Frank Zappa, his groupies and me
... One single incident serves as a perfect illustration of just what an extraordinarily unusual and charismatic person the US musician Frank Zappa
, who died in 1993, must have been. In 1968, a year that saw the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, a man turned up on the doorstep at the Log Cabin, the ramshackle, open-all-hours-to-all-comers crash pad in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, that Zappa
and numerous other weird people called home. "My name is Raven. I brought you a present," this stranger announced, handing to Zappa
a transparent bag, apparently filled with blood, before pointing a revolver at his chest. Freak Out! My Life with Frank Zappa
byPauline Butcher Buy the book Tell us what you think: Star-rate and review this book Calmly, Zappa
cajoled and manipulated Raven into walking with him, and numerous spectators, including Zappa
's 24-year-old English secretary, to a nearby lake. He then persuaded everyone present to start throwing things into the water, including Raven, who threw in his gun. The secretary, Pauline Butcher, threw in a twig, which "floated on the algae" causing her to look round "apologetically". After that, Zappa
, shoved the bag of blood back ... [ read more ]
The Mothers of Invention on Vinyl
... A newly remastered edition of The Mothers of Invention
's debut album Freak Out! will be available on 180 gram vinyl on June 18. The reissue is being done through Zappa
Records, with exact reproduction of the original double LP cover art. Freak Out!, which was released in 1966, was produced by Tom Wilson, with bandleader Frank Zappa
on guitar, Roy Estrada on bass, Jimmy Carl Black on drums, Elliot Ingber on rhythm guitar and with Ray Collins holding down vocal duties. The music on "Freak Out!" ranges from rhythm and blues, doo-wop and standard blues-influenced rock to orchestral arrangements and avant-garde sounds. Lyrically, the the album is a satirical expression of Zappa
's perception of American pop culture. Freak Out! is often cited as one of the first concept albums, and it was also the second-ever rock n' roll double LP, with Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde preceding it by one week. While the album was initially a commercial failure in the United States, it was a success in Europe and eventually garnered a cult following in America. In 1999, it was honored with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award, and in 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it among the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The Mothers of Invention
on Vinyl ... [ read more ]
Frank Zappa's Bandmates Launching New Project/Object Tour
... Mon VT Burlington Higher Ground 05/14 Tue MA Northampton Iron Horse 05/18 Sat Poland Lublin Codes Festival 05/20 Mon CZ, Prague Matrix Club 05/21 Tue Germany Hanover BluesGarage 05/22 Wed Germany Aalen Rock It 05/23 Thu Germany Aschaffenburg Colos-Saal 05/24 Fri Netherlands Eindhoven Effenaar 05/25 Sat Germany Erfurt HsD Club 05/26 Sun Austria Hard Kammgarn Project/Object Tour Dates/Tickets Project/Object CDs, DVDs and MP3s Project/Object T-shirts and Posters Project/Object CDs, vinyl and rarities . ...end .News Reports Frank Zappa
's Bandmates Launching New Project/Object Tour ... [ read more ]
Frank Zappa (Dec. 21, 1940-Dec. 4, 1993)
Artistfacts®: You can leave comments about the artist/band at the bottom of the page.
Zappa was a vocal opponent of censorship. He testified against the Parents Music Resource Center at the infamous Frankenchrist obscenity trial, in which the Dead Kennedys were brought to court for "distribution of harmful matter to minors." Zappa said that the PMRC's methods were equivalent to "treating dandruff with decapitation." (thanks, Andrew - Tucson, AZ)
He released at least 60 albums. Frank's album Apostrophe(') is his only album to puncture Billboard's Top 10. The title track on the album is an instrumental featuring drummer Jim Gordon and Cream bassist Jack Bruce. (thanks, Darrell - Kalkaska, MI)
He has daughters named Moon Unit and Diva and sons named Dweezil and Ahmet.
Lowell George was one of Zappa's musicians before he formed Little Feat.
Zappa produced albums for Alice Cooper, Captain Beefheart, and Grand Funk.
Most of his songs were parodies, but the musicianship was so good that radio stations played them anyway.
He played a crime boss named "Mr. Frankie" on an episode of Miami Vice in 1986.
Zappa was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1991. He died 2 years later.
His album Jazz from Hell was the only instrumental album ever labeled with the PMRC's "Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics" label. (thanks, Adam - Dubois, IN)
While playing The Rainbow in London in 1971, a man named Trevor Howell jumped onstage and attacked Zappa, knocking him into the orchestra pit 15 feet below. Along with a number of cuts, bruises, and broken bones, Zappa's Larynx was crushed, lowering the pitch of his voice by one third for the rest of his life. (thanks, Bob - Tokyo, Japan, for above 2)
Zappa formed The Mothers of Invention in 1964. They released 3 albums before breaking up in 1969.
In one of Franks last interviews with Jamie Gangel from NBC, when asked how he wanted to be remembered, he responded that he didn't want to be remembered at all. (thanks, Tom - Marble Falls, AR)
Cy Curnin of The Fixx
The man who brought us "Red Skies" and "Saved By Zero" is now an organic farmer in France.
Shaun Morgan of Seether
Shaun breaks down the Seether songs, including the one about his brother, the one about Ozzy, and the one that may or may not be about his ex-girlfriend Amy Lee.
The good doctor shares some candid insights on recording with Phil Spector and The Black Keys.