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Zappa Records Commemorates 25th Anniversary of Frank Zappa’s Testimony Against Censorship on Capitol Hill with New CD ‘Congress Shall Make No Law...’

United States
September 27, 2010 — September 19th, 2010, Zappa Records released ‘Congress Shall Make No Law . . .’ a CD containing Frank Zappa’s 1985 remarks against the censorship of free expression by artists. The hearings, influenced in no small part by the then newly-formed Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) headed by Susan Baker and Tipper Gore to promote a rating system for recorded music, in response to such Bills as H.R. 2911 concerning the collection of a blank tape tax to benefit the recording industry, were recorded on Capitol Hill and at Annapolis, MD.

‘Congress Shall Make No Law . . .’ features over 40 minutes of Frank Zappa’s uncut testimony. Zappa’s attorney, Larry Stein, who accompanied Zappa to the Senate hearing in 1985, contributed liner notes for the CD; artist Bill Miller designed the stunning album cover. September 19th, 2010, the actual 25th anniversary of Zappa’s testimony on Capitol Hill, is also Frank Zappa Day in Baltimore and this year included the unveiling of a bust of Zappa presented to the City of Baltimore from fans in Lithuania. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake read her Proclamation dedicating the Sculpture and the Day in honor of Frank Zappa and installed it in front of the Enoch-Pratt Library at the request of Zappa’s widow. Gail Zappa, their children Ahmet, Diva and Dweezil Zappa, the Mayor of Vilnius and the fans responsible for commissioning the original bust in Vilnius, Lithuania, were also in attendance. Following the ceremonies a special ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA concert. More information: http://bit.ly/aTTBgr

Photo from the dedication (credit: www.PanoramicVisions.com): http://bit.ly/cSEdXO

“I like nipples,” Zappa states matter-of-factly during his testimony at Annapolis. The crowd laughs, illuminating Zappa’s point: it is absurd, a joke to censor music at the artists’ expense. ‘Congress Shall Make No Law’ offers Zappa’s thoughts on how the PMRC’s subterfuge threatened our constitutional rights. In his testimony, Zappa reads the First Amendment of the Constitution in full, which begins “Congress shall make no law . . .”

Spin Magazine published a feature on the hearings earlier this year in May 2010: www.shorefire.com/media/Zappa%20Spin_20100908_93017.jpg

According to Gail Zappa, “‘Congress Shall Make No Law . . .’ is released as an educational project, representing Zappa’s tireless commitment to the First Amendment which he felt his duty to protect by providing (in his words) “stimulating digital audio entertainment” in the form of “material which a truly free society would neither fear nor suppress.”
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