Frank Zappa b. December 21, 1940
d. December 4, 1993
Frank Zappa’s talents covered just about everything in the music industry. He was a distinctive composer who worked in just about every style including rock, jazz, and classical. Frank was a master guitarist, percussionist, vocalist, band leader, and producer and also created feature-length and short films, music videos, and album covers.
Zappa joined his first band The Ramblers in high school. Frank began his career as a musician on drums, but performed most of his career as a singer and guitarist. His original love for classical percussion influenced his compositions, which are notorious for complexity in rhythmic structure, featuring radical changes of tempo and meter.
In 1957 Frank was given his first guitar. His early influences included Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Howlin' Wolf and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. Zappa considered soloing as the equivalent of forming "air sculptures," and developed an eclectic, innovative and personal style. He eventually became one of the most highly regarded electric guitarists of his time.
Zappa was approached by Ray Collins in 1965 to join a local R&B band, The Soul Giants. Frank quickly became the leader and the band was renamed "The Mothers" on Mother’s Day. When they signed with Verve Records, the named was changed to "The Mothers of Invention."
After Frank disbanded the Mothers of Invention, he released the acclaimed solo album Hot Rats in 1969. It features, for the first time on record, Zappa playing extended guitar solos. It also contains one of Zappa’s most enduring compositions, “Peaches En Regalia.”
Frank Zappa continued to create his music for the next two decades before succumbing to prostate cancer on December 4, 1993.
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