Pop Culture
Aug 10, 2022, 06:28AM

How Weird Can You Get and Still Make a Living?

A 1988 SongTalk interview with the late composer/songwriter Frank Zappa vs. a 2019 Uproxx interview with actor/director Edward Norton.

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Edward Norton: It’s all such a blur. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Frank Zappa: You know, I think that what you have in mind is probably something more romantic than the way I look at it.

Norton: I think I could have walked over to Netflix and gotten double the budget and gotten everybody paid.

Zappa: This is usually accomplished by changing your hairdo periodically and having a good wardrobe.

Norton: [Laughs] Nobody ever gets it better than The Onion.


Zappa: Well, usually that would get rid of the girls and the ignorant boys and what was left over was somebody you could have a conversation with.

Norton: And then suddenly, you’re like, “Oh, my God. Oh, my God.”

Zappa: Sure. My kind of music.

Norton: Yeah, well, we were always obsessing on the synergies. You know?

Zappa: And then there is the amount of what you can refer to as assumable risk: How weird can you get and still make a living? 


Norton: Yeah, there’s a coexisting sensation of satisfaction and just the settling contentment of a thing that had been rattling in your head a long time. I didn’t intend it that way.

Zappa: I wrote it on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to L.A., and it was pages and pages about the fundamentalist right and weird things that they do.

Norton: You know, great things came out of it.

Zappa: Sometimes they’re supposed to.

Norton: But that opening, yeah, and a roar in the dark, in the glacier.


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