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Catalogue No.BWFZ001
LocationUSA
DateMay 1968
Print Qualitysilver gelatin

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Frank Zappa
by Baron Wolman
Frank Zappa May 1968 behind his Laurel Canyon home, Los Angeles CA
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Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works.
He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. While in his teens, he acquired a taste for percussion-based avant-garde composers such as Edgard Varèse and 1950s rhythm and blues music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands; he later switched to electric guitar. He was a self-taught composer and performer, and his diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often impossible to categorize. His 1966 debut album with The Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages. His later albums shared this eclectic and experimental approach, irrespective of whether the fundamental format was one of rock, jazz or classical. His lyrics—often humorously—reflected his iconoclastic view of established social and political processes, structures and movements. He was a strident critic of mainstream education and organized religion, and a forthright and passionate advocate for freedom of speech, self-education, political participation and the abolition of censorship. Zappa was a highly productive and prolific artist and gained widespread critical acclaim. He had some commercial success, particularly in Europe, and for most of his career was able to work as an independent artist. He also remains a major influence on musicians and composers. Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. Zappa was married to Kathryn J. "Kay" Sherman from 1960 to 1964. In 1967, he married Adelaide Gail Sloatman, with whom he remained until his death from prostate cancer in 1993. They had four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen. Gail Zappa manages the businesses of her late husband under the name the Zappa Family Trust.
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Baron Wolman grew up in Columbus, Ohio, studied philosophy at Northwestern University in Chicago, learned German at the Defense Language School in Monterey, California, and then did a tour with military intelligence in West Berlin.
In Berlin, Wolman sold his first photo essay for publication, a story about life behind the then-new Berlin Wall. From Germany he moved to California to continue his career as a photo journalist. In 1967, a fortuitous meeting with Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone, resulted in Wolman becoming that publication's first chief photographer. For three years his photographs were published regularly in Rolling Stone and became the magazine's graphic centerpiece. Over forty years later, those same photographs, picture memories of the 60's, are now widely exhibited and collected. In 1970, Wolman left the Stone to start his own magazine, Rags, the "Rolling Stone of fashion." The creative and irreverent monthly featured styles of the times and was an acknowledged journalistic success. Unfortunately, Rags did not survive the recession and publication ceased after only 13 issues. When he was suddenly bitten by the flying bug in the mid-seventies Wolman bought a little Cessna, learned to fly and began doing aerial photography. Collections of his aerial landscapes have appeared in two successful books, “California From the Air: The Golden Coast” and “The Holy Land: Israel From The Air.” For many years his colorful "airscapes" were published annually in his popular "from the air" scenic calendars. Over the years Wolman had become addicted to publishing's "natural high." In 1974, he founded Squarebooks Publishing. With world headquarters now located 60 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Santa Rosa, California, Squarebooks continues its long tradition of publishing an eclectic list of illustrated, quality books. In August 2001, Baron moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico -- to savor its tasty chili-infused cuisine, to marvel at its relentlessly beautiful sunsets, and to revel in the ambiance of its delightfully eccentric, artistic community. With the 2011 publication of his book, “Baron Wolman – The Rolling Stone Years,” Baron and his photographs are once more in great demand, with exhibits and appearances scheduled in cities and countries around the world. His long-time mantra, “Mixing Business With Pleasure Since 1965,” continues to be his guiding light...
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