The unique guitars, amplifiers, effect units, keyboards and studio equipment of Frank Zappa

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Zappa's Gear Quotes

A selection of quotes - mostly from the book - updated as I post them on Twitter:

"Then I got a real nice second-hand SG and played that from ‘Apostrophe’ through ‘Bongo Fury’.” FZ about the Roxy Gibson SG Special

"There are no ex Zappa fans" - Gail Zappa - Queen Elizabeth Hall London 2013

"We hope to put the show on at another date." FZ outside the Albert Hall on 8th Feb 1971 after 200 Motels cancelled.

"If there's ever an obscene noise to be made on an instrument it's gonna come out of a guitar...that’s why I like it" FZ

"I'm a plunker! I couldn't even imagine what it would be like to play the piano" FZ

"I was trying for a clean sound on the '88 tour. I used my custom-built Stratocaster and a Roland GP-8." FZ

"Frank tried it on his own mike just to be weird. It was" – Bob Easton of 360 Systems about the '20/20 Frequency Shifter'

"I like the middle range of the [wah-wah] pedal. Don't tilt it all the way forward or back; just work the middle of it" FZ

"And suddenly you hit your string and a trumpet comes out, it feels really weird! (laughs)” FZ on guitar synthesizers

"There's one thing a guy named Bob Easton constructed for me called the Electro Wagnerian Emancipator" FZ

"Its main drawback is that the tone that comes out of it is somewhat like a Farfisa organ" FZ

"No, we didn't take it on the last tour. It was too much of a temptation for Tommy to noodle on." FZ about his Hammond B3

"and that’s a hot little number that we recorded using 35 Hagstrom guitars and a whole bunch of amplifiers” FZ Hagstrom radio advert

"I decided to stuff a pair of U87s in the piano and invite anyone in the vicinity to stick their head inside and ramble incoherently" FZ

"We used a Harmonizer on the bass. It was split left and right, which gave us a real nice sound". FZ on the Läther album

"The D'Mini Strat that I have is unbelievable; you can't believe the noises that come out of that thing." FZ

"It was recorded with just one of those AKG Dummy Head microphones and a C24." FZ on Terry Bozzio's 'Hands with a hammer'

"Actually it's not all that complex... There's about 24 switches on the floor. I add to it every year." FZ on his 1979 effects rack

"He brought out 3 scores in manuscript measuring 13x20" beautifully copied and handsomely bound" Nicholas Slonimsky about first meeting with FZ

"I also have a Telecaster, one of the copies of the originals that Fender put out, it's a real good blues guitar" FZ

"I moved to the Boomerang (wah-wah pedal)… it added a certain amount of distortion, and I liked that" FZ

"You have to carry spares. And the problem about carrying a spare Synclavier is it's a quarter of a million dollars.” FZ

"Frank would throw in all those extra little notes on two bongos of mine and his piccolo snare and field drum" Ruth Underwood

"The last movement of 'Sad Jane' is actually a transcription of a guitar solo from 1968 that Ian Underwood wrote out" FZ

"I'm playing the bouzouki, which is a Greek mandolin, and he's playing the baritone violin and it's really nice." FZ

"Hey, we’re really going to have to play, this beatnik has written some music here!" FreakOut  session cellist about FZ

"I like a Stratocaster tone, especially when it's feeding back with a mid-range boost so it gets a real nasal sound"
- FZ

"I have used a Pignose extensively on the last five albums. It's a very reliable sound source for the studio" FZ

"It was a very well made production-line Gibson Les Paul right off the rack." FZ on the 'Shut Up'n Play...' Les Paul

"so I switched to a Les Paul and somebody stole that." FZ Record Review 1982 about this guitar:

"I’ll tell you put this sucker together and we’ll talk." FZ giving Rex Bogue the Hendrix Strat as a test

"I wanna have a Marshall tonight... I don't want a 'spin-off' of a Marshall, I want a Marshall" FZ - the Smith Tapes

"I'm using the MXR flanger on a few of the guitar sounds." FZ talking about the 'Läther' album

"I've invested thousands of dollars on very exotic, advanced synthesizer equipment. I have a humongous E-mu set up" FZ

"I do have a fretless guitar, and I'm pretty good on that." FZ on his Acoustic Control Corporation Black Widow

"...he (Dick Kunc) built a little box with three pushbuttons; we called it the Apostolic Blurch Injector." FZ

"I like pepper, tobacco and coffee, that’s my metabolism" FZ

"...and he played it on a real interesting Fender 12-string that had a Barcus Berry in the neck" Terry Bozzio about FZ

"Sometimes it's actually a wah-wah, while in other cases it's a thing called a Systech Harmonic Energize" FZ

"It didn’t sound very good but it was easier to carry than a Fender Rhodes" FZ on the RMI Electra Piano

"That device lets you specify your own acoustics; you can build a room and do what you want." FZ about the Lexicon 224X

"I got my first SG in 1970, after hearing one for the first time at a party on the Riviera." FZ

"I see the whole studio as a musical instrument, something on the order of a pipe organ." FZ

"The way I learned was by buying an ARP 2600, getting the manual, and just sitting around and piddling with it." FZ

"It's got two kinds of pre-amps in it and a mass of electronics. And it sustains for months" FZ on his Rex Bogue guitar

"I think of the piano as some sort of an elaborate percussion instrument." FZ

"There are sounds which come out of my Stratocaster which don't come out of anything else on the face of the earth." FZ