Few would doubt that Václav Havel, the Czech playwright-turned-politician, and Matt Groening, creator of "The Simpsons", make an odd pair. Yet in separate interviews, when asked which person had the greatest influence on their lives, both came up with the same name: Frank Zappa. "Who else?" wondered Groening. "I listened to the music, I dissected the lyrics and it transformed me."
Havel and Groening are not alone. In this years Playboy Music Poll, our readers chose Zappa as the 43rd inductee into the Playboy Music Hall of Fame, where he joins the likes of Frank Sinatra, John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen. But even before the votes had been counted, Playboy's editors had Zappa on their minds and had invited him to sit for the "Playboy Interview." The result is an unusual coincidence: For the first time in the magazine's history, an issue of Playboy both announces the Hall of Fame winner and features him in the interview.