Roy Estrada
Estrada performing in 2006
Estrada performing in 2006
Background information
Also known asRoy Ralph Moleman Guacamole Guadalupe Hidalgo Estrada and Orejón
Born (1943-04-17) April 17, 1943 (age 79)
Santa Ana, California, U.S.
Years active
  • 1964–1994
  • 2000–2012
Formerly of

Roy Estrada (also known as "Roy Ralph Moleman Guacamole Guadalupe Hidalgo Estrada" and "Orejón"; born April 17, 1943) is an American former musician and convicted sex offender. He is best known for his bass guitar work with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention; for having been a founding member of Little Feat, playing on their first two studio albums; and for being a member of Captain Beefheart's the Magic Band.

Estrada is currently incarcerated in the Texas State Prison System. He was convicted for sex offenses, first having been convicted of child sex abuse in 1994 and serving six years' imprisonment, then pleading guilty to abuse of a young relative in 2012. He will not be eligible for release until 2037, at which time he will be between 93 and 94 years old.


Roy Estrada (left) with Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention (1968)
Roy Estrada (left) with Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention (1968)

With drummer Jimmy Carl Black and vocalist Ray Collins, Estrada was an original member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. Previously, Estrada had been a founding member of the Soul Giants, the band from which the Mothers of Invention was formed. In addition to playing bass guitar, Estrada sang vocals—often in a falsetto in Zappa's arrangement of doo-wop harmonies.[1] On the 1969 album studio Uncle Meat, for example, he was credited with bass guitar and "Pachuco falsetto."

Prior to the Soul Giants, Estrada fronted a band called Roy Estrada and the Rocketeers. The group released at least one single on the King label, "Jungle Dreams (Part 1)" backed with "Jungle Dreams (Part 2)".

In addition to his work with Zappa, Estrada formed Little Feat with Lowell George, Richie Hayward and Bill Payne in 1969, playing bass and singing backing vocals on their first two studio albums before quitting in 1972 to join Captain Beefheart's Magic Band.[2] Beefheart gave him the nickname "Orejón" ('big ears'). Estrada returned to Zappa's band for a tour that ran from September 1975 to March 1976. The posthumous Zappa archival release Joe's Camouflage featured pre-tour rehearsal recordings, while recordings from the tour appeared on the archival releases FZ:OZ, Joe's Menage and Zappa ’75: Zagreb/Ljubljana. Zappa's 1976 studio album Zoot Allures included one track from the tour as well as studio recordings with Estrada on backing vocals. Estrada later provided vocals and acting for Zappa's 1979 film Baby Snakes, and vocal work for the 1980s Zappa studio albums Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch, The Man from Utopia and Them or Us.

Session work

Estrada has also done session work by playing bass for a diverse range of artists, including Ry Cooder on his eponymous debut studio album, Ivan Ulz, Leo Kottke, Van Dyke Parks and Howdy Moon.

Grande Mothers

In 2002, two years after his release from jail, Estrada joined forces with fellow former Mothers Don Preston and Napoleon Murphy Brock, along with guitarist Ken Rosser and drummer and percussionist Christopher Garcia, to form "The Grande Mothers", the only Mothers of Invention/Frank Zappa alumni consistently performing the music of Zappa since 2002, with over 90 performances.

Since then they have performed at numerous concerts and festivals throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway and Switzerland. In 2005, guitarist Miroslav Tadić replaced Ken Rosser in the line-up. Robbie "Seahag" Mangano has been the guitarist for all of the European Grande Mothers' tours since 2009.

In 2003 Estrada was featured on the album Hamburger Midnight (taking its title from a George/Estrada co-composition on the first Little Feat studio album) on the record label Inkanish Records, on which he collaborated once again with Jimmy Carl Black.

Sex offender status

Estrada served six years in prison after he was convicted of committing lewd acts with a child in Orange County, California, in December 1994.[3] In January 2012, he pleaded guilty to a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a female family member younger than 14 which happened in March 2008. In the plea bargain agreement, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison and is not eligible for parole.[4]


  1. ^ "Go Cry on Somebody Else's Shoulder – the Mothers of Invention, Frank Zappa | Song Info | AllMusic". AllMusic.
  2. ^ Barnes, Mike (2000). Captain Beefheart. Quartet. p. 164. ISBN 0-7043-8073-0.
  3. ^ "Estrada, Roy Ralph", Sex Offender Registry, Texas Department of Public Safety, archived from the original on April 8, 2016, retrieved March 28, 2016
  4. ^ "Ex-Frank Zappa bassist Roy Estrada is jailed for 25 years for child abuse". NME. February 25, 2012.