Feb 08, 2024 - Sale 2658

Sale 2658 - Lot 35

Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000


A collection of original material relating to The Mothers Of Invention's seminal record "Freak Out!" and trademarking of the phrase.
Legal file, documents and ephemera relating to Zappa's trademarking of the "Freak Out" phrase. Includes his manager's check for the rental of a concert hall in 1966; the "Freak Out Hot Spots!" map of Los Angeles issued in conjunction with the record; and a mono first pressing of the actual album. Various sizes. 1966-67.

An extensive file of correspondence and legal documents relating to the trademark of the "Freak Out" name. It begins with a formal "Certificate of Business Fictitious Firm Name" filed by Zappa and attorney Herbert Leon Cohen for the Freak Out Novelty Company, just weeks after the album's release, along with 3 clippings of the newspaper announcement of the same19 July 1966. A draft letter by attorney Martin Cohen from 14 December 1966 promotes licensing of the Freak Out trademark: "Freak Out was coined by one of the individuals in the company, Frank Zappa. In the last month, the term has become increasingly popular with the college, teenage and younger set, and is becoming synonymous with a 'way out' type of characterization and uninhibited expressiveness. . . . The term Freakout will become more and more a part of the American scene in the next twelve months due to the appearance of Frank Zappa and his musicians on national television. . . . As West magazine states, the Freak Out scene will replace the Beatles as the next type of free expression in entertainment." The Patent Office's original 27 February 1968 certificate is issued to assignee Robert Leventhal for "novelty items--namely, playing cards, dolls, balls, dice, mechanical toys, rubber toys, puzzles, and . . . board type parlor games." Also included are papers relating to the renewal of the trademark from 1973 and 1974, and a letter opposing the trademark of a competing Freak Out! board game in 1977.

51 leaves of typescripts, carbons, manuscripts and photocopies; a few worn but condition generally strong. Los Angeles, CA, 1966-1977.

Cancelled check for the rental of the Shrine Exposition Hall in Los Angeles for a concert, signed by Zappa's manager Herbert Cohen. Los Angeles, 1 August 1966. With a circa 1970s reproduction poster, 22x17 inches, for the concert that was held a few weeks later on 17 September: "Pat Morgan Presents Freak Out, Starring Little Gary Ferguson . . . plus The Mothers of Invention" and other acts.

"Freak Out Hot Spots!" Map of Los Angeles, 23x28¾ inches, in red and black; tack holes, minor wear, folds, cello tape stains, minor foxing. A humorous guide to 36 Los Angeles nightspots and other underground landmarks. Laurel Canyon is a "freak sanctuary" with a "Caution" warning, surrounded by a "mysterious hallucinogenic wasteland." The map is advertised for sale for $1.00 through the band's distribution company in the first pressings of "Freak Out!"

"Freak Out!" double album. First pressing, in mono from the West coast plant, with catalog number V-5005-2 on jacket, "Freak-Out Hot-Spots" ad on inner sleeve, and blue and silver album label. Minor wear to jacket, with cut-out punch hole on lower left corner and embossed X stamp in upper right of jacket; vinyl apparently clean. MGM Records, [1966].

"Freak Out!" by Frank Zappa's group The Mothers of Invention was an early high watermark of aggressively experimental rock music. It was also the first rock double album upon its release in June 1966, shortly before Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde."