Frank Zappa Jon Pareles - Essay

Jon Pareles

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Frank Zappa's attitude runs so thick you could smear it on sidewalks. For a decade, his name has conjured a rude blend of cynicism, scatology, and conceit, and until seven years ago he was entitled to all three. Zappa's scabrous all-Americanism, as promulgated on the first half-dozen Mothers of Invention albums, was enough to nurture the Tubes, the Residents, and others; his shifty-meter tunes, tape tricks, and rock-jazz arrangements would be revered and revived by Tin Huey, Hatfield and the North, the Residents, and many others. Yet his best work (the Mothers' Freak Out! and Weasels Ripped My Flesh, and Zappa's solo Hot Rats) went unbought….

His response was so cynical it...

(The entire section is 524 words.)