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Mother's Rites: Freak Out/Absolutely Free

Geoffrey Cannon, The Listener, 19 October 1967

2012 NOTE: Here below is the second column I wrote for The Listener in late 1967. It was the first of a number I wrote about the Mothers. My interview with Frank Zappa at the 1970 Palermo Pop Festival (see the index) I rate as my best. I never really got a grip on what Frank was up to. He took himself very seriously but not, I feel now, in the ways I suggested. He was sardonic rather than enraged, a three-ring-master Gonzo rather than a Situationist. Also a genius, but that was always obvious, up there with Bob Dylan. Like Dylan he was essentially a loner: the stuff in the piece below about the Mothers being a merry band of brothers was horse-feathers. It was always Frank's show. Plus in this and other pieces I wrote about the Mothers I think I did the number one naughty that critics perpetrate, of projecting their own notions onto the ideas of others. Frank wasn't damning anything. He was interested in everything, he just went further out.

Total word count of piece: 1361


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