I am a huge Frank Zappa fan. I can tell by various screen names, quotes, etc, that I am not alone on this forum. Since he's not exactly a staple of rock radio, I was thinking it might be fun to share stories of how you discovered and fell in love with his music. For me, the year was 1991, I was fresh out of high school, and a bunch of bands from Seattle, spearheaded by Nirvana, were about to change the face of rock radio for the next two decades (and counting). Of course, we had no idea that what we were hearing was going to be so important. It just sounded good, and we were glad to be hearing some rock on the radio after a decade of Madonna and Michael Jackson. But I was hungry for something truly ground-breaking and different, and frankly, Nirvana wasn't it. A young bassist, and a fan, at the time, of Metallica, I was studying their music, and learning about odd time signatures in the process. I began to hear these rhythms in other music as diverse as Black Flag, Juliana Hatfield, and Dave Brubeck. To me, it was the only way to go, and I began to consider 4/4 time to be banal and uncreative. I've since gotten over that, but I digress. One day, I received my latest copy of "Guitar for the Practicing Musician" in the mail. For those of you who don't remember, that was a guitar mag that did full transcriptions, with tab, of five complete songs every month. They usually included complete bass lines for one or two songs, and eventually included them for every song. They also had a column called "Bass Secrets" from a bassist named Randy Coven. To this day, I have never heard Mr. Coven's music, but I do remember that he had a whammy bar on his bass, so there's that. This particular month, he was talking about what he called "complex polyrhythms", where a musician might, for example, play seven evenly-spaced notes in the space normally occupied by three. As a youngster intrigued by odd time, this seemed like the next frontier. At the end of the article, he dropped the statement that would change my musical life forever (quoting from memory here) "I first learned about these types of rhythms from studying such Frank Zappa pieces as 'The Black Page' and 'Moe and Herb's Vacation' when I was at Berklee". OK, so I needed to check out some FZ. Now, I'm just young enough that I've never heard (even to this day) "Valley Girl" played on the radio. At the time, I hadn't heard ANY FZ, and my impression was that he was a blues-rocker in the vein of SRV or Santana, or perhaps a jazz guy. Boy was I about to be proved wrong. I stopped in a local record store (remember those?) and checked out the FZ section. They must have had 20 or so titles. I figured that must be about every record he ever made. Again, I was soon to be proved very wrong. Different CDs were offered at different price points, and being a newbie, I decided to try a disc at the lowest possible price point. I picked one out called "Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch" because the cover made me LOL (although "LOL" wasn't even a thing back then). When I got the disc home, I only had time to listen to the first three songs (what would have been side one in the vinyl era). I thought to myself, "this is all right, I might listen to this once in a while". Later, when I got to side two, I was having the same thoughts, right up until Frank goes "ritual sacrifice...." And then the musical **** hits the musical fan. Or fans. In a big way. To say that nothing I had heard before prepared me for the instrumental onslaught that followed would be an understatement of epic proportions. My jaw hit the floor, and I never really picked it up properly since. The second album I picked up was "Absolutely Free". It's a radically different album from "Drowning Witch", and if I had started here, there's a chance I may have never caught the bug. But because I loved "Witch" so much, I gave it a proper chance, and ended up loving it too. There was a kid I was giving lessons to at the time, and I told him about my newfound love. He said, "oh yeah, my uncle made me a tape of some of that stuff" (Remember tapes?) He loaned the tape to me, and it was a mind-blowing live album. Based on the track listing, I was able to figure out that it was "The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life". I purchased the CD soon thereafter. In the liner notes were the albums that the songs originally appeared on. This became the blueprint for the next bunch of Zappa purchases, and eventually I would get the whole collection. 20+ years later, I can't say that I'm still the Zappa-obsessive I once was. But I still, to this day, consider him to be my very favorite musician/composer. I have simply come to realize that there are a lot of other artists who are worthy of attention too. And I think that's a healthy realization. But at the end of the day, if I had to pick a desert island album, it would definitely be a Frank Zappa album, and might very well be "Civilization Phaze III". Or "One Size Fits All". Or "Hot Rats". Or "Uncle Meat". Or "The Yellow Shark". Or..... damn, this is hard. OK, your turn.