Z is for Zappa

Frank_Zappa_-_Jazz_From_HellHe was an iconoclastic fellow, that Frank Zappa was. The Wikipedia described him as “an American musician, bandleader, songwriter, composer, recording engineer, record producer, and film director.”

Here’s a 16-minute segment from 1963 with Steve Allen, a talk show host formerly on the Tonight Show, featuring a then-unknown musician playing a most unusual instrument. The sounds are early indicators of Frank’s musical direction.

I learned about Frank Zappa originally because he was usually represented on those early Warner Brothers Loss Leader compilation albums (two LPs for two bucks) in the late 1960s and early 1970s, often on the fourth side, where his unconventional music wouldn’t turn off the less adventuresome listener. There was even a special Loss Leader, ZAPPÉD, “a single disc featuring acts on Frank Zappa’s Bizarre/Straight labels.” Many of his songs in that first period were as part of the group The Mothers of Invention. Continue reading “Z is for Zappa”