Although he departed this Earth some 27 years ago, Frank Zappa continues to both fascinate and befuddle. He fascinates because of the sheer brilliance of his guitar playing, his compositional skills, his astute and often biting satire and parody, and his invaluable ability to put together some of the most stellar band lineups of the rock era.
He befuddles, because, let’s face it, some of his lyrical output is little more than puerile scatology, often misogynistic and, frankly, and worst of all, devoid of imagination. His music, however? More often than not, it’s challenging and sublime.
From the rearview mirror, it’s obvious Zappa the artist would have been well-served by a creative partner or professional editor who might’ve been able to dissuade the main Mother of Invention from some of his more crass career lowlights. It’s to the detriment of his legacy that no such influence materialized.
On the other hand, Zappa’s headstrong independence was also one of his greatest artistic