Inside Dweezil Zappa's mission impossible: performing his father's Hot Rats album live

(Image credit: Hulton Archive / Stringer via Getty Images)

There’s a good reason why you’ll never hear a covers band attempt Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats. It’s impossible. It’s unperformable. It’s unfathomable. 

Even putting aside the art-rock icon’s leftfield electric guitar virtuosity, the 1969 album is a tapestry of overdubs and tape manipulation, a web of sonic subterfuge and obtuse one-offmanship, with makeshift ‘instruments’ that include a plastic comb and a mechanic’s wrench.

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Henry Yates

Henry Yates is a freelance journalist who has written about music for titles including The Guardian, Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a talking head on Times Radio and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl and many more. As a guitarist with three decades' experience, he mostly plays a Fender Telecaster and Gibson Les Paul.