American musician, composer, songwriter, producer, and director whose debut album, Freak Out!, was a hit.
He had such bad health as a child that his parents relocated the family to Monterey, California from Baltimore.
Many of his albums were gold-certified, including Apostrophe and Over-Nite Sensation.
He married Kay Sherman on December 28, 1960, and, after their divorce in 1964, he married Gail Zappa on September 21, 1967.
He worked extensively with Adrian Belew over the course of his career.