Rolling Stone


Rolling Stone published its first issue (John Lennon appeared on the cover in World War I "doughboy" helmet from the film, How I Won the War) on November 9, 1967. (...) Rolling Stone has gone through a number of format changes over the years (from a 24-page newspaper in its early days to a larger bi-fold newspaper until 1973, when it became a tabloid-size newspaper. In 1981, Stone switched to a magazine format. Though still printed on newsprint stock until 1985, it then adopted the glossy magazine look it retains today.) Rolling Stone will probably continue to be the quintessential music magazine long into the next century. It sets the standard which most other music mags try to imitate. (CBub)

See also Scrapbook --> Rolling Stone ads

1967 November 9

No. 1


 In the very first issue of Rolling Stone Frank Zappa is presented on page 5, which includes a full-page KMPX ad. This ad was repeated in some other early issues of Rolling Stone. KMPX was a San Francisco FM radio station known as the birthplace of underground radio (wikipedia).

This ad is by Gregory Irons. "Gregory Irons was an infamous psychedelic poster designer of the 60's, who after the hippie hangover of the early 70's became a gothic underground comic book artist. In the late 70's to the early 80's he became a controversial tattoo specialist and established himself as one of the greatest unrenowed artists to come out of America." (

Another super ad is on pages 13-14 – Safe As Milk by Captain Beefheart.


1968 April 6

No. 8


We're Only In It For The Money (review)
By Barret Hansen, p 16

Frank Zappa is a supreme genius of American music today. A direct function of this fact, perhaps, is the incredible obstacle course that each of his albums has had to follow between recording and release. One, Lumpy Gravy, hasn't made it at all. And it has been a good four months since this album was first advertised in the press. (read more)



1968 April 27

No. 9


Monkees Give Zappa Bum Steer
By ?, p 6

Tragedy Comes To Frank Zappa: 'They Called Us Entertainment'
By Sue C. Clark, pp 6, 22

The short article Monkees Give Zappa Bum Steer is here:

Frank Zappa of the Mothers of Invention flew into Los Angeles for a "walk-on" in the first Monkees feature. He is the only pop star – except for the Monkees, of course – scheduled to appear in the film.

Zappa plays the role of a cowman in the production, sharing the camera in one scene with Davey Jones and a huge white faced steer named Torro.

"What happens is this," Zappa said between takes. "Davey finishes singing a really cruddy song, like 'Winchester Cathedral' and I come up to him, pulling this bull behind me, and I tell him the song is a piece of – – – – ."

In actuality, Zappa's lines were somewhat subtler, delivered ad lib as is much of the rest of the film. "But," Zappa said, "no question about it, they have me saying the song is rotten – which it is." He paused and grinned. "They're trying to make a heavy out of me."

The film is as yet untitled and is tentatively set for a late summer release by Columbia. It is being produced by Raybert Productions, producers of the recently cancelled Monkees TV series.



1968 June 22

No. 12


Los Angeles Scene
By Jerry Hopkins, pp 11-15

Lumpy Gravy (review)
By Jim Miller, p 20

Long and interesting special report "Los Angeles Scene" contains several mentions of Frank Zappa.

Lumpy Gravy review:

Nevertheless Lumpy Gravy is an important album, if only because Frank Zappa is one of rock's foremost minds. This album, recorded well over a year ago, demonstrates the problems that serious rock as a whole faces, as well as the compositional limitations (as of a year and a half ago) of one of serious rock's leading voices. Lumpy Gravy can hardly be called successful, yet it points the way towards more integrated, formal protean compositions such as Zappa's masterpiece We're Only In It For The Money. It might be said that Zappa makes mistakes other rock composers would be proud to call their own best music; Lumpy Gravy is an idiosyncratic musical faux pas that is worth listening to for that reason alone. (read more)

p 1


1968 July 20

No. 14


Frank Zappa
Interview by Jerry Hopkins, pp 11-14

Whatever it is you do, do you feel you are getting across? Are the people accepting it, understanding it?

We were pretty excited about the reception we got in Salt Lake City last week. For the first time the middle-class audience seemed to have got the idea of what we were doing. They heard it for what it was and they seemed to make a decision of whether or not they liked it – not just "Oh boy, they're freaky!" They seemed to be able to differentiate between the different musical qualities. I think it is a matter of exposure more than anything else. When we started we were the only ones doing it. People could say it was weird. Then gradually some of the other groups started picking up some of the things that we do. The innovations were absorbed by the more popular groups. So when the kids would hear the records on the radio by the good clean wholesome groups, it stretched their cars out a bit. (read more)


1969 February 15

No. 27


The Groupies and Other Girls
Text by John Burks, Jerry Hopkins, Paul Nelson
Photography: Baron Wolman, pp 11-24, 26
including stories of
     Trixie Merkin
     The GTO's
     The Plaster Casters

The fact is that there are differences between groupies according to what part of the country you're in. When you talk about weird scenes, you are talking about Los Angeles and the Mothers and Frank Zappa. The Mothers are the first name that comes to mind when you ask an LA. groupie which band is the most sexually oriented or bizarre. Indeed, Zappa`s reputation, as one musician puts it, is that he supports "all the freaks of Los Angeles."(read more)

Expanded and revised version of this issue was published in 1970 as a separate book Groupies And Other Girls.


1969 October 18

No. 44


Mother's Day Has Finally Come
By Jerry Hopkins, p 8

The first indication that the revolutionary nine-member band was aproaching the end of its musical career came with an announcement that the Mothers had cancelled all bookings from now until the end of the year so Zappa could concentrate on other projects long in progress. A talk with Zappa revealed the break was more complete than that. (read more)

p 8 



1970 March 7

No. 53


Hot Rats (review)
By Lester Bangs, pp 46m 48

This recording brings together a set of mostly little-known talents that whale the tar out of every other informal "jam" album released in rock and roll for the past two years. If Hot Rats is any indication of where Zappa is headed on his own, we are in for some fiendish rides indeed. (read more)

p 1 p 46 p 48


1970 May 14

No. 58


The Odyssey of Captain Beefheart
By Langdon Winner, pp 36-40

 "Uh oh, the phone," Captain Beefheart mumbled as he placed his tarnished soprano saxophone in its case. "I have to answer the telephone." It was a very peculiar thing to say. The phone had not rung.

Beefheart walked quickly from his place by the upright piano across the dimly lit living room to the cushion where the telephone lay. He waited. After ten seconds of stony silence it finally rang. None of the half dozen or so persons in the room seemed at all astounded by what had just happened. In the world of Captain Beefheart, the extraordinary is the rule. (read more)


1970 July 9

No. 62


What Zappa Did To Zubin Mehta
By David Felton, p 18

While the musical wedding of Frank Zappa and Zubin Mehta and their respective backup men at Pauley Pavilion was not a complete success, it did prove once and for all why other recent couplings of rock and symphonic elements have been such wretched failures. (read more)



1970 December 24

No. 73


Chunga's Revenge (review)
By Lester Bangs, p 52

Frank Zappa is a genius. Right. Frank Zappa probably knows more about music than you and I and 3/4 of the other professional musicians in this country put together. Right. Frank Zappa has made an incredible contribution towards broadening the scope of the average American kid's listening habits. Absolutely. Frank Zappa has certain possibly dangerous Machiavellian, manipulative tendencies. Yeah, probably so, but so what? Frank Zappa is a snob who underestimates his audience. Hmmm. Think so, huh? (read more)

Some other Zappa album reviews in Rolling Stone:
- Lumpy Gravy by Jim Miller
- Hot Rats by Lester Bangs
- Waka/Jawaka by Rob Houghton


1971 September 16

No. 91


Kaylan: Mother Was A Turtle
By Harold Bronson, pp 12, 14

The Turtles broke up early last year, and after about a week of lying around . . . Mark [Volman, fellow ex-Turtle and Mothers vocalist] and I went to Herb Cohen at Bizarre – he’s a distantly removed cousin – for some advice. We knew Frank from the freak-out days and almost signed with Bizarre in 1968 except for the position White Whale put us in. Anyway. Herb gave as a couple of tickets to the Mothers and Zubin Mehta at Pauley Pavillion. It was really great. After the concert Frank invited us up to the house and asked us if we’d like to be in the new Mothers. We said, ‘Great!’ (read more)

p 12 p 14



1974 July 4

No. 164


Zappa: Continuity Is the Mother's Mother
By Barry Hansen, p 16

Ever since Frank Zappa arrived on the international rock scene in l965, he's been good copy. He was one of the first pop musicians to abandon the usual ways of image making in favor of a purposely outrageous bizarreness (the kind of thing that, nearly a decade later, is becoming de rigueur). He was incontestably the first of the pop freaks whose music had the impact to give his outrage real authority. (read more)


1975 July 3

No. 190


Zappa and the Captain Cook
By Steve Weitzman, p 13

Page 5:

Here’s how Frank Zappa get roped into the strange promotion of the year: Alan Rosenberg of Warners' New York office decided to find out whether A Day On the Road With Frank and The Mothers would strike people as a desirable prize and got radio station WOUR (Utica, N.Y.) into the act. Listeners were asked to send in cards or letters explaining why they and no one else deserved to accompany Frank on the Syracuse leg (April 22) of his spring tour.

Well, WOUR got letters like you wouldn't believe unless you were looking at them, which is what I'm doing. For example: "I would like to spend a day on the road with Frank Zappa because since his favorite quote is 'The present-day composer refuses to die,' I would like to find out how he plans to accomplish this at a personal level." Or: "Hey, honest I used to be just another rubber-face in the crowd, but little by little the Mothers made me realize how dull life could be ..." The winner, finally, was one Bob Chich, who cited Zappa as "by far the biggest influence in my life." Bob had the pleasure of attending The Sound Check, The Dinner at the Holiday Inn and The Concert Itself and of asking Frank point-blank whether he (Bob) was right in interpreting "Montana" ("I might be movin' to Montana soon/Just to raise me up a crop of/Dental floss") as a song about the hardship of Frank’s separation from family while touring and recording. "Actually," everybody's Mother replied, "it's about dental floss," putting the issue to rest, at least until the next contest.

Zappa and the Captain Cook:

PASSAIC, NEW JERSEY – Captain Beefheart, rock's sometime genius, had just finished a show with Frank Zappa, with whom he's touring after the end of their longtime feud. Slumped backstage at the Capitol Theatre, he scratched his shaggy head and slowly related the latest bizarre turn in his odd life. (read more)


1979 December 13

No. 306


Frank Zappa: The Myth Of 'Joe's Garage'
By John Swenson, pp 21-22

I'm standing on the loading platform at L.A. International Airport at 2:30 in the morning, listening to a prerecorded voice that keeps repeating "...the white zone is for loading and unloading only..." – a refrain heard throughout Frank Zappa's latest effort, Joe's Garage. (read more)

Beside the interview issue contains Joe's Garage ad on page 39. In albums chart Joe's Garage Act I was on place 60 this week, 46 last week.


1980 March 3

No. 313


Mensch with a dirty mind
By Don Shewey, p 55

Frank Zappa’s satirical rock opera, Joe’s Garage, is ambitious and mad, brilliant, peculiar and incoherent – epithets that have also been applied to German expressionist Georg Buchner’s unfinished play, Woyzeck. This may seem like a ludicrously lofty cross-cultural reference to attach to an album most notorious for a song about Catholic girls’ aptitude for fellatio, but there you have it. As a music maker and recording artist, Zappa has always cultivated two warring images – the serious composer with a social satirist’s sense of irony versus the smutty crowd pleaser with a puerile sense of humor. No matter how much fans of Hot Rats complain that their hero’s “seriousness” is compromised by the “frivolousness” of “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow” (or vice versa), Zappa remains true to himself: the mensch with a dirty mind. (read more)


1982 March 4

No. 364


Zappas are a two-amp family: Dweezil Zappa, with sister Moon Unit, has formed Fred Zeppelin. The group's single? 'My Mother Is a Space Cadet' (page 33).


1986 November 6

No. 486


Frank Talk
By David Fricke, p 26

For many Zappa fans, however, the big news is the recent release of ten titles from the Zappa catalog, including vintage Mothers of Invention albums, on eight compact discs. The albums range from the 1967 classics We're Only In It For The Money and Lumpy Gravy to such recordings as the 1972 big-band record The Grand Wazoo, Zappa's 1984 Off-Off-Off-Broadway-style opera, Thing-Fish, and the 1986 Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention. The CDs were issued by Rykodisc, a Massachusetts-based firm whose agreement with Zappa calls for the release on CD of two dozen Zappa albums over the next three years. (read more)


1988 March 24

No. 522


Frank Zappa
By David Fricke, pp 28-29

Rock's last angry man hasn't changed his tune, but it's a more timely message than ever.

Review on February 4h, 1988 concert in the Beacon Theatre, NYC.


1994 January 27

No. 674


Frank Zappa 1940-1993
By David Fricke, pp 11-13, 15-16

The Essential Zappa
Discography by John Stewenson, p 15


2005 April 21

No. 972


The Immortals
#71 Frank Zappa
By Trey Anastasio, p 78


2011 January 20

No. 1122


Captain Beefheart 1941-2010
By David Fricke, p 28


2016 August 11

No. 1267


Zappa Vs. Zappa
By David Browne, pp 24-25

The children of the pioneering art rocker are locked in a feud over his estate and legacy – and the story goes back decades.