by Jeff Cornell
We have some sad news to report. Gail Zappa, wife to the late-Frank Zappa and mother to Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva has died at the age of 70. She died away peacefully at her home on Wednesday, Oct. 7, surrounded by her children.
The Zappa matriarch was born Adelaide Gail Sloatman. She married the avante-garde rocker Frank Zappa when she was 22. According to a statement released by the Zappa family, “Gail was a doe-eyed, barefooted trailblazer, giving equal value to her domestic and professional responsibilities as matriarch of the family and overseer of all Zappa enterprises. She devoted herself to partnering with her husband in the music business and raising their children, Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva.”
Related: Watch this Frank Zappa minimation
Following Frank Zappa’s death to prostate cancer in 1993, Gail took control of her late-husband’s estate to create the Zappa Family Trust, to ensure his legacy as a masterful composer and a hugely important artist would remain intact. Gail went on to establish clear definitions of intellectual property and copyright laws on behalf of not just her husband, but all artists.
The Zappa family’s press statement concludes: “Gail will forever be identified as a key figure in the creative renaissance that is Laurel Canyon. But more than any singular accomplishment, she defined herself in her personal relationships, happiest when surrounded by loved ones and artists, often one in the same. The memories she leaves behind are indeed her own art form. Her searing intelligence, unforgettable smile, wild thicket of hair and trailing black velvets leave a blur in her wake.”