Today is the birthday of one of music’s more original voices, the one and only late great Frank Zappa, a musical maverick who spanned 3 decades, who created a sonic jambalaya of genres, which he drew and quartered, sifted through a meat grinder, reconstructed, deconstructed it, and threw it up in the air and let the musical notes fall where they may; a producer, record company mogul, and progenitor who gave genesis to ions upon ions of musicians who followed in his footsteps directly or indirectly; and on top of all this, the cherry on his layer cake was enhanced by the fact that he was one downright kick ass guitar player, arguably one of the finest of all time and of all genres, the incomparable crazy, mad genius about town, about globe, and about universe.
The catalog and work of Frank Zappa is impossible to break down here in a short tribute such as this; there really isn’t, save for an immensely scant couple of singles and radio songs, much accessible or friendly to the casual listener or layman. For the most part, to them, Frank Zappa remains a total and unequivocal enigma, misunderstood with the music he parlayed, leaving listeners completely perplexed and turned off, quickly dismissing his work as noisy, jumbled arrangements which have no rhyme or reason to them, sung in a droning, bored vocal style via Zappa himself. In short, it was primarily a black eye on more “high brow” classical music, which they firmly believe that Zappa was simply parodying with dripping contempt and sarcasm. These examples couldn’t be further from the truth.