The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Intervista #4


In August of 1968, Chicago's WFMT-FM broadcast this edition of Studs Terkel's Wax Museum featuring composer, guitarist and full-time anarchist Frank Zappa. In between LP cuts by The Mothers of Invention (which have been edited out of this recording . . . not by me, I hasten to add), Zappa and Terkel discuss the psychology of audiences; Zappa's formative years in the California desert; the true meaning of such compositions as Who Are the Brain Police? and Brown Shoes Don't Make It; the genesis and hidden wonders of Zappa's first solo LP, Lumpy Gravy, as well as the uncertainties inherent to the life of an American composer with no commercial potential.

Frank Zappa sounds understandably depressed throughout.

4 comments :

azfad said...

thanks - i am hugely looking forward to listening to this later tonight. was just listening to 'brown shoes' last night and all.

Vanwall said...

Jeez, I loved his work. Saw him many times, a few with Tom Waits opening - The ne plus ultra of modern music for me. Sure miss him...sniff.

Peter L. Winkler said...

Thanks for this interview. My feelings listening to it were nostalgia and sadness. Zappa's concerns about conformity and commercialism seem quaintly dated, an historical artifact.

Timmy said...

And yet another interview with Mr. Z. that has it's decidedly harrowing bumps & frightening collapsing rhythm. I saw Frank through the years about 5 times. He was always unique. Every interview, he was always in a different mood. Great stuuf, thanx!