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July 28, 2009

Still waiting on that Frank Zappa statue

frank zappa statueIt's been more than a year since the city accepted a statue of eccentric composer and Baltimore native Frank Zappa, and city officials are still not sure exactly where to put it.

The statue, valued at roughly $50,000, was a gift from a Lithuanian Zappa fan club. And officials are looking to place it in Fells Point.

Fells Point community groups approved a location at Fleet Street and South Broadway, according to Tracy Baskerville, director of communications for the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts. But the location is being reconsidered, she said.

"We're looking for a place where people will congregate," said Baskerville.

It could be another few months before the statue finds a permanent home in Fells Point, Baskerville said.

(Pictured is a Zappa statue in Lithuania, similiar to the Baltimore statue. AP photo.)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:28 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff


Tear down "Male/Female" and put Frank in front of Penn Station in its place.

The Frank Zappa statue should obviously be placed in front of Edgewood Senior High School. Isn't that where he went?

And I SO agree with The Blob. Male/Female is the ugliest piece of vandalism ever paid for by a city. It sure made the main elevation of Penn Station look like garbage. How did that mess ever get passed anyway? I know I wasn't asked.

Put it out front of The Lyric!

Granted the male/female statue is a disaster. However the city did not pay for it. It was a gift. The big question is why is it still there?

It is a common misconception that Frank went to Edgewood. He actually graduated from Antelope Valley High School (class of '58) in California. The family moved out west when Frank was 12 due to his health problems. (Refer to his Wikipedia entry, or check out his autobiography, The Real Frank Zappa Book, for details.) Before the move, Frank's father worked as a meteorologist at Aberdeen Proving Ground, which explains why the gas mask was such a prominent motif in his music. It would be ironic to place his statue there, but it would be a travesty to place it in front of any high school, given Frank's disdain for formalized education. Fells Point or The Lyric would be more fitting.

Thank you Dinah and Dora for clearing up that mystery about Frank's high school. I read in a book about him that he grew up in Edgewood, so naturally I assumed he attended Edgewood Senior High School. I guess David Drake and Dale Midkiff remain the only two famous Edgewood High School alumni. Thanks a lot for the info!

As far as male/female goes, gift or no gift that is truly non-art. It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. I'd love to see who did what with whom orally to get that placed there. My only question is, how long will it remain? How hard would it be to actually cut it down with an acetylene torch or a Milwaukee Sawzall(R)?

Hey People, You are blessed the public even know who he is....Not like that in Oz....If you're stuck where to put it, Mentone, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia......My front yard.....Thanks..Steve

I photographed & met Frank and the Mothers of Invention in 1967 at a JHU concert at the old Eastern HS.

I have a wonderful foto from that night (long ago in Baltimore)to include for the long overdue dedication (what must those Europeans think).

In front of the Lyric seems right to me or the Meyerhoff
(can you hear me DR. Bob?).

Poe just had a funeral. Must we wait that long again for another truly gifted Baltimore artist?

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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