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Old 04-19-2004, 06:38 AM   #1
scott h
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The Legacy of FZ, and why it's Important

Hi,
It ocurred to me that out of anyone who views this site, about 99% are musicians. It is my opinion that ALL musicians at some point of their lives should expose themselves to the wonderful world of Francesco Vincent Zappa: the music and the man himself.
Frank Zappa, for the last 4 years (since I was 13) has been the most influential individual personally on the way I think, the way I act (to some degree), the way I listen to music, my personality, my view of others, my political awareness, and the list goes on...
As a person, he was completely free, in his actions and in his opinions. As a musician, he was the one of the most forward-thinking, prolific, and unique artists in the history of Popular music. During his lifetime he released over 60 albums, that number moving over 100 since his death, with still a huge amount of unreleased material locked deep in the heart of his Utility Muffin Research Kitchen studio (or elsewhere).
Included in the many, many musicians that played under FZ are: Steve Vai, Jean Luc Ponty, George Duke, Lowell George, Ian Underwood and countless others. His drummers included some of the all time greats: Aynsley Dunbar, Terry Bozzio, Chester Thompson, Ralph Humphrey, Vinnie Colauita and Chad Wackerman, among others. To hear these guys pushed to their limits by FZ is just one of the many joys of listening to his music.
As a guitarist, he quoted Stravinsky in his solos(!), exploited feedback, made great use of odd note groupings such as 5's and 7's, and created some of the scariest, coolest, funniest, funkiest riffs ever put down on record.
He was also the most intelligent man ever to be included in the Rock genre. He made interviewers almost breakdown in tears, he predicted the future correctly time and time again on his records (satiristically!), he criticized and made fun of everything there is to be criticized and made fun of in this world, he criticized the London Symphony Orchestra for their feeble atempts to play hi compositions, and he fought until the end for artistic freedom. Even during his sickness towards the end of his life, he still wrote music for between 16 and 20 hours A DAY.
He was a pioneer in many editing and recording techniques (he was one of pioneers of digital recording), he was asked personally by Bob Dylan to produce an album, he was made an ambassador for tourism and exports by the Czechoslovakian government, he ran for president, and he was friends with Larry Flynt.
Frank Zappa is also the funniest person I have ever seen or heard (that includes any comedian, actor or otherwize) in my life. His concerts were said to be among the (if not THE) most well rehearsed, theatrical, offensive and brilliant displays of enterntainment ever witnessed or heard on record. He often invited audience members to recite original poetry in between songs at his shows! He even stopped touring the UK for awhile because the crowds there clapped on the wrong beats (1 and 3).
And so it goes on...
If anyone out there in TV land is sick and tired of all the crap that is being force fed down our throats by radio, television etc. and wants to know WHAT A MUSIC ARTIST IS SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE, I urge you to check out Frank Zappa. I just wish I was born 15 years earlier so that I could be his fan and go and see him and his incredible bands while he was still alive.

There are many more things that could have been added to this long, rambling piece of nonsense, and if anyone would like to do so, feel free!

scott h
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Old 04-19-2004, 09:12 AM   #2
swedendrummer
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Right now its Bongo fury and hot rats for me...!
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Old 04-20-2004, 07:29 PM   #3
vdreignsuponus1
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..i dont know about all of this bull **** i keep hearing about jimi hendrix being such a musical changing influence to the world. ****, i know zappa is the holder and the proud king who will live forever amoung this!! i would especially like to thank him for taking in bozzio. without zappa, bozzio wouldnt be what he is today, obviously. id also like to thank him for being such a HUGE influence to vai! have u guys ever heard "**** yourself" by zappa? haha, yeah that was vai if u didnt know, haha!
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Old 04-20-2004, 11:28 PM   #4
shaftninja
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Don't get no jizz up on that sofa, sofa.

Frank Zappa was all-in-all an amazing individual. I'm currently in the process of reading The Real Frank Zappa Book. I crave information on the man.
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Old 04-21-2004, 02:48 AM   #5
scott h
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Same here, Shafninja. I've read Neil Slaven's "Electric Don Quixote: the Story of Frank Zappa" twice through, but can't find a library that has The Real Frank Zappa Book. I'll probably have to get it over the net...I completely agree with vdreignsuponus with what he said about Bozzio. In every interview Bozzio goes on and on about how Zappa changed his life and his approach to composition. Frank also passed down his Classical influences (mainly Varese and Stravinsky) to Bozzio. This also probably goes for most/all the musicians who ever worked for him! One of the funniest things I've heard is when a guy in the audience yells out "**** YOU, ZAPPA", and Frank replies, almost cutting the guy off mid-sentence: "And **** you too buddy, **** you very much!"

Wow, I was expecting no replies to that post! This is really encouraging! It's great to know that all around the world, there are just so many FZ fans, but they are hidden!
Did you guys know that Matt Groening (being one of Frank's biggest fans) first asked FZ to compose the theme for the Simpson's? The producer's wouldn't go with the idea unfortunately, and they got Danny Elfman.
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Old 04-21-2004, 11:34 AM   #6
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My guess is that the producers were not comfortable with 19 over 3 followed by groupings of 5 in an odd time signature being on primetime television . The Simpsons theme is unmistakable, but I'm sure Frank would have made something equally as potent.
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Old 04-23-2004, 01:55 AM   #7
scott h
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Considering FZ's so unbelievably misunderstood by most (including the people who put together those polls) number 30 is a pretty good result!!

Have you guys read the transcript of his court hearing against music censorship and the PMRC? It's just so funny!!!
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