Frank Zappa – Back On The Road: The Hologram Tour


The initial negative reaction to The Bizarre World Of Frank Zappa hologram tour from ‘Tribe Dweezil’ (and those who believe they know exactly how Frank would have felt about it) means that Adrian Belew “will not be playing Zappa music in the foreseeable future in any situation”, caused Zappateers to shut down a forum thread where the comments were getting out of hand, triggered Vinnie Colaiuta to issue a statement saying he had not given any commitment to be being a guest on the tour, saw Dweezil redouble his legal battle with his younger siblings, brought further vile abuse Ahmet’s way (as well as to the musicians who are supporting these ‘multiple groundbreaking productions’), and generally divided the fan base.

Hopefully the Zappa family feud is now near an end, but for some balance I compiled this list of quotes about the ZFT and Eyellusion’s proposals from those who actually did know Frank.

“I’m curious about it; I mean to be able see and hear Frank in live performance, it might not be as bad as one would think. We all know Frank is on the other side and he knows it too. But he might be amused at the result of being brought back to perform.” – Candy Zappa

“I seriously doubt he’d be concerned with any perceived sacrilegious aspects – he was never too concerned with keeping things sacred! Actually, I can easily imagine him watching this show with a huge grin on his face.” – Mike Keneally

“Whoever plays the music, you can bet it will be outstanding! We who had the opportunity to play with Frank know the depth of his dedication, and genius.” – Ray White

“My position is simple: Ahmet asked me if I wanted to play some FZ music, and of course I said yes. If Dweezil ever asks me to play some FZ music with him, I would say yes to that too.” – Arthur Barrow

“It's a cool idea and it attracts me like it would attract any smart person who was invited to go travel the world, play Zappa music, and have semi-anonymous sex with groupies, at the same time getting paid.” – Scott Thunes

“Of course it’s not Frank, and I’m not 20 years old anymore, but I am very happy, and honoured that I was invited to contribute to bringing the spirit of Frank and his eternal music, with this new technology, to those fans who connected so deeply with him. I felt the same way when I contributed to the ZPZ tour, and that was a fantastic experience. I believe that the fans understand it’s just an image and that holographic technology has its limitations, but it is an evolution in technology and with an open mind it could be embraced for a worthwhile experience. I would want to attend this show if I heard about it. If a person can attend the show with their spirit of the love of Frank’s music at the forefront I believe it could be a very touching event for all involved.” – Steve Vai

“Frank tried to get Hologram stage props so we could afford to do the Thing-Fish Broadway play. We had a few meetings with Dr Toshitada Doi who invented the Pulse Code Modulation, that was used to form Compact Discs, and the PCM 3324 digital multitrack machines that Frank and I used on many of his records. The idea was to use the 3/4 inch videotape to store the data that would project the stage props to avoid having to spend a huge amount of money. We originally planned on using 8 tracks of information and Dr Doi had a basic design format laid out. Unfortunately the digital transformation was a bit too demanding for the speed of many of the processors that were available back then (around 1983). Many of the new processors now could easily handle the tasks. So, we had to scrub the project.” – Mark Pinske

“If you look at my dad’s autobiography – The Real Frank Zappa Book, chapter 18 – he talks about wanting to start a hologram business. He was a very forward thinking guy, and he wanted to be able to broadcast his performances and make holographic performances for other artists. So for me, I’m finishing what he started.
   I respect that Denny and Adrian had a change of heart since we last spoke, but my hope is that once they see the artistry of the technology, how it honours my father and provides an incredible Zappa experience, they’ll change their minds – they’re the best and the door is always open for them to come back.”
Ahmet Zappa

“I'll be enjoying the great honour of taking the stage with a number of my friends and cohorts from various Zappa tours to not only play again the amazing music Frank created, but also to participate in world premieres of Zappa works that were discovered in the vault that have never before been performed or recorded. I look forward to making this world-changing music again with my brothers from past tours, and especially to singing again alongside the one and only Ray White. In the true spirit of the Zappa experience, the concerts will also feature a most creative visual feast to augment the music. This stuff will blow your mind: I've seen some of what's in store and, in addition to making this great music again, we all look forward to seeing both old and new Zappa fans around the world.” – Robert Martin

“For anyone concerned about a potential lack of musical spontaneity, a significant portion of each gig will be devoted to us in the band just playing songs we want to play, and not synchronized to specific visuals (although there WILL still be visual doodads flying around, we won't have to "hit cues" during these sections. We'll just be playing). It's going to be fucking great.” – Mike Keneally

At the end of the day, Eyellusion will be providing us with Optional Entertainment – nothing to get exercised about.

Please remain calm.


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