Dickies Such An Asshole: Frank Zappa, Popular Music and Politics

Allbwn ymchwil: Cyfraniad at gynhadleddPapuradolygiad gan gymheiriaid


In addition to being one of the most prolific and versatile composers of the rock idiom, Frank Zappa was also an astute and outspoken political commentator. Described as ‘the most politically potent musical force since the collaborations of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’, Zappa’s music deals directly with a range of subject areas, ranging from trade unions, American presidents, to the importance of using the vote. Zappa believed that ‘unless you have people registered so they can participate in the political process, you don’t really have democracy’, and that party officials in some States actually prohibited this process. However, his more pervasive ‘anti – authority’ stance was demonstrated in numerous ways, including a number of debates concerning music censorship on American television throughout the late 1980’s, where he described certain sections of the American government as a ‘fascist theocracy’. Although becoming noted for his stance against the ‘Christian values’ of the PMRC during the 1980’s, his position against Christian fundamentalism had been apparent for a number of years, stating in a 1968 interview for Life Magazine that ‘a lot of things wrong with society today are directly attributable to the fact that people who make the law’s are sexually maladjusted’. These positions were also cuttingly portrayed musically in his 1967 song ‘Brown Shoes Don’t Make It’, and 1979’s Joe’s Garage, an eerie prophesy of a fascist government that had banned music. This paper examines the various means through which Frank Zappa’s political convictions are manifested musically by critically exploring two pieces related to American Presidents - ‘Dickie’s Such An Asshole’ and ‘Reagan At Bitzburg’
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StatwsCyhoeddwyd - 1 Ebr 2010
Digwyddiad 20th Century Music and Politics Conference - Location unknown - please update
Hyd: 1 Ebr 20101 Ebr 2010


!Presentation 20th Century Music and Politics Conference

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