Ray Collins of Mothers of Invention dies - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Ray Collins of Mothers of Invention dies

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CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA -

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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