Frank Zappa

Born: December 21, 1940
Baltimore, MD, USA
Died: December 4, 1993

Zappa was interested in music from early in his childhood, and he began taking guitar lessons in order to one day attend music school. With admiration for music ranging from classical to doo wop, Zappa’s desire was to meld the sounds that he loved to create his own wacky music. He graduated from high school and went to Chaffey College in California, but it didn’t last long. Zappa was a free-thinking young soul, and school was too uniform for him. In 1964, he joined the Soul Giants, who would eventually grow into the Mothers. When the Mothers signed to the Verve, a division of MGM, the label was adamant about called them the Mothers of Invention, and they released Freak Out!. It was a 2 album set, and Zappa wrote most of the music on the set. Over the next several years, Zappa and the Mothers of Invention put out several albums, showcasing Zappa’s sharp wit and ability to write diverse styles of music. By 1970, Zappa had broken up the band and reassembled the Mothers with the ex-Turtles Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan. For a while, they tried their hand at adult-oriented comedy, but Zappa was pushed off the stage during a gig at the Rainbow in London and seriously injured.

Zappa was forced to take some time off, and he released projects in the meantime. When he was fully recovered, the Mothers reformed, and by the end of the 70’s, he had formed his own label he called Barking Pumpkin. In the 80’s, Zappa began to re-issue some of his old albums as he gained the rights to them. He toured the world extensively, performing for his massive cult of followers who loved his scathing satire and respected him for his desire to stand up for musician’s rights. In 1991, Zappa’s family announced that he was seriously ill with cancer, and in December of 1993, Zappa passed away. Zappa will go down in history as one of the foremost musicians who stood up against Tipper Gore and the PMRC in the Congressional Hearings of 1988 involving censorship. Zappa’s kids, Ahmet, Dweezil, Moon Unit, and Diva, are all involved in some aspect of the music business.

Instruments Played / Skills:
Songwriter Guitar Vocals

Psychedelic Rock Jazz Fusion Progressive Rock Comedy/Novelty

Bands That Frank Zappa Has Played For:
Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention

Frank Zappa Has Worked With:
Steve Vai Scott Thunes Moon Unit Zappa Dweezil Zappa Aynsley Dunbar Jim Fielder Gail Davies Warren Cuccurullo

Frank Zappa Was Influenced By:
Igor Stravinsky

Artists That Were Influenced By Frank Zappa:
Warren DeMartini Mike Portnoy Steve Vai
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"Beethoven can write music, thank God, but he can do nothing else on earth."

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