Ah, here it is Mother’s Day… another opportunity to explore and discuss Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention… Where does one start? With moldy ancient history about how the group started as The Soul Giants (with drummer Jimmy Carl Black, bass player Roy Estrada, saxophonist Davy Coronado, guitarist Ray Hunt, and vocalist Ray Collins), or when Hunt quit the group and Frank Zappa took his place as guitarist and then quickly wielded power to became the unelected leader of the band, which then changed its name to “The Mothers” on Sunday, May 10, 1964 (that year’s Mother’s Day) – allegedly an abbreviation for “motherfuckers”? (No Commercial Potential indeed, Frank…. Great marketing ploy.)
Or maybe we start by discussing how Zappa appropriated the persona and personality of childhood pal Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) for his own use, and then abandoned him when the Captain needed him most? What to do what to do….
We can still admire their talents without dwelling on their humanity can’t we? So let’s not bicker. Not on this day of days, the day set aside to honor all mothers everywhere, so let us be frank and salute the biggest mothers of them all. Here’s to Frank – and all the other Franks out there, from Zappa to Sinatra to Nitti – Happy Mother’s Day! To the biggest mothers I know….