Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Frank Zappa's 200 Motels

Tom Service introduces a recording of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels, performed in the UK for the first time as part of the Rest is Noise festival at London's Southbank Centre.

Tom Service presents the UK premiere of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels, a suite from the orchestral soundtrack to the American composer's surrealist documentary film about life on the road as a rock musician. Containing very strong language thoughout, it was banned from live performance in the UK in 1971 on grounds of obscenity, but was finally staged in London last month as part of the Rest is Noise festival, the South Bank's ongoing survey of music from the twentieth century. Tom Service is joined by author Ben Watson, who makes the case for this work as Zappa's misunderstood masterpiece.

Frank Zappa: 200 Motels

Claron McFadden, soprano
Tony Guilfoyle (Frank)
Richard Strange (Narrator, Rance)
Ian Shaw (Mark)
Brendan Reilly (Howard, Cowboy Burt)
Sophia Brous (Groupie 1, Larry the Dwarf)
Diva Zappa (Groupie 2, Lucy)
Jessica Hynes (Good Conscience)
Jay Rayner (Bad Conscience, Ginger)
Scott Thunes (Jeff)

London Voices
Southbank Sinfonia
BBC Concert Orchestra
Jurjen Hempel, conductor.

2 hours

Broadcast

Sound of the Week

Sound of the Week

Composers reveal the sounds that have captured their imaginations and inspired new music.

Stockhausen’s Gruppen – What’s the Big Deal?

Stockhausen’s Gruppen – What’s the Big Deal?

A user-friendly guide to a masterpiece of music’s post-War avant-garde.

Pioneering Sound

Pioneering Sound

Listen to Radio 3 broadcasts which break technological boundaries in sound.

Gallery