Dick Barber, a high school friend of Ronnie Williams, is name-checked in the liner notes 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". He was the Mothers' road manager in the late 1960's and early 1970's. According to Zappa, he was a fourth grade school teacher who quit to go on the road with the Mothers (from the recording of a lecture at the University of Tennessee, April 28, 1969, at the 50:38 mark).
He also played with great emotion the role of the industrial strength Gypsy Mutant Vacuum Cleaner that Motorhead falls in love with in the "200 Motels (the Film)" (1971). Appears in the Uncle Meat (The Film)) (1987) and "The True Story Of 200 Motels" (1989) videos. Barber, the "Gnarler", performed snorts and various vocal noises on several FZ recordings.
According to Ray Collins, Barber was present during the recording of the single "How's Your Bird?" / "The World's Greatest Sinner" (1963, Baby Ray & The Ferns), recorded at PAL Recording Studio (Cucamonga), available on various Cucamonga-era compilations; according to Paul Buff, owner of the studio, he (Buff) was the "Godfather of Snorks" and other such early Zappa noises ...
Barber is also credited for contributions on the "Dear Jeepers"/"Letter From Jeepers" single (1963, Bob Guy), and "The Big Squeeze", the Luden's Cough Drop Commercial, recorded in 1967, available on "The Lost Episodes" (1996) album. He snorked on "We're Only In It For The Money" (1968) and "Lumpy Gravy" (1968). More Barber can be found on the "You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 5" (1992) album: "JCB & Kansas On The Bus #1" and "JCB & Kansas On The Bus #2", both recorded in 1969 in a Greyhound bus, and Mozart Ballet (Piano Sonata in B Flat)", recorded in 1969, at the Royal Albert Hall (London).
Zappa named Dick Barber in Data For Sensitive or Critical-sensitive Position as his favorite "well known personage".