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The Story of the Frank Zappa Concert Fire that Inspired ‘Smoke on the Water’

The famous fire at the Montreux Jazz Festival took place on Dec. 4, 1971

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Bizarre/Verve
Bizarre/Verve
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The Story of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention’s Doo-Wop Tribute ‘Cruising With Ruben and the Jets’

On Dec. 2, 1968, a mysterious group of pompadoured cartoon faces turned back the clock of music history to highlight the golden era of doo-wop with a self-referencing album.

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Category: Anniversaries, News Tags:
Frank Zappa
Warner Bros.
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37 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Releases ‘Studio Tan’

Frank Zappa's ‘Studio Tan’ album was released in September 1978.

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George Duke
Gallo Images / Getty Images
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George Duke of the Mothers of Invention Dies

Keyboard pioneer George Duke, whose long list of credits included a lengthy stint with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, has reportedly passed away at the age of 67.

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Frank Zappa
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25 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Releases ‘You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 1′

One of the most confounding musicians ever to grace the rock genre, Frank Zappa had a penchant for taking what essentially amounted to full-blown avant garde compositions and arranging them for rock ensemble playing. His bizarre, conceptual live performances were an astonishing mix of exceptional musicianship, onstage theatrics and pop culture satire. On May 16, 1988 Zappa showcased some of the standout live tracks from various eras of his development by releasing a career-spanning double live album titled 'You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol 1.'

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Evening Standard/Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Evening Standard/Hulton Archive, Getty Images
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Two Frank Zappa Albums To Be Reissued On Vinyl

The Zappa Family Trust, headed by Frank Zappa's widow Gail, has announced that select titles from the massive Zappa catalog will be finding their way to vinyl this summer. In June, Zappa's Barking Pumpkin label will put out editions of 1973's 'Over-Nite Sensation' and the 1966 classic 'Freak Out!,' joining the recently released 'Finer Moments,' a collection of live material from the early-'70s.

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Frank Zappa
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Frank Zappa’s ‘A Token of His Extreme’ to Finally See Commercial Release

Frank Zappa was a musician either ahead, or completely outside, of his time. His elaborate music and bizarre stage theatrics were so one-of-a-kind that it almost isn't possible to accurately describe Zappa's work in words, and that often set him at odds with the mainstream media.

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Frank Zappa
Evening Standard / Hulton Archive / Getty Images
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Frank Zappa’s ‘200 Motels’ to Make Full-Length Live Orchestral Debut

More than 40 years after its initial release, Frank Zappa's '200 Motels' is scheduled to make its orchestral world premiere thanks to the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

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Mothers of Invention Ray Collins
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Mothers of Invention Co-Founder Ray Collins Dies at 76

Ray Collins, the singer and co-founder of the Mothers of Invention, died on Monday (Dec. 24) in Pomona, Calif. He had been hospitalized since Dec. 18 after suffering a massive heart attack, and was removed from life support on Saturday. He was 76 years old.

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Frank Zappa
Evening Standard, Getty Images
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Frank Zappa’s ‘Roxy by Proxy’ to be Distributed by Fans

The career of Frank Zappa has been nothing if not innovative. Nearly 20 years after his death, his estate is continuing his tradition by coming up with a new way of licensing his music, by allowing his fans to serve as independent distributors.

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SAM’S FAVORITES : FRANK ZAPPA [VIDEO]

Hey everybody!!! It is time for me to share one of my favorites with you. Every day I cruise the internet looking for whatever tune floats my boat at the moment...

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Frank Zappa
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‘From Straight to Bizarre’ DVD Documents History of Frank Zappa’s Early Record Labels

When Frank Zappa parted ways with Verve Records in 1968, he knew what was best for his career moving forward, and that was starting his own label.

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