Sunday, June 14, 2009

30 Years Of Zing!

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Beat Time! magazine, we thought it would be interesting to see if we could try and track down the notoriously reclusive Zing Crowbar, jazz composer and father of the modern avant-garde. Crowbar does not normally grant interviews, accept dinner invitations, or speak in complete sentences, so we were overjoyed when he agreed to talk with us about his 30 years of experience in the music business:

Do you have a time you set aside for your creative work?

Man, you’re like that guy who called me from the census bureau the other day! So he’s all like “So, like, when do you work?” and I’m all like “Well, like, everything is work, man,” you know what I mean? When I’m running around the block with a giant bee’s head on reciting the Gettysburg Address, I’m working, you know? When I’m making some tuna fish salad, it’s like I’m composing, all right? When I put my pants on, it’s like I’m stuffing a huge rear end into a piano sonata. What’s not to get?

I thought it was interesting when we were speaking previously about television and I made a reference to that popular comedy show…

I don’t watch that program!


No TV, no magazines, no newspapers. They’re distractions, man! They’re ways that the Bush administration tries to distract you from –

You know that Bush isn’t the President any more, right?

What do you mean? Since when?

Last year.



Well, how would I be expected to know that? Seriously! I mean, I spend every waking moment on my compositions or, as I like to think of them, my children. I don’t have time to absorb every little bit of gossip like some kind of media sponge!

Could you expand on this idea of your compositions as ‘your children’?

Well, some of them misbehave, some of them borrow the car without asking and others never call. I mean, ever.

You always have so many different projects going on at the same time, some critics have accused you of having a short attention span.

Well, that’s just a line that the critics and record companies liked to haul out about me because it was easier than…easier than…what was the question again?

What are you working on now?

It’s an opera entitled Mzzz(owww!)xxxx! We have nurse’s stations available at every performance, just in case the sheer intensity of my music causes them to stand up and applaud me until they’re dead.

Has that happened?

More times than I really would have expected.

Well, thank you, Mr. Crowbar, for this intimate glimpse into your creative process. We wish you every success.

No, no, you should be thanking me! I am the greatest gift I could ever have given to you.


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