Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd | still from video

Apropos of nothing, here’s some pretty incredible footage that surfaced on the internet — 60s mind-benders Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa sharing the stage for a fierce jam of “Interstellar Overdrive.”

The gig took place on October 25, 1969 at Festival Actuel in Amougies, Belgium, and it’s circulated for years in the bootleg trading world under various names like Zappastellar Overdrive. In addition to the fuzzy but nonetheless awesome audio recording, the show clearly was recorded by a multi-camera video crew, making for a remarkable document of a one-time-only collaboration.

According to lore, Festival Actuel was intended as a Euro-answer to Woodstock, and featured Captain Beefheart, Yes, Pharoah Sanders, Don Cherry and more. Zappa was the MC of the event, and jammed with numerous bands on the bill. His recollection of the event — which was moved from France to Belgium at the last minute due to government pushback — is less than enthusiastic:

…the weather was really not very nice. it’s cold, and it’s damp, and it was in the middle of a turnip field. I mean mondo turnips. and all the acts, and all the people who wished to see these acts, were urged to find this location in the turnip field, and show up for this festival.
…and it was a nightmare, because nobody could speak English, and I couldn’t speak French, or anything else for that matter. so my function was really rather limited. I felt a little bit like Linda McCartney. I’d stand there and go wave, wave, wave. I sat in with a few of the groups during the three days of the festival. but it was so miserable because all these European hippies had brought their sleeping bags, and they had the bags laid out on the ground in this tent, and they basically froze and slept through the entire festival, which went on 24 hours a day, around the clock. One of the highlights of the event was the Art Ensemble of Chicago, which went on at 5:00 a.m. to an audience of slumbering euro-hippies.

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason had a somewhat more positive of the jam in a 1973 interview: “Frank Zappa is really one of those rare musicians that can play with us. The little he did in Amougies was terribly correct. But he’s the exception. Our music and the way we behave on stage, makes it very hard to improvise with us.”

Below, watch a nearly 14-minute rendition of “Interstellar Overdrive” — which was merely a nine-minute space out when it opened the b-side of 1967’s The Piper At the Gates of Dawn.

(h/t Jambase, Open Culture, Dangerous Minds)