In a recording career that spanned from the early 1960s through his death from prostate cancer in 1993, he cranked out dense and complex rock music and lascivious novelty ditties (like “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow” and “Valley Girl”). He composed reams of serious classical music. All the while, he was a witty and outspoken political activist and social critic who famously testified alongside John Denver and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider at a 1985 Congressional hearing about rock lyrics.
While Frank’s voice was silenced early, his son Dweezil has spent the past six years keeping the music alive. Dweezil fronts a group called Zappa Plays Zappa that performs at the Intersection on July 17.