American composer, lyricist, songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, bandleader, conductor, producer, filmmaker.
Born 21 December 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Died 4 December 1993 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
[b]Frank Vincent Zappa[/b] was of Italian origins, his grandfather having arrived in America from Partinico, Sicily. [b] Frank Zappa[/b] grew to be one of the most accomplished composers of the rock era, his music combining an understanding and appreciation for such contemporary classical figures as [b][a=Igor Stravinsky][/b], [b][a=Karlheinz Stockhausen][/b] and [b][a=Edgard Varèse][/b]. These influences, coupled with an affection for late '50s doo-wop, rock & roll and skillful guitar-heavy rock, dominated pop in the '70s. However, [b]Zappa[/b] was also a keen satirist, whose reserves of scorn and parody seemed bottomless and whose wicked sense of humor and absurdity continued to delight his numerous fans - even when his lyrics crossed the broadest bounds of taste.
[b]Zappa[/b] was also a prolific record-maker in his time, astutely producing massive amounts of music on his own labels of [b][l=Bizarre Records], [l=Straight][/b] & [b][l=Barking Pumpkin Records][/b] and through distribution deals with [b][l=Rykodisc][/b] and [b][l=Rhino Entertainment Company][/b]. This after long unhappy associations with industry giants like [b][l=Warner Bros. Records][/b] and the now-defunct [b][l=MGM][/b]. In the '80s, [b]Zappa[/b] then gained the rights to his old albums and began to reissue them, first on his own and then through [b][l=Rykodisc][/b]. Throughout his recording career Zappa stayed consistently at the forefront of technology, investing in equipment, home-studio facilities and vault storage that would enable the fullest control over production of his works.
In 1988 his official autobiography emerged and he embarked on a world tour. Sadly, that was the end of his live performing when, in late 1991, it was confirmed that [b]Zappa[/b] was seriously ill with cancer. Nevertheless, his schedule of album releases continued to be rapid. The [l301432] continues to this day with his wife [a498325] (aka [a2117913]) as the figurehead of the ZFT until her death in 2015. The [l301432] produced numerous posthumous releases and remasters of the back catalog. The children inherited the ZFT and remain in the industry, [a237886] the force behind [url=http://www.discogs.com/artist/2843814-Dweezil-Zappa-Plays-Zappa] "[i]Zappa Plays Zappa[/i]" [/url] as well as an accomplished guitarist in his own right; [a296279], [a1635870] and the more reserved [a296276].
Inducted into Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 (Performer).