Thursday, July 6, 2017

FRANK ZAPPA: Interview, Music, Morality & More ... "He's So Gay & Bobby Brown", "Stevie's Spanking feat. Steve Vai", "Cosmik Debris", "Black Napkins" & "The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing" ... (PUBLIC PATRIOTS PT.52)

Gail and Frank Zappa @ the Kennington Oval  (Lambeth/ London) 1972

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This entry for the music/ arts honour roll society of this journal/ blog is to highlight Frank Zappa (wikipedia), originally out of Baltimore and settled in LA, who I been intending to be in here for some time ... so glad to get to it! Frank is also one of the top all time rock music icons ... even though I never categorized Frank solely as rock genre, nor I doubt he even gave much thought of where he falls into. But, I also wanted to include Frank in the "Public Patriots" series as well, the reason primarily is because of the thousands of young people over the years that he registered to vote and how he pushed that issue so much, even on his albums. I myself was anxious to vote when I turned 18, so I never had anyone inspire me to vote that I can recall. However, I should have listened to Frank on politics when I was young, because I voted blindly and didnt look in depth to who I was voting for, beyond their campaign speech or popularity ... I was young {:-) Frank was very political and followed much, kept up with all the news, knew early on how to read between the lines and really stood up as even a sort of constitutionalist, he was more into it than most in the music industry that I seen. Frank because of his music status and influence, was able to debate his stand on major media such as CNN, Larry King, Charlie Rose and various programmes and speaking out on Capitalism Hill (Capitol Hill), and inspiring many more to ... so what he had to say and stand for really got exposure. And there is much of Frank talking about these issues foreign and domestic on YouTube, but I just chose a couple short snips below to include. Frank went up against folks such as PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) because he made/ seen the slippery slope that it was leaning towards quickly, and even warned of how fundamentalism (what I call fundamoralism) was a growing concern and attack on our rights. This is a lesson we can all learn to stay on guard about, you dont want to lose any liberty you have.

Frank went out of his way with his busy schedule to bring awareness to so many that didnt know what was going on, he did this without the social media and tools of today, he would be Hell today, especially seeing what we have went to politically. When I was younger, I never expected some fundamoralist attempt to take over the country ... therefore not giving it much thought, after all ... I lived a fairly liberated lifestyle doing what I wanted, and ignored so much as long as it wasnt in my face. Frank went after folks like Pat Robertson, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, because he seen things that many of us missed. Frank even talked about things like how our country is moving towards a type of Fascist Theocracy, some folks may have thought of his talk back then in the 80's as conspiracy type talk, but what I see today is like a semi- puritanical type society as it is. It was hard to make the usual attack on Frank by many, because he didnt fit into their stereotype of rock star musician, he didnt smash up hotel rooms, he didnt use any drugs or alcohol and was a family man with 4 children, was an entrepreneur, very pro- business, and knew what he was talking about ... and the thing they hated most was his honesty. Today, both parties have been pushed by money to lean right more and more, making now democrats that are not liberal and having to move right to appease the big money as being worthy to stand against the far right. Republicans these dayz are more about incorporating corporate communism and theology into government and have lost real conservative values on everything that applies to straight balanced business and market ... and peddling dime a dozen vending machine type corporatism and religious evangelism. So to me we just have 2 carefully engineered right wing parties that are neither liberal or conservative, but instead being just one large party of neoliberalism.

Frank himself has made over 60 albums, and when you count the additional posthumous albums since 1994 from the Zappa Family Trust, there are over 100. I also give much credit to his wife Gail in this operation and handling so much of the business end, making it so Frank could spend much more of his time in the studio. Gail was a secretary at the world famous Whisky- a- Go Go in West Hollywood when they met, and she is very business savvy, while also being a mother of 4 children. Although I have Frank's music in my home music collection, I didnt keep up with his music that much ... and never categorized him in any specific genre, nor did I know what to expect from him next as far as genre. His composition to me was very complex, and he had a large turnover as well of musicians that were working with him, but his composition was top line no doubt. I know that there was also conflicts of interests with several he worked with and how he ran things and lawsuits. Some of his stuff looked like it may be tough to rehearse with accuracy ... which makes me understand how he laid out their sets leaving open time gaps for him or others to highlight solos, skits or whatever that were spontaneous and not rehearsed. Which is also unique, instead of the conventional set of just going out with a set that is in stone and playing the same riffs to a tee with perfection, etc. Frank looked at it as a treat for the audience, and to make sure that no 2 shows were exactly alike ... which Frank sayz led to bootlegging live worx too. As far as guitar technique, he was well rounded, unconventional, and as Frank would put it ... specialized. He liked when Steve Vai was with him for a couple years (80- 82?), because he said that Steve would do everything on the guitar that he didnt do ... and Steve being so young said later that Frank's advice to him saved him millions of dollars.

I also want to credit his son Dweezil for preserving his dad's work and guitar technique, and teaching it to others, Dweezil does great guitar work himself. Lyrics is what really caught me about Frank too, his lyrics were out there and good humour mixed with truth. At the same time, his lyrics were criticized by some as being vulgar, sexist or anti-Semitic even, he received criticism from folks for "Bobby Brown" saying it was anti- gay or whatever. Yet, the Bobby Brown song was embraced by gayz worldwide and became a sort of classic played in gay nightclubs in Europe and America for years, and still to this day ... at least the gayz seen the humour, when others try to find something wrong with every song or piece of literature and art ... the song "Jewish Princess", the same thing getting heat from the Anti- Defamation League. Also I included a interview video below where Frank talks about the industry, what is was becoming back then, MTV and such ... much is even worse today. I had many musicians over the years tell me the heartaches and even some of the rip- offs they were up against in the industry ... and yes, it got to the point where your looks and dress becomes more importante than music for some looking for large labels and backing. This is why I support so many inde artists, and been doing it since around the late 1970's, because of what I myself seen. And I really admire folks like Frank that are D.I.Y producers, promoters, to starting their own label. Today it is getting much easier to do this and get success, because of the new technologies available to independents, internet to self promote and YouTube to showcase stuff, etc. Frank was able to take care of everything with Gail and really make a successful business and really call the shots on what they will produce and distribute while keeping as much big corporate dictation out of it as they can. Enough from me though ... first 3 interview clips below with an obituary that I thought was good ... then below, I managed to select 5 live video performances to look at the music versatility as well ... And Thanx to Frank for all he contributed.

Word Out ....

Zappa on Pat Robertson, religion and the Right Wing ... Thanx to Tim Hensley

Zappa defines "Fascist Theocracy" ... Thanx to Paul Hinrichs

***** SOCIALIST REVIEW- BEN WATSON ... Orbituary: Frank Zappa ... Spanner in the works- 'Zappa showed that critical culture is not the preserve of highbrow forms' ... (read)

Frank Zappa- Interview- 12/8/1984- unknown (Official) ... Thanx to Frank Zappa on MV **** this is a clear look at what the music industry has been turning into as well.


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Image result for frank zappa mothers of invention band

Mothers of Invention




Frank Zappa- He's So Gay + Bobby Brown ... Thanx to Jose Luis Castano Kan

Frank Zappa- Stevie's spanking (Featuring Steve Vai) Live duet version (1982) ... Thanx to florindoyjulian


Frank Zappa- Black Napkins- Live at Palladium, NY 1977 ... Thanx to John Stack IV

Frank Zappa- The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing- 10/13/1978 Capitol Theatre (Official) ... Thanx to Frank Zappa on MV


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Zappa family photo




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