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Frank Zappa (Musician)

Time and those waves are at the disposal of anyone who wants to use them
Frank Zappa want
Their stupidity does not amaze me, its when they're smart that amazes me.
Frank Zappa art
I have four children, and I want them to grow up in a country that has a working
Frank Zappa children
The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with somebody else's life.
Frank Zappa life
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.
Frank Zappa people
To me, absurdity is the only reality.
Frank Zappa reality
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.
Frank Zappa men
If your children ever find out how lame you really are, they’ll murder you in your sleep.
Frank Zappa children
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.
Frank Zappa education
My solos are speech-influenced rhythmically; and harmonically, they're either pentatonic, or poly-scale oriented. And there's the mixolydian mode that I also use a lot...But I'm more interested in melodic things I think the biggest challenge when you go to play a solo is trying to invent a melody on the spot.
Frank Zappa you
The things that were happening in 1955 were cosmic ... in terms of music history.
Frank Zappa history
, 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?
Frank Zappa religion
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.
Frank Zappa perspective
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.
Frank Zappa time
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.
Frank Zappa you
Being interviewed is one of the most abnormal things that you can do to somebody else. It's two steps removed from the Inquisition.
Frank Zappa body
I'm probably more famous for sitting on the toilet than for anything else that I do.
Frank Zappa
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.
Frank Zappa time
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.
Frank Zappa art
A wise man once said, "never discuss philosophy or politics in a disco environment."
Frank Zappa philosophy
When God created Republicans, he gave up on everything else.
Frank Zappa create
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.
Frank Zappa people
The rock and roll business is pretty absurd, but the world of serious music is much worse.
Frank Zappa music
Let's not be too rough on our own ignorance; it's what makes America great!
Frank Zappa ignorance
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.
Frank Zappa good
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.
Frank Zappa art
Take the Kama Sutra. How many people died from the Kama Sutra, as opposed to the Bible? Who wins?
Frank Zappa people
Tobacco is my favorite vegetable.
Frank Zappa
Recorded March 9–12, 1966, released 27 June 1966
Frank Zappa
So I'm watchin' and I'm waitin' Hopin' for the best Even think I'll go to prayin' Every time I hear 'em sayin' That there's no way to delay That trouble comin' every day No way to delay That trouble comin' every day
Frank Zappa time
Hey, you know something people? I'm not black, But there's a whole lots a times I wish I could say I'm not white.
Frank Zappa time
And it's the same across the nation Black and white discrimination Yellin' "You can't understand me!" 'N all that other jazz they hand me In the papers and TV and All that mass stupidity That seems to grow more every day Each time you hear some nitwit say He wants to go and do you in Because the color of your skin Just don't appeal to him (No matter if it's black or white) Because he's out for blood tonight
Frank Zappa time
Watch out where the huskies go, and don't you eat that yellow snow.
Frank Zappa you
Recorded 1969 - 1974, Released 22 March 1974
Frank Zappa
Look here brother, who you jivin' with that cosmik debris?
Frank Zappa you
Recorded 8 - 10 December 1973, 8 & 11 May 1974; Released 10 September 1974
Frank Zappa
Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny.
Frank Zappa funny
You're an asshole! You're an asshole! That's right! You're an asshole! You're an asshole! Yes yes! You might pretend you ain't got one on the bottom of you!
Frank Zappa you
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…
Frank Zappa love
I can’t see any authority on the horizon that’s got any answers that seem worthwhile. Most of the things that are suggested are probably detrimental to your mental health.
Frank Zappa men
Certification from one source or another seems to be the most important thing to people all over the world. … People are just waiting around to get certified.
Frank Zappa people
Just because somebody hears something you say, or reads something that you write, doesn’t mean you’ve reached them.
Frank Zappa body
Everything on this planet has something to do with music. Music functions in the realm of sculptured air.
Frank Zappa music
You know, people are basically shitty. It’s when they prove it over and over again that it gets obnoxious.
Frank Zappa people
We live in a very special time right now. At no other time in history has there been such mass disillusionment in terms of reliance on governing functions. Most people don’t want to come to terms with that. It’s been proven over and over again that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes, but most people don’t like to look at naked emperors. In the process of turning around to avert their eyes, they saw the discotheques and a few other things and latched onto them.
Frank Zappa time
There’s no reason to assume that my idea of what‘s better would really be better. I resent it when other people try to inflict their ideas of betterness on me. I don’t think they know. And I can’t see any authority on the horizon that’s got any answers that seem worthwhile. Most of the things that are suggested are probably detrimental to your mental health.
Frank Zappa people
Certification from one source or another seems to be the most important thing to people all over the world. A piece of paper from a school that says you’re smart, a pat on the head from your parents that says you’re good or some reinforcement from your peers that makes you think what you’re doing is worthwhile. People are just waiting around to get certified.
Frank Zappa art
The lifestyle that I have is probably neither desirable nor useful to most people. Most people are probably better off getting the certification they desire and spindling their lives away the way they’re doing. I don’t think they’d enjoy living any other way. There are millions of people who acquire all sorts of wonderful feelings from watching a football game and drinking a bottle of beer. It makes them really happy. Doesn’t do shit for me. But for them it’s life itself. As long as they can believe in the beer and the football, then they’ve really got something. And it’s probably more useful to them than religion. So why take it away? Why tell them what’s really going on? Let ’em be happy.
Frank Zappa life
If a person wants to write music and lyrics, he has a perfect right to express his views on a certain subject. I would feel wrong if I were to express anything that I didn’t believe in. 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.
Frank Zappa music
Just because somebody hears something you say, or reads something that you write, doesn’t mean you’ve reached them. With reading comprehension being what it is in the U. S., you can safely toss that one out the window. If you want to judge by the listening habits of people who buy records, the first thing they do is put it on and talk over it.
Frank Zappa reading
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.
Frank Zappa you
People have preposterous ideas about what those songs are about and what the music means. They start spouting all this shit that’s so far off the mark, it’s revolting. But if that’s how they derive pleasure, who am I to deprive them of it? Let ’em enjoy it. It’s there for their edification. But total comprehension is out of the question.
Frank Zappa art
The U.S. is a mere pup tent of a civilization. We’ve got two hundred years of stupidity behind us and we think we’re right up there with everyone else who’s been doing it for thousands of years.
Frank Zappa stupidity
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.
Frank Zappa art
Everything on this planet has something to do with music. Music functions in the realm of sculptured air. Polluted as our atmosphere might be, air is the thing that makes music work. Since all other things that occur in the sound domain are transmitted to the ear through that swirling mass, depending on how wide you want to make your definition, you could perceive quite a bit of human experience in terms of music.
Frank Zappa music
I think the music of the Fifties is really good. I suspect it’s much better musically than much of what’s available now. Not in terms of production, but in terms of content. One good believable song about some guy’s girlfriend and how they broke up — a sincere one — is better than twenty albums of English rock that’s ever been produced.
Frank Zappa music
Recorded July - September, 1980, released 23 September 1981
Frank Zappa
Remember there's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.
Frank Zappa end
Beauty is a pair of shoes that makes you wanna die.
Frank Zappa you
After all, he wrote this book here, and in the book it 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.
Frank Zappa book
There are three things that smell of fish. One of them is fish. The other two are growing on you!
Frank Zappa you
You say your life's a bum deal 'n yer up against the wall. Well, people, you ain't even got no deal at all. 'Cause what they do in Washington. They just takes care of Number One. An' Number One ain't you. You ain't even Number Two!
Frank Zappa life
On Ventura, there she goes She just bought some bitch'n clothes…
Frank Zappa
Shes a valley girl In a clothing store Okay, fine... Fer sure, fer sure.
Frank Zappa girl
On Ventura, there she goes She just bought some bitch'n clothes Tosses her head n flips her hair She got a whole bunch of nothin in there
Frank Zappa
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?
Frank Zappa people
Appearance on , CNN (1986) -
Frank Zappa
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.
Frank Zappa time
I'm a conservative, and you might not like that, but I am, and the fact of the matter is, this bill that they're talking about in Maryland is stupid.
Frank Zappa you
Do you think you are protecting somebody by taking away seven words?
Frank Zappa words
Tell you what — Kiss my ass! How do you like that…?
Frank Zappa you
Why should I smile when I'm sitting here with you?
Frank Zappa smile
The biggest threat to America today is not . It's moving America toward a, and everything that's happened during theadministration is steering us right down that pipe ... I really think that. … When you have a government that prefers a certain moral code derived from a certain religion and that moral code turns into legislation to suit one certain religious point of view, and if that code happens to be very, very right wing, almost towardthe Hun...
Frank Zappa religion
1988 interview by Kurt Loder for Rolling Stone Magazine, republished in Loder's book "Bat Chain Puller" Loder, Kurt (2002). . Cooper Square Press. pp. 408.
Frank Zappa book
I've smoked ten marijuana cigarettes in my life, and probably the last time I had one near my face was twelve, fifteen years ago. And the reason I did was because, since I do smoke, people would say, "Here, smoke this, you'll get high." So I smoked it, and it gave me a sore throat and made me sleepy. And I must either presume that that's what high means, or something was wrong. But I've never had a positive result from smoking marijuana. It just wasn't my cup of tea. And I never used LSD, never used cocaine, never used heroin or any of that other stuff.
Frank Zappa life
I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.
Frank Zappa universe
Co-written with Peter Occhiogrosso
Frank Zappa wit
Gail has said in interviews that one of the things that makes our relationship work is the fact that we hardly ever get to talk to each other.
Frank Zappa work
For the record, folks; I never took a shit on stage and the closest I ever came to eating shit anywhere was at a Holiday Inn buffet in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1973.
Frank Zappa evil
The ...I find this unfathomable, but I can easily understand why a person could get excited about playing the bassoon.
Frank Zappa play
A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians.
Frank Zappa music
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.
Frank Zappa work
Some scientists claim that , 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.
Frank Zappa universe
We're not talking light-hearted foolishness here - when we go for stupid we go for BIG STUPID - like people who shoot at you on the freeway, or the Rambos and Rambo-ettes who blow people away in shopping malls and fast-food restaurants with automatic weapons.
Frank Zappa art
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. Children are naive - they trust everyone. School is bad enough, but, if you put a child anywhere in the vicinity of a church, you're asking for trouble.
Frank Zappa men
The creation and destruction of harmonic and 'statistical' tensions is essential to the maintenance of compositional drama. Any composition (or improvisation) which remains consistent and 'regular' throughout is, for me, equivalent to watching a movie with only "good guys" in it, or eating cottage cheese.
Frank Zappa good
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.
Frank Zappa music
If you wind up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on TV telling you how to do your shit, then YOU DESERVE IT.
Frank Zappa life
There is no hell. There is only France.
Frank Zappa hell
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.
Frank Zappa people
Quotes of Zappa in W. C. Privy's Original Bathroom Companion (2003) by Jack Mingo and Erin Barrett, p. 134
Frank Zappa quotes
Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.
Frank Zappa art
There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something, we'd all love one another.
Frank Zappa love
The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.
Frank Zappa random
Without deviation, progress is not possible.
Frank Zappa progress
Communism doesn't work because people like to own stuff.
Frank Zappa people
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. Everybody believes in something and everybody, by virtue of the fact that they believe in something, use that something to support their own existence.
Frank Zappa people
The lessons learnt in the '60s about merchandising stupidity to the American public on a large scale have been used over and over again since that time.
Frank Zappa time
Recorded 9–12 March 1966, released 5 December 2006
Frank Zappa
The '60s was really stupid ... It was a type of merchandising, Americans had this hideous weakness, they had this desire to be OK, fun guys and gals, and they haven't come to terms with the reality of the situation: we were not created equal. Some people can do carpentry, some people can do mathematics, some people are brain surgeons and some people are winos and that's the way it is, and we're not all the same. This concept of one world-ism, everything blended and smoothed out to this mediocre norm that everybody downgrades themselves to be is stupid. The '60s was merchandised to the public at large... My pet theory about the '60s is that there is a sinister plot behind it... The lessons learnt in the '60s about merchandising stupidity to the American public on a large scale have been used over and over again since that time.
Frank Zappa time

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