Zappa on “Freeman Report” CNN – October 26th, 1981

In this long, five part interview from the October 26th, 1981, edition of the “Freeman Report”, host Sandi Freeman appears mostly well prepared as she asks Frank Zappa open ended questions concerning his views on a variety of topics. For his own part, Zappa is unusually open and honest and personal throughout.

I liked how he called “dishonesty the rule and honesty the exception,” when referring to many aspects of American society, business, religion and politics, “and if you don’t believe it, you’re a fool.” I also admired FZ’s openness regarding his negative experiences with the stage hands unions. For instance, a $3000.00 stage hand union fee for recording his very own shows with his very own equipment which FZ considered extortion. A very enlightening interview if you can overlook the poor video quality.

Parts 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Author: urbangraffito

I am a writer, editor, publisher, philosopher, and foole (not necessarily in that order). Cultural activist and self-described anarchist.

7 thoughts on “Zappa on “Freeman Report” CNN – October 26th, 1981”

  1. Very very very nice one! Thanks! The site FZlyrics says about this interview:

    “This is a long interview with Frank Zappa from October 26, 1981.
    This interview only aired once as far as I know and ironically, Zappa was playing his last concerts at “The Palladium” in New York City.
    Covered in this interview is Frank’s negative experiences with the stage hands unions.
    One of the reasons Frank never played the Palladium after November 1, 1981 was due to excessive stage hand union costs associated with doing concerts at that venue.
    The first thing I noted while editing this video is how relaxed Frank is and how good Sandi Freeman was at asking Frank open ended questions and then allowing Frank to answer.
    It is the only interview I have ever watched with Frank where he has a decent interviewer and he is relaxed enough to get out of his “Frank Zappa” persona. Too bad he did not do more interviews like this.”


    An interesting segment (parts only):

    Would you consider yourself a religious person?

    Its not the matter of showing it to anybody.

    I live it through my music and I live it through the way I conduct my business.

    As an employer I’m responsible for the well-being of the people who work for me. And I take that responsible seriously. As an entertainer I’m responsible for delivering the best of I can do to the audience that has bought the ticket to see it or buys the record to hear it.

    I don’t have any friends, I don’t have any time for social activities.
    Who would be your friend?
    Well, I have a wonderful wife and four children, I like them, they are my friends.


    I also liked the part where he was talking about things he likes (part 5).

  2. Wow, you never seen anything like this anymore on U.S. news channels. An actual open-ended discussion where the interviewer let the subject talk. Imagine that.

    I’d say it’s one of the more revealing interviews that FZ ever gave. His comment about fine food is interesting when compared to Barry Miles’s characterization of FZ as not liking strongly favored foods.

  3. Pretty good interview. It’s been awhile since I viewed this, very enjoyable. Sandi is rather smart though a bit plastic. At least she free-forms the interview in addition to her prepared questions. I’m impressed with the show for giving FZ so much time, but the network’s partial views doesn’t allow Freeman to take a stand for any topic and is quick to give Frank “In your opinion . . .”, when he strongly criticizes the President (Reagen). Zappa seems to enjoy the extended amount of time he normally was never given to express his views.

    FZ: I love coffee, cigarettes and sex.
    SF: Sounds very American to me.

    Frank smartly avoids directly quoting ‘Jewish Princess’, but has no problem with ‘The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing’.
    “Tax the churches! Tax the businesses owned by the churches!”
    There must have been a few phones call to the tv station that night!

    Great stuff. Thank, UrbanG.

  4. The host’s neutrality on this program is vastly preferable to the hordes of ranting idiots that populate the news networks today, especially Fox and MSNBC.

  5. profusion: “Wow, you never seen anything like this anymore on U.S. news channels”.

    Charlie Rose is pretty good…

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