Phi Zappa Krappa Caricature


Phi Zappa Krappa Caricature of the iconic musician on the throne, August 19, 1967, London, England, age 27.

19 year-old photographer Robert Davidson was at the Royal Garden Hotel with Zappa’s band manager Tony Secunda, where he was doing a press call for Frank Zappa’s upcoming show at the Royal Albert Hall.
Scouting around for a suitable location in the hotel room, he heard Frank Zappa speaking on the phone in the bathroom, and asked through the ajar door if he could take his picture.

“Some limey wants to take my picture on the John,” Zappa told his wife, who was on the other end of the line. “Sure, whatever turns him on.”

The main image and the negatives, featured on “The Independent” with kind permission from the photographer, were commonly known as the ‘Zappa Krappa’ pictures.
They almost immediately gained cult status.

But three months after the shoot, Zappa’s management, incorrectly thinking Davidson was benefiting exclusively from the increasingly popular images, sent representatives to his studio to take his original negatives.

Zappa himself was led to believe the same, that Davidson was profiting from a poster version known as the “Toilet Poster”, or “Phi Zappa Krappa”.

But Davidson had lost the negatives.

The measures by Zappa’s management proved futile due to the vast amount of pirate reproductions that had already taken place. Ultimately neither Davidson nor Zappa received any royalties from the image. Davidson would go onto spend the better part of half a century searching for the lost negatives.

Finally his luck changed. In 2010, Davidson learned that his negatives were about to be sold online by a Los Angeles memorabilia company, Rockaway Records, who had purchased them from the estate of Herb Cohen, Zappa’s manager.

Davidson contacted Rockaway Records to relate his story, and they agreed to give him the 10 surviving negatives for a token sum.

Zappa himself stated in 1983, “I’m probably more famous for sitting on the toilet than for anything else.”

SKU: N/A Category:


All prints are produced using Giclee printing process which is used for archival art reproduction. This process uses fade-resistant archival pigment-based ink which lasts over 100 years. All prints are printed on 310GSM, Luxurious mould-made, 100% cotton rag Archival Certified watercolor paper.

Archival Conservation Mat is included with your purchase. Mat is a high quality, 4 ply (1/16″) surround mat. These frame mats are acid-free & Lignin-free made with 100% virgin alpha-cellulose surface, core and backing papers. So your caricature with mat will fit into a standard comparable frame either “20” x 24″ or “16” x 20″ depending on the print size, (frame not included). Price also includes a Backer Board.

32″ x 40″ stretch canvas print is produced by Giclee printing process and are hand stretched over heavy duty American made white pine. The canvas print is varnished twice after printing. The canvas prints are ready to hang (complete with hanging wire).

Additional information

Weight .25 lbs
Dimensions 16 × 20 × .25 in
Print Size

32" x 40" Stretched Canvas Print $495, 20" x 24" Stretched Canvas Print $330, 11" x 14" Watercolor Print $95, 16" x 20" Watercolor Print $185