Friday, February 24, 2012


The following has been rephrased, re-presented, and reiterated in a variety of ways, some more scholarly than others, but Frank still said it best: if you're involved with music in any way other than making it, you are the problem.


Jeffrey said...

I see. So, back in the day, people pressing the blobs of vinyl into records were a problem?

So, people who advanced Pink Floyd the money to make Dark Side of the Moon were a problem?

So, Brian Epstein was a problem?

So, Ahmet Ertegü was a problem?

So, Dave Robinson and Jake Riviera were problems?

I could go on.

There were a lot of predatory hacks in the music business, but Frank Zappa said a lot of silly things.

Before the "wonder" of the digital world and, mostly, badly produced DIY music, it took a shitload of money to put a studio together and get peoples music distributed beyond the local radio stations, even if that. That was still the model that worked for the most part when Zappa was still alive, unless you had already made a pot of money like the Stones or a few other acts and could fund things yourself.

Seb said...

At what point, Jeffrey, did you decide you were going to become the resident troll? Some other folks have made the occasional wise-crack about JM's semi-oblivious questions, questions whose answers are laid plainly out in the very posts she responds to. But I've gotta say, of late, your remarks have been comparably out to lunch.

You'll notice that (a) Zappa's talking about how things were better - at least with regard to the distribution of outré music - back in the day, and (b) I was speaking in the present tense, implying accord with Zappa's assessment that shit was right back in the day. Ergo, the implication is not that Ahmet Ertegun, or George Martin, or John Lomax, or Thomas Edison "are" the problem. The problem is people like Ryan Schreiber, Alan McGee, Bob Lefsetz, and Tom Windish.

That being said, lest I'm accused of rose-coloured hindsight, the music industry has been plus ça change, plus c'est la mème chose for the past 60 years (since the advent of commercial youth-rebellion culture) and apocryphal Hunter S. Thompson quote sums it up deftly.

And in my personal estimation, whoever footed the bill for such a bloated piece of dull sound-design as Dark Side of the Moon absolute were the fucking problem.