Backstage Stories: The Mad, Musical World of Frank Zappa, The Father of Invention

via (musicoholics) by Alva Yaffe

When Frank Zappa first appeared on national TV in 1963, he was running a violin bow across a bicycle wheel. He was the front man of the band Mothers of Invention, and their music was, well, weird. He combined several genres, complex instruments, and absurd lyrics (listen to the song Montana, with lyrics about a man raising crops of dental floss).

For some reason, Zappa isn’t one of the musicians that many people talk about these days. He passed away in 1993 (from cancer), days before his 53rd birthday. But in that (relatively) short lifespan, he released more than 60 albums, wrote experimental classical music, and made a surrealist film with a rock star puppet… to name a few. Zappa was prolific, eccentric, fearless, and truly one of a kind. And it might have a little something to do with the fact that he was raised in a biohazardous environment, in which his toys were mercury and gas masks.

That’s exactly why he deserves a spotlight…

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