Legendary musician Frank Zappa kept an archive for years and years. This archive, known as The Vault, contains troves of music, interviews, concert recordings, and even 8mm and 35mm film footage. Few fans—OK, no fans—have ever seen it. But one lucky fan may be the first to go into the Vault, by buying the house above it. The price is $9 million and the realtor is Kickstarter. Oh, and if you buy it, you’ll finance a documentary about Zappa’s life.
The Kickstarter for Who the F*@% Is Frank Zappa went live today. Ostensibly it’s a crowdfunding campaign to finance the latest documentary from Alex Winter (he of the Napster documentary Downloaded and the Silk Road doc Deep Web), but it’s really an ambitious effort to preserve the Vault. The $500,000 minimum goal will launch production of the film and bankroll digitizing some of the archive. Anything more than that will help finance the release of additional recordings and compositions, and there are even plans for a coffee table book of letters, photos, and other items.
The grand wazoo is $9 million, a sum that will bankroll the documentary and preserve the most valuable items in the Vault. Anyone who ponies up the full nine mil gets Zappa’s 8,000-square-foot estate in the Hollywood Hills. That doesn’t include the contents of the Vault—that stuff will be archived for museums and new Zappa records—but it does include the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, Zappa’s recording studio. In case you’re wondering, the bulk of that $9 million doesn’t go to the documentary, it goes to buying the house from the Zappa family.
“We can’t ask them to give us a house for a movie that’s not even their movie,” Winter says. “They’ve been really generous with their support of the project, but not that generous! The remainder will be enough to preserve the critical parts of the Vault contents and complete the documentary fully independently, just as Frank would have done it.”
Take a look at Frank Zappa’s house above, and find out if anyone has bout it yet here.