The other night, tired of Scandinavian noir, I watched a Frank Zappa concert filmed in the early 1970’s. It was an awful experience. It threw me back into adolescence. Between 15 and 25 I was an unblinking fan of the Mothers. It came over me that while the music was good, Zappa’s puerile bullshit was, how to put it? His onstage persona hasn’t aged well.
The man didn’t like his audience.
These days there’s a lot of that going around. The sports star doesn’t like his fans. The politician who hates her voters. We pray for the day when self-contempt becomes a museum.
Meantime, there was Frank, sneering at drug addicts, women, people who like to dance, in short, the average concert audience.
No one is having any fun in the film. Not the audience, not the musicians. But they pretend. And there’s Zappa, winking, “I don’t like any of you, and look at what you’ll do for me!”
It’s said that Stalin used to make his dinner guests dance to a gramophone record of howling wolves.
I went back to Scandinavian noir.