Dweezil Zappa was born on September 5, 1969 in Los Angeles—the son of Frank and Gail Zappa. It was inevitable that from the moment of his birth his life would be filled wall-to wall with music (his father having listed his religion as “musician” on Dweezil’s birth certificate). Dweezil’s early years were spent largely away from the spotlight—something of a rarity for the child of a celebrity, but perfect for cultivating a close relationship with his family.
Having watched his father perform concerts from the side of the stage since he was in diapers it was no surprise that he began to show an interest in music early on. At 6 years old he received his first guitar, a Fender Music Master from his dad. It wasn’t until he was 12 that he began to show a serious interest in manipulating the instrument to make music.
Besides his father’s music he began listening to the Beatles, Queen, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. Like many aspiring guitarists of his generation, Dweezil ‘s ear was caught in a stranglehold by the trailblazing guitar styles of Edward Van Halen and Randy Rhoads. He listened to their records for hours on end trying to figure out a way to translate what he was hearing in his head to his fingers at the other end of the guitar. Along the way, he had opportunities to ask his dad for some help. To gain more fundamental knowledge of technique and scales Dweezil was fortunate to have some assistance from one of the musicians in his father’s band at that time, Steve Vai. Dweezil became remarkably proficient in a very short amount of time due to his intense practicing sessions.
In 1982, at the age of 12 he made his first onstage appearance with his father’s band at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. Later that year he recorded his first single, “My Mother Is A Space Cadet”, released on Frank Zappa’s Barking Pumpkin label. The amazing story behind that recording is that it was produced by Edward Van Halen. (On the sleeve it is credited as being produced by De Vards in order to avoid any contractual issues for Van Halen.) This kicked off a prolific career, spanning decades and resulting in dozens of album credits to his name.
Constantly learning and evolving his guitar art, Dweezil Zappa is both the modern face of Zappa music and the person who can bring it fully-formed into the future.
Dweezil’s proudest accomplishments are as father to his two daughters Zola Frank Zappa (born 2006) and Ceylon Indira Zappa (born 2008). He lives in Los Angeles.