FestForumsSB2018 has ended
avatar for Scott Thunes

Scott Thunes

Scott Thunes was born in Los Angeles in 1960. His family moved to the Bay Area when he was 8 and his older brother made him learn to play the bass so they could perform Beatles songs and the theme to the Batman TV show for their parents.

He played in his first band when he was 13, took music classes at his local junior college during his junior and senior years of high school (ages 15-17), and became a professional musician, fluent in the languages of written music, jazz, rock, classical, and the nascent but vibrant ‘new wave’ music.

In his early years, his older brother - as most of them do - turned Scott on to the music of Frank Zappa, specifically the early Mothers of Invention albums, even more specifically “Absolutely Free” and “We’re Only In It For The Money” (which is still Scott’s favorite musical work).

So when he turned 21 and auditioned for Frank’s band, he was already very well-versed in the intellectual attitudes and necessary musical abilities for performing on stage with Frank.

He played bass (and synthesizer and sang some background vocals) with Frank for the 1981 North American Tour, the 1982 European Tour, 1984 World Tour, and finally, the ill-fated 1988 World tour, for which he ‘broke up the band’, according to the legends of the day.

He became rehearsal director for the 84 and 88 tours, organizing the band in Frank’s absences and helping to arrange the songs.

He performed on Frank’s Grammy-winning album “Jazz from Hell” and also on the #32 on the Billboard ‘Hot 100’ song “Valley Girl”, eventually ending up on 21 Frank Zappa albums.

He later played bass with Frank’s sons Dweezil (making 4 albums, and co-writing several songs) and Ahmet in the short-lived “Z” (which produced the album “Shampoohorn”)

Since then, he has performed with the notorious punk band, FEAR (in 1993), Frank’s ex-‘stunt guitarist’ Steve Vai (in 1994), quit music completely to raise a family and work in the then-burgeoning computer field, being drawn back in to music over several years with local bay area bands, and finally ending up back in the ‘Zappa world’ by performing two weeks in 2012 with Zappa Plays Zappa (which produced the album “F.O.H”, the songs of which focus strongly on the Mothers of Inventions early years, allowing Scott to revisit these old memories with more mature and fresh ears)

In 2013 he performed electric bass in the on-stage rock band with the LA Philharmonic for the premiere of Frank’s “200 Motels” in Los Angeles , and the following week with the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Southbank Centre in London, UK.

in 2016 he performed electric bass in the on-stage rock band with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra