December 14, 2013

Andy Warhol hated Frank Zappa.

From "The Andy Warhol Diaries," Thursday, June 16, 1983:
Frank Zappa came to be interviewed for our TV show and I think that after the interview I hated Zappa even more than when it started. I remember when he was so mean to us when the Mothers of Invention played with the Velvet Underground— I think both at the Trip, in L.A., and at the Fillmore in San Francisco. I hated him then and I still don’t like him. And he was awfully strange about Moon. I said how great she was, and he said, “Listen, I created her. I invented her.” Like, “She’s nothing, it’s all me.” And I mean, if it were my daughter I would be saying, “Gee, she’s so smart,” but he’s taking all the credit. It was peculiar.
Here's Moon performing the old 1982 song "Valley Girl." Listening to that today is a completely different experience because back then talking like that was really weird and unbelievably stupid. Today, that kind of speech is so common, perplexingly common. I hear it all the time from people who completely intend to be taken seriously — mainstream journalists, law professors — female and male.

28 comments:

betamax3000 said...

The Warhol Diaries Could Be a Gatsby-Like Project. Every Few Days an Excerpt from this Peculiarly Strange Silver-Haired Time Machine.

And He is Still in the News:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/celebrity-news/ryan-oneal-testifies-about-his-close-connection-to-disputed-warhol-portrait-of-farah-fawcett/article15911119/

Warhol's Fifteen Minutes Last Forever.

betamax3000 said...

“I'm afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning.”
― Andy Warhol

The Universe Explained Through a Campbell's Soup Can.

Shouting Thomas said...

Who doesn't hate Zappa? He wanted to be hated. That was his shtick. That and potty humor.

He's impossible to listen to, but that's secondary.

Hard to remember back in those days of yore when the dream of every "creative" rock musician was to be absolutely unintelligible.

Zappa was the icon of that movement.

EDH said...

The 1983 Warhol Diary entry is after "Valley Girl", so...

Maybe, despite all his underground cred, Zappa, like most entertainers, craved elusive notoriety.

Zappa's only Top 40 hit (it hit No. 32) featured his 14-year-old daughter Moon on lead vocals, running through a bunch of early-'80s "valley" speak (if you lived through it, you knew how painful it was).

Might explain why he wanted to claim ownership of her talent.

Also, in her words: Zappa inducted in the R&R Hall of Fame by... Lou Reed, and presented to Moon Zappa.

"I think he would have enjoyed this."

Dr Weevil said...

Last week I spent three nights in a hotel literally across the street from a major exhibition of Warhol and Bastiat. Never had the slightest hint of a twinge of an urge to see it. Did stop by the museum's gift shop my last day in Vienna to see if they had a tote bag to haul my newly-acquired used books home in. Nope: the closest they had was an ugly leather (or fake leather) bag thing priced at something over $250.

SGT Ted said...

I consider those that use 'Valley Girl" inflections to be a sign of arrested development in that they are stuck in an adolescent speech pattern and form and have never matured into an adult voice.

madAsHell said...

Moon Zappa....and the Solid Gold Dancers!!

Zappa had substance. Warhol had a soup can.

Oso Negro said...

It is funny to note how comparatively well-spoken Ms. Zappa seems in that video versus kids of today. She is also exceedingly demurely dressed.

Carol said...

Zappa was very smart and utterly lacking in sentimentality. Not a good fit for rock and roll, really.

Robert Cook said...

"Zappa had substance. Warhol had a soup can."

They are both controversial in that they inspire either impassioned admiration or loathing by those who consider their work.

Me? I think Warhol was much the more substantial artist than Zappa, who had some talent, but who apparently perceived himself as a "composer" as well as a satirist. In both endeavors he was vastly less capable than he seemed to believe he was. His music and "humor" strikes me as the ostentatious preening of a self-impressed 15 year old boy.

He guest-hosted Saturday Night Live and replaced Milton Berle as the cast's "most hated" host. He seems to have been good to the musicians who worked for him, (unlike his high school friend who made vastly better music, Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart), so there's that.

surfed said...

It's ersatz surfer speak and it has it's origins in the old north west (your neck of the woods) and Oklahoma. It's a combination of the two vocal patterns. I have a linguistic study from UCLA somewhere that I can't immediately lay my hands on. California surfers have talked in a similar more muted way since the 1930's.

Robert Cook said...

That, by the way, was the first time I had really ever heard "Valley Girl." I think I heard a 20 second excerpt of it years ago, but I've never heard the whole thing. It's actually among Zappa's more entertaining pieces...primarily because Moon is singing and not him.

Levi Starks said...

I no longer have a copy of Joe's Garage, but that album helped me survive a few of my years in the Navy.
Must resist the urge to go to iTunes.....

donald said...

I remember one night on our ship, we were in the office working on service records that had been damaged as a result of fire fighting. It was about 2:30am. Out practice was everybody go to play a cassette while we were working in a rotation. Anything you wanted which led to a lot of different stuff.

Anyhoo, there we were, grinding away, hating our jobs (at that moment). I had Zappa blasting. "broken hearts are for assholes" actually. So there was Frank, repeating it over and over and over. And the all of a sudden there was PN1 Benetiz striding over, picking up the Boom box, slamming it to the ground then kicking and stomping on it till it didn't work anymore. He turned around, dropped 3 bills on Splint Wints (Owner of the box, which cost about $150.00), told me he hated me and walked out of the office.

donald said...

I remember one night on our ship, we were in the office working on service records that had been damaged as a result of fire fighting. It was about 2:30am. Out practice was everybody go to play a cassette while we were working in a rotation. Anything you wanted which led to a lot of different stuff.

Anyhoo, there we were, grinding away, hating our jobs (at that moment). I had Zappa blasting. "broken hearts are for assholes" actually. So there was Frank, repeating it over and over and over. And the all of a sudden there was PN1 Benetiz striding over, picking up the Boom box, slamming it to the ground then kicking and stomping on it till it didn't work anymore. He turned around, dropped 3 bills on Splint Wints (Owner of the box, which cost about $150.00), told me he hated me and walked out of the office.

Sam L. said...

Warhol? I should take his word for it. Zappa; never cared for him. I have met a man looks an awful lot like him in my little town.

YoungHegelian said...

I have a buddy who interviewed Zappa back in the day for a rock magazine, and Zappa was a bastard to him, too. As ST said, that was his shtick, and, more than shtick, I think he at root a misanthropic person.

@RC

....he was vastly less capable than he seemed to believe he was.

A very common malady among artists, including musicians, and extremely common among rock stars. It was downhill for Zappa after "Hot Rats".

Howard said...

Robert Cook is spot on. Zappa was a mainstream pop artist (like Warhol) compared with his childhood friend Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart... who went on to a quietly successful career as an abstract expressionist.

http://lowegallery.com/artists/don-van-vliet/bio.htm

WestVirginiaRebel said...

Zappa's whole bit was about making fun of the music industry, but for Andy Warhol to think he was strange is saying something.

FullMoon said...

Zappa anticipated Obamacare problems:
So I'm watchin' and I'm waitin'
Hopin' for the best
Even think I'll go to prayin'
Every time I hear 'em sayin'
That there's no way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin' every day


MetroLyrics

Carter Wood said...

Always thought Frank Zappa was a smug jerk. Although his use of Flo and Eddie was commendable.

I've worked with a representative of a major international organization whose every sentence -- really, every! -- ended with an uprising inflection. It actually hindered communication, in that there were no inflectional clues to guide the conversation.

Beldar said...

I don't care for either of them.

Or Bob Dylan.

But I am a man who wears shorts.

Kirk Parker said...

Shouting,

In addition to his own kids, the annals of Weird Zappa Exploitation need to also include Wild Man Fischer.

CatherineM said...

I like Zappa - my fave song being Dumb All Over.

I was in the 7th grade when Valley Girl came out and we all tried to memorize it. Barf out was a fave refrain.

The movie Valley Girl starring Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman was my fave move and still is adorable. Deborah Foreman should have had a career, but Hollywood is stupid.

What Moon is wearing (SOLID GOLD DANCERS!!) was popular at the time. Look at any graduation photos of girls around that period and we all had pie crust ruffled collars and dropped waist dresses.

SOJO said...

@CatherineM

Yeah, I remember that stuff. It was Lady/Princess Diana gear remade for the US.

Paul Kirchner said...

If you read Warhol's book "The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)" he seems very astute about people. I think he was correct about Zappa. Zappa did some amusing stuff but he came off as contemptuous of everyone.

I'm not a fan of Warhol's artwork but as a personality he's interesting.

Joe said...

I've long suspected that Andy Warhol was, at heart, a very conventional person who put on an elaborate, very planned--almost clinical--show. As a side effect, he ended up surrounding himself with assholes and crazies. I wonder if he was ever truly comfortable with his own creation.

Joseph Blieu said...

appa was an entertainer. He was smarter than most and knew how to tell a story the listener could develop in her/his own way,

Out through the night and the whispering breezes,
To the place where they keep the imaginary diseases.