Ray Collins, Member Of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, Passes Away
The New York Times reports that Ray Collins, member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, died on Monday in Pomona, California. He was 75.
He died just a week after being admitted to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center for cardiac arrest.
He eventually left the group as he was tired of Zappa’s emphasis on satire. He told the Inland Daily Bulletin in 2009: “I wanted to make beautiful music. I was raised on Johnny Mathis and Nat King Cole.“
He joins Zappa in death, who died of prostate cancer in 1993. Collins had recently been living out of a van in Claremonth, California. He told The Daily Bulletin he drove a taxi in Los Angeles for a while and washed dishes in Hawaii. He also received royalties from “Memories of El Monte”, a ballad based on the chords for “Earth Angel” he wrote with Zappa. The Penguins, who made “Earth Angel”, released it in 1963.