Frank Zappa

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Lou Reed (The Velvet Underground)
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Frank Zappa


He used his prodigious musical talent to challenge the status quo.

Frank Zappa was an outspoken critic of everything from the herd mentality of the middle-class to censorship of rock and roll. In his career, he worked with every genre from rock to jazz to classical music and produced sixty radical, groundbreaking and irreverent albums.

Hall of Fame Essay


Dave Marsh

Frank Zappa deserves admission to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a great guitarist, songwriter, cre­ator of concept albums, comedian, talent scout, doo­ wop expert, social critic and avid misanthrope. The Hall has already honored several of each, but Frank Zappa stands unique as the first inductee who also had a sub­stantial career as a composer and performer of “serious” modem music. 

His greatest importance to rock history was in bringing all these talents to bear at once. Not content to create a rock band with the chops and discipline to play 12-tone rows, he also created modernist works that incorporated "Louie Louie.” 

Early in his career, Zappa co­-wrote the Penguins’ "Memories of el Monte,” a classic West Coast doo-wop record and an evocation of an entire period in pop history.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 1995
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Frank Zappa_quote
Frank was a force for reason and honesty
Lou Reed