"Information is not knowledge
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
Love is not music
Music is the best."
Where do you start? How do you describe the man, the music?
Frank Zappa was the master of musical abnormality and complexity, the king of musical satire and sarcasm.
His influence remains far-reaching and his originality is unparalleled.
He also rates as one of the true masters of the guitar, not to mention his status as an increasingly respected 20th Century Composer.
Zappa was also an innovator of both the technical and technological elements of modern music.
This guy had some resume, I'd say.
I am still deep within the process of familiarizing myself with the vast body of work amassed by this man .
I suppose I will simply list some of my favorite stuff and then bore the shit out of you with one of my little "anecdotes".
On Zappa's release Baby Snakes there is found a superb instrumental entitled The Black Page #2,
which epitomizes my favorite of his numerous musical styles.
This is a free-flowing yet maddeningly complex, ever-changing and multi-climaxed trip through the mind of Zappa.
The way the crowd responds to this piece speaks volumes about the unique energy that could be felt at a Zappa show.
I was fortunate enough to have seen this man perform at the Palace Theater - L.A. CA in the mid-80's and that was one of my All-Timers.
For more of my thoughts on The Black Page #2, see the Top 1000, #39
Another sweet little ball of controlled chaos would be G-Spot Tornado from the Jazz From Hell CD.
This is total freakin' mayhem, yet technically perfect music.
Another killer synclavier cut from the same album is Night School, which is a nice blending of these two styles.
One of the truly extraordinary Zappa tracks is found on, among others,
Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention;
The track, What's New in Baltimore, features some of his most stunning work.
From the intro, with its nicely-placed guit-harmonics, to the end section;
which contains one of the most moving, emotionally wrenching guitar solos I have ever heard.
(Surpassed only by Watermelon In Easter Hay, of course)
Two more and we shall move on:
Mention certainly must be made of Envelopes/ Teen-Age Prostitute from
Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch;
which are very nearly beyond description.
Awww what the heck; add Drowning Witch on there... they're all connected anyway.
"...sardines in her eeeyyye-browsss...."
The description? How about: A Whirling melodic/ Intensely chaotic/ Nearly erotic/ Blissfully brio bombardment?
Yeah, that will work. Hell, that was almost haiku!
Frank don't seem to agree...
OK, FINE! I can Haiku with the Worst of 'em:
Been hurt by the milk
Bananas and flies attack
Now, please sit back for a moment while I explain how I was able to shake hands with this fellow.
You see, my Aunt Kathy somehow became his personal assistant and was someone who would do things like drive him to the dentist and so forth.
So one evening Zappa has a little sit down to discuss and play selections from his new release at the time, (Jazz From Hell) at Cal State Northridge.
I somehow won tickets on the local college broadcast,
KXLU 88.9 FM, a MONSTER station [Loyola-Marymount] which greatly deserves mention on this page.
So after this, (seminar?) I just had to go down and meet him, feeling as though I had license to do so
considering the IMPORTANCE of my Aunt in his life.
Well, anyway it turns out that he is the one who tells me about my Aunt's state of pregnancy, which was a ridiculously cool way to find out.
The part of the story I love to tell most, however, is the part where my buddy Rob Harley picks up a tampon
(unused, in the wrapper, thank God) that some adoring female fan had left on his table and asks Mr. Zappa to sign it,
which of course he was more than proud to do.
(he got that Zappa smirk, I'll never forget it)
I wish Zappa was still alive today so I could track him down and ask him if he remembers this.
This man was a classic, he is forever peerless, and Frank Zappa will be sorely missed by myself,
Rob Harley, the oft-mentioned Frank H., and anyone else with an adventurous musical mind.
More Recommended Titles:
1. Joe's Garage
2. Strictly Genteel
3.Roxy & Elsewhere
4. You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore (Volumes 1-6)
5.Jazz From Hell (Pictured Below)
6. COUNTLESS OTHERS: Just go to the next page and start exploring!
This man is EVERYWHERE
Click the Patriotic Pic for Tangento's BRAND NEW
Ultimate Zappa Discography:
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