Tom Fowler, Bassist For Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention, Dead At 73

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Tom Fowler, best known as the bassist for Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Invention, has died. The musician suffered complications from an aneurysm and passed on July 2. He was 73.

The news was shared by his collaborator Arthur Barrow on Facebook, who wrote:

So sad to report another big loss in the Zappa community. Tom Fowler left us yesterday, July 2, 2024. He was a hero to me. The first time I heard Echidna’s I almost fell over when he played the big 5/16 lick on the bass! I had no idea that a clumsy bass could do such a thing! He was an inspiration for me to buy a bass and start practicing. I have known him since about 1976. RIP old friend – missing you very much. (pic is from 2014 Euro tour – don’t know who the woman is – a fan I guess)

Thomas William Fowler was born on June 10, 1951 in Salt Lake City. He began playing violin at age 6. Afterward, he picked up the upright bass, and then electric bass at age 16 upon hearing Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa. He played on Zappa’s most beloved albums, such as Apostrophe (‘), Roxy & Elsewhere, and One Size Fits All. Other acts he performed with include It’s A Beautiful Day, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Steve Hackett. He was the bassist for Ray Charles’ final album Genius Loves Company, which won the Grammy for Album Of The Year in 2005.