Frank Zappa – The Legend And The Man

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Uncompromising elements of social satire and theatrical performance.

zappa_6073_5570This is about a musician Frank Zappa, who was able to link the rock, jazz, classical music with the uncompromising elements of social satire and theatrical performance. He hated drugs and human stupidity. All his life he fought against them, and when were here the efforts to prohibit a rock, at anti-censorship he spent several thousand dollars. Enfant terrible of American music and society, died of cancer just a decade ago, the fourth December 1993.

Than he was playing the puppet theater.

When in 1940, in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, Francis Vincent Zappa was born, there was no indication that the world of the music got an original composer and musician. But when that happened, at first he tried to be an amateur chemical experimenter and than he was playing the puppet theater.

He was very fond of classical music.

Frank began to seriously interested about music in his fifteen years, he joined a garage band. But lucrative positions have already been dismantled, for him remained just the drums.

Frank_Zappa_HS_YearbookYoung Zappa fell in rock and records of blues. That and his several months long attempt to study harmony and composition at the University was his basis of music education. He was very fond of classical music, but not the old masters, but avant-garde composers Edgar Varese and Stravinsky.

In high school he met with Don Van Vliet, later known as Captain Beefheart, who shared the same passion for music. Together they recorded the song Lost in a Whirlpool about a boy whose girlfriend flushed him down the toilet, and there he encounters a blank brown fish. Similar surreal stories appeared later in Zappa records as satirical and social metaphors.

Only one album Jazz from Hell won a Grammy.

As a nineteen year old he wrote music for several low budget films and he arranged his own recording studio. He was playing in bars for living till 1965. That year he was discovered by a producer and he offered to him the first LP. Zappa and his band Mothers of Invention brought to study so many songs that there was a double-album made, it was called Freak Out, on where was Zappa introduced as a genial composer and a exceptional guitarist, arranger and author of ironic texts, directed against the human stupidity.

His next recording Absolutely Free mark the critics as the first rock opera in history, in which Zappa perfectly united individual songs through imaginative styles. He used improvisation passages, happenings passages and practice of classical music of 20th century. On the packaging of the next album he created a parody of the legendary Sergeant Pepper but unlike the Liverpool Four, in his thirty years carrier, he could not write a big hit. Only one album Jazz from Hell won a Grammy.

Then he said: ‘Okay, note what just happened’

To the unconventional music belong unconventional costumes. “I felt that it is inconceivable to play such a music and wear elegant hairstyles. The appearance of the band is related to the music, same as is related the package to the plate. And the package is better, more people are enjoyed it, and they will enjoy the content then. “said Zappa.

It has sometimes happened that the audience of his concerts got whipped ice crream in their face or Zappa was forcing them to to get up and dance about. Then he said: “Okay, note what just happened. I told you that you rose up and exercise, and you obeyed me, is it? And so the government treats you. Telling you what you have to do!”

Zappa liked the film, but there are only a few unsuccessful attempts to conquer Hollywood. With the exception of the Yellow Shark album his attempts are unsuccessful in classical music as well. However, it was able to bring revival. His most influential recordings such as Uncle Meat, Hot Rats or 200 Motels are dated back to the first half of the 70th in a last century.

Music is the best thing in the world and musicians are not willing to die.

Zappa-MainHe issued also tripple album with his best guitar solos – Shut Up And Play Yer Guitar. The album even received a grand prize from the French Academy of Music. Zappa on this occasion created a guitar school in book form. With the next album Ship Arrives Too Late To Save The Drowning Witch he could not overcome the previous glory. He also canceled some concerts of his European tour. In Switzerland, the fire broke out again on his concert, as in 1971 in Montreux (after this fire band Deep Purple created their biggest hit – Smoke On The Water). And when at his concert died two people , Zappa said he wants no more to see Europe in his life. Following albums had different styles, to get some listeners thought that Zappa started hate a rock. But only to the issue of double album Them Or Us. It is full of rock songs. Along with this album he also published a book with the same name, where are a variety of published interviews, articles, he explained there how to combine music with most absurd combinations. In 1984, Zappa surprised with musical Thingfisch. It’s absurd, sexual parody. It has been followed by his other great albums that show the faith in motto:”Music is the best thing in the world and musicians are not willing to die.”

Zappa was very productive and prolific artist. Many of his albums are considered as essential in the history of rock and jazz, and is considered one of the most original guitarists and composers of his time. After his dead Zappa was introduced to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. During his lifetime, he made around 60 albums, and many of them have even been a double albums, which has doubled his production.

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