1985 January 24 - February 6
Vol. 3 No. 53
The Music Interview With Frank Zappa
By Bill Templeton, pp 6-9
It’s long been known that interviews are not one of your favorite activities.
Nobody in his right mind wants to be interviewed. The only person that likes the idea of being interviewed has got to be some kind of deranged egomaniac who thinks that everything that comes out of his mouth are splendid pearls of wisdom. The reality is, that when you’re subjected to an interview, you’re being used as a piece of meat for the aggrandizement of the guy who’s writing the thing because it’s his butt that’s on the line. He doesn’t care whether it’s you or the next schmo down the line. You are there for his amusement, and for the gratification of the person who is the editor of the publication. It’s just, some more crap to stick in the publication to fill up space so they can sell advertising.
In the last month you’ve released 4 different LPs. Now with your own record company, doesn’t releasing this many LPs in such a short period of time, defeat. the idea of selling records?
Well, let’s look at it realistically. If I was Billy Idol ... maybe. But every one of those albums is in a different style, it’s a different type of music. The Perfect Stranger has nothing to do with Francesco, which has nothing to do with Thingfish, which has nothing to do with Them Or Us. The reason the material is being made available is that the true fans that we have, not only want that much material, but they’ll still go out and even buy bootlegs on top of it. So why not provide the fans with what they want? If they want the good stuff….here it is…and if you don’t, leave it. (read more)
Why are you so interested in this record rating issue to spend this much time doing interviews – something you've never liked to do?
I don't do it because I've suddenly taken up some wonderful love for doing interviews, but I do happen to think that the Constitution is worth fighting for and I think that's what these people are screwing around with.
If I could, let me play devil's advocate on some of these points.
Sure, go ahead. I've heard 'em all. (read more)
Frank Zappa is patiently enduring what is now the second hour of a proposed "20-minute" phone interview when the conversation winds around to one of his favored topics of condemnation: organized religion. To be more specific, television evangelists, and Zappa's reaction to the just-breaking Jim Bakker/PTL sex scandal story.
"I've got CNN on now with the sound down and I've seen the story go by three times now. What happened?" he asked with a renewed interest in our conversation.
I began to fill him in on all the unsavory details: Tammy Faye's drug dependency, Jim's motel madness with a church lady, the cover-ups, blackmail money and the "friendly" takeover of Bakker's time-share ministry by Jerry Falwell, when Zappa began to quietly snicker. It was a sinister, self-appreciating laugh (an unwitting imitation of Dr. Paul Bearer's famed chortle) and Zappa's devious, though rarely exhibited, shit-eating grin was easily detectable despite over 2000 miles of telephone line. It was clearly evident... Zappa was pleased. (read more)