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Reply #28: Define influential [View All]

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Squeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-09-06 07:25 AM
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28. Define influential
My kneejerk impulse is to say "Frank Zappa," who hasn't appeared yet in this thread.

Trouble is, he's not much of a living influence. There are no living musicians who do what he did-- combining astute social commentary, theatrical improvisation, and intensely challenging music. And, mirabile dictu, making a decent living at it! I can't think of anyone who even comes close (maybe Robert Fripp, except that he abhors theatricality and his observations on society are either taken piecemeal from Gurdjieff or his own attempts to divest himself of the glamor of stardom). So as an influence, Zappa comes up short: there don't seem to be any contemporary performing/recording artists that have learned anything from him-- not even in the matter of having the personal courage to pursue a truly idiosyncratic musical career.

But certainly, American culture is far the poorer for being without Zappa these last dozen years.
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