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Frank Zappa


1940

Frank Vincent Zappa (a.k.a. Frank Zappa) is born in Baltimore, Maryland.

1963

Frank Zappa opens Studio Z in Cucamonga, California.

1964

The first edition of Frank Zappa’s long-running group, the Mothers, performs in Pomona, California.

1964

Frank Zappa joins The Mothers, later to be amended to the Mothers of Invention.

1965

‘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.”

1967

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.

1968

‘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.’

1968

Frank Zappa releases ‘Lumpy Gravy’.

1969

Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention release ‘Uncle Meat,’ a sprawling and largely instrumental double-album masterwork.

1969

‘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.

1969

‘Hot Rats,’ a largely instrumental solo album by Frank Zappa, is released. It contains one of his signature compositions, “Peaches En Regalia.”

1970

The Mothers of Invention hit #17 in the UK and #94 in the US with ‘Burnt Weeny Sandwich’.

1970

Frank Zappa hits #9 in the UK with ‘Hot Rats’.

1970

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!”

1970

Frank Zappa’s film, ‘200 Motels’, premieres.

1971

A memorable two-night stand by the Mothers, featuring Frank Zappa, results in the popular live album ‘Fillmore East, June 1971.’

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’.

1973

‘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.”

1974

‘Apostrophe,’ Frank Zappa’s highest-charting album, is released. It reaches #10 and becomes Zappa’s second consecutive gold album.

1975

The six-week “Bongo Fury” tour, on which Frank Zappa and the Mothers are joined by Captain Beefheart on vocals, commences.

1975

Frank Zappa hits #6 in the US with ‘Bongo Fury’.

1976

Frank Zappa releases ‘Sheik Yerbouti,’ a double album that contains the disco parody single “Dancin’ Fool.”

1976

‘Good Singin,’ Good Playin’’—a Grand Funk Railroad album produced by Frank Zappa—is released.

1978

Frank Zappa hosts ‘Saturday Night Live.’

1979

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.”

1981

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.’

1982

“Valley Girl,” co-written by Frank Zappa and daughter Moon Unit, enters the Top Forty, where it will peak at #2.

1985

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.

1985

‘Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention,’ featuring the epic “Porn Wars,” is released.

1988

The album ‘Jazz from Hell’ wins Frank Zappa a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental.

1988

Frank Zappa performs at the Palasport, in Genoa, Italy. It is his final performance on his final tour.

1993

‘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.

1993

Frank Zappa dies of prostate cancer at home in Los Angeles, California.

1995

Frank Zappa is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the tenth annual induction dinner. Lou Reed is his presenter.

1996

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.

Frank Zappa