His love of music along with his talent for writing and vocalizing put him into Lizard Recording Studio in the early 70’s, putting out two albums, “Nolan” and “Nolan, No Apologies”. He was written up in Billboard magazine and his vocal prowess was described as “a juicy Porter-House steak…” Patrice “Candy” Zappa was born in Baltimore, Maryland, along with her 3 older brothers, Frank, Bob and Carl. Patrice’s oldest brother Frank went on to become the famous Frank Zappa and the leader of the early rock/jazz/fusion group called “The Mothers of Invention”. Patrice graduated from Burbank High, being known as “Frank Zappa’s sister” but not before attending 2 other high schools – 1 in Jacksonville, Florida, and the other, Pomona Catholic Girls High in Pomona, California.
The family moved several times, so Patrice was the new kid in school every 2 years. She grew up, married, had 3 children, got divorced and actively pursued her musical talents before, during and after her married life. Is there life after marriage? Was irony mentioned earlier? In 1969, Frank disbanded the Mothers and 3 of the original members of the group went to Lizard Records, where, ironically – see there’s the irony part – Nolan Porter was busy recording his album “Nolan”. Jimmy Carl Black, Roy Estrada and Lowell George met Nolan, liked his music and performed on his album.
They made musical history as Nolan’s music is still being played today in England. During the 80’s both Nolan and Patrice had bands and performed extensively; Nolan performed in Alaska, Singapore, Bali. Patrice performed locally in the San Fernando Valley, California. Fast forward to1997: Patrice meets Nigey Lennon, a friend of Frank’s who wrote a book about her relationship with him, called “Being Frank: My Time With Frank Zappa” and upon reading the book, Patrice decided it was time they met. Nigey and her then husband Lionel Rolfe, went to Patrice’s for dinner, they had a good time and, after hearing a tape of Patrice singing, became recording partners.
“Reinventing the Wheel”, Nigey’s CD, was recorded in 1998 and has enjoyed airplay on several New York radio stations. Patrice sang 3 songs on it, “Anyway the Wind Blows”, “Messin’ in the Kitchen” and “Yer Wife Don’t Like Me”. On to 1999: A restaurant in the San Fernando Valley where a concert is being held. Patrice Zappa meets Mari Linville, another fellow singer. She and Patrice become very good friends.
Mari told Patrice about a longtime friend of hers, Nolan Porter and she would tell Nolan about Patrice. Neither of them thought anything about the other, right away. Mari, tired of them not getting together fast enough, decided to tempt fate and invited both of them out for a drink. It happened to be the day after Nolan’s birthday so that seemed like a good excuse to get him out.
When Patrice arrived and saw Nolan sitting there, she wasn’t as enthused, as Mari would have liked. But Mari was undaunted. She introduced them and that’s all she wrote. Patrice got up to sing and Nolan was signed, sealed and delivered.
He heard her voice and then they both got up to sing a song and were quite pleased at how good they sounded together. Evidently, the audience felt the same. Soon afterwards, Nolan asked Patrice if she would like to “put something together.” He made good on his offer and soon the pair were in rehearsals for upcoming shows. They began working on their show that they wrote and produced named “Legacy”, performing music from legends in the music industry.
From Aretha Franklin to Frank Zappa. They also performed some of their own original material. Their first show was November 12, 2000 at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, and it was a large success. Patrice was invited to go to New York in August 2001 and performed with Ed Palermo’s Big Band at the now defunct Bottom Line, in Greenwich Village.
She and Nolan performed the “Legacy” show again in November of 2001. 2002 found Patrice and her brother Bob, in Bad Doberan, Germany for the 13th annual Zappanale. She performed some of her brother’s tunes to the screaming throngs of the local Zappa-philes with Ed Palermo’s big band and also with Lennon, Tobacco and Zappa. When she came back, it was time to get her book, aptly named “My Brother Was A Mother: A Zappa Family Album”, in order and she went to work on it.
In March 2003 her book was printed and the book signings started; In Lancaster, CA, New York, and one signing in particular was at the Borders Bookstore in Westwood, California on May 24, 2003. Patrice and Nolan performed with the “Once A Legacy” band to a large crowd of friends, family and fans. It was, sadly, the first and last performance Patrice’s wonderful mother, Rose Marie Zappa, would attend before her passing in January 2004. Since then, Patrice and Nolan have continued their musical journey with their show “Once A Legacy” and appeared at other venues, such as the House of Blues on Sunset in Hollywood.
They have performed with Brian Hudson’s Popular Front group, singing Brian’s politically satirical songs at the “Coffee Gallery Backstage” in May of 2005, in addition to recording the same songs on a CD titled “Condaleeza, Condaleeza”. Also, Greg Russo, better known as the author of “Cosmik Debris”, another stellar book on Frank Zappa, commissioned Nolan and Patrice to record several songs that he wrote on a CD “NEONFIRE”. It is being heard back east and online. Soon, Greg will release CD’s of both Nolan and Patrice’s material and cover tunes of Frank Zappa, Nigey Lennon and Greg Russo. Patrice and Nolan have recorded a CD of some of their original songs called “SECOND CHANCE”, and the opening song, “Our Love Has Come Alive”, is from the a fore mentioned CD “NEONFIRE” March 2006, the pair was flown to Prestatyn, Wales, for Nolan to perform his music from his earlier mentioned album “Nolan”.
His music is still popular in the UK. They went on to Manchester and did an interview on WFM with Harry and Diana Grundy on the “The Right Track” radio show. And on July 16, 2006, they performed once again in Palmdale, California at 10 West Club for their “Join the 4F Club” show. In 2007, the pair made their union official and married on April 28. Their next musical endeavor was in February 2010 at a local North Hollywood Bistro called Skinny’s.
They employed the talents of the great Zappa alumni, Robert Martin who performed his infamous version of “Whipping Post”. It was a very successful and fun evening. In November of 2010, Zappa and Porter put on a fundraiser for The Achievable Foundation and raised over $1200. They performed a variety of 50’s doo wop songs. Read more on Last.fm.
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