Happy Birthday, Frank!

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa

The multitalented musical genius that was Frank Zappa would have turned 70 years old today (DOB: December 21st 1940) but unfortunately Frank died on December 4th 1993, succumbing to a lengthy battle against prostate cancer.

Zappa achieved a lot of recognition after his death with many artists declaring his influence on their work. Frank was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

Frank’s work with Mothers of Invention spanned countless albums but a track that I really enjoyed listening to as a teenager was ‘Billy The Mountain’, found on the album ‘Just Another Band From L.A’.

Billy The Mountain

A track that I first heard via G3 (Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Eric Johnson) on their G3 tour in 1996 was Frank’s ‘My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama’. Here is a live version of Frank Zappa playing it in 1969.

My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama

See also…

Self-confessed Frank Zappa fanatic, Adrian Clark of JamTrackCentral and Custom Transcription, has been posting his favourite Frank Zappa tracks via his Facebook and Twitter accounts every day between the anniversary of his death and his 70th birthday (#azappaaday). Check out his recommendations: http://twitter.com/adrianclark and his blog: http://adrianclark.posterous.com/eight-days-of-zappa.

Solo acoustic guitarist, David Mead, interviewed Frank in March 1993, just 9 months before his death. Check out the transcript of his interview on David’s blog: http://talkingguitars.blogspot.com/2010/12/frank-zappa-interview-march-1993.html.

RIP, Frank!

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About Richard Perkins

Richard Perkins is the founder of Bath Guitar School and has worked for the International Guitar Foundation, Brit Awards, Rockschool, B&NES Council, Mid Somerset Festival, Bath Music Plus, and appeared on BBC and ITV television and radio programming as well as being featured in Guitar Techniques, Total Guitar, Venue, Bath Life magazines and the Bath Chronicle newspaper. Richard is a graduate of the Commercial Music degree programme at Bath Spa University and has a HND in Popular Music from Oxford College.
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