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Frank Vincent ZappaUntil discovering his birth certificate as an adult, Zappa believed he had been christened "Francis", and he is credited as Francis on some of his early albums. His legal name was always "Frank", however, never "Francis". Cf. Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, p. 15. (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American musician, bandleader, songwriter, composer, recording engineer, record producer, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, , orchestral and works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band and as a solo artist. While in his teens, he acquired a taste for 20th-century classical composers such as , , and along with 1950s music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands; he later switched to electric guitar.

Zappa was a self-taught composer and performer, and his diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often difficult to categorize. His 1966 debut album with The Mothers of Invention, , combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages. His later albums shared this eclectic and experimental approach, irrespective of whether the fundamental format was rock, jazz or classical. His lyrics—often humorously—reflected his view of established social and political processes, structures and movements. He was a strident critic of mainstream education and , and a forthright and passionate advocate for , , political participation and the abolition of censorship.

He was a highly productive and prolific artist and gained widespread critical acclaim. He had some commercial success, particularly in Europe, and worked as an independent artist for most of his career. He also remains a major influence on musicians and composers. Zappa was posthumously inducted into the in 1995 and received the in 1997. Zappa was married to Kathryn J. "Kay" Sherman from 1960 to 1964. In 1967, he married , with whom he remained until his death from in 1993. They had four children: , , and . In 2004, magazine ranked him at No. 71 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", and in 2011 at No. 22 on its list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".


Early life
Zappa was born in . His mother, Rose Marie (née Colimore), was of and ancestry; his father, Francis Vincent Zappa, was an immigrant from , Sicily.Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book. pg. 5 Zappa, the eldest of four children, was raised in an Italian-American household where Italian was spoken often by his grandparents. The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, 1993.Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book. pg. 6 The family moved often because his father, a and , worked in the defense industry. After a time in Florida in the 1940s, the family returned to , where Zappa's father worked at the Arsenal facility of the . Due to their home's proximity to the arsenal, which stored , gas masks were kept in the home.Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, pp. 20–23. This had a profound effect on Zappa, and references to germs, germ warfare and the defense industry occur throughout his work.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, pp. 8–9.

Zappa was often sick as a child, suffering from , and problems. A doctor treated his sinusitis by inserting a pellet of into each of Zappa's nostrils; little was known about the potential dangers of even small amounts of therapeutic radiation.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 10. Nasal imagery and references appear in his music and lyrics, as well as in the collage album covers created by his long-time collaborator . Many of Zappa's childhood diseases may have been due to exposure to mustard gas. His health worsened when he lived in Baltimore. In 1952, his family relocated for reasons of health.Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, p. 22. They next moved to , where his father taught at the . They soon moved to , ξ1 , Extract then to , before finally settling in San Diego.

Zappa recalled his parents being "pretty religious" and tried to make him to go to Catholic school despite his resentment. Zappa showed disgust towards religion (Christianity in particular) because he believed that it promotes ignorance and .


Musical influences
Zappa joined his first band at in San Diego. He was the band's drummer.Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, p. 29. About the same time his parents bought a phonograph, which allowed him to develop his interest in music, and to begin building his record collection.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 22. singles were early purchases, starting a large collection he kept for the rest of his life.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 36. He was interested in sounds for their own sake, particularly the sounds of drums and other percussion instruments. By age 12, he had obtained a snare drum and began learning the basics of orchestral percussion. Zappa's deep interest in modern classical music began when he read a magazine article about the record store chain that lauded its ability to sell an LP as obscure as The Complete Works of Edgard Varèse, Volume One.Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, pp. 30–33. The article described percussion composition , produced by , as "a weird jumble of drums and other unpleasant sounds". Zappa decided to seek out Varèse's music. After searching for over a year, Zappa found a copy (he noticed the LP because of the "mad scientist" looking photo of Varèse on the cover). Not having enough money with him, he persuaded the salesman to sell him the record at a discount. Thus began his lifelong passion for Varèse's music and that of other modern classical composers.

Zappa grew up influenced by composers such as Varèse, , ξ2 , and , R&B and groups (particularly local groups), and modern jazz. His own heterogeneous ethnic background, and the diverse social and cultural mix in and around greater , were crucial in the formation of Zappa as a practitioner of and of his later distrustful and openly critical attitude towards "mainstream" social, political and musical movements. He frequently lampooned musical fads like , and .Watson, 1996, Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play, p. 13.Among his many musical satires are the 1967 songs "Flower Punk" (which parodies the song "") and "Who Needs The Peace Corps?", which are critiques of the late-Sixties commercialization of the phenomenon. Television also exerted a strong influence, as demonstrated by quotations from show themes and advertising jingles found in his later works.


1955–60: Youth and early career
By 1956, the Zappa family had moved to , a small and farming town in the of the close to , in northern . Zappa's mother encouraged him in his musical interests. Although she disliked Varèse's music, she was indulgent enough to give her son a long distance call to the composer as a 15th birthday present. Unfortunately, Varèse was in Europe at the time, so Zappa spoke to the composer's wife. He later received a letter from Varèse thanking him for his interest, and telling him about a composition he was working on called "". Living in the desert town of Lancaster, Zappa found this very exciting. Varèse invited him to visit if he ever came to New York. The meeting never took place (Varèse died in 1965), but Zappa framed the letter and kept it on display for the rest of his life.On several of his earlier albums, Zappa paid tribute to Varèse by quoting his: "The present-day composer refuses to die."

At , Zappa met Don Vliet (who later expanded his name to Don Van Vliet and adopted the stage name ). Zappa and Vliet became close friends, sharing an interest in R&B records and influencing each other musically throughout their careers.Slaven, 2003, Electric Don Quixote, pp. 29–30. Around the same time, Zappa started playing drums in a local band, The Blackouts. The band was racially diverse, and included who later became a member of The Mothers of Invention. Zappa's interest in the guitar grew, and in 1957 he was given his first guitar. Among his early influences were , and . (In the 1970s and '80s, he invited Watson to perform on several albums.) Zappa considered soloing as the equivalent of forming "air sculptures", and developed an eclectic, innovative and highly personal style.

Zappa's interest in composing and arranging proliferated in his last high-school years. By his final year, he was writing, and conducting avant-garde performance pieces for the school orchestra.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 40. He graduated from Antelope Valley High School in 1958, and later acknowledged two of his music teachers on the sleeve of the 1966 album Freak Out!Walley, 1980, No Commercial Potential, p. 23. Due to his family's frequent moves, Zappa attended at least six different high schools, and as a student he was often bored and given to distracting the rest of the class with juvenile antics.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 48. He left community college after one semester, and maintained thereafter a disdain for formal education, taking his children out of school at age 15 and refusing to pay for their college.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 345.

Zappa left home in 1959, and moved into a small apartment in , Los Angeles. After meeting Kathryn J. "Kay" Sherman during his short stay at , they moved in together in , and were married December 28, 1960.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 58. Zappa worked for a short period in advertising. His sojourn in the commercial world was brief, but gave him valuable insights into its workings.Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, p. 40. Throughout his career, he took a keen interest in the visual presentation of his work, designing some of his album covers and directing his own films and videos.


Early 1960s: Studio Z
Zappa attempted to earn a living as a musician and composer, and played different nightclub gigs, some with a new version of The Blackouts.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 59. Financially more rewarding were Zappa's earliest professional recordings, two soundtracks for the low-budget films (1962) and Run Home Slow (1965). The former score was commissioned by actor-producer and recorded in 1961. It contains many themes that appeared on later Zappa records.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 63. The latter soundtrack was recorded in 1963 after the film was completed, but it was commissioned by one of Zappa's former high school teachers in 1959 and Zappa may have worked on it before the film was shot.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 55. Excerpts from the soundtrack can be heard on the posthumous album (1996).

During the early 1960s, Zappa wrote and produced songs for other local artists, often working with singer-songwriter and producer Paul Buff. Their "" was recorded by , although only Cleve Duncan of the original group was featured.Gray, 1984, Mother!, p. 29. Buff owned the small in , which included a unique five-track tape recorder he had built. At that time, only a handful of the most sophisticated commercial studios had facilities; the industry standard for smaller studios was still mono or two-track.Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, p. 42. Although none of the recordings from the period achieved major commercial success, Zappa earned enough money to allow him to stage a concert of his orchestral music in 1963 and to broadcast and record it.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 74. He appeared on 's syndicated late night show the same year, in which he played a bicycle as a musical instrument.Slaven, 1996, Electric Don Quixote, pp. 35–36. With Captain Beefheart, Zappa recorded some songs under the name of The Soots. They were rejected by for having "no commercial potential", a verdict Zappa subsequently quoted on the sleeve of Watson, 1996, Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play, p. 27.

In 1964, after his marriage started to break up, he moved into the Pal studio and began routinely working 12 hours or more per day recording and experimenting with and . This established a work pattern that endured for most of his life.Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, p. 43. Aided by his income from film composing, Zappa took over the studio from Paul Buff, who was now working with at . It was renamed Studio Z.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, pp. 80–81. Studio Z was rarely booked for recordings by other musicians. Instead, friends moved in, notably James "Motorhead" Sherwood.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa. pp. 82–83. Zappa started performing as guitarist with a , The Muthers, in local bars in order to support himself.Watson, 1996, Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play, p. 26.

An article in the local press describing Zappa as "the Movie King of Cucamonga" prompted the local police to suspect that he was making films.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 85. In March 1965, Zappa was approached by a undercover officer, and accepted an offer of $100 to produce a suggestive audio tape for an alleged . Zappa and a female friend recorded a faked erotic episode. When Zappa was about to hand over the tape, he was arrested, and the police stripped the studio of all recorded material. The press was tipped off beforehand, and next day's The Daily Report wrote that "Vice Squad investigators stilled the tape recorders of a free-swinging, a-go-go film and recording studio here Friday and arrested a self-styled movie producer". Zappa was charged with "conspiracy to commit pornography".Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, p. 57. This charge was reduced and he was sentenced to six months in jail on a , with all but ten days suspended.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, pp. 86–87. His brief imprisonment left a permanent mark, and was key in the formation of his anti-authoritarian stance.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. XV. Zappa lost several recordings made at Studio Z in the process, as the police only returned 30 out of 80 hours of tape seized.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 87. Eventually, he could no longer afford to pay the rent on the studio and was evicted.Slaven, 1996, Electric Don Quixote, p. 40. Zappa managed to recover some of his possessions before the studio was torn down in 1966.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, pp. 90–91.


Late 1960s: The Mothers of Invention
In 1965, Zappa was approached by who asked him to take over as the guitarist in local R&B band the Soul Giants, following a fight between Collins and the group's original guitarist. Zappa accepted, and soon he assumed leadership and the role as co-lead singer (even though he never considered himself a singer). He convinced the other members that they should play his music to increase the chances of getting a record contract.Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, pp. 65–66. The band was renamed the Mothers, coincidentally on .Slaven, 2003, Electric Don Quixote, p. 42. The group increased their bookings after beginning an association with manager , while they gradually gained attention on the burgeoning Los Angeles scene.Walley, 1980, No Commercial Potential, p. 58. In early 1966, they were spotted by leading record producer when playing "Trouble Every Day", a song about the .Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 103. Wilson had earned acclaim as the producer for and , and was notable as one of the few African-Americans working as a major label pop music producer at this time. Wilson signed The Mothers to the division of , which had built up a strong reputation for its releases of modern jazz recordings in the 1940s and 1950s, but was attempting to diversify into pop and rock audiences. Verve insisted that the band officially rename themselves as Mother was short for —a term that apart from its profane meanings can denote a skilled musician.


1966: Debut album: Freak Out!
With Wilson credited as producer, The Mothers of Invention, augmented by a studio orchestra, recorded the groundbreaking (1966) which, after Bob Dylan's , was the second rock double album ever released. It mixed R&B, , musique concrète,Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 25. and experimental that captured the "freak" subculture of Los Angeles at that time.Walley, 1980, No Commercial Potential, pp. 60–61. Although he was dissatisfied with the final product—in a late '60s radio interview (included in the posthumous compilation) Zappa recounted that the side-long closing track "Return of the Son of Monster Magnet" was intended to be the basic track for a much more complex work which Verve did not allow him to complete— Freak Out immediately established Zappa as a radical new voice in rock music, providing an antidote to the "relentless consumer culture of America".Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 115. The sound was raw, but the were sophisticated. While recording in the studio, some of the additional were shocked that they were expected to read the notes on sheet music from with Zappa conducting them, since it was not standard when recording rock music.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 112. The lyrics praised non-conformity, disparaged authorities, and had elements. Yet, there was a place for seemingly conventional love songs.Watson, 2005, Frank Zappa. The Complete Guide to His Music, pp. 10–11. Most compositions are Zappa's, which set a precedent for the rest of his recording career. He had full control over the arrangements and musical decisions and did most . Wilson provided the industry clout and connections and was able to provide the group with the financial resources needed.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 123. Although Wilson was able to provide Zappa and the Mothers with an extraordinary degree of artistic freedom for the time, the recording did not go entirely as planned. In a surviving 1967 radio interview, Zappa explained that the album's outlandish 11-minute closing track, "Return of the Son of Monster Magnet" was in fact an unfinished piece. The track (as it appears on the album) was created to act as the backing track for a much more complex work, but MGM refused to approve the additional recording time Zappa needed to complete it, so (much to his chagrin) it was issued in this unfinished form."How We Made It Sound That Way", interview on WDET Detroit, 13 November 1967 (excerpt included as part of the album, 2006)

During the recording of Freak Out!, Zappa moved into a house in with friend , who appeared on the album. The house became a meeting (and living) place for many LA musicians and of the time, despite Zappa's disapproval of their illicit drug use.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 122. After a short promotional tour following the release of Freak Out!, Zappa met . He fell in love within "a couple of minutes", and she moved into the house over the summer. They married in 1967, had four children and remained together until Zappa's death.

Wilson nominally produced The Mothers' second album (1967), which was recorded in November 1966, and later in New York, although by this time Zappa was in de facto control of most facets of the production. It featured extended playing by The Mothers of Invention and focused on songs that defined Zappa's compositional style of introducing abrupt, rhythmical changes into songs that were built from diverse elements.Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 5. Examples are "Plastic People" and "Brown Shoes Don't Make It", which contained lyrics critical of the hypocrisy and conformity of American society, but also of the .Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, pp. 38–43. As Zappa put it, "We're satirists, and we are out to satirize everything."Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, pp. 135–138. At the same time, Zappa had recorded material for an album of orchestral works to be released under his own name, , released by in 1967. Due to contractual problems, the album was pulled. Zappa took the opportunity to radically restructure the contents, adding newly recorded, improvised dialogue. After the contractual problems were resolved, the album was reissued by Verve in 1968.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, pp. 140–141. It is an "incredible ambitious musical project",Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 56. a "monument to ",Walley, 1980, No Commercial Potential, p. 86. which intertwines orchestral themes, spoken words and electronic noises through radical techniques.. Retrieved January 2, 2008; Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 56.The initial orchestra-only recordings were released posthumously on the box set (2009). See . Retrieved February 2, 2009.


1966–68: New York period
The Mothers of Invention played in New York in late 1966 and were offered a contract at the Garrick Theater during Easter 1967. This proved successful and Herb Cohen extended the booking, which eventually lasted half a year.James, 2000, Necessity Is ... , pp. 62–69. As a result, Zappa and his wife, along with The Mothers of Invention, moved to New York. Their shows became a combination of improvised acts showcasing individual talents of the band as well as tight performances of Zappa's music. Everything was directed by Zappa's famous hand signals.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 147. Guest performers and audience participation became a regular part of the Garrick Theater shows. One evening, Zappa managed to entice some U.S. Marines from the audience onto the stage, where they proceeded to dismember a big baby doll, having been told by Zappa to pretend that it was a " baby".Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, p. 94.

Situated in New York, and only interrupted by the band's first European tour, The Mothers of Invention recorded the album widely regarded as the peak of the group's late 1960s work, (released 1968).. Retrieved January 2, 2008. It was produced by Zappa, with Wilson credited as executive producer. From then on, Zappa produced all albums released by The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. We're Only in It for the Money featured some of the most creative audio editing and production yet heard in pop music, and the songs ruthlessly satirized the and phenomena.Watson, 2005, Frank Zappa. The Complete Guide to His Music, p. 15. Walley, 1980, No Commercial Potential, p. 90. The cover photo parodied that of ' .As the legal aspects of using the Sgt Pepper concept were unsettled, the album was released with the cover and back on the inside of the gatefold, while the actual cover and back were a picture of the group in a pose parodying the inside of the Beatles album. Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 151. The cover art was provided by whom Zappa met in New York. This initiated a lifelong collaboration in which Schenkel designed covers for numerous Zappa and Mothers albums.Watson, 1996, Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play, p. 88.

Reflecting Zappa's eclectic approach to music, the next album, (1968), was very different. It represented a collection of songs; listeners and critics were not sure whether the album was a satire or a tribute.Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 58. Zappa has noted that the album was conceived in the way Stravinsky's compositions were in his neo-classical period: "If he could take the forms and clichés of the classical era and pervert them, why not do the same ... to doo-wop in the fifties?"Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, p. 88. A theme from Stravinsky's is heard during one song.

In New York, Zappa increasingly used as a compositional tool.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 160. A prime example is found on the double album (1969),James, 2000, Necessity Is ..., p. 104. where the track "King Kong" is edited from various studio and live performances. Zappa had begun regularly recording concerts,In the process, he built up a vast archive of live recordings. In the late 1980s some of these recordings were collected for the 12-CD set You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore. and because of his insistence on precise and timing, he was able to augment his studio productions with excerpts from live shows, and vice versa. . Retrieved January 4, 2008. Later, he combined recordings of different compositions into new pieces, irrespective of the or of the sources. He dubbed this process "" (strange synchronizationsBob Marshall, "Interview with Frank Zappa," October 22, 1988.)—reflecting the Greek "xeno" (alien or strange) and "chrono" (time). Zappa also evolved a compositional approach which he called "conceptual continuity," meaning that any project or album was part of a larger project. Everything was connected, and musical themes and lyrics reappeared in different form on later albums. Conceptual continuity clues are found throughout Zappa's entire œuvre.For a comprehensive list of the appearance of parts of "old" compositions or quotes from others' music in Zappa's catalogue, see . Retrieved January 21, 2008.

During the late 1960s, Zappa continued to develop the business sides of his career. He and Herb Cohen formed the and labels, distributed by , as ventures to aid the funding of projects and to increase creative control. Zappa produced the double album for , and releases by , , and , as well as 's last live performance.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, pp. 173–175.


1969: Disbanding the original Mothers of Invention
Zappa and The Mothers of Invention returned to Los Angeles in the summer of 1968, and the Zappas moved into a house on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, only to move again to one on Woodrow Wilson Drive in the autumn.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 178. This was to be Zappa's home for the rest of his life. Despite being a success with fans in Europe, The Mothers of Invention were not faring well financially.Walley, 1980, No Commercial Potential, p. 116. Their first records were vocally oriented, but Zappa wrote more instrumental jazz and classical oriented music for the band's concerts, which confused audiences. Zappa felt that audiences failed to appreciate his "electrical chamber music".Slaven, 2003, Electric Don Quixote, pp. 119–120. In 1969 there were nine band members and Zappa was supporting the group himself from his publishing whether they played or not. 1969 was also the year Zappa, fed up with MGM's interference, left MGM Records for Warner Bros. Records' subsidiary where Zappa/Mothers recordings would bear the Bizarre Records imprint. In late 1969, Zappa broke up the band. He often cited the financial strain as the main reason,Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, p. 107. but also commented on the band members' lack of sufficient effort.Slaven, 2003, Electric Don Quixote, p. 120. Many band members were bitter about Zappa's decision, and some took it as a sign of Zappa's concern for perfection at the expense of human feeling.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, pp. 185–187. Others were irritated by 'his ways', exemplified by Zappa's never staying at the same hotel as the band members.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 116. Several members would, however, play for Zappa in years to come. Remaining recordings with the band from this period were collected on and (both released in 1970).

After he disbanded The Mothers of Invention, Zappa released the acclaimed solo album (1969).. Retrieved January 2, 2008.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 194. It features, for the first time on record, Zappa playing extended guitar solos and contains one of his most enduring compositions, "", which reappeared several times on future recordings. It was backed by jazz, blues and R&B session players including violinist , drummers and , multi-instrumentalist and previous member of Mothers of Invention , and multi-instrumentalist on bass, along with a guest appearance by Captain Beefheart (providing vocals to the only non-instrumental track, "Willie the Pimp"). It became a popular album in England,Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, p. 109. and had a major influence on the development of the genre.Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 74.


1970s: From The Mothers to Zappa
In 1970 Zappa met conductor . They arranged a May 1970 concert where Mehta conducted the augmented by a rock band. According to Zappa, the music was mostly written in motel rooms while on tour with The Mothers of Invention. Some of it was later featured in the movie . Although the concert was a success, Zappa's experience working with a symphony orchestra was not a happy one. His dissatisfaction became a recurring theme throughout his career; he often felt that the quality of performance of his material delivered by orchestras was not commensurate with the money he spent on orchestral concerts and recordings.Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, pp. 142–156.


1970: Rebirth of The Mothers and filmmaking

Later in 1970, Zappa formed a new version of The Mothers (from then on, he mostly dropped the "of Invention"). It included British drummer , jazz keyboardist , , (bass, rhythm guitar), and three members of : bass player , and singers and , who, due to persistent legal and contractual problems, adopted the stage name "The Phlorescent Leech and Eddie", or "".Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 201.

This version of The Mothers debuted on Zappa's next solo album (1970),Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 205. which was followed by the double-album soundtrack to the movie 200 Motels (1971), featuring The Mothers, The , , , and . Co-directed by Zappa and , it was filmed in a week at outside London. Tensions between Zappa and several cast and crew members arose before and during shooting.Watson, 1996, Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play, p. 183. The film deals loosely with life on the road as a rock musician.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 207. It was the first feature film photographed on and transferred to , a process which allowed for novel visual effects.Starks, 1982, Cocaine Fiends and Reefer Madness, p. 153. It was released to mixed reviews.Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 94. The score relied extensively on orchestral music, and Zappa's dissatisfaction with the classical music world intensified when a concert, scheduled at the after filming, was canceled because a representative of the venue found some of the lyrics obscene. In 1975, he lost a lawsuit against the Royal Albert Hall for breach of contract.Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, pp. 119–137.

After 200 Motels, the band went on tour, which resulted in two live albums, and ; the latter included the 20-minute track "", Zappa's satire on rock opera set in Southern California. This track was representative of the band's theatrical performances in which songs were used to build up sketches based on 200 Motels scenes as well as new situations often portraying the band members' sexual encounters on the road.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, pp. 203–204.During the June 1971 Fillmore concerts Zappa was joined on stage by and . This performance was recorded, and Lennon released excerpts on his album in 1972. Zappa later released his version of excerpts from the concert on in 1992, including the jam track "Scumbag" and an extended avant-garde vocal piece by Ono (originally called "Au"), which Zappa renamed "A Small Eternity with Yoko Ono".


1971–72: Accident, attack and their aftermath
In December 1971, there were two serious setbacks. While performing at in Switzerland, The Mothers' equipment was destroyed when a flare set off by an audience member started a fire that burned down the casino.Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, pp. 112–115. Immortalized in 's song "", the event and immediate aftermath can be heard on the bootleg album Swiss Cheese/Fire, released legally as part of Zappa's compilation. After a week's break, The Mothers played at the , London, with rented gear. During the encore, an audience member pushed Zappa off the stage and into the concrete-floored orchestra pit. The band thought Zappa had been killed—he had suffered serious fractures, head trauma and injuries to his back, leg, and neck, as well as a crushed , which ultimately caused his voice to drop a after healing. This accident resulted in him using a wheelchair for an extended period, forcing him off the road for over half a year. Upon his return to the stage in September 1972, he was still wearing a leg brace, had a noticeable limp and could not stand for very long while on stage. Zappa noted that one leg healed "shorter than the other" (a reference later found in the lyrics of songs "Zomby Woof" and ""), resulting in chronic back pain. Meanwhile, The Mothers were left in limbo and eventually formed the core of Flo and Eddie's band as they set out on their own.

During 1971–72 Zappa released two strongly jazz-oriented solo LPs, and , which were recorded during the forced layoff from concert touring, using floating line-ups of session players and Mothers alumni.Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 101. Musically, the albums were akin to Hot Rats.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, pp. 225–226. Zappa began touring again in late 1972. His first effort was a series of concerts in September 1972 with a 20-piece referred to as the Grand Wazoo. This was followed by a scaled-down version known as the Petit Wazoo that toured the U.S. for five weeks from October to December 1972.Official recordings of these bands did not emerge until more than 30 years later on (2007) and (2006), respectively.


1973–75: Top 10 album
Zappa then formed and toured with smaller groups that variously included (reeds, keyboards), (vibes, marimba), Sal Marquez (trumpet, vocals), (sax, flute and vocals), (trombone), (bass), (drums), (drums), (keyboards, vocals), and (violin). By 1973 the Bizarre and Straight labels were discontinued. In their place, Zappa and Cohen created , also distributed by Warner Bros.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 231. Zappa continued a high rate of production through the first half of the 1970s, including the solo album (1974), which reached a career-high No. 10 on the pop album charts. Retrieved January 3, 2008. helped by the chart single "".. Retrieved January 3, 2008. Other albums from the period are (1973), which contained several future concert favorites, such as "Dinah-Moe Humm" and "", and the albums (1974) and (1975) which feature ever-changing versions of a band still called The Mothers, and are notable for the tight renditions of highly difficult songs in such pieces as "", "Echidna's Arf (Of You)" and "Be-Bop Tango (Of the Old Jazzmen's Church)".Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, pp. 114–122. A live recording from 1974, (1988), captures "the full spirit and excellence of the 1973–75 band". Zappa released (1975), which featured live recordings from a tour the same year that reunited him with for a brief period.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 248. They later became estranged for a period of years, but were in contact at the end of Zappa's life.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 372.


1976–79: Business breakups and touring
Zappa's relationship with long-time manager Herb Cohen ended in 1976. Zappa sued Cohen for skimming more than he was allocated from DiscReet Records, as well as for signing acts of which Zappa did not approve.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 250. Cohen filed a lawsuit against Zappa in return, which froze the money Zappa and Cohen had gained from an out-of-court settlement with MGM over the rights of the early Mothers of Invention recordings. It also prevented Zappa having access to any of his previously recorded material during the trials. Zappa therefore took his personal master copies of the rock-oriented (1976) directly to , thereby bypassing DiscReet.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 253; pp. 258–259.

In the mid-1970s Zappa prepared material for (pronounced "leather"), a four-LP project. Läther encapsulated all the aspects of Zappa's musical styles—rock tunes, orchestral works, complex instrumentals, and Zappa's own trademark distortion-drenched guitar solos. Wary of a quadruple-LP, Warner Bros. Records refused to release it.Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 131. Zappa managed to get an agreement with , and test pressings were made targeted at a Halloween 1977 release, but Warner Bros. prevented the release by claiming rights over the material.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 261. Zappa responded by appearing on the , California radio station , allowing them to broadcast Läther and encouraging listeners to make their own tape recordings.Slaven, 2003, Electric Don Quixote, p. 248. A lawsuit between Zappa and Warner Bros. followed, during which no Zappa material was released for more than a year. Eventually, Warner Bros. issued different versions of much of the Läther material in 1978 and 1979 as four individual albums (five full length LPs) with limited .Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 267. When the music was first released on CD in 1991, Zappa chose to rerelease the four existing albums. Läther was released posthumously in 1996.It remains debated whether Zappa had conceived the material as a four-LP set from the beginning, or only when approaching Mercury-Phonogram; see, e.g., Watson, 2005, Frank Zappa. The Complete Guide to His Music, p. 49. In the liner notes to the 1996 release, however, Gail Zappa states that "As originally conceived by Frank, Läther was always a 4-record box set."

Although Zappa eventually gained the rights to all his material created under the MGM and Warner Bros. contracts,Watson, 2005, Frank Zappa. The Complete Guide to His Music, p. 49. the various lawsuits meant that for a period Zappa's only income came from touring, which he therefore did extensively in 1975–77 with relatively small, mainly rock-oriented, bands. Drummer became a regular band member, Napoleon Murphy Brock stayed on for a while, and original Mothers of Invention bassist joined. Among other musicians were bassist , singer-guitarist and keyboardist . In December 1976, Zappa appeared as a featured musical guest on the television show .Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 262.In 1978, Zappa served both as host and musical act on the show, and as an actor in various sketches. The performances included an impromptu musical collaboration with cast member during the instrumental piece "The Purple Lagoon". Belushi appeared as his Samurai Futaba character playing the tenor sax with Zappa conducting.Zappa, Frank, 1978, Zappa in New York, Liner Notes. Zappa's song, "", was performed with a voice-over by SNL booth announcer , who also introduced "Peaches En Regalia" on the same airing.

Zappa's band at the time, with the additions of Ruth Underwood and a horn section (featuring and ), performed during Christmas in New York, recordings of which appear on one of the albums Warner Bros. culled from the Läther project, (1978). It mixes intense instrumentals such as "" and humorous songs like "Titties and Beer".Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 132. The former composition, written originally for drum kit but later developed for larger bands, is notorious for its complexity in rhythmic structure and short, densely arranged passages.. Retrieved December 29, 2007.. Retrieved July 24, 2008.

Zappa in New York featured a song about sex criminal , "The Illinois Enema Bandit", which featured Don Pardo providing the opening narrative in the song. Like many songs on the album, it contained numerous sexual references, leading to many critics objecting and being offended by the content.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, pp. 261–262; Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 134. Zappa dismissed the criticism by noting that he was a journalist reporting on life as he saw it.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 234. Predating his later fight against censorship, he remarked: "What do you make of a society that is so primitive that it clings to the belief that certain words in its language are so powerful that they could corrupt you the moment you hear them?" The remaining albums released by Warner Bros. Records without Zappa's consent were in 1978 and in 1979, which contained complex suites of instrumentally-based tunes recorded between 1973 and 1976, and whose release was overlooked in the midst of the legal problems.Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 138. Also released by the label without the artist's consent was in 1979, which featured recordings of a concert with orchestral music from 1975.


1979: Zappa as an independent artist
Resolving the lawsuits successfully, Zappa ended the 1970s "stronger than ever",Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 140. by releasing two of his most successful albums in 1979: the best selling album of his career, , and the "bona fide masterpiece", .Both albums made it onto the Billboard top 30.. Retrieved January 6, 2008. The double album Sheik Yerbouti was the first release on , and contained the -nominated single "Dancin' Fool", which reached No. 45 on the Billboard charts,. Retrieved January 6, 2008. and "", which received attention when a Jewish group, the (ADL), attempted to prevent the song from receiving radio airplay due to its alleged lyrics. Zappa vehemently denied any anti-Semitic sentiments and dismissed the ADL as a "noisemaking organization that tries to apply pressure on people in order to manufacture a stereotype image of Jews that suits their idea of a good time". The album's commercial success was attributable in part to "". Due to its explicit lyrics about a young man's encounter with a "dyke by the name of Freddie", the song did not get airplay in the U.S., but it topped the charts in several European countries where English is not the primary language.Watson, 1996, Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play, p. 351. The triple LP Joe's Garage featured lead singer as the voice of the character "Joe" in a about the danger of , the suppression of and music—inspired in part by the that had made music illegal within its jurisdiction at the timeMiles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 277.—and about the "strange relationship Americans have with sex and sexual frankness". The album contains rock songs like "Catholic Girls" (a to the controversies of "Jewish Princess"),Watson, 2005, Frank Zappa. The Complete Guide to His Music, p. 59. "Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up", and the title track, as well as extended live-recorded guitar improvisations combined with a studio backup band dominated by drummer (with whom Zappa had a particularly good musical rapport)Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, p. 180. adopting the process. The album contains one of Zappa's most famous guitar "signature pieces", "Watermelon in Easter Hay".The other signature pieces are "Zoot Allures" and "Black Napkins" from Zoot Allures. See Watson, 2005, Frank Zappa. The Complete Guide to His Music, p. 61.

On December 21, 1979, Zappa's movie premiered in New York. The movie's tagline was "A movie about people who do stuff that is not normal".Baby Snakes, 2003, DVD cover, Eagle Vision. The 2 hour and 40 minutes movie was based on footage from concerts in New York around Halloween 1977, with a band featuring keyboardist and percussionist (who would both return on later tours) as well as guitarist . It also contained several extraordinary sequences of by who had earlier provided animation sequences to Zappa for a 1974 TV special (which became available on the 1982 video ).Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 282. The movie did not do well in theatrical distribution,. Retrieved January 7, 2008. but won the Premier Grand Prix at the First International Music Festival in Paris in 1981.

Zappa later expanded on his television appearances in a non-musical role. He was an actor or voice artist in episodes of ,. Retrieved July 30, 2008. Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 343. and . A voice part in never materialized, to creator 's disappointment (Groening was a neighbor of Zappa's, and a lifelong fan).


1980s: Productive as ever

In 1980, Zappa cut his ties with Mercury Records after the label refused to release his song "." It was picked up by and released on the Zappa label in North America and the CBS label internationally. After spending most of 1980 on the road, Zappa released in 1981. It was the first release on his own ,Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 161. and it contains songs taken from a 1979 tour, one studio track and material from the 1980 tours. The album is a mixture of complicated instrumentals and Zappa's use of (speaking song or voice)—a compositional technique utilized by such composers as and —showcasing some of the most accomplished bands Zappa ever had (mostly featuring drummer ). While some lyrics still raised controversy among critics, in the sense that some found them sexist,Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 284. the political and sociological satire in songs like the title track and "The Blue Light" have been described as a "hilarious critique of the willingness of the American people to believe anything".Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 165. The album is also notable for the presence of guitarist , who joined Zappa's touring band in the fall of 1980.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 283.

The same year the double album was released. Most of it was recorded in Zappa's brand new (UMRK) studios, which were located at his house, thereby giving him complete freedom to work.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 269. The album included one complex instrumental, "Theme from the 3rd Movement of Sinister Footwear", but focused mainly on rock songs with Zappa's sardonic social commentary—satirical lyrics targeted at teenagers, the media, and religious and political hypocrisy.. Retrieved January 7, 2008. "Dumb All Over" is a tirade on religion, as is "Heavenly Bank Account", wherein Zappa rails against such as and for their purported influence on the U.S. administration as well as their use of religion as a means of raising money. Songs like "Society Pages" and "I'm a Beautiful Guy" show Zappa's dismay with the era and its "obscene pursuit of wealth and happiness".Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, pp. 169–175.

In 1981, Zappa also released three instrumental albums, , Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More, and The Return of the Son of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar, which were initially sold via mail order, but later released through the label due to popular demand. The albums focus exclusively on Frank Zappa as a guitar soloist, and the tracks are predominantly live recordings from 1979–80; they highlight Zappa's improvisational skills with "beautiful performances from the backing group as well". Another guitar-only album, , was released in 1988, and a third, , which Zappa completed shortly before his death, was released in 2006.


From hit single to classical performances
In May 1982, Zappa released , which featured his biggest selling single ever, the -nominated song "" (topping out at No. 32 on the Billboard charts). In her improvised lyrics to the song, Zappa's daughter satirized the vapid speech of teenage girls from the , which popularized many "" expressions such as "gag me with a spoon," "fer sure, fer sure," "grody" (gross), and "barf out".. Retrieved January 7, 2008. Most Americans who only knew Zappa from his few singles successes now thought of him as a person writing , even though the rest of the album contained highly challenging music.Lowe, 2006, The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, p. 178. Zappa was irritated by thisMiles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 304. and never played the song live.

In 1983, two different projects were released, beginning with , a rock-oriented work. The album is eclectic, featuring the vocal-led "Dangerous Kitchen" and "The Jazz Discharge Party Hats", both continuations of the sprechstimme excursions on Tinseltown Rebellion. The second album, , contained orchestral Zappa compositions conducted by and performed by the (LSO). A second record of these sessions, was released in 1987. The material was recorded under a tight schedule with Zappa providing all funding, helped by the commercial success of "Valley Girl".Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, pp. 146–156. Zappa was not satisfied with the LSO recordings. One reason is "Strictly Genteel", which was recorded after the trumpet section had been out for drinks on a break: the track took 40 edits to hide out-of-tune notes. Conductor Nagano, who was pleased with the experience, noted that in "fairness to the orchestra, the music is humanly very, very difficult".Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 315. Some reviews noted that the recordings were the best representation of Zappa's orchestral work so far.. Retrieved January 7, 2008. In 1984 Zappa teamed again with Nagano and the Berkeley Symphony OrchestraBerkeley Symphony Orchestra - A Zappa Affair for a live performance of A Zappa Affair with augmented orchestra, life-size puppets, and moving stage sets. Although critically acclaimed the work was a financial failure, and only performed twice. Zappa was invited by conference organizer to be the keynote speaker at the American Society of University Composers at the . It was there Zappa delivered his famous "Bingo! There Goes Your Tenure" address, "Bingo! There Goes Your Tenure" by Frank Zappa, 1984 and had two of his orchestra pieces, "Dupree's Paradise" and "Naval Aviation in Art?" performed by the and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 323.


Synclavier
For the remainder of his career, much of Zappa's work was influenced by his use of the as a compositional and performance tool. Even considering the complexity of the music he wrote, the Synclavier could realize anything he could dream up.Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, pp. 172–173. The Synclavier could be programmed to play almost anything conceivable, to perfection: "With the Synclavier, any group of imaginary instruments can be invited to play the most difficult passages ... with one-millisecond accuracy—every time". Even though it essentially did away with the need for musicians,Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 319. Zappa viewed the Synclavier and real-life musicians as separate. In 1984, he released four albums. , contains orchestral works commissioned and conducted by world-renowned conductor (who was listed as an influence on Freak Out!) and performed by his , juxtaposed with premiere Synclavier pieces. Again, Zappa was not satisfied with the performances of his orchestral works as he found them under-rehearsed, but in the album liner notes he respectfully thanks Boulez's demands for precision.Watson, 2005, Frank Zappa. The Complete Guide to His Music, p. 73. The Synclavier pieces stood in contrast to the orchestral works, as the sounds were electronically generated and not, as became possible shortly thereafter, .

The album was an ambitious three-record set in the style of a Broadway play dealing with a "what-if" scenario involving feminism, homosexuality, manufacturing and distribution of the AIDS virus, and a program conducted by the United States government.The musical was eventually produced for the stage in 2003. See . Retrieved December 11, 2007. New vocals were combined with previously released tracks and new Synclavier music; "the work is an extraordinary example of ".

Full article available by free login only. Retrieved July 28, 2008. Finally, in 1984, Zappa released ''[[Francesco Zappa (album)|Francesco Zappa]]'', a Synclavier rendition of works by 18th-century composer [[Francesco Zappa]] (no known relation), and ''[[Them or Us]],'' a two-record set of heavily edited live and session pieces.
     


Digital medium and last tour
Around 1986, Zappa undertook a comprehensive re-release program of his earlier vinyl recordings.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 340. He personally oversaw the remastering of all his 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s albums for the new digital compact disc medium.For a comprehensive comparison of vinyl of CD releases, see . Retrieved January 7, 2008. Certain aspects of these re-issues were, however, criticized by some fans as being unfaithful to the original recordings.For example, new drum and bass parts were used on the 1960s albums We're Only in It for the Money and Cruising with Ruben & the Jets. See Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 327. Nearly twenty years before the advent of online music stores, Zappa had proposed to replace "phonographic record merchandising" of music by "direct digital-to-digital transfer" through phone or cable TV (with royalty payments and consumer billing automatically built into the accompanying software).Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, pp. 337–339. In 1989, Zappa considered his idea a "miserable flop".

The album , released in 1986, earned Zappa his first in 1987 for . Except for one live guitar solo ("St. Etienne"), the album exclusively featured compositions brought to life by the Synclavier. Although an album, containing no lyrics whatsoever, Meyer Music Markets sold Jazz from Hell featuring an "explicit lyrics" sticker—a warning label introduced by the in an agreement with the PMRC.

Zappa's last tour in a rock and jazz band format took place in 1988 with a 12-piece group which had a repertoire of over 100 (mostly Zappa) compositions, but which split under acrimonious circumstances before the tour was completed.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, pp. 346–350. The tour was documented on the albums (new material featuring songs with strong political emphasis), (Zappa "standards" and an eclectic collection of cover tunes, ranging from 's to 's "") and . Parts are also found on You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, volumes and .


1990s: Classical music and death
In 1990, Frank Zappa was diagnosed with terminal . The disease had been developing unnoticed for ten years and was considered inoperable. After his diagnosis, Zappa devoted most of his energy to modern orchestral and works. Shortly before his death in 1993 he completed , a major Synclavier work which he had begun in the 1980s.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, pp. 374–375.It brought him a posthumous (with Gail Zappa) for in 1994. . Retrieved August 18, 2008.

In 1991, Zappa was chosen to be one of four featured composers at the Frankfurt Festival in 1992 (the others were , and ). Zappa was approached by the German chamber ensemble, , which was interested in playing his music for the event. Although ill, Zappa invited them to Los Angeles for rehearsals of new compositions and new arrangements of older material.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 369. In addition to being satisfied with the ensemble's performances of his music, Zappa also got along with the musicians, and the concerts in Germany and Austria were set up for the fall. In September 1992, the concerts went ahead as scheduled, but Zappa could only appear at two in Frankfurt due to illness. At the first concert, he conducted the opening "Overture", and the final "G-Spot Tornado" as well as the theatrical "Food Gathering in Post-Industrial America, 1992" and "Welcome to the United States" (the remainder of the program was conducted by the ensemble's regular conductor ). Zappa received a 20-minute ovation.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 371. It would become his last professional public appearance, as the cancer was spreading to such an extent that he was in too much pain to enjoy an event that he otherwise found "exhilarating". Recordings from the concerts appeared on (1993), Zappa's last release during his lifetime, and some material from studio rehearsals appeared on the posthumous (1999).

Frank Zappa died on Saturday, December 4, 1993 in his home with his wife and children by his side. At a private ceremony the following day, Zappa was interred in an unmarked grave at the in Los Angeles.Watson, 2005, Frank Zappa. The Complete Guide to His Music, p. 552.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, pp. 379–380. On Monday, December 6 his family publicly announced that "Composer Frank Zappa left for his final tour just before 6:00 pm on Saturday".Slaven, 2003, Electric Don Quixote, p. 320.


Politics and religion
Zappa was an atheist. ξ3

Describing his political views, Frank Zappa categorized himself as a "practical ",Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, pp. 315-316, 323-324; 329-330. or "". He favored and low ; he also stated that he approved of national defense, , and other federal programs, but only if recipients of such programs are willing and able to pay for them. He favored , , and independent business, stating that musicians could make more from owning their own businesses than from collecting royalties.Apodaca, Patrice. Frank Zappa, Capitalist Rocker, , December 19, 1989 He , stating, "A system that doesn't allow ownership ... has—to put it mildly—a fatal design flaw." Some of his songs, concert performances, interviews and public debates in the 1980s criticized and derided Republicans and their policies, President , the , , and the , and warned that the United States government was in danger of becoming a "fascist theocracy".Frank Zappa, Does Humor Belong in Music? (DVD), recorded August 1984, released 2003 Zappa expressed opinions on censorship when he appeared on 's and debated issues with Washington Times commentator in 1986. He had always encouraged his fans to on album covers, and throughout 1988 he had registration booths at his concerts.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 348. He even considered running for President of the United States.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 365.

Zappa did not use illegal drugs. He tried ten times, but without any pleasure, and "never used LSD, never used cocaine, never used heroin or any of that other stuff." Zappa stated, "Drugs do not become a problem until the person who uses the drugs does something to you, or does something that would affect your life that you don't want to have happen to you, like an airline pilot who crashes because he was full of drugs." Interview by Bob Marshall, October 22, 1988 - Part 03 He was a regular tobacco smoker for most of his life, and strongly critical of anti-tobacco campaigns.He considered such campaigns as inventions and noted that "Some people like garlic ... I like pepper, tobacco and coffee. That's my ". Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, pp. 234–235. While he disapproved of drug use, he criticized the , comparing it to , and stated that the would benefit from the decriminalization and regulation of drugs. Describing his philosophical views, Zappa stated, "I believe that people have a right to decide their own destinies; people own themselves. I also believe that, in a democracy, government exists because (and only so long as) individual citizens give it a 'temporary license to exist'—in exchange for a promise that it will behave itself. In a democracy, you own the government—it doesn't own you."

In early 1990, Zappa visited at the request of President , and was asked to serve as consultant for the government on trade, cultural matters and tourism. Havel was a lifelong fan of Zappa who had great influence in the avant-garde and underground scene in Central Europe in the 1970s and 1980s (a that was imprisoned in 1976 took its name from Zappa's 1968 song ""). Zappa enthusiastically agreed and began meeting with corporate officials interested in investing in Czechoslovakia. Within a few weeks, however, the U.S. administration put pressure on the Czech government to withdraw the appointment. Havel made Zappa an unofficial instead.Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, pp. 357–361. Zappa also planned to develop an international consulting enterprise to facilitate trade between the former Eastern Bloc and Western businesses.


Senate testimony
On September 19, 1985, Zappa testified before the Commerce, Technology, and Transportation committee, attacking the Parents Music Resource Center or , a music organization co-founded by , wife of then-senator . The PMRC consisted of many wives of politicians, including the wives of five members of the committee, and was founded to address the issue of song lyrics with sexual or satanic content.Day, 2000, Censorship, p. 53. Zappa saw their activities as on a path towards censorship,Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, p. 267. and called their proposal for voluntary with explicit content "extortion" of the music industry.Zappa with Occhiogrosso, 1989, The Real Frank Zappa Book, p. 262. In his prepared statement, he said:

The PMRC proposal is an ill-conceived piece of nonsense which fails to deliver any real benefits to children, infringes the civil liberties of people who are not children, and promises to keep the courts busy for years dealing with the interpretational and enforcemental problems inherent in the proposal's design. It is my understanding that, in law, First Amendment issues are decided with a preference for the least restrictive alternative. In this context, the PMRC's demands are the equivalent of treating by  ... The establishment of a rating system, voluntary or otherwise, opens the door to an endless parade of moral quality control programs based on things certain Christians do not like. What if the next bunch of Washington wives demands a on all material written or performed by Jews, in order to save helpless children from exposure to concealed Zionist doctrine?. Retrieved December 31, 2007.

Zappa set excerpts from the PMRC hearings to Synclavier music in his composition "Porn Wars" on the 1985 album , and the full recording was released in 2010 as . Zappa is heard interacting with Senators , , (who claimed, at the hearing, to be a Zappa fan), and in an exchange with Florida Senator over what toys Zappa's children played with.


Legacy

Acclaim and honors
Zappa earned widespread critical acclaim in his lifetime and after his death. (2004) writes: "Frank Zappa dabbled in virtually all kinds of music—and, whether guised as a satirical rocker, jazz-rock fusionist, guitar virtuoso, electronics wizard, or orchestral innovator, his eccentric genius was undeniable." Even though his work drew inspiration from many different genres, Zappa was seen establishing a coherent and personal expression. In 1971, biographer David Walley noted that "The whole structure of his music is unified, not neatly divided by dates or time sequences and it is all building into a composite".Walley, 1980, No Commercial Potential, p. 3. On commenting on Zappa's music, politics and philosophy, noted in 2004 that they cannot be separated: "It was all one; all part of his 'conceptual continuity'."Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 383. devoted a special issue to Zappa in 1992, and asked on the cover "Is FZ America's Best Kept Musical Secret?" Editor Don Menn remarked that the issue was about "The most important composer to come out of modern popular music". Among those contributing to the issue was composer and , who conducted premiere performances of works of and Varèse in the 1930s.. Retrieved August 17, 2008. He became friends with Zappa in the 1980s,In December 1981, the then 87 year old Slonimsky made a guest appearance on piano at a Zappa concert. Miles, 2004, Frank Zappa, p. 295–296. and said, "I admire everything Frank does, because he practically created the new musical millennium. He does beautiful, beautiful work ... It has been my luck to have lived to see the emergence of this totally new type of music." Conductor remarked in the same issue that "Frank is a genius. That's a word I don't use often ... In Frank's case it is not too strong ... He is extremely literate musically. I'm not sure if the general public knows that." Pierre Boulez stated in magazine's posthumous Zappa tribute article that Zappa "was an exceptional figure because he was part of the worlds of rock and classical music and that both types of his work would survive."

In 1994, jazz magazine s critics poll placed Zappa in its Hall of Fame.. Retrieved August 12, 2008. Zappa was posthumously inducted into the in 1995. There, it was written that "Frank Zappa was rock and roll's sharpest musical mind and most astute social critic. He was the most prolific composer of his age, and he bridged genres—rock, jazz, classical, avant-garde and even novelty music—with masterful ease".. Retrieved August 14, 2008. He received the in 1997.. Retrieved February 14, 2012. In 2005, the U.S. included We're Only in It for the Money in the as "Frank Zappa's inventive and iconoclastic album presents a unique political stance, both anti-conservative and anti-counterculture, and features a scathing satire on hippiedom and America's reactions to it".. Retrieved August 18, 2008. The same year, magazine ranked him at No. 71 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2011, he was ranked at No. 22 on the list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by the same magazine.


Artists influenced by Zappa
A number of notable musicians, bands and orchestras from diverse genres have been influenced by Frank Zappa's music. Rock artists like , ,. Retrieved March 14, 2009. of . Retrieved August 13, 2008. all cite Zappa's influence, as do artists like ,. Retrieved August 13, 2008. of , and .. Retrieved August 12, 2008. regarded as ' Freak Out!MacDonald, 1994, Revolution in the Head, p. 171. Heavy rock and metal acts like ,. Retrieved August 12, 2008. ,. Retrieved April 22, 2009. , ,. Retrieved August 12, 2008. , ,. Retrieved June 28, 2010. ,. Retrieved August 12, 2008. and . Retrieved December 18, 2010. acknowledge Zappa's inspiration. On the classical music scene, Tomas Ulrich,
Retrieved on November 13, 2008. [[Meridian Arts Ensemble]],. Retrieved August 12, 2008. [[Ensemble Ambrosius]]. Retrieved December 17, 2010. and the Fireworks Ensemble. Retrieved August 25, 2008. regularly perform Zappa's compositions and quote his influence. Contemporary jazz musicians and composers [[Bill Frisell]]. Retrieved August 12, 2008. and [[John Zorn]] are inspired by Zappa, as is funk legend [[George Clinton (funk musician)|George Clinton]].. Retrieved August 13, 2008. Other artists whose work is affected by Zappa include new age pianist [[George Winston]],. Retrieved June 27, 2010. electronic composer [[Robert Gluck|Bob Gluck]],. Retrieved September 1, 2008. parodist and novelty composer [["Weird Al" Yankovic]],. Retrieved August 12, 2008. [[industrial music]] pioneer [[Genesis P-Orridge]],[[Simon Reynolds|Reynolds, Simon]] (2005). ''Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984'', p. 255. and [[noise music]] artist Masami Akita of [[Merzbow]].Martin, 2002, ''Avant Rock'', p. 160.
     


References in arts and sciences
Scientists from various fields have honored Zappa by naming new discoveries after him. In 1967, paleontologist Leo P. Plas, Jr. identified an extinct in Nevada and named it Amaurotoma zappa with the motivation that, "The specific name, zappa, honors Frank Zappa". In the 1980s, biologist Ed Murdy named a of fishes of New Guinea Zappa, with a named Zappa confluentus. Biologist Ferdinando Boero named a Californian Phialella zappai (1987), noting that he had "pleasure in naming this species after the modern music composer". Belgian biologists Bosmans and Bosselaers discovered in the early 1980s a Cameroonese spider, which they in 1994 named because "the ventral side of the abdomen of the female of this species strikingly resembles the artist's legendary moustache". A gene of the bacterium that causes urinary tract infections was in 1995 named zapA by three biologists from Maryland. In their scientific article, they "especially thank the late Frank Zappa for inspiration and assistance with genetic nomenclature". Repeating regions of the genome of the human tumor virus were named frnk, vnct and zppa in 1996 by the Moore and Chang who discovered the virus. Also, a 143 base pair repeat sequence occurring at two positions was named waka/jwka. In the late 1990s, American paleontologists Marc Salak and Halard L. Lescinsky discovered a fossil, and named it Spygori zappania to honor "the late Frank Zappa ... whose mission paralleled that of the earliest paleontologists: to challenge conventional and traditional beliefs when such beliefs lacked roots in logic and reason".

In 1994, lobbying efforts initiated by psychiatrist John Scialli led the 's to name an in Zappa's honor: . The asteroid was discovered in 1980 by Czechoslovakian astronomer , and the citation for its naming says that "Zappa was an eclectic, self-trained artist and composer ... Before 1989 he was regarded as a symbol of democracy and freedom by many people in Czechoslovakia".. Retrieved August 15, 2008.

In 1995, a bust of Zappa by sculptor Konstantinas Bogdanas was installed in the Lithuanian capital . A replica was offered to the city of Baltimore in 2008, and on September 19, 2010—the twenty-fifth anniversary of Zappa's testimony to the U.S. Senate—a ceremony dedicating the replica was held, and the bust was at a library in the city.. Retrieved September 19, 2010.. Retrieved September 19, 2010. In 2002, a bronze bust was installed in German city , location of the since 1990, an annual music festival celebrating Zappa.. Retrieved August 14, 2008. At the initiative of musicians community , the city of Berlin named a street in the district "Frank-Zappa-Straße" in 2007.. Retrieved August 15, 2008. The same year, Baltimore mayor proclaimed August 9 as the city's official "Frank Zappa Day" citing Zappa's musical accomplishments as well as his defense of the .. Retrieved August 15, 2008.


Discography

Notes


External links


References
    ^ (2018). 9780711994362, Music Sales Group. .
    ^ (2018). 9780415957816, . .
    ^ (2018). 9781480342934, Hal Leonard Corporation.
    ^ (2018). 082252628X, Twenty-First Century Books, Lerner Publications. 082252628X
    ^ (2018). 9781844710591, Salt Publishing.
    ^ (1992). 9780679737285, Random House.
    ^ (1984). 9780862761462, Proteus Books.
    ^ (2018). 9780946719518, SAF Publishing Ltd..
    ^ (2018). 9780275987794, Praeger Publishers.
    ^ (2018). 9780812695007, Open Court Publishing Company.
    ^ (1994). 9781857020991, Fourth Estate Ltd..
    ^ (2018). 9781843540922, Atlantic Books.
    ^ (1982). 9780845345047, Cornwall Books.
    ^ (1980). 9780525931539, E. P. Dutton.
    ^ (1996). 9780312141240, St. Martin's Griffin.
    ^ (2018). 9781844498659, Omnibus Press.
    ^ (1989). 067163870X, Poseidon Press. 067163870X

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