Being a famous rock star in the 1970s was no easy task, especially since everyone was envying singers and bands for having an insane lavish lifestyle full of outrageous parties. But this was not actually the case of Frank Zappa, one of the most prolific composers, and a guitarist, producer, and movie director.
In a career that lasted more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, electronic music, orchestra music, as well as music influenced by other genres.
So, if you’re not familiar with the importance of Zappa in the history of music, here are some of the coolest facts about his life and career to trigger your interest.
Man of the arts
As I previously stated, Zappa was not only a composer and a talented guitarist, but also a true man of the arts. His interests were extremely diverse but they all had to do with arts and free expression. Apart from creating music of various genres, he directed long movies, music videos, and designed plenty of album covers.
Zappa produced almost all his 60 released music albums from 1966 until 1993, the year he died. Nevertheless, after he passed away, he left an enormous amount of unpublished records and songs, so that other 15 music albums were released post-mortem. His latest is entitled “Greasy Love Songs” and was released in April 2010.
Since the death of Zappa, his family released 38 posthumous albums, reaching a total of 100 albums.
His name will live forever
Due to his great global success, Zappa will remain in the history not only as a phenomenal musician, but also because different fish, jellyfish, and even a fossilized snail were named after him. How many people can say that about their impact on this planet?
Like many other artists worldwide, Zappa also made his musical debut at a young age. More specifically, he starred in a school band in San Diego as a drummer, when he was just 11 years old. Only four years later he learned to play the guitar on his own and since then has perfected his technique.
Known for his “colorful language”
Just like a true rocker, the language often used in his lyrics was colorful and sexually-oriented.
He was so popular for the type of lyrics he used in his songs that even his Grammy-winning album, “Jazz from Hell”, required “Parental Advisory” even though it doesn’t contain any lyrics at all, as it is a mere collection of instrumental songs.
Because he was often criticized by the media for his lyrics, he even went to former U.S. President, Ronald Reagan, to protest against America’s strict laws regarding the song lyrics. He felt like he wasn’t allowed to express himself as he wanted and, because the President didn’t support his protest, his lyrics became even more vulgar in his last years.