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Ode To Gravity:
Frank Zappa: World Affairs Commentator, Part II

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 62 min
Event Type: Interview and Music Program Origin: KPFA

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From a program recorded on May 20, 1991, Frank Zappa returns to Ode To Gravity to be interviewed by Charles Amirkhanian while also fielding questions from KPFA listeners, just one month after appearing on the same program and announcing that he was considering running for President of the United States. While backing away from such a decision due to doubts about his ultimate preparedness for elected office, Zappa does not shy away from his criticisms of censorship, right wing politics, and irresponsible personal behavior. The program begins with a selection of Eastern European avant-garde rock music and traditional folk songs, giving listeners a sense of Zappa’s interest in world music. Amirkhanian and Zappa then discuss Zappa’s work with the Synclavier, which includes building a library of extended chords from skillfully combined samples of a variety of sound sources. The phone lines are then opened and Zappa answers a variety of questions ranging from his evaluation of local and national politicians; his surprised reaction to learning that the White Aryan Resistance co-opted his song lyrics for their recruitment efforts; his insights into a possible sex scandal of Ronald Reagan’s; and his personal opinions about drug use and decriminalization, among others. As always Zappa displays a Renaissance polymath’s knowledge and range of interests, combined with a biting, dry, sardonic wit.

Musical Selections:  [unidentified rock music] (1:13) / Michael Kocáb -- [unidentified rock music] (1:35) / Michael Kocáb -- Zarodila mi a ne matushka [excerpt] (0:57) -- A Humorous Megrulian Song [excerpt, probably “Megruli Satrp’ialo”] (1:00) -- Purple Haze [excerpt] (1:54) / Jimi Hendrix [arr. by Frank Zappa]
Performers:  Olʹga Vladimirovna Trushina, voice (Zarodila)
Fazisi: (Humorous)
Frank Zappa and Band (Purple)
Genres:  Popular Music; Avant-Garde
Subject:  Zappa, Frank; Rock music; Avant-garde (Music) ; Politics and culture; Art -- Political aspects; Folk songs, Russian; Folk songs, Georgian -- Georgia (Republic)
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Zappa, Frank; Kocáb, Michael, 1954- ; Trushina, Olʹga Vladimirovna; Hendrix, Jimi
Recording Date:  5/20/1991
First Broadcast Date:  5/20/1991
 
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