Quotes by Frank Zappa
Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Frank Zappa. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Wikipedia Summary for Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American singer-songwriter, innovative rock guitarist, modernist composer, multi-instrumentalist, satirist, film-maker, and bandleader. His work is characterized by nonconformity, free-form improvisation, sound experiments, musical virtuosity, and satire of American culture. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, pop, jazz, jazz fusion, orchestral and musique concrète works, and produced almost all of the 60-plus albums that he released with his band the Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. Zappa also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. He is considered one of the most innovative and stylistically diverse rock musicians of his era.\n\nAs a self-taught composer and performer, Zappa had diverse musical influences that led him to create music that was sometimes difficult to categorize. While in his teens, he acquired a taste for 20th-century classical modernism, African-American rhythm and blues, and doo-wop music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands, later switching to electric guitar. His 1966 debut album with the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages. He continued this eclectic and experimental approach whether the fundamental format was rock, jazz, or classical.
Zappa's output is unified by a conceptual continuity he termed "Project/Object", with numerous musical phrases, ideas, and characters reappearing across his albums. His lyrics reflected his iconoclastic views of established social and political processes, structures and movements, often humorously so, and he has been described as the "godfather" of comedy rock. He was a strident critic of mainstream education and organized religion, and a forthright and passionate advocate for freedom of speech, self-education, political participation and the abolition of censorship. Unlike many other rock musicians of his generation, he disapproved of drugs but supported their decriminalization and regulation.
Zappa was a highly productive and prolific artist with a controversial critical standing; supporters of his music admired its compositional complexity, while critics found it lacking emotional depth. He had some commercial success, particularly in Europe, and worked as an independent artist for most of his career. He remains a major influence on musicians and composers. His honors include his 1995 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the 1997 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.
Some people. Some people like cupcakes exclusively, while myself, I say, There is naught nor ought there be nothing so exalted on the face of god's grey earth as that prince of foods. the muffin!
I knew Jimi (Hendrix) and I think that the best thing you could say about Jimi was: there was a person who shouldn't use drugs.
Hendrix is one of the most revolutionary figures in today's pop culture, musically and sociologically.
Let's not be too tough on our own ignorance. It's the thing that makes America great. If America weren't incomparably ignorant, how could we have tolerated the last eight years?
In every language, the first word after Mama! that every kid learns to say is Mine! A system that doesn't allow ownership, that doesn't allow you to say Mine! when you grow up, has -- to put in mildly -- a fatal design flaw.
I write what I like to write. Those who like to listen to it, listen to it. And the ones who don't, watch football and drink beer, jog, go to discos and so forth. I never claimed to be a man for all seasons.
The Ultimate Rule ought to be: 'If it sounds GOOD to you, it's bitchin'; if it sounds BAD to YOU, it's shitty. The more your musical experience, the easier it is to define for yourself what you like and what you don't like.
The Ultimate Rule ought to be: 'If it sounds GOOD to you, it's bitchin'; if it sounds BAD to YOU, it's shitty. The more your musical experience, the easier it is to define for yourself what you like and what you don't like. American radio listeners, raised on a diet of _____ (fill in the blank), have experienced a musical universe so small they cannot begin to know what they like.
I'm not going to be Bill Clinton and say I never inhaled. I did inhale. I liked tobacco a lot better.
Being interviewed is one of the most abnormal things that you can do to somebody else. It's two steps removed from the Inquisition.
Fact of the matter is, there is no hip world, there is no straight world. There's a world, you see which has people in it who believe a variety of different things.
The most important thing in art is The Frame. For painting: literally; for other arts: figuratively -- because without this humble appliance, you can't know where The Art stops and The Real World begins.
I think that people are entitled to be amused, and entertained. If they see deviations from this classical norm, it's probably good for their mental health.
Behind each breakaway movement is a breakaway demagogue who will set up his breakaway demagogue government.
He took a dog-doo snow cone and stuffed it in my right eye. He took a dog-doo snow cone and stuffed it in my other eye.
There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
I mean, if you want to hurt yourself, go ahead. It's like, if you want to jack off, go ahead, just don't 'spoo' on a public bus or something . Do whatever you want to do. Just don't get it in somebody else's face.
The problem with drugs is that most of the people that use the drugs, use it as a license to be an asshole.
A drug is neither moral nor immoral -- it's a chemical compound. The compound itself is not a menace to society until a human being treats it as if consumption bestowed a temporary license to act like an asshole.
Hey, let's get serious... God knows what he's doin' He wrote this book here And the book says: 'He made us all to be just like Him', So... If we're dumb... Then God is dumb... (And maybe even a little ugly on the side).
The FCC extorts broadcasters by threatening to take away their licenses for infringements which are usually the result of complaints from an extreme, right wing, tiny bunch of individuals.
I don't expect that Albert Gore is going to become president, and I certainly hope we never see Tipper Gore in the White House. Can you imagine Tipper saying, Just say no?
Mr. Gorbachev has apparently stumbled onto one of the best-kept secrets in recent Soviet history: Communism doesn't work.
The richest people in the world aren't particularly smart or happy. And the happiest people in the world aren't particularly smart or rich.… That leaves me making music. But we can't talk about that.
So much gets lost in the translation. Even if you sat there listening to it with a microscope, there's no way you're gonna find out what it means.
People make a lot of fuss about my kids having such supposedly 'strange names,' but the fact is that no matter what first names I might have given them, it is the last name that is going to get them in trouble.
I would say that today, dishonesty is the rule, and honesty the exception. It could be, statistically, that more people are honest than dishonest, but the few that really control things are not honest, and that tips the balance.
Believe it or not, there are places in the world where music is important. There are places in the world where all the arts are a matter of national pride.
Republicans stand for raw, unbridled evil and greed and ignorance smothered in balloons and ribbons.
On a personal level, Freaking Out is a process whereby an individual casts off outmoded and restricting standards of thinking, dress, and social etiquette in order to express creatively his relationship to his immediate environment and the social structure as a whole.
I think that if you use the so-called strong words you'll get your point across faster and you can save a lot of beating around the bush. Why are people afraid of words? Sometimes the dumbest thing that gets said makes the point for you.
Scientology, how about that? You hold on to the tin cans and then this guy asks you a bunch of questions, and if you pay enough money you get to join the master race. How's that for a religion ?
Okay, it was the Tree of Knowledge. You eat this apple; you're going to be as smart as God. We can't have that.
The people of your century no longer require the service of composers. A composer is as useful to a person in a jogging suit as a dinsoaur turd in the middle of his runway.
I want a steamy little Jewish Princess with over-worked gums, who squeaks when she cums. I don't want no troll, I just want a Yemenite hole.
Since I didn't have any kind of formal training, it didn't make any difference to me if I was listening to Lightnin' Slim, or a vocal group called the Jewels ... , or Webern, or Varèse, or Stravinsky. To me it was all good music.
The more you can escape from how horrible things really are, the less it's going to bother you...and then, the worse things get.
I have an important message to deliver to all the cute people all over the world. If you're out there and you're cute, maybe you're beautiful. I just want to tell you somethin' -- there's more of us UGLY MOTHERFUCKERS than you are, hey-y, so watch out.
I think the anti-smoking business is a yuppie invention-an extension of the concept that we'll always be young, rich, and healthy.
Guitar playing, as currently understood, has more to do with sports than it does to do with music. It's an Olympic challenge type of situation. The challenges are in the realm of speed, redundancy, choreography, and grooming... ...clouds of educated gnat-notes.
The Very Big Stupid is a thing which breeds by eating The Future. Have you seen it? It sometimes disguises itself as a good-looking quarterly bottom line, derived by closing the RandD department.
Power will be maintained by the groovy guy or gal who gets the most media coverage for his sleaze. Naturally, his friends in various businesses will do okay, too.
Scientists believe that the universe is made of hydrogen because they claim it's the most plentiful ingredient. I claim that the most plentiful ingredient is stupidity.
The whole music business in the United States is based on numbers, based on unit sales and not on quality. It's not based on beauty, it's based on hype and it's based on cocaine. It's based on giving presents of large packages of dollars to play records on the air.
I think that if a person doesn't feel cynical then they're out of phase with the 20th century. Being cynical is the only way to deal with modern civilization -- you can't just swallow it whole.
Modern music is people who can't think signing artists who can't write songs to make records for people who can't hear.
It would be easier to pay off the national debt overnight than to neutralise the long-range effects of our national stupidity.
I proceeded to take that mitten full of the deadly yellow snow crystals and rub it all into his beady little eyes with a vigorous circular motion.
Kid's heads are filled with so many nonfacts that when they get out of school they're totally unprepared to do anything. They can't read, they can't write, they can't think. Talk about child abuse. The U.S. school system as a whole qualifies.
When they dumped all these people out of the insane asylums they didn't all go sleep in the street. Some of them moved into suburbia, and started writing postcards to the FCC.
America was founded by the refuse of the religious fanatics of England, these undesirable elements that came over on the Mayflower. Ignorant, religious fanatics who land here and abuse the Indians.
Science is moving closer to weaponry, and Art is moving closer to commercialism. And never the twain shall meet.
Our criminal institutions are full of creeps like you who do wrong things, and many of them were driven to these crimes by the horrible force called music.
Anybody who wants religion is welcome to it, as far as I'm concerned -- I support your right to enjoy it. However, I would appreciate it if you exhibited more respect for the rights of those people who do not wish to share your dogma, rapture, or necrodestination.
The bassoon is one of my favorite instruments. It has a medieval aroma, like the days when everything used to sound like that. Some people crave baseball...I find this unfathomable, but I can easily understand why a person could get excited about playing the bassoon.
I like to watch the news, because I don't like people very much and when you watch the news ... if you ever had an idea that people were really terrible, you could watch the news and know that you're right.
You can't be a real country unless you have a beer.
You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline -- it helps if you have some kind of football team, or some nuclear weapons, but in the very least you need a beer.
If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.
Definition of rock journalism: People who can't write, doing interviews with people who can't think, in order to prepare articles for people who can't read.
My best advice to anyone who wants to raise a happy, mentally healthy child is: Keep him or her as far away from a church as you can.
Drop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mediocre educational system. Forget about the Senior Prom and go to the library and educate yourself if you've got any guts. Some of you like Pep rallies and plastic robots who tell you what to read.
Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture. The air in the performance is sculpted into something.
Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.
A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians.
You can't always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say, so sometimes you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream.
All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.
All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff...Basically what people want to hear is: I love you, you love me, the leaves turn brown, they fell off the trees, the wind is blowing, it got cold, you went away, my heart broke, you came back, and my heart was okay...Modern music is people who can't think signing artists who can't write songs to make records for people who can't hear. Most people wouldn't know good music if it came up and bit them on the ass...If lyrics make people do things, how come we don't love each other?
There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another.
It isn't necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia.
It isn't necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia. Eventually within the next quarter of a century, the nostalgia cycles will be so close together that people will not be able to take a step without being nostalgic for the one they just took. At that point, everything stops. Death by Nostalgia.
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