Frank Zappa had been referred to as a lot of things throughout his thirty year career – some complimentary (genius, iconoclast, family man) and some not so complimentary (misogynist, anti-semite, misanthropist) – yet all one need do is listen to some of the myriad of interviews Zappa gave during his life (beginning with an excerpt from the Mark Radcliffe BBC Radio 1 Interview, above) and evidence becomes overwhelmingly clear: besides being a musician and composer, Zappa was a life-long cynic, satirist, and a social anthropologist:
Dutch TV Interview – 05 Sep 1984
Innerview Radio Show with Jim Ladd – KMET-FM, Los Angeles, 1976
Ramalama May 1979
WPLR-FM New Haven, 1975
As an interesting aside, I was first motivated to research this post when I came across this asinine statement at Zap (dot) com: “Frank Zappa was a mad scientist constantly pushing the boundaries of music, film, and video.” Personally, I find the description of FZ as “a mad scientist” usurps the man’s obvious, profound intelligence and replaces it with an image of cartoonish buffoonery. Makes one wonder what sort of brand they are attempting to create of FZ in the 21st Century?