Zappa's New Album Spoofs Local Scene

By Headley Gritter

Music Connection, January, 1981

The irrepressible Frank Zappa is about to launch his next tirade at the unprotected underbelly of the music industry. At his recent Santa Monica Civic performances [1] he unveiled a few of the dittys to grace his upcoming album – due for release in early March.

Zappa’s difficulties with various record companies have dimmed his view of the industry and its appendages, or perhaps, bestowed a rare insight into its machinations. His exit from Warner Bros. was accompanied by an exchange of suits, and his marriage to Phonogram ended abruptly when they refused to release his single “I Don’t Wanna Get Drafted.”

The new album will debut his very own Barking Pumpkin label, to be distributed, barring any last minute collisions, by C.B.S.

The new material contains a Zappa-eye view of the local music scene. The title track, “Tinsel Town Rebellion,” indicates his attitude:

“So they go off to SIR.
To learn some stupid riffs
And practice all their poses
In between their powder sniffs
And when they think they’ve got it
They launch their new career
Who gives a fuck, if what they play
Is somewhat insincere”

Apart from local bands and the industry which controls them, Zappa also seized on the opportunity to ingratiate himself with the new powers that be, in “Heavenly Bank Account”:

“He’s got twenty million dollars
In his Heavenly Bank Account
All from those chumps who was
Born Again

The concert itself was incredible, with Zappa determined to avoid the familiar and concentrate on an album that can’t even be bought for three months. The audience loved every minute of it, demanding and receiving three encores.

1. December 11, 1980, 2 shows at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Zappateers tracker

Read by OCR software. If you spot errors, let me know afka (at)