Frank Zappa biography

Frank Zappa

Blues, Musical Artist

1940 – 1993


Who was Frank Zappa?

Frank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, songwriter, composer, recording engineer, record producer, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète 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 The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. While in his teens, he acquired a taste for 20th-century classical composers such as Edgard Varèse, Igor Stravinsky, and Anton Webern along with 1950s rhythm and blues 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, Freak Out!, 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 iconoclastic view of established social and political processes, structures and movements. He was a strident critic of mainstream education and organized religion, and a forthright and passionate advocate for freedom of speech, self-education, political participation and the abolition of censorship.

Famous Quotes:

  • Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.

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Dec 21, 1940
Also known as
  • Frank Vincent Zappa
  • Zappa
  • the Mothers of invention
  • Atheism
  • Greek American
  • Italian American
  • French American
  • Arab American
  • United States of America
  • Mission Bay Senior High School
  • Antelope Valley High School
Lived in
  • Baltimore
  • Laurel Canyon
  • Monterey
  • Claremont
  • San Diego
Dec 4, 1993
Los Angeles
Resting place
Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery

on July 23, 2013


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