Derelict Junction

Providing missile launch codes for foreign cryptographers everywhere.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Things that give me joy, #1284


Frank Zappa, specifically Joe's Garage, Sheik Yerbouti, Apostrophe, and Overnight Sensation. I can't listen to this stuff constantly, but every few years I pull out the CD's and just giggle myself into oblivion.

If you like anything about Spinal Tap, you'll love Frank. Not the jam-sessions, but the goofy songs, the ones you know he did solely to test the limits of free speech. Frank was a master of pop music who liked nothing more than to parody it. After a few listens, it's clear he could have had a prosperous pop career, but he chose to write about having sex with bread loafs, poop-shoots, transvestite castration, eating yellow snow, Jewish Princesses & Catholic Girls.

One of my favorite memories of Frank is seeing him testify before the Congressional Hearing on Music Obscenity in the late 80's. He testified side-by-side with John Denver and Dee Snider of Twisted Sister (who would have thought Dee would out-live the other two?). I always thought, while Denver and Snider were testifying for idealistic reasons, Frank did it so his body of work wouldn't be declared illegal and thrown in a vault somewhere.

By far, my favorite Zappa CD is Joe's Garage. It's a double CD that tell the story of an all-American boy from Canoga Park California who forms a band, goes on tour, catches gonorrhea from a fembot tour groupie, has a sexual affair with a gay German kitchen appliance, gets imprisoned by the state for practicing music (which has been outlawed), and finally goes insane, listening to illegal music in his head. -Take that Walt Disney!

Sadly, Frank died Dec. 4th, 1993 of prostate cancer. Here's a couple of statues in Europe of him, where he's considered a demigod...

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