Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekend video: Zappa in the Crossfire

Apropos of nothing from this past week's posts (I couldn't find any interesting Bowery Electric videos), I'm posting this video of Frank Zappa on Crossfire debating rock censorship in 1986. I would have to assume that there are people ten or so years younger than myself that know Tipper Gore only as the First Lady who should have been, not as the Washington housewife who once instigated congressional hearings on Prince lyrics. But believe it or not, kids, Al Gore's wife was once the default villain for rock fans of all stripes.

Two things really stand out about Zappa in this clip: one, his utter contempt for John Lofton from minute one. It's not like he grows to hate Lofton throughout the segment; he refuses to even look at him from the beginning. And two, Zappa's meticulous preparation for the show. You just couldn't spring a tough question on this guy. Watch toward the end when Robert Novak brings up the teenaged protesters outside the Annapolis courthouse during Zappa's testimony. Not only does Zappa know exactly who they are and where they came from, he cites specific examples of absurdity from their reactionary pastor's literature.

I've said it before, I'll no doubt say it again: God bless YouTube. Think about it: somebody taped this twenty years ago, kept the tape, dug it out, digitised it, and uploaded here for your edification and mine.

1 comment:

John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

You're right. Zappa was full of hate, rage,arrogance and stupid replies. Imagine, he's a guy who does music, writes songs and then he denigrates his craft by saying that what he wrote was "just words" -- as if words are not important and have no impact -- when, of course, they are; words are VERY important.