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Zappa on Politics in the USA....
#5
When Zappa was invited to Prague by Vaclav Havel in January 1990, he wasreportedly shocked at his instant popularity, as well as by how wellpeople knew his musicin the 1970s and 1980s Czechs listened to Zappathanks to albums that were smuggled into communist Czechoslovakia viasecret networks that transported literature, music, and even musicalinstruments.
The connection may not seem immediately obvious, but Frank Zappa'spopularity in Prague is closely connected to the dark days of thedissident era, when his music and that of the Velvet Underground wereblacklisted by the censors. For example, Frank Zappa's second album,Absolutely Free was smuggled into Czechoslovakia within a year of its 1967release, and critics claim that the music influenced the famous Czechunderground rock band, The Plastic People of the Universe. Zappa's tunesthus came to represent freedom and independent thought to dissidents inCzechoslovakia. Reports have it that when young kids in communistCzechoslovakia played heavy rock music, the police would tell them to"turn off that Frank Zappa music."
Then, in January 1990, Vaclav Havel appointed Frank Zappa as "SpecialAmbassador to the West on Trade, Culture and Tourism," much to thedisgruntlement of U.S. Secretary of State, James Baker, who is famous fordeclaring: "You can do business with the United States or you can dobusiness with Frank Zappa." Still, Vaclav Havel's friendship withFrank Zappa grew, and Zappa shared his ideas about increasing tourism toCzechoslovakia, and explained the concept of credit cards which were thenan unknown quantity in this part of the world. It was Frank Zappa's briefinterlude in the world of international trade and diplomatic relationsandthe vantage-point was Prague.
Vaclav Havel still counts himself amongst Zappa's big fans, and says that"Frank Zappa was one of the gods of the Czech underground."There he'll surely stay in the memories of his Czech friends.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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Zappa on Politics in the USA.... - by Bill Fite - 20-03-2018, 10:13 PM
Zappa on Politics in the USA.... - by Bill Fite - 21-03-2018, 07:55 AM
Zappa on Politics in the USA.... - by Peter Lemkin - 21-03-2018, 05:10 PM

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