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Frank Zappa on the Fringes of Rock and Roll

Rock musician Frank Zappa, who died in 1993. For more than 20 years -- including 11 years leading the Mothers of Invention -- Zappa made music that was in turn funny, gross, esoteric, satirical, and danceable. He's now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Rebroadcast)


The Frank Zappa Paradox

Rock critic Ken Tucker says that the talented musician often subverts his often good music to make dumb, dirty jokes. Whether you think Zappa is a genius or a jerk will determine whether you'll invest in Rykodisc's new collections of his live performances.


"The Real Frank Zappa" on His Career so Far

Before starting his anarchic, avant-garde band the Mothers of Invention, Frank Zappa wrote chamber music and played in lounge bands. His new memoir explains how he went from a freelance guitarist to an unwitting rock star.


Tribute to Frank Zappa.

We pay tribute to Frank Zappa who died over the weekend with an excerpt of Terry's 1989 interview with him. (Rebroadcast of 1/17/1989)


Rock Musician and Composer Frank Zappa

Zappa's avant-garde band, the Mothers of Invention, failed to get much airplay, in part because of their explicit lyrics. Zappa now divides his time between studio composition and live performance. He is politically active, and has fought against censorship and encouraged his fans to register to vote.


Conductor Kent Nagano Expands the Repertoire

Kent Nagano conducts the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra. He's known for performing lesser known, experimental works, including pieces by Olivier Messiaen and Frank Zappa. Contrary to many other musicians, he doesn't place much value in recordings, and believes the only way to fully appreciate a work is to witness it performed live.


Two New CBS Sitcoms.

Television critic David Bianculli reviews two new CBS sitcoms: "Normal Life," starring Frank Zappa's kids, Dweezil and Moon Unit Zappa, and "Sydney," starring Valerie Bertinelli of "One Day at a Time" fame. Bianculli says one is pretty good, and the other needs some polishing.

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