Parents: Frank Zappa and Adelaide Gail Sloatman
- Dweezil was born on September 5, 1969 in Los Angeles, California. His registered birth name was Ian Donald Calvin Euclid Zappa, although this occurred only because the hospital at which he was born refused to register him under the name Dweezil. The name was a nickname coined by Frank for an oddly curled pinky-toe of Gail’s. He was always called Dweezil by his family and was unaware that this was not the name on his birth certificate. Upon this discovery at the age of seven, he insisted on having his nickname become his legal name. Gail and Frank hired an attorney and soon the name Dweezil was official.
He is the second of four siblings: his older sister, Moon Unit, and his two younger siblings Ahmet and Diva. He is the cousin of actress Lala Sloatman. Zappa’s father was of Sicilian, Greek-Arab and French descent and his mother was of Danish, French, Irish and Portuguese ancestry.
In the 1980s, Zappa worked as a MTV VJ. He also recorded some solo rock albums, as well as playing guitar for other artists. Dweezil can be seen in the music video for Don Johnson’s top 40 song, “Heartbeat.” He also played co-lead guitar (along with Reb Beach) on Winger’s cover of Jimi Hendrix‘s “Purple Haze.” Dweezil has said that Eddie Van Halen was his favorite guitar player, and he began copying Van Halen‘s distinctive guitar style. He also had a part in the futuristic Arnold Schwarzenegger movie The Running Man as Stevie (“Don’t touch that dial!”), and gave his most famous cameo role in Molly Ringwald’s brat-pack movie Pretty in Pink as Andi’s friend, Simon.
Since the early 1990s, Zappa has been working on a piece of music named ‘What The Hell Was I Thinking?’, a 75-minute piece featuring guitar solos by dozens of famous guitar players. The project has suffered from numerous difficulties and has been reworked several times since the ’90s. Dweezil said in September 2004, “I started recording it on analog tape almost 13 years ago… There are probably about 35 guest guitar players on it, everybody from Brian May to Eddie Van Halen, Eric Johnson, Malcolm and Angus Young — it’s quite a crazy project. I’m still waiting and hoping to record Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page as some of my final guests on there.”
In the mid 1990s, Zappa voiced the character Ajax Duckman on the animated series Duckman. He also briefly appeared in the television sitcom Normal Life with sister Moon Unit Zappa and former Laverne and Shirley star Cindy Williams. He composed and performed the theme music for The Ben Stiller Show (the solo from Spinal Tap’s “Break Like the Wind”). In the late 1990s Dweezil, alongside with his brother, Ahmet, started a short-lived TV show called Happy Hour which was later canceled due to copyright infringement with the name.
In “Weird Al” Yankovic’s 2003 eleventh studio album Poodle Hat, Dweezil performs the opening guitar solo and lends his vocal talents to the track, Genius in France.
In 2006, Zappa organized the “Zappa Plays Zappa” tour. He assembled a band of young musicians with a view to bring the music of Frank Zappa to a younger audience. The tour also features guest appearances by Steve Vai, Napoleon Murphy Brock and Terry Bozzio. The tour began in Europe in May with dates in the U.S. from June. After a break it continued in the U.S. on October 18, 2006. The 2007 version of the tour ran from July, finishing in Australia in early December, and featured Ray White as special guest. The shows ended with the promise: “There are so many songs we want to learn to play … see you next year …”
Zappa’s first serious relationship of note was with Katie Wagner, daughter of actor Robert Wagner, star of the Hart to Hart TV show. Zappa later went on to have a brief relationship with actress Sharon Stone. For six years, Zappa dated musician Lisa Loeb. Dweezil and Lisa wrote and performed music together, and even went on tour with Loeb’s band. The couple co-hosted the cooking show Dweezil & Lisa on Food Network in 2004. However, the couple broke up in the summer of 2004. Zappa married fashion stylist Lauren Knudsen on September 3, 2005 in Los Angeles. They have a daughter (born 2006), named Zola Frank Zappa.
* My Mother is a Space Cadet – 1982
* Havin’ a Bad Day – 1986
* My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama – 1988
* Confessions – 1991
* Shampoohorn – 1994
* Music For Pets – 1996
* Pet Box
* Automatic – 2000
* Go with What You Know – 2006
- adapted from Wikipedia