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The Friday Morning Listen

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Jazz From Hell – Frank Zappa

The other night I was reading Paul Zollo’s wonderful book Songwriters On Songwriting. In the middle of a 1987 interview with Frank Zappa, Zollo is trying to make the point that a decent amount of good music had been released during the 1980’s, most of which the general public remained unaware of. Zappa ,after begrudgingly admitting the author’s point (sorta), goes on to make a statement about the music industry and musical culture as a whole:

    Q: Well, you see, there are many great songs that have been written in the 80’s. They might not get any radio play or be seen on MTV but they are still very good.

    A: Well, okay, I’ll grant you that. But let’s take a look at the broad spectrum of what everybody knows as common American coinage, the musical experience of being an American. The boundary of your musical experience has been determined by accountants. Unless you are going to seek out the newest and the finest of whatever is available in any field, what you are presented with as a set of alternatives that you will choose to inhabit your lifestyle is tiny.

It still applies today.

(First posted on Mark Is Cranky)

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