Friday, June 3, 2011

Frank Zappa Quotes

Frank Vincent Zappa 
December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993)

"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."
o Liner notes for the album Freak Out! (27 June 1966)


"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. Forget I mentioned it. This song has no message. Rise for the flag salute."
o Liner notes for the album Freak Out! (27 June 1966)

"The things that were happening in 1955 were cosmic ... in terms of music history."
o Interview (5 March 1969), broadcast on Pop Chronicles,

"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?"
o Concert address to audience at the Rockpile, Toronto (May 1969)

"I consider that the building materials are exactly the same as what anybody else makes the thing out of. It's just the way they look at those materials is perhaps a narrower perspective. Time and those waves are at the disposal of anyone who wants to use them."
o As quoted in No Commercial Potential : The Saga of Frank Zappa (1972) by David Walley, p. 3

"I think it's really tragic when people get serious about stuff. It's such an absurdity to take anything really seriously ... I make an honest attempt not to take anything seriously: I worked that attitude out about the time I was eighteen, I mean, what does it all mean when you get right down to it, what's the story here? Being alive is so weird."
o As quoted in No Commercial Potential : The Saga of Frank Zappa (1972) by David Walley, p. 4

"Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is the best…"
o Lyrics to the song Packard Goose on the album Joe's Garage: Act III (19 November 1979)

"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."
o The Dub Room Special (1982)

"Being interviewed is one of the most abnormal things that you can do to somebody else. It's two steps removed from the Inquisition."
o Interview on Channel 4 (1 June 1983) - YouTube video

"I don't give a fuck if they remember me at all."
o Interview on Nationwide (1 July 1983) - YouTube video

"I'm probably more famous for sitting on the toilet than for anything else that I do."
o Interview on Nationwide (1 July 1983)

"I'll tell you what classical music is, for those of you who don't know. Classical music is this music that was written by a bunch of dead people a long time ago. And it's formula music, the same as top forty music is formula music. In order to have a piece be classical, it has to conform to academic standards that were the current norms of that day and age ... 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."
o Cocaine Decisions (1983)

"Their stupidity does not amaze me, its when they're smart that amazes me. It's baffling whenever you find someone who's smart — incredible. Soon you'll have zoos for such things."
o When asked what amazes him about people, in an interview with Grace Slick on Rockplace (11 February 1984) - YouTube video

"A wise man once said, "never discuss philosophy or politics in a disco environment."
o Interview with Grace Slick on Rockplace (11 February 1984)

"When God created Republicans, he gave up on everything else."
o Appearance on Thicke of the Night (28 April 1984)

"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."
o Appearance on Thicke of the Night (28 April 1984)

"The rock and roll business is pretty absurd, but the world of serious music is much worse."
o Interview on London Plus (24 September 1984) - YouTube video

"I have four children, and I want them to grow up in a country that has a working First Amendment."
o Appearance on CBS Morning News (18 September 1985) - YouTube video

"The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with somebody else's life."
o In response to Joe Walsh on The Howard Stern Show (1987)

"The first thing you have to do if you want to raise nice kids, is you have to talk to them like they are people instead of talking to them like they're property."
o Appearance on The Howard Stern Show (1987)

"Let's not be too rough on our own ignorance; it's what makes America great!"
o A appearance on The Tonight Show (29 June 1988)

"The essence of Christianity is told to us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the Tree of Knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your fucking mouth shut and hadn't asked any questions."
o Interview in Playboy (2 May 1993)

"The more boring a child is, the more the parents, when showing off the child, receive adulation for being good parents — because they have a tame child-creature in their house."
o "Ben Watson interviews Frank Zappa", in MOJO magazine (October 1993)

"Rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, in order to provide articles for people who can't read."
o "Ben Watson interviews Frank Zappa", in MOJO magazine (October 1993)

"Take the Kama Sutra. How many people died from the Kama Sutra, as opposed to the Bible? Who wins?"
o Late Night Special BBC (1993); the American version this documentary was presented on A&E Biography

"Tobacco is my favorite vegetable."
o Interview on the Today Show NBC (1993)

1 comment:

  1. Love this one: "Tobacco is my favorite vegetable."

    Didn't know he said this on his deathbed. Classic

    http://bensommer.com/blog/frank-zappa-quotes-on-music-and-politics/

    ReplyDelete