Zappa’s 200 Motels Score To Make London Debut After 42 Year Ban

Frank Zappa’s avant garde orchestral work ‘200 Motels’ is to have its London¬†¬†premiere at this year’s ‘The Rest Is Noise’ classical music festival in London, 42 years after it was banned in the city.

Zappa had hoped to debut the piece with a full concert orchestra and members of the Mothers of Invention at the Royal Albert Hall in 1971, but the concert was cancelled by the authorities controlling the Royal Albert Hall on ‘obscenity grounds’.¬†Zappa legally challenged the ban in London but lost the case in 1975.

The premiere of the score to be performed in London was secured following lengthy negotiations between Southbank Centre bosses and Zappa’s estate.

Artistic director Jude Kelly said:¬†“His widow Gail has been reluctant to allow it to happen unless it could be done in the manner he would have wanted, so it’s taken us literally years to get to this stage.”

This colossal piece, one of the most ambitious that Zappa ever wrote, is performed by the full forces of the BBC Concert Orchestra, Southbank Sinfonia, London Voices and a large cast of rock musicians, singers and actors.

200 Motels is the orchestral score for the 1971 musical surrealist film co-written and directed by Zappa and Tony Palmer. Book tickets here.

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