Chamblee54

Frank Zappa

Posted in Library of Congress, Music, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on February 10, 2018










The first time PG saw the word Zappa, it was on an item at the Poster Hut. It showed a man sitting on a commode, with the words Phi Zappa Krappa rendered above. The poser, Frank Zappa, later said “I’m probably more famous for sitting on the toilet than for anything else that I do.”

It was 1969, give or take a bit. FZ was already well known in some hip circles. His band, the Mothers of Invention, played at something called the Cosmic Carnival at Atlanta Stadium, where the music lovers were actually allowed onto the field. PG paid $1.98 for a copy of We’re Only in It for the Money at the Woolco on Buford Hiway. Years later, he would pay $16.00 for a CD of this piece of work.

The records started to come out like clockwork, with or without the Mothers. FZ started to become a star, with an appeal to druggies who fancied themselves intellectual. It should be noted that FZ was notoriously anti drug. His music made fun of the establishment and counterculture with equal glee. FZ was also a capitalist, known to be tight fisted when it came to paying hired hands. He stayed with his second wife, Gail, until his death, and produced four children… Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.

The concerts came to town every year or so, and people liked them. A show at the Fox Theater in 1974 may have caught FZ at his peak. PG heard the raves about this show until he bought a ticket for his next show. This was in 1975, at the Municipal Auditorium. PG brought a half pint in with him, and didn’t remember a lot later, except some song about the Illinois Eneman Bandit.

Life goes on. Nine years later, FZ was in legal hell with a former manager, and could only make money by touring. One night, a friend had an extra ticket to a show. PG arrived after the band had started, and FZ was playing a fine guitar solo. This was going to be good.

Only it wasn’t. The rest of the show was social commentary. The man had opinions on everything, and was generous with them. At one point, the band started to sing “He’s so gay”, while a double headed dildo was lowered from the ceiling. PG thinks he heard FZ sing “one day you might be gay too”, but by then it really didn’t matter.

Frank Zappa was many things to many people. He had lots of opinions, which were dutifully recorded by the press. Here are a few .

Rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, in order to provide articles for people who can’t read. // I think that if a person doesn’t feel cynical then they’re out of phase with the 20th century. Being cynical is the only way to deal with modern civilization, you can’t just swallow it whole. // When God created Republicans, he gave up on everything else. // Let’s not be too rough on our own ignorance; it’s what makes America great! // The U.S. is a mere pup tent of a civilization. We’ve got two hundred years of stupidity behind us and we think we’re right up there with everyone else who’s been doing it for thousands of years. // Beauty is a pair of shoes that makes you wanna die. // After all, he wrote this book here, and in the book it says he made us all to be just like him! So if we’re dumb, then God is dumb — and maybe even a little ugly on the side. // Remember there’s a big difference between kneeling down and bending over. // Do you think you are protecting somebody by taking away seven words? // For the record, folks; I never took a shit on stage and the closest I ever came to eating shit anywhere was at a Holiday Inn buffet in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1973. // If you wind up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest or some guy on TV telling you how to do your shit, then YOU DESERVE IT. // There is no hell. There is only France. // The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced. // Children are naïve — they trust everyone. School is bad enough, but, if you put a child anywhere in the vicinity of a church, you’re asking for trouble. // People make a lot of fuss about my kids having such supposedly ‘strange names’, but the fact is that no matter what first names I might have given them, it is the last name that is going to get them in trouble. //

The reviews at Amazon sometimes have insights into the truth about an artist. Here are a few one star reviews of We’re Only in It for the Money.

I just don’t get this October 11, 2010 By Neomorphus “Neomorphus” (Superior, Colorado)
This is unlistenable. I could only get half way through before giving up. Too clever for me.

Put the kettle on June 7, 2006 By Noddy Box (New York)
This high-pitched snit fit might rouse the odd smirk if all you’ve consumed is a cup of tea and a Digestive biscuit but on no account listen to it under the influence of anything stronger because then you’re liable to prang right into a hectoring bore who comes off like some renegade member of the school debating team rehearsing his–fnarr fnarr–naughty rhyming rebuttals. Farting around in Edgar Varese’s old corduroys is all well and good but this breathtakingly condescending harangue sounds depressingly like–dear oh dear–social commentary. Jacobs Cream Crackers but is there anything more tedious than windy social commentary set to popular music? And the exhortation to read Kafka in the liner notes? Please Frank, rock stars should never mix their drinks, or at least not so the stitches show. Zappa is much more bearable when he takes his own advice, shuts his cakehole and plays guitar. Like on Hot Rats, where the only vocal is the sublime Beefy on Willie the Pimp and Frank in the kitchen the whole time cooking up a kettle of wordless aural gumbo–a movie for the ears I think he called it, something like that anyway, it’s right there on the sleeve, good description at any rate of one of the authentically crunchy Zappa records. Well he did release over sixty of them after all, I mean he was bound to get it right once or twice, wasn’t he? So toss this turkey on the fire and get yourself out onna porch of the Lido Hotel.

This is a repost. one, two, three, four posts are used. Your archive is your friend.








Former Dunwoody resident Aquarium Drunkard weighs in today with a nifty video. It is Frank Zappa, appearing on a TV show discussing censorship. FZ more than holds his own, and makes many good points about the nature of language and censorship. His contention is that censorship is about words, and that words in and of themselves are powerless. Wikipedia contributes this quote:
“What do you make of a society that is so primitive that it clings to the belief that certain words in its language are so powerful that they could corrupt you the moment you hear them?” FZ had a way with words… “Rock journalism is people who can’t write interviewing people who can’t talk for people who can’t read. ”
I was in high school when I first heard about Frank Zappa. It was in the original Poster Hut, a ramshackle building on Cheshire Bridge Road that is vacant 38 years later. There was a poster, with the words
PHI ZAPPA KRAPPA Below the saying was a picture of Frank Zappa on a commode. To compare that image of FZ on the throne to the sight of him on a TV show surrounded by windbags…he is seated both times.
I did not get that poster of PZK, but I did get a dayglo poster of Janis Joplin. I didn’t notice the exposed nipple on the drawing. When Mom saw it, she was horrified.
” I trusted you!” In my shame, I took a magic marker and covered over the fluorescent fuchsia mammary.
Back to FZ on CNN. The guitar picker made a lot of sense. One of the pundits threw the founding fathers at FZ, who replied that the FF were slave owners and that Ben Franklin was a wildman. FZ said we were heading to a fascist theocracy. Are we there yet? One whiner mentioned that his band was called the Mothers of Invention. FZ did not mention that the original name had been the mothers, and a record label made them add “of invention”.Finally, the four man part of the show was over. The two primary whiners agreed that rock music had some gnarly words, but did we really trust the government to intervene.
Frank Zappa was a parent. His four children are Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva … Al Capp, born Alfred Gerald Caplin, was a piece of work. Mr. Capp did not keep his opinions to himself. When PG was a kid, he heard Mr. Capp appearing on an NBC radio show, Monitor. This was about the time he called Joan Baez “Joanie Phonie,” and got some bad press.

At the age of nine, a trolly accident cost Mr. troll Capp his left leg. Years later, an urban legend arose. “in a televised face-off, either Capp (on the Dick Cavett Show) or (more commonly) conservative talk show host Joe Pyne (on his own show) is supposed to have taunted iconoclastic musician Frank Zappa about his long hair, asking Zappa if he thought he was a girl. Zappa is said to have replied, “You have a wooden leg; does that make you a table?” (Both Capp and Pyne had wooden legs.)

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Recently, the world of flaky internet quotes has discovered Frank Zappa. The “sexually incontinent rock innovator” died December 4, 1993. (His wife Gail passed away October 7, 2025.) Recently, some alleged quotes have hit the ether. Some people need to get out more. This is a repost.

This item was recently featured in chamblee54. @SlavojTweezek “”Communism doesn’t work,” Frank Zappa said, “because people like to own stuff.” Idiot. What do people’s likes have to do with communism?” This quote is plausible. Frank Zappa was a capitalist. He liked owning stuff, especially his own music. It should be easy to find a source. However, the best google can come up with is a compilation, “Quotes of Zappa,” in W. C. Privy’s Original Bathroom Companion.”

This morning, facebook had a meme. It had a picture of FZ, with the quote “Politics is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.” In the time that it takes to say Camarillo Brillo, Mr. Google turned up a reddit commentary.

“While the quote is frequently listed as, ““Government is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex,” I could find no primary source. It appears to contradict the actual quote from a 1987 interview with Keyboard magazine where he is decidedly pro-government but anti-bullshit politics.” (FZ did say “art in the service of politics usually makes for boring art.” Why do people make up quotes for memes, when the real thing is better?)

Speculating what a dead man would say is a tricky business. FZ was known for strong opinions, and a finely tuned BS detector. (That is bovine excrement, not Bernie Sanders.) FZ died while the internet was just getting started, and years before some of today’s permutations and perversions. It is easy to imagine FZ making rude comments about people misquoting dead guitar heroes.

Speaking of politics and cynical guitar cadavers, the current poster boi for trendy privilege is Bernie Sanders. If you “feel the Bern,” you might want to skip over the rest of this post, and look at the pictures. (These pictures are from The Library of Congress.) While BS is arguably less evil than Hitlery, he still leaves a great deal to be desired. BS is making extravagant promises that he will be totally unable to keep. BS is taking the concept of telling people what they want to hear to new depths. Yes, this is part of what FZ meant when saying rude things about politicians.

Today, PG saw a fundraising appeal for BS. Against his better judgment, PG made the comment “Bernie $anders.” The fun started almost immediately.

This campaign is for monthly recurring contributions. And Luther, campaigning requires money. The alternative to grassroots support is a country run by wealthy interests. Which would you prefer? ~
I realize that campaigning for political office requires money. My comment was a bit of recreational $nark. B$ can take a joke. … “The alternative to grassroots support is a country run by wealthy interests.” I am not sure about that comparison. Hitlery can make more in one corporate blowjob than BS can in a month of grass roots support. BHO did not get a billion dollars for his reelection from five dollar contributions. While the concept of grassroots support is uplifting, the sordid reality is that we live in a bribe-ocracy. ~ Your cynicism is less than accurate and certainly less than appealing. ~ Luther, just don’t vote and stay out of discussions about voting. OK?

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The current WTF Podcast features Moon Zappa. At no time does she say grody, gag me with a spoon, or boofoos. Today, she is the divorced mother of an eight year old, and buys quality apple butter.

Moon is the daughter of the late Frank Zappa. FZ did not do drugs, smoked Winston cigarettes, and spent all his time working on music. The four children, Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva, called the parents Frank and Gail. Mrs. Zappa stays busy these days selling her husbands music.

Once, Moon broke a finger in school. She called Gail, and waited. Eventually, the family Rolls Royce pulled up. Gail was driving, with Frank in the passenger seat. Frank quit driving when his first drivers license expired. Before taking Moon to the ER, they stopped to get Frank a burrito.

Gail and Moon were walking to the store one day, when Moon was very little. A car stopped, and tried to pick up Gail. Moon screamed “Fuck off pervert.”

Captain Beefheart was at the Zappa house one time. He had made a hole in the side of his nose with a pencil. When a finger was put over the other nostril, the nose became a whistle.

While listening to this show, PG was editing pictures from The Library of Congress. Some of these images appear with this feature.

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