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Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Teetotaling Conservative Rebel

Filmmaker Alex Winter discusses his new documentary on Frank Zappa, the least predictable man in the history of music

On this episode of the MEL Stories podcast, MEL Radio talks to Alex Winter, formerly Bill of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and more recently the director of documentaries like Downloaded (about Napster) and Deep Web (about exactly what it sounds like). Currently, Winter is working on a new film about Frank Zappa, the cult hero whose archive Winter has been given unfettered access to. (He’s funded the film via Kickstarter, in part, to be able to properly preserve all of the recordings in the Zappa vault, some of which are old enough that they aren’t easy — or cheap — to digitize.)

Alex Winter

“I love making movies about characters who are paradoxical, culture-impacting American geniuses who are equally loved and—if not hated, disliked or misunderstood,” Winter explains. “They’re heroes to some, villains to others. That’s what I loved about Zappa. He was a guy who was extremely pro-individual rights but also staunchly anti-drug. He was against government corruption but also a conservative. He was a devoted husband who worked closely with his wife his entire life, but he also was famous for constantly screwing around on her. He was a rock god, but also a true family man—his children worship him to this day. The paradoxes go on and on and on.”

Listen to the full interview below.

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