All posts tagged: Los Angeles neighborhood of Laurel Canyon

Hipsters Were Always Hypocrites. Ask Frank Zappa.

Hipsters Were Always Hypocrites. Ask Frank Zappa.

Frank Zappa was an unruly figure of 1960s rock, a free-speech advocate and devout parodist defined by his opposition to authority. His albums assembled the bones of rock and roll into an idiosyncratic style coursing with disbelief at just about every aspect of the American zeitgeist: hippies, cars, college, drugs, California, and, eventually, yuppies. He also hated record labels, government, and the police, positions stoked by a brief jail stint at age 24 due to charges of “conspiracy to commit pornography,” after an undercover vice cop entrapped him into making a fake, audio-only sex tape. The experience changed his life: Zappa became as vehement in his morals as he was flamboyant in his presentation, a wide-eyed, comically bearded Lady Justice weighing the country’s dark side against its silliness. Of his 100-plus albums, none distills his sardonicism quite like the newly reissued Over-Nite Sensation, a 1973 LP with his band the Mothers of Invention. It’s not Zappa’s most influential work—his 1966 debut, Freak Out!, basically invented the concept album, incorporating consistent characters and ad-libs from a …