Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Zappa on Dylan

Zappa's Studio Z
...Frank Zappa was working in cheesy lounges and go-go bars, the kind of place where too-old chicks in white vinyl boots, women who thought they were Nancy Sinatra, danced to the repetitious beats of nowhere rock bands. L.A. was the home of Jack-in-the-Box and surfers, blonde hair and the plastic age. It was the new America, and  while the 60s were simultaneously developing their own consciousness, rock was merging with folk: rock 'n' roll became rock (we've already had this convo). When finally Dylan welded the two firmly into place, much to the chagrin of the folk purist, it became clear that rock with a message was next.

Zappa was well aware of Dylan's power too. "Dylan's 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' was a monster record. I heard that thing and I was jumping all over the car. And then when I heard the one after that, 'Like a Rolling Stone,' I wanted to quit the business because I felt that if this wins and does what it's supposed to do, I don't need to do anything. It sold, but nobody responded the way they should have. They should have listened to that and said, 'Hey, that record got on the radio.  Now wait a minute, we've got a chance to say something, you know? The radio is for us to use as a weapon.' It didn’t happen right away, and I was a little disappointed. I figured, well shit, maybe it needs a little reinforcing."