Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Journalism Degree + Shithead = Owen Adams at The Guardian

I apologize in advance if this particular entry seems esoteric in nature. It mainly concerns the interests of Frank Zappa's fans versus the Zappa Family Trust. Hopefully at least 90% of the material explains itself.

This article in The Guardian by one Owen Adams was linked from my friends at killuglyradio.com.

Since the actual website didn't allow for a direct comment without registration, I commented on the Kill Ugly Radio blog.

But first, here's what I would have said in response to his article:
"I must first ask you how much the Zappa Family Trust (read: Gail) paid you to write this article. You are propagating an improper image of her as this weary rock widow who feels threatened by hordes of sub-Mongoloid fans, the fans who are fighting her tooth and nail to maintain a true portrait of Frank Zappa. A more accurate depiction of Ms. Zappa would involve a broomstick and possibly a cauldron.
Moreover, you clearly don't know shit from Shinola about Frank's attitude toward fan tribute bands. He was nothing less than flattered, while Gail - who had no real contribution to her husband's work - sees them as a financial threat to her organization. She must, otherwise she wouldn't have been serving tribute bands fronted by ex-Zappa band members (Project/Object, Ugly Radio Rebellion) with Cease and Desist letters.
Shame on you, Mr. Adams, for presenting a point of view that is harmful to the legacy of one of the greatest composers of the Twentieth Century, if not the holder of that title. Your article has only served to misinform the considerably higher numbers of readers you have in comparison to the blogs and sites maintained by Zappa's real fans.
Shame on you for making the claim that tribute bands are in violation of Frank's idea of 'conceptual continuity.' The ability to read one's mind does not exist in 2008, nor did it exist prior to December 4th, 1993, so don't even dare to claim you know what would or would not be in sync with 'the Big Note.'
Shame on you, Mr. Adams, for comparing Frank Zappa to Ron Paul. And double shame on you for using that chance to provide a link to Ron Paul's campaign website.
And lastly, shame on you, Mr. Adams, for even remotely giving off the vibe that you are a fan of Frank Zappa's music.
At least you are quick to admit all this legal drama detracts from what is most important: his music. Unfortunately, the Zappa fans who see through Ms. Zappa's various crocks of shit know the real threat to the preservation of Frank Zappa and his works aren't cover bands, they aren't statues, they aren't fan festivals, and they aren't even bootleggers (a topic worthy of a small book in itself) - it's his wife, it's his son, and it's anybody who thinks Dweezil has more of a right to play Frank's music with Zappa Plays Zappa than Ike Willis with Ugly Radio Rebellion or Napoleon Murphy Brock with Project/Object...or most heinously, the members of the original Mothers Of Invention in their own group, The Grandmothers.

And here's my blog comment:
"Has anyone entertained the idea that maybe they NEED the money? Think about it.

This Owen Adams was a right prick, starting off with “What is there not to hate about tribute bands?” Smug little shit, isn’t he?

Tribute bands exist for the fans - I was born seven years after John Lennon was murdered, and some 17 years after The Beatles’ last recording session. But I have seen two separate Beatles cover bands, and they were fantastic. One even did rarities they only did while at the Cavern or in Hamburg.

While watching them, I marveled at how much they sounded like the original, but I never thought to myself, “Oh, well, this is so much better.” Not in a million years. I went home and put on a Beatles album.

Adams misses the point: cover bands, whether it’s The Beatles, Zappa, WHOEVER, exist for the fans. I liked hearing “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” when ZPZ did it, but nothing trumps The Mothers’ version - no Jimmy Carl, no Ray, no Roy…

The article was published in a mainstream outlet such as the Guardian to win the uneducated masses over to GZ and her pitiful little cause. Compare the number of people who will read that piece of shit’s heartless tirade against the “laughably bad monument in Germany” with the number of people who will investigate the truth.

Quoth the master:
“I am gross and perverted
I’m obsessed ‘n deranged
I have existed for years
But very little has changed
I’m the tool of the Government
And industry too
For I am destined to rule
And regulate you”
- "I'm The Slime," Over-Nite Sensation, 1973

Seems the ZFT are in cahoots with the very entities that Frank despised.

Meanwhile the only option we, the true fans of Frank’s music and his legacy, have are sites being threatened with C&D letters - and for what? Posting thumbnails of FZ’s album covers, AM-radio quality bootlegs (at NO cost - the digital equivalent of tape-swapping), and thinking the whole Freak Out! Ale was the stupidest thing since Joe’s Domage. Oh, wait…that was them, too.

Has anyone noticed at the z-pp-.com site they now boast the featuring of bootlegs on the streaming radio? How’s that for adding insult to injury?

We just have to keep on fighting, telling our Zappa-loving friends what’s really up, and always be quick to point out that both Jimmy Carl Black and Ike Willis hate this old battle-ax (JCB referred to her almost explicitly as “that wench”); that ought to speak for something.

Everyone else, from Owen Adams to the Zappa fans who rabidly support Gail? Sit back, sip your Freak Out! ale, tune in to Zappa Radio as they feature the Beat The Boots material, and rub one out while watching ‘Does Humor Belong In Music?,’ paying no mind to the blank spaces on your DVD shelves reserved for ‘Uncle Meat,’ ‘200 Motels,’ and ‘The Roxy Concert.’"

Sick of seeing the legacy of the idol of his youth sullied to no end,


shelley said...

I agree that Adams was heavily paid to write that article. Oh and the Ron Paul comparison? My god.

How are tribute bands NOT for the fans? For both the young and the old fans? That guy's an idiot.

Freon P. Sandoz said...

I find the Ron Paul comparison spot on. I can remember the first time I saw the wiry little fucker at Balloon Farm coming out and saying "Hello boys and girls," and getting this creepy vibe that Mr. Green Genes wasn't the nicest neighbor. I still refuse to concede that someone else needs to rule me, and voting was Frank's way of sloughing off responsibility for the inevitable ovens to someone else.

Of course, I'm significantly older than FZ when he died, meaninglessly, like everyone, and I continue to battle with his ignorant economic, political, and philosophical postures, but it is not the fault of Frank's irrelevantly aging Pumpkin that FZT is so deserving of a dirty bomb.

He created those assholes, and it does not do a disservice to his music to starve those assholes out. Let them take up arms. Fuck the lawyers. Lawyers are not protected by the endangered species act. Like psychologists, psychiatrists, and guidance counsellors, they will provide protein as needed as we move towards a society looking for watermelons in Easter Hay.

That's my opinion. See it on cave walls throughout the NOMF™.

Fuck the Zombie Woof. Fuck the Slime. Fuck human decency.

Fuck Tipper Gore, who apparently plays drums with Diva.

Fuck you and all your friends and acquaintances.

None of these people have any shame.


BTW, I actually played The Grand Wazoo and Lump Gravy in elementary and middle schools in Fort Mill and Lancaster, South Carolina, and only got fired for reading my own poetry at the regional campus of the University of South Carolina.

Those fucking worthless Gamecocks.

Sniff it.