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.
The Unfunny Night Frank Zappa Got Himself Banned From 'SNL'
Flat delivery and breaking character ensured his first guest host spot was also his last.
Unearthed Frank Zappa Album 'Funky Nothingness' Set for Release
Recorded in 1970, the songs are believed to have been for a follow-up to solo debut 'Hot Rats.'
Frank Zappa's Jazz Albums Commemorated With 'Waka/Wazoo' Box Set
Five-disc collection highlights pair of 1972 LPs, 'Waka/Jawaka' and 'The Grand Wazoo.'
When Frank Zappa Pulled Out the Baton for Final Stage Appearance
Composer, battling terminal cancer, conducted Ensemble Modern during performance in September 1992.
Frank Zappa’s Life Work Sold to Universal Music Group
Deal includes rock visionary's recordings, publishing catalog, film archive, Vault containing his life's work and his name and likeness.
New Frank Zappa Box Set Documents Famous 1971 Fillmore East Shows
Eight-CD 'The Mothers 1971' includes entire John Lennon and Yoko Ono encore.
50 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Channels Touring Chaos in '200 Motels'
Composer recruited backing band the Mothers, Ringo Starr and Keith Moon for cameos in debut film.
Deon Estus, Bassist With Elton John and Frank Zappa, Dies at 65
He also performed with Wham!, Tina Turner and others.