1. clinteas says

    //When the lie’s so big
    And the fog gets so thick
    And the facts disappear
    The Republican Trick
    Can be played out again
    People, please tell me when
    We’ll be rid of these men?//

    WOW,just WOW !

    I have always kind of left Zappa out of my fav music,seems like I have some catching up to do.
    This pretty much sums up how I feel about whats going on in the US today,amazing.

  2. Porky Pine says

    Can’t believe that there’s a Zappa song out there that I had never heard before, and now there’s two of them!

  3. clinteas says

    Rev BDC,

    thanks for the tip mate,a Zappa discography seems to be appearing on my puter out of nowhere as we speak….

  4. Sven DiMilo says

    Hell yeah! FZ in the morning!
    I didn’t know this one either. Frank never never never let up on the xtian hypocrites. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard him going off on Jimmy Swaggart (The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life. bonus: Stairway to Heavaen!)

  5. forksmuggler says

    Damn I love this man! If only Frank were still around today. For you folks who like this song, the entire “Broadway the Hardway” (which this is from) has the same political/religious theme, with such hits as “Jesus Thinks You’re a Jerk!,” and others. And I agree with Sven, “The Best Band…” album is one of the greatest. I’d also recommend “Make a Jazz Noise Here” and Vol. 2 (The Helsinki Concert) from the “You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore” series. Hell, it’s all good, especially the live stuff. Oh, and check out the “Zappa Plays Zappa” tour (Dweezil’s doing his dad’s work, and doing it WELL), coming to a town near you. Did I mention that I love Frank Zappa?

  6. says

    M’Cuckoo und Petrols
    A Tragedige in Hopefully Few Parts…
    (Part the Firstest.)

    A clearing in the jungle. The sun is shining. It’s hot. Bugs fly about.
    An elderly man is sitting in a wheelchair, wrapped in thick blankets. He dribbles. An immensely fat man, complete with pith helmet, stands nearby, listening to, and occasionally shouting into, a satellite phone.
    There’s a rustling sound, the bugs take off in a swarm. A train of completely naked bearers enters, bearing a palanquin and many oil drums, each strapped to a board. The palanquin is obscured by curtains.

    RAVING (hanging up the phone): Petrols has arrived Sir.

    M’CUCKOO: Nuke the ruskies!

    R.: Not now Sire. You should be invested first.

    As the drums and palanquin are lowered to the ground and the bearers bow low, the curtain is pushed aside. A woman steps out, surveys the area, and nods.

    R.: Petrols! We are glad you came.

    PETROLS: Praise God for our safe arrival in this heathen wilderness.

    Petrols, Raving, the camp attendants, the bearers, and assorted other inexplicable flunkies bow their heads. Petrols mumbles a prayer. M’Cuckoo dribbles.

    P. (mumbling): …may we thank you from the bottoms to the tops and sides and insides and outsides of your hearts and minds for my safe arrival. Please deliver to me–ah, us–victory and we shall serve you forever and ever. Amen.

    R., et al.: Amen!

    M.: Nuke the ruskies!

    P.: Who?

    R.: The commies.

    P.: You mean the French?

    R.: Not…

    M.: Nuke the French!

    R.: …er, yes, of course! That however, is for later. Right now we must discuss dealing with Teh Mooslin Menace.

    P.: Shoot ’em! Makes great eating.

    M.: Nuke the ruskies!

    P.: Dunno, never ate one.

    R.: No, no, no! You know! It’s the libthinks who know nothings, believe nothings, and think mooslins descended from monkeys. Both start with ‘m’. We are guided by the higher light. We know the day’s truth. All the time. You must remember that. We are right. They are mooslins. They are also wrong. They even believe in evildunce.

    M.: Nuke the mooslins!

    P.: I prefer slow cooking in a pot to a microwave.

    R.: Not moose! Mooslins! You cook moose. You crusade Teh Mooslin Menace!

    P.: Oh, mooslins. Them slimy money grubbing oily drunks.

    M.: Nuke the slime!

    R.: No, those are our sponsors. The mooslins caused 9/11–(a gong sounds)–and wear dresses, and…

    P.: I wear a dress.

    M.: Lift yer skirt!

    R.: Yes, but you’re supposed to. You’re a girl. They are mooslins. Ah, why is your help nude?

    P.: They’re locals. Mooslins. You want them to wear dresses?

    R.: What about the girls?

    P.: What about them? They’re mooslins! They’d be stoned to death if I hadn’t given ’em a job. Half of ’em are pregnant now.

    R.: Right! You’ve got it! Mooslins are WMDs! WMDs are a threat to decent people everywhere! Even Europe. So get rid of all WMDs! We must continue the crusade against the mooslins!

    (R. takes a deep breath and continues): And you explain it better: “These unfortunate girls were raped by their mooslin friends and mooslin families. They have bravely decided to continue to carry the babies to term. The mooslins want to stone them and their babies to death! To death! The girls! The raped girls! And their babies! Why? Why? Because that’s the mooslin way. It’s what mooslin law says. It’s what the mooslin elite wants. The mooslin elite requires raped girls be stoned to death. The mooslin elite requires the babies of raped girls be stoned to death! This is what will happen if we don’t fight the 9/11–(a gong sounds)–libthinks and theerrorists and mooslins. Do you want your daughters raped? And then stoned to death by their rapists? If we don’t fight Teh Mooslin Menace that will happen. It will be the extermination of all that is good and proper and truth and justice and mom’s apple pie. And you know what? You know what is really disgusting? The libthinks. The libthinks don’t care. All they want to be is in power. Taxing you. Shovelling money to their elite friends. Increasing your taxes and handing the money over to the mooslins….”

    P.: “…Emperor M’Cuckoo and I are opposed to this evilutionist atheist libthink mooslin commie gay United Nations plot and its lies. Emperor M’Cuckoo and I with fight–FIGHT!–for all that is decent, for dogs and country, and for moose pie. And apple pie.”

    R. (panting and wiping away the spittle): Yes. You’ve got it.
    R. (turning to a flunky): That’s today’s speech then. Send it to the usual places.

    M.: Nuke the Europe!

    P.: What’s Europe?

    R.: No, no, no! You know! It’s the libthinks who know nothings, believe nothings, and…

    P.: Europe’s Teh Mooslin Menace!

    R.: Almost. Europe’s being invaded by Teh Mooslin Menace. We must act now to save…

    M.: Nuke the ruskies!

    P.: Oh, you mean France. And, uh, um, ah, Spain? Yeah! And Checklotsofvodka. And, er, Welshland.

    R.: It’s Chugslotsofbeers, but yes, that’s the place. Invaded by mooslins!

    FLUNKY 1 (grovelling): Er, magnificent Sirs and Lady, that’s not the name and anyways that country doesn’t exist anymore…

    M.: Nuke the…

    P.: You’re fired! We don’t tell lies. My campaign is based on truth, justice, and mom’s apple pie. The libthinks tell lies. They don’t knows the truths. They’re worse than the mooslins! They are mooslins! They even want to use WMDs.

    M.: Nuke! Nuke! Nuke!

    F. 1: No, no, please sir, please no sir! I’m sorry! Sorry! Please, sir, please, I need the money to support my kids, sir. And–(she pats her belly)–I’ve another one coming. I’m not a mooslin!

    R.: What! You’re not a volunteer? Why are we wasting money on you? We don’t need any stinking elitist professionals. What’s good enough for small towns is good enough for everyone.

    R. dismisses the flunky with a wave of his hand. She’s dragged away, pleading.

    P.: Moose pie. And apple pie.

    The flunky screams as she’s strapped to one of Petrols’ boards.

    R. (looks puzzled for a moment): Well, yes, moose pie, but what has that to with our libthink spy?

    P.: You said apple pie. It’s apple and moose pie.

    R.: It’s mooslins! And 9/11–(a gong sounds)–and the evilutionist theerrorist threat! Teh Gay Agenda! WMDs! Oil!

    The flunky is dunked in the water.

    P.: Lots of it.

    M.: Nuke the gay baby mooslin whales!

    P.: Yes, we’ve got lots of oil. Gallons of the stuff. But it’s trapped, trapped! The libthink’s and their ecoerrorists mooslin 9/11–(a gong sounds)–plots are keeping the oil from you. That’s why the price is so high. You’re putting money into the mooslin’s pockets. The gallon of gas you buy buys theerrorists a dozen WMDs.

    R.: Well said! Add that to today’s speech.

    P.: No, tomorrow’s. Today is 9/11–(a gong sounds)–theerrorist treat. Tomorrow is 9/11–(a gong sounds)–mooslin’s keeping our oil. Then the 9/11–(a gong sounds)–ecoerrorists assisting both the 9/11–(a gong sounds)–mooslin theerrorists and the 9/11–(a gong sounds)–theerrorist mooslins.

    The flunky is dunked in the water.

    FLUNKY 2: Gays, my lady?

    P.: Don’t interrupt me! You are here to do what I say.

    F. 2 (tugging forelock): Yes thank you, my lady!

    P.: Sorry about that. I ran out of home-schooled assistants and was forced to recruit from the ignorant masses. That one, I know, is a good Jebusian. He turned in his parents for having a copy of the evilutionist’s false bible.

    M.: Nuke the schools!

    R.: We are. It’s called vouchers.

    Flunky 1 screams for the last time as her head is cut off.

    P.: Vultures?

    R.: No, those are what ecoerrorists say should eat lumberjacks. To save the trees for hugging. Or for the crosses the mooslins use to kill babies in front of Jebus and their parents.

    P.: We don’t have vultures where I come from. We do have moose.

    R.: Moose eat lumberjacks?

    P.: No, that’s the point. They don’t eat lumberjacks. So the treehugging ecoerrorists have no clue what to do. Idiots. Almost as stupid as the evilutionists.

    R.: Aren’t the ecoerrorists more concerned with the bears eating the whales?

    P.: Who knows! They are opposed to everything! They even oppose building bridges.

    R.: Good, good, now, expand on that.

    P. (after a few whispers with a flunky): There’s this island with a pretty small town on it in the middle of the sea. It’s frequently cut off by bad weather. The children couldn’t get to school. Or church. Food couldn’t be delivered. So I decided to build a bridge to it. You can see Russia from the island. So the bridge would also serve our national defence. So we were getting money, see, to help with the bridge building, and then the mooslin gay atheist ecoerrorists starting saying the bridge might harm the whales. Or the squid. They kept changing their story. Anyways, their libthink flunkies in Con-gress stopped the bridge’s funding. Due to the treehuggers and their support for the 9/11–(a gong sounds)–theerrorists, there are families out there without food, without a school, with only five churches, at the mercy of the big bears who sometimes visit and eat ’em. That’s why this so-called Climate Change is for the good! It melts the ice and keeps the bears away. The weather won’t cut off the island so often. And any treehuggers who still aren’t in Guantanamo will have to look for something else to molest. When they’re not trying to pry your guns out of your fingers.

    FLUNKY 3: It’s a wrap! Put it in the can and ship it.

    R. (glaring at the flunky): Ben, I give the orders here.

    M.: Nuke the carbon!

    R.: Good idea. We can use it to make batteries. Solves three problems at once.

    P.: Makes room for more carbon, and, uh…what?

    F. 3: Strap a few evilutionists to it and see how they like it.

    P.: Strap some ecoerrorists to it as well! Boom! Expel them off the planet. I like it.

    R.: Ok, that’s next week’s theme, how to solve ecoerrorism and Climate Change with one easy step.

    FLUNKY 4: Dinner is served! In honor of Vice Emperor Petrols, it’s roast moose, fried moose, boiled moose, and for dessert, moose pie. With the local coffee and chocolate, both kindly supplied by our sponsors, Extreme-Motoring Oils.

    M.: Nuke the evildunce!

    (End of Part the Firstest.)

  7. says

    The music laid there quietly for years, stuck in some deep memory hole, until recently, when bits and pieces of the lyrics began surfacing again after seeing some of John McCain’s ads. So, I typed in the lyrics I could remember into Google, “I am just a worthless liar,” and “Trust in me and fall as well.” And that gave me the name of the band and the title of the song and from there all I had to do was go to YouTube and look it up — finding several versions.

    This is how John McCain should feel when this election is over, win or lose.


    There’s a shadow just behind me
    Shrouding every step I take
    Making every promise empty
    Pointing every finger at me

    Waiting like a stalking butler
    Who upon the finger rests
    Murder now the path called “must we”
    Just before the son has come

    Jesus, won’t you fucking whistle
    Something but the past and done?
    Jesus, won’t you fucking whistle
    Something but the past and done?

    Why can’t we not be sober?
    I just want to start this over
    Why can’t we drink forever?
    I just want to start this over

    I am just a worthless liar
    I am just an imbecile
    I will only complicate you
    Trust in me and fall as well

    I will find a center in you
    I will chew it up and leave
    I will work to elevate you
    Just enough to bring you down

    Mother Mary won’t you whisper
    Something but what’s past and done?
    Mother Mary won’t you whisper
    Something but what’s past and done?

    Why can’t we not be sober?
    I just want to start things over
    Why can’t we sleep forever?
    I just want to start this over

    I am just a worthless liar
    I am just an imbecile
    I will only complicate you
    Trust in me and fall as well

    I will find a center in you
    I will chew it up and leave
    Trust me Trust me Trust me Trust me Trust me

    Why can’t we not be sober?
    I just want to start things over
    Why can’t we sleep forever?
    I just want to start this over

    I want what I want
    I want what I want
    I want what I want
    I want what I want

  8. xebecs says

    Does anyone know who this “Robertson” is that Zappa refers to? Is it Pat Robertson, or someone more obscure?

    blf: That reminds me of a piece I wrote for a group on Usenet in the previous millenium, patterned after a bit in Aristophanes’ The Clouds, retitled “The Clods”.

    But yours is better. Bravo!

  9. AllanW says

    Re; #11 Yep, he’s referring to Pat Robertson. I echo the points made in #8. If Frank were with us today he’d make hay over this election.

  10. says

    Thank you for tapping into Frank’s wisdom on all these issues.

    Another insightful Frank treatment of the Troubles is found in “Dumb All Over.”

    You can’t run a country
    By a book of religion
    Not by a heap
    Or a lump or a smidgeon
    Of foolish rules
    Of ancient date
    Designed to make
    You all feel great
    While you fold, spindle
    And mutilate
    Those unbelievers
    From a neighboring state

  11. Janine ID says

    Sorry, Zappa was not at all psychic.(Yes, I know PZ is kidding.) The performance is from 1988 and Zappa was fresh from his battle with the Parents Music Resource Center. He was one of the three professional musicians to speak in front of The Washington Wives who formed The PMRC. The other two were John Denver and Dee Snider, front man of Twisted Sister. (While I am not a fan of the music of those two, I have great respect for both John and Dee.)

    Besides speaking against The PMRC in Washington, Zappa’s record label, Barking Pumpkin, collected PMRC propaganda, made copies and sent them to every media outlet in the US. The included college radio, where I got my own copy.(Which I still have.) It was filled with all of the fundamentalist stupidity that we are all familiar with. Claims the kids were being possessed by Satan direct through rock music. Lying in order prove their point. One example that stuck with me was this. They claimed the Billy Joel’s Only The Good Die Young contained the line;

    Some say there is a heaven
    I say there ain’t

    When it was really;

    Some say There is a heaven for those wait
    Some say it’s better
    I say it ain’t

    Zappa did this so that people may know exactly where the PMRC was coming from, a fundamentalist christian mindset.

    Zappa was in the middle of the battle against fundamentalist stupidity. While the situation may be a little different now, the mind set he was battling is still the same.

    As a side note, Tipper Gore was one of the founders of the PMRC. I never forgave the Gores for their involvement with this stupidity. The PMRC railed against homosexuality in rock music. I had to laugh when The Gores were painted as friends to LGBT people during Al’s presidential run. I also had to laugh during the 1992 Clinton/Gore campaign when it was “revealed” that Tipper was a Dead Head. Yep, in the PMRC propaganda, it was claimed that The Grateful Dead were Satanic because they got their name from The Tibetan Book Of The Dead.

  12. RamblinDude says

    I’m not a big fan of Zappa’s music, but these lyrics are really good. I just wish the message wasn’t so pertinent and, apparently, timeless.

  13. hozepipe says

    Check out ‘Jesus Thinks You’re a Jerk’ it’s on the same album (Broadway the Hard Way) as ‘When the Lie’s so Big’, it’s an atheistic classic, unfortunately Zappa turned out to have been too prophetic.

  14. jonnybutter says

    Zappa may not have been ‘psychic’, but he was certainly precient. He alluded to the eventual election of Reagan – in 1965 – in a song called ‘Agency Man’. He described the killings at Kent State U. a couple years before they happened (‘Mom and Dad’, in 1967). He had a song in 1973 about the end of privacy/domestic spying (‘Dickie’s Such An Asshole’ – ‘If you might break some wind in your slumber; the FBI’s gonna get your number’), and he talked about religious fascism in the 80s, during Reagan and Bush 1, but well before W Bush and the current debacle. And the song quoted above (‘Dumb All Over’), about religious war between Christians and Muslims is from 1981. There are many other examples. Precience is one of the things artists ‘do’. It may be mysterious, from a scientific POV, but it’s hardly debatable.

    (hi bora!)

  15. Groucho101 says

    I’ve always loved Zappa’s music. Let’s not forget “A Token of My Extreme,” from Joe’s Garage about L Ron Hoover and the first church of appliantology (lyrics here)

    Also fun is Porn Wars from Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention which is a mix of the audio from some congressional hearings about record labeling.

  16. sailor says

    Zappa is the greatest, some of the funniest music in the world. And not psychic at all, the same creeps were around then as now, his comments were as true then as now. Now excuse me I have to go shoot skin and eat a moose.

  17. Bueller_007 says

    Why has no one posted this link yet?

    You want to see insight on the part of Frank Zappa, this is it right here:

  18. Quiet Desperation says

    What’s *really* funny is the way every generation thinks it’s the first to encounter these things in society and government.

  19. says

    Long time reader, first time commenter:

    Many might not remember, but Pat Robertson was actually running for president in both 1984 and 1988 (and possibly 1992). The 1988 tour also coincidentally saw the fall of Jimmy Swaggart and was also approximately the time that the Jim Bakker scandals broke. And, of course, there was Reagan. (“The Untouchables” from Broadway the Hard Way does a good job of lampooning the Reagan White House…)

    Zappa spent the better part of the 1980’s (and his whole career, literally) attacking stupidity in politics and religion. He was actually smacked down by the GHWB White House for his appointment by Vaclev Havel as a “cultural liaison” in Czechoslovakia—he was basically treated as an official American diplomat in Czechoslovakia—and the administration didn’t like it one bit.

    It was even rumored that he himself was going to run for president, and I think he put forth a half-hearted attempt to do that in 1992. He was huge on using his concerts as venues to get people to register to vote, predating the MTV campaigns by several years. His personal political philosophy is well laid out in his autobiographical “The Real Frank Zappa Book” and it’s basically small “l” libertarian thinking, with many ideas espoused by the Ron Paul campaign of 2008.

    The 1988 tour was his last one, and was just full of songs such as the ones posted in this thread. The tour culminated in three of the best live albums ever, Broadway the Hard Way, The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life, and Make a Jazz Noise Here (mostly instrumental).

    And, in science, he has both an asteroid and an jellyfish named after him.

  20. khan says

    He was one of the three professional musicians to speak in front of The Washington Wives who formed The PMRC. The other two were John Denver and Dee Snider, front man of Twisted Sister.

    IIRC, Dee Snider showed up in full rock star regalia.

  21. says

    Ah, Frank – if he didn’t exist he’d have to be invented.

    And now he’s gone, he really needs to be re-invented! Him and Feynman too. We need them now more than ever. Voices of sanity in a world of madness.

  22. deang says

    Zappa wasn’t psychic. He was writing about the Reaganizing of US society that was imposed during the 80s and that the US has never reversed. Reagan took serial lying and empty, bellicose patriotism to unprecedented levels, but we now consider it all eternally normal. Clinton basically continued with Reagan’s policies, only with slightly different rhetoric, and Bush II has been like Reagan on steroids, just an exaggeration of already existing Reaganite policies. As some have pointed out, Reagan’s regressive changes were institutionalized so they’re still with us.

    So, no reason to see this song as prescient, just descriptive of the political reality that was being constructed during the 80s and that we’ve never changed.

  23. says

    Zappa Zappa Zappa. Two years ago a friend mailed me a copy of Broadway the Hardway and my life has never bee the same. One thing FZ had down to a science was pissing of “the man” in all kinds of fun ways. Him on Crossfire is down right sublime.

    Check out Hot Rats, my personal favorite of his albums. Willie the Pimp with Capt. Beefheart on the vocals is possibly the most amazing bit of music ever recorded.

  24. Will Davies says

    Can’t believe no-one’s yet mentioned the perfect Zappa song for Pharyngula: Heavenly Bank Account. Just an absolutely genius number about money-making televangelists. This needs a Zappa post all to itself, PZ!

    (the video is more to do with Scientology, but still everything to do with money-grabbing bastards…)


    And if these words you do not heed
    Your pocketbook just kinda might recede
    When some man comes along and claims a godly need
    He will clean you out right through your tweed

    That’s right, you asked for it, remember there is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over . . .

    He’s got twenty million dollars
    In his Heavenly Bank Account . . .
    All from those chumps who was
    Born again
    Oh yeah, oh yeah

    He’s got seven limousines
    And a private plane . . .
    All for the use of his
    Special Friends
    Oh yeah, oh yeah

    He’s got thousand-dollar suits
    And a Wembley Tie . . .
    Girls love to stroke it
    While he’s on the phone
    Oh yeah, oh yeah

    At the House of Representatives
    He’s a groovy guy . . .
    When he Gives Thanks
    He is not alone . . .

    He is dealin’
    He is really dealin’
    IRS can’t determine
    Where The Hook is

    It is easy with the Bible
    To pretend that
    You’re in Show Biz
    (And a-one, and a-two, and a . . . )

    They won’t get him
    They will never get him
    For the naughty stuff
    That he did

    It is best in cases like this
    To pretend that
    You are stupid
    (DOH . . . )

    He’s got Presidential Help
    All along the way
    He says the grace
    While the lawyers chew
    Oh yeah
    They sure do

    And the Governors agree to say:
    “He’s a lovely man!”
    He makes it easier for
    Them to screw
    All of you . . .
    Yes, that’s true!

    ‘Cause he helps put The Fear of God
    In the Common Man
    Snatchin’ up money
    Everywhere he can
    Oh yeah
    Oh yeah

    He’s got twenty million dollars
    In his Heavenly Bank Account
    You ain’t got nothin’, people
    You ain’t got nothin’, people
    You ain’t got nothin’, people
    Thank the man . . . oh yeah

    As we end another broadcast day
    Let me say
    That you ain’t got nothin’
    And he’s got it all
    And your miserable self
    Is against the wall
    The only thing you have not tried
    It’s the sport of chumps
    That’s SUICIDE


    Love it.

  25. Sven DiMilo says

    backstage at a Dead show in DC at RFK stadium in the 80’s.

    Do tell, Rev. How came you to be there?

  26. Sven DiMilo says

    Lotsa good Zappa records have been mentioned, but not my all-time favorite, Roxy & Elsewhere. Musically, the best, including two life-changing trombone solos by Walt (I think) Fowler. (Two other Fowler brothers played with FZ, Tom, as I recall, on bass, and a trumpet player whose name escapes. Corrections solicited.)

  27. Kerry Maxwell says

    I was lucky enough to see Frank more than a dozen times between 1974 and 1988. My wife (who attended about half of those shows with me) and I often lament the absence of FZ in the current climate of idiocy. *You can’t do that on stage anymore* indeed. From a musical standpoint, Dweezil’s “Zappa plays Zappa” may be keeping the musical excellence alive, but there was a whole ‘nother dimension to a FZ show.

  28. Kerry Maxwell says

    Walt Fowler was the trumpet playing Fowler. Bruce is the transcendent trombonist, and Tom the bass player. William is their father, and amazing instructor who had a really good column in Downbeat for years.

  29. says

    Everyone else has said most everything relevant about FZ, though I will note that he described himself as a Pragmatic Conservative. He felt strongly that people should be told honestly and accuractely “If you want gov’t to provide service X, it’s going to cost this much” and then let them vote on it. Of course the dark magic of government accounting makes this much harder to do in reality. Zappa’s political lyrics date at least back to the early 70’s with tracks like “More Trouble Every Day” and “Dickie’s Such An Asshole” (Dick Nixon being the subject of that one).

    You might consider Zappa prescient if you read the patents he filed for an online music delivery about 20 years before iTunes/Raphsody/Amazon MP3/etc. And about 5 years before the world wide web existed.

  30. jonnybutter says

    So, no reason to see this song as prescient, just descriptive of the political reality that was being constructed during the 80s and that we’ve never changed.

    deang is right that the song which is the subject of this post was not precient, and I assume our host wasn’t really being completely serious in saying that it/he was. But Zappa was indeed precient in other instances. I’ve listed a few above.

    So much great music. The Roxy band was certainly a highlight. I got to see Zappa four times, and wish it had been more.

  31. Mr Twiddle says

    PZ, you have a lot of catching up to do. I’ve been a Frank Zappa fan ever since I first saw him at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago in 1969 and I’m still trying to catch up.

    Frank Zappa has close to 100 albums in his discography which covers a span of about 30 years. There is something there for everyone, 50’s doo-wop, 60’s psychedelic, 70’s heavy-metal, as well as jazz, classical and his catalog of social-satire songs.

    I would recommend ‘The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life’ as a good place to start. Of course you won’t go wrong with any of the live ‘You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore’ (Vols. 1-6) albums. Beware, some of his albums, such as the ‘Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar’ series, ‘200 Motels’, ‘Joe’s Garage’, ‘Jazz from Hell’, ‘Yellow Shark’ and ‘Thing-Fish’ are best left for those more familiar with his music.

    As Frank sings in ‘Dumb All Over’:

    Well let’s get serious, god knows what he’s doin’
    He wrote this book here and the book says,
    “He made us all to be just like him”
    So, if we’re dumb, then god is dumb and maybe even a little ugly on the side

  32. J. D. Mack says

    GASP! You can’t post this! You might incur the wrath of Gail Zappa and The Zappa Family Trust, which will make your whole cracker incident seem like a minor playground skirmish. ; )

    J. D.

  33. Itchy Brother says

    Zappa wasn’t psychic, but he was exceptionally observant and astoundingly prescient. Check out his commentary on politics in his highly entertaining “The Real Frank Zappa Book”. He wrote that book over 20 years ago and everything he said is still amazingly relevant.

    And as a bonus, it contains a proposal he wrote for a digital music delivery system that is remarkably similar to iTunes — devised at a time when CDs were just catching on and 20 years before iTunes hit the market. Maybe he was psychic after all.

  34. jorge666 says

    Every election cycle makes me think of the song – “The Idiot Bastard Son” off of Mothermania – Best of Frank Zappa and the Mother’s of Invention. This association is especially intense when Bush or McSame are brought up.

  35. forksmuggler says

    Just wanted to say that this is the best post EVER! It’s got atheism, Zappa, Republican-bashing…what else could you ask for?

    I’m jealous, by the way, of all you folks who got to see Frank live. I’m a relatively young, post-mortem fan, so I never had the pleasure. (I was 15 or 16 when he died.) Dweezil’s doing a damn good job, but yeah (as someone noted), he’s not Frank.

    Here are a few more worthy albums yet to be listed:
    Chunga’s Revenge
    Bongo Fury (Capt. Beefheart!)
    Weasels Ripped My Flesh (one of my favorite Mother’s albums)
    The Grand Wazoo
    Waka Jawaka (these last two are a couple of his jazzier albums)
    Sheik Yerbouti
    Tinseltown Rebellion

    Great seeing so many fans here at Pharyngula!

  36. conelrad says

    For best Zappa tunes, I vote for
    ‘Peaches en Regalia’ (several versions
    extant) & ‘Sofa #2, or 5 or whatever it
    was, from ‘One Size Fits All’.

  37. Kerry Maxwell says

    For some more late 80’s Zappa televangelist/ republican skewering (set to Beatles tunes):