The fact that, despite all his non-conformist views and far-out songs, when not working, Zappa was just a normal guy who loved life, loved what he did, and loved the people in his life.
During his long career, Zappa often showed a genuine fondness for his fans, too, with two stories from his autobiography particularly standing out.
On our worst night we had three paying customers. We told them we were going to give them an evening of customized, personal entertainment. There was a passageway in back of the Garrick that led downstairs to the Cafe au-Go-Go's kitchen. Everybody in the band went down and got hot cider and bunches of little snacks. We put towels over our arms, like waiters, went back, served our audience their refreshments and talked with them for an hour and a half.
It was the middle of winter in Stockholm, 1971. We had just finished two shows at the Konserthuset. I was walking out of the hall when two kids came up to me and said that they had been to both shows that night, that they had a great idea, and wondered if I'd go along with it. "We have a younger brother named Hannes," they said, "who came to the first show with us, and then went home. He has school tomorrow." The family lived in an area called Tulinge, which is about twenty minutes outside the city. They wanted me to go with them to their house in the middle of the night, sneak into Hannes's room, wake him up and say, "Hannes! Hannes! Wake up! It's me, Frank Zappa." I said, "Okay, I'll do it." I was taken into a typical kid's room filled with the little models he had built. Hannes was asleep in his little bed. It was freezing cold. I woke him up. As expected, he was very surprised.