Do you get Frank Zappa ?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by johnny k, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. johnny k

    johnny k Friend of Leo's

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    after watching the steve vai interview, I tried to watch a few clips. As i do every once in a while with artists which i don t understand/ like, because sometimes it clicks in my brain and i start to enjoy the music.

    Well, today, i still don t get FZ. Do you ?
     
  2. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    Yep.

    I mean, what's not to get? ;):D

     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  3. Lies&Distortion

    Lies&Distortion Tele-Holic

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    Mostly.
    Do I like all of it? No
     
  4. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nope. But I probably haven't searched enough for something I DO like.
     
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  5. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Of course I "get" him. There's nothing challenging to "get" about him.

    There's a difference between "get" and "like." I simply don't like most of his music after Just Another Band From L.A. (the "Billy the Mountain" album). Before and including that? Sheer brilliance to me. (14 albums is a damned good run IMO.) The Mothers were freakin' hilarious. It's novelty music meets performance art meets comedy troupe meets pop meets really really good rock...and it makes fun of EVERYBODY. Yet another example, and perhaps the crowning one, of why L.A. was probably the best American rock/pop music city in the '60s.

    This is one of the problems with exploring music through "clips" in today's day and age. There is no chronology, organization, continuity, or integrity to what you sample. For instance, do you even know that recordings under the name "Frank Zappa" don't include most of his "classic" material? You wouldn't know that by just watching various "clips." In the classic period that I said I like, only three of "his" albums were solo albums. The rest were The Mothers of Invention. So if you look up "Frank Zappa" you miss most of the classic stuff. If you want to explore, start by listening to the Mothers, primarily. And try to listen with historical context in mind, thinking about all the crazy stuff that was going on in American culture and politics when those albums came out...so you can see how ruthlessly iconoclastic and anti-hip they were being.

    ...and on top of how hilarious and great his music is, he is also a ripping f-ing guitarist!



    I have always loved this too:

     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  6. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I “got” him very early on, for both him, and me.
    I would check his first Mothers albums out from the public library when I was in junior high school, circa 1969-70.
    I thought it was hilarious stuff.
    50’s doo wop falsetto parodies, odd sounding vocalists, etc.
    I thought it was comedic, subversive, and brilliant.
    As “we” aged, we grew apart.
    I like my music song-based, melodic, memorable, and simple.
    Frank’s deep intellect ran counter to my bone-headed riff-rock lovin’ teenage years.
    He was a great, brave and fiercely independent artist!
    RIP, sir.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  7. RottenTheCat

    RottenTheCat Tele-Meister

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    We used to play in Joe's garage.... I totally get Frank Zappa. It's like he's constantly flipping you off in an absurd way.
     
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  8. verb boten

    verb boten Tele-Holic

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    I think it's a mood thing, i have to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy Zappa.
     
  9. felis

    felis Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes.
     
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  10. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

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    Having seen him and the MOI in concert, he was an interesting performer.

     
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  11. Toadtele

    Toadtele Tele-Holic

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    No
     
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  12. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted

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    Heck yeah
     
  13. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted

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    One of my favorites since I first heard him around 1974. Saw him in concert 7 times and met him once on the street in San Francisco. As his band changed frequently as well as the prevailing musical style, one is tempted to ask "which one"? He's still one of my faves in spite of having about 20 LPs worth of stuff I never want to hear again. Like many artists, his most popular stuff is not his best work IMO.
     
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  14. steve v

    steve v Tele-Holic

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    I love FZ, but there is a chunk of his catalog I don't care to listen to. I guess the stuff I like, I really like.
     
  15. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    he's available in various flavors, depending where your tastes lie:



    suggest you start with Joes Garage, a very good album.
     
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  16. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    I still can't beleive he changed his name to Bjorn, bleached his hair and formed ABBA...

    what a game changer.
     
  17. steve v

    steve v Tele-Holic

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    I think Bongo Fury would be another good album to start with. Most of it is pretty accessible
     
  18. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    Frank can be a tough listen!

    LOTS of parody and social commentary mixed in with brilliant music. Unfortunately the comedy, which wasn't always so clever or funny, often over shadowed the music.

    And like Willie Nelson and Neil Young let their ego get the better of them and release twice as much as they should have, diluting their legacy..

    His peak was "One Size Fits All" which has a good mix and more concise songs.

    Try "One Size Fits All" and "Hot Rats" and if you feel no pain then dive in. Work backwards from "One Size Fits All".
     
  19. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Love Frank. And the Mothers.

    Can’t listen to it all the time. I like it in doses, when I’m in the mood for it. The man was absolutely brilliant, and not just musically.

    I have a great friend who says “I could never get into Zappa at all. I always felt like he was making fun of me.” I said “well... he was.”

    The great thing about Frank is that nothing and nobody were off limits. He was equal opportunity snark and sarcasm all the way.

    One of the most fun songs I ever played in a cover band was “Cosmic Debris”.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  20. Area51

    Area51 Tele-Meister

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    I like Zappa. If you want to see a great show, go see Zappa plays Zappa show. Just plain out awesome.

    I love Jazz, Jazz fusion, instrumental rock. To me, if you listen to the bulk of his work, this is what he does. So I get it and love it.

    I would also love to see Vai do a Jazz/Jazz fusion album. Govan has The Fellowship which is great stuff.
     
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