Frank Zappa Biography (1940-1993)

Full name, Francis Vincent Zappa, Jr.; born December 21, 1940, in Baltimore,MD; died of prostate cancer, December 4, 1993, in Laurel Canyon, CA; son of Francis Vincent (a metallurgist and meteorologist) and Rose Marie (a librarian) Zappa; married Kay Sherman, 1960 (divorced, c. 1964); married Adelaide GailSloatman (in business), 1967 (some sources say 1969); children: (second marriage) Moon (an actress, singer, and artist; also known as Moon Unit Zappa), Dweezil (a musician, actor, and composer), Ahmet Emuukha Rodin (a musician, actor, and composer), Diva. Career: Musician, singer, composer, director, producer, actor, entrepreneur, and consultant. Soul Giants (band), performer, beginning in 1964; The Mothers (later The Mothers of Invention), band leader and performer; earlier bands include the Ramblers and the Black-Outs. Barking Pumpkin (record company), founder; Bizarre Records, founder (with others), 1968; Straight Records, founder (with others), 1968; founder of video companies Honker Home Video and Intercontinental Absurdities; associated with Zappa Records, Sheik Yerbouti (record company), Barfko-Swill (mail order distributors), and DiscReet (record company). Also worked as a windowdresser, a copywriter, and a door-to-door salesperson. Testified on censorship issues beforeU.S. Congress, 1985. Advisor on capitalism to Czechoslovakian president Vaclav Havel, 1989; culture, tourism, and trade minister for Czechoslovakia, 1990.Awards, Honors: Grammy Award nomination, best male rock vocal, 1979,for "Dancin' Fool"; Grammy Award nomination, best rock instrumental, 1979, for "Rat Tomago"; Grammy Award nomination (with Moon Unit Zappa), best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal, 1982, for "Valley Girl"; Grammy Awardnomination, best new classical composition, 1984, for The Perfect Stranger; Grammy Award, best instrumental rock music performance, and Grammy Award nomination, best instrumental composition, both 1987, for Jazz from Hell; posthumously inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1995.

Nationality
American
Gender
Male
Occupation
Musician, singer, composer, director, producer, actor, consultant
Birth Details
December 21, 1940
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Death Details
December 21, 1993
Laurel Canyon, California, United States

Famous Works

  • CREDITS
  • Television Appearances
  • Specials
  • Sex, Violence, and Values: Changing Images, ABC, 1986
  • Decade (also known as MTV's Decade), MTV, 1989
  • Tom Arnold: The Naked Truth, HBO, 1991
  • Living in America, VH1, 1991
  • Democracy in Action, PBS, 1992
  • Episodic
  • Mike Nesmith, "Monkees Blow Their Minds," The Monkees, NBC, 1968
  • Host, Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's Saturday Night, Saturday Night, and SNL), NBC, 1978
  • Evil drug dealer, Miami Vice, NBC, 1984
  • Guest host, Focus, Financial News Network, 1990
  • Voice of the Pope, The Ren and Stimpy Show (animated), Nickelodeon, 1991
  • Also appeared in Tonight!, NBC.
  • Film Appearances
  • The critic, Head (also known as Untitled), 1968
  • 200 Motels (also known as Two Hundred Motels), United Artists, 1971
  • Baby Snakes, MPI, 1979
  • New Zealander with three girlfriends, Funny, Associates and Ferren, 1988
  • Film Work
  • Director, 200 Motels (also known as Two Hundred Motels), United Artists, 1971
  • Producer, director, and editor, Baby Snakes, MPI, 1979
  • Producer and director, The Amazing Mr. Bickford, 1989
  • RECORDINGS
  • Albums
  • Freak Out!, Rykodisc, 1966
  • Absolutely Free, Rykodisc, 1967
  • Lumpy Gravy, Rykodisc, 1968
  • We're Only in It for the Money, Rykodisc, 1968
  • Cruising with Ruben and the Jets, Rykodisc, 1968
  • The **** of the Mothers of Invention, Verve, 1969
  • The Worst of the Mothers, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1969
  • Hot Rats, Rykodisc, 1969
  • Burnt Weenie Sandwich, Rykodisc, 1969
  • Uncle Meat, Rykodisc, 1969
  • Mothermania: The Best of the Mothers, Verve, 1969
  • The Mothers of Invention, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1970
  • Chunga's Revenge, Rykodisc, 1970
  • Weasels Ripped My Flesh, Rykodisc, 1970
  • The Mothers/Fillmore East-June 1971, Bizarre, 1971
  • Fillmore East: June 1971, Rykodisc, 1971
  • 200 Motels (also known as Two Hundred Motels), Rykodisc, 1971
  • Mothers Day, Verve, 1971
  • Just Another Band from L.A., Rykodisc, 1972
  • Waka/Jawaka, Rykodisc, 1972
  • Over-Nite Sensation, Rykodisc, 1973
  • The Grand Wazoo, Rykodisc, 1973
  • Roxy and Elsewhere, Rykodisc, 1974
  • Apostrophe, Rykodisc, 1974
  • One Size Fits All, Rykodisc, 1975
  • Bongo Fury, Rykodisc, 1975
  • Zoot Allures, Rykodisc, 1976
  • Zappa in New York, Rykodisc, 1978
  • Studio Tan, Rykodisc, 1978
  • Sleep Dirt, Rykodisc, 1979
  • Orchestral Favorites, Rykodisc, 1979
  • Joe's Garage: Act 1, Zappa, 1979
  • Sheik Yerbouti, Rykodisc, 1979
  • Joe's Garage: Acts 2 and 3, Rykodisc, 1979
  • Return of the Son of Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar, Barking Pumpkin,1981
  • Tinseltown Rebellion, Rykodisc, 1981
  • You Are What You Is, Rykodisc, 1981
  • The Mothers, Asylum, 1982
  • Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch, Frank Zappa/Rykodisc, 1982
  • Zappa, Volume 1, Barking Pumpkin, 1983
  • Baby Snakes, Rykodisc, 1983
  • Man from Utopia, Rykodisc, 1983
  • London Symphony Orchestra, Volume 1, Barking Pumpkin, 1983
  • True Glove, EMI, 1984
  • Boulez Conducts Zappa/The Perfect Stranger, EMI America, 1984
  • Them or Us, Rykodisc, 1984
  • Thing-Fish, Rykodisc, 1984
  • Francesco Zappa, Rykodisc, 1984
  • The Perfect Stranger, Rykodisc, 1984
  • Meets the Mothers of Prevention, Rykodisc, 1985
  • Old Masters, Box 1, Barking Pumpkin, 1985
  • Old Masters, Box 2, Barking Pumpkin, 1986
  • Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar, Rykodisc, 1986
  • Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar Some More, Barking Pumpkin, 1986
  • Zappa, Volume 1, Rykodisc, 1986
  • Does Humor Belong in Music?, Rykodisc, 1986
  • Jazz from Hell, Rykodisc, 1986
  • Apostrophe/Over-Nite Sensation, Rykodisc, 1986
  • The Guitar According To, Barking Pumpkin, 1987
  • Zappa, Volume 2, Barking Pumpkin, 1987
  • The Black Page, Keyboard Magazine, 1987
  • London Symphony Orchestra 2, Rykodisc, 1987
  • Old Masters, Box 3, Barking Pumpkin, 1987
  • You Can't Do That on Stage, Zappa, 1988
  • You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Volume 1, Rykodisc, 1988
  • You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Volume 2, Rykodisc, 1988
  • Broadway the Hardway, Rykodisc, 1988
  • Guitar, Rykodisc, 1988
  • You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Volume 3, Rykodisc, 1989
  • The Supplement Tape, Siesta, 1990
  • Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention, Rykodisc, 1990
  • Trick or Treat, Rhino, 1991
  • As an Am Zappa, Rhino, 1991
  • WRITINGS
  • Composer for Albums Not Recorded by Zappa
  • Jean-Luc Ponty, King Kong: Ponty Plays Zappa, 1969
  • Mad Kap, Look Ma Duke No Hands, 1993
  • Muffin Man, Say Cheese and Thank You, 1994
  • Composer for Films
  • The World's Greatest Sinner, Frenzy, 1962
  • Run Home Slow, Emerson, 1965
  • 200 Motels (also known as Two Hundred Motels), United Artists, 1971
  • Baby Snakes, MPI, 1979
  • Song, "Memories of El Monte," Colors, Orion, 1988
  • The Amazing Mr. Bickford, 1989
  • Song, "Memories of El Monte," Waiting for the Light, Epic, 1990
  • Song, "Harder Than Your Husband," Daddy's Dyin'.Who's Got the Will?, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1990
  • Screenplays
  • 200 Motels (also known as Two Hundred Motels), United Artists, 1971
  • The Amazing Mr. Bickford, 1989
  • Composer and Screenwriter for Videos
  • The Dub Room Special, 1984
  • Video from Hell, MPI, 1985
  • Does Humor Belong in Music?, MPI, 1985
  • The True Story of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels, MPI, 1988
  • Composer for Television
  • Series
  • Duckman, USA Network, 1994
  • Specials
  • Outrage at Valdez, TBS, 1990
  • Memoirs
  • (With Peter Occhiogrosso) The Real Frank Zappa Book, Poseidon Press, 1990

Further Reference

Obituaries and Other Sources

    Periodicals
    • New York Times, December 7, 1993, p. B12.*

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