Marines

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"Listen, we had three Marines in full-dress uniform on stage one night with us. A Marine was killed in the Village, remember? And there was a rumor that every Marine within shooting distance was coming down to beat up everybody they found with long hair. The week following that rumor, we're rehearsing in the theatre and in walk three full-dress Marines. So I said, "Oh, hello there, why don't you come in and sit down." I just went on with our rehearsal; we didn't pay any attention to them. When we were done, they said, "We just bought your album and we really like it." These kids, nineteen years old, stationed on the carrier Wasp at shore here, clean, you know? I said, "Well, I'm glad you do. Hey, listen, how would you guys like to work with us a tonight?" They were really turned on. I said, "Can you sing?" They said, "Yeah." "What do you know?" "Well, I know, Everybody Must Get Stoned and House Of The Rising Sun. So we went across the street to have dinner; I ate and they practiced their songs. Come back, we do this number. I said, "Now look, there's one little thing I want you to do. When I give you the signal, I want all three of you guys to lunge for the microphone and start screaming 'Kill!' " So we played like that "Archie Shepp" weirdness, with the dissonant chords and all that, and on cue they ran right to the mikes, started screaming "Kill!" The audience just went – they couldn't handle it. Then when it was over, they clapped. So I said to the audience, "Thank you"; and then Ray Collins says to the audience, "Thank you"; and then when I pointed to the Marines to have them say "Thank you," the first one walks up to the mike and says: "Eat the apple, fuck the core" [i.e., Corps]. And everybody went, "Whew!" Oh wow. And then the second one, he comes up and says: "Eat the apple, fuck the core." Point to the third one; he goes up, he says: "Hey, you know, I feel the same way as my other two buddies: Eat the apple, fuck the core. Some of us love our mothers more." Full-dress blues, man – they just burned a dozen flags. (...) Right. Court-martial city, all right? So then, we took an intermission and they stuck around. I said, "Do you guys know ... ?" "I don't care, man. They can only get you once." All right, go back on. I told Gail to get the doll. This is the first time we ever used the doll. We had this doll that somebody gave us, it was really shitty – big plastic doll. Bring it down and I say, "Hey, ladies an' gennlemen, the guys are, uh, gonna sing Everybody Must Get Stoned. They go through all that shit and I says, "Now, we're gonna have basic training. Uh, ladies an' gennlemen, this is a gook baby; and the Marines are going to mutilate it before your very eyes. Kill it!" Tossed it to them, they ripped the arms off, beat it up, stomped on it, and just completely tore it apart. After they're all done, the music got real quiet, the lights went down, and I held it by the hair and showed the audience all the damaged parts of the doll's body, pretending ... . There was one guy in the front row, a Negro cat just come back from Vietnam, was crying. It was awful and I ended the show there." (Frank Zappa in Frank Kofsky interviews FZ)

See also