64 of the Most Rockin’ Frank Zappa Quotes

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Frank Vincent Zappa was born in Maryland on December 21st 1940, but the world knows him just as Frank Zappa. He was known as a songwriter, guitarist, music producers, and director. Music composers such as Edgard Varese and Igor Stravinsky along with music genres and styles like modern jazz and R&B inspired a younger Zappa to take an interest in music.

He started playing the drums and the guitar in his later teens, but by the end of high school Frank was composing, writing and conducting for his high school’s orchestra.

Frank Zappa was definitely considered to be a workaholic, in the 30 years of his musical career he had released over 60 albums. Some of his albums included ‘Absolutely Free’ (1967), ‘Hot Rats’ (1970), ‘Over-Nite Sensation’ (1973), ‘Apostrophe’ (1974), and ‘The Yellow Shark’ (1993).

There isn’t really a single genre that Frank Zappa’s music belongs to, he was more of a cross-genre artist and there’s nothing wrong with that. Sadly, on December 4th 1993, Frank Zappa lost his battle with cancer, dying at the age of just 52. In 1995 however, Zappa was put into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1997 a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Reward was awarded to Zappa.

Frank Zappa Quotes

  1. “My best advice to anyone who wants to raise a happy, mentally healthy child is: Keep him or her as far away from a church as you can.” – Frank Zappa
  2. “I think it’s really tragic when people get serious about stuff. It’s such an absurdity to take anything really seriously…” – Frank Zappa
  3. “You can’t always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say, so sometimes you have to rely on a eyebrows” – Frank Zappa
  4. “Music is the only religion that delivers the goods.” – Frank Zappa
  5. “The only difference between a cult and a religion is the amount of real estate they own.” – Frank Zappa
  6. “All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.” – Frank Zappa
  7. “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline – it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.” – Frank Zappa
  8. “Definition of rock journalism: People who can’t write, doing interviews with people who can’t think, in order to prepare articles for people who can’t read.” – Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book
  9. “The universe consists of 5% protons, 5% neutrons, 5% electrons and 85% morons.” – Frank Zappa
  10. “There are only two things to remember. Number one…Don’t Stop, and number two…Keep Going!” – Frank Zappa
  11. “I never set out to be weird. It was always other people who called me weird.” – Frank Zappa
  12. “Tobacco is my favorite vegetable.” – Frank Zappa
  13. “It isn’t necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia.”- Frank Zappa
  14. “A drug is not bad. A drug is a chemical compound. The problem comes in when people who take drugs treat them like a license to behave like an asshole.” – Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book
  15. “All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.” – Frank Zappa
  16. “The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with somebody else’s life.” – Frank Zappa
  17. “There’s a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.” – Frank Zappa
  18. “So many books, so little time.” – Frank Zappa
  19. “Life is a drama full of tragedy and comedy. You should learn to enjoy the comic episodes a little more.” – Frank Zappa
  20. “Drop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mediocre educational system. Forget about the Senior Prom and go to the library and educate yourself if you’ve got any guts. Some of you like Pep rallies and plastic robots who tell you what to read.” – Frank Zappa
  21. “Music is always a commentary on society.” – Frank Zappa
  22. “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline.” – Frank Zappa
  23. “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” – Frank Zappa
  24. “The computer can’t tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what’s missing is the eyebrows.” – Frank Zappa
  25. “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” – Frank Zappa
  26. “Some people. Some people like cupcakes exclusively, while myself, I say, There is naught nor ought there be nothing so exalted on the face of god’s grey earth as that prince of foods. the muffin!” – Frank Zappa
  27. “I have an important message to deliver to all the cute people all over the world. If you’re out there and you’re cute, maybe you’re beautiful. I just want to tell you somethin’ there’s more of us UGLY MOTHERF*CKERS than you are, heyy, so watch out.” – Frank Zappa
  28. “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” – Frank Zappa
  29. “Reality is what it is, not what you want it to be.” – Frank Zappa
  30. “Nobody looks good with brown lipstick on.” – Frank Zappa
  31. “If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your sh*t, then you deserve it.” – Frank Zappa
  32. “Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny.” – Frank Zappa
  33. “There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it’s going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.” – Frank Zappa
  34. “No change in musical style will survive unless it is accompanied by a change in clothing style. Rock is to dress up to.” – Frank Zappa
  35. “The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.” – Frank Zappa
  36. “Stupidity has a certain charm – ignorance does not.” – Frank Zappa
  37. “The first thing you have to do if you want to raise nice kids, is you have to talk to them like they are people instead of talking to them like they’re property.” -Frank Zappa
  38. “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” – Frank Zappa
  39. “A composer’s job involves the decoration of fragments of time.” – Frank Zappa
  40. “The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with somebody else’s life.” – Frank Zappa
  41. “Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture. The air in the performance is sculpted into something.” – Frank Zappa
  42. “You can’t always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say, so sometimes you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream.” – Frank Zappa
  43. “Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.” – Frank Zappa
  44. “Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.” – Frank Zappa
  45. “It’s better to have something to remember than anything to regret.” – Frank Zappa
  46. “If classical music is the state of the art, then the arts are in a sad state.” – Frank Zappa
  47. “May your sh*t come to life and kiss you on the face.” – Frank Zappa
  48. “I searched for years I found no love. I’m sure that love will never be a product of plasticity.” – Frank Zappa
  49. “There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.” – Frank Zappa
  50. “Modern Americans behave as if intelligence were some sort of hideous deformity.” – Frank Zappa
  51. “Take the Kama Sutra. How many people died from the Kama Sutra as opposed to the Bible? Who wins?” – Frank Zappa
  52. “One size does not fit all.” – Frank Zappa
  53. “Anyone who is disturbed by the idea of newts in a nightclub is potentially dangerous.” – Frank Zappa
  54. “I like to watch the news, because I don’t like people very much and when you watch the news … if you ever had an idea that people were really terrible, you could watch the news and know that you’re right.” – Frank Zappa
  55. “There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we’d all love one another.” – Frank Zappa
  56. “It gets harder the more you know. Because the more you find out the uglier everything seems.” – Frank Zappa
  57. “Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.” – Frank Zappa
  58. “The more boring a child is, the more the parents, when showing off the child, receive adulation for being good parents because they have a tame child-creature in their house.” – Frank Zappa
  59. “Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.” – Frank Zappa
  60. “Interviewer: ‘So Frank, you have long hair. Does that make you a woman?’ Frank Zappa: ‘You have a wooden leg. Does that make you a table?” – Frank Zappa
  61. “I think it is good that books still exist, but they do make me sleepy.” – Frank Zappa
  62. “If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.” – Frank Zappa
  63. “Republican is fine, if your a millionaire. Democrats is fair, if all you own is what you wear. Neither of them’s really right, cause neither of them care.” – Frank Zappa
  64. “If you wanna grow up, which most people don’t, the thing to do is take responsibility for your own reality and deal with it on your own terms.” – Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa Video

If you want to get a good sense of what Frank Zappa was like in coneert, this video is a great example. Unfortunately this is his last final performance before he passed away.

 

Summary

Frank Zappa was a man of many genres, but he was and remains to be a major influence to rock music. Many of Zappa’s fans know that many of his lyrics were meant to express his iconoclastic views, be humorous, and were written to provoke and shock the audience. He not only is an influence to artists after his time such as Weird Al Yankovich or Weezer, but also influenced artists of his own time like The Beatles, and Black Sabbath. Any Frank Zappa fan is sure to be inspired, get motivated or even laugh at some of these quotes.

 

 

 

Image Credit: Auge=mit, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Reply