32 Frank Zappa Quotes: Education, Art, Life and More

An American singer-songwriter, bandleader, composer, and instrumentalist, Frank Zappa is a legend. His works are laced with nonconformity, free-form improvisation, sound experiments, and satire of American culture. Check out the top Frank Zappa quotes.

32 Frank Zappa Quotes That Lets You See the World Through His Eyes

Frank Zappa Quotes on Education

#1. “So many books, so little time.” ― Frank Zappa.

#2. “If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.” ― Frank Zappa.

#3. “Drop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mediocre educational system. Forget about the Senior Prom and go to the library and educate yourself if you’ve got any guts. Some of you like Pep rallies and plastic robots who tell you what to read.” ― Frank Zappa.

#4. “Modern Americans behave as if intelligence were some sort of hideous deformity.” ― Frank Zappa.

#5. “Schools train you to be ignorant with style they prepare you to be a usable victim for a military industrial complex that needs manpower. As long as you’re just smart enough to do a job and just dumb enough to swallow what they feed you, you’re going to be alright. So I believe that schools mechanically and very specifically try and breed out any hint of creative thought in the kids that are coming up.” ― Frank Zappa. Quotes on Music and Art

#6. “Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is the best.” ― Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book.

#7. “Jazz isn’t dead. It just smells funny.” ― Frank Zappa.

#8. “Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.” ― Frank Zappa, Real Frank Zappa Book.

#9. “Art is making something out of nothing, and selling it.” ― Frank Zappa.

#10. “Music is the only religion that delivers the goods.” ― Frank Zappa.

#11. “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” ― Frank Zappa.

#12. “The most important thing in art is The Frame. For painting: literally; for other arts: figuratively, because, without this humble appliance, you can’t know where The Art stops and The Real World begins. You have to put a ‘box’ around it because otherwise, what is that shit on the wall?” ― Frank Zappa. Frank Zappa Quotes on Life

#13. “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” ― Frank Zappa.

#14. “If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.” ― Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book.

#15. “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” ― Frank Zappa.

#16. “I never set out to be weird. It was always other people who called me weird.” ― Frank Zappa.

#17. “A drug is not bad. A drug is a chemical compound. The problem comes in when people who take drugs treat them like a license to behave like an asshole.” ― Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book.

#18. “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.” ― Frank Zappa.

#19. “It’s better to have something to remember than anything to regret.” ― Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book.

#20. “The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with somebody else’s life.” ― Frank Zappa. Frank Zappa Quotes on Religion and The Government

#21. “Anybody who wants religion is welcome to it, as far as I’m concerned–I support your right to enjoy it. However, I would appreciate it if you exhibited more respect for the rights of those people who do not wish to share your dogma, rapture, or necro destination.” ― Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book.

#22. “My best advice to anyone who wants to raise a happy, mentally healthy child is: Keep him or her as far away from a church as you can.” ― Frank Zappa

#23. “Take the Kama Sutra. How many people died from the Kama Sutra as opposed to the Bible? Who wins?” ― Frank Zappa.

#24. “Government is the Entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.” ― Frank Zappa.

#25. “I’m vile and perverted. I’m obsessed and deranged. I’ve existed for years but very little has changed. I’m the tool of the government and industry too. For I’m destined to rule and regulate you. You may think I’m pernicious, but you can’t look away. I’ll make you think I’m delicious with the stuff that I say. I’m the best you can get have you guessed me yet? I’m the slime oozing out of your TV set.” ― Frank Zappa, I’m The Slime.

#26. “The essence of Christianity is told to us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, ‘All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your fucking mouth shut and hadn’t asked any questions.” ― Frank Zappa.

Other Quotes

#27. “There’s a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.” ― Frank Zappa.

#28. “There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it’s going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.” ― Frank Zappa.

#29. “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline – it helps if you have some kind of football team, or some nuclear weapons, but in the very least you need a beer.” ― Frank Zappa.

#30. “Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.” ― Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book.

#31. “I like to watch the news, because I don’t like people very much and when you watch the news … if you ever had an idea that people were really terrible, you could watch the news and know that you’re right.” ― Frank Zappa.

#32. “I think it’s really tragic when people get serious about stuff. It’s such an absurdity to take anything really seriously I make an honest attempt not to take anything seriously: I worked that attitude out about the time I was eighteen, I mean, what does it all mean when you get right down to it, what’s the story here? Being alive is so weird.” ― Frank Zappa.


Frank Zappa is one of the most diverse rock musicians, and his work is filled with innovation and style. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

Image source: Frank Zappa photo from www.morrisonhotelgallery.com