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December 17, 2009

Frank Zappa statue to go near Highlandtown library

frank zappa statueSo the Public Art Committee finally found a home for that Frank Zappa statue: Outside the Southeast Anchor Library, a branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Highlandtown.

The bust of Zappa (who was born in Baltimore) will go up sometime next year, according to committee chair Anne Perkins.

"We think this is a great place for it -- a terrific neighborhood" Perkins said. "I think it will be the focal point for a lot of really fun festivals."

Here's a link to the full story.

At first, I was a little surprised at the site they chose. Highlandtown might get a decent amount of foot traffic, but probably not as much as the other sites they were considering -- such as Fells Point.

And besides the Creative Alliance, Highlandtown really isn't known for its arts and entertainment.. 

Then I spoke with Zappa's widow, Gail, who cleared things up for me ...

Gail said Zappa would have liked the location, because his mother, Rose Marie, was a librarian. Gail actually lobbied to have the bust placed near a city library.

"I'm thrilled," she said. "That's where he went to school, in the library. The library was a really important place for him in his teen years."

I asked her if Zappa would have even wanted a bust of himself anywhere, let alone in Baltimore, and she laughed.

"It's the ultimate bust, isn't it?," she said. "It's a beautiful, beautiful bust. I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome. It's stunning. It really represents Frank's character beautifully."

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

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:12 PM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Random stuff


great! i've been wondering about the fate of this bust for over a year, it seems. i even emailed one of the members of the public art committee but they never responded. i even used capital letters in my email.

Awesome! Never been to this location, but it sounds like a proper place for such a great bust (and artist). RIP,'re missed.

I just hope the library lays in a good collection of Zappiana.

As a huge Zappa fan and Lithuanian I'm disappointed in the location. Wasn't it supposed to be fells point?
Are that many people really going to visit a statue in front of a library at a random intersection vs. a location that gets a ton of traffic every day?

This should have been put up in Baltimore County. Franks mom lived at the top of my street in Arbutus years later. Frank would visit there, we would stand on my friend porch with amazement that Frank Zappa was right across the street. How cool is that?

December 21, 2008 was "Frank Zappa Day" in Baltimore.
Will it observed again this year?

The AP story on The Bust, which includes in the second article The following state
"A Lithuanian fan club erected the Zappa statue in the Lithuanian capital, and last year donated a replica to Baltimore, the singer's birthplace."

The Rolling Stone article from 2002 on the original Bust
"Zappa Lives on in Lithuania: A story of a guitarist, a fan club, a bluff and a statue"


Such BS.

I photographed Frank and the Mothers playing in the Eastern HS auditorium in 67.

"He would have liked it because his mother was a librarian",


This statue deserved to be in front of the Meyerhoff.

I personally spoke with people involved. Grew up in Highlandtown.

Frank deserved so much more from Baltimore.

And, it's not even up yet.
It's not too late.

Give this musical genius his just due.

Hey! What's new in Baltimore?
How 'bout that bust to erect?
Less than 20 years after his death? I am amazed!!! Well done Baltimore!

Has this been actually erected yet?

The pedestal is up, and the lights have been installed.
There are workers there now with a crane. It looks like they'll be finished by the 19th.

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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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