Mark Volman

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Mark Volman
Mark Volman.jpg
Volman performing in 2008 billed as "The Turtles Featuring Flo & Eddie"
Background information
Also known asFlo
Phlorescent Leech
Born (1947-04-19) April 19, 1947 (age 72)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • professor
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • keyboards
  • tambourine
Years active1967-present
Associated acts

Mark Volman (born April 19, 1947) is an American rock and roll guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, best known as a founding member of the Turtles. Volman became a stand-out figure upon joining the Mothers of Invention under the tutelage of Frank Zappa. At times during his career he has used the pseudonym "Flo" (short for "Phlorescent Leech"), working alongside his friend and partner Howard Kaylan; they at times have used the stage names of Flo & Eddie.

Early life[edit]

Volman was born in Los Angeles, California, on April 19, 1947. He grew up in Westchester, a suburb of Los Angeles, where he performed in his first band "The Crossfires" and graduated from Westchester High School in 1965. His Father was Jewish and his Mother was Catholic.[1][2]


Music and film[edit]

Volman (and Frank Zappa in background); December 1971, Hamburg

Volman and Howard Kaylan founded the Turtles, a popular band of the late 1960s. In December 1968, NME magazine reported that Volman had insured his distinctive frizzy hair for US$100,000 against fire, theft or loss due to illness.[3] As their band folded, Volman and Kaylan discovered that the terms of their contract forbade them to use not only the name 'The Turtles', but also their own names. Kaylan and Volman were recruited by Frank Zappa, joining the Mothers of Invention, and they also worked together as Flo & Eddie in music, in film (they provided music and voices for animated films like Down and Dirty Duck), and in radio broadcasting. In 1971 Volman appeared on the soundtrack to Zappa's humorous pseudo-documentary film, 200 Motels.[4]

In his autobiography Shell Shocked, Kaylan revealed that upon receiving the cover art for their first album as Flo & Eddie, they were appalled to learn that the printer had mistakenly printed the duo's stage names in the wrong order above their photograph. Volman was identified as Flo, which had been Kaylan's stage name in Zappa's band, and Kaylan was identified as Eddie, Volman's stage name. The label refused to reprint the cover, saying that it would cost too much money. Thus, Kaylan and Volman decided to professionally swap stage names.

In 2015, Kaylan and Volman celebrated their 50th year, touring and performing more than 60 concerts a year, billed as "The Turtles ... Featuring Flo & Eddie" with their Happy Together Tour, a classic revue-format show featuring some popular bands of the mid-to-late 1960s musical era. During this tour in 2015, Volman was diagnosed with throat cancer, but was declared cancer-free in 2016.[5] According to The Hollywood Reporter, Volman and Kaylan have been "leading the charge against the uncompensated use of their music — and using state-based misappropriation, conversation and unfair competition claims because sound recordings only began falling under federal copyright protection in 1972."[citation needed]


In 1992, at age 45, Volman started his bachelor's degree at Loyola Marymount University. He was an active undergraduate member of the choir and a Founding Father of the California Chi chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Volman graduated with a B.A. degree in 1997 Magna cum Laude and was the class valedictorian speaker. During the speech he led the graduates in a chorus of "Happy Together". CBS Evening News covered Volman's graduation and interviewed his parents, who were perplexed at their son's academic accomplishments.[6]

Volman went on to earn a Master's degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in screenwriting in 1999, also from Loyola. Since that time, he has taught Music Business & Industry courses in the Communications and Fine Arts department at Loyola. He has also taught courses in the Commercial Music Program at Los Angeles Valley College. He is currently an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Entertainment Industry Studies Program at Belmont University, in the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business and conducts seminars about the music industry for various academic institutions from junior high school to University level. In addition, he offers consulting on music business and entertainment through the website Ask Professor Flo.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Volman runs his businesses with his wife Emily; the couple met as college sweethearts.[8] They are also active members of Harpeth Presbyterian Church in Brentwood, Tennessee, where they both invest their time as Youth Advisors.[9]


  1. ^ Mark Volman: from the Turtles to Professor Flo - a work in progress Mark Volman has sang on literally hundreds of records, but he's most well known ... With a Jewish father and Catholic mother, life at home could get interesting.
  2. ^ Rock and a Heart Place: A Rock 'n' Roller-coaster Ride from ... Ken Mansfield, Marshall Terrill - 2015 - Biography & Autobiography A Rock 'n' Roller-coaster Ride from Rebellion to Sweet Salvation Ken ... brought Mark's parents, Joe and Beatrice Volman, together in the first place. ... son of a Hungarian Jew and Beatrice's heritage was Spanish and Catholic. ... “I didn't recognize religion as being a strong part of my childhood by either my mother or father.
  3. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London, UK: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 191. CN 5585.
  4. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London, UK: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 223. CN 5585.
  5. ^ Volman cancer free
  6. ^ Profile,, April 9, 1999; accessed April 19, 2015.
  7. ^ Ask Professor Flo; accessed April 19, 2015.
  8. ^
  9. ^ The Phlorescent Teach,; accessed April 19, 2015.

External links[edit]