When Frank Zappa sat down in New York to record this interview with Mary Travers, it was technically in support of his recent live album, Bongo Fury. In actuality, the two end up talking more about contemporary classical music. Indeed, Zappa is well known for his "sophistication" and his distaste for consumer culture, and these viewpoints are well represented here as he expresses his opinions about opera and the current state of rock and roll. His sense of humor also shines throughout, as can be heard in stories about The Beatles, Elton John, and the Bonzo Dog Doo Da Band.
00:11 - The new album, Bongo Fury / losing weight01:21 - Other live albums / engineering live recordings 02:38 - Decision making while mixing 03:42 - The group on Bongo Fury04:08 - Not being able to keep people in the band05:25 - A musical education in a library / recommended reading07:36 - Hyping contemporary classical music / what radio stations should play10:59 - Record companies' and schools' pinheaded take on classical music12:28 - Discussing Alban Berg / his favorite works for experiencing deep inner hurt13:52 - Penderecki's The Devils of Loudun15:56 - Lisztomania and Tommy16:25 - Interesting contemporary pop bands / playing with synthesizers17:21 - Theater unions driving theater out of business (and a good alternative)18:35 - What happened to the old Columbia lot off Sunset Blvd. / Charles Ives20:07 - Not a consumer of rock and roll records / causing Elton John to mess up21:40 - The myth of camaraderie between musicians / hello to Elton22:46 - Alice Cooper / The Bonzo Dog Doo Da Band23:49 - The sickening thing about classical music / making a buck with rock and roll26:47 - We're Only in It for the Money / The Beatles / Timothy Leary28:19 - Touring / finding time to write29:09 - Thoughts of working with an orchestra / volume and mixing problems32:41 - Theatrics in rock / The Rolling Stones / repetition in theater vs. rock35:25 - New York City vs. Baltimore36:05 Dictionary of American Slang, The Devil's Dictionary, The Encyclopedia of Angels37:08 - Working with the audience38:39 - Different responsibilities in studio recordings vs. live performances40:44 - Current music as an offense to people's intelligence41:31 - All new material on Bongo Fury / writing songs and then doing the work42:19 - Songs changing with personnel changes43:07 - Taping concerts, documenting changes43:46 - Thoughts on television: technologically and morally44:29 - Shopping around an unreleased TV special (what later became The Dub Room Special)
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