Saturday, December 04, 2010

Remembering... Frank Zappa

I can safely say that, while I've long been a fan of Frank Zappa's, I was never a fan of his music until this day in 1993, the day he died; death has a funny way of doing that, bringing a person new fans as a kind of legacy...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThat was the day a friend of mine, who was already a fan and had been for years, sat me down and, by way of explanation of his fandom, played me his favourite Zappa songs - among them Help I'm A Rock, Don't Eat The Yellow Snow, Catholic Girls, and Muffin Man, plus the entire 1979 album Sheik Yerbouti.

Just like that I was hooked. Not only did I like Zappa's voice (an essential component of musical enjoyment for me) but I can safely say I'd never heard anything like his music, either. Suddenly all the print and TV interviews of his that I'd read and watched made sense; Zappa had always been an advocate for free speech, which led me to begin following his career in the 1980s, but to hear even some of the work he and his band The Mothers of Invention did in the 1970s made me eager to hear every last note.

In all, Frank Zappa wrote 75 albums of music (18 of them released posthumously); even given a certain amount of overlap between studio and live performances, this is a massive body of work for one person to produce. It'll probably take me to the end of my life to hear it all, but then again, it's a good thing I like a challenge.
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