We call this one “Mothers and Babies”. The Mothers of Invention unnerved Art Kane: other people’s photographs made them look like Hell’s Angels, and as he put it himself,They scared the shit out of me. When he met them he discovered that rather than being hostile, they were the opposite, and that many of the Mothers were, in fact, fathers. So he decided to reveal them as one big gentle family, grouped tightly to emphasise the contrast between the big scary looking bearded men and the tiny vulnerable naked babies. The aim was to make the viewer see behind the facade – just like he had done himself. The shoot was a hoot. As he later recalled: The babies were peeing all over the place! One baby on top peed on Frank Zappa’s head, which then ricocheted onto another guy’s cowboy hat, then dribbled onto another guy. It looked just like the fountains of Rome. I caught it all with strobe, it looked great but Life wouldn’t print it.
Art Kane: Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention
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