The Mothers Find A Way To Bore Nearly Everyone
By Stan Bernstein, Times Staff Writer
According to the ticket stub to the left of the newspaper clip and the concert bill above in the collage, item 3 the most likely date for the event is August 13, 1966
Necessity is the mother of invention, but The Mothers of Invention proved Saturday night that a "Freak Out" will never be a necessity.
P. T. Barnum said there's a sucker born every minute and about 500 wandered into the Shrine Exposition Hall and found boredom. The show lacked direction and there was little or no supervision. What was supposed to be entertaining happened to be monotonous.
The Mothers of Invention is a musical quartet. The only way this can be deduced is from the press release. The decibel count on the sound system was so high that one wondered whether or not an air-raid siren system had gone berserk.
At one point the sound system broke down and there were a few moments of merciful silence. The only barely, recognizable song performed was The Beatles' "Hard Day's Night." The arrangement was short and had absolutely no merit.
The music was supposed to provide a backdrop for a light show. Images were projected on four or five screens above the audience. This could have been the most of the evening's entertainment, but those in attendance just didn't want to be disturbed. They were like domestic animals in a corral just mooing and bleating.
The paying customers wanted to be part of the show. In attemping to dress in as outlandish costumes as possible, they all conformed to one style of dress – ridiculous. The most original costume was one guy in a shirt and tie.
Ventilation in the large hall was nonexistant. It was obvious that the "hot" routine was either to induce the audience to dance or buy refreshments. It' didn't work. Some of the people just sat down on the floor, probably puzzling how they could have spent $2.50 for the show.
Kettle drums, side drums, chimes, gongs, xylophones and other instruments were utilized to create the sound. Ray Collins, lead vocalist of The Mothers of Invention, proved without a doubt that it's possible to sing poorly if they play loud enough behind you.
Some of the slides In the light show looked like the color slides from a Rorscharch test. Certain changes were made to keep pace with the music. Obviously somebody went to an awful lot of trouble to put the light show together, but it fell on deaf eyes.
After about an hour of having the eardrums punctured beyond repair it was time to fight off ennui. A guard warned at the exit that readmittance was not possible. It was the most welcome news of the night.