Frank Zappa On Blackboard Jungle (1955).

“…I remember going to see Blackboard Jungle. When the titles flashed up there on the screen Bill Haley and his Comets started blurching “One Two Three O’Clock, Four O’Clock Rock….” It was the loudest sound kids had ever heard at that time. I remember being inspired with awe. In cruddy little teen-age rooms across America, kids had been huddling around old radios and cheap record players listening to the “dirty music” of their life style. (“Go in your room if you wanna listen to that crap… and turn the volume all the way down.”)

But in the theatre, watching Blackboard Jungle, they couldn’t tell you to turn it down. I didn’t care if Bill Haley was white or sincere… he was playing the Teen-Age National Anthem and it was so LOUD I was jumping up and down. Blackboard Jungle, not even considering the story line (which had the old people winning in the end) represented a strange sort of “endorsement” of the teen-age cause: “They have made a movie about us, therefore, we exist…”

From “The New Rock” by Frank Zappa — Life, June 28, 1968

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Filed under 1955, Glenn Ford

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