In my experience over these past 24 years, I have never met a casual Frank Zappa fan. From what I can tell, most hardcore fans sell their children into white slavery for whatever piece of Zappa memorabilia they can get their hands on, be it a signed copy of Hot Rats or a fourth one of these. When kids in my high school went through a Zappa period, they were never the same afterwards. They tried growing ratty goatees and started carrying around homemade puppets, as if they had just completed shock therapy. But you know what? I love that kind of devotion. It’s psychotic and cultish and rock and roll.
This past week in Berlin, Zappa fans – after a two-year letter-writing campaign – got to see a street named after their idol. We all know that when Germans get it in their mind to accomplish something, they will do anything to achieve their goal. Frank Zappa Street, formerly Street 13, lies in a run-down, industrial part of East Berlin. Its home to a huge rehearsal space for local bands, plus about sixteen Kraftwerk cover groups.
Here’s some “Titties and Beer,” because c’mon, it’s a winning combination. Just ask Mel Gibson. – Craig Hlavaty