As the Royal Mint announces a £5 coin to commemorate John Lennon, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the former Beatle was the only rock legend born in 1940 and taken from us too early. Yet Frank Zappa, who died of prostate cancer in 1993, would have been 70 next month too. Buried in an unmarked grave, he was clearly against the cult of celebrity. Now, though, London's Roundhouse is to mark the anniversary.
Among the participants are Zappa's son Dweezil, members of his various backing bands and the London Sinfonietta. Most eye-catching is the appearance of The Mighty Boosh, set to play some of their own tunes in "Zappaesque" style. The surreal comedians are big fans of the US artist, Noel Fielding in particular.
The Roundhouse's head of music and Zappa fanatic Dave Gaydon went backstage at a Dweezil gig last June to suggest a tribute weekend to the family. Fielding was there, too and Zappa's widow Gail suggested he should get involved. "People told me that Gail was defensive but she was lovely and up for it," Gaydon remembers. The Boosh also hope to read transcripts from Zappa's infamous Old Bailey appearance where he defined "groupies" for a High Court judge.
Frank Zappa : 70th Birthday Celebration, Roundhouse, London NW1 (www.roundhouse.org.uk; 0844 482 8008), to 7 November
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