September 19, 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of Zappa’s testimony on Capitol Hill and at Annapolis against the censorship of free expression by artists. In commemoration of this event, Zappa Records is preparing to release ‘Congress Shall Make No Law,’ a CD containing Frank Zappa’s testimony.
In my youth, I felt like I had an easier time introducing my friends to Zappa. I used to simply play “Bobby Brown Goes Down,” because when you’re 14 or 15 years old, it’s the funniest thing you could possibly hear. It had swear words in it, he was making fun of the jocks we all collectively hated, and it was catchy as Hell! Similar cases could be made for other tunes like “Stick It Out,” “Catholic Girls,” and “Jewish Princess.” Continue reading “Defending Zappa?”
Aside from five days of live Zappa music, the Zappanale festival will this year be hosting an exhibition reflecting 20 years of Zappanale. One part will consist of information specifically about “Zappa and the GDR“:
Have you ever wanted to watch the entire testimony of Frank Zappa, John Denver and others on the PMRC hearings? Because since C-SPAN has opened its massive 160,000 hours archive of videos dating back to 1985, now you can. Say goodbye to the next five hours of your life:
In these two distinct interviews, 21 years apart – Frank Zappa on CNN’s March 28th, 1986 episode of “Crossfire”, and 2008 presidential candidate Ron Paul on the December 23rd, 2007 episode of “Meet The Press” – both men discuss the danger of America’s slide towards a type of theological, right-wing, corporate Fascism. Amazing how Zappa’s very idea of an American theologically based fascism brought him nothing but ridicule in 1986, while in 2010 we are currently living in the very world he had described. Zappa was most definitely a futurist in his own right.
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: Continue reading “Frank Zappa — Cynic, Satirist, Social Anthropologist”
Newish niche blog Letterheady publishes letterhead designs from the rich and (in)famous. The site recently got picked up and linked to by everyone and their grandmother. In the process, it came to light they also had Frank Zappa’s letterhead featured. That’s when Joe Crawford aimed this tweet at KUR, saying we should “blog it!”
Frank Zappa debates and discusses rock censorship, the PMRC, the PTA code, the “non-binding nothingness” which the record companies and the then Washington Senator’s wives perpetrated on the American public with the assistance of the media) with Christian rock DJ, Jim Hodson (Producer/Host of Real Videos), Norma Downs (California State PTA Communications Commission), and School Beat host, Roberta Weintraub. Continue reading “Zappa on School Beat, 1986”