Saturday Night Loud

By Jeff Silberman

Music Connection, 16 November 1978

[ ... ]

FRANK ZAPPA / THE MOTHERS October 21, 1978

The most logical choice for SNL. He, too, traverses the line between cutting sarcasm, sublime sit and crudeness in his humor, and he's not afraid to stick it to anyone or anything.

This was Zappa's second appearance on SNL, and true to his form, the band he had with him had some changes from his first band. Gone were gonzo drummer Terry Bozzio and keyboard/violinist Eddie Jobson ( ex-Roxy, now with UK). The sound was the same. Immaculately tight, complex material chock full of fragmented rhythms and melodies.

The effort was a mixed bag. TV speakers just don't do justice to the kind of music Zappa can create. On the other hand, when he sang/spoke, he was very effective at staring into the camera, so it would seem like Zappa was personally talking to you; cutting you down on the way you run your life, or in that case, the way your life runs you. Some of his observations really hit home.

It's really amazing how an artist like Zappa can continue to castigate the mass consumer record biz and the mass buying public for such a long time and still be reasonably successful. This says something about the music industry. If it was run like television, artists like Frank Zappa would be cancelled after a few weeks.

[ ... ]