Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Frank Zappa and the counter-culture

Vintage Frank Zappa and the Mothers were a favorite of the 1970s counter culture.

Here are some more excerpts from Memoirs of a Drugged-Up, Sex-Crazed Yippie:

One weekend when my whole family went out of town I had a party at my house. The same crowd of people who were at Clark’s house came to mine. We all sat around my new pipe, which I had to sit on the blue-carpeted floor, because my folks didn’t have a coffee table in the middle of the room. I had a plate next to my pipe with some of my best pot spread out on it. Everyone crouched around the pipe and sat on the floor.

“How good is this stuff, Mark?” Clark asked.

“It’s some of the best I’ve ever had. It’s Oaxacan.”

As Clark took out a lighter and fired up the pipe, we all began to pass it around. Each person took turns sucking on the black plastic hose that pulled the smoke from the bottle. The bottle filled with smoke so thick we could not see through it.

We smoked so much dope we created a cloud in the bluish colored living room. We had only the kitchen light on and a lone black light was hooked up in the living room. As we got high, the room was both dark and cloudy with an eerie dark violet tint to it. A few of us drank some Coors beer we bought at the local corner bar, Siesta Lounge. It was one of the few places that didn’t check IDs. Some of the guys just smoked dope. I put on one of our favorite albums, Zappa’s “Freak Out.” We listened to “Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet,” an electronic piece with a few vocals and sound effects. The unconventional music, with its bizarre sound effects, was trippy enough to enhance our extremely intoxicated state of mind.

“That music is freaky,” Phil said. “It’s perfect for this party. Look how the black light makes that cloud look blue. That looks awesome.”………

…..The rock groups we listened to were important, not only because of the loud metallic music, but because they often spoke to us through their lyrics. The messages could be political or have a social message. In Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” the band ridiculed generals and leaders for making pawns out of the soldiers and victims of war. The leaders all got the benefits. Yet Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” and “Ballad of Dwight Fry,” by Alice Cooper were examples of the celebration of insanity. The freaks saw political power as an enemy because politicians and narcs were constantly harassing drug users. Drug use distorted reality and the resulting insanity was considered something noble to the freaks.

In Zappa’s first album, The Mothers of Invention’s “Freak Out,” there is a description given for “freaking out” which describes those who want to “cast off outmoded and restricting standards of thinking.” It was generally a positive statement about those called “freaks” by society.

There was the comic book series the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, by Gilbert Shelton, who lampooned the Freaks. The books were fun to read. But many freaks identified with the humor and it was an admission that freaks were a true cultural movement……..

This book is available from Amazon. Just click on the hyper link on this page.

Frank Zappa -- Brown shoes don't make it

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