“Rock Journalism is People Who Can’t Write Interviewing People, Who Can’t Talk for People Who Can’t Read” (Frank Zappa)



Another one of those unexpected tasks from my teacher. According to Quote Investigator, Frank Zappa made this funny remark in 1977 during an interview with a staff writer for the Toronto Star newspaper: “Most rock journalism is people who can’t write interviewing people who can’t talk for people who can’t read,” he says.

Personally what I understood is that Zappa did not care about education or the ‘system’. He probably created his own, opposite world. With his quote he tried to express his way of life and thinking. He made a remarkable, yet funny expression highlighting what the big hype was around interviewing rock artists? Are rock stars even interested buying a magazine and reading about themselves? Did he want people to dislike him personally and he made it obvious that he did not have much room for liking you, whoever you were. This quote is famous and highly interpreted by so many, just try googling it!

In any case, for those of you who don’t know Frank Vincent Zappa, he was an American self-taught composer, performer and writer of more than 30 years as well as record engineer and producer. Zappa was a highly productive and prolific artist who gained widespread critical acclaim with a lifetime achievement award in 1997.  Zappa’s known for his diverse musical influences that led him to create music that was often impossible to categorize. He died in 1993 from prostate cancer and had four kids from his wife Gail who manages the Zappa Family Trust today.


One thought on ““Rock Journalism is People Who Can’t Write Interviewing People, Who Can’t Talk for People Who Can’t Read” (Frank Zappa)

  1. I saw Frank Zappa perform live in the 70’s through a haze of smoke. His lyrics and music were ‘out there’ and we loved him. My friends and I would break into Zappa monologs without warning or missing a beat, ‘Watch out where the huskies go, don’t you eat that yellow snow….’

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