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Lou Reed inducts Frank Zappa

"It's very rare in life to know someone who affects things - who changes them in a positive way.  I've been lucky enough to know some in my life: Andy Warhol, Doc Pomus, people whose vision and integrity was such that it moved the world a bit.  People who through the articulation of their talents and intelligence were able to leave things better than they found them.  People who were not only not [sic] in it for the money, to paraphrase Frank Zappa.  Frank Zappa was such a person, and of the many regrets I have in life, not knowing him a lot better is one of them.  Whether writing symphonies, satirical broadsides, or casting a caustic glow across the frontier of madness that makes up the American political landscape, whether testifying before Congress to put the PMRC in its rightful, lowly place, or acting as a cultural conduit for President Vaclav Hovel and the Czech government, Frank was a force for reason and honesty in a business deficient in these areas.  As we reward some with money for the amusement they supply to the cultural mass, I think the induction of Frank Zappa into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame distinguishes the Hall as well as the inductee, as does, I might add, the appointment of the Hall's new director, Dennis Barry, who defended the Robert Maplethorpe exhibition against attacks by the misanthropic right wing of Cincinnati, while heads of other museums stood silent.  This ability to not stand idle - to take a stance and respond with the steady force of reason and humor - this is not an unimportant talent.  And if it were not a talent, all good people would do it, wouldn't they?  There are other things beyond the importance of who sold what, or how many records this or that year.  Things such as permanence, and again, integrity, which act as inspiration for musicians, and writers, and even political figures, who are in constant need of examples, of how you live your life without selling your soul and talent to the highest-bidding maven of greed and fame.  There is room in this world for all of us; but I wish there had been a bit more room, and certainly more time, for Frank Zappa.  Who in our community will fill his shoes, to rail and articulate the myriad fallacies of Newt Gingrich and his Boystown garbage?  Musicians usually cannot speak - that's why they communicate through their instruments.  But Frank was one who could, and because music is pure, the musician is pure as well.  And when Frank spoke, he demonstrated the power of purity.  Who will do that now?  I admired Frank greatly, and I know he admired me.  It gives me great pleasure to give this award to his daughter, Moon Zappa."

Frank Zappa