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Referenced By / Frank Zappa

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Nero meets Dr. Zappadopolis., who likes to be called "Dr. Zappa".

A list of various references, shout-outs, homages, winks, parodies and other stuff to Frank Zappa.


  • Zappa wrote music for some commercials:
    • "Remington Electric Razor"
    • "Luden's Cough Drop Commercial" note .
  • He was also photographed sitting on a toilet, which was made into a popular poster. Zappa resented that he had no control, or royalty payments, from the poster although he authorised one version, the one that says "Phi Zappa Crappa".


  • Nero:
    • In strips 61-62 of the album "De Zwarte Toren" (1983) ("The Black Tower")'' one of the characters, Jan Spier, is threatened by some muggers. One of them is a caricature of Frank Zappa.
    • In the album "Het Beest Zonder Naam" (1985) ("The Beast With No Name") Zappa is once again portrayed as a villain, but this time in a starring role. He calls himself Doctor Zappadopolis, but you may call me doctor Zappa. Coincidentally Zappa is hit on the head in the story and sees stars, which reminds him of Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" project. The real Zappa criticized the Star Wars project and even wrote a song about it: Star Wars Won't Work.
    • In the album "Doe De Petoe" (1994)" Zappa's face can be seen in strip 26 on the wall of a music company, next to the faces of Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson and the Flemish crooner Eddy Wally.
  • Belgian cartoonist Kamagurka met Zappa backstage at a 1976 concert and showed him a comic strip with empty text balloons. He asked Zappa if he could fill them in. Zappa wrote his own text and the comic was published in the Belgian magazine "Humo" under the name "Zappa in Zoeloeland". It features a man watching TV in his sofa and changing into Zappa. In his new appearance he says: "Now to rise from this consensed form of a "vliegende vette" sofa." note . He walks to his door, opens it and shouts: "The diatonic system lives! The diatonic system still thrives, even in bilingual communities." note . While the people in the neighbourhood react unimpressed Zappa and a girlfriend sit upside down in their sofas while Zappa laughs: "Blew their fucking socks off with that one, heh!" Then his face changes again while he mutters: "Arf". note . In the last panel the man is back his usual self and he mutters: "Orff?", while the caption mentions "Carl Orff is a very diatonic composer."
  • Italian cartoonist Tanino Liberatore from the comic strip Ran Xerox has made several drawings of Zappa throughout his career. He also illustrated the album cover of Zappa's The Man from Utopia (1982).
  • Bakelandt: In the album Het Verraad van de Repensnijder (1979) Zappa received a cameo.
  • German cartoonist Wittek drew a comic strip based on Joe's Garage in 1994. Each track was illustrated in collage art, similar to the art work in the album itself.
  • Gary Panter had Frank Zappa appear in his comic strip Jimbo a lot. He also illustrated the album covers of Zappa's album "Studio Tan", "Sleep Dirt" and "Orchestral Favorites".
  • Gotlib: A few of his 70's cartoons referenced Zappa and Jimmy Carl Black as "The Indian of the Group". His Hamster Jovial cartoons about a naive scouts leader, featured a gag where Hamster Jovial listens to 200 Motels and decides to measure his penis after listening to Penis Dimension. Later, when Tina Turner is performing on TV, he gets sexually aroused and wants to measure his penis again, only to discover that the size hasn't increased much. He concludes: "Pop music is full of contradictions!". In another cartoon, Hamster Jovial tries to imitates Captain Beefheart's growly voice by singing "I'm Going To Booglarize You, Baby" from his album The Spotlight Kid" (1972), but throws up in the process. His girlfriend doesn't mind, since its "the gift itself that counts."
  • Elvis Shrugged: Zappa is one of many rock and pop stars who have a cameo.

Film - Animated

  • Down And Dirty Duck is a 1975 X-rated animated feature film starring former Zappa members Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan as main voices. Aynsley Dunbar and Janet Ferguson also provide additional voices. The film references 200 Motels when the duck (Howard Kaylan) protests: "You can't do this to me! I was at Woodstock in '69. I saw "200 Motels"! I know who I am!" Another scene Willard (Mark Volman) asks the duck how he became a duck? He answers that he "used to be a turtle, but that wasn't too happening", so he got "some advice from his mother note  and just sort of flowed note  from there." During their conversation a huge caricature of Frank Zappa rises like the sun over the horizon. Hereupon Willard says: "Oh, Eddie, you have GOT to be kidding!" note Just Another Band from L.A.'' .

Film - Live-Action

  • Zappa wrote music for two B-movies, The World's Greatest Sinner (1961) and "Run Home Slow" (1963).
  • Head: Zappa has a small cameo as man leading a cow in this comedy starring The Monkees.
  • Medium Cool: The film make use of the songs "Oh No", "Are You Hung Up?", "The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet", "Who Needs The Peace Corps?" and "Mom & Dad" from Freak Out, We're Only in It for the Money and Weasels Ripped My Flesh. The song "Merry Go Round" from the Zappa produced album "An Evening With Wild Man Fischer" by Wild Man Fischer is heard as well.
  • Zappa wrote music for the 1990 documentary "Alaska: Outrage at Valdez" about the oil tanker spill of the "Exxon Valdez". One of the compositions, "Outrage at Valdez" would later be performed by the Ensemble Modern and can be found on the album The Yellow Shark (1993).
  • The Coen Brothers first amateur movie "The Banana Movie" featured a man eating a banana set to music from Hot Rats.
  • Things We Lost In The Fire: The soundtrack features "The Little House I Used To Live In" from Burnt Weeny Sandwich and "Zoot Allures" and "Black Napkins" from Zoot Allures.
  • "Le Péril jeune" by Cédric Klapisch uses "Dirty Love" from Apostrophe (') on the soundtrack and in one of the scenes the infamous Zappa toilet poster can be seen hanging on a wall.
  • Happy Together by Wong Kar-Wai uses Chunga's Revenge and "I Have Been In You" from Sheik Yerbouti on its soundtrack.
  • The Ice Storm features "Dirty Love" from Over-Nite Sensation on the soundtrack.
  • Y tu mamá también has "Water Melon In Easter Hay" from Joe's Garage play over the credits, even with special permission from Zappa's widow, because she saw the movie when editing was almost completed and felt her husband would have been proud of the film. Director Alfonso Cuarón said: "We owe so much to Zappa," The script was written with endless repetitions of one of Frank Zappa's most famous songs, "Watermelon in Easter Hay". "The tone of that song is the mood we were aiming for." There's a sense of fearless artistic adventure in Zappa's music, as well as rude fun. The film runs on the same fuel. Call it "Y Tu Mamas of Invention", then."
  • Film director Richard Linklater is a Zappa fan too:
    • In Slacker the protagonist says to his taxi driver: "I've just had the weirdest dream. Back on the bus there. Do you ever remember those dreams that are just completely real? There so vivid. It's just like completely real. It's like there's always something bizarre going on in those. I have one every two or three years or something.I always remember them really good. There's always someone getting run over. Something really weird. One time I had lunch with Tolstoj, another time I was a roadie for Frank Zappa."''
    • In School of Rock (2003) is a scene where Jack Black explains the different types of rock music and gives examples of famous groups and artists who represent the genre. He puts Zappa in the category "?" branching off of Progressive Rock along with Can and Captain Beefheart.
  • In The Holdovers, one of the students has a Zappa poster in his dorm.


  • Modesty Blaise: The novel "The Silver Mistress" mentions: "There's a new Frank Zappa album on the stereo."
  • Rosemarie Heinikel's book "Rosy Rosy" mentions a 1976 Zappa concert she attended: "Thought these guys looked different from Pink Floyd, which were dressed all colourful. This time much contrasts in black and white. At the Pink Floyd concert I sneaked in without a ticket, simply walked by the warden in extra hot clothes, very self-assured, snooty, smiling. When the Mothers entered the stage, I dropped my coat. «Finally guys to dig, they make me hot», I cried out loud. The boys in front of us accepted that silently. Didn't understand a word again what they sang on stage. Through some words and vibrations I got it that they were making fun of the Germans, they totally fucked them."
  • Michael Moore's book "Stupid White Men" (2002) advises North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il to watch better movies:
    Watch better movies. Kim Jong Il has got to broaden himself past the porn and John Wayne. He once remarked that he was so moved by the performance of Leonardo DiCaprio that he "probably could not bear to watch Titanic a second time." We understand, Here is the list of tapes I plan to send to him instead for his viewing pleasure: Easy Rider —The first thing Dear Leader needs to do is loosen up. This movie ought to help. 200 Motels — If Dennis Hopper can’t do the trick, Frank Zappa will."
  • Belgian poet Jotie 't Hooft wrote an article about the history underground rock music and devoted two pages to Zappa whom he called "someone who arrogantly wipes his ass with all this, the Master of the Cynical Text, the Uncrowned Emperor of the Protest Song and the Experiment, the God of Parody: FRANK ZAPPA." 'T Hooft then describes Zappa's records in chronological order and describes them with awe and respect. "He's a very admirable and productive composer, who thru his cynical attitude always went his own way, against any fashion trends, and from whom there is still much to expect." The poet further notes that Zappa's label Straight Records gives other freaky people who are unable to make recordings elsewhere a platform. T'Hooft concludes: "To me, Zappa has always been the symbol of underground, symbol of a wonderful jerk, a genius scoundrel, a criminal guy who had no respect for anything, but still managed to create the most beautiful things. With all these insufficient descriptions I still feel very stupid when I think about the scribbled down poem that I had written on a copy of Absolutely Free: "Zappa, a reality as a cactus flower." note .
  • Italian writer Sandro Veronesi used to have a big poster of Frank Zappa hanging above his writing desk with the text "Act Like Him!" on it.
  • Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh references Zappa no less than five times, including his songs "Jewish Princess" from Sheik Yerbouti, "Valley Girl" from "Ship Arriving To Late To Save A Drowning Witch" and "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow", "Catholic Girls" and "Token Of My Extreme" from Joe's Garage. In the sequel to the book, "Porno", Spud's cat is named Zappa.
  • The book cover of Joel Hodgson's 198 movies is a parody of 200 Motels album cover.

Live-Action TV

  • The earliest Zappa appearance in popular culture happened in 1963 when he was a guest on the Steve Allen Show and played music on a bicycle. In a bit of Early-Installment Weirdness, Zappa is entirely mustache-free.
  • The Monkees: Zappa appeared in The Monkees' episode "The Monkees Blow Their Minds" (March 11, 1968), where Monkee Mike Nesmith interviews him. Zappa asks Newsmith if he can be him and they decide to change roles. Disguised as one another the surreal conversation continues. A later segment shows Zappa "playing" a car by beating it into submission. This is done in a Monkees-style montage to the Zappa song "Mother People" from We're Only in It for the Money.
  • Saturday Night Live: Zappa had a guest appearance in two episodes, broadcast on December 11, 1976 and October 21, 1978, both with John Belushi. He appeared in the Coneheads sketch too note , which would later inspire Zappa's song "Conehead" from You Are What You Is (1980). Because Zappa broke the fourth wall during the show note  he was banned from ever appearing again.
  • Faerie Tale Theatre: Zappa appeared in a cameo role as a mute hunchback in a 1982 adaptation of the fairy tale The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was.
  • Miami Vice: In the episode "Payback" (1986) Zappa played the part of a drug dealer, just to do his son a favor, because he hated the series himself. In the episode he made a few conceptual continuity references. He offers Don Johnson some wine note , calls cocaine "weasel dust" note 
  • Zappa also appeared on a September 23, 1971 episode of "What's My Line?", where panel member Soupy Sales correctly guessed his identity.
  • The most bizarre Zappa TV appearance occured during a 1979 episode of "Make Me Laugh", where contestants had to watch three stand-up comedians perform their acts, one at the time, earning one dollar for every second that they could make it through without laughing. Each comedian got sixty seconds to do this, but they all failed to make Zappa laugh.
  • He appeared on a October 3, 1983 episode of Andy Warhol's Andy Warhol's TV where both he and the interviewers looked really disinterested. Warhol commented on the interview in his book "Andy Warhol's Diaries". On page 249 the famous painter said he already hated Zappa because he ridiculed The Velvet Underground back in the 1960s and after the interview he disliked him even more.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The show's creators were huge Zappa fans and referenced him often during his riffs. Zappa himself watched the program often and even tried to make a B-monster movie with the members, but because of his death nothing came from the project. They played "The Greatest Frank Of All" over the credits in their next episode and dedicated it to Zappa.
  • Roseanne: Ahmet, Zappa's son, had a cameo as Roy, the room mate of Mark in the sixth season of the show. The episode "Busted" was dedicated as an "in memoriam" to Zappa's death.
  • Classic Albums: One of the episodes was devoted to the creative process behind Apostrophe (') and Over-Nite Sensation. Hollywood actor Billy Bob Thornton was also interviewed.
  • Mastermind: When journalist Matthew Wright was a guest in this quiz show he chose Zappa as his "special subject".


  • The physical resemblance (long black hair, moustache, goatee) between chief editor Guy Mortier from the Belgian magazine Humo has been a running gag for years in Humo. Zappa himself was even asked about it in a 1973 interview and joked: "Aahh, the toll of fame, my friend, nothing you can against that."


  • There are countless Zappa tribute bands, to many to list. The most noticeable one are The Plastic People Of The Universe, a Czech underground rock band named after the Zappa song "Plastic People", who were active from 1968 to 1989 and were frequently jailed for their politically active lyrics which criticized the Communist regime. In 1976 their arrest led playwright Václav Havel and others to write the "Charter '77" human rights manifesto against the government. The band once covered "Trouble Every Day" too.
  • The Deep Purple song "Smoke On The Water" from Machine Head tells about an incident during a Zappa show in Montreux, Switzerland, where some nuthead shot a flare gun into the Casino's ceiling, causing a fire. Everyone was able to get out safely, but the building burned down and Zappa lost all of his equipment. Zappa himself was bitter about this hit song, since it was inspired by such a tragic incident. Yet he quoted a few riffs from the song during a rendition of "The Torture Never Stops" during a 1978 concert in Brussels, Belgium.
  • John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Zappa performed on stage together in 1971. Lennon included the recordings on his Live Album Some Time In New York City (1973), but omitted a lot of stuff and retitled one of Zappa's compositions, "King Kong", as "Jamrag". Zappa's lawyers sued. In 1992, the entire concert was released uncensored on Zappa's Playground Psychotics (1992).
  • Paul McCartney cited Freak Out as the main inspiration to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which in their turn would be the inspiration for Zappa's We're Only in It for the Money.
  • David Bowie's first bands, The Buzz and The Riot Squad covered and recorded "It Can't Happen Here" and "Who Are The Brain Police?" from Freak Out as early as 1966-67. On October 30, 2003, Bowie played a concert in Vienna when he noticed his female bassist did not wear a long shirt (just a jacket above a smaller shirt) and mentioned: "Who could imagine?", in reference to "It Can't Happen Here". Then he asked the audience if any of them knew this song?
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers: In the song "Happiness Loves Company" on the Red Hot Chili Peppers' album I'm With You (2011) Anthony Kiedis sings: "The Mothers of Invention are the best!"
  • Kurt Cobain: In 1988, before he was famous, Cobain made an experimental collage tape called "Montage of Heck", where pieces of "Help, I'm A Rock", "It Can't Happen Here", "Does This Kind Of Life Look Interesting To You?", "Who Are The Brain Police?" from Freak Out and "Invocation & Ritual Dance Of The Young Pumpkin" from Absolutely Free can be heard. On January 7, 1994 Cobain performed at a stage show in Seattle, Washington, where he dedicated his next song to the then recently deceased celebrities "Frank Zappa, and River Phoenix, Fred Gwynne who played Herman Munster, Dixie Lee Ray, Thomas P, Tip O'Neil, and you, dumb ass, who just threw water on me."
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic wrote the song "Genius in France" as a tribute to Zappa on his album Poodle Hat (2003). Longtime friend Dweezil Zappa played guitar and provided backing vocals.
  • The Frank Vignola Quintet recorded Zappa's "Lemme Take You To The Beach" from Studio Tan and Läther on their "Gypsy Grass Collective" album.
  • Dutch rapper Winne sampled "Uncle Remus" from Apostrophe (') in his song "W.I.N.N.E." (2009).
  • The Japanese rock duo El-Malo compiled their favorite Zappa tracks and released this CD als "El Malo Ryuichiro Yunoki & Shigekazu Aida Meets Frank Zappa" (1999).
  • Zunou Keikatsu, a Japanese rock band, were notorious for their radical political statements. Their band name literally translates to "Brain Police?", a reference to "Who Are The Brain Police?" from Freak Out. In 1999 lead singer Panta compiled a CD with his favorite Zappa tracks, released as "Panta from Brain Police Meets Frank Zappa".
  • Atsushi Yanaka, member of Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, compiled his favorite tracks and released them as "Atsushi Yanaka from Tokyo Ska Paradise Ochestra Meets Frank Zappa" (1999).
  • Jun Shimoyama, drummer of the Japanese rock band The Roosters compiled his favorite Zappa tracks as the CD "Jun Shimoyama Ex The Roosters Meets Frank Zappa" (1999).
  • Japanese rock artist Sugizo compiled a CD with his favorite Zappa tracks in 1999, named "Sugizo Meets Frank Zappa".
  • Boredoms: Group members Yamamoto Seiichi, ATR, and Hilah compiled their favorite Zappa tracks on CD as Yamamoto Seiichi, ATR, Hilah from Boredoms Meets Frank Zappa (1999).
  • KISS: Frontman Gene Simmons, is a fan of Zappa who visited him at home and was able to check out his archives. After Zappa's death, Simmons asked Gail if he could use some of the unused material. In collaboration with guitar work and vocals from Zappa's children Dweezil, Ahmet, Gail and Moon Simmons added his bass and vocals to an unused guitar track by Zappa. He also added spoken parts by Zappa to the track. It was released as "Black Tongue" on Simmons' solo album Asshole (2004).
  • Larry Lalonde from Primus and Jon Fishman from Phish both made a personal compilation album with their favorite Zappa tracks named Zappa Picks (2002). On Phish' album "Vegas '96" (2007) "Peaches En Regalia" from Hot Rats'' was covered.
  • The Italian rock band Elio e le Storie Tese covered "Tell Me You Love Me" from Chunga's Revenge on their album "Tutti gli uomini del deficiente" (1999). They always listed Zappa as one of their primary sources of inspiration.
  • The John Mayall song "2401" is about the time when Zappa, his wife, musicians and various oddballs lived in a log cabin in Laurel Canyon Boulevard in California.
  • The song "Blood from a Clone" from George Harrison's album Somewhere in England (1981) namedrops Zappa:
    They say they like it, now, but in the market it
    May not go well as it's too laid back.
    You need some oomph-papa, nothing like Frank Zappa.
    And not new wave they don't play that crap
  • Supergrass named their second album In It for the Money (1997) after We're Only in It for the Money. Two band members, Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey, later started a spin-off band, The Hotrats, named after the Zappa album Hot Rats.
  • Los Lobos named their compilation album "Just Another Band from East L.A." after Zappa's Just Another Band from L.A..
  • Wild Man Fischer who wrote two songs about Zappa, who helped him record his debut album, but had a fall-out soon afterwards. The first, "Frank" appeared on Fischer's album "Pronounced Normal", recorded together with Barnes And Barnes and was basically a Take That! aimed at Zappa with lines like "Franks got money in the bank/Frank owns my publishing rights". When Zappa was a guest on the Dr Demento show Demento made the bad decision to play the song during his show. According to Demento Zappa was so furious that he threatened Demento to never play that song again. The incident is also told and acted out in the documentary "Derailroaded- Inside the Mind of Larry "Wild Man" Fischer." In 1999, seven years after Zappa's death, Fischer also recorded a new song "I'm Sorry, Frank Zappa" from his album "The Fischer King" (1999) in which he apologized to Zappa.
  • The Dutch progressive rock and jazz band Supersister mentioned Zappa in their song "Corporation Combo Boys":
    Sometimes we even are progressive
    And we listen with attention
    To the Mothers of Invention
  • British electronica duo King Kooba sampled "It's From Kansas" and "Bit Of Nostalgia" from Lumpy Gravy on their album Enter the Throne Room (2001).
  • Together with Q-Unique Ill Bill sampled "I'm the Slime" from Over-Nite Sensation on the track "Don't Touch That Dial" from his album "Black Metal" (2007).
  • J*Davey , an American hip hop duo, covered Zappa's "Dirty Love" from Over-Nite Sensation on their album "Rewind!5" (2006).
  • J Dilla sampled Zappa's "Dance Contest" from "Tinseltown Rebellion" on the track "Mash" from his album "Donuts" (2006).
  • The Belgian rock band dEUS sampled "The Blimp" from Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica on their single "Zea" (1992). The first notes of "Little Umbrellas" from Hot Rats were sampled in their song "W.C.'s First Draft" from their debut album Worst Case Scenario (1994), recorded on the day Zappa died on December 4, 1993. During an interview in the Dutch talk show "Zomergasten" (2005) their frontman Tom Barman said he respects Zappa's musical talent, but actually likes Captain Beefheart more. That same year Mauro Pawlowski from the Evil Superstars and huge Zappa fan joined dEUS.
  • Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater dedicated their album "Awake" (1994) to the lately deceased Zappa. Earlier, the song "Take the Time" from "Images & Dreams" (1990) sampled the quote "Wait A Minute" from the song "Dancin' Fool" from Sheik Yerbouti. He also has a a tattoo of Zappa's moustache on his leg.
  • Hiphop artist Busdriver sampled the intro of "Peaches En Regalia" from Hot Rats on his track "Sphinx's Coonery" of his album "Fear of a Black Tangent" (2005).
  • Rapper Young Chris sampled "Uncle Remus" from Apostrophe (') on his track "Still the Hottest" (featuring J.Cole) from his album "The Network 2" (2010)
  • The British electronica band Unkle has sampled Zappa Apostrophe (') twice, on "Guns Blazing (Drums of Death, Pt. 1)" and "The Knock (Drums of Death, Pt. 2)" from the album "Psyence Fiction" (1998).
  • On the album "Price iz hibernacije" (2011) by the Serbian rock band Mononukleozni Rodjaci the song "Slepi Tuljan" samples the intro of "The Legend Of The Illinois Enema Bandit" from Zappa in New York
  • The hiphop group The Arsonists sampled "I'm The Slime" from Over-Nite Sensation on the track "Fat Laces" from their album "Past, Present And Future" (2001).
  • The British electronica group Fila Brazillia sampled Zappa's "Eat That Question" from 'The Grand Wazoo'' on the track "Ridden Pony" from their album "A Touch of Cloth" (1999).
  • British hiphop artist MF Doom sampled "Would You Like A Snack?" from 200 Motels on the track "Gumbo" from his album "MM.Food" (2004).
  • The hiphop duo Madvillain sampled Zappa's "Sleeping In A Jar" from Uncle Meat on the track "Meat Grinder" of their debut album "Madvillainy" (2004) and "Very Distraughtening" from Lumpy Gravy on their single "Avalanche/Victory Lap" (2001) and "Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus" from The Grand Wazoo on the single "Never Go Pop". One of its members, Madlib, also had a solo career under the name "Quasimoto". On the album cover of his second CD, "The Further Adventures Of Lord Quas" (2005) two Zappa references can be seen: the text balloon from the album cover of Freak Out and Wild Man Fischer in a cut-out from An Evening With Wild Man Fischer
    • The hiphop artist Tyler, The Creator (from Odd Future) sampled "Sleeping In A Jar" too on his track "Fuck This Election".
  • DJ Mr. Dibbs sampled "Little Umbrellas" from Hot Rats on his track "Rhythmic Soaring" from the album "The 30th Song" (2003).
  • Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire sampled the following Zappa quote on their track "Orbz a.k.a. Some Wise Quote Drake Never Said":
    Schools train people to be ignorant in style. They give you the equipment to be a functional ignoramus. American schools do not equip you to deal with things like logic. They don't give you the criteria by which to judge between good and evil and bad in any media or format. They prepare you to be a useable victim to any kind of complex that needs manpower. As long as you are just dumb enough to do a job and just dumb enough to swallow what they feed you you're gonna be alright. But if you go beyond that you're gonna have these grave doubts that give you stomach problems, head aches, and make you go out and do something else, so I believe that schools mechanically and very specifically try and breed out any creative thought on the kids that are coming out.
  • Mattias Eklundh covered "The Black Page" from Zappa in New York on his debut album "Freak Guitar". His second solo album, "The Road Less Traveled" included a track called Asteroid 3834, which is the Zappafrank asteroid. The track is a Zappa tribute.
  • The German industrial rock band KMFDM sampled "I'm The Slime" and "Dirty Love" from Over-Nite Sensation, "Oh No" from Weasels Ripped My Flesh, "Bow Tie Daddy" from We're Only in It for the Money and "Son of Suzy Creamcheese" from Absolutely Free on the track "Don't You Blow Your Top" (1988) and their song "UAIOE" (1989) sampled "I'm the Slime", "Tell Me You Love Me" from Chunga's Revenge and "Dinah-Moe Humm" from Over-Nite Sensation. Their song "Virus" (1989) samples "Broken Hearts From Assholes" from Sheik Yerbouti''.
  • Alternative TV covered "Why Don't You Do Me Right?" from Absolutely Free on the albums "The Image Has Cracked" (1978), "Live At Rat Club '77" (1978) and "In Control" (2006). On the latter album they also covered "Plastic People".
  • Dog Eat Dog covered "Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?" from Joe's Garage on their album "If These Are The Good Times" (1994).
  • The German punk band Die Ärzte covered "Stick It Out" from Joe's Garage and "What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body?" from We're Only in It for the Money on their album "Friedenspanzer" (1994).
  • Hungarian composer Péter Eötvös composed "Psalm 151, in memoriam of Frank Zappa" in 1993.
  • Australian composer Michael Kieran Harvey recorded "Ruth Is Sleeping" from The Yellow Shark (1995) on his "Storm Sight" (2001) album and dedicated his CD "48 Fugues for Frank" (2010) to Zappa.
  • The Italian rapper Caparezza released a demo called "Zappa" (1999) and also referred to him in his song "La Rivoluzione del Sessintutto" (2008), where he says: «Dio si chiama Zappa Frank Vincent» ("God's name is Frank Vincent Zappa"). The same track also makes a reference to Cynthia Plaster-Caster.
  • The Basooties, an American rock band released a cover of "You Didn't Try to Call Me" from Freak Out as a B-side of their first single.
  • The Cardiacs' member Jon Poole released a solo tribute album called "What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body?" (1994).
  • Alex Harvey (Sensational Alex Harvey Band) covered "Willie the Pimp" from Hot Rats on his album The Joker Is Wild (1972).
  • Eugene Chadbourne once recorded a song called "Zappa Medley".
  • The Chilean funk band Chancho en Piedra sampled "I'm the Slime" from Over-Nite Sensation on their album "Chanco 6" (2004).
  • DJ Signify sampled "Apostrophe" from the eponymous album on the track "Propaganda" from his album "Anticon Presents: Music for the Advancement of Hip Hop" (1999).
  • DJ Z-Trip sampled "This is the voice of your conscience, baby" from "The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet" from Freak Out on his track "Rockstar" from the album "Return Of The DJ, Volume 2" (1997).
  • The Russian folk artist Boris Grebenshchikov, best known as the front man of the band Aquarium, featured Zappa twice in his music video for "Гарсон No. 2", sitting at a table and as portrait on the wall.
  • The Dutch band Gruppo Sportivo covered "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" from Lumpy Gravy note for note on the track "Superman" on their album "10 Mistakes" (1978). Hans Vandenburg, one of the groups' members, later went solo and started a new group, "Dierenpark". In 2002 he released the album "Slip Tong" (2002), where the track "Hoe je psychiater speld" contains a sample of "Peaches En Regalia" from Hot Rats.
  • Chumbawamba covered "What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body?" from We're Only in It for the Money to a 7" EP called "Gay Pride (You Don't Know What Your Missing)" on the Dump Records label in 1994. They also sampled "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" from Absolutely Free on their track "I Should Be So Lucky" from the album "Everyone's Stealing From Someone" (1992).
  • The Residents sent their first official release "Santa Dog" (1972) to various recipients, including Richard Nixon and Zappa, but the latter never replied because the address was incorrect.
  • Funkadelics' "Alice In My Fantasies" (1974) has a line: "Mama said, never eat the yellow snow", in reference to the song "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow" from Apostrophe (')
  • Jazz pianist George Winston covered Zappa's "The Little House I Used To Live In" from Burnt Weeny Sandwich, because "it reminded him of his boyhood home even before he knew the piece's title". It can be heard on his album "Montana- A Love Story" (2004).
  • Absolutely Freak Out (Zap Your Mind!!) by Acid Mothers Temple mashes up the titles of two Mothers of Invention albums: Absolutely Free and Freak Out.
  • Aerosmith's "Girl Keeps Coming Apart" includes a couplet borrowed from Frank Zappa's "Dinah-Moe Humm" from Over-Nite Sensation: "She was buns up and kneelin' / I was wheelin' and dealin'". Zappa is credited in the liner notes for this.
  • Arjen Anthony Lucassen covered "I'm the Slime" from Over-Nite Sensation on his solo album Lost in the New Real.


  • Desert Island Discs: Hosts on the show who have chosen a track by Zappa as one of their favorite musical records to bring to a deserted island are:
    • Martin Clunes (Gary Strang in Men Behaving Badly, Doctor Martin Ellingham in Doc Martin, Richard Burbage in Shakespeare in Love) played "Doreen" from "You Are What You Is" when he was a guest on the show on September 18, 2011. He also told the interviewer that he would gladly swap the complete works of William Shakespeare for the complete works of Frank Zappa, because "I would probably get more out of that." He also confessed to the interviewer that his wife and daughter usually leave the room whenever he started playing Zappa, so he was very pleased that he could play his music on the radio.
    • Simon [McBurney] (Cecil the choirmaster in The Vicar of Dibley) played "I'm The Slime" when he was a guest on July 15, 2012. He claimed he was one of several extraordinary musical voices who had always something to say and whom he discovered during the 1970s. He called Zappa "one of the voices that had something to say but made me laugh like a drain was Frank Zappa and this piece ["I'm The Slime"] is the most wonderful, slicing satirical song which could not be more apt right now."


  • The Canadian professional snowboarder Ross Rebagliati, who an Olympic gold medal in 1998 at the Winter Olympics claims to be a Zappa fan and owns all of his records. His favorite tracks are "The Deathless Horsie" from "Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar" and "Inca Roads" from One Size Fits All. On the compilation album Fulliedialedinn (1998) Rebagliati compiled his favorite songs, one of them "Peaches En Regalia" from Hot Rats. In his own words: "I was really stoked to get the Zappa song. It's the first time that the Zappa family has allowed another label other than his own to put out one of his songs. And if you know anything about Zappa, you'll know that this means a lot."

Video Games

  • The character Zappa from the Guilty Gear games is named after him.

Western Animation

  • Ren & Stimpy: Zappa provided the voice of the Pope in the episode "Powdered Toast Man". note . On the audio commentary of the episode John Kricfalusi said:
    Yeah, Frank Zappa was a fan of the show, and I was a huge Frank Zappa fan growing up. I had all his records. and when I found out he was a fan, our mixer, one of the sound engineers, was also mixing some frank zappa records and he uh handed the phone to me one day and it was Frank on the line. So frank invited me to his house that weekend. —[other voice: "lucky bastard"] and I went with Eleanor Blake and Frank and his family and I, Moon Unit and Dweezil. We all sat around watching Ren & Stimpy cartoons all afternoon he was laughing all through them and after it was over I asked: "Hey Frank, you want to BE in a cartoon?' and he said: "Yeah, that'd be great." and I said: "You want to be the pope?" and he said: "Yeah, I always wanted to be the pope."
  • Duckman: The first season frequently used Zappa compositions as background music. The theme tune was composed by Todd Yvega and Scott Wilkes with samples from Zappa's Synclavier library. Zappa's son Dweezil provided the voice of Duckman's son Ajax. Zappa never lived to see the program broadcast on TV. That's why the first episode on March 5, 1994 had the dedication: "Dedicated with fond memories to Frank Zappa."
  • Beavis And Butthead: In the episode "Canoe" (October 1994) the duo watch Zappa's music video "You Are What You Is", but get so annoyed that they change the channel. Since Beavis and Butt-head rarely did this this scene angered some of Zappa's fans. However creator Mike Judge said: "Frank Zappa was another one who made a really nice quote about 'Beavis and Butt-head.' It was, like, on his deathbed. He said three or four really nice things when he was being interviewed. Then somebody said, 'Put one of his videos on 'Beavis and Butt-head' and have them rag on it!' I think he had said to have them do that. So I did it and I had this backlash from fans... I was just trying to give him his dying wish, [laughing] but I just pissed everybody off."
  • The Simpsons: The show's creator Matt Groening considers Zappa his prime influence, yet only referenced him twice so far:
  • Daria: In the fifth episode of the second season, "That Was Then This Is Dumb", Trent and Jesse listen to Weasels Ripped My Flesh, more specifically the track "My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama".

Real Life

  • Various animals have been named after Zappa:
    • A gene - "Zapa (Proteus mirabilis)"
    • A fish - "Zappa confluentus"
    • A jellyfish - "Phialella zappai"
    • A spider - "Pachygnatha zappa"
    • An asteroid - "Zappafrank"
  • In January 1990 Zappa was invited by Czechoslovakian President Vàclav Havel, a life long Zappa fan, to become Cultural Ambassador of Czechoslovakia. Zappa sent him several of his albums to complete his record collection. Havel's favourite Zappa album was Bongo Fury. Zappa was invited to Czechoslovakia where he was given a hero's welcome. During the communist regime rock music was banned, especially Velvet Underground, The Rolling Stones and Zappa due to their rebellious nature. Many people bootlegged the albums and were arrested or beaten up if they got caught owning or listening to these records. A Czech underground band called "The Plastic People Of The Universe" was directly inspired by the song "Plastic People" from Absolutely Free, which was seen as a revolutionary anthem. Zappa had many talks with the new Czech government to help promote tourism to the country. Unfortunately Havel was forced to conclude his collaboration with Zappa under pressure of the American government. US Secretary of State James Baker even re-routed a trip through Europe to visit Havel and pressure him into doing business with the United States instead of Zappa. After Zappa's death in 1993 Havel said: "Frank Zappa was one of the gods of the Czech underground, I thought of him as a friend. Whenever I feel like escaping from the world of the Presidency, I think of him."
  • In 1995 Konstaninas Bogdanas sculpted a monument to Zappa in Vilnius, Lithuania, thanks to the initiative of Saulius Paukštys. All this despite the fact that Zappa never visited the country or made any reference to it in his work.
  • In 2002 Czech sculptor Václav Cesák erected a Frank Zappa Monument in Bad Doberan, Germany.
  • In 2005 a Lauda Air plane was named after Zappa.
  • In 2007 a street in Berlin was named "Frank Zappa Straße".
  • Also in 2007 Baltimore declared the 9th of August "Frank Zappa Day".
  • Gabor Csupo opened a restaurant in L.A. called "Lumpy Gravy", which was open from 1997 until 1999. There was live music four nights a week and a gallery upstairs which featured Eastern European paintings, metallic collages, crazy industrial toys and the works of Zappa's daughter, Moon.