Musicians, producers, writers, engineers, managers… It seems the music industry is always losing another one of its beloved greats.
Looking at the face of rock and roll alone, friends, family, and fans abound have too often and too soon bid adieu to some the most celebrated pioneers of the genre.
Sadly, On October 7th, 2015, Frank Zappa’s widow, Gail Zappa, died in her home in Los Angeles, CA surrounded by her four children. She was 70 years old.
A cause of death had not been released to the public, although the family had relayed to TMZ on the day of her death that Gail had been battling with lung cancer for several years.
The family posted a statement on Zappa.com the same day saying, “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.”
After her husband Frank Zappa’s death from prostate cancer in early December of 1993 (he was 52), Gail Zappa became the sole dictator of her husband’s music and image by founding the Zappa Family Trust, and distributed nearly 40 albums of Zappa’s unreleased material between 1994 and 2015.
Next in line to manage the trust is son Ahmet.
The family’s statement goes on to say, “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.”
Legendary groupie and author Miss Pamela Des Barres wrote in great poetic detail about her friendship with Gail Zappa in her 1987 autobiography I’m With The Band. An excerpt from the book reads, “Gail came out of the kitchen and I tried not to stare… She was so queenly I was afraid to speak to her at first… I was in awe of her.”
Des Barres briefly expressed her sorrow via her Facebook page, “Gail was my lifelong friend, mentor, champion, hero and soulmate.”
And yet with the heartbreak comes a bittersweetness to it all! Papa and Mama Zappa have finally reunited in the heavens!
Photos: Reuters/ Getty