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Thread: Quoting Zappa. Please discuss or share.

  1. #26
    Member Rick Robson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjudge View Post
    To judge from books/movies/etc. of the period (I wasn't born, so maybe somebody can corroborate or correct me), there seems to have been a genuine feeling that an unprecedented and unformalized kind of "revolution" might emerge anywhere in the world, and that the lack of apparent political procedure or definite power structure was an integral part of that revolution. It seems almost impossibly idealistic in retrospect, and I've got no real hope of feeling the same thing, but when you read, say, Latin American novels from or about the '70s, or look into the May '68 riots in Paris, you get the sense that some people, at least, felt that the tide of counterculture restlessness would have to result in something, and the less describable by prior criteria, the better.
    Interesting what you said about 70's Latin American novels, and I dare include a bunch of them from the 60's too. I think the threshold for that counterculture you refered to had its first signs just 20 years after the end of the second WW. The new generation grown up from that darker period wanted to radically change their world, but notwithstanding a clear goal to achieve their ideals. Hence all the controversy about the so called counterculture, from which one of the most controversial characteristics stems from the dismissing of everything related to intellectual and/or erudite elitism. This is one of the reasons why we would never see Zappa releasing a "Classical from Hell" album, and obviously another reason was that he was not European. And today in Latin America we can see how that former controversial counterculture which back then turned against tte devastating dictatorship regime was however transformed into a perfect means for ultimately undergoing the today's sovereignly pervasive 'anti-culture', alas
    "Beethoven can write music, thank God, but he can do nothing else on earth. ". Ludwig van Beethoven

  2. #27
    The older I get, the more I understand Zappa's cynicism. I think he WAS something of an idealist in the early Mother's days, but not in a political sense. I think he really believed music could change the world. I think the increasing commercialization of it, the increasing control of it by large corporate interests and the cynical manipulation of it for the purposes of making a buck hit him harder than he let on. The music though, was all that mattered to him, ultimately.

    Also, the comment about Jazz From Hell.............I don't think I EVER listened to Zappa to hear "something pleasant". His music was art, not entertainment. The two are not mutually exclusive, of course, but history shows us that the best art isn't always appreciated at the time it is made.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by infandous View Post
    I think he WAS something of an idealist in the early Mother's days, but not in a political sense. I think he really believed music could change the world. I think the increasing commercialization of it, the increasing control of it by large corporate interests and the cynical manipulation of it for the purposes of making a buck hit him harder than he let on. The music though, was all that mattered to him, ultimately.
    His idealism, what was visible of it - because he had a great dislike of appearing foolish in public, or anything other than strong, fully in control of himself, and on top of the situation - seems to have been cultural, not political. That, again, seems more a Beat characteristic than hippie - the Beats were more interested in re-inventing their own lives, and writing about it, than changing the rest of the world.

  4. #29
    Member StevegSr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    .... because he (Zappa) had a great dislike of appearing foolish in public, or anything other than strong, fully in control of himself, and on top of the situation - seems to have been cultural, not political. That, again, seems more a Beat characteristic than hippie - the Beats were more interested in re-inventing their own lives, and writing about it, than changing the rest of the world.
    I'm not trying to downplay your take on Beat characteristics, but I'll go with Zappa being shaped by the cultural norms of someone born in the 40's along with all "tough guy" persona baggage that went with it.
    To be or not to be? That is the point. - Harry Nilsson.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevegSr View Post
    I'm not trying to downplay your take on Beat characteristics, but I'll go with Zappa being shaped by the cultural norms of someone born in the 40's along with all "tough guy" persona baggage that went with it.
    To say nothing of the fact that in high school, he was what they called a "greaser", and a "greaser" by choice: He hung out with tough black and Chicano kids, played in an R&B band with them, and rejected the white jock/cheerleader crowd just as much as they rejected him. And I wonder if, in Fifties Lancaster CA, some of that rejection might have been not just because he was way too smart and looked like a wolf, but because they might have taken him for a Mexican. Think about that high-school photo of him on the back of Ruben and the Jets. On the East Coast, he was never taken for anything but Italian-American, but in Lancaster, CA, only a couple hundred miles from the border...

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