Gail Zappa

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Just an ordinary day for Frank and wife Gail at home in LA in ’67.
Copyright: Getty Images.
Frank and Gail on the cover of "We're Only In It For The Money" (1968)

Gail Zappa (January 1, 1945 - October 7, 2015) was Zappa's second wife (after Kay Sherman) and mother of his children Moon, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva.


She was born Adelaide Gail Sloatman as daughter of John Sloatman, who also appears on the cover of We're Only In It For The Money. Her sister is Lala Sloatman and her brothers Arthur "Midget" Sloatman and Jay Sloatman.

Gail worked at the Whisky a Go-Go and The Trip for Elmer Valentine. She was Bobby Jameson's girlfriend at the time. Pamela Zarubica introduced her to Zappa in 1966. Gail and Frank married in 1967. She ran Zappa's business procedures, especially after he passed away. One of her occupations were Zappa's mail-order operations, including Barfko-Swill.

She can be heard as a guest vocalist during "The Torture Never Stops" from the album Zoot Allures (1976) and provided photo's for the Zappa In New York album, as well as the inside photo on Sheik Yerbouti. Gail was also executive producer of Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa and most of his posthumous albums.

References to her in Zappa's work

Zappa nicknamed her as his Pumpkin on the sleeve of Absolutely Free (1967). He referenced her again under the same nickname on the star map on the back cover of One Size Fits All (1975). Barking Pumpkin Records was also named after Gail's smoker's cough as she tried to quit the habit.

Gail can be heard saying "We don't get any because we're otherwise" during Very Distraughtening on Lumpy Gravy (1968).

She can also be seen on the cover of We're Only In It For The Money (1968), visibly pregnant.

Mentions in interviews

She is mentioned in Bobby Zappa's article My Brother Is an Italian Mother (Jazz & Pop, 1968). The articles Rock Wives, Just Plain Folks, Not Just In It For The Money, Thing-Fish Rap are largely about her.

Howard Stern interviewed her in Gail Zappa Speaks With Howard Stern.

Personal recordings

Gail recorded "American Sweethearts" (Living Legend LL722) as "Bunny and Bear" with Kim Fowley. She performed vocals on Dweezil Zappa's Havin' A Bad Day and on Gene Simmons' track Black Tongue from his solo album "Asshole" (2004).

Video appearances

She also appeared in Mondo Hollywood with Bobby Jameson and in Video From Hell as well as the documentaries Frank Zappa (1971 Documentary) (1971), The True Story Of 200 Motels (1987) , Derailroaded - Inside The Mind Of Larry "Wild Man" Fischer (2005) and Frank Scheffer's Frank Zappa: The Present-Day Composer Refuses To Die (2000), Frank Zappa Phase II: The Big Note (2002) and Frank Zappa: Pioneer Of Future Music, parts 1 & 2 (2007).

In popular culture

Gail is mentioned in John Mayall's song 2401.

Quotes by Gail Zappa about Frank Zappa

"I thought that he was probably one of the grubbiest creatures I'd ever seen, but he was compelling. He had a compelling glare. He had major magnetic charm, I would say." - Gail, quoted from Just Plain Folks, May 1990, interview by Drew Wheeler.

See also

More information