Ed Mann played percussion for Zappa between September 1977 and June 1988, appearing first on the album Zappa In New York (1978) – for which he provided overdubs.
He can be seen in Baby Snakes (1979), The Dub Room Special! (1982), Video From Hell (1987) and The Torture Never Stops (2008), and heard on numerous albums – including Sheik Yerbouti (1979), Joe's Garage (1979), Tinsel Town Rebellion (1981), Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar (1981), You Are What You Is (1981), Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch (1982), The Man From Utopia (1983), London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I (1983) and Vol. II (1987), Them Or Us (1984), Thing-Fish (1984), Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention (1985), Broadway The Hard Way (1988), The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life (1991), Make A Jazz Noise Here (1991), Halloween (2003), Trance-Fusion (2006), Hammersmith Odeon (2010), Chicago '78 (2016) and all but the second volume of Zappa's You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore series of live recordings.
Since 1988, Mann has released five solo albums, and toured and recorded with Rickie Lee Jones, Kenny Loggins, Banned From Utopia, Project Object, The Z3 and the Grandmothers.
I first contacted Mann when he signed up to play at Zappanale in 2004. We met briefly at Zappanale, and continued our correspondence afterwards.
When I was asked to write Zappa The Hard Way, Mann was eager and happy to assist. His contribution forms an integral part of the story of the 1988 tour.
Caricature by Antero Valério.