Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Frank Zappa, born Frank Vincent Zappa

American Composer, Singer-Songwriter, Electric Guitarist, Record Producer and Film Director releasing more than 60 albums with the band The Mother of Invention and as a solo artist

"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."

"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 MOTHERFUCKERS than you are, hey-y, so watch out."

"I have four children, and I want them to grow up in a country that has a working First Amendment."

"I searched for years I found no love. I'm sure that love will never be a product of plasticity."

"I think it's really tragic when people get serious about stuff. It's such an absurdity to take anything really seriously ... I make an honest attempt not to take anything seriously: I worked that attitude out about the time I was eighteen, I mean, what does it all mean when you get right down to it, what's the story here?"

"I think it is good that books still exist, but they do make me sleepy."

"I never set out to be weird. It was always other people who called me weird."

"I think that if a person doesn't feel cynical then they're out of phase with the 20th century. Being cynical is the only way to deal with modern civilization, you can't just swallow it whole."

"I think that if you use the so-called "strong words" you'll get your point across faster and you can save a lot of beating around the bush. Why are people afraid of words? Sometimes the dumbest thing that gets said makes the point for you."

"I think the music of the Fifties is really good. I suspect it’s much better musically than much of what’s available now. Not in terms of production, but in terms of content. One good believable song about some guy’s girlfriend and how they broke up — a sincere one — is better than twenty albums of English rock that’s ever been produced."

"I think you should leave it up to the parent, because not all parents want to keep their children totally ignorant."

"If a person wants to write music and lyrics, he has a perfect right to express his views on a certain subject. I would feel wrong if I were to express anything that I didn't believe in. I write what I like to write. Those who like to listen to it, listen to it. And the ones who don't, watch football and drink beer, jog, go to discos and so forth. I never claimed to be a man for all seasons."

"If classical music is the state of the art, then the arts are in a sad state."

"I wrote a song about dental floss but did anyone's teeth get cleaner?"

"If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another."

"If lyrics make people do things, how come we don't love each other?"

"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 shit, then you deserve it."

"If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library."

"If you want to get together in any exclusive situation and have people love you, fine- but to hang all this desperate sociology on the idea of The Cloud-Guy who has The Big Book, who knows if you've been bad or good- and cares about any of it- to han."

"If we can't be free at least we can be cheap."

"If your children ever find out how lame you really are, they'll murder you in your sleep."

"I'll tell you what classical music is, for those of you who don't know. Classical music is this music that was written by a bunch of dead people a long time ago. And it's formula music, the same as top forty music is formula music. In order to have a piece be classical, it has to conform to academic standards that were the current norms of that day and age ... I think that people are entitled to be amused, and entertained. If they see deviations from this classical norm, it's probably good for their mental health."

"If you wind up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest or some guy on TV telling you how to do your shit, then YOU DESERVE IT."

"I'm probably more famous for sitting on the toilet than for anything else that I do."

"I'm a conservative, and you might not like that, but I am, and the fact of the matter is, this bill that they're talking about in Maryland is stupid."

"I'm vile and perverted. I'm obsessed and deranged. I've existed for years but very little has changed. I'm the tool of the government and industry too. For I'm destined to rule and regulate you. You may think I'm pernicious, but you can't look away. I'll make you think I'm delicious with the stuff that I say. I'm the best you can get... have you guessed me yet? I'm the slime oozing out of your TV set."

"In a fight between yourself and the world, always side with the world."

"In every language, the first word after "Mama!" that every kid learns to say is "Mine!" A system that doesn't allow ownership, that doesn't allow you to say "Mine!" when you grow up, has -- to put it mildly -- a fatal design flaw."

"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?"

"It has never mattered to me that thirty million people might think I'm wrong. The number of people who thought Hitler was right did not make him right... Why do you necessarily have to be wrong just because a few million people think you are?"

"Information doesn't kill you."

"It is always advisable to be a loser if you cannot become a winner."

"It has to make a guy wonder, you know, what albums was he listening to? Was it Weasels Ripped My Flesh, or maybe Lumpy Gravy, or what?"

"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."

"It would be easier to pay off the national debt overnight than to neutralize the long-range effects of our national stupidity."

"It isn't necessary to imagine the world"

"It is my contention that each and every member of this band owes me a cheeseburger."

"It's better to have something to remember than anything to regret."

"It's fucking great to be alive, ladies and gentlemen, and if you do not believe it is fucking great to be alive, you better go now, because this show will bring you down so much."

"I've smoked ten marijuana cigarettes in my life, and probably the last time I had one near my face was twelve, fifteen years ago. And the reason I did was because, since I do smoke, people would say, "Here, smoke this, you'll get high." So I smoked it, and it gave me a sore throat and made me sleepy. And I must either presume that that's what high means, or something was wrong. But I've never had a positive result from smoking marijuana. It just wasn't my cup of tea. And I never used LSD, never used cocaine, never used heroin or any of that other stuff."

"Just because somebody hears something you say, or reads something that you write, doesn’t mean you’ve reached them. With reading comprehension being what it is in the U. S., you can safely toss that one out the window. If you want to judge by the listening habits of people who buy records, the first thing they do is put it on and talk over it."

"Jazz is not dead - it just smells funny"

"Let's not be too tough on our own ignorance. It's the thing that makes America great. If America weren't incomparably ignorant, how could we have tolerated the last eight years?"

"lf you’re going to deal with reality, you’re going to have to make one big discovery: Reality is something that belongs to you as an individual. 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. Don’t expect that because you pay some money to somebody else or take a pledge or join a club or run down the street or wear a special bunch of clothes or play a certain sport or even drink Perrier water, it’s going to take care of everything for you."

"Look here brother, who you jivin' with that cosmik debris?"

"Modern Americans behave as if intelligence were some sort of hideous deformity."

"Most people don't bother about their friends in the vegetable kingdom."

"May your shit come to life and kiss you on the face."

"Most people don’t think I’m rational. They’re too busy featuring their hurt. They find it irrational not to feature your hurt. That’s how fucked up they are."

"Most people don't think I'm rational. They're too busy featuring their hurt. They find it irrational not to feature your hurt. That's how fucked up they are."