The Fanzine Questionnaire

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The 1966 Fanzine Questionnaire

What is your full name?
Francis Vincent Zappa, Jr. II (the second means junior which means I have the same name as my father.)

Where and when were you born?
December 21, 1940 on Baltimore. Maryland.

How tall are you, what do you weigh, what is your coloring?
Six foot tall and 135 pounds. Dove grey complexion, jet black hair, jet brown eyes, jet pink gums – the rest all matches.

Do you have brothers and sisters?
Yes. A sister named Candy, and two brothers – Carl and Bobby. They all lived.

Where do you live?
I live in the middle of a great hallucinogenic wasteland – Laurel Canyon – on one of the hot streets with the rest of the stars ... lotsa action, having a wonderful time, wish you were here.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
I like snappy sports ensemble – something neutral and easy to care for, wash'n'wear mostly.

What is your conception of your Dream Girl?
She is an attractive pariah, with an IQ well over 228, with complete mastery of Brer Rabbit, any five Indian Cookbooks, the Dead Sea Scrolls, The Pat Butram Story (she gotta know all the words to the album!); no interest whatsoever in any way in sports, sunshine, deodorant, lipstick, chewing gum, carbon tetrachloride, television, ice cream ... none of that stuff! In short – a wholesome young underground morsel open to suggestion.

PS. I don't even care if she shaves her legs. Just about anybody will do if they can dance. I'm not really sure any of this is true. I'll have to check it out a couple of times. Wait! Any girl is all right as long as she doesn't have hair like Bob Dylan, or maybe she could even have that if she knows how to ride a motorcyle. I might even like her better if she can play Stockhausen on the piano – Klavierstücke XII.

Who is your favourite actress?
Ida Lupino.

Who is your favourite actor?
Herman Rudin.

What are your favourite movies?
The Killer Shrews, The Beast of Haunted Cave, Wasp Woman, Mothra, Dead Of Night, Freaks and Alice in Wonderland.

What do you do when you are alone?
I am never alone. I have a house with six dwarfs who take care of me. The dwarfs change from week to week so I don't get bored. But if I ever was alone, I'd probably dance and sing and play my guitar, oh boy, would I! I might sew, I might read, I might draw – I might do all that stuff simultaneously. Maybe someday I will be so rich I can hire people to help me do all those things when I'm alone ... maybe not; I have a lot of fantasies, you see.

Do you have any secret longings?
I long to turn Sunset Boulevard into a parking lot.

Do you ever date fans?
Of course, they are the only ones who like me!

How would you describe your personality?
Infinitely repellent.

What would you like to do on a date?
Well, mostly I just like to hold hands, intimately sharing conversation.

Who are your closest friends?
The ones that are still alive. I keep to myself mostly, jes' me and my pup dog, Po Po – walking alone together all through the canyon, what care I for friends? Seriously now, my friends made me promise if I ever got famous not to tell their names – it might get back to them. Something like that on your record could keep you from getting a Civil Service job.

Where would you like to live if you get married?
What makes you think I'm gonna get married? What makes you think I want to be on any street but this street – where the action is – besides, Po Po likes to roam the hills. Good boy, Po Po.

What are your favourite colours?
Avocado green, yellow orange and robin's-egg blue.

What are your favourite flowers?
Morning glories, honeysuckle.

What is your favourite food?
Shrimp curry.

Who are your favourites in music?
In the old days, back before rock'n'roll was what was hapeing, I used to go for Sacco & Vanzetti. And as I grew up I found that it got harder and harder to dance to them – when you get old co-ordination is more difficult. I had to switch my preference, and now all I really like is Gary Lewis and The Playboys!

What has been the biggest thrill of your life?
The day a high official at Columbia Records, in confidence to a close friend, revealed the stunning truth that The Mothers of Invention has no commercial potential.

If you were stuck alone on a desert island, name the three things you would most want to have with you?
(1) A dozen assorted groupies. (2) The complete writings of Cord Wainer Smith. (3) A carton of cigarettes.

What kind of girl would you marry?
If I ever get maried I'd prefer a sterile deaf mute who likes to wash dishes. There are so many American women who fit that description philosophically I might as well own one. No, I'd give her to Po Po. Your dad probably owns one; I'll go watch his!

How many children do you want to have?

What sports do you enjoy?
When I was in corrective PE – in California, folks, PE means Physical Education – I was really a monster at badminton. Can't say as I enjoyed it much. But if I really had to choose ... really, when you come right down to it – it would be badminton, yes. You know, hit the birdie with the racquet, although volley balls smell better.

What advice would you give young people who wish to go into show business?
First thing you do is get vaccinated – especially iy you live on this hot street – for every known disease. And if you live through thze vaccination, go find yourself a rich widow, preferably an ex-PE-teacher who will help you buy an amplifier. Barring any unforeseen teenage dilemmas, you will probably be relatively unsuccesful and miserable, at the most, in six months. The best thing to do is real estate or plumbing. We need more long hair plumbers and realtors.

Do you personally answer fan mail?
I never write letters of any description.

Did you like school?
I liked school a lot better than school liked me. They kept throwing me out. One day I got tired and tried to drop out of high school but then they wouldn't let me – sure did make me mad!

What would you like to do if you were not a musician?
I once confided in Van Dyke Parks that I would go into real estate, starting first with the purchase of La Cienaga Boulevard (note: a large business street in the centre of LA) including policemen, because Disneyland is too far to drive to.

Who is your favourite male singer?
Chester Burnett, known as Howlin' Wolf. All that stuff about Gary Lewis was a cruel put-on. Really, next to Howlin' Wolf I like Ray Collins.

What do you think of money?
What care I for fortune and fame? Just me and my dog Po Po wandering through the hills – fair weather and foul – you know, the good life! I got to confess, I don't have a dog Po Po, but I'll bet Kim Fowley does. All the rest of this stuff is true though.

Do you have a message for your fans?
Yes, call your service! Also, if I have to admit that there is really a message ... really a deep down meaning ... really it's this ... Every American boy and girl with matching moms and dads should walk around every day vehemently screaming, 'I doubt it!' to everything people do or think or say around them. In a nutshell, kids – I want to make sure you get a chance to check it out couple of times. Because in reality Madison Avenue does not have your best interests at heart.

Stunning to note: neither do most moms and dads, the police department, your local city, county, state, and federal governments, your local realtors ... none of'em! They've got it in for you, kids. They would smother you with apathy. It's up to you to know where it's at. But check it all out a couple of times so that when you open your mouth to nail one of them, you know what you're talking about. Moreover ... if you get a chance this week – drop out of school before your disinterested, ineffectual, teenage educational system wrecks whatever natural intelligence you had before all that stuff was inflicted on you ... or if that's too much of a hang-up – go work on your car.

See also

Fifty-Four Fab, Boss Questions ...