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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


. 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.

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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

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.