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Frank Zappa

In celebration of last week's holiday, we wanted to pay another tribute to the Valley’s outlying turkey farms as Frank Zappa once did.

In 1957, Frank Zappa’s father was hired as an engineer at Edwards Air Force Base. Zappa lived in Lancaster and attended both Antelope Valley High School and Antelope Valley College. During his time here, he partook in various activities including conducting the school orchestra, forming the band the Blackouts (appearing several times at the fairgrounds) and later the Omens (playing for the Lancaster Women’s Club and the fairgrounds), and working at the Record Den off Sierra Highway.

Zappa rose to fame as part of the rock culture of the late 1960s and produced nearly sixty albums. Zappa also wrote and released the song “Village of the Sun” on his 1974 album “Roxy and Elsewhere” where he sang about Palmdale’s ruthless winds and turkey farms. Frank would often open the song by saying, “Does anyone know where Palmdale is? Ladies and gentlemen, this is a song about this place I used to live, where they used to raise turkeys.” The opening lyrics were:

“Goin' back home to the Village of the Sun, Out in back of Palmdale where the turkey farmers run, I done made up my mind, And I know I'm gonna go to Sun Village, Good God, I hope the wind don't blow It’ll take the paint off your car, And wreck your windshield too I don't know how the people stand it, But I guess they do, cause they're all still there”

Zappa’s high school friend of his was a fellow musician and local Donald Van Vliet, better known as Captain Beefheart. The two would often meet for late-night coffee at Denny’s (now the Village Grille) on Sierra Highway. For more information on Captain Beefheart, check out our upcoming Facebook posts!

"Gurba, Norma H. Legendary Locals of the Antelope Valley. Arcadia, 2013.

Photo courtesy of MOAH Collections"


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