It’s December 4! Blessed be your Zappadan!
For the uninitiated, Frank Zappa’s birthday is December 21, but he shuffled off this mortal coil on December 4, leaving a seventeen day period of transition between the two for his disciples to bridge in any way that they could. Zealots to the last, they opted to use this period to celebrate Frank Zappa’s life, work and persnickety genius. This is sort of funny given that, being Zappa fans, it’s exactly what they do for the other 348 days of the year and it would hardly matter whether he was alive or dead, but hey – what else do you do when you’ve got a discrete and conveniently manageable block of time, a topic, and a great name?
But Zappadan doesn’t have to be for fanatics only. In his lifetime, Frank Zappa was best known for his guitar playing and provocative songwriting, which is maybe something you care about but it’s okay if you don’t because the freaks’ll easily have that end covered. Besides – FZ was a musician and an artist, and a mighty prolific and accomplished one at that, but even as far as that went, his art was still just a means through which he could be the best Frank Zappa he could be. He gave his kids weird names, worked constantly at whatever he wanted to work on, didn’t drink or take drugs, acted smart, poked all the fun he wanted at stuff he thought was stupid, stood up for freedom of expression and along the way, grew one heckuva ‘stache.
In short, while he was alive, Frank Zappa endeavoured to live his life exactly the way he wanted to, and while it may not have been his intention to do so, he set an example for the rest of us in the process. This year and every year, this is the true meaning of Zappadan.
Originally published Dec 3, 2012