Positive Atheism's Big List of
Frank Zappa
Quotations

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Frank Zappa
Composer, musician

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Frank ZappaTax the FUCK out of the churches!
-- Frank Zappa

Beware of the fish people, they are the true enemy.
-- Frank Zappa, speech to a pro-choice rally in Los Angeles around 1989-90

The language and concepts contained herein are guaranteed not to cause eternal torment in the place where the guy with the horns and pointed stick conducts his business.
-- Frank Zappa

I don't think there's a problem. First of all, I don't think music turns people into social liabilities. Because you hear a lyric -- there's no medical proof that a person hearing a lyric is going to act out the lyric. There's also no medical proof that if you hear any collection of vowels and consonants, that the hearing of that collection is going to send you to Hell.
-- Frank Zappa, interview, WRIF, 1985

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?
-- Frank Zappa, quoted from The Real Frank Zappa Book

Those Jesus Freaks
Well, they're friendly but
The shit they believe
Has got their minds all shut
An' they don't even care
When the church takes a cut
Ain't it bleak when you got so much nothin'
-- Frank Zappa, "The Meek Shall Inherit Nothin'"

Frank ZappaWell, I believe that those energies and processes exist. I just don't think that they've been adequately described or adequately named yet, because people are too willing to make it all into something that supports a religious theory of one flavor or another. If you start defining these things in nuts-and-bolts scientific terms, people reject it because it's not fun, y'know. It takes some of the romance out of being dead ... because of people's desires to have eternal life and to extend their influence from beyond the grave ... all that Houdini type stuff ... but basically, I think when you're dead ... you're dead. It comes with the territory.
-- Frank Zappa, Society Pages No. 7, January 12, 1991, quoted from The Way I See It, Barry

There is no hell. There is only France.
-- Frank Zappa, You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore

The other factor that people forget about the southern region is the amount of intermarriage that has already occured there, and so there are certain genetic defects come to the fore when you have a large intermarriage population. That means regression.... And in fact Utah is another state, which is basically owned by the Mormon church, which also has a lot of intermarriage. And because this type of intermarriage there is a large proportion of blind people in Utah. That's why when you go across the street, instead of just a stop light that you can see, they have stop lights that make a cuckoo noise to tell you when to cross the street -- that's true!
-- Frank Zappa, Arf Society interview, quoted from The Way I See It, Barry

Remember there's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.
-- Frank Zappa, describing where the cuckoo sound itself might be coming from, on Broadway The Hard Way, recorded in 1988

The whole foundation of Christianity is based on the idea that intellectualism is the work of the Devil. Remember the apple on the tree? Okay, it was the Tree of Knowledge. "You eat this apple, you're going to be as smart as God. We can't have that."
-- Frank Zappa

The essence of Christianity is told to us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the Tree of Knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your fucking mouth shut and hadn't asked any questions.
-- Frank Zappa, interview, Playboy, May 2, 1993

So, when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, if you go for all these fairy tales, that "evil" woman convinced the man to eat the apple, but the apple came from the Tree of Knowledge. And the punishment that was then handed down, the woman gets to bleed and the guy's got to go to work, is the result of a man desiring, because his woman suggested that it would be a good idea, that he get all the knowledge that was supposedly the property and domain of God. So, that right away sets up Christianity as an anti-intellectual religion. You never want to be that smart. If you're a woman, it's going to be running down your leg, and if you're a guy, you're going to be in the salt mines for the rest of your life. So, just be a dumb fuck and you'll all go to heaven. That's the subtext of Christianity.
-- Frank Zappa

Frank ZappaAnybody hear the great news, today? Jimmy Swaggart under investigation! Oh Ja-eezus! One day every one of those cocksuckers will get caught! I understand in the case of Mr. Swaggart, that he claims that it was not multiple encounters with many prostitutes -- apparently, only one sweet young thing. And he did tell Cal Thomas of the Moral Majority that the sex act itself was not fully consumated. However he did admit to doing something por-no-graphic with the girl. Let's use our imaginations, ladies and gentlemen.
-- Frank Zappa, opening remarks to "Stink Foot" at the Make A Jazz Noise Here show, recorded in 1988

Get smart and I'll fuck you over -- sayeth The Lord.
-- Frank Zappa, regarding Christianity's apparent preference for perpetuation of ignorance as a way of life

Children are naïve -- they trust everyone. School is bad enough, but, if you put a child anywhere in the vicinity of a church, you're asking for trouble.
-- Frank Zappa, expressing his opinion on raising a child, saying that institutions such as schools and churches, which have the power to control and brainwash your child, are totally overrated and shouldn't always be recognized as a genuinely good thing

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.
     From the time Mr. Developing Nation was forced to read The Little Red Book in exchange for a blob of rice, till the time he figured out that waiting in line for a loaf of pumpernickel was boring as fuck, took about three generations....
     Decades of indoctrination, manipulation, censorship and KGB excursions haven't altered this fact: People want a piece of their own little Something-or-Other, and, if they don't get it, have a tendency to initiate counterrevolution.
-- Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa on stageMy 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

Yeah, I tell them to change the channel if they see some guy in a brown suit with a telephone number at the bottom of the screen asking for money.
-- Frank Zappa, Senate Hearing on "Porn Rock", 1985, after being asked by Tipper Gore if there was anything on TV he didn't allow his kids to watch

I think you should leave it up to the parent, because not all parents want to keep their children totally ignorant.
-- Frank Zappa, in response to a question from Senator Hollings

If your children ever find out how lame you really are, they'll gonna murder you in your sleep.
-- Frank Zappa, quoted from Whole Grains, an early 1970's book of quotations

Why doncha come on over to the house and I'll show 'em to ya?
-- Frank Zappa, on being asked by Sen. Paula Hawkins from Florida, "I'd like to see what kind of toys your children play with," at the Senate hearing on pornography in music

Consider for a moment any beauty in the name Ralph.
-- Frank Zappa, on being asked by Joan Rivers why he gave his children such odd names

People make a lot of fuss about my kids having such supposedly 'strange names', but the fact is that no matter what first names I might have given them, it is the last name that is going to get them in trouble.
-- Frank Zappa, from The Real Frank Zappa Book

The last election just laid the foundation of the next 500 years of Dark Ages.
-- Frank Zappa, in 1981

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?
-- Frank Zappa, in 1988

Scientology, how about that? You hold on to the tin cans and then this guy asks you a bunch of questions, and if you pay enough money you get to join the master race. How's that for a religion?
-- Frank Zappa, to a concert audience at the Rockpile, Toronto, May 1969

There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another.
-- Frank Zappa, quoted from Cyber Nation's quotations section

I wrote a song about dental floss but did anyone's teeth get cleaner?
-- Frank Zappa, Senate Hearing on "Porn Rock", 1985, in response to Tipper Gore's allegations that music incites people towards deviant behavior, or influences their behavior in general

Bad facts make bad law, and people who write bad laws are in my opinion more dangerous than songwriters who celebrate sexuality.
-- Frank Zappa, Statement to the Senate Hearing on "Porn Rock," 1985

Frank Zappa (Bettmann, 1994)The establishment of a rating system, voluntary or otherwise, opens the door to an endless parade of moral quality control programs based on things certain Christians do not like. What if the next bunch of Washington wives demands a large yellow "J" on all material written or performed by Jews, in order to save helpless children from exposure to concealed Zionist doctrine?
-- Frank Zappa, Statement to the Senate Hearing on "Porn Rock," 1985

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

Information doesn't kill you.
-- Frank Zappa, at the Senate Hearing on "Porn Rock", 1985 during an exchange with a Born Again Christian

May your shit come to life and kiss you on the face.
-- Frank Zappa, to Mrs. Gore about parental advisory labels on album covers

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, promotional postcard from Rykodisc

Anyone who is disturbed by the idea of newts in a nightclub is potentially dangerous.
-- Frank Zappa, at one of his trials, responding to a prosecuting lawyer who had quoted some of his lyrics which pertained to newts in a nightclub, after which which the lawyer said he found this image disturbing

You've got to be digging it while it's happening 'cause it just might be a one shot deal.
-- Frank Zappa, Waka/Jawaka

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
-- Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book

Whatever you have to do to have a good time, let's get on with it, so long as it doesn't cause a murder.
-- Frank Zappa, "The Jazz Discharge Party Hats" on The Man from Utopia.
,

So long as somebody gets a laugh out of it, what the fuck?
-- Frank Zappa, Guitar Player's "Mother of All Interviews" part 2

The crux of the biscuit is: If it entertains you, fine. Enjoy it. If it doesn't, then blow it out your ass. I do it to amuse myself. If I like it, I release it. If somebody else likes it, that's a bonus.
-- Frank Zappa, interview, Playboy, May 2, 1993

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.
-- Frank Zappa, from Just Another Band From LA

The whole Universe is a large joke.
Everything in the Universe are just subdivisions of this joke.
So why take anything too serious.
-- Frank Zappa, in September, 1992, on SFB 3 when he gave an interview about the Yellow Shark

Well Mike, I'm abnormal.
-- Frank Zappa, on being asked by Mike Douglas (he appeared solo, playing guitar with recorded backup): "Your latest album is called Zoot Allures -- how do you come up with such names for your records?"

I never set out to be wierd. It was always the other people who called me wierd.
-- Frank Zappa, to The Baltimore Sun, October 12, 1986

Nobody looks good with brown lipstick on.
-- Frank Zappa, from The Real Frank Zappa Book

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

 

The Subtle Fulmination of the Encircled Sea

Please Feel Free
to Grab a Quote
(or Maybe Three)

Grab some quotes to embellish your web site,
to use as filler for your group's newsletter,
or to add force to your Letters to the Editor.

Use them to introduce the chapters of a book or
accent the index or margins of a special project.

Poster your wall!    Graffiti your (own) fence.
Sticker your car!!
Poster your wall.    Graffiti your (own) fence!!!

Get a few friends together, memorize a bunch of
them. Then wander around your school's campus
and recite these things while pretending that you're
embroiled in a deeply heated philosophical argument.
(Like we used to do with Frank Zappa's lyrics!)

That's what this list is for!
That's why I made it!

In using this resource, however, keep in mind that
it's someone's life's work, a hedge against old age.

If you decide to build your own online
collection, then find some new material!
Dig up quips that haven't yet been posted!

 

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Biographical sketches, source citations, notes, critical editing, layout, and HTML formatting are copyright ©1995–2008, by Cliff Walker, except where noted.

 
 

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There's something to be said
for doing your own work.

 

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!