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It’s about time to give rock operas a listen

If you read last week’s article, “Rockin’ out with your books,’ you may have noticed my experience with music tastes and prose is quite limited compared to those who actually know what they’re talking about. Anyway, last year when I was working as a painter, my boss had put in a CD, Joe’s Garage, and it was one of those times for me when listening to music could be funny and good at the same time (unlike Weird Al where it was just funny. Well.to me at least).Frank Zappa: If you don’t know Frank Zappa (the lowest note in Rock ‘n Roll what do you mean by this???) its OK. Neither did I. What I quickly learned was Mr. Zappa had, to his credit, amassed about eighty albums in his life, been a director, a record producer and composer. By the way, he testified in the Senate back in ’85 about how the Parents Music

Resource Center, founded by Tipper Gore, was on a path toward censorship. It targeted lyrics of ‘sexual or satanic content.’ Now, as I said, I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure his actions paid off in the long run. Have you ever listened to Insane Clown Posse? Not only was Frank Zappa an incredible song-writer, artist and musician, but he incorporated large amounts of experimental sound collages in his pieces. If this doesn’t sound in any way interesting, take 45-minutes and listen to Joe’s Garage Part I and if there are no qualms you might as well take the time to finish Parts II and III to hear how the story ends, as it is a rock opera.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Music From the Motion Picture: Speaking of rock opera’s, here’s one for the kids! A classic movie parodying science fiction and horror movies has been in limited release for the past 34 years. But what makes the movie so excellent, other than Tim Curry, Richard O’Brian and Meat Loaf, are the eccentric musical numbers. Do we love the musical? Yes. In fact it is my belief that people should break out in song and dance to The Time Warp at least once a day, and if not that extreme at least hum Science Fiction Double Feature quietly to him or herself. I’m not going to say you should take the time to listen to the music. Just watch the movie, but don’t forget the newspaper, squirt guns and toast.

From here I could ramble on about the official soundtrack for Tommy from The Who album of the same name, but I won’t because this is intended to be short. If Rock ‘n Roll is your thing, and we live in a time and place where it is not what it used to be, then you should pick up any number of the rock ballads, operas and movies from the past. A few suggestions: Led Zepplin’s House of the Holy, The Beatle’s Yellow Submarine, Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and why not? Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Have fun this week. Cheers.