reading Alessandra’s recollections in Candy Zappa’s My Brother Was A Mother: Take 2, I wondered if there was anything
more to her 'special friendship' with Frank. So I asked her.
In response she said, “Do you want to know if we were romantically involved? You should know FZ pretty well – he liked pretty girls!”
In August 2016, Moon Zappa wrote on Facebook that she had just "met one of my father's naked friends, the darling firecracker and author Alessandra Izzo. Growing up I always wondered about the extra curricular women in my father's life. I saw them as homewreckers and I blamed these nameless, faceless women for making my mother mistreat us from the madness it stirred in her to be constantly cheated on. But now I wonder which came first, chicken or the egg? Did my father cheating cause my mother's madness or was my mother’s madness what caused my lonely father to cheat? What I could not have anticipated was the joy I felt to be sharing sweet memories of time spent with someone we both dearly loved, Alessandra and I. I loved hearing of happy times my father got to experience with a person with genuine affection for him. Big kiss to you, lovely Alessandra.”
In 2013, Alessandra published a book called Frank e il resto del mondo [“Frank and the rest of the world”] that featured contributions from Bunk Gardner, Ed Mann, Ike Willis and others.
It seemed to me she would be someone worth talking a little more to.
Where did you first
I met Frank the very first time in July 1982 in Italy.
And how did you meet
I was already in the music field, so it was not so hard to find a way to meet him.
How often did you get
to meet him after that – and where?
I met him again in 1984 in Viareggio, Tuscany. And from that moment on, we saw each other quite often in Europe for the next few years. We never met in the USA.
After the 1982 tour,
he vowed never to tour again. Did he mention why he changed his mind?
Frank was a musician and he could not be away from his fans. He was a picky man. Quite often he changed his mind.
This is true. Did he
ever mention Gail to you, or any of the other women he was close to?
He was a very reserved man, but from time to time he would talk about Gail and his kids.
What did he say about
Hmmm...nothing in particular about Gail. But he loved his kids. You know, he was an Italian man: he loved Moonie and Dweez a lot and wanted to move to Europe with them.
What do you think
about the idea that he may have fathered children with other women?
Well, many people said for years, maybe Frank had other kids around the globe. Honestly, I do not think so – and you know why? The moms after his passing would have come out like mushrooms.
That’s probably true.
Tell me about your relationship with Moon.
Moon and I are friends and we love each other. She knows everything about me and Frank and, when possible, we meet all over the world.
She is coming back to Italy next year.
What did you find so
attractive about Frank?
Everything. He was very kind, in every way.
And what surprised
you most about him?
His being so f@%king. smart! And cynical – apparently a defence mechanism...his being kind of a recluse.
At any rate, when he was on the road, he was happier than at home. He hated LA.
When was the last
time you saw him?
1988 in Italy. His last tour.
Did you remain in
touch after that?
He got sick and I wanted to be in touch with him, but it was impossible. Gail was like a dog watching, and at that point she had total control of his entire life.
I was in LA in 1993, and a mutual friend sent him my love. He weakly replied to her, “My beautiful Miss No No!”
His pet name for you?
Yes, it was but this was our secret. I will never say why...
What do you say about
him in Frank E Il
Resto Del Mondo that might surprise us?
I have no idea. Honestly, I just wanted to write an homage to the man that told me to THINK DIFFERENTLY! That’s what I did, and still do.
I have also a few special guests in my book who were close to him during his life.
All in all, I told of my encounters with him and my relation with the man that I wanted to meet since I was 12-13 years old.
I did it, and that was awesome.
Are there any plans
for the book to be translated into English – or expanded?
I would love to, but I am too busy at this time. And as for the publishers...real asses!
Tell me about your
friendship with Pamela Des Barres.
Wow! Pamela and I have been pals for ages. She is one of my best friends in the world. I am always in touch with her...in fact, I just sent a business mail to her 30 minutes ago: there is the chance to get her new book – Let It Bleed: How To Write A Rockin' Memoir? – in Italy too. I got her other books to Italy, and here I am her publicist.
Cool. What do you
think about Summer 82: When Zappa Came To Sicily?
It's lovely – very well done. Salvo did a good job. But it would be marvellous to have a REALLY great movie about Frank. I have not seen one yet. Hopefully some day in the future.
Yes, that would be great. Thanks for your time, Alessandra!
Interview conducted on 18th December 2017.
Photo courtesy of Alessandra.