Ray Collins of Mothers of Invention dies
He was the man who brought Frank Zappa to join the band that became the Mothers of Invention. Musician Ray Collins has died.
He was 75 - and the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports he died Christmas Eve, five days after suffering a heart attack.
Collins invited Zappa to play guitar for an R&B cover band called the Soul Giants in 1964. Two years later, the group was known as Mothers of Invention - but Collins found it necessary to leave the group after singing on just three albums.
He said in a 2009 interview that the group featured "too much comedy, too much making fun of stuff." Collins said he would rather "make beautiful music" - like Johnny Mathis and Nat King Cole.
He lived his last eight years in a van - and got by on Social Security and songwriting royalties. He once joked the money he got was enough to live on, but "not enough to pick up women."
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