The True Meaning Of Zappadan

by Craig Elliott on December 4, 20148 comments

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


Brady Bonk on December 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm. #

Very nicely put! Merry Zappadan to you!

Blue Gal on December 4, 2011 at 6:22 pm. #

A lovely lovely tribute. Thanks for that. Linking it at Crooks and Liars tonight.

Nick Glossop on December 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm. #

Thanks for the link, Blue Gal, and for providing the back story (episode 104) for Zappadan. I’ve been honoring it on the radio for a few years, but did not know the Genesis.

Bruce Jackson on December 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm. #

One of my many regrets was not meeting Frank in person. I didn’t know he lived just 10 miles away from me.

Aaron B. Pryor on December 3, 2012 at 1:02 am. #

Very nice Paltry Sapien. Hey, Bruce, this is for you:

Nick Glossop on December 3, 2012 at 9:31 pm. #

Participants of Mo-vember should keep the stache an extra few days, then, with a suitably solemn air, shave those whiskers manually at the strike of midnight on Bummernacht.

Joe Miller on December 14, 2013 at 1:50 am. #

Have seen this before but it’s absolutely f******* HILLARIOUS