Classic early Zappa on Watts Riots
Trouble Every Day, suggested by a reader, is the song that got Zappa signed to a record label when Dylan producer Tom Wilson heard it.
Wilson had left Columbia Records after producing Dylan classics such as Like a Rolling Stone.
Zappa wrote Trouble Every Day while watching the Watts Riots on television.
During the 6 days of mayhem in Los Angeles known as the Watts Riots, 34 people were killed, thousands injured and arrested.
The riots were caused by social pressures in the black community including poverty, police brutality and human rights abuse. The LA Police did their best to fan the flames by shooting people in the streets.
Zappa was critical of the establishment’s reaction and the reactionary media reporting.
It’s like watching the movie Black Hawk Down, rooting for the Americans special forces troops who justified killing over 1,000 Somali’s when they got caught in a raid on Mogadishu.
In the beginning, one American service man died. By the time it was over 19 were dead and more wounded. A classic example of excessive use of force on a wrong header mission.
Freak Out is still considered the first 2 LP rock concept album. It vies for that title with Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde which was released the same month in June 1966. Ironically, Wilson didn’t produce BoB – Bob Johnston of Columbia Records produced the double LP in Nashville which signaled another change for Dylan.
Frank got the funk by the 1970’s – check out the 1973 live version next page.
Footnote – have you noticed a Bob Dylan link in many of my music stories. The guy was everywhere.