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Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa was one of rock’s true oddballs, innovators and all-around contradictory guys. He made freak-out music but didn’t take drugs. He turned out tons of music every year but had little interest in being a star. And he developed a cult reputation while composing and playing music that never stayed in one place. He was born in Baltimore and came of age in the ’60s, when he recorded doo-wop music and other pop forms. By 1965 he had formed the Mothers of Invention, one of rock’s most influential groups. Their early albums were pointed, political affairs that also skewed pop culture and the mainstream that was consuming American youth. He made a couple movies, turned out solo albums that ranged from instrumental works to full-on rock operas and explored music from jazz and classical to pop and prog. He died of cancer at the age of 52 in 1993.

Fran Flynn, Getty Images
Fran Flynn, Getty Images

Dweezil Zappa Issues Statement Regarding Frank Zappa Family Trust Battle

Nearly two weeks after Ahmet Zappa penned an open letter to his brother Dweezil regarding the latter's use of music by their late father, Frank Zappa, Dweezil has issued a statement.

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Albert Ortega, Getty Images
Albert Ortega, Getty Images

Ahmet Zappa Pens Open Letter to Brother Dweezil in Frank Zappa Family Dispute

Ahmet Zappa is disputing sibling Dweezil's version of events in an on-going disagreement over licensing their father Frank Zappa's music.

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Fran Flynn, Getty Images
Fran Flynn, Getty Images

Dweezil Zappa Forced to Change Name of Tribute Show to His Dad

Zappa Plays Zappa will hit the road this summer under a new name,

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Evening Standard, Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Evening Standard, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Frank Zappa’s Vaults Open for ‘Road Tapes’ Reissues and More

The next round of vault offerings from the Frank Zappa estate will include a reissue of his triple-disc Lumpy Money Project/Object as well as a trilogy of Road Tapes volumes.

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Evening Standard, Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Evening Standard, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

The Story of the Mothers of Invention’s ‘Sgt. Pepper’-Baiting ‘We’re Only in It for the Money’

From the mocking cover art to the orchestral notes that grace the music, the Mothers of Invention’s ‘We’re Only in It for the Money’ turns ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ on its head.

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Bizarre / Reprise
Bizarre / Reprise

The Story of Frank Zappa’s ‘Burnt Weeny Sandwich’

After guiding the Mothers of Invention to significant critical respect and even modest commercial success over the second half of the ‘60s, Frank Zappa welcomed 1970 as a newly minted solo artist.

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Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Frank Zappa Documentary to Premiere at Sundance Film Festival

An unauthorized documentary about Frank Zappa will have its world premiere at Sundance next week.

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Hulton Archive / Larry Hulst / Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive / Larry Hulst / Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Here’s How David Bowie Stole Guitarist Adrian Belew from Frank Zappa

Adrian Belew's stint as guitarist in David Bowie's band began after a decidedly uncomfortable dinner with Frank Zappa.

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Evening Standard, Getty Ima
Evening Standard, Getty Ima

The Story of That Time Frank Zappa Was Pushed Offstage in London

Frank Zappa's live shows, much like his studio albums, were regarded as much for their irreverent playfulness as their technical virtuosity.

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YouTube
YouTube

The History of the Frank Zappa Concert Fire That Inspired ‘Smoke on the Water’

The famous fire at the Montreux Jazz Festival took place on Dec. 4, 1971

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