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Frank Zappa : The Greatest Conspiracy Theorist in Music

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posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 08:36 PM
Beginning in 1966 with The Mothers of Invention debut album, Frank Zappa pushed his listeners to ask questions about the world around them. With songs like "Who are the Brain Police?" and "Trouble Every Day" , Frank put his musical talents to work to expose the social, political, religious, and govenmental issues that are problems in the world.

Often using satire and humor, Frank incorporated his thoughts on conspiracies in much of his music. Probably the most obvious album dealing with conspiracy matters was Frank's album "Thing-Fish."

Thing-Fish is about an opening night Broadway play. The album cover even promises that it is an "Original Cast Recording" in red over-stamped print. The master of ceremonies is a genetically corrupted mutant who goes by the name of Thing-Fish. Both name and textual references suggest that this character may be based on the Amos & Andy character Kingfish. This Broadway opening night frame is going to be employed to play back to modern bourgeois musical sensibilities, a paean against the desensitizing mediocrity of homogenous, brain-numbing "entertainment”. Against this frame of denied expectations, Thing-Fish promises to deliver something quite else.

Instead of the Central Scrutinizer, the narrator was once a Black inmate at San Quentin who has been poisoned in a bio-social engineering experiment with the AIDS virus. This is Thing-Fish. Whatever did not kill them (several of the surviving "Mammy-Nuns" are in the cast) made them stronger. In Ike Willis' dense over-played dialect, the story unfolds. In Thing-Fish, AIDS is a government sponsored experiment toward a policy to kill the gay and black population. Before unleashing this on the nation at large, however, it is tested at San Quentin by being mixed into some mashed potatoes. The tubers somehow attenuated the toxins and mutated the creatures instead of killing them outright.

The claims of this conspiracy scenario are immense, directly implicating the United States government in genocide. References to the "final solution" and "the white man's burden" invoke the Holocaust and the excesses of Western colonialism, respectively. This is monstrous enough as a mere hypothesis, but there is evidence that Zappa was presenting what he believed may well have been the case. Lest we dismiss this merely as the ranting of a paranoid cynic, it must be mentioned that the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dr. Wangari Maathai, has also espoused a similar theory. On the very last page of The Real Frank Zappa Book, he claims that Robert Harris and Jeremy Paxman's book, A Higher Form of Killing, contains evidence that a project on race-specific biological weapons and those directed at the immune system has been initiated (Zappa, 1989, 352). That AIDS's initial profile filled this bill, and that it was sexually transmitted may have given Zappa inspiration for other aspects of Thing-Fish.

Another great album that highlighted how the govenment controls what we are thinking is "Joe's Garage."

In Joe's Garage the Zappa's social critique is achieved by showing how the powers-that-be seduce us into apathy, replacing the genuine with the ersatz. The ersatz is geared to cause one to become a politically apathetic consumer, grist for the mill of fascist-totalitarian capitalism. Essentially, this is a theme of both Joe's Garage and Thing Fish

An important thing to realize when veiwing the works of Frank Zappa is the although he may have had a great ability to find and expose social, political, religious, and govenmental corruption, Frank did not have all the answers to the questions that he put to his listeners....He simply ask the questions.

Anyone coming to Zappa's plotted works looking for answers is bound to leave either disappointed or hopelessly confused. Rather, the true value in Zappa's satire is in the questions he raises, encouraging those of his listeners who hear the call to be ever vigilant of the dangers inherent in political power aligned with any and all ideologies.

With more than 60 albums to Frank's credit, it would be impossible to examine and highlight the meaning of all of his songs here. While many people that just simply know of Frank's work, but have not listened to him, think that his songs are silly or weird, they have not been exposed to the whole of what Frank placed in front of his listeners. Of course, not all of his songs had meanings that can be taken as conspiritorial, but many were, and with hundreds of songs to choose from, almost everyone can find one or two that they enjoy.

....and just for an extra dose of conspiracy, there is always this:

The Big Laurel Canyon Conspiracy

Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory, right? How about one that exposes Frank Zappa (among others) as being part of a huge undercover operation run by The Military-Industrial Complex™, the goal of which was to infiltrate, and subsequently neutralize the “hippie movement”?

Amira is a hyper cool Canadian chef who travels the world doing her chef thing. The Skeptical Review will soon have an update on what she does and what makes her so damn cool but for now I need to respect her news embargo. So let's just say she's damn cool. Besides being damn cool, she has a damn cool "kitchen sink" conspiracy about the musicians of the hippie generation and how guys like Frank Zappa and David Crosby were CIA stooges in an MKULTRA mind-control op

.....but that's absolutely hilarious when you have spent any time listening to Frank. If he was a part of any undercover operation, I would be more than surprised.

And there is also this...

A few days ago, I was talking to a lady friend of mine and brought up Frank Zappa’s marriage and assumed philandering as a trivial argument against monogamy and for honest promiscuity. I was told that apparently a biography of Frank Zappa actually tells a story of Gail Zappa getting quite angry over some new friend that Frank brought home.

I’m curious why such slanderous thoughts never made their way to any form of print when Frank Zappa died. Surely, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that a jealous and enraged Mrs. Zappa may have waited until Frank was asleep, loaded a syringe full with cancer and then plunged it deep into his prostate without anyone ever being the wiser…

I really doubt that, but I have heard several theories that the govenment wanted to "silence his voice" due to his controversial subject matter, his stance on censorship, and the rumors that many wanted Frank to run for POTUS.

In humble thanks to Frank Zappa for exposing me at a young age to the wrongs in society, and to the hidden control of the govenments and religions in the world. Frank was a one of a kind individual, and a one in a million musician, and IMO one of the best that the world had, or will ever see, and the greatest conspiracy theorist in music.
edit on 3-2-2012 by isyeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 09:17 PM
He also taught an entire generation about Catholic Girls, what goes on in Joe's Garage and to not eat that yellow snow...

Zappa Rules!


edit on 3-2-2012 by jude11 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 09:26 PM
Thanks for putting all this together!!!

This is what I've been allays saying
FZ is the BEST!!!

edit on 3-2-2012 by nedined because: (no reason given)

edit on 3-2-2012 by nedined because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 09:35 PM
reply to post by jude11

Ahhh....Don't eat the yellow snow...but as with many of Frank's songs, there is some meaning in the nonsense.

The song is about conflict with others. Since the beggining his momma warned him not to go near the "huskies," because all they produce is "wee wee, and doo doo." This is to say, avoid people who cause problems. Then a fur traper draws him into conflict by clubbing his favorite seal. Like so often through history, Zappa is drawn into war because of transgressions against his allies. The fur trapper is "stricly from commercial," emphasizing the point that strangers do not harm each other out of malicious intent, but simply trying to further their material gains.

edit on 3-2-2012 by isyeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 01:39 AM
I've listened to Frank for most of my life (started around age 13) and he has been not only an inspiration, but I have had the pleasure of introducing and inspiring many other people to Frank's work.

I consider him to be a musical and satirical genius, sadly ignored by most Americans, but greatly respected and appreciated in Europe.

I have lots of his albums, but not all, because his discography is so long -- he was so prolific. He was a real treasure and I am so proud that I got to see him in London, Paris and Los Angeles.

My personal favorites: Thing Fish, Joe's Garage, Orchestral Favorites, Jazz From Hell, Apostrophe, Over Night Sensation.

This musician was so important to me, that I dream of him sometimes.

Thanks for posting.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 01:55 AM
One of the original Laurel Canyon bunch, an interesting story there.

Anyways, the Central Scrutinizer "enforcing laws that haven't been passed yet" is all too real now it seems.
Read the liner notes in Joe's Garage.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 03:56 AM
from Uncle Frank himself

"“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion... At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way... and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 05:39 AM
It took me until I was 28 years old to appreciate what this man has done. No surprise he was a Baltimore-ian. We have the freest thinkers out here. (Probably the heroin LOL!)

His experimental music, which is basically all of it, is wonderful. Reminds me of Beck. God Bless Zappa. And Dweezel too.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 05:45 AM
My first experience of Zappa was coming across an old video of him on the famous TV show Crossfire. It was 20 minutes of raw, unmitigated slaughter, and I immediately became a reverant underling to this great man... That video is still floating around youtube. If you've the time I think it's well worth it. It's a very interesting debate regarding free speech.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 05:59 AM
reply to post by isyeye

im about to go to bed so i dont have anything fancy toadd right now but i just wanted to say that i just came upon old frank zappa interviews on youtube just 2 days ago and i think he is amazing. i think in a very similar way to him and i havent heard him say a single thing i dislike.

i shall return tomorrow

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:27 AM

Originally posted by Son of Will
My first experience of Zappa was coming across an old video of him on the famous TV show Crossfire. It was 20 minutes of raw, unmitigated slaughter, and I immediately became a reverant underling to this great man... That video is still floating around youtube. If you've the time I think it's well worth it. It's a very interesting debate regarding free speech.


A few things I got from this. First I love the 80s. I wish they would bring that digital format back to news. We got like CGI like Colbert show with an Eagle clutching the logo and its all fancy and whatnot. But these logos are timeless. LOL.

Anyway. I liked the "well, its Mothers of Invention. You should get out more." I hate instigators like that guy who try to take words out of context and form thier own argument to the out of context portion so they can "win" a debate. What a cocksucker.

Lastly, im obviously on Zappas side as im pretty liberal.

Having said that, look at the effect on society with this particular issue since this aired in 1986. It actually turns into a grass-is-greener on the other side situation. I kind of agree with the antagonist actually. Reduction of censorship has produced shows like 16 and pregnant, and further glorified it making 16 YO girls all ove the country want to have a kid. Britney spears, etc. You cant say that the guy didnt have a point. And the heavy reduction of censorship has contrubuted to the US society's disrespect to one another, and lessening teh value of overall human life.

Having said that-that doesnt mean the politicians didnt railroad it to this end. The lack of care and payoff taking led to dissolvation of a lot of this so there are other factors in play. But you cant say the way it ended up that Zappas argument won out. I still believe in 100% non censorship and truth. It would just seem like in this case the removal of some censorship made parents jobs harder and they had a need to spend more time teaching their kids why censorship still has importance. Instead they were tied up with making ends meet (moreso now) and keeping a roof over the familys head so a lot of these responsibilities became secondary/lost. We just ended up with a dumber, more open society.

Sorry one more-what a #ing loser Tipper Gore was. Could you imagine your whole life being a robot going to robot schools with your robot paid for friends in your censored social circle? Then your entire lifes work is playing number 2 to Al and putting a stamp on CDs/tapes that say "Parental Warning Explicit Lyrics"? Then kids mock you and put the logo on tshirts and merchandise, and end up buying CDs just because of the label? Talk about blowing up in your face. Pathetic.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:55 AM
Playing in bands for 35+ years both original and covers I will always consider playing bass in a Zappa cover band to be my greatest accomplishment. We played all of Joe's Garage and turning on the megaphone I had to do all the central scrutinizer parts. Man, that was so much fun. Catholic girls, Dong work for Yuda and Keep it Greasy were my favorite songs to perform.

I started listening to Frank in 1973 and music was never the same for me. There were periods of months where I couldn't stand to listen to any other music. The man was just too unique. My dream was to one day play in his band - that never happened but at least I got to do the next best thing.

As for conspiracy I think Frank was right on about the concept of "Total criminalization" from Joe's Garage. They would put you in prison for listening to the wrong music - now they can do the same for downloading a song with ACTA.

He'll never know how close to the truth he was.

Great thread, thanks for remembering such a great talent.

ETA - Gotta throw this in:

edit on 4-2-2012 by Asktheanimals because: added video

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 07:08 AM
I had read Real Frank Zappa some years ago, and I can definitely say it was the best autobiography Ive ever put my hands on (well, ex aqueo with Me,Miles). Funny thing, I never heard his music before, someone just lent me a book with strong recommendation.

And it blew my mind.

Not the parts where he describes his music career. To be honest there's so much about it anyway.
Most of the book are his views on economics, drug-problem, social issues, wars, politics and so on. And they are absolutely brilliant.

Saying that he was TPTB's agent have about same dose of propability, as saying that Bill Hicks was pushing big-banks agendas. Ridiculous.

Seriously, its one the best books ive ever read,
And here's the online version of it in PDF. Frakk u ACTA. Ya welcome folks

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 07:38 AM
It's great to see that so many others have such respect for Frank and his music. Although he left our world quite some time ago, his legend and his music carry his words to the newer generation. My nine year old daughter is probably one of the few kids her age that have even heard of Frank. Of course, as a protective parent, I'm selective about what songs I'll allow her to hear, but even at nine, she has an great appreciation for his music.

One of my favorite songs is Cosmik Debris which dealt with fake seers, psychics, and prophets.

I do think it's a great day to pull out some records and listen to the musical genious that was Frank.
edit on 4-2-2012 by isyeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 08:07 AM
I miss Frank every day.

His humor, his scathing social comment, his compositional abilities, his technique and style with the guitar.
I don't think we'll ever see his equal, at least not in this generation.

"Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music is THE BEST.”
― Frank Zappa

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 08:28 AM
Love me some Zappa. So ahead of his time and still poignant. Not to mention a genius on every level. However, if you want a musician that's a full blown conspiracy theorist, and not Zappa's down to Earth brand, check out John Cyriis. That is if you can actually find some information on him. No one's even sure what his actual name is.

edit on 2/4/2012 by Xcalibur254 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 10:24 AM
featuring a little know young guitarist at the time named Steve Vai on "stunt guitar"

awesome thread!!

stay away from the dangerous kitchen!
edit on 4-2-2012 by spaceg0at because: link

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 10:34 AM
Excellent Post. I am not into giving stars much, but you deserve a few for this intriguing post.

One last thing....A friend of mine turned me on to Zappa years ago and everytime I hear his name, I have to say..
"Don't kid yourself girl..."

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 11:48 AM
reply to post by Son of Will

I like Frank's music, clearly an original thinker but,

Note gents, in Franks own words, he was a conservative.

How wrong are those Laurel Canyon stories?

Zappa's father worked at the Edgewood Arsenal chemical warfare facility of the Aberdeen Proving Ground.

How weird is it that so many leaders of the so called hippy movement where so closely tied to the underside of the U.S. Military.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 01:19 PM
reply to post by poet1b

Like many other artist of his generation, exposure to government and defense programs did help form Frank's music. Conspiracies suggesting that Frank may have been part of undercover operations just don't make much sense when you look at the effects that some of these things had on him. I believe that Frank's father working in the defense industry is just a coincidence. I also think that people created conspiracies such as this because music like Frank's came at the end of the "flower power" timeframe in music. Things were no longer flowers, rainbows, and butterflies, and people look for a reason in the change of music, but the reason was simply that more artist felt the freedom to express what they were really thinking.

Due to their home's nearness to the arsenal, which stored mustard gas, gas masks were kept in the home.[4] This had a profound effect on Zappa, and references to germs, germ warfare and the defense industry occur throughout his work

Zappa was often sick as a child, suffering from asthma, earaches and sinus problems. A doctor treated his sinusitis by inserting a pellet of radium into each of Zappa's nostrils; little was known about the potential dangers of even small amounts of therapeutic radiation.[6] Nasal imagery and references appear in his music and lyrics, as well as in the collage album covers created by his long-time collaborator Cal Schenkel.

Many of Zappa's childhood diseases may have been due to exposure to mustard gas. His health worsened when he lived in Baltimore.[4][6] In 1952, his family relocated for reasons of health.[7] They moved next to Monterey, California, where his father taught metallurgy at the Naval Postgraduate School.

....and as for Frank being a conservative, this is partially true. In many things he did consider himself to be a conservative, but there is plenty of evidence to show that he was also very liberal, and sometimes an extremist. For example, Frank was very openly against the use of drugs (very conservative), but liked to have a good time with his groupies (alot more liberal) even though he was married to Gail.

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