That goes without saying.
I have three older sisters; Lynda, Lori, and Kim. I destroyed every single record player they ever had, and when I was old enough, I apologised for it. In the Sanders household, these girls had the music going: Credence, Elvis, The Doors, The Beatles, the radio…we also had a jukebox as well.
Anyways, Lynda’s husband Dave had all the Zappa catalogue on vinyl. So whenever my mom and I stopped by, Dave would have the Zappa crankin’. This was about ’79 onwards, but the one thing that did stick in my mind was an instrumental where Zappa took the piss out of Santana. I knew from that moment that this was a guy I’d like to get to know better. So whenever we’d visit Lynda and Dave and my nephews, I’d grab the headphones, a Zappa album, and away we went!!
I knew about Steve Vai from Zappa, not fucking Passion and Warfare (which is a great album).
Fave albums: You Are What You Is, Sheik Yerbouti, The Man From Utopia, Roxy & Elsewhere, Joe’s Garage, Zappa in New York, Apostrophe/Overnight Sensation, Tinseltown Rebellion, Ship Arriving Too Late…, Does Humor Belong in Music, and others!
What I love about Zappa: The absurdity of some of the tunes!! Like, in Broken Hearts Are For Assholes, I love the dialogue in the middle. The songs were mental as fuck to listen to, even harder to perform. The lyrics were funny and weird..Even the instrumentals were amazing. I love the Baby Snakes version of The Black Page. Fucking magic, man! There’s so many great things on so many great tracks..He’s just the raddest. Pure musical genius. But having said that, I’m not into every single thing he’s done. I definitely have an era and an aesthetic when it comes to Frank.
And it wasn’t just the music, but the album covers, the inside jacket, the Barking Pumpkin order forms, reading the lyrics and liner notes, the whole shebang!!
Frank knew how to do a live show as well. Chatting with the audience, having the dance contests..He got it. The closest thing I ever got to being in a Zappa like live-band-atmosphere was Sinister Sam. Throwing beach balls into the crowd, having people onstage, we just wanted chaos the whole time. Not to mention the musical influence he had on us.
I could go on and on but I won’t. Zappa is not for everyone. I wouldn’t even say I’m a diehard fan. Fucking Dave Cook (my brother in law) of Clovis, California is the real fucking deal. I tried to watch 200 Motels with him and fell asleep. I’ll stick to the albums I know, ha ha..But Frank? I was sooooooo bummed that you passed. One of my goals in life was to meet you. The closest I got was meeting your son during the gig.
I have very few heroes on this planet, maybe 3-4. You’re in there.
I FUCKING LOVE FRANK ZAPPA, AND I LOVE HIS MUSIC. TRY IT.
Don’t know where to start? Try these songs: Montana, Village of the Sun, The Radio is Broken, Titties N’ Beer, Broken Hearts are for Assholes, City of Tiny Lights, Wild Love, Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch, St Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast/Father Oblivion….fuck..so many. If you can handle those, delve deeper.