"When I met Zappa he was kind of a nerd, but he was smart enough to disguise that by street talk and being into R&B."
Donald Ward Preston Born 21st September 1932 in Flint, MI, into a family of musicians, studied music from an early age.
During is military service he was stationed at Trieste, Italy, where he shared a room with Buzz Gardner, his musical career started playing piano with Herbie Mann. Throughout the 1950's he played with various artists ranging from Nat King Cole to Paul and Carla Bley.
By the 1960's Preston was experimenting with new developments in electronic keyboards.
As a member of several Mothers line-ups Preston provided piano, keyboards, synthesizer, and/or vocal for:
- Absolutely Free
- We're Only In It For The Money
- Cruising With Ruben & The Jets
- Uncle Meat
- Burnt Weeny Sandwich
- Weasels Ripped My Flesh
- Fillmore East, June 1971
- Just Another Band From L.A.
- The Grand Wazoo
- Roxy & Elsewhere
- You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 1
- You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 3
- You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 4
- You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 5
- You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 6
- Playground Psychotics
- Ahead Of Their Time
- The Lost Episodes
- Mystery Disc
- The Ark (BTB)
- Unmitigated Audacity (BTB)
- 'Tis The Season To Be Jelly (BTB)
- Electric Aunt Jemima (BTB)
- Swiss Cheese/Fire! (BTB)
- Our Man In Nirvana (BTB)
Don can be seen in the Zappa movies:
Wrote original music for a number of films such as "Eye Of The Tiger" and "Emmanuelle 1: First Contact".
Appeared as Dr. Ogo Moto, a character he had created in a series of four films he had made himself, in "Sinister Flesh": A strange tale of a mad scientist's search for eternal life made in 1976.