Ecolibrium Interviews


Ecolibrium Interviews was one of many publications issued by (now defunct) community Zendik Farm. (see also Zendik Tribe). This zine was an all interview magazine with no ads. Community members interviewed artists, scientists and activists (Frank Zappa, Martin Sheen, Edward Abbey, Dr. Michio Kaku, Dr. Fritjof Capra, Bill Mollison etc.). The total number of issues is unknown. Publication years are supposedly 1984-1985.
"Subscription to these interviews is $10 a year, single issue $2, from Ecolibrium Interviews, 517 Canon View Trail, Topanga, Calif. 90290."


No. 19


Artist As A Genetic Design Flaw
Interview by Chen, pp 17-21

We spoke with Frank about people, God, art and animals. We explored the roots of his cynicism, and found him to be a committed fatalist. Is there hope for Frank Zappa? You decide.

CHEN: So, Frank, what's your view of the current state of the Earth?

ZAPPA: Not exactly terrific.

CHEN: Why?

ZAPPA: There's a design flaw in the human organism. I can state some absolute proof about why people are not as fantastic as they think they are. I mean, did you ever see a dog become a lawyer? As far as I'm concerned, any creature other than the human species is better. (read more)

 p 17 pp 18-19 pp 20-21

This interview was included also into another Zendik publication called eARTh (see the scans below). Ecolibrium and eARTh had the same page layouts and the interview part in one publication was actually facsimile reprint of the other. Later this interview was once more reprinted in fanzine Mother People #29 using the same page layouts.

Interviewer Chen (commenting in June 2011):

I think the interview with Zappa was first published in the mag that was scanned, eARTh Art in about 1984, then in Ecolibrium Interviews. It's over 25 years ago so I'm not positive about that. Ecolibrium Interviews was an all interview magazine with no ads. If I recall we did about 4 or 5 Ecolibrium Interviews mags, interviewing artists, scientists and activists.

The reason the mag was maybe number #19, don't know what the number was, was that while we would change the name of the mag we would keep the numbers sequential . . .

We interviewed physicists Dr. Michio Kaku and Dr. Fritjof Capra, actor Martin Sheen, writer Edward Abbey, and many others.

How we contacted him . . .
We got a number for Frank Zappa, called it, and his rep called us back the same day. I didn't even have the questions ready because "stars" generally took months to respond, but Frank was accessible, which I think speaks well of him. I told the rep I'd call back in an hour because we had to set up the tape recording equipment. A few of us quickly generated some questions, called him back and we did the interview that day.

After the Zappa interview, one of our magazine sellers ran into Frank and he was very polite to her and thanked her for the interview. I think that he was pleased that his comments during the interview were left unedited.

I think the 1984 interview was good for its time. It would be quite a different conversation today in light the exponential increases in human knowledge, some of which both Frank and I would have picked up on, altering much of the tenor of the interview.

Recording engineer Obbie (commenting in April 2012):

I lived with the Zendiks for thirteen years, and that interview was about halfway thru my time there. I was the engineer recording the Zappa interview... I set up the tape and monitored the recording thru headsets, while Chen conducted the interview on our special phone and another guy named "Scooter" listened in on another line.

We speculated that the way the interview came about was Frank's way of keeping us (interviewers) off-balance. Some would say it made us spontaneous, but we felt woefully unprepared.

His cynicism was overwhelming in a way ... no hope because humanity is "genetically flawed." At the same time, he told some truths that were kinda sad ... how the music business is filled with scoundrels, etc. As I sold the mag on the streets, I'd say "we tried to get him to say something responsible, but he wouldn't do it."

There was a BIT of editing. I remember the phone call ended with Frank saying, "and the last thing to say is 'go home and pet your dog.'"

When the interview ended and Chen hung up the phone, we looked at each other kinda dazed as I pulled off my headset and said, "What a FUCK-head!"

As much as I like Zappa's music, I was annoyed by his attitude. Reading and remembering the interview all these years later, he was probably fucking with us.

The Zappa interview appeared in an earlier mag ... I think the same mag also had an interview with Loren Greene. EI was what we did thru most of the Topanga period, and the cover had an almost scholarly look. Each issue (we tried to do four per year, but it was closer to three) had four or five interviews (including an "interview" with Wulf), running for as much as 64 pages.

The mag you have (see below) was a short "greatest hits" thing we threw together as we were leaving Topanga, and in the midst of moves and migrations before we ultimately settled in southeastern San Diego County. At 16 pages, it was easier to carry a lot of them on the road, and it started the evolution to the splashier and more visually appealing Zendik Farm mags that were released from Boulevard in the late 80s.

The scans were originally posted by Tyler.

Source: Tyler, slime.oofytv.set