As an awkward, different-drummer type of kid, I gravitated (naturally) to the drama club and from there to summer stock theater productions. (I really wanted to be cast as Hotlips in our stage production of M*A*S*H, but instead rocked it as Nurse #3.) During the summer of M*A*S*H I hung out with an older crowd (19 years old to my 16 – a huge difference at that age) and had a musical awakening. Pink Floyd, Zappa and the Mothers, Hot Tuna, Weather Report. Plenty of differences between these artists, but they were all new to me and fantastically different from the commercial radio hits that were so ubiquitous at the time (Muskrat Love and Staying Alive come to mind).
I will be forever grateful to Donald Evans and the guys in the basement for turning me on to Frank Zappa. And I’ll be forever indebted to Frank for making me think while laughing while rocking.
Frank Zappa, who died in 1993, would have been 75 today. Happy birthday!