In the 1970s rock scene, where a sea of men and women were declared geniuses, it seems like Frank Zappa was the real deal; a brilliant mind that everyone can agree on. You may not like everything he does, I certainly don't, but you can't ignore his imagination, his inventiveness, and his audacity.
My favorite album is Hot Rats, which features the amazing Willie the Pimp on which his good friend Captain Beefheart sings. This connection is how he becomes a central character in Pamela Des Barres's 'I'm With the Band', this week's book and current obsession. Reading about the way he just fabricated scenes, lived his own way, and nurtured creativity has got me even more intrigued by the charming, tall, mustached master mind.
There's so much to explore in his thirty year career, not only as a musician and artist, but as a critic of organized religion and drugs and an advocate of free speech. In fact, the first time I ever heard his name was when he spoke eloquently at the PMRC censorship hearings against Tipper Gore.
I've really only scratched the surface, but he's created so much work that I could easily come back to his catalog for inspiration for many years to come.