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Thread started 06/28/04 11:48pm

insatiable247

Prince and Zappa

Does ANYONE know if there was a formal meeting between Prince and Frank Zappa? I've recently been introduced to Zappa and couldn't help but notice similarities between the two. First being Prince signed to WB the same year Zappa left (with a sour taste in his mouth, nonetheless). Secondly, being consatntly surrounded by brilliant musicians. And, I guess most importantly, basically doing shit their way as eccentric bohemian types. ANY connections of the two that ya'll know of will be appreciated.



Plus Kyle wants to know!! razz
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Reply #1 posted 06/29/04 12:37am

Lastochka74

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eek Who such Zappa? sad
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Reply #2 posted 06/29/04 1:06am

cloreenbaconsk
in

insatiable247 said:

Does ANYONE know if there was a formal meeting between Prince and Frank Zappa? I've recently been introduced to Zappa and couldn't help but notice similarities between the two. First being Prince signed to WB the same year Zappa left (with a sour taste in his mouth, nonetheless). Secondly, being consatntly surrounded by brilliant musicians. And, I guess most importantly, basically doing shit their way as eccentric bohemian types. ANY connections of the two that ya'll know of will be appreciated.



Plus Kyle wants to know!! razz
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Reply #3 posted 06/29/04 2:08am

cloreenbaconsk
in

Woops,

Let me try this again.

My two favoritte artists are, believe it or not, Prince and Zappa.

I wish I could answer your question but I don't know. If you find anything about that let me know at chrizmo@earthlink.net because I rarely go on this site.

I did however read in uptown that Prince covered a Zappa tune in an early highschool band but I find that hard to believe. I agree about what you said about them having some things in common but their music is very different accept that they can both rip on the guitar and they are musical Gods.

Any other Prince, Zappa fans out there? I've always wanted to meet some Prince fans that understand music composition and can appreciate artists like Zappa and Prince.

O.K. Here's the part that might make you hate me unless you really know a lot about music and truely understand Zappa.

First of all I've been to 2 celebrations and I love ALL of Prince's music.

But.....

Some of Prince's music is kind of cheezy and below his own musical standards. I've seen him do unbelievable things that I could only explain to a person who has studied composition and knows a lot about harmonic movement. He is a genius. Period. Right now there is no person alive that is as talented a musician as him. Accept maybe Hermeto pascoal. Who is that? Renato played with him and agreed with me when I asked him that question.

But unfortunately he usually releases typical dance oriented stuff.
I'd like to hear more straight ahead jazz mixed with his own sureal parade-like horn arrangements etc. But that's just me.

If there is anyone out there that gets where I'm coming from I'd like to talk and share Prince/Zappa rae recordings of there most talented moments.
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Reply #4 posted 06/29/04 2:09am

insatiable247

Lastochka74 said:

eek Who such Zappa? sad

Umm... are you funny?
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Reply #5 posted 06/29/04 2:11am

mrdespues

insatiable247 said:

Lastochka74 said:

eek Who such Zappa? sad

Umm... are you funny?


The dude's from another country.

Now, to answer the question posed by insatiable:

There has never been any acknowledgement from either party about each others' existance.
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Reply #6 posted 06/29/04 2:16am

insatiable247

mrdespues said:

insatiable247 said:


Umm... are you funny?


The dude's from another country.

Now, to answer the question posed by insatiable:

There has never been any acknowledgement from either party about each others' existance.



Thank you, Mr. Despues. You if ANYbody will give me a decent response when NOBODY can! wink
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Reply #7 posted 06/29/04 2:19am

mrdespues

insatiable247 said:

mrdespues said:



The dude's from another country.

Now, to answer the question posed by insatiable:

There has never been any acknowledgement from either party about each others' existance.



Thank you, Mr. Despues. You if ANYbody will give me a decent response when NOBODY can! wink


no worries thumbs up!
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Reply #8 posted 06/29/04 2:26am

insatiable247

cloreenbaconskin said:

Woops,

Let me try this again.

My two favoritte artists are, believe it or not, Prince and Zappa.

I wish I could answer your question but I don't know. If you find anything about that let me know at chrizmo@earthlink.net because I rarely go on this site.

I did however read in uptown that Prince covered a Zappa tune in an early highschool band but I find that hard to believe. I agree about what you said about them having some things in common but their music is very different accept that they can both rip on the guitar and they are musical Gods.

Any other Prince, Zappa fans out there? I've always wanted to meet some Prince fans that understand music composition and can appreciate artists like Zappa and Prince.

O.K. Here's the part that might make you hate me unless you really know a lot about music and truely understand Zappa.


First of all I've been to 2 celebrations and I love ALL of Prince's music.

But.....

Some of Prince's music is kind of cheezy and below his own musical standards. I've seen him do unbelievable things that I could only explain to a person who has studied composition and knows a lot about harmonic movement. He is a genius. Period. Right now there is no person alive that is as talented a musician as him. Accept maybe Hermeto pascoal. Who is that? Renato played with him and agreed with me when I asked him that question.

But unfortunately he usually releases typical dance oriented stuff.
I'd like to hear more straight ahead jazz mixed with his own sureal parade-like horn arrangements etc. But that's just me.

If there is anyone out there that gets where I'm coming from I'd like to talk and share Prince/Zappa rae recordings of there most talented moments.



Thank you too cloreenbaconskin. Like I said, I'm just finding out about FZ, so ANY input is cool.
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Reply #9 posted 06/29/04 2:46am

insatiable247

Has this posted before? If so, my bad.
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Reply #10 posted 06/29/04 2:56am

mrdespues

insatiable247 said:

Has this posted before? If so, my bad.


yeah but not in a long while. don't sweat it, there are far worse offenders for the recurring questions.
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Reply #11 posted 06/29/04 2:58am

insatiable247

mrdespues said:

insatiable247 said:

Has this posted before? If so, my bad.


yeah but not in a long while. don't sweat it, there are far worse offenders for the recurring questions.



My man. You alright!
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Reply #12 posted 06/29/04 3:07am

AsylumUtopia

wave I'm just starting to get into zappa. I have been intending to explore his music ever since I heard Joe's Garage and some other MOI stuff years ago. A few weeks ago I decided it was time to start, so without any Zappa enthusiasts to give me a starting point or preferred listening order I just grabbed an album at random - which happened to be FZ meets the Mothers of Prevention. It seems as good a starting point as any. We're Turning Again is to me a perfect example of Zappa's talent - funny and serious without being cheesy.

So, if you (or anyone) has any recommendations as to where I should go next with my Zappa exploration, they'd be greatly appreciated.
Lemmy, Bowie, Prince, Leonard. RIP.
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Reply #13 posted 06/29/04 5:12am

maxwell

avatar

cloreenbaconskin said:

Woops,

Let me try this again.

My two favoritte artists are, believe it or not, Prince and Zappa.

I wish I could answer your question but I don't know. If you find anything about that let me know at chrizmo@earthlink.net because I rarely go on this site.

I did however read in uptown that Prince covered a Zappa tune in an early highschool band but I find that hard to believe. I agree about what you said about them having some things in common but their music is very different accept that they can both rip on the guitar and they are musical Gods.

Any other Prince, Zappa fans out there? I've always wanted to meet some Prince fans that understand music composition and can appreciate artists like Zappa and Prince.

O.K. Here's the part that might make you hate me unless you really know a lot about music and truely understand Zappa.

First of all I've been to 2 celebrations and I love ALL of Prince's music.

But.....

Some of Prince's music is kind of cheezy and below his own musical standards. I've seen him do unbelievable things that I could only explain to a person who has studied composition and knows a lot about harmonic movement. He is a genius. Period. Right now there is no person alive that is as talented a musician as him. Accept maybe Hermeto pascoal. Who is that? Renato played with him and agreed with me when I asked him that question.

But unfortunately he usually releases typical dance oriented stuff.
I'd like to hear more straight ahead jazz mixed with his own sureal parade-like horn arrangements etc. But that's just me.

If there is anyone out there that gets where I'm coming from I'd like to talk and share Prince/Zappa rae recordings of there most talented moments.


could you be any further up your own arse - or do you also need an 'appreciation of composition' to be able to say that?
Moo said the cow
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Reply #14 posted 06/29/04 5:14am

mrdespues

maxwell said:

cloreenbaconskin said:

Woops,

Let me try this again.

My two favoritte artists are, believe it or not, Prince and Zappa.

I wish I could answer your question but I don't know. If you find anything about that let me know at chrizmo@earthlink.net because I rarely go on this site.

I did however read in uptown that Prince covered a Zappa tune in an early highschool band but I find that hard to believe. I agree about what you said about them having some things in common but their music is very different accept that they can both rip on the guitar and they are musical Gods.

Any other Prince, Zappa fans out there? I've always wanted to meet some Prince fans that understand music composition and can appreciate artists like Zappa and Prince.

O.K. Here's the part that might make you hate me unless you really know a lot about music and truely understand Zappa.

First of all I've been to 2 celebrations and I love ALL of Prince's music.

But.....

Some of Prince's music is kind of cheezy and below his own musical standards. I've seen him do unbelievable things that I could only explain to a person who has studied composition and knows a lot about harmonic movement. He is a genius. Period. Right now there is no person alive that is as talented a musician as him. Accept maybe Hermeto pascoal. Who is that? Renato played with him and agreed with me when I asked him that question.

But unfortunately he usually releases typical dance oriented stuff.
I'd like to hear more straight ahead jazz mixed with his own sureal parade-like horn arrangements etc. But that's just me.

If there is anyone out there that gets where I'm coming from I'd like to talk and share Prince/Zappa rae recordings of there most talented moments.


could you be any further up your own arse - or do you also need an 'appreciation of composition' to be able to say that?


hey chill...he didn't say anything particularly stuck up...he just knows his music.
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Reply #15 posted 06/29/04 5:27am

goku

avatar

Ever since I listened to Zappa's Does Humor Belong In Music? I've been a Zappa fan. Although their approaches to music are disimilar, I've always felt IMO that in some ways Prince and Zappa are kindred spirits, musically. Check out Thing Fish a musical/opera by Zappa that challenges all types of prejudices, with humor, of course. From a composition standpoint, alot of the odd time signatures and key changes that Prince uses in some of his more out there musical endeavors remind me of Zappa.
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Reply #16 posted 06/29/04 5:35am

Anxiety

I grew up listening to Zappa because my mom was always playing his albums around the house when I was a kid. I think Zappa and Prince have a lot in common - sometimes, Prince's guitar work sounds very Zappa-esque....both of them are meticulous about the quality of their music and the musicians they choose to work with...both are famously difficult (and able to get away with it most all of the time)...both have an "anything goes" approach to playing live, which is far more structured than it would appear on the surface...

...I think in an interview once, Zappa gave Prince some kind of a brief shout-out. That's about the only "acknowledgment" between the two that I'm aware of.

Oh, and my favorite Zappa albums: Freak Out!, You Are What You Is, Sheik Yerbouti, Tinseltown Rebellion.
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Reply #17 posted 06/29/04 7:55am

eYes65

Hi. I guess I'm a rather heavy FZ fan & collector, and a Prince fan & collector as well. Here's an excerpt from a Flame that started after I tried to have a discussion on Prince & Zappa, way back in 1998 (shortly after receiving the promo tape of The War (If I recall correctly) :

"To summarize some of the points stressed in previous posts on this topic and to add my personal view: although some people, including myself have pointed at certain similarities between FZ and Prince regarding their solo's, there's more to it than that.
Although I a do agree with those who say the music is different, there's a similarity in the way the air sculptures - to use one of the best definitions of music imho - is composed. Both composers have that great fealing of building layers without building a wall of sound. Next both use the way words and rhythm go together in a very particular way, different ways, following similar principles.
Another similarity is the bad attitude expressed in some of their compositions.

Now, before I get alll of you on my back, let me try to add some nuance.
Whereas Zappa succeeded in delivering albums that contain 50% or more of great stuff,
Prince's albums usually got only one or two great things. Take *Graffiti Bridge* as
an example : *Joy in Repetition* and *The Question of U* are just wonderful
songs, while the rest is filler crap (again, imho). But hey, what do you think is
the average reaction of the average no-hardcore-fanatic who is confronted with albums
like *The Man from Utopia*?

(2004 - PLEASE NOTE: Let's say that I changed my opinion on the number of top songs on Prince albums, LOL)

Another point to make is related to the socio-cultural environment in which both had to start and maintain a musical carrier. For FZ that was a totally different situation: he repeately told that there was no way he could have got away with his stuff if he had to start in the 80ies. Prince could. By the time Prince got some international recognition FZ was a small entrepeneur owing nothing to anyone anymore.
Furthermore their target audiences were very different. Both FZ and Prince know/knew
how to respond to it in an adequate way. The ones screaming for yet another rendition of "Titties and beer" or Dinah... are in way comparable with those getting wet after hearing the "god is love" stuff. And if I recall right FZ told on several occasions that song like these allowed him to put stuff like *Yellow Shark* together. "


I was glad to see that others did notice the similarities as well and started a new discussion. If you want to reconstruct the discussion from 1998, contact me and I'll send you some search strings you can use in Google.

Okay, enough for today, I'm out of here, gonna listen to "dear Mr Man" another 1000 times today.


arf

eYes
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Reply #18 posted 06/29/04 8:00am

eYes65

Anxiety said:[quote] (....)

...I think in an interview once, Zappa gave Prince some kind of a brief shout-out. That's about the only "acknowledgment" between the two that I'm aware of.

(...)

I remember Zappa making nasty statements about Prince, as he (Prince) did not enter the 1988 crusade that Zappa started against the Washington Wives and the PMRC when they tried to label music. Zappa's main argument was that Prince had (at that time) all the attention of all those youngsters. He could easily try to convince that audience, thereby helping to fight those extremists in Washington (nuttin new under the sun, so it seems.

eYes
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Reply #19 posted 06/29/04 8:10am

soulyacolia

avatar

eYes65 said:[quote]

Anxiety said:

(....)

...I think in an interview once, Zappa gave Prince some kind of a brief shout-out. That's about the only "acknowledgment" between the two that I'm aware of.

(...)

[color=darkred:03a3cea8c3]I remember Zappa making nasty statements about Prince, as he (Prince) did not enter the 1988 crusade that Zappa started against the Washington Wives and the PMRC when they tried to label music. Zappa's main argument was that Prince had (at that time) all the attention of all those youngsters. He could easily try to convince that audience, thereby helping to fight those extremists in Washington (nuttin new under the sun, so it seems.

eYes[/color]

I don't remember it that way. In the interview I read Zappa was talking about the Washington Wives etc and said he really liked Darling Nikki (the song that purportedly started that whole thing)
if you've gotta pay for things that you've done wrong I've gotta big bill coming at the end of the day- Gil Scott Heron

Prince.org where fans of Prince meet and stay up too late
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Reply #20 posted 06/29/04 9:38am

Anxiety

eYes65 said:[quote]

Anxiety said:

(....)

...I think in an interview once, Zappa gave Prince some kind of a brief shout-out. That's about the only "acknowledgment" between the two that I'm aware of.

(...)

[color=darkred:03a3cea8c3]I remember Zappa making nasty statements about Prince, as he (Prince) did not enter the 1988 crusade that Zappa started against the Washington Wives and the PMRC when they tried to label music. Zappa's main argument was that Prince had (at that time) all the attention of all those youngsters. He could easily try to convince that audience, thereby helping to fight those extremists in Washington (nuttin new under the sun, so it seems.

eYes[/color]


I can't see Zappa criticizing Prince just because P wouldn't help take on the PMRC. Heck, from what I recall, Prince went on record in a Rolling Stone interview as being in favor of the Parental Advisory labels. I think Zappa was very eloquent in his whole PMRC "crusade", and I think he was working toward protecting artists like Prince from censorship, regardless of their involvement in the PMRC debates.
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Reply #21 posted 06/29/04 11:16am

Gemstoned

avatar

insatiable247 said:

Does ANYONE know if there was a formal meeting between Prince and Frank Zappa? I've recently been introduced to Zappa and couldn't help but notice similarities between the two. First being Prince signed to WB the same year Zappa left (with a sour taste in his mouth, nonetheless). Secondly, being consatntly surrounded by brilliant musicians. And, I guess most importantly, basically doing shit their way as eccentric bohemian types. ANY connections of the two that ya'll know of will be appreciated.



Plus Kyle wants to know!! razz


COULDN'T HAVE BEEN TOO RECENTLY - ISN'T HE DECEASED A GOOD MANY YEARS NOW ! I saw Zappa in concert about 12 years ago - for which I am most thankful ! wink
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Reply #22 posted 06/29/04 12:16pm

andyman91

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Lookat the cover of Controversy.

It looks like Frank's moustache made an impact on Prince's face.
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Reply #23 posted 06/29/04 12:29pm

andyman91

avatar

Oh, and I love

"We're Only in it for the Money"
"Apostrophe"
"Hot Rats"

I'm sure many others are great, too.

My only problem with Frank was that he didn't seem comfortable with being passionate with lyrics or singing.
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Reply #24 posted 06/29/04 12:46pm

Anxiety

andyman91 said:


My only problem with Frank was that he didn't seem comfortable with being passionate with lyrics or singing.


I agree with you completely, and I find it really odd. The man had such a wicked imagination for the visual and the absurd, and he was so irreverent and such an amazing musician...but I have to say that watching live footage of him bores the crap out of me. Zappa never seemed like he was all that comfortable being an "entertainer" or a front man - it's almost like he was such a control freak about his work that the spontaneity of live performance made him a bit stiff and awkward...though I have heard some pretty loose live recordings of Zappa, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. And anyway, a bad Zappa concert was still 100 times better than the best shows given by most of the schmoes out there today.
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Reply #25 posted 06/29/04 1:00pm

andyman91

avatar

Anxiety said:

andyman91 said:


My only problem with Frank was that he didn't seem comfortable with being passionate with lyrics or singing.


I agree with you completely, and I find it really odd. The man had such a wicked imagination for the visual and the absurd, and he was so irreverent and such an amazing musician...but I have to say that watching live footage of him bores the crap out of me. Zappa never seemed like he was all that comfortable being an "entertainer" or a front man - it's almost like he was such a control freak about his work that the spontaneity of live performance made him a bit stiff and awkward...though I have heard some pretty loose live recordings of Zappa, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. And anyway, a bad Zappa concert was still 100 times better than the best shows given by most of the schmoes out there today.


True. Saying what is missing from a great artist isn't really fair, when what they posess is so much.
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Reply #26 posted 06/29/04 1:44pm

Anxiety

True. Saying what is missing from a great artist isn't really fair, when what they posess is so much.


Yeah...and even though he didn't exactly have killer stage presence, Zappa could captivate any audience just by picking up his guitar. nod
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Reply #27 posted 06/29/04 2:59pm

soulyacolia

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Anxiety said:

andyman91 said:


My only problem with Frank was that he didn't seem comfortable with being passionate with lyrics or singing.


I agree with you completely, and I find it really odd. The man had such a wicked imagination for the visual and the absurd, and he was so irreverent and such an amazing musician...but I have to say that watching live footage of him bores the crap out of me. Zappa never seemed like he was all that comfortable being an "entertainer" or a front man - it's almost like he was such a control freak about his work that the spontaneity of live performance made him a bit stiff and awkward...though I have heard some pretty loose live recordings of Zappa, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. And anyway, a bad Zappa concert was still 100 times better than the best shows given by most of the schmoes out there today.

He might not of been a passionate singer but he was hell of a performer! The Does Humour Belong In Music video proves this and then some!!!
if you've gotta pay for things that you've done wrong I've gotta big bill coming at the end of the day- Gil Scott Heron

Prince.org where fans of Prince meet and stay up too late
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Reply #28 posted 06/29/04 3:05pm

AndreCrabtreeI
II

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zappa questioned "where was he(prince)" when zappa went to congress to speak out against the PMRC in his defense for, notably "darling nikki and sugar walls". Zappa mentioned that when he was going through the crusade that prince slapped a lawsuit against Prince Spaghetti for using his name in the commercial. It's in his autobiography.
www.arjunmusic.com

www.myspace.com/arjunmusic

www.cdbaby.com/arjuntunes

ARJUN: funk-indie-rock-jazz-groove trio just released their debut album entitled, "Pieces"
It's an instrumental outing with heavy grooves and improvisation.
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Reply #29 posted 07/03/04 7:17pm

Swanson

Some of Prince's arrangements sound a whole lot like Zappa, such as the xylophone on "Play in the Sunshine" and the horns at the end of 'Mountains'.
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