, Ray Favata and our Cameraman Tom Mangravete took our cameras to the Garrick Theater and with what I like to call "CAMERA EMPATHY" we filmed the madness that took place every night. We contributed our services and on no budget we tried to interpret the craziness on stage. All montages were done by rewinding and reshooting my Cinema Beauliux 16 mm camera. This technique which Frank called "Montage-A-Go Go" set the style of filming I used for the next two years. Shooting without sync sound and post scoring gave us all maximum creative freedom. Frank and I then edited the footage with Frank adding Black and White weird stock shots and scoring with "MONSTER MADNESS". We produced this short film which eventually won "THE GOLDEN EAGLE" at the CINE International Film Festival.

Ed Seeman, April 14, 2007

My Partner at gryphon productions Ray Favata, and my cameraman Tom Mangravete Only were involved with the first three minute segment of the 14 hours of footage. Not the rest of the filming which I did myself.

The first three minute film which ends with Zappa holding up his middle finger was a joint project made for a Chicago Underground Merchandising Conference, which Zappa highlighted by tearing up the album cover and pouring a malted down the jacket cover. The rest of the montaged footage of the three minute opening all took place at the garrick theater which is where I filmed him for the remaining six months of his New York garrick steady gig. This is the film that Zappa helped edit with me since it was his project. He acquired and inserted all the black & white scenes. I also seem to vaguely recall that he also used it to promote Hagstrom Guitars.

Ed Seeman

This three minute opening of my 40 minute film was edited by Frank and me to be shown at a Chicago merchandising convention demonstrating the art of underground merchandising. It was filmed at the Garrick Theater in New York where The Mothers had a steady gig. It was the beginning of our two year filming relationship.

Frank Zappa And The Original Mothers Of Invention

B&W/Color 42 min.

Filmed & edited by Ed Seeman

The music:

"The Real Uncle Meat!" 42:00
(which in fact is the complete 42 min "Suzy Creamcheese What's Got Into You?")

( soundtrack music is 'collaged' from studio recordings )

*suzy creemcheese 3:25
*lumpy gravy guitar song 4:40
*some avant schtuff 1:00
*duchess of prunes 0:25
*lotsa avant schtuff 13:25
*who are the brain police? 3:20
*more avant schtuff fum unc meat 5:20
*it can't happen here / suzy creemcheese reprise 0:50
*lumpy gravy guitar song reprise / etc 6:55
*call any vegetable 2:00
( what a pumpkin! )

footage includes 'we're only in it for th' money' foto session. moon as a baby.garrick theatre.mothers @ heathrow. taxi in london.walking around piccadilly square.royal albert hall

Jillis Stada, July 23, 2005

I got this about 10 years ago fro a guy in New York. He had it listed as FZ Home Movies, music edited by Dweezil. The quality is not good.

I got the title "Suzy Creamcheese Promo Movie" from somewhere. It start's of with footage from the Absolutly Free concerts. This part was also on the dutch television in a program Hoepla. There it started with a picture of a bird. Mothers in the studio (part of this was in the Scheffer documentry so this movie must be lurking in the vault) with Bill Mundy, WOIFTM sleeve making, Zappa at home, getting out of bed, The mothers in London including concert footage. The soundtrack is an edit from Freak Out (suzy creamcheese), Absolutly Free and Uncle Meat with some minor differences to the known material. Some one digitized it an called it: Suzy Creamcheese, What's Got Into You? 1967 promo ? He has something to do with the zappateers which is in the titles. The VCD is 42 minutes.


i have a video called raw meat
very rare
and it uses the capitol lumpy for a large portion of the sound track
mostly 16 mm no sound with dubbed music
unfortunetly it is mono
(produced) approx around the time of uncle meat
some live footage some of fz scoreing some stuff from 200 motels
montage editing
im sure ther is some footage from uncle
i havnt watched it in a few years at least
i was told not to trade it though
i think that calvin may be able to shed some light on this film


Uncle Meat

Color, 14 hours

Filmed by Ed Seeman

Ed Seeman on his webpage:

AFTER CREATING THE SHORT FILM WE AGREED TO WORK TOGETHER ON A FILM HE TENTATIVELY CALLED :UNCLE MEAT". I would do all the shooting and he would supply all the on camera talent and music.

This adventure took me to many more nights at the Garrick Theater; in his apartment on Charles Street shooting baby MOON UNIT and barefoot "hippie" wife GAIL; the making of the album cover for "WE'RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY"; to ALBERT HALL in LONDON; and finally to the CONCERTGEBOW HALL in AMSTERDAM.

Since Frank saw no end to the fiming and I had to get back to my TV commercial business in New York, we split up.

I eventually sold the footage to ZAPPA and Frank graciously allowed me to keep non commercial and film Festival rights to several of the short films I created from the 14 hours of footage.

This press release in an underground newspaper [RAT Subterranean News, March 28-April 3, 1969] tells what Frank's original plan was.


This Frank Zappa 14 Hour color movie "Uncle Meat" is due to be released next month. Ed Seeman of Gryphon Productions shot the film (all footage of the Mothers of Invention) and Zappa is doing the editing. The photography is very exciting ... what you might call Zowie, Hypnotic, Mind-Bending and the sound will be Mother's music from their albums plus what was scored at their last Fillmore East appearance. Rolling Stone reports that you will be given a ticket marked with your time of arrival in the theater and as you leave, the ticket is marked again and you pay according to how much you've seen, anywhere from $ .50 to $ 3.00. Tentatively, screening is booked for the New Yorker Theatre.

Ed Seeman, April 25, 2007

One of the highlights of my working with Frank on this conceptual film project which is to shoot silent and give Frank the fun of improvisationally scoring the footage. Frank could have lots of film groupies film him. he really liked the fact that where film pins you down to a fixed time which is unalterable which for him is devastating. Not being able to see something and impose his creativity to  is a total bore to him. So one night at the Filmore East he played the footage from the 14 hours and with HAND SIGNALS he scored the film live. He'd look at the screen and signal to various mothers  and the music came alive in sync with the film! For Zappa, HAND SIGNALS was composing live jazz orchestrations.

FZ, interviewed by Craig McGregor, New York Times, November 8, 1970

[FZ] is also a film maker and has 17 hours of uncut footage in the can for his "Uncle Meat" movie, a weird surrealistic epic about the Mothers and Mothermania—"I cut about 40 minutes of it, but the first time I showed any of the financiers the footage they backed out of the deal completely."


Film Technique

Ed Seeman, April 4, 2008

Basically I did most of the editing in the camera. My 16 mm Cinema Beaulieux shot without a flash frame so I could do my cutting in the camera. All montages were accomplished by rewinding the film. The camera could shoot from 2 frames a second to 64 frames a second which allowed me to do FAST  CUTS by shooting slow and slow motion by shooting fast. I used only available light and PUSHED THE FILM in the lab to get exposure. This created a different color for each scene. The camera also had an infinite depth of field 10 mm wide angle lens which allowed me to slide along Zappa's guitar an inch away in perspective. Also the wide lens allowed me to HAND HOLD the entire shooting. Of course shooting without sound gave me total freedom to shoot anything at anytime at any angle while changing speeds and rewinding and double expose.


Additional informant:
Jill Stada

Maintained by Román García Albertos
This section formerly maintained by Reverend Neve
This dog last modified: 2021-06-20