Stick Together

Notes and Comments

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  To Album Refs
To Global Refs
This is a song about the union, friends
How they fucked you over and the way they bends
The rules to suit a special few
And you gets pooched every time the do

You know we gotta stick together
You know we gotta stick together
You know we gotta stick together

Once upon a time the idea was good
If only they'd a done what they said they would
It ain't no better, they's makin' it worse
The labor movement's got the Mafia curse
From: (R. Takken)
  Unions in Europe are of a completely different nature than in America. In England, the unions represent a counterculture against Thatcherism. Zappa's song 'Stick Together' is a much misunderstood song in Europe. Many progressive people feel this song is right wing. Zappa's reference about the unions living under the Mafia curse gives a clue about how different unions are looked upon. Someone who said something like that about european unions is not taken seriously. It just doesn't make sense.
  I feel Zappa's look isn't too paradoxal, he made his reasons clear several times. For him it was almost impossible to get orchestra's play his music. He always put the full 100% into his art and continuously experienced other people being aware of their 'financial rights' first. FZ worked overtime all his life and unions made him feel that was unethical. In the Real FZ Book is a reference saying he felt treated like a millionaire rock star who had to pay for everything because he was stinking rich. This is a major mistake for which the unions are to blame. I don't know how they calculated FZ income by then, they never took care of the fact that FZ invested all he earned in new music, be it recorded or performed. This one way look of the unions must have made him bitter for good.
  Beside that, here's another thing. Zappa turned much into the average business man in the eighties unions stand up against: none of the people playing on BTB got paid; remember all MOI members who feel FZ made use of them by recording them all the time. He still put out new records with their contributions without consulting their opinions, let alone paying them. Zappa stated he paid them back in 1969, ie: their salaries. You don't have to be a marxist to see that there is something wrong with that: Zappa paid his members, and he benefited from them too in the sixties: he had a band. When he uses tapes to make a living out of thirty years after the fact where other people were involved too who get nothing, a union is necessary to correct matters.
  I buy 'Ahead of Their Time' for Ian Underwood's playing as well, you see. In America this correcting doesn't seem the task of the unions, the record is in the stores.
From: Vladimir Sovetov <>
  For all of you who just like it no matter what someome thinks about it. Another great anti-union songs is CHUNGA'S REVENGE. Rudy Wants to Buy Yez A Drink
  You could also find a lot of venome in FZ MEETS THE MOTHERS OF PREVENTION. Yo Cats
Thank the union -- it's so great
Only a few
Get to be on date --
  And in JOE'S GARAGE plot wherein it's written :-))
The bottom of him [Central Scrutinizer] has a landing light and three
spoked wheels. In spite of all this, it is obvious that the way he
really gets around is by being dangled from place to place by a union
guy with a dark green shirt in the roof who is eating sandwich (pieces
of which drop off once in a while and lodge themselves near the hole
where they put the oil in that makes the cheap smoke)
  And don't forget
200 MOTELS. Lonesome Cowboy Burt.

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