Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Frank Zappa hit it Bang On !!!!

Frank Zappa's Warning

The late Frank Zappa, best known for fronting The Mothers of Invention -- a difficult-to-categorize late sixties/early seventies group of disparate musicians -- was a dynamic figure; a composer, singer-guitarist, bandleader, graphic artist, filmmaker, satirist, political commentator and author of The REAL Frank Zappa Book.

He was also a passionate defender of the First Amendment and testified before Congress on censorship-related issues. His most publicized appearance was on September 19, 1985, before the US Senate Commerce, Technology, and Transportation committee, where he spoke out against the Parents Music Resource Center or PMRC, a music censorship organization founded by then-Senator Al Gore's wife Tipper Gore, and several other political wives, including those of five members of the committee.

During his 1986 appearance on CNN's Crossfire, Zappa made it clear that the hullabaloo surrounding the censorship of rock lyrics was an attempt to suppress free speech. In the tradition of the late Lenny Bruce and George Carlin, Zappa said that he didn't "believe there are any words that need to be suppressed."

After getting steadily bashed by his counterpart, the conservative Washington Times columnist John Lofton, he turned toward him and told him to "kiss my ass." The program, which hadn't started out with any references to smooching, devolved to that point after an exasperated and infuriated Lofton kept accusing Zappa of refusing to condemn rock lyrics that encouraged incest.

During those early days of "Crossfire" -- and some might argue it has remained that way until only the past few years -- the left was barely distinguishable from the right. "From the left" was Tom Braden, who ran the C.I.A.'s covert cultural division in the early 1950's and 30 years later could barely muster up a coherent progressive thought, and "from the right" was a younger and surprisingly less irascible Robert Novak. (To view the entire interview, see ifilm.com.)

Later, when Lofton claimed that America's families were under attack and threatened by out-of-control musicians, Zappa stated clearly that the "the biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy, and everything that's happened during the Reagan Administration is steering us right down that path." (For more on Zappa's life see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

3 Comments:

Blogger alan said...

And most of them probably eat yellow snow too, lol!

alan

2:19 AM  
Anonymous John Lofton said...

As I watched Zappa try to think, I was reminded of the United Negro College Fund slogan: "A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste." I was Godzilla; Zappa was Bambi. It was no contest. He never had a chance. Imagine -- a song writer denigrating the importance of words! Weird! John Lofton (JLof@erols.com).

10:51 AM  
Anonymous John Lofton said...

As I watched Zappa try to think, I was reminded of the United Negro College Fund slogan: "A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste." I was Godzilla; Zappa was Bambi. It was no contest. He never had a chance. Imagine -- a song writer denigrating the importance of words! Weird! John Lofton (JLof@erols.com).

10:52 AM  

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