Zappa the iconoclast dead at 52

By -

The Times, December 7, 1993

New York: Frank Zappa, the inventive and eccentric rock musician who made an industry our of offending most of the people all of the time, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 52. He never apologised to anybody (Ben Macintyre writes).

Zappa. who finally succumbed to the prostate cancer he had fought against for several years, died on Saturday evening with his family at his bedside: his wife Gail, and his four children, Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva, whose names alone are a fining testament to his whacky sense of humour.

Starting in the early 1960s with his band “Mothers of Invention”, (producing what he called “sonic mutilations”), Zappa baffled and outraged the mainstream American music industry with his scathing lyrics and cacophonous compositions. He lampooned, in turn, such untouchables as The Beatles, homosexuals, and Jesse Jackson, along with almost all politicians.

After the Czech revolution, President Havel sought to make Zappa his special ambassador for culture, but the plan was vetoed by the State Department. President Havel yesterday hailed him as “a friend or our newly-born democracy.”

Body & Mind, page 17
Obituary, page 21
Zappa remembered, page 33