Laura Levine
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Frank Zappa
posted: January 27, 2007
Here's another shout-out to all the guys in the house. This is actually one of the first photos I ever took of a musician. It was 1976, I was a freshman in college, a mere 17 years old, and was hanging out in the college newspaper office (the Harvard Crimson), where I spent most of my time. The phone rings, and it's Frank Zappa on the other line. He said he was in town for a show, and did we want to come over and interview him? I think he only called us, not even the "official" papers.

So me and my friend Richard Weisman ran over to his hotel and Richard interviewed him while I shot photos. He was absolutely lovely. Here are a couple of shots I took at the end, one outside his door and one in the elevator.

After they ran in the Crimson, the photos pretty much went into deep storage. Flash forward to thirty years later....his fantastic wife Gail gets wind of the photo session and contacts me. She's putting together images for the Zappa Plays Zappa tour that Dweezil has organized, and they end up using my portrait of Frank as the main image for the tour.
15 comments
Rob Dunlavey January 27, 2007
Woderful story and photos. I miss Zappa a lot. Guess it's time to put on "Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar"! Thanks.
Zina Saunders January 27, 2007
Wow. Another great story and amazing photographs, Laura. Thanks!
J.D. King January 27, 2007
HUH! Laura Levine, friend to the stars! Laura Levine, star!
Marc Burckhardt January 27, 2007
Forget Clapton - Zappa is God. Hey Rob - when you drop that Cd on, listen carefully to the crowd wailing behind "The Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression": you might be able to make out my voice screaming "Whipping Post!".
rag January 27, 2007
How cool is that!
Stephen Kroninger January 27, 2007
David (regarding posting videos in another's thread)--You're an artist, not conforming to convention is your birthright. Laura---Great photos and story. Now WE (me) want to see contact sheets and be brought in to your process.
Tim O'Brien January 27, 2007
Laura Levine is certifiably cool.
Adam McCauley January 27, 2007
Laura, you better get these prints to Eric White asap!!!
Laura Levine January 27, 2007
adam, I've been meaning to! Can you send me his email address? Or ask him to drop me a line......thanks!
Rob Dunlavey January 27, 2007
Oh, so it's you Marc screaming "Whipping Post"! Mystery solved. Time is accelerating: we have Tipper Gore but no Frank Zappa!
Mark Fisher January 28, 2007
Laura, great shot of a fantastic guy. Hot Rats, one of my favorite albums.
David Flaherty January 28, 2007
Steven, before you or Laura joined Drawger we had this discussion about posting images in other peoples threads, which extended to video. I think it was deemed "not cool" thing to do as it kind of skewed the content on the original post. So Zimm took away (somewhat ) our ability to post images in the comments sections. Code-wise it's still possible. Clearly this extened to off-track posts and all. I know your vids are on track and hey I did it too, but just filling you in on the history of it all, so you know where I was coming from. Glad you are on Drawger!
Stephen Kroninger January 28, 2007
David---I was just being flip. However, as a lifetime liberal, progressive and egalitarian it's fine by me if you want to post images and videos in any comments thread of mine. Skew away! "This is America ain't it, ain't this America?"* Laura--More photos! More Photos! *Funny Papers by Tom DeHaven (Viking 1985)
J.S.Dykes January 28, 2007
Dynamo!
Rob Dunlavey January 28, 2007
Dynamo-hum!
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