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Was Frank Zappa libertarian?

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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 10:29 AM
Original message
Was Frank Zappa libertarian?
He was according to a story in the NY Times today about a bunch of libertarians moving to NH to take over the state (I exaggerate slightly). Zappa was cited as a libertarian hero of one of these pilgrims. I thought Zappa was a Democrat. I know his wife is. Perhaps he's a Democrat with libertarian tendencies? A left libertarian?

What's the deal, Howie?
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deutsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
1. I met Zappa and talked with him for about 40 minutes or so
mainly about politics.

This was back in the '80s and he was vehemently anti-Reagan and was hoping the Democrats would hold on or add to their congressional seats in the mid-term election.

However, as you probably know, he was very much opposed to what the PMRC was doing with record-labeling, as well as anyone in Congress who supported them. We didn't get into it beyond this issue, but I'm pretty sure he was opposed to most governmental intrusiveness in individuals' lives. This could be seen as libertarian, I suppose. But I think he realized what the greater evil was (i.e., Reagan) and saw that the Democrats, as bad as they could be, were necessary to keep the Right in check.

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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
11. So Did I!
It was in the early 90's, a couple years before he died. I had breakfast with him in the restaurant of the Frankfurter Hof in downtown Frankfurt. (Across the river from the Saksenhausen district.)

About an hour or so. He was there on a tour of Europe and was playing Frankfurt the night after our breakfast. He was there with Moon and his youngest son.

We talked about music, politics, and the sad state of the entertainment biz.

Just a serendipitous meeting for me.
The Professor
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
2. I always thought him to be "apolitical" ...
what I mean is that never affiliated himself with any political party.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. I know he was political
Edited on Mon Oct-27-03 10:49 AM by BurtWorm
On the back of Mothers Live at Fillmore East June 1971, one of my all-time favorite records, there's a large message, which I always thought was ironic, in a Mothersly kind of way: "Don't Forget to Register to Vote." But it wasn't ironic. He meant it. He believed in political action and civic duty.
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Creamed Corn Donating Member (143 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. "The entertainment branch of industry"
FZ paid attention to politics, wrote songs about politicians, defended free speech in a Congressional hearing and registered voters at concerts. Apolitical is the wrong word.

Just sayin.
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Philostopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
3. Big L Libertarian? no. Small l libertarian? probably.
Edited on Mon Oct-27-03 10:47 AM by nownow
Which is to say affiliating himself with a particular party would have damaged his status as a cultural and social critic. He hated hypocrites, and hated when people tried to 'legislate morality' -- their party affiliation mattered not a great deal to him.



(edit for clarity on title)
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corarose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
6. I met him when I was a kid
He is a BIG DEMOCRAT!
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corarose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
7. I met him when I was a kid
He is a BIG DEMOCRAT!
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number six Donating Member (244 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
8. If you can be a left libertarian
He's your textbook definition
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Nomad559 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
9. Famous Dead Nontheists
http://www.visi.com/~markg/atheists.html

Frank Zappa, American musician (1940-1993).
"Who you jivin' with that cosmic debris?"
"Reality is what it is, not what you want it to be."
"If you want to get together in any exclusive situation and have people love you, fine -- but to hang all this desperate sociology on the idea of The Cloud-Guy who has The Big Book, who knows if you've been bad or good -- and CARES about any of it -- to hang it all on that, folks, is the chimpanzee part of the brain working."
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DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
10. I've heard this book is actually pretty good
The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play, by Ben Watson

I've never read it, but I've seen reference to it as actually quite astute, despite the academic marxist taint.

Author (I'm told) really struggles with Frank's antipathy to the musician's union.

Frank had a strong libertarian bent, but was too much of an iconoclast to be a "party man", and certainly never joined "The Libertarian Party"

See:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/031214124...
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Bozola Donating Member (992 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. I loved Zappa, but I hated Watson's book

Though it has it's moments, Watson's book is blithering trash.



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DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Guess I won't buy it
Even though it has a good used price....
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Monte Carlo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
14. I think he was certainly a civil libertarian...
...that's what I gather from his lyrics and his writings and what-not. I don't know if he had the anti-tax zealotry of the Libertarian Party, though. He owned his own business, but I don't think he saw gov't as unnecessary.

I do know that his family has kissed and made up with Tipper and Al Gore, and that Gail was a contributor to the Democratic Party during 2000.
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Drifter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-03 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
15. I have a recording of an interview ...
It could be with Lofton on Crossfire in the mid-80's.

I remember him distinctly say that he is a Conservative.

My guess is that he is a "Real" conservative, not one of the fake "say that they want to hear" type conservatives. I have respect for real conservatives (as I have several conservative views).

I do know that he was registered as a Democrat in order to vote in primaries. I do know that he was not a big fan of Nixon (Dicky's Such an Asshole), or Reagan/Bush (Hot Plate Heavan at the Green Hotel).

His final US tour was a GOTV tour. He invited the League of womans voters to set up voter registration tables in the lobby.

A great (Live) album from this tour is "Broadway the Hardway". This is highly recommended.

Cheers
Drifter

I have said since 12/2000 that if Frank Zappa were alive today (despite hating touring), he would be force to put all of his shit in a truck and haul it around the world.

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