I am a diehard fan of Frank Zappa’s music. Last night I watched the 2020 documentary film, Zappa.
Zappa was everything I thought him to be. For me, this film was not revealing, but enormously confirmative. I enjoyed Zappa's music then. I continue to listen to Zappa's music now, often.
My first live Zappa concert was in Madison Wisconsion, 1969. I dragged along my three college roommates; not sure they ever forgave me. Please excuse this aside. Seeing Zappa again flooded me with reminiscence.
I did not know that Zappa actually became Slovakia’s official “Trade and Cultural Representative" to the United States. I knew Zappa appeared several times before Congressional Committees, who were actively looking into banning Republican repulsive lyrics; that is here. I did not know he was a cultural hero to young Slovaks. Apparently the Slovak police, when citizens called to complain about abhorrent Rock and Roll being played, would say to the listeners, “Turn off that Zappa music!” Zappa said the Slovak youth would not have known who he was except for the police. Consequently, Zappa became a cultural hero, and the first American of stature to visit after the Velvet Revolution. The beginning, and near the end, of the film, shows Zappa in Prague for one of his last concerts.
Where am I in all of this. I am my own cultural hero. I am the hero of my life. Seeing Frank Zappa being his own hero reminds me of me. I document everything I do. Frank did the same. This blog is a result of my personal cultural documentation. Here I am, day by day, putting my art in a Vault, for myself, for others who are interested. Frank often said he made music only for himself. He was a person documentarian with a Vault of his ow; it collected everything he did, day by day. All his music, all his scores and writings, are collected, are available, in Frank Zappa's Vault, made by Frank Zappa for Frank Zappa. I do the same for myself.
Yesterday's drawing is revelatory. I am, through work, becoming myself, documenting my continuing personal revelation, on paper and canvas. Some days this path feels better than others. This drawing feels good now, it felt good in the making.
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