The Start of Frank Zappa

Written by on December 13, 2016

Frank Zappa

How the Eccentric Frank Zappa Left his Print in the Music World

A self-taught musician and artist;  Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore, Maryland on December 21, 1940 to his lovely parents Rose Maria Zappa, and Francis Vincent Zappa. His mother was a former librarian and typist and his father was a high school teacher and then later landed a government job. He was the first out of the four other children they had: Bobby, Carl, and Patrice Zappa. Because of Zappa’s father’s employment, he was constantly moving around. The multitude of his childhood relocations consisted of Opa Flocka, Florida, Edgewood, Maryland and a few others but his spark of interest in music didn’t start budding until his family moved to a naval base near Monterey, CA in December of 1951. Here, Zappa joined the school band and took a spot playing the snare drum.

Although he was transferred to many different high schools, his love for music continued to grow and his musical preferences became more mature. He took his biggest influences from R&B and even classical Avant-garde helped his musical creations grow.  After his talent surpassed the use of a little old snare drum, he found himself as the drummer of a band in 1955 at his high school in Lancaster, CA. After graduation he continued education with a little community college taking music classes but post-high school was truly when his fame and musical endeavors started taking off.

His band, The Mothers of Invention, was not just his first real band, but also when his audiences first started understanding his unique and innovative style no one had ever seen before. With the release of his first album, Freak Out!, people more-so appreciated how different Frank Zappa was than the music itself. Although audiences didn’t quite know how to properly categorize Zappa, seeing that he didn’t fit into rock culture because of his anti-drug representation and he definitely wasn’t a pop star, his reputation was established and he was gaining a following.

The 70’s were definitely a pivotal time for Frank Zappa. He was back to touring and Zappa went through many different phases in his career leading up to the breakup of The Mothers of Invention; and then the rebirth. He announced that the band would be breaking up, but Zappa would continue with his use of the famous name. He switched out the members and released a multitude of more albums. While performing with his new band, he suffered two fatal accidents that unfortunately had put his career on a hold. After his recoveries, he ended the decade as a solo artist who went on to release a best-selling album that sky rocketed his career as a riveting, unique, and multifaceted artist.

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