The Vortex Of Zappa’s Maximalism

You didn’t think I could write a title like that, eh? Well actually I didn’t. It’s a term taken from Michel Delville & Andrew Norris, both living in Brussels, who have written a book on Zappa, Cpt. Beefheart and Californian freakdom entitled “Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart and the Secret History of Maximalism”. Keep your dictionaries at the ready as I present you with a quote:

The vortex of Zappa’s maximalism is a toilet, and here we see him seizing on a creative détournement of the human body: the penis becomes a heart, a conflation of two organs of love — the literal and the symbolic are fused together in an anthropomorphic leap of imagination curiously prophetic of Van Vliet’s later pictorial style with its Wellsian miscegenations.

I love the smell of Watsonian prose in the morning!

8 Responses to “The Vortex Of Zappa’s Maximalism”

  1. Montana Wildhack says:

    Art wank, the curse of the “adventurous music” (ahem) fan…

  2. Duncan says:

    For anyone interested (not many here I guess) you can find a pdf of their initial exploration of the subject at…

  3. Kookie says:

    Duh? …But is it a Monster?

  4. bernard says:

    Don’t forget: Michel Delville is the man behind the FZ cover band The Wrong Object.

  5. bernard says:

    Url has been replaced by :[LINK]

    He’s not a Belgian ” just an intellectual / egghead”. Good & inventive / active band leader and guitar player as well.

    In october last year they playes with – amongst others- Elton Dean ( ex Soft Machine, dada in music in the 60-70 ies, remember their gigs with Jimi Hendrix). Gigs on october 2005:
    Monday October 10: Jazzpower, Eindhoven, 20h30
    **Tuesday October 11: L’An Vert, Liège, 20h précises
    **Wednesday October 12: PP Café, Brussels, 21h
    *Tuesday October 18: Glaz’Art, Paris, 20h30
    **Friday October 27: L’Aquilone, Liège (Bd Saucy, 25), feat. Harry Beckett, 20h30
    **Friday October 28: The Wrong Object feat. Harry Beckett, Jazzzolder, Mechelen, 21h

    E mail Michel Delville []

  6. xorg says:

    There’s no doubting Mr Delville’s credentials as a Zappaphile – but any old fool with a thesaurus can write this twaddle. The clever part is persuading someone to publish it and pay you for it!

  7. bernard says:

    Varèse. Facing dead my guess is that FZ wanted to pay a tribute to his mastermind, cal it his mentor.

    Ever listened to Varèse’s Ionisations? Just do it. Far ahead of its time. Nobody – OK just one wierdo living 236 kilometers from your home- would be ready to call that music.

    My guess is that FZ ( on the condition that he & his family were really financially safe ) would have continued composing, further building on Varèse. Qiute a lot of organisations / associations ( not the least in Europe, especially Germany) would indeed have been ready to foresee the necessary financial means.

  8. Frunobulax says:

    I bought Zubin Mehta conducting Varèse with the LA Phil on vinyl a while ago. I listened to Ionisation first–I call it music. I listened to it as unbiased as possible, and loved it. Intégrales? Amazing! Arcana? Stunning! It’s a shame he only kept less than 20 of his compositions.

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