Frank Zappa Guitarist Says He Learned How To Make A Movie From Frank

In a new interview with Ultimate Guitar, former Frank Zappa guitarist Adrian Belew reminisced about playing with Zappa and recalled learning how to make a movie from him.

Despite being a member of the band for only a year, from 1977 to 1978, the guitarist has some good memories from his days with Frank Zappa. When asked what Zappa was like to work with, he clarified that he never allowed drugs or drinks so that the band could do everything right and correctly. Among many things he has learned from the icon, there was the art of movie-making, too. He recalled:

“So I got to know him really well, and he taught me a lot of things – many of them non-musical things. Most importantly, how to be a recording artist, how to tour, how to have your own business, how to mix a record, how to master a record, how to make a movie. So much information to my green little ears at the time. And I don’t know how I would have done the things that I did after that if I hadn’t had all of that instruction and encouragement from Frank. So, I owe him a whole lot, and I love him.”

How Belew Got The Zappa Gig


Zappa visited the bar where Belew’s cover band was performing. Following their performance, the guitarist and Zappa exchanged numbers, a moment Belew recalled as an incident he thought would never happen to him. Half a year later, Zappa contacted Belew, inviting him to audition as a guitarist. At the audition, where fifty other guitarists were also auditioning for the position, Belew eventually secured the gig. He went on to tour with Zappa, contributed to the ‘Sheik Yerbouti’ album, and even appeared in the 1979 concert film, ‘Baby Snakes.’

You can see the interview below.