Mothers of Invention/Absolutely Free Libretto

Here’s a bit of public service blogging–a set of scans of the impossible to find “Libretto” booklet for the Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention’s second album, “Absolutely Free.” 

Along with their 1966 debut, “Freak Out” and their third album, “We’re Only In It For The Money” the Mothers created some of the most experimental and enduring music of the 1960’s.  Printed inside the gatefold cover of “Absolutely Free” was the note “Send money.  As much as you can get.  $1. minimum.  All the words on the record..even little sneaky ones! Merely send money…as much as you can…how you get it we could care less (make sure it’s at least $1.00) for your very own libretto…..dump money into a shoebox & tie securely.  Ship immediately…”

Now I’ve been collecting Zappa & Mothers records since the very early 70’s, and I’ve seen exactly one libretto in all those years–which came from the collection of his former manager, Herb Cohen–leading me to believe that these were never sent out.  But I did manage to snag that one copy.  I scanned it for a client last week, and decided I’d post it online, for others to enjoy.

If you don’t know these albums, click the links above, listen to the sound samples, and buy them all.  You won’t be sorry.  As good as it gets !
(and of course, if you’re a collector of rare records or music memorabilia–or have some to sell–please do check out our website, Recordmecca.)


Agree that the Absolutely Free libretto is scarce, but there are at least three other copies out there: one that was photocopied and made available through the excellent FZ fanzine 'Mother People' in the 1980's (identifiable by a verticle crease on every page, which suggests that it was folded to fit inro a DL envelope for mailing); one was scanned and put up on the internet in 2006; and another copy is one that I acquired via ebay in 2007.

There is at least one copy here in the UK that I bought maybe 25 years ago – with an Uncle Meat booklet. Around the same time there was some original Cal Schenkel also sold here – perhaps it came from the same original source?

Thanks for your comments; I never meant to infer that this is the only one around, just that I'd never seen it before and thought I'd share it. Glad a few more collectors have em. Enjoy.

Thanks so much for posting the libretto…I have always wanted a copy to go with my copy of the album and thanks to you i now have a copy

thanks for posting. always regretted not sending off some money to get the libretto. got the album about 42 years ago one christmas and loved it. saw zappa at least three times.

thanks so much for posting. i had the album for christmas about 42 years ago and always wondered about this.

I have an original A. F.libretto that came with the album. After a show by the Mothers at the Orange Show fairgrounds in San Bernandino in about 1971, I went on stage and had all of the bank members sign it.

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