I believe this was FZ's last broadcast interview. He seems far quieter and (somewhat) more introspective than usual, telling interviewer Jamie Gangel that it was of absolutely no importance to him whether or not people remembered him--that he realized people like Reagan and Bush spent a lot of money to shape and cement their legacies, but he didn't care how, or even if, he was remembered. (Ironically, Frank was referring to Bush I, though of course he could just as easily have been talking about the current one, the mere thought of whom makes this Zappaphile shudder to imagine what Maestro would have to say about, ah, all this.)
How did he feel about the label "eccentric genius?"
"Eccentric, yes. Genius, maybe."
It's hard to watch this interview, especially the part where he demonstrates his then-groundbreaking work on the Synclavier, and not feel profoundly cheated--you always wonder what sort of brilliance Frank would be turning out today with the incredible technology we have now. It's hard to watch this interview and not wish he were still here, speaking out, shaking things up, and reminding us what being a real artist--a real American artist--is all about.
Happy Leftovers Day and Bon Weekend, everyone.