Frank Vincent Zappa (a.k.a. Frank Zappa) is born in Baltimore, Maryland.
Frank Zappa opens Studio Z in Cucamonga, California.
The first edition of Frank Zappa’s long-running group, the Mothers, performs in Pomona, California.
Frank Zappa joins The Mothers, later to be amended to the Mothers of Invention.
‘Freak Out,’ the debut album by the Frank Zappa-led Mothers of Invention, is released. This double album contains “Help I’m a Rock” and “Trouble Every Day.”
At the height of the “Summer of Love,” the Mothers of Invention release ‘Absolutely Free,’ a dark-themed album from the anti-establishment mind of bandleader Frank Zappa.
‘We’re Only in It for the Money,’ by the Mothers of Invention, is released. Composed by bandleader Frank Zappa, it satirizes hippie culture and the Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper.’
Frank Zappa releases ‘Lumpy Gravy’.
Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention release ‘Uncle Meat,’ a sprawling and largely instrumental double-album masterwork.
‘Trout Mask Replica,’ by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band, is released. This avant-garde classic is produced by Frank Zappa and released on his Straight record label.
‘Hot Rats,’ a largely instrumental solo album by Frank Zappa, is released. It contains one of his signature compositions, “Peaches En Regalia.”
The Mothers of Invention hit #17 in the UK and #94 in the US with ‘Burnt Weeny Sandwich’.
Frank Zappa hits #9 in the UK with ‘Hot Rats’.
The Mothers of Invention perform with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta. Frank Zappa cues the esteemed conductor with the command, “Hit it, Zubin!”
Frank Zappa’s film, ‘200 Motels’, premieres.
A memorable two-night stand by the Mothers, featuring Frank Zappa, results in the popular live album ‘Fillmore East, June 1971.’
John Lennon & Yoko Ono jam with Frank Zappa at the Fillmore East in New York City, recorded for subsequent release on the Plastic Ono Band album ‘Sometime in New York City’.
‘Over-nite Sensation,’ by the Mothers (a.k.a. Frank Zappa and band), is released. One of Zappa’s most popular released, it contains the favorites “Dirty Love” and “Dinah-Moe Humm.”
‘Apostrophe,’ Frank Zappa’s highest-charting album, is released. It reaches #10 and becomes Zappa’s second consecutive gold album.
The six-week “Bongo Fury” tour, on which Frank Zappa and the Mothers are joined by Captain Beefheart on vocals, commences.
Frank Zappa hits #6 in the US with ‘Bongo Fury’.
Frank Zappa releases ‘Sheik Yerbouti,’ a double album that contains the disco parody single “Dancin’ Fool.”
‘Good Singin,’ Good Playin’’—a Grand Funk Railroad album produced by Frank Zappa—is released.
Frank Zappa hosts ‘Saturday Night Live.’
Frank Zappa releases ‘Joe’s Garage Act I,’ followed two months later by ‘Joe’s Garage, Acts II & III.’ Zappa describes his magnum opus as “a stupid story about how the government is going to try to do away with music.”
Frank Zappa releases four albums in one day: ‘Tinseltown Rebellion’ (a double album), ‘Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar,’ ‘Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar Some More,’ and ‘Return of the Son of Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar.’
“Valley Girl,” co-written by Frank Zappa and daughter Moon Unit, enters the Top Forty, where it will peak at #2.
Frank Zappa delivers a brilliantly cutting monologue on censorship before the State Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, rebutting efforts by the Parents Music Resource Council (PMRC) to have warning labels placed on albums.
‘Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention,’ featuring the epic “Porn Wars,” is released.
The album ‘Jazz from Hell’ wins Frank Zappa a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental.
Frank Zappa performs at the Palasport, in Genoa, Italy. It is his final performance on his final tour.
‘The Yellow Shark,’ an album of Frank Zappa conducting the Ensemble Modern, who perform 19 of his compositions, is released. It is the last album by Zappa released in his lifetime.
Frank Zappa dies of prostate cancer at home in Los Angeles, California.
Frank Zappa is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the tenth annual induction dinner. Lou Reed is his presenter.
Frank Zappa’s legendary ‘Läther’ - originally intended for release as an four-LP set in 1977 but rejected by his record label – is posthumously issued as the artist intended as a three-CD set on the Ryko label.