The Movement Toward A New America
Mitchell Goodman

Pilgrim Press, Philadelphia/Alfred A. Knopke, New York
ISBN 0-394-70944-6
752 pp, paperback, 28 x 23 cm

A compendium of documents from the 1960s. Includes Frank Zappa thoughts on  pp 377-378, a copy from Rock And Other Four Letter Words.

I think that as far as music in America today is concerned, rock is probably the most vital, most alive sort of music, but it doesn't know what the hell it's doing most of the time ... I'm not on intimate terms with most other groups, but the ones I do talk to don't seem to really know what music is. They don't have an aesthetic understanding about what or why they compose. They simply don't get into it on that level. They're concerned with this attitude of 'Doing their thing' – whatever the fuck that is supposed to mean! Probably what they finally do is much better than what they are, if you know what I mean. Because they don't have the equipment or the background to really develop themselves on an aesthetic level. For me it's different. I care a great deal about music; all kinds of music. And I have helped, I really think that I've helped to turn some kids on to some of the important music they may be missing. You see, when I was a kid I used to save up for a month, so I could get an R & B album and, the same day, the completed works of Anton Webern. Maybe that means something. Maybe that tells you something about my music. So if they think it's all weirdness, well, okay, as long as they listen to it. At least they know I'm alive.


You also have to take some notice of the way rock has changed the public's ear. You know, it was pretty rough to expect most people to listen to a recorder or a Bach trumpet and that sort of instrument. For some reason it takes exposure for us to get into the sound of various instruments, let alone electronic music. We have made a lot of progress. Let's face it, kids are listening to the classical string quartet without suffering. That's pretty heavy stuff. It's like in the olden days they used to think atonally; that any chord and any key was okay ... at one time that was very advanced theory. Then they said that it was no longer necessary to even think about key at all. We'll just treat all 12 tones equally. But they didn't really do much to the space between the notes: they kept a pretty austere view of rhythm. Some of the things I write have all kinds of chords within keys that nobody expected to find there, and there are other things, some of the things we use don't even make use of what you call noise. For me the art of composition is the art of assembling anything. The packaging is to a certain extent an extension of the work itself. If a person who gets one of our products in their home has enough perspective to sit back and view the whole package – well, I think he would find some pretty revolutionary ideas.