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Frank Zappa was an American artist. He was a composer, guitarist, satirist, social anthropologist, rock legend, record producer and filmmaker. FZ composed in numerous styles, including rock, classical, jazz, blues and R&B. He was a staunch supporter of free speech and personal expression, and a fierce opponent of censorship.

FZ was the founder and leader of the legendary 1960's rock group The Mothers of Invention. Their debut album "Freak Out!" made the Mothers one of the first rock groups to embrace the California 1960's "freak culture." The original Mothers were FZ, Jimmy Carl Black, Roy Estrada, Dave Coronado and Ray Collins.

Zappa was a pioneer of electronic composition, and one of the most prominent adopters of the Synclavier. Some of his later albums (such as "Francesco Zappa") were produced entirely by electronic means. Often this was because Zappa found it easier to slowly program a computer than to train real musicians to play his complex compositions.

FZ died of prostate cancer on December 4, 1993. FZ's wife is Gail Zappa. Their children are Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva. FZ left behind a vault full of unpublished recordings, which the Zappa family continues to release.

FZ was referred to as a "guitar hero" in the first Guitar Hero.

Conceptual Continuity

Conceptual Continuity was Zappa's idea that all of his projects were, in one way or another, connected. This included all albums, films, interviews and essays. For example, he would take sound effects created for an album in the 1960's and use them again in a piece in the 1980's. This would essentially connect two albums created decades apart.

Xenochrony

Xenochrony, or "strange synchronization," was Zappa's technique for combining two disparate recordings into something new.

Satirical Targets

Throughout his work FZ would often go after the same people or concepts over and over again. Some of the recurring targets for his ire were: The French, organized religion, poodles, censorship, California culture and rock music.

Bands Discovered or Produced By FZ

Alice Cooper
GTO's
Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band
The Persuasions
Wild Man Fischer
 

FZ Quotes

"Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST."
 
" There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life. "
 
 "Without deviation from the norm, 'progress' is not possible."

"There will never be a nuclear war; there's too much real estate involved."

"Stupidity is the basic building block of the universe."

"I have four children, and I want them to grow up in a country that has a working First Amendment. "

On God: "After all, he wrote this book here, and in the book it says he made us all to be just like Him! So if we're dumb, then God is dumb - and maybe even a little bit ugly on the side." 

"Remember there's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over. "

"Rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, in order to provide articles for people who can't read"

Discography

  • Freak Out!
  • Absolutely Free
  • Lumpy Gravy
  • We're Only In It For The Money
  • Crusing With Ruben & The Jets
  • Uncle Meat
  • Mothermania
  • Hot Rats
  • Burnt Weeny Sandwich
  • Weesels Ripped My Flesh
  • Chunga's Revenge
  • Fillmore East, June 1971
  • 200 Motels
  • Just Another Band From L.A.
  • Waka/Jawaka
  • The Grand Wazoo
  • Over-Nite Sensation
  • Apostrophe (')
  • Roxy & Elsewhere
  • One Size Fits All
  • Bongo Fury
  • Zoot Allures
  • Zappa In New York
  • Studio Tan
  • Sleep Dirt
  • Sheik Yerbouti
  • Orchestral Favorites
  • Joe's Garage Acts I, II & III
  • Tinseltown Rebellion
  • You Are What You Is
  • Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch
  • Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar (Box Set)
  • The Man From Utopia
  • Baby Snakes
  • London Symphony Orchestra, Vols I & II
  • The Perfect Stranger
  • Them Or Us
  • Thing-Fish
  • Francesco Zappa
  • The Old Masters (Box Set)
  • Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
  • Does Humor Belong In Music?
  • Jazz From Hell
  • Guitar
  • You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vols 1-6
  • Broadway The Hard Way
  • The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life
  • Make A Jazz Noise Here
  • Playground Psychotics
  • Ahead Of Their Time
  • The Yellow Shark
  • Civilization Phaze III
  • The Lost Episodes
  • Läther
  • Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute
  • Have I Offended Someone?
  • Mystery Disc
  • Everything Is Healing Nicely
  • FZ:OZ
  • Halloween
  • Joe's Corsage
  • Joe's Domage
  • QuAUDIOPHILIAC
  • Joe's XMASage
  • Imaginary Diseases
  • MOFO
  • Trance-Fusion
  • Buffalo
  • The Dub Room Special!
  • Wazoo
  • One Shot Deal
  • Joe's Menage
  • LUMPY MONEY
  • Philly '76

Filmography

  • 200 Motels
  • Baby Snakes
  • The Dub Room Special
  • Does Humor Belong In Music?

Film & TV Appearances

  • The Monkee's Head (1968)
  • Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre (1984)
  • Miami Vice (1986)
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show (1992)
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