Friday, September 24, 2010

Frank Zappa Dedication in Baltimore

The late but never conforming Frank Zappa was honored in his birthplace by a statue placed in front of a local library.

From the official Frank Zappa Website:

"The sculpture is a gift to the city of Baltimore orchestrated by three guys from Lithuania: Saulius Paukstys, Saulius Pilinkus and Arturas Baublys. It is a replica of the bust of Frank Zappa installed in Vilnius (pictured here), created by artist Konstantinas Bogdanas. The gift and location were approved by the Baltimore City Public Art Commission and sanctioned by the family.

"Legendary musician and composer Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore in 1940 and passed away in 1993, at home in Los Angeles. He is internationally recognized as one of the most innovative composers and musicians of the 20th century with a career spanning more than 30 years."

Frank Zappa composed many types of songs and controversial pieces of an alternative and uncompromising nature in the 1960's thru the 90's , and was a major influence on any number of mainstream musicians. His reputation in Europe was higher than in his native country. He also fought against music labeling warnings on albums, fearing it would lead to censorship.
In his later years, he also composed music directly for symphonies and choral groups.

More about the statue and all things Zappa here:


  1. Frank Zappa performing "Joe's Garage" in Paris in 1980.

  2. He was all about his music, Will, and that and his rebellious streak was very American and, yes, lovable.

  3. I took Frank Zappa into my heart in 1966 and still claim the global title of the only radio DJ to have played all of the Absolutely Free album on air anywhere ever....anyway FZ is a truly incredible historic sort of bloke to be promoting I think.....he is I believe culturally significant and a wonderful guitar player too.

    I went to Vilnius to see the Zappa memorial and pay tribute to one of the greatest composers of the 20th century a few years ago and am pleased that he is now being honoured in his birthplace of Baltimore.

    This is a picture from that pilgrimage.

    Good to see FZ getting the recognition he deserves at last, cheers Doug

  4. Picture me "gobsmacked" by this photo of you and the original bust, AA!

    I knew you had a affinity for Frank Zappa, and had even played his music under circimstances he would have found bold, but I didn't know you had seen the original in Vilnius!

    The great thing is that Baltimore has honored one of its own, a groundbreaker on par with another great poet and critic who was uncompromising hiimself in his opinions, Edgar Allen Poe. I'd like to think they are about in spirit somewhere, comparing their works.

    Great photo,AA! Thanks for adding to this small tribute.

  5. Mr. Zappa is an artist I only of by name. The little clip you put up Doug makes me want to find out more and also makes me a little sad to admit that I know so little of him.

  6. Don't be sad, Jim: there are a lot of Americans who know Zappa from name recognition and little else, even though they would appreciate him more if more stations had played his music when he was around.
    If it wasn't for a couple friends and offbeat FM radio shows he was interviewed on , I'd know even less than I still want to find out.

  7. We just watched, an hour ago, a documentary on BBC about Jimi Hendrix. Another artist know so little of and now realise how much it's my los.

  8. There's another artist, Jim, whose great creativity and hard work, really hard work, is over shadowed by the circumstances of his untimely death.

  9. I'm from Baltimore and a Zappa fan, although I haven't been home in years. It's good to know that they're honoring him there now.
    I'm also a Hendrix fan! And Janis Joplin, whose hometown I hope to visit before I eave Texas.
    All of these people made a lot of the music that we have today possible. they were bold and not afraid of trying something new.
    I've always been proud of being from Baltimore, and this just makes it better. Thanks, Doug. I hadn't known about this.

  10. You're most welcome Jacquie--glad I could bring you the good news!

    Baltimore also gave us John Waters, the writer-director whose movie "Hairspray" is another fine slice of musical Americana.