One of the most important Rock and Roll artists in the United States, Frank Zappa always gave his real opinion on any subject, including other bands. In an interview with Playboy magazine in 1993, shortly before his death at the age of 52, Zappa gave his opinion on Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.
What was Frank Zappa’s opinion on Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones:
“Some of the really good things that Hendrix did was the earliest stuff, when he was just ripping and brutal. Manic Depression was my favorite Jimi Hendrix song. The more experimental it got, the less interesting and the thinner it got. As for Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited was really good. Then we got Blonde on Blonde and it started to sound like cowboy music. You know what I think of cowboy music. I liked the Rolling Stones.”
In the same interview, Frank Zappa confirmed that Mick Jagger once pull a splinter out of his toe and talked a little bit more about The Stones. “He came by my house and I was hopping around because of this splinter, so he pulled it out. Good story, huh? I did like his attitude and the Stones’ attitude. Ultimately, though, the music was being done because it was product. It was pop music made because there was a record company waiting for records.”
Frank Zappa wasn’t a fan of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”
As pointed by author Clinton Heylin for the book “Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades“, Frank Zappa said that he wasn’t a fan of Dylan’s famous song “Like a Rolling Stone”. “When I heard ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, I wanted to quit the music business, because I felt: ‘If this wins and it does what it’s supposed to do, I don’t need to do anything else …’ But it didn’t do anything. It sold but nobody responded to it in the way that they should have.”
Jimi Hendrix visited Frank Zappa
In an interview (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) made shortly before his death, he recalled one thing he thought that Hendrix should have done. Also talked about when the American guitarist went to his house:
“I had written in articles at that time that I thought what should be done since he wasn’t musically literate, he couldn’t write it down himself, that he should be put in some sort of working relationship with somebody who could write his ideas. And have them scored for instruments other than the electric guitar. I think that would have been something worthwhile to do. But no, he was too busy doing other things to ever sit down and take that approach.”
“Jimi came to our house one time with Buddy Miles, when we were living in New York. They walked in, said hello, Buddy sat on the sofa and immediately passed out and was snoring. Shortly thereafter Jimi who was wearing green velvet pants demonstrated some sort of intricate dance step and ripped the inside of his pants. Gail (Zappa’s wife) had to sew them back up for him. Then when they were ready to leave, Jimi woke up Buddy Miles. He said ‘goodbye Frank’ and they went out the door”.
Frank Zappa was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, 2 years after his death. Velvet Underground’s Lou Reed was the one responsible to induct the late musician and said: “Frank was a force for reason and honesty”.