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Frank Zappa

Dec. 21, 1940-Dec. 4, 1993

Artistfacts for Frank Zappa

  • 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 two 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)
  • Zappa was charged with "conspiracy to commit pornography" after he got caught in a sting operation in San Bernadino where a detective asked him to make an audio sex tape for $100. Zappa complied, but staged tape, using fake moans and other lascivious sounds. Without funds to mount a suitable legal defense, he pleaded no contest and served 10 days in jail. This made him a convicted felon, which came in handy because it exempted him from the draft, keeping him out of Vietnam.
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Comments: 18

The parental advisory on 'Jazz From Hell' was because of a song called 'G-Spot Tornado'. Huh?Sarah - Quincy, Il
His son Dweezil can REALLY play guitar.Lester - New York City, Ny
In the late 1980s, Frank Zappa was on Larry King's radio show, and a caller said she and her husband had sent him an invitation to their wedding. They really didn't expect an RSVP, but he did sign the card and send it back. He wasn't able to attend. And I was in pharmacy school when he died.....the day we had a lecture about prostate cancer.Sarah - Quincy, Il
My fave is "Live In New York"
The Illinois Enema Bandit is gonna getcha !!
Zappa RULES !!
* ߪ??¥ *
Barry - Gagetown Nb Canada
The only instrumental album that recieved the parental advisory sticker was "Jazz from Hell." just shows you how rediculous the PMRC was, huh?Darrell - Kalkaska, Mi
does any1 kno the name of zappa's instrumental album that got the parental advisory sticker anyway?Josh - New York, Ny
on the mountain of rock there is no place for zappa....he is on the cloud above them woth hendrix laughing and throwing rocks at the lower form of guitar lifeBuddy - Kalkaska, Mi
Frank Zappa is the best guitarist and one of the best musicians to ever walk the Earth. He is the greatest influence on my playing and the one who inspired me to pick up a guitar in the first place. He is one of the few modern composers that was GENIOUS. FRANK ROCKS.Darrell - Kalkaska, Mi
susie creamcheese was franks wifeThomas - Hartford, Dc
Frank Zappa, one of the most influential musicians ever. There is not enough room on this page to name all the players he influenced. Mike Portnoy, drummer for Dream Theatre, dedicated his playing on th album "Awake" to Zappa. Awesome musician period. Peace.Don - Pittsburgh, Pa
does anyone know some good zappa sites?Charlie - Thomaston, Dc
Like gag me with a spoon, and dont eat the yellow snowTravis - Orange, Ca
Eric Burden said in his book that the mothers would all be getting high while they were praticing but the Zappa was clean most of the time.Justin - Bakersfield, Ca
All of the musicians that played in his bands were highly skilled and many went on to have successful careers on their own (George Duke, Jean Luc-Ponty, Terry Bozzio, Vince Colaiuta).Dan - West Harrison, Ny
Frank was a musical genious! Most common humans cannot even begin to understand his brillance, and the influnce he had on music!Steve - Ashland, Ky
HIS FIRST ALBUM,FREAK OUT,WITH THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION WAS A TOTAL MIND BLOWER BACK IN THE 60'S.I STILL THROW IT ON ONCE IN A WHILE.Herman - Chicago, Il
He was quite possibly one of the smartest musicians of all time.Kris - Toronto, Canada
He was also one of the greatest guitarists who ever livedDon - Spokane, Wa