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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:18 pm 
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I heard Frank saying the line "Why don't you sharpen it then?" alot during my copy of the Dub Room Special... Does anyone know what this means and where it comes from? It is very fun to say to people to befuddle them, but Id like to know what it means.
Thanks! 8)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:13 am 
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It's a music term. If someone is singing "flat" that means they are singing just below the correct pitch of the note. Sharpen means to play or sing in a higher pitch and flatten means to play or sing in a lower pitch.

FZ was always on Napoleans case about singing flat. I'm not sure if it was serious or if it was just a joke they had together. On the clip of Montana from the Roxy DVD I remember FZ says something at the start like "I sincerely hope that the backup vocals are going to be in tune." And Napolean laughs. Although, I think I detected some nervousness in his laugh. Hehe.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:38 am 
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I did notice he would glance over at Napolean and cut a grin when he would say it, so Im sure he was probably having some fun.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:16 am 
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WRONG!!

From: chulrich@interchange.ubc.ca (Charles Ulrich)

I read an interview with FZ (don't ask me where or when), in which he told about some carpenter that had worked for him. The carpenter talked to himself as he worked. Two of his sayings were "Why don't you sharpen it then?" and "Mother, Mary, and Jozuf!"
From: biffyshrew@aol.com (Biffyshrew)

Yup. This was in Society Pages USA, I think in the second of the two big multi-issue interviews.

From: Peter 0x99berg <PETEROBE@vbtn.sr.se>

I read about this quote in an old Society Pages recently. The expression was used by a carpenter that used to work at the Zappa house. He used to talk to himself. "Screwdriver don't work. Why don't you sharpen it then." And sometimes he hit his thumb with his hammer and then he shouted "Mother Mary and Jozuf!"

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:22 am 
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I use this phrase in the kitchen alot, I am a chef... So when something goes wrong Ill say "why dont you sharpen it then?" Nobody gets it though, but it has caught on a little bit with a few others, Ive heard them say it too. Its a phrase that can be used universally and in general its just fun to say...

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