For some, Frank Zappa was a musical iconoclast, capsizing the barriers between high and low culture. For others, he was a reactionary force, vilifying anything that didn't fit his cynical worldview. Ian Penman sits down with Zappa's newly reissued back catalogue and takes sides. This article originally appeared in The Wire 137 (July 1995).
What's the connection between Neil Young, Lou Reed, Miles Davis, Marvin Gaye, David Bowie, Frank Zappa and John & Yoko? They are all contract breakers, stars who got sick of playing the music industry fame game. Mark Sinker listens to the musicians who pissed off their record companies and fans alike. This article originally appeared in The Wire 148 (June 1996).