Jimmy Carl Black, the original drummer for Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, passed away this past weekend after a bout with lung cancer. He was 70. Black, the self-proclaimed “Indian of the group,” served with the Mothers from their acclaimed 1966 debut Freak Out! until Zappa’s 1970 album Weasels Ripped My Flesh. Black is also known for donning a dress on the cover of We’re Only In It For the Money. Black’s drumming also formed the heartbeat during the band’s chaotic live performances captured on albums like Uncle Meat and Burnt Weeny Sandwich. Black also played a noticeable role in the Zappa film 200 Motels, where he sang “Lonesome Cowboy Burt.” In his post-Mothers career, Black played in several bands, including a stint with Captain Beefheart, Geronimo Black (which Black fronted) and the Zappa tribute bands like the Grandmothers and the Muffin Men. A benefit for Black will be held November 9th at the Bridgehouse II in London.
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