The above portrait is by my friend Rick Dula, who I haven't spoken with in 20 years at least. I don't know that the drawing captures Frank's essence, but Rick really was a good artist. Probably still is.
The eyes are a little too pretty, and kind of remind me of a Keane painting. (I guess that's the ultimate insult for a serious artist. Sorry, Rick.) My first grade teacher used to drum it into us, "Don't bear down on the pencil." Ahem, Mr. Dula? In fairness, I think the drawing has become smeared over the ages as well, as Rick was anything but heavy-handed.
But Frank could be! Oh yes, when it comes to raging rock, Zappa music holds up with the most bombastic blustering brobdingnagian blasts ever recorded.
There's "Them Or Us," "Rat Tomago," "Easy Meat" and lots of stuff off of the various Guitar albums that we at Zappa's Grubby Chamber would be pleased as punch to club you over the head with, for your listening pleasure.
There's another reason why playing bombastic Frank tunes is The Right Thing To Do. As I write this Friday morning, there's a big storm a-comin' in – three, actually – and we're supposed to give weather updates throughout our shows. So, commensurate with the bluster inside, it'll take some smashing Zappa music to be heard above the din.
Bombast and bluster, on this week's ZGC.