Frank Zappa Talks Shoes, Girls, and Fads in Animated PBS "Blank on Blank" Interview from 1971 [Youtube Video]

Persia Jensen

by Persia Jensen

Published June 15, 2016

PBS Digital Studios' Blank On Blank published one of their animated interviews with notable singer-songwriter Frank Zappa that took place back in 1971 with Howard Smith. Watch above.

The interview encompasses Zappa's views on America and its "fads" and also on women. Frank's responses to Howard's question on whether he noticed a more "political consciousness" in his audience while touring were that they're "superficial" and that their views were based on the "involvement of their peer groups"

Zappa added that people's political consciousness is comparable to their musical consciousness:

One guy in the group says 'Hey, politics' and they go 'Yeah politics' or they go 'Grand Funk Railroad' Yeah... Grand Funk Railroad.' It's the same thing.

Frank discusses with Smith that the only changes he really encounters are changes in what's trending in society. Saying that changes are all "temporary things and that any change for the good is always subject to cancelation upon the arrival of the next fad, the same thing with any change of the worse."

Some would argue that Zappa's insight on American society was either brilliant, or insensitive, however Frank didn't stop at that. Smith questioned Frank on why there was never any involvement with a woman in his musical groups, followed by his perception on woman in general:

I don't think its practical...Women are different you know? I hate to to think of women as a big group cause you can't judge them that way but in most instances I find out they're more stupid people, they just happen to wear dresses.

To conclude Frank Zappa's shamelessly honest interview, he tells Howard Smith that he sees America as a fad-obsessed country.

I think its a reasonable way to look at it...A fad provides a temporary occupation for your imagination. No real culture, no real art, no real anything, just got a lot of fads and a gross national product and a lot of inflation.

You can buy the full interview at John Lennon and Yoko Ono happen to be sitting in the room during the interview, and the website says that they actually "start to chime in near the end."

You can also read the full transcript of the video with some cool gif images at

For the latest on Frank Zappa, check out his Zumic artist page.

Source: Blank on Blank YouTube

Frank Zappa
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