Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words

I went out to do a little grocery shopping.  I learned that Barnes and Noble was having a Criterion Collection sale, so I knew I had to go out there.  I looked over their selection and decided to buy the Blu-ray edition of “The Kid.”  I didn’t go straight back home but stopped at the theatre to see “Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words.”  Zappa was not my idea of a great rock star.  Like The Grateful Dead, I didn’t really understand what his appeal was.  His music seemed like anti-rock, and I’m not a fan of anti-rock.  There is a funny bit in this film of Zappa with Steve Allen, using bicycles as musical instruments.  He sure seemed to be on television a lot.  He talked a lot about how important culture was, along with the preservation of things that are beautiful.  He also said that he wanted to get away from school as soon as possible.  There’s always something missing with people who attempt to educate themselves.  On one of the game shows, Soupy Sales was able to guess his identity.  I don’t know if that was meaningful.  Zappa said that Americans were stupid because they were being trained to merely be small components to serve capitalism.  I don’t know if anybody here really strives to rise above mediocrity because of the effort involved.  On one of the talk shows, he said that he was a conservative.  He was scornful of people like Reagan and Bush at the end, however, as people who did things in order to be remembered.  There is barely a mention of “Valley Girl,” which was all over the radio and made the speech of the San Fernando Valley teenage girl known to everyone across the nation.  We didn’t see Moon.  I guess since the film is Frank Zappa in his own words, we don’t get to hear Moon’s side of the story.  I wonder what she’s doing 35 years later.  It was funny how Zappa could win a Grammy for anything.  Did any of those Grammy voters listen to anything he did?  The technology behind his Synclavier was amusing, because the computer had green characters.  His experimentation is almost admirable, although I’ve never thought of Zappa as a musical genius, even though it was supposed to be unquestionable.  Mozart was a musical genius.  Harry Smith and Katie Couric look like they’re in a different era, which I guess really was the case.  We see Zappa visit Czechoslovakia, where he seemed to be greeted as if he’s a god.  I wonder what kind of music the fans in the Czech Republic like these days.  Zappa’s music made me think of both The Sex Pistols and Spike Jones.  I don’t know what he was trying to get across.  One scene showed Kent Nagano trying to work out the music.  The last interview was rather sad, though, as Zappa admitted that his bad days outnumbered his good days.  He was unable to work as he normally did.  Cancer would take him away.  Since this film was about Frank Zappa in his own words, it had to end before his death.  This film didn’t convert me to a Zappa fan, but I enjoyed watching it.  I liked watching it more than something like “Central Intelligence.”  I went home and watched a DVD of the Rolling Stones’ concert in Hampton, Virginia on December 18, 1981.  It was more lively than the Hal Ashby movie that hit the theatres.  I thought two of the highlights were “Just My Imagination” and “Tumbling Dice.”  “Satisfaction” was the encore, and apparently some wacky fan ran onto the stage, and Keith attempted to hit him with his guitar.  One of the movie channels was showing “The Blue Lagoon.”  After a while, I couldn’t stand to watch it.  I saw the end of “The Fuller Brush Girl” with Lucille Ball and Eddie Albert.  There were bits that I remembered from other movies, like “Sleeper” and “Modern Times.”

 

Some of the people who died on July 6 include Kenneth Grahame (1932), William Faulkner (1962), Louis Armstrong (1971), Otto Klemperer (1973), Van McCoy (1979), Roy Rogers (1998), John Frankenheimer (2002), and Buddy Ebsen (2003).  Today is a birthday for Geoffrey Rush (65), George W. Bush (70), Sylvester Stallone (70), Burt Ward (71), and Della Reese (85).

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