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POP EYE

November 29, 1987|PATRICK GOLDSTEIN

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Frank Zappa has been winning friends and influencing people with his prickly personality for nearly three decades. Even as a teen-ager, pop's favorite iconoclast was a big fan of avant-garde composer Edgard Varese. Asked recently by the National Academy of Songwriters if any of his 13-year-old pals shared his enthusiasm, Zappa replied: "No, but I would play (his records) for them anyway. That was the test to find out what kind of person that individual was. I'd play parts of the Varese album and then Lightning Slim things like 'My Starter Won't Start' and then some Howlin' Wolf. . . . 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."

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