Born on this date. Here’s a strong writeup from Guitar World from 21 years ago. If Zappa thought the music industry incompetent, crooked and imbecilic back then, he’d be even more appalled now, if that were even possible. I’d recommend the recently released documentary for a decent enough sketch of Zappa’s life.
And in many ways, Zappa’s whole life was a battle against stupidity – the stupidity of mass media conformity, the stupidity of a greedy, inept, ignoble government, the stupidity of thinking it’s cool to be stupid.
There are rabid Zappa fanatics out there who would insist that it is possible for one person to admire Zappa’s knotty, inventive orchestral compositions, his honking, brilliant guitar work and the prickly combination of sociology, satire and schoolboy scatological that went into his song lyrics. But it’s no small undertaking.