Sunday, 20 July 2008

Ten Reasons (in no particular order) To Like Frank Zappa

…Though you probably won’t.

01. Läther – 1977 when record label, Warner Brothers, refused to released Zappa’s eight side box-set he commandeered KROQ radio station to play the records back to back encouraging listeners to tape to whole thing.

02. His kids – Moon Unit Zappa, who appeared on record on Valley Girl and recently on TV in Curb Your Enthusiasm. Dweezil Zappa, played guitar alongside his old man live, released an album of his own and starred in seminal Arnie movie Running Man. Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen Zappa, popped up in the Mighty Boosh as a love interest for Howard Moon.

03. Censorship – battling at every level against censorship in music debating on TV, even testifying to the US senate. He may have done more for hip-hop than they’ll ever know.

04. Prejudice – listened to out of context Zappa could be accused of being racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist and a whole collection of other isms and phobias. If you did something dumb he was gonna pull you up on it no matter which way your bread was buttered.

05. Alice Cooper – yep, Zappa gave us Alice ‘school’s out for summer’ Cooper.

06. Fastidious-ness – Zappa tore through musicians in an ongoing quest to find players who could play his compositions without mistakes, in one case rerecording his album We’re Only In It For The Money twenty years after it’s original release.

07. Bruce Bickford – you have to see the insane animation Bickford created to bring to life some of Zappa’s music.

08. Parody – throughout his music Zappa cynically ridiculed many musical styles and stars by imitating and deriding them. Devo, Dylan, Punk, Reggae, and Bobby Brown all felt the tongue (and guitar) of Zappa’s pointed criticism.

09. Over fifty albums – not including albums released posthumously. Providing more than enough music for us to delve into and find something that will make us laugh, cry, dance or vomit.

10. The Rest – American ambassador for the Czech Republic; Captain Beefheart; muffins; live albums; concept albums; Steve Vai; Thing Fish the musical; Cal Schenkel and Neon Park artwork; the poodle theory; never doing drugs.

Maybe I’ll do a pt. 2.

Recommended viewing:
Honey Don't You Want A Man Like Me
Zappa and the Monkees
WTF Valley Girl, seriously this baffles me

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