Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A-Z Challenge: Zappa

Frank Zappa is a unique musician.  Many only know of his song "Valley Girl," but there's so much more to his catalog.  His instrumental work was great, and he demanded the ultimate precision from his backing bands.  Listen to Peaches en Regalia, for example, great melodies, and a lot of layering in the instrumentation. (NOTE: Link goes to a recording of him Live at Montreaux, which is a famous show where "some fool with a flare gun" set fire to the place and burned it down.  Deep Purple wrote "Smoke on the Water" in recollection of the event).

He has some odd material, though.  Some downright perverted stuff, too.  I think "Briefcase Boogie" from Thingfish earns first place in that regard.  He went over the top on purpose, though, in the war against censorship.  And battles must be fought to preserve our freedom, and sometimes the arsenal requires use of a copious amount of Very Dirty Words and Ideas.

Frank had a sharp sense of humor, too.  One of my favorite songs is "Cosmic Debris," a story of Frank matching wits with a snake-oil guru (my words, in the song he's The Mystery Man).

Then there's "I'm The Slime."  It's more relevant now than when he wrote it 40 years ago:

I am gross and perverted.
I'm obsessed 'n deranged.
I have existed for years,
but very little had changed.
I am the tool of the Government,
and industry too,
for I am destined to rule
and regulate you.

I may be vile and pernicious, but you can't look away.
I make you think I'm delicious, with the stuff that I say.
I am the best you can get. Have you guessed me yet?

I'm the slime oozing out of your TV set.

You will obey me while I lead you
And eat the garbage that I feed you
Until the day that we don't need you
Don't go for help . . . no one will heed you
Your mind is totally controlled
It has been stuffed into my mold
And you will do as you are told
Until the rights to you are sold

Challenge complete.  Thanks for reading!


Jessica Bell said...

I posted about Zappa last year. Was rather comic, because when I was in my teens, my father looked almost identical! :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've seen his son perform Zappa on Zappa. Lots of beach music.

Anonymous said...

Rick, I've nominated you for a Liebster Award. Check out the details: http://myriteofpassage.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/liebster-award/

Gina Gao said...

This is a pretty great post!


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Tara Tyler said...

awesome final post! love the closing verses!

congrats on finishing!

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