Johnny Franklin is name-checked on the cover of "Freak Out!" (1966) under the heading "These People Have Contributed Materially In Many Ways To Make Our Music What It Is. Please Do Not Hold It Against Them", and he is also mentioned in "The Real Frank Zappa Book" (1989). Franklin was an original member of The Blackouts. He played alto sax, and then, probably later, bass. Johnny provided bass and vocals for Steal Away on Zappa's Mystery Disc.
Johnny Franklin is also referenced in the lyrics of Village Of The Sun: "Cause they're all still there, even Johnny Franklin too."