« American Idol's Constantine Maroulis to star in 'Rock of Ages' at Hippodrome | Main | This year, Aqua will have holograms. Yes, holograms. »

April 30, 2010

Frank Zappa statue to be dedicated in September

frank zappa statue

The Frank Zappa statue will be dedicated Sept. 18 in its new home outside the Southeast Anchor Library in Highlandtown, officials said today.

The decision to erect the bust outside the library has generated buzz from neighborhood residents and local Zappa fans, according to Roswell Encina, spokesman for the Enoch Pratt library system.

"You can't imagine all the attention the library is getting," Encina said. "People are very interested that it's coming. We couldn't think of a better place for it."

When the Highlandtown branch of the library learned it would be the site for the statue, it stocked up on Zappa books and music, Encina said ...

"People are checking them out already," he said. "If you want to learn more about Zappa, travel to the Southeast Anchor Library."

Several sites were considered for the statue, including Fells Point and Mount Vernon. Highlandtown was chosen because of its high volume of foot traffic and Zappa's affinity for libraries. His mother, Rose Marie, was a librarian, and his widow, Gail, lobbied to have the bust placed near a city library.

Valued at about $50,000, the 15-odd foot statue was donated to the city from a Lithuanian fan club in 2008.

"It's been a long time coming," Encina said. "We couldn't think of a better place for it." 

In anticipation of the statue's arrival, the library stocked up on several Zappa DVDs, according to branch manager Cindy Kleback. They have been checked out at a higher rate than most DVDs, she said. Books and other Zappa-related materials could follow in the coming months.

"The DVDs are very popular," she said. "He was a very visual artist."

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

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:32 AM | | Comments (16)


I still say it should sit in front of Penn station in place of male/female (either that or truckasaurus)

I second that. How many people besides those who live in Highlandtown are actually going to see it? Highlandtown, while it has come a long way, isn't exactly a destination for tourists or locals from other areas of the city either.

As a Zappa fan and Lithuanian Baltimore resident, I was hoping it would be placed in an area with more foot traffic. That said, I'm happy the city found a place for it at all after all the bickering from neighborhood associations etc.

I wish they would put it in front of my house.

Don't even get me started on that Penn Station atrocity. It is the worst piece of so-called art I've ever seen. I wish lightning would strike it.

Frank was a genius. He is missed. I hope to be there for the dedication.

I agree about putting it somewhere in the City where more people will see it. On its own, I am not sure if it is a big enough draw to get people to Highlandtown...somewhere around the harbor would have been better - maybe near Pier 6 since it is music related.

Frank was an innovator - died way too young.

I think it is a wonderful idea to have Frank's head eternally in front of the Highlandtown library, now if we can only get John Waters head immortalized somewhere in Baltimore, and let's not wait until he is laid to rest.

I will absolutely be there... if only someone would tell us when. The article doesn't say. Noon? 2pm? 4am? As much as I like Zappa and Highlandtown (my mom lived in the 3400 block of East Pratt Street) I don't think I want to spend the whole day hanging around waiting for this.

Someone should apply for a grant, start a museum, artspace, bar/restaurant/hotel, and make it into a tourist attraction.

John Waters Film Institue, Frank Z fanshrine, the Visionary Arts Museum, we'll have the Lithuanian tourism market cornered in no time!

What the city needs to do is connect the dots between these disparate arts institutions - The Senator, The Charles, the VAM, MICA, Poe, Mencken. A pattern of greatness but no one is presenting a common archetype that links it all together.

It needs to be put in a place where it can be seen by the public and remain fairly safe from theft and pranksters. It will be watched at the library. I want to stop by and tweak its nose for good luck.

It amazes me how people continue to complain about the Penn Station sculpture. Move on and find something to be happy about and quit wallowing in your own personal misery.

"Don't get no ... upon that sofa" as only
Frank could utter, was among the many
Zappa gems. What they call a truly
ttransformative personality or just a plain iold icon, Frank s songs were the soundtrack for tons of peoples lives. A fitting tribute for the man.

What's the ugliest
Part of your body?
Some say your nose
Some say your toes
But I think it's
- Frank Zappa

I'm happy to have Frank grace our neighborhood. The library sits on the border of Highlandtown, Canton, and Brewers Hill (all Highlandtown when I was a kid). I think Frank would approve being in front of a library. Since other areas/neighborhoods (Fells Point, Inner Harbor, etc. etc.) rejected the bust, I think it's great that it will be in a place that is a truer reflection of Bawlmer.

Gary, dedication will start at 2PM on Sunday, and at 3PM -free concert by Zappa son I hope to be there too :)

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "p" in the field below:
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.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected