About Group

A group in which to share your knowledge of all the characters that have been associated with the Zappa family over the years.

Many have become entrenched in folklore, so facts, figures, rumours, stories of personal encounters; all are welcome. Maybe Dweezil can contribute some hitherto undisclosed knowledge to this group.

So if you went to school with Suzy Creamcheese, saw FZ with Butch & Brenda, if T.J. Helmerich is your brother, or you used to babysit Dweezil, share your story here.

If it's a true story....great. If it's entertaining, but completely made up....that's fine too (nothing too libellous though)

  • DaveOC

  • DaveOC

    Black Sabbath - Vol.4 liner notes

    I think Frank liked Iron Man also. 



  • DaveOC

    Thornton talked about his favourite records in a magazine. He claimed Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart was one of them: “I was already a huge fan of The Mothers of Invention andThe Bonzo Dog Band. When I first heard Beefheart, it just fit in my world. I think Beefheart’s a genius. There’s no explaining it. Most of my friends didn’t get it.”

    His two other favourite Zappa albums are Burnt Weeny Sandwich and Hot Rats. Thornton: “In Arkansas, most people didn’t know who Frank Zappa was, or couldn’t care less. I was very different. I played ‘Holiday In Berlin, Full Blown’ over and over when I was writing "Sling Blade". I love the way this record sounds. I still play it all the time.”

    Thornton also contributed to the "Classic Albums" dvd about Apostrophe/Over-Nite Sensation in 2007 where he is one of the people being interviewed.

  • Harry S.

    In 1963 my family had just moved to Los Angeles from the Midwest.We moved to West Hollywood, Genesee near Beverly Blvd. A block from CBS TV Studios. One night our friend Gene came by and asked if my brother Charlie and I wanted to see something interesting. We walked about 3 blocks to Laurel Ave. ,to "sculpture & garment" shop and entered the world of Vito and Szou. The first time i saw Szou she was standing at the foot of the stairs wearing a beautiful macro-may dress with a see through top. She was  blonde, with short bangs. Utterly beautiful. She hardly paid attention to us as we made our way downstairs to the studio. Once downstairs, we noticed a sculpture studio filled with strange looking pieces of sculpture, and an old man, Vito, talking animatedly with his hand gestures filling the air.There were many guests both very straight looking, and those whose clothing suggested a bohemian lifestyle. We would sit on the rickety couch for hours, just watching. Every once in a while Szou would come downstairs and wrap her arms around Vito. it looked odd. A guy in his 60's with a chick about 20. It was certainly not your ordinary couple. Their son Godot, was a 2 year old blonde moppet wandering around the studio, stark naked, and filthy as can be. Vito & Sue could care less. One night, we were all down there, once again observing, and I saw Godot walk towards a chunk of gray potter clay. he began to stick it in his mouth. I ran over and pulled it away before he cold swallow it. He began to cry. Suddenly Szou looked over, and in a panic began to scream at me. "What are you doing to my baby?" i told her that Godot was just about to eat the clay. She began screaming again calling me a liar. A very strange, neurotic woman. I never saw her laugh or smile.

  • Richard Drakes

    At least we know what Cal Schenkel is up to.

  • Gary

    Where Richard Drakes speaks of Wild Man Fisher and characters of 3 decades.

    That is a large pool. In regards to characters that are using the social world of the times that they live in, those decades that Richard speaks of are over, so the answer is a simple one.

    So long as there is a platform for expression the characters of a given generation will have an opportunity on that given platform that they may have at their disposal. Is Lady Gaga a character? One of many! Whether any individual enjoys their arts is always subject to taste.

    At this moment Repo Men comes to mind. Cry Me A River. Even with Nostalgia Acts the art can run deep in the blood. Sure it's only a movie but so much that one will sign their name to a corporation that if they can not repay the loan the corporation will come and do a live extract of a given organ or implant on you. So art moves people be it within the generation or reliving something that has been around for a long time.


  • John Schock

    The culture of the 60's 70's and early 80's had a lot of characters. There was an abundance of artistic talent in so many art forms compared to today. Not to be seen like that for quite awhile.  It is only the media trying hopelessly to create a buzz. They are always a few days late.


  • Richard Drakes

    I'm inclined to agree overall Ciaran (especially about Mr. Doherty) Famous for being famous seems perfectly valid to lots of people today.

    Times were different back then, but I do wonder if those guys' contemporaries were talking about them the way we are about Mr. Doherty et al. Perhaps they were being compared unfavourably to the previous generation of larger than life characters, just as we are doing here.

    One thing I am confident of, is that history invariably sees people through rose tinted glasses.

    Take Jim Morrison, I thought in my much younger days what a thrill it must have been to be around the guy, then I read a book by some guy who was there (Sugarman?) and it seems he was largely unbearable. It's only one person's view, but you get the point.

    It would be interesting to see any other opinions.

  • Ciaran Cunningham

    I think thats a really interesting question Richard. My personal take on it is that we will never see their like again. The times were different then, and produced real individuals with something to say or do.

    By comparison, todays bunch are just 'celebrities' who are famous for being famous and not much else.  

    Permit me to enter into evidence the case of one Pete Doherty...a first-class t**t if ever there was one. He (and his media mates) seems to think that his drug taking is the result of him being a tortured soul. Sorry but that dog don't hunt.

    He's a wanker. 

    What say you Mr. D?

  • Richard Drakes

    Just out of curiousity, what does everyone think about the characters that are around today as opposed to Wild Man Fischer and that 60s/70s group of miscreants?

    Were people more interesting and exciting then, or will todays' crop assume the same mantle of mystique and bravado in years to come?