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Lot #631
Frank Zappa's Metal and Leather Orthopedic Leg Brace

Leg brace worn for months by Frank Zappa after his Rainbow Theatre attack

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Estimate: $4000+
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Leg brace worn for months by Frank Zappa after his Rainbow Theatre attack

A vintage orthopedic leg brace personally-owned and -worn by Frank Zappa for several months following his attack at London's Rainbow Theatre on December 10, 1971. As Zappa and the Mothers of Invention started a cover of the Beatles song ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand,’ 24-year-old Trevor Howell emerged from the crowd and punched and shoved Zappa from the stage. Zappa landed on the concrete-floored orchestra pit below and was knocked unconscious, with many in attendance believing the musician was dead. As a result of the attack, he suffered serious fractures, head trauma and injuries to his back, leg, and neck, as well as a crushed larynx, which ultimately caused his voice to drop a third after healing. Howell was detained by fans and later sentenced to twelve months in jail. Worn by Zappa on his fractured left leg, the brace is constructed of metal, leather, and lacing, and measures approximately 32″ in length; the brace terminates with an Italian-made leather dress shoe with original shoestring. In fine condition, with expected wear from use. Accompanied by a letter from the State of California, Department of Rehabilitation, dated April 4, 1972, offering assistance in regard to Zappa's "recent on-the-job injury."

Provenance: Julien's Auctions, Icons & Idols: Rock n' Roll 2016, Featuring Property from the Estate of Frank Zappa, November 2016.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Art and Literature
  • Dates: #610 - Ended June 16, 2021