Frank Zappa: portrait of the artist as a businessman
Interview by Rob Partridge & Paul Phillips, 5 pp
THE first thing we want to establish is what the American music industry was like when you first recorded in the mid-sixties. Was it equipped to handle a band like the Mothers of Invention?
In the United States at the time the Mothers began, the top musical figures were the Beatles, Herman and the Hermits, the Byrds, Dave Clark and the Rolling Stones. Apart from the Byrds there wasn't much in the way of American acts. That was the general trend of the music business – nice attractive young lads playing attractive, pleasant, listenable semi-cosmic pop music. Most of the guys in the Mothers of Invention were unattractive old lads and we had an immediate merchandising problem. Consequently the public, because it was orientated to mass attractiveness, found it hard to project into our vibes. (read more)