Frank Zappa JOHN SWENSON and BART TESTA - Essay

JOHN SWENSON and BART TESTA

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Freak Out and its follow-ups, Absolutely Free and We're Only In It For the Money, became legend primarily for the visual images superimposed on the music; Zappa's ironic critique of society…. Zappa seems to have no limit of contempt for aspects of Ugly Americana, including his audience (and, perhaps even himself).

But what may have seemed hostile in '68 (say, for example, the parody of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on the inside cover of We're Only In It …) turns out to make good sense in retrospect. In fact, Zappa was a very earnest humanist: "Drop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mediocre education system. Forget about the...

(The entire section is 412 words.)