June 16, 2008

Father's day.

We all got a lot of stuff in common.
First of all, we always ask ourselves the dumbest questions. (dumb does not always mean unimportant) What are some of your asinine inquiries?

Then there is the fact that we all start out and end up the same way, covered in shit and blood and leaving in the same state.

There is a lot to be said about the subtle difference between intelligence and knowledge.

We all hear, but few of us listen.
We see yet do not look.
We think and do not wait for the answer.

I have been fortunate enough to have met people who have achieved success in our era.
It doesn't matter who they are nor what they did. The fact that they have been recognized for their talent is enough to take a step back and really think about what it takes to keep the world moving forward

Say! I think I will give you all a break from my usual inanity and tell you a story:

A very long fucking time ago, when I was a helluva lot younger, lighter and faster than I am now, I , met Frank Zappa.
He was not the only famous person I have encountered, but at that moment; he was the happiest.
I met the man and talked to him for only a few moments, so you could say that I don't know the first thing about him and you would be right. Yet we spoke and we had our time.

Now before you get started traipsing down memory lane and begin to recall the annual Halloween concerts he used to give, I am talkin about something different.

Frank was either conducting or watching an orchestra perform one of his pieces in New York city at the Palladium, a theatre that later became a disco. I just happened to be one of the security crew who worked there when it was a disco. Unfortunately I didn't get to see the performance, but I could hear what was going on inside
It wasn't really out of place to be called in to work at the disco/theatre when we weren't open for business to the public. To me, a job was a job and it didn't matter just so long as I got paid. I did think it was odd that a classical performance was occuring where night after night I heard the driving beat of dance music played at volumes so loud that it made our walkie talkies useless if we were anywhere near the main dance floor.
It was an even bigger surprise when my boss told me who was inside and what was going on.

There was an unspoken rule that you left the pretty people alone and made certain that other folks did the same, but I couldn't pass up a chance to try and meet the one of the greatest musicians of my generation.
At the end of the performance the guests began to file out and get into waiting limos and taxicabs I saw the man walking out the door and I just had to say something.
I don't remember what I said, but it was something about the fact that Frank had often said that classical music was no different than pop music. I do remember what he said to me. Instead of ignoring me, which is what I kind of expected, he actually stopped his conversation; turned towards me and said.
Well I am going to try and change that and the world will be a better place for it.
I didn't put quotes on that 'cause I was shocked to find that he would even recognize me, so I can't recall the exact words. I do recall the next thing he said to me
"Get the music. You won't be sorry."
And he left.
That was my moment with frank Zappa and I won't forget it.
I don't play his music at parties because for some reason or other it can cause a mass migration of guests. In fact, the song 50/50, can clear a room faster than any other piece of music.
I don't listen to Zappa when I'm happy, I listen to Zappa when I need to look at the world with a new set of eyeglasses.

I don't know if he was wrong or right. I never bought the album.


(December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993)


Oh yeah, Just to clue you in as to why this is called fathers day. Both Zappa and my dad, Who also was named Frank were born in Baltimore.

Another note: I still try to "get" the music. I try to get it all.


9 comments:

moi said...

Very cool! Zappa was not only a great musician, but also a great thinker of epic libertarian proportions. RIP always.

lime said...

he really was a unique individual and incredibly eloquent. if you have to have a brush with fame, and intelligent brush is the way to go.

The Grunt said...

"Willie the Pimp" is one of my personal favorites of his, plus, Captain Beefheart did the vocals. Yes, those are two fellows whose music can clear rooms fast.

Enemy of the Republic said...

I remember watching Zappa take on Tipper Gore; that alone kicked ass.

puerileuwaite said...

My guitar wants to kill your mama.

jGrrl said...

I'm not a Zappa fan but I can feel exactly what he was saying. What a brilliant man he must have been. Happy D Day to you as well :-)

Kurt said...

Along the same lines, I can confirm that Mr. Neil Young is similarly gracious to regular folk he meets.

NYD said...

Moi~ He also sang the most incredibly rancid love songs too.

Lime~ The man was way better than KFC cuz he really did do it right.

Grunt~ Zappa has collaborated with such an amazing amout of people that the government wanted him shot as a spy.

NME~ I think it bothered a lot of people that he looked like a psycho, dressed like a flake made freaky ass music yet could speak with the eloquence and erudition of a chief justice.

PUG~ My guitar wants to kill me!
Due to tonal abuse.

Grrrl~ The man was brilliant and oh, so cool

Kurt~ That's the neck, right there.

The really cool ones never thought of themselves as anything but regular folk.

Corn Dog said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing a little inner NYD.