INspiration Wednesday: Frank Zappa

Without deviation progress is not possible.

Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, singer-songwriter, guitarist, recording engineer, record producer and film director who profoundly influenced my life with his multi-dimensional output that incorporated rock, jazz, classical and experimental music, film, video and theatre with a large helping of humor that transcended any boundaries.

He was as articulate as he was vulgar and challenged musicians and listeners alike with his technical prowess as a composer, band leader and guitarist. Not only did Zappa achieve rock star status over his 30+ year career but was embraced by the contemporary classical music world elite with his rigorous and complex orchestral works  He was very politically involved both here and abroad and in 1990 accepted Czechoslovakian President Vaclav Havel’s invitation to serve as consultant for the government on cultural matters. Sadly, Frank Zappa died 20 years ago of prostate cancer at age 52.

For the uninitiated here a few places to start:

  1. The Yellow Shark
  2. Overnight Sensation
  3. Roxy and Elsewhere
  4. The Grand Wazoo
  5. Hot Rats
  6. Just Another Band From L.A.
  7. Zappa in New York
  8. Boulez Conducts Zappa
  9. Baby Snakes






One thought on “INspiration Wednesday: Frank Zappa

  1. Kevin

    Nice post, Glenn. In addition to his humor and musicianship, Zappa was a tireless warrior against against censorship. His jousts against the moralistic PMRC and their ilk exhibited Zappa’s integrity as well as his intellect. One of my favorite LPs is his album “Jazz from Hell” which displays the PMRC’s “Explicit Lyrics” warning sticker, despite the fact that the album is completely instrumental.