Twenty years ago today, I was saddened to hear the news that a genius artist with a funny last name had left us. Frank Zappa was always the smartest guy in the room. His intelligence and honesty made me fixate on him at a very early age. Luckily, I had pretty liberal parents who weren’t afraid that listening to his lyrics would curve my spine, or put hair on my palms. Much of Frank’s music would be considered obscene by some, but I found it to be brutally truthful, shining a light on all the stupid in the world. And the truth is always best, even when people can’t handle it. Then, there’s the compositions! So brilliant, intricate, and experimental. Occasionally, Zappa would have someone else play the guitar parts because he didn’t have the chops. Imagine that. The melodies come out of his head and he writes the notes down, and then he gets a guitar whiz like Steve Vai to play it. Don’t get me wrong, Frank Zappa was an incredible guitarist, too. I just find it amazing that he wrote parts too difficult to shred. He called them “impossible guitar parts”. So here’s to the Great Zappa! 12/21/40-12/4/93…Sad he’s gone, yet so glad he lived.
Did you know that Frank Zappa was on “What’s My Line?”…me neither.
Check this out!
And here’s a really great performance of “Cosmic Debris” (what kind of a gu-ru are you?)