I recall the first time I ever encountered the work of Gil Scott-Heron, I was in my mid teens and I had just borrowed a load of records, among them his 1971 release, Pieces of a Man from the public library on a whim (I had never heard of him before). I did that a lot back then – borrow whole batches of vinyl records during the summer vacation and listen to albums all week long. When I got home and slipped Pieces of a Man onto the turntable for the first time, Gil Scott-Heron blew my mind, especially with spoken word and vocal jazz tracks like “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” and “Lady Day & John Coltrane” (all video clips below) to name just a few. Continue reading “Gil Scott-Heron – Me and the Devil (2010)”
Sometimes I am quite delighted to discover a fan-made Frank Zappa video like the one posted above. It reinforces my belief that the future of FZ’s public image is in the right hands: creative, open-minded, technology embracing hands. This is how I always envisioned Zappa’s legacy being spread. Continue reading “Who IS The REAL Frank Zappa, Anyway?”
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?”
This piece of early animation set to “Sleeping In A Jar” excerpted from the Swedish TV program ‘Spotlight: Stockholm, Sweden‘ originally broadcast on December 4, 1971, begins and ends with Frank Zappa’s commentary on the possibility of the merging of music and animation mediums in advertising. Given the date, era and technology, it is truly amazing how much of a witting futuristZappa was with MTV and music videos another ten years away, and the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web another ten years after that.
In the three short years since Zappa’s 1975 release of his mostly live album with Captain Beefheart and the Mothers at Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas on May 20th through 21st, 1975, it’s affect upon popular culture is astounding…