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Frank Zappa on Why You Can’t Stand Your Kids’ Music

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When I came here,” Frank Zappa said, pointing to an amplifier, “I had to explain to them that kids don’t want pretty notes — that’s for the flabby, martini-drinking generation. Kids want sound. And if your ears hear it as a whine, a whistle, fuzz — the feedback scream that NBC pays engineers millions to get rid of? That’s music to us today. And the kids love it if you hate it. You go to one of their concerts. You want to find out what your daughter is up to. So you go, and you walk in, and you say, ‘That damn amp is up so loud I can’t make out the words.’ The kids love that, because they already know the words, and they know you don’t. The amplifier is their weapon of destruction.”

—”Does This Mother Know Best?” by W.H. Manville, January 13, 1968

This article is featured in the January/February 2018 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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  • Frank Zappa makes some valid points here, for some people. His lack of respect for the World War II generation (and earlier) though is disheartening, disrespectful and dated.

    I’d love to force him to listen to the “music” put out over the past 30 years now, and see how he feels about the gimmicked-out, reshuffling of the same deck of cards, literally. I suggest anyone reading this to check out ‘Why is Modern Music So Terrible’? on You Tube for the insidious, in-depth answers.

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