Barry Miles

Cassell Illustrated, London
ISBN 978-1844032693
384 pp, hardcover, 22,5 x 19,5

Sterling, New York
ISBN 978-1-4027-2873-0
384 pp, paperback, 22,5 x 19,5 cm

The only Zappa reference is pages 138-139, containing a photo and paid aid from LA Free Press. But this text by Frank Zappa is well-known and referenced many times in other books and writings.

This is about the Mothers of Invention. We have watched them grow and with their growth, we hopefully have grown. Their honesty has offended some and been provocative to many, but in any case, their performances have had a real effect on their audiences.

The Mothers’ music is very new, and as their music is new, so is the intention of their music. As much as the Mothers put into their music; we must bring to it. The Mothers, and what they represent as a group has attracted all of the outcasts, the pariahs, the people who are angry and afraid and contemptuous of the existing social structure. The danger lies in the ‘Freak Out’ becoming an excuse instead of a reason. An excuse implies an end, a reason a beginning. Being that the easiest way is consistently more attractive than the harder way, the essential thing that makes the ‘Freak Out’ audiences different constitutes their sameness. A freak is not a freak if ALL are freaks. ‘Freaking Out’ should presuppose an active freedom, freedom meaning a liberation from the control of some other person or persons. Unfortunately, reaction seems to have taken place of action. We SHOULD be as satisfied listening to the Mothers perform from a concert stage. If we could channel the energy expended in ‘Freaking Out’ physically into ‘Freaking Out’ intellectually, we might possibly be able to create something concrete out of the ideological twilight of bizarre costumes and being see being bizarre. Do we really listen? And if we really listen, do we really think? Freedom of thought, conversely, brings an awesome responsibility. Looking and acting eccentric IS NOT ENOUGH.

A mad tea-party is valid only as satire, commenting ironically, and ending in its beginning, in that it is only a trick of interpretation. It is not creation, and it IS NOT ENOUGH.

What WE must try to do then, is not only comment satirically on what’s wrong, but try to CHANGE what’s wrong. The Mothers are trying.


Where Aquarius Went by Christopher Hitchens
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