Menu

Marking Time: Gail Zappa was the love of Frank Zappa’s Life

Mars Blomgren

Mars Blomgren

Maureen "Mars" Blomgren is a writer, photographer, painter, social media overlord and loyal servant to her Pekingese named Henry. She's had her work used for album covers, posters, commissioned paintings, branding, merchandise and more. Mars has one of those new-fangled #blendedfamilies that she loves and is an avid supporter & promoter of live music, animals and the truth. Mars is a proud Philly Girl and will defend the underdog till the end.
Mars Blomgren

Gail Sloatman Zappa, widow of Frank Zappa, mother to Dweezil Zappa, Ahmet Zappa. Diva Zappa. Moon Zappa and former executrix of The Zappa Family Trust, has passed away today.

Gail Sloatman-Zappa

Gail Sloatman-Zappa

I write in honor of Gail. Many folks have very distinct opinions of her one-way or the other, and in the end, it does not matter. What matters is that Gail Sloatman Zappa was a great mother to her and Frank’s children, Dweezil, Moon Unit, Diva and Ahmet. She was a kind grandmother to all of her children’s children but foremost; she was the love of Frank Zappa’s life as he was hers. Frank precedes Gail in death; having passed away in December 4, 1993 of prostate cancer. After Franks’ passing, Gail held the torch light high and carried on with running the family business of the Zappa Family Trust. A job that was tireless, consuming yet also a labor of love. Since 1994, Gail and The Zappa Family Trust have released 38 posthumous albums, bringing the total to 100 album releases from Frank Zappa. A job that, as of just recently, with the “Roxy: The Movie” movie coming out and a partnership with Universal Music Enterprises ( which aims to keep Frank Zappa’s music in the spotlight and public eye), now falls onto son, Ahmet Zappa as head of the Zappa Family Trust.

 

Gail Zappa

[/media-credit] Gail Zappa on Frank Zappa Day 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland speaking about her husband Frank Zappa.

“Frank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, songwriter, composer, and record and film producer. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, jazz orchestral and musique concrete 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”- Wikipedia

 

20100920_174

“I just want to thank you all for loving my Dad” – Diva Zappa Baltimore, MD 2010 at the unveiling on the Frank Zappa statue

I first heard the news today from Patrice “Candy” Zappa (Frank’s sister) and it was heartbreaking. On Gail’s passing, Candy had these words to say.

“Frank is there to help; I think he’ll be there for her.” (Wherever it is we go after we leave this world)

Frank and Gail Zappa

Frank and Gail Zappa

In the fall of 2010 I attended the official Frank Zappa statue unveiling in Baltimore, Maryland as press ( and a fan) of Frank Zappa’s music. It was the first time I had met the late Gail Zappa in person. I distinctly remember when she offered me her hand as a greeting; I just opened up with not a “Hello, lovely to meet you” but with the words swirling in my head, which were stewing there for a good 24 hours.

“You know Gail, I had this dream last night before coming here I was on top of a mountain, it was in South America, Peru, I think, could have been in the Andes, I am not sure. However, there was a peaceful vibe at the very top when all of a sudden I felt as if your husband was there. I heard his music yet did not hear it. I felt the vibrations, yet didn’t feel it. I just knew in my soul he was there and it was a beautiful thing. BTW, lovely to meet you, thank you for all you do in keeping your husband’s legacy alive though the Zappa Family Trust.”

The whole time Gail was holding my hand, nodding and smiling. At first, I thought she was thinking wow, this chick is crazy, but as I went on with my dream to her, I could see the twinkle in her eye sparkle into a full-blown flash of agreement.

Gail said,

“It’s lovely to meet you too Mars, I understand you know my son Dweezil and his wife. That’s great. And your dream? It was real, you were there, Frank was there, you were on the Inca Road, couldn’t you tell? Frank is always there.”

Frank Zappa Day

The Zappa Family, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, former mayor of Baltimore, Saulius Paukstys; head of the Vilnius, Lithuanian Frank Zappa fan club and representatives of Lithuania, celebrate the unveiling of the Frank Zappa Statue in Baltimore, MD 2010

Rest easy Gail, your work is done on this earth. Somehow, I just know she is together again with Frank, on the Inca Road for all of eternity. I believe you Gail, Frank was always there and now you are by his side once again.

This is the only statement that will be released from The Zappa Family.

Gail Zappa 

Gale Zappa

January 1, 1945 – October 7, 2015

Gail Zappa, nee Adelaide Gail Sloatman, age 70, departed this earth peacefully at her home on Wednesday, October 7, 2015, surrounded by her children.

Married to Frank Zappa at age 22, Gail was a doe-eyed, barefooted trailblazer, giving equal value to her domestic and professional responsibilities as matriarch of the family and overseer of all Zappa enterprises. She devoted herself to partnering with her husband in the music business and raising their children, Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva.

Gail enthusiastically executed her role as guardian of her husband’s creative life and, with his passing, strove to ensure his legacy as one of the leading American composers and musicians of the 20th century. In this and all business endeavors, Gail passionately advocated to establish clear definitions of intellectual property and copyright laws on behalf of not just her husband, but all artists. While she conducted intricate legal negotiations with corporations as grand dame of the Zappa Family Trust, she never failed to impart the sense of humor that was part and parcel of her indomitable and formidable personality. Gail, self-described as a pagan absurdist, was motivated by love in all aspects of her life, kept her authenticity intact, unbowed and, simply put, was one bad ass in the music business and political world.

Gail will forever be identified as a key figure in the creative renaissance that is Laurel Canyon. But more than any singular accomplishment, she defined herself in her personal relationships, happiest when surrounded by loved ones and artists, often one in the same. The memories she leaves behind are indeed her own art form. Her searing intelligence, unforgettable smile, wild thicket of hair and trailing black velvets leave a blur in her wake.

There is no further information to report. This is the only statement that will be released by the family.

www.zappa.com

From my dear friend and co-conspirator in my Zappacaspades, Howie Kittelson & his wife Vera.

 

 

Gail leaves us with one final note…