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Frank Zappa

Today’s entry consists of excerpts from my journal when I was living alone in Brussels in fall of 2002 working on The Lifebox, the Seashell and the Soul, supported by a grant from the Flemish Academy of Arts and Sciences. I’m inspired to paste them in because I got an email from a fellow Frank Zappa and SF fan from the UK, a guy called Gamma. Gamma sent me a picture of himself licking his poodle; poodles being an important symbol in the Zappa canon. I met Gamma in 1979 when I went to Seacon in Brighton to hawk my just-finished novel White Light.

N.B. This picture is of Gamma, not of Rudy Rucker.



Soft wah wah wah of flashback to 2002…

After I came home on Friday I bought a portable CD player and a couple of solid powered speakers, got the whole package for about “100, from a Maghrebien (which is what they call North Africans, as in “Ah, Sylvia, ma petite Maghrebienne,”) guy who only had about twenty objects in his store; I would have gone to the “Palais de Electricit” across the street that seemed to have bit wider selection, but they were closed and I really wanted to hear that warm friendly mellifluous Zappa voice, rather than going home to a Friday night all alone, and with no plans for dinner out. I’d already bought two Zappa records two days before in Leuven, where I’d also seen a CD/powered-speakers combo for about the same price as these. Dear Frank. It was so good to hear him. The speakers are great. I wonder if my neighbors are going to mind the noise, it’s hard to judge.

This morning I did Yoga for a half hour to Zappa, it was great, so much better than doing Yoga to the dippy yipping & drum machine that’s on some of the Yoga CDs we hear at our studio back home. I really worked out on “Disco Boy.”


Bought a third Zappa record. I can’t really justify buying anyone else. It's a low-priced sampler disk, Son of Cheap Thrills, I play it a lot. I’ve gotta get Cheap Thrills as well. They’re only “10 each, unlike his normal disks. Rykodisk just put them out to help hook people in the FZ universe. They have some songs I never heard on his late albums I never got. “Whets New in Baltimore” has this great soaring, lush, romantic guitar solo. Unlike his “greatest hits” compilation Strictly Commercial, I can listen to this more difficult but rewarding disk over and over. I’m still doing yoga to Zappa almost every morning. A high point of each day. I finished reading the Neil Slaven biography of Frank that I picked up here.

Frank really let the news get to him in his later years, obsessing over the evils of the Reagan-Bush admins and the televangelists. Watching C-SPAN whenever he wasn’t working. I always want to fight the trap of having my mind run by the news, of being eternally in reaction to what the Pig is putting out, as then The Man owns my mind as surely as if were agreeing with Him. It’s an effort not to let the news eat me, of course, as it’s comfortable to read the paper every morning, or catch the TV news, and people talk about that stuff to you.

Listened to Zappa's Joe's Garage a lot today, picked that up in Rotterdam, they had endless open stores, the town like a free port shopping mall. Though at first I thought the album ( a double CD no less ) sucked, it's growing on me. Like funnnnngus. Can’t get “Catholic Girls” outta my head. And this woman Terry Bozio does some great lines in “Crew Slut.”

Writing this I’m listening to Zappa sing a beautiful doo-wop song called “He’s So Gay.” With the great Four-Seasons-style soprano in the background singing the descant. It’s not quite clear if the song is homophobic or gay-friendly. “He’s so gay. He’s okay. Maybe later we’ll all be gay.” There's a good video of it on Zappa's DVD, Does Humor Belong in Music.

4 Responses to “Frank Zappa”

  1. Mike Sherwood Says:

    We just added a Mother’s Day tribute to Frank Zappa and the Mothers. Check it out.
    Underground Acid Rock Freakout Music – 2.8.69 – Miami
    Directly From My Heart To You – 7.20.69 – ‘Weasels Rip My Flesh’
    My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama – 2.10.69 – ‘Weasels Rip My Flesh’
    Let’s Make The Water Turn Black – 10.67 – ‘WOIIFTM’
    Peaches en Regalia – 7.29.69 – ‘Hot Rats’ album
    Later That Night – 2.14.68 – ‘Ruben & the Jets’ album
    Orange County Lumber Truck – 10.28.68 – London, England
    Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance – 10.31.78 – Instrumental
    Goblin Girl – 9.1.81 – ‘You Are What You Is’ album
    Pygmy Twylite – 9.22.74 – Helsinki, Finland
    Doreen – 6.26.82 – Munich, Germany
    Muffin Man – 11.23.84 – Chicago, Illinois
    Music listened to by Oregon winemakers
    What’s playing this month at Sub Rosa
    Musical archives at Sub Rosa underground wine bar
    Cocktail music from trip hop to dub

  2. gamma Says:

    this is realer or is it not a reel

  3. Gamma Says:

    more stupity than the empty space in atoms not notes

  4. Gamma Says:

    yesterday according to the Bobs book of Saints MAY DAY was St. Frank Zappa Day – Hofmann died at 102 a good innings?


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