On this day in music history: June 27, 1966 - “Freak Out!”, the debut album by The Mothers Of Invention is released. Produced by Tom Wilson, it is recorded at Sunset-Highland Studios of TTG from March 9 - 12, 1966. Signed to MGM distributed Verve Records in early 1966 by producer/A&R man Tom Wilson (Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, The Velvet Underground), Wilson signs the band believing them to be a white blues band akin to the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, not realizing how musically varied and idiosyncratic they actually are. One of the first double LP sets ever by a rock band, the album is recorded in just four days worth of studio time. Clocking in at nearly sixty one minutes, the fourteen track two LP set is a concept album satirizing rock music and America. The entire fourth side of the album is taken up by the experimental and abstract “The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet (Unfinished Ballet in Two Tableaux)”. The twelve minute plus avant-garde instrumental featuring Dr. John on piano (credited under his real name Mac Rebennack). The track appears on the album in its unfinished state after the label cuts off the recording budget for the album after Zappa spends over $12,000 renting percussion instruments to use on the track. In all, producer Tom Wilson spends nearly $35,000 of MGM Records money by the time editing and mixing is completed. Before it’s released, label executives insist that two lines from the third movement of “Help, I’m A Rock” (“It Can’t Happen Here”) be removed, believing them to be references to drugs. Though a section of “Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet” with Zappa dropping the “F” bomb is left intact. The original mono and stereo releases of the album vary not only in their mixes but include edits that differ noticeably from each other. Original pressings also feature a map of Hollywood printed inside the LP gatefold titled “Freak Out Hot Spots!”, along with an offer to send in for a copy of the map. The map is removed from subsequent reissues, but reprinted as part of “The MOFO Project/Object” set in 2006, featuring the original stereo mix of the album, alternate takes, unused mixes and live recordings. It quickly establishes Frank Zappa’s reputation for the social commentary and satire that is constant throughout his career. “Freak Out!” peaks at number one hundred thirty on the Billboard Top 200, earning the band a loyal cult following. Going out of print in the early 70’s, Zappa is first reissues the album (after purchasing his master tapes back from Verve) in April of 1985 as part of a boxed set titled “The Old Masters - Box One”. The album is remastered and reissued in 2012, with a double 180 gram vinyl LP set following in 2013. “Freak Out!” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.
ALEK WEK - photography: Txema Yeste - styling: Bernat Buscato - hair: Lacy Redway - makeup: Tyron Machhausen - manicure: Natalie Pavloski - set design: Chad Dziewior - text / interview: Irene Ojo-Felix - Models online editorial May 2017
“Feeling comfortable in your own shoes. I think it’s good to be able to say to a young person that you are enough. You can improve but it doesn’t take away who you are. Some people are loud, some people are shy, it doesn’t make them any better or any less.”
“Being iconic means inspiring change. I feel my parents raised us to be thinkers and good human beings the best that they could. I didn’t want to just model for the sake of vanity, I knew that there was a bigger purpose, being able to shed light on important issues like the refugee crisis.”