, the “Bill and Ted’s” actor who is himself a noted director and producer, saw in Frank Zappa
’s story an icon who embodied everything about music and culture in the 1970s. At the same time, he wanted to capture the man behind the myth. With the blessing of Zappa’s wife, Gail, he and producer Glen Zipper
set out to uncover the story of the famous envelope-pusher, with access to the late legend’s infamous vault. Winter spent years restoring the archive material that stood in front of him, working to preserve the material that Zappa himself had collected before his 1993 death.
Winter talked to Variety about the genesis of “Zappa,” out Nov. 27, as well as the private life and politics of one of America’s most eccentric artists.
What was your relationship with Frank Zappa growing up and how did the idea for a doc come about?