(musTh 212) Off topic, Frank Zappa

Since very few of you know who Frank Zappa is, I’m including a few YouTube videos that highlight different facets of his very extended personality.

Zappa performing Inca Roads, something of an experimental jazz-rock fusion. Zappa is playing the guitar solo, and periodically conducting. (Besides the standard long black hair and mustache, Zappa is the one with the foot-long face.)


Something a little more tongue-in-cheek, his typical rock style. A performance of Montana


And you can wade into the 1980s debate over obscene lyrics and rock videos, with Zappa as a guest on the CNN show Crossfire. (note: “on the right” that’s Robert Novak, who helped out Valerie Plame)


5 responses to “(musTh 212) Off topic, Frank Zappa”

  1. kakitzmiller Avatar

    Frank Zappa is a bad@$$. He just doesn’t care. Stick it to the man. Reagan leads us to a fascist bureaucracy…I love it, regardless of my views of anything, you gotta respect his determination to not hold anything back.

  2. pwmarquissee Avatar

    We’re recording Zappa’s “I am the Slime” in Rec Tech 2. Pretty much a bad @$$ song and man.

  3. jshague Avatar

    Yes. I definitely enjoyed the CNN Crossfire segment. Viewed from the perspective of 2008, it make for good television! I wish I could win debates like that!

  4. In many ways, you can view the public persona of Frank Zappa as that of a Shaman figure. He says all the wild things that we want to say, but feel socially unable to say. To top it all off, he was an incredibly talented performer and composer.

    On the other hand, that “poke you in the eye” mentality doesn’t always help your cause. There were better ways to argue his point than the way he did when he testified in Congress. And he really insulted a lot of prominent people. Remember, it was Al Gore’s wife Tipper that was one of the main leaders of the charge.

    From a contemporary standpoint, it seems that we’re reliving the time, only now we’re talking about TV, and the FCC is playing the part of Tipper Gore, taking offense at newscasts of military personnel using expletives when a bomb goes off nearby.

  5. music4videos Avatar

    Zappa is in my opinion the most important rock musician ever, especially because he extended the limits of rock and roll. ON the other hand, his thoughts are great and his point of view about the entertainment business, draft unwilling people for the army instead of looking for guys who like to kill and torture others, or about politicians in general, are very instructive.
    Also Frank Zappa did extremely well portrait the US : when I came to the States for the first time, I recognized a lot of stuff I had heard about in his songs.
    It should also be remembered that Frank Zappa was nominated as Minister for American Culture by Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic. It’s cool to hear him say that therefore he (Frank) considered himself as the Minister of Garbage, since american ‘culture’ could only be regarded as such by europeans.
    I’ve posted a few videos of Zappa on my site, feel free to visit.
    And of course, he went a long way from underground performances in front of a dozen people to being performed by Pierre Boulez and symphonic orchestras from all over the world.

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