Thursday, June 19, 2008

Chillin with Frank

I allowed the cover of the latest "US News & World Report" to get me all fired up. As fear mongering a cover as I have ever seen. I sat down and wrote a scathing piece on their failure to represent Journalism in the responsible way they usually have for years. I rambled on for miles and miles. Worked up a real sweat hunched over the keys. I am sure my facial expressions contorted this way and that.

When I was done I went to bed. Got up this morning and reviewed what I had written. There is indeed something to the term "sleep on it". I did feel better after laying into US News and the political process in general. But the post was crap. I know it was crap. And you would to if I posted it. Take my word on this.

In lieu of that bloated and angry post, I always have Frank to put me back in the center. Zappa and I came up together. I don't mean we actually were buds or anything. But his emergence as an artist and my evolution into a thinking human being conincided at the right time. He was not my hero. But he always made me think. His music was complex. His lyrics often cut through the bullshit right to the center of American culture. And he was the "kiss my ass" poster child. All at a time when I harbored the same outlook.

So when I get manic or down, I will often google Frank and try to find one more thing about him I did not know. I will try to read one more quote I had not read before. As "Hot Rats" rips through my headphones at volume WOW, I find some kind of inner peace. I realize that Frank is right. Frank was almost always right. And I miss him.

"To me — absurdity is the only reality." How right you are Mr Zappa.


El Cerdo Ignatius said...

A columnist from Long Island, whose writing I enjoy, has said that if you write something you intend to publish, it's often a good idea to write it in the afternoon or evening and then check it again the next morning. Money quote (approximately): "You'd be surprised how different it looks after you've slept on it."

True, that.

GJG said...

its after the original anger and emotion have washed through us, and we reflect over and over on whatever incident that had set us off in the first place, and get into the "I shoulda said, or I could have said, and we feed ourselves a little fantasy play out of how it MIGHT have gone, but then reality clicks back on---and the moment has past and it is what it is----but your right, one should "sleep on it", and not act totally impulsively---otherwise it could easily turn into one of those ,"damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead---NOOOOOOO, WAITTT!!"

Anonymous said...

Crummy, just don't eat the yellow snow where the Huskies run.

Dawn on MDI said...

I saw Frank in concert many years ago. I was in college and working as a weekend overnight jock spinning records on the radio up in Skowhegan. Tickets for the show were cheap and nobody was buying them, so the station did a big promo and gave away a ton of seats and I got tickets. My roommate and I went, and we felt distinctly out of place. We were young (early 20s) and everyone else in the place looked like our patents.

We were struck by the age of the crowd and how many looked almost pained to be there. It was as though they had forgotten how loud concerts could be, or how late at night they were, or how uncomfortable the chairs. But they were making a go of it, having dragged out their hippie gear for the night (usually they don't wear that stuff until the Common Ground Fair), found a dealer for some cheap weed, and went to the show. But you could tell that these folks no longer smoked cigarettes, never mind the harsher stuff they were trying to remember how to roll into those tiny little papers.

The show became less about the music, which was ok but not great (he was quite sick with cancer) and more about watching aging boomers trying to reclaim their youth and learning that they were just too old to do that shit on a weeknight any more.

MRMacrum said...

dawn on mdi - I nevered toured with Frank and the Mothers. But I did manage to see him a half dozen times or so when he was in his prime. Absolutely some of the best concerts I ever went to.

I don't think folks understand that he was not just about rock and shaking the establishment.

He didn't do drugs. But he smoked tobacco. And was unapolegetic about it.

He managed to garner many grammy nominations and actually won one for some Jazz album he made. He wrote music for orchestras, jazz bands, and rock. He lived for music.

Anonymous said...

I listened to Frank around the era of "Joe's Garage". I also have two CDs of his "classical" music, which is sometimes really funny.