15 Frank Zappa Quotes That Are as True Now as They Were Then

Frank Zappa, an iconoclastic musical virtuoso, left an indelible mark on the world of music and culture with his fearless creativity and unwavering commitment to free expression. Over his prolific career, spanning from the 1950s to the 1990s, Zappa released a staggering 62 albums, each a testament to his boundary-pushing genius and eclectic vision.

Beyond his musical prowess, Zappa was a staunch advocate for freedom of speech, famously fighting against censorship in all its forms. His bold stance led him to testify before the U.S. Congress in 1985, where he passionately defended artistic expression and challenged the constraints imposed by societal norms.

1. On U.S. laws

Frank Zappa giving an interview
Frank Zappa on MV / Youtube

“The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.”

2. On politics

Frank Zappa being interviewed
Andrea Maconi / Youtube

“Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.”

3. On the building block of the universe

Frank Zappa during a television interview
cosmicrat / Youtube

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.”

4. On beer

Frank Zappa on Crossfire
Chris Casady / Youtube

“You can’t be a real country unless you have 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.”

5. On changing people’s minds

Frank Zappa doing a television interview

“One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people’s minds.”

6. On the end of the world

Musician Frank Zappa during an interview
budagum / Youtube

“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.”

7. On music

Frank Zappa with long hair on a television interview
tomtiddler1 / Youtube

“Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.”

8. On progress

Frank Zappa on David Letterman

“Without deviation progress is no possible.”

9. On art

Black and white still of Frank Zappa on tv
Suzy Alphanzo / Youtube

“Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.”

10. On love songs

Frank Zappa at home doing an interview
Geoff Steven / Youtube

“There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we’d all love one another.”

11. On computers

Frank Zappa talking during an interview
Lagzatzappateers / Youtube

“The computer can’t tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what’s missing is the eyebrows.”

12. On belief

Close shot of Frank Zappa listening to a question during an interview
Dean Dalton / Youtube

“Everybody believes in something and everybody, by virtue of the fact that they believe in something, uses that something to support their own existence.”

13. On rock journalism

Frank Zappa wearing a purple jacket on an interview
Dean Dalton / Youtube

“Most rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read.”

14. On writing the ugly chord

Frank Zappa making a face during an appearance on the Arsenio Hall show
Dean Dalton / Youtube

“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.”

15. On the most important thing in life

Frank Zappa looking smug during an interview
Dean Dalton / Youtube

“The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with somebody else’s life.”

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