Bulgaria

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  • During his visits to Eastern Europe in 1990-1991 Zappa also attended the concert of the Bulgarian Women's Chorus:

Frank Zappa: "Well, I loved the music, but I went backstage after the concert, and it was very, very depressing, because it looked to me like the three male members of the entourage that were playing the musical instruments, the way they were dressed and the way they behaved backstage, it looked to me like they were secret police, and the behavior of the women, the way they were lined up in these little rows backstage to shake hands with people, it just seemed to me so controlled, and it was that ugly aspect of communism that was dangling over the backstage aura of the thing that really turned me off, but I still like the music."

Den Simms: "The music, that was good?"

Frank Zappa: "Fabulous".

Den Simms: "Yeah. Unfortunately the tickets had been sold out locally, where I live, and I didn't get a chance to see it, but I just recently ..."

Frank Zappa: "Well, you know what it was like ... you heard the CD?"

Den Simms: "I have just recently been turned on to recordings of them, and I was blown away. That's pretty unique stuff."

Frank Zappa: "Well, can you imagine walking into a room, and sitting down, and the lights go down, and here come twenty or thirty of these women, dressed in native costume? No "one, two, three, four", no big count-off or anything. No conductor in the first part. They just lined up and what came out was an exact replica of that CD. In tune!" (...) Boom! Singing! I couldn't believe it. There were a couple of minor fuck-ups later on in the show, and then, they had a woman who was conducting the chorus on the second half, where they were doing it not in native costume but in concert dress, but it was astonishing, because anybody who has ever tried to carry a tune, and stay in tune, with no musical accompaniment, has to respect that many people, who sang that kind of harmony, totally on the beat. Just fabulous. It was amazing."

(From: They're Doing the Interview of the Century, Part 2)