(Hot Poop, Lukewarm Poopfinal poop)


(Last updated 2 December 2018)


Hot Poop


·        The result of the People's Vote is in: 60% in favour of Frank's hologram appearing at Zappanale – but this very likely won't happen in 2019. Instead, Zappanale #30 may see appearances by Ensemble Musikfabrik, the UH Hilo Jazz Orchestra (possibly with Dweezil), Moon Zappa, The HeadShakers, Napoleon Murphy Brock and the artist formerly known as L. Shankar. But deffo not Steve Vai. [Added: 02 December 2018]


·        Here’s my review of Evil Dick’s new album, Earthy Delights. [Added: 02 December 2018]


·        Mick Ekers’ long-awaited tome, Zappa's Gear: The Unique Guitars, Amplifiers, Effects Units, Keyboards, And Studio Equipment (with a foreword by Dweezil Zappa), can now be pre-ordered here. (In the margins of my interview with Ahmet earlier this year, he described the book as “Fucking epic!”) [Added: 26 November 2018]


·        What's It Like To Play In Dweezil Zappa's Band?, a fan-made documentary featuring interviews and performances from DZ’s ‘Choice Cuts’ gig in Dublin, is here. [Added: 26 November 2018]


·        You can buy specially priced tickets for Zappanale #30 here...or make a fun video and get them for free! [Added: 18 November 2018]


·        Zappa Spielt Für Bach 2018 (the pre-Zappanale Hamburg church gig from July, featuring Inventionis Mater, Magnesium girl Valentina Ciardelli and Napoleon Murphy Brock) is now on Spotify. [Added: 18 November 2018]


·        Here’s how to order your signed copy of Fred Händl's The Poodle Magic Pig Type CD, featuring 14 cracking covers of 14 Frank Zappa songs – and a cast of thousands! [Added: 18 November 2018]


·        As reported below, the ‘Official Zappa Band’ on The Bizarre World Of Frank Zappa hologram tour will comprise Ray White, Mike Keneally, Scott Thunes, Robert Martin, Ed Mann and Joe Travers; they will be joined along the way by Steve Vai, Ian Underwood, Lady Bianca, Napoleon Murphy Brock and Arthur Barrow (and more, it says here). In an article in Billboard, Eyellusion CEO/founder Jeff Pezzuti says, “The Zappa show is going to be an absolute mind fuck – in a good way!” It will include never-before-seen (or heard) Zappa performance footage and more. Look out for the 100+ tour dates the show will play around the world in 2019. [Added: 10 November 2018]


·        The Zappa Tour Atlas – co-authored by Mick Zeuner, Klaus Kühner and yours truly, with a Foreword by Robert Martin – has just been handed over to the publishers and remains on course to be unleashed at Zappanale #30. Watch this space! [Added: 10 November 2018]


·        It turns out that the lady 'zorch stroking' her neck with a doll's foot in the Uncle Meat booklet is FZ’s former secretary, Pauline Butcher. Cal Schenkel confirmed, "The photos were shot by Ed Caraeff in my Melrose Avenue studio...early 1969" Pauline commented, "It does look like me but I have no memory of it!" Cal later used the doll foot for the diagram on the back of The Grand Wazoo. In other news, Pauline recently wrote this blog about life in Frank’s pad in 1968. [Added: 10 November 2018]


·        Deep State is the first (and last) studio album of unreleased songs from Wild Man Fischer: 15 tracks, produced by Barnes & Barnes (aka Robert Haimer and Bill "Will Robinson" Mumy). Read this excellent article about Larry. [Added: 10 November 2018]


·        A few years ago, CLS Farms cultivated a wild hop they named Zappa, and Sierra Nevada purchased their entire 2015 crop. Now, with the blessing of the ZFT, they’ve brewed Zappa Wild Stache IPA. Hotcha! [Added: 28 October 2018]


·        Here’s Nikki Squire (ex-wife of Chris) & Dweezil Zappa (ex-ZPZ) performing Yes’s Owner Of A Lonely Heart (with Billy Sherwood on bass and Jay Schellen on drums). [Added: 28 October 2018]


·        Bruce Bickford informs us that his online store features my latest poster series of 28 moments inspired by my career with Frank Zappa.” [Added: 28 October 2018]


·        I Walked Out Into The Night And The Vegetables Began To Howl (the second Cordelia Records sampler CD) features Rollo by Chato, Oh No by Zappatistas and Lumpy Gravy by Spanner Jazz Punks. [Added: 28 October 2018]


·        On 4 December 2018, Frank Zappa Memorial Day #25 takes place at Idiots Records in Dortmund. Martin, the catering man from the European leg of the 1988 Broadway The Hard Way tour, will present his memorabilia – and Chato will play live FZ music! Here's a trailer. [Added: 28 October 2018]


·        The Zappanale Team: “We’re currently negotiating with the Zappa Family Trust regarding their planned Hologram Show for the 30th Zappanale. If we can reach an acceptable agreement, we would have the benefit of bringing musicians like Mike Keneally at the Zappanale. Should they be available, the ZFT [also] plans to bring guests like Steve Vai, Napoleon Murphy Brock and Ian Underwood.” [Added: 23 October 2018]


·        Alex Winter on the upcoming Zappa documentary: “We are shooting a small selection of FZ insiders as we go. This past week we had the honour of interviewing the mighty Steve Vai at his home in Los Angeles. Aside from being a musical genius with an extraordinary career, and having profound insight into working with FZ, Vai also provided the air guitar licks in Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey and the music for The Reaper Rap, so he and I go way back. And yes, he will be returning for the air guitar on Bill & Ted Face The Music.” [Added: 23 October 2018]


·        Zappadan Zappajam now has its own website! [Added: 23 October 2018]


·        I have just completed another new interview with someone who knew and worked with FZ – this time with Sergio Albonico, who took the photos used on the Guitar album and Broadway The Hard Way tour book. For even more of the same, check out my latest book, Frank Talk: The Inside Stories Of Zappa’s Other People. [Added: 14 October 2018]


·        November’s Record Store Day sees the release of a 50th Anniversary picture disc edition of We're Only In It For The Money – the original mono album version. [Added: 14 October 2018]


·        Sad to learn of the passing of Kevin Courrier, author of Dangerous Kitchen: The Subversive World Of Zappa and the 33 1/3 Trout Mask Replica books. He had been battling cancer for some while, bravely blogging about his trials and tribulations on Facebook. RIP Kevin. [Added: 14 October 2018]


·        Dweezil: Confessions Of A Deprived Youth – or, as I like to call it, ‘DEEP FRIED YOUTH’ – soon to be available for download!” [Added: 07 October 2018]


·        Following the release of Land Of The Free on Bandcamp, Robert Martin has now issued the totally solo Heaven On Earth - "a feast for the body and mind." [Added: 07 October 2018]


·        Couple of items I somehow missed earlier this year: Rubén "Funkahuatl" Guevara's autobiography, Confessions Of A Radical Chicano Doo-Wop Singer, including chapters on the formation of Ruben And The Jets and his relationship with Miss Pamela; and the misleadingly titled The Complete Works Of Edgard Varèse, Volume 1, a very reasonably priced three CD anthology, spanning a period of almost three decades – from the Nicolas Slonimsky conducted Ionisation in 1933, through to all of Robert Craft’s celebrated recordings with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra in the early 1960s. [Added: 07 October 2018]


·        The new single by The Vegetarians, What A Wonderful World, features lead vocals by John Tabacco, with background ones by Napoleon Murphy Brock. [Added: 07 October 2018]


·        An article in the New York Times Magazine revealed that Gail Zappa had a bed installed above a shower in the house that Lady Gaga now owns. Read more here. [Added: 07 October 2018]


·        Evil Dick's new album, Earthly Delights, is available for pre-order now. "A CD housed in a stunningly orgasmic Digipak with artwork by Dr Richard Hemmings. All copies are initialled and numbered, and include a section of an original ink drawing in the style of the cover art." Also, for the first time ever, you can now download Evil's 2002 lo-fi classic Rock 'n' Random and get a fistful of lo-fi bonus material from the same era chucked in as well. [Added: 07 October 2018]


·        The 300th edition of MOJO magazine includes a previously unpublished interview FZ did in 1991 with Pete Frame (of Rock Family Trees fame) for the BBC. Check out this sort of an introduction to it. [Added: 03 October 2018]


·        A Life In Yes: The Chris Squire Tribute features Dweezil performing Owner Of A Lonely Heart with Chris's first wife, Nikki. [Added: 03 October 2018]


·        You can now pre-order Fred Händl's The Poodle Magic Pig Type album (on limited edition yellow vinyl). It features Craig ‘Twister’ Steward, Prairie Prince, various members of ZERO and many more performing spiffy renditions of 14 FZ tunes – oh, and liner notes by yours truly! [Added: 03 October 2018]


·        A Young Person’s Guide to Zappanale (by Mordecai Watson, son of Ben). [Added: 03 October 2018]


·        You can now stream two shows from the Zappa weekend in Paris: Ensemble InterContemporain performing extracts from The Yellow Shark; and 200 Motels - The Suites by the Paris Philharmonic Orchestra (read along to the latter – in both French and English – here). Both are available until Brexit. [Added: 30 September 2018]


·        John Barbour, the ‘Godfather of reality TV’, recently posted this 'lost interview' with FZ from March 1986. [Added: 30 September 2018]


·        Out on 26 October, the first of five planned Eddie Jobson compilation albums – one for each decade of his career. 1971-1979 The Band Years includes a live recording of Läther with FZ (presumably taken from ZINY). [Added: 30 September 2018]


·        Scotland based purveyors of conceptual continuity, Pygmy Twylyte, have knocked-up this a spiffy video to promote their forthcoming gigs - which includes Festival MOO-AH! [Added: 30 September 2018]


·        Former Vai vocalist Devin Townsend’s next album, titled Empathy, should hopefully be released in March 2019 and will feature contributions from Mike Keneally and Morgan Ågren. Some of the recordings with Mike and Morgan took place at Monnow Valley studios in Wales this September. [Added: 30 September 2018]


·        ZappaCast #39 looks at Phases I & II fifty years on, and Mick Ekers gives us an update on his long-awaited Zappa’s Gear book. [Added: 30 September 2018]


·        Max Bennett, who played bass on most of Hot Rats, parts of Chunga's, Lemme Take You To The Beach and more, passed away on 14th September after a short illness. He was 90. [Added: 21 September 2018]


·        Guitarist and composer Chanan Hanspal’s thesis, Frank Zappa And The Orchestra Question: Dissonant Clatter Or Well-Crafted Design?, was supervised by Dr Paul Carr, and contains the first ever full blown analyses of Bob In Dacron, Pedro’s Dowry and Mo ‘n Herb’s Vacation. “There is a lot of other interesting things in there too, including Zappa’s orchestral and non-orchestral music functioning at the subliminal level as well as correlations made between the music; his idea of weights, balances and measured tensions and that of the Calder Mobile.” Watch Chanan talk about Isomelism in Frank’s music here, then read/download his whole thesis here. Chanan’s new album, Only Two Things Are Infinite, features contributions by Bill Evans and Mike Stern. “It is a very exciting album with lots of Zappa influences as well as jazz and funk styles.” It is available now via Bandcamp. [Added: 21 September 2018]


·        The end of September will see the next release from the artists occasionally known as Spoonfish (and other times as ZAPPATiKA). The Hammer is a stomping blues rock ditty featuring the amazing harp blowing skills of Craig "Twister" Steward. The track will also appear on the band’s forthcoming debut album, The Devils' Delight, some time in 2019. [Added: 21 September 2018]


·        Steve Vai’s Big Mama Jama Jam-a-Thon (an open, improvisational music and art event where the music won’t stop for 52 hours) will feature special guests Dweezil Zappa, Arthur Barrow, Al Di Meola, Steve Morse, Lee Ritenour and more. [Added: 10 September 2018 / Updated: 21 September 2018]


·        Generation Axe – that is, five guitar greats (Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi) and one backing band (featuring former ZPZ bassist, Pete Griffin) – have a live in Asia CD called The Guitars That Destroyed The World coming out next month. Read more here. [Added: 12 September 2018]


·        On 11 October, the Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra (ZERO) will play at the opening of Bruce Bickford's new art show (Mr. B's Autumn Solo Show) at the Vermillion Art Gallery & Bar in Seattle. [Added: 12 September 2018]


·        The Wrong Object’s new album, entitled Zappa Jawaka, should be ready to ship in October. [Added: 12 September 2018]


·        There will be a live video broadcast of Ensemble InterContemporain playing excerpts from The Yellow Shark and more in Paris on 29 September. [Added: 12 September 2018]


·        As per previous Moo-ahs, we have organised a discounted rate for those who would like to stay at the Hampton By Hilton in Corby. For a two night stay, arriving on Friday 22nd March 2019, the rate will be £70.00 per night for single or double/twin (double queen bed and double sofa bed) occupancy, with hot buffet breakfast available from 6:00am to 10:00am each morning. If anyone wants to ‘treble up’ with two in one bed, the room rate will be £80.00. There is a 60 day cancellation policy on the rooms (book now, and you can still cancel any time up until 22 January 2019). The code to use when booking via the Hampton website (www.hamptonbyhilton.co.uk) or calling the hotel directly (+44-1536-211001) is "MO1". [Added: 10 September 2018]


·        Check out this recent Rock And Roll Archaeology podcast, in which Ahmet Zappa and Joe Travers discuss all things FZ (eg. recent ZFT releases and the Hologram tour). [Added: 10 September 2018]


·        The Tornadoes, who FZ engineered back in Pal Studio days, have decided to disband following the loss of original drummer, Leonard Delaney (to Alzheimers in 2014). A statement by the band says, “We continued to play after that for a while, but our last gig was in October 2015 . We have received offers to play and we all miss it dearly, but we all agree it is time to call it a day. It has been a great run and we appreciate all our loyal fans from countries all over the world and of course, those here in the U.S., and especially here in California. Jesse, Norm (Roly) and myself Gerald are all enjoying our retirement, travelling and being with family-especially our grand kids! We wish you the best and hope to hear from you in the future.” To find out more about The Tornadoes, read my 2005 interview with the guys in Frank Talk. [Added: 10 September 2018]


·        Tickets for Festival Moo-ah 2019 are now on sale: take yer pick from All Frank Friday, Prog Night Saturday, or 2day Wknd – woo-hoo!. [Added: 02 September 2018]


·        Here’s my review of Charles Ulrich’s mega-tome, The Big Note: A Guide To The Recordings Of Frank Zappa. [Added: 02 September 2018]


·        The Zappa Weekend in Paris at the end of September suddenly got even more interesting, with the addition of a series of talks (from Paul Carr and Ben Watson) and interviews (with Bunk Gardner and Ike Willis), under the heading Zappologies. [Added: 02 September 2018]


·        I have completed a third interview in three months: this one with FZ’s long-time engineer, Mark “MarkmanPinske. If you enjoy this (and my recent interviews with Patrick O’Hearn, Ahmet Zappa, Warren Cuccurullo and Bunk Gardner), many more can be found in my Frank Talk book! [Added: 26 August 2018]


·        Fifteen years after releasing his album On Time, Arthur Barrow has shared the promo video for the track God’s Demo. [Added: 26 August 2018]


·        Peter Sijnke has written a book on FZ titled Controversieel Componist. It will be launched at De Drukkerij in Middelburg, The Netherlands (with music provided by Peter Bolderman) on 4 November 2018. Before then (on 6 September), a French version of Them Or Us (The Book) will be published - as translated by Thierry Bonhomme, and featuring a Preface by Guy Darol and Afterword by Pacôme Thiellement. [Added: 26 August 2018]


·        The new Spanner Jazz Punks album, We Are Not Alone, can now be downloaded or streamed. [Added: 26 August 2018]


·        Ike Willis & ZAPPATiKA will be in the UK this November. Keep an eye on the Diary for dates. [Added: 26 August 2018]


·        I interviewed Bunk Gardner at Zappanale in July; read the transcript of our chat here. [Added: 21 August 2018]


·        Warren Cuccurullo’s next album, originally to be titled Album Of The Century, has been re-named Missing Person. It will feature a reworking of Thanks 2 Frank (called Woman, with lyrics sung by Casey Desmond) as well several pieces performed at this year’s Zappanale - such as You Should Dance To This (feat. Prima Apollinaare), The Backwards Alphabeat Exercise And Drum Solo and the two Prince-inspired ditties 4U and Back In 1981. My recent interview with Warren also now includes a few more questions and answers! [Added: 21 August 2018]


·        Details of Project/Object’s Fall 2018 tour with Napoleon Murphy Brock & Denny Walley are here. [Added: 21 August 2018]


·        An interesting event titled, Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance (*Optional), takes place at Manchester Metropolitan University’s new venue, The Union, on 30 November 2018. It will feature “brand new arrangements of Frank Zappa’s genre-defying instrumental works” performed by students from the Royal Northern College of Music’s Pop and Classical courses. [Added: 14 August 2018]


·        If you bought a DVD of one of the shows at this year’s Zappanale, you need to read this. [Added: 14 August 2018]


·        Luxury furniture builder LUNO has teamed up with the Frank Zappa Estate to create the SSKL Soundwave, FZ Limited Edition record console. A limited to just ten units, it includes a mini-bar with Zappa whiskey glasses! [Added: 07 August 2018]


·        Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls has just released this video of the track MRI (from his Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing) album), which features a guest guitar solo from Dweezil. [Added: 07 August 2018]


·        Following his appearance at Zappanale, Warren Cuccurullo’s proposed Call It Everything touring band is now likely to include Alex Alessandroni (keyboards), Bizarro Patanè (bass), Steve Ferrone (drums) and (Hologram tour permitting) Ed Mann. Dates and more later, but Warren says his set/visual presentation will be “performed properly with the new line-up”. Here’s the first part of the Bozzio-O’Hearn-Cuccurullo Power Trio’s set at Zappanale. And here are some words on it all. [Added: 29 July 2018 / Updated: 07 August 2018]


·        Great-googly-moogly! Uncle Ian and this Idiot Boy are gonna try and make it happen again - yes, a pre-Brexit fourth Festival MOO-AH! on 22/23 March 2019. All being well, this will feature the Muffin Men, Progfathers, Voodoo Room, Pygmy Twylyte, Absolutely Frank and the Treacherous Cretins. We will be sticking to the 'Moo-ah Formula': tickets will go on sale soon (£30 for Friday; £40 for Saturday; £70 for both days), and we will need to sell enough to break even by 1st December 2018 before we can confirm with the bands, venue, etc. The ‘Uncle Ian Guarantee’ will again apply: if we don’t sell enough tickets to break-even, WeGotTickets will refund you IN FULL and we will pay the admin charge. More info here as soon as. Meantime, keep an eye on our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. [Added: 29 July 2018]


·        Listen to Ben Watson's Zappanale #29 quiz here. [Added: 29 July 2018]


·        Get an Official Frank Zappa “Zappa Krappa” Toilet Poster from photographer Robert Davidson for 20 notes. [Added: 29 July 2018]


·        For those who didn’t help kick-start Alex Winter’s Zappa Movie project, he tells us, “The movie is in the early stages of editorial, and it’s going great! The vault material is a treasure trove we’re diving into to lay out FZ’s story as it’s never been told. Me and editor Mike Nichols are bashing away and hope to have a first pass at the whole animal within the next six months, with the movie done and out hopefully by Spring or Summer of 2019.” [Added: 18 July 2018]


·        Suddenly available from Cordelia Records: an album of 20 mostly FZ-composed tunes performed by the Spanner Jazz Punks (essentially, a studio rendering of their highly acclaimed 2014 Zappanale set). [Added: 18 July 2018]


·        In this new article by Miss Pamela, she reveals how she was able to resist FZ’s advances during the filming of 200 Motels and that she once gave Captain Beefheart a handjob. [Added: 18 July 2018]


·        Newbury Comics are set to release Burnt Weeny Sandwich and Chunga’s Revenge on (respectively) silver and lime green marbled vinyl - pass the sick bag, Alice! [Added: 18 July 2018]


·        Some interesting information about next year’s 30th anniversary Zappanale. [Added: 12 July 2018]


·        The album Mappa Zappa, featuring various artists performing geographical-related Zappa songs, can now be purchased for download from CD Baby, iTunes and AmazonMP3 or steamed on Spotify. You can also hear some chat and tracks in the last forty minutes of RockRadio.de’s Zappanale #29 preview broadcast. [Added: 12 July 2018]


·        “Unfortunately, we were a bit hasty with the announcement that L. Shankar will be at this year’s Zappanale...” Hopefully in 2019, then. [Added: 04 July 2018]


·        New album, Frank & Ruth by Marco Pacassoni Group, is a lovely vibes and marimba tribute to the music of FZ (and Ruth Underwood, natch). The branchild of Pierre Ruiz (read his notes on the album here) is available to download from AmazonMP3 and iTunes, listen to on Spotify …just generally out there. Give your ears a treat! [Added: 04 July 2018]


·        Scottish Zappa tribute band Pygmy Twylyte will be playing two gigs in August with very special guest: former ZPZ vocalist Ben Thomas. Details in the Diary. [Added: 04 July 2018]


·        Check out the fab version of What’s New In Baltimore? by Z.E.R.O. featuring Ike Willis (an’ little ole me!) from the Mappa Zappa album on that there YouTube. [Added: 04 July 2018]


·        Dame Gillian Lynne, the choreographer on 200 Motels and National Lampoon’s European Vacation (which featured both Moon and Dweezil) sadly passed away on 1 July, aged 92. [Added: 04 July 2018]


·        ZappaCast Episode #38: Zappa And The Blues - suddenly available! [Added: 24 June 2018]


·        A vanilla version of Chunga’s Revenge is being reissued on black vinyl, 20 July 2018. [Added: 24 June 2018]


·        “The Bizarre World Of Frank Zappa” Hologram Tour is scheduled to kick-off early next year, with rehearsals taking place in LA in January. According to Scott Thunes, “chances are almost 100%” that the tour will come to the UK. [Added: 24 June 2018]


·        Listen to the opening track from the Mappa Zappa CD here. (It’s a cover of Transylvania Boogie by The Todd Grubbs Group). [Added: 17 June 2018]


·        All being well, L. Shankar will be at Zappanale next month, guesting with the Bozzio-O’Hearn-Cuccurullo power trio and the GrandMothers. [Added: 17 June 2018]


·        Scoremeister Scott Thunes on Facebook: “Today [15 June 2018] I received a bunch of scores from the ZFT to peruse. Stuff that has never been seen by any musician for performance purposes. Stuff in Frank’s handwriting from the 60s. Just deep UberFan stuff. Really geekery. <swoon>” [Added: 17 June 2018]


·        The latest Zappa-themed CD curated for Cordelia Records by the Idiot Bastard is a collection of tunes with place names in their titles. Read more about it here or here. Then buy a copy here! [Added: 07 June 2018]


·        Ahead of his appearances at Zappanale in July (and on the Hologram Tour in 2019), I had a brief chat with Warren Cuccurullo. [Added: 07 June 2018]


·        Order a copy of Frank Talk: The Inside Stories Of Zappa’s Other People direct from the publisher and quote the code ‘Zappa1’ to get a 20% discount – here! [Added: 07 June 2018]


·        Anyone interested in photos of FZ at the London’s Royal Garden Hotel in 1967 on Silver Gelatin on Ilford Fibre Paper (signed and numbered by photographer, Robert Davidson), should mention this website for a discount. [Added: 01 June 2018]


·        For those who might’ve likened more than the one instrumental from Gizmodrome, there’s Riff Tricks - The Instrumentals Vol. 1! (Bit slow finding out about this, but they’ve yet to sell all thousand copies.) [Added: 01 June 2018]


·        Geoff Wills writes: “The other day I was browsing through my notes for Zappa And Jazz and I came across a bit of conceptual continuity that I hadn’t included in the book. In my Postscript chapter I suggested that there were similarities between Zappa and jazz orchestra leader Stan Kenton, who recorded Bob Graettinger’s piece City Of Glass, which I thought might have appealed to Zappa. It turns out that Graettinger was born in Ontario, California (in 1923) where Zappa lived in 1960 when he married Kay Sherman. Graettinger studied composition at Chaffey Union High School (1937-1941) which I guess is connected to Chaffey Junior College where Zappa studied composition in 1959. There’s an album of Graettinger compositions and arrangements played by Holland’s Ebony Big Band (Channel Crossings, 1998) and the vocalist with the band is Claron McFadden, who took the role of The Soprano in the 2013 Southbank performance of 200 Motels. She’s a good jazz singer, as well as all the other things she can do. Listening to the way a Graettinger arrangement can twist a standard tune like Everything Happens To Me, you wonder if he was an inspiration for Zappa, when he introduced a distorted version of Isn’t it Romantic? into Punky’s Whips. A chapter is devoted to Graettinger in the book Songs In The Key Of Z: The Curious Universe Of Outsider Music by Irwin Chusid (Chicago Review Press, 2000), which also features chapters on Captain Beefheart and Wild Man Fischer. I hope this stuff might be of interest to you and Idiot Bastard readers.” [Added: 01 June 2018]


·        You can grab the new GrandMothers Of Invention album, Free Energy, here. [Added: 23 May 2018]


·        As Ed Mann was about to take the stage with Club D’Elf at the Flyday Music Festival last week, he fell and fractured his pelvis. He’s since posted on Facebook, “One second walking, the next, unable to walk. We work in a potentially dangerous business - be extra extra careful and take nothing for granted. Just because someone puts up a ramp, doesn’t mean it’s safe.” [Added: 23 May 2018]


·        Dweezil has posted the following statement: “Recently, we Zappa siblings (Diva, Ahmet and Dweezil) got together with the goal of resolving our differences. Once we sat down and actually listened to one another, we found a much greater understanding of each other’s intentions. We regret that our communication broke down and that things were misconstrued. It may be a bumpy road at times – we are a passionate Italian family – but we have decided to work toward privately discussing issues rather than using public forums and lawyers. We are hopeful that if any of our father’s fans have felt conflicted, they can join us in the peace of our resolution. With our best feet forward, we are moving ahead and will faithfully deliver much more of our father’s indefinable brilliance, also known as the “World’s Finest Optional Entertainment.” Thank you for your passion and love for our father. We can assure you, we all feel the same about him.” No mention of Moon, but great news – and hopefully the end of DZ’s ‘Others Of Intention’ campaign. [Added: 15 May 2018]


·        In the final episode of the FZ Discography podcast. Marc With A C throws a bunch of questions at “Weird Al” Yankovic, Alex Winter and Mike Keneally…and gives a shout out to the Idiot Bastard! [Added: 15 May 2018]


·        Burnt Weeny Sandwich is being reissued on vinyl, replete with the B&W poster originally available with the US edition. [Added: 15 May 2018]


·        This week I finished writing 150 words on each of the 111 albums in Zappa’s Official Discography - a sort of ‘Idiot’s Guide’. All being well, you’ll be able to read them next year. Meantime, there’s still Zappa The Hard Way and Frank Talk: The Inside Stories Of Zappa’s Other People! [Added: 10 May 2018]


·        The penultimate episode of the FZ Discography podcast goes from You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore to Civilization Phase III. [Added: 10 May 2018]


·        Pamela Zarubica talks about her first marijuana experience and her second remarkable man: Otis Redding. [Added: 10 May 2018]


·        In March, Scott Thunes wrote (on Facebook): “Last year up til last week, I’ve been working on finishing-up the score to a Frank Zappa piece called Pound For A Brown/Exercise #4. It was arranged by a lovely person back in 1995 for a chamber orchestra (it’s supposed to be ‘any orchestra under 15’ but now it’s more of any ensemble that doesn’t have a full complement of strings ala ‘modern symphony orchestra’) and performed by somebody at some point, but somebody wanted to play it so it needed to be ‘presentable’. I had parts and a score already printed and used, but they were covered in pencil marks from the previous use (orchestral musicians NEED to have a pencil with them for marking up conductor’s notes and other ‘attention-grabbing’ moments. The fact that there is no ‘rock musician equivalent’ either shows that ‘rock musicians/rock music don’t/doesn’t need to have notes OR that a lot of pressure and stress could be resolved in the learning of music for presentation if there were some methodology thereof). I also had files from the last time it was printed. Unfortunately, these files were for A: a program I didn’t have nor was ever going to get (Finale) and B: weren’t exactly perfectly useful for my needs. Almost like an OCR situation, you can scan a page of a book but it includes so many mistakes that you spend as much time editing the results as if you inputted the data by hand in the first place. So finally I was tasked with the engraving (basically inputting all the notes and dynamics and EVERYTHING into my music publishing software [Sibelius] so it can be published professionally by the ZFT’s chosen publishing house, Schott [one of my favourites!]) way back in November. Because of this and that, the deadline for finishing got pushed back further and further. But it was finally upon me and so I sent out my parts and score to the publisher and I was given to understand that I had much more work to do. For instance, a conductor’s score is usually done in a ‘tabloid’ size, which means paper that is 17" x 11" (432 by 279 mm). I had to change it from ‘Letter’ (215.9mm by 279.4mm) or A4 (210mm by 297mm) which was the size I had for the ‘parts’. Rookie Mistake #1. Sending THAT forced another round of corrections (which is fine and awesome and I wanted that and needed that and was so happy to have that input from a pro) and a note stating that there was an actual set of standards put out by the Major Orchestra Librarian’s Association (MOLA) – I wish they added some ‘R’ word at the end so it could be MOLAR – that I should be following, along with an example score that my guy considered ‘perfect’. One of the main issues with orchestral parts is ‘where you put the break’, meaning where in a multi-page document you put the page turns so that the musician isn’t rushing to get to the next notes, possibly fucking up the following passage (when I was in my 20s, I saw Itzhak Perlman do the Bartók Violin Concerto #2 at the SF Symphony. I don’t KNOW that his being in a wheelchair had anything to do with this but I DID see him fucking up a passage because of a page turn issue. He actually used his bow to THROW the page – instead of his hand – and he wasn’t able to get to the next notes in time. Really weird and gross. I don’t know if this is standard usage among string soloists. I should ask.) So my ‘breaks’ weren’t exemplary and my guy actually set up a phone call with me so he could walk me through his process (he’s also a composer) and it SAVED ME, not only me but obviously Pound For A Brown/Exercise #4. He not only showed me how he does what he does - giving me new tools in the process - but showing me exactly how much music can be on a single page along with the ‘pleasing to the eye’ concept that, as an orchestral musician, is necessary to make the entire ‘sucking up of musical data from the written notes’ the most pleasant experience possible. To make a long story short (ha!) I sent the further edits along the next day and got the digital ‘OK’ from both the ZFT and my guy at Schott. And that’s how I got through my first score-and-parts-publishing gig without getting fired.” And now here it is, on the Schott website. [Added: 06 May 2018]


·        Discography: Frank Zappa: Episode 4Them Or Us to Broadway The Hard Way. [Added: 06 May 2018]


·        Robert Martin has recorded “six-and-a-half minutes of kick butt, high energy, old school, funk rock. Land Of The Free draws from the deep well of American soul, ignites and rolls relentlessly with the power of a freight train at full throttle. It features a powerhouse lead vocal, blues-rock piano, five strong horns, soulful backing vocals, percolating organ, driving funk bass and force-of-nature drums.” [Added: 06 May 2018]


·        Cool podcast-type thing: Electricity: Conversations With Captain Beefheart. [Added: 06 May 2018]


·        Two more Euro dates for Dweezil in the Diary: Vienna and (as predicted below) Dublin. [Added: 25 April 2018]


·        Part Two of Scott Parker’s chat with Ahmet Zappa has now been hammered into shape as ZappaCast Episode 37. [Added: 25 April 2018]


·        Two more of the Consequence Of Sound ‘Discography’ podcasts are now up: part two covers 200 Motels to Zappa In The New York (is Dale Bozzio really the other ‘chick’ enjoying the recreational activities on The Torture Never Stops? I don’t think so!), while part three takes us from Studio Tan to The Perfect Stranger. [Added: 25 April 2018]


·        Denny Walley will return to Zappanale this July. [Added: 25 April 2018]


·        The first of six podcast episodes taking an album by album look at FZ covers Freak Out! to Fillmore East contains a few unfortunate errors (FZ born in 1941? Beefheart singing on Brown Shoes Don't Make It?!), but is a very interesting listen nonetheless. Grab it now. [Added: 15 April 2018]


·        Uwe Dierksen’s arrangement for solo trombone of Revised Music For Low Budget Orchestra was released on a double CD several years ago, obtainable from the Ensemble Modern webstore. It is now readily available to download as an individual track. Herr Dierksen of course appears on The Yellow Shark, Civilization Phaze III, Everything Is Healing Nicely and Greggery Peccary & Other Persuasions. Nice arrangement. [Added: 15 April 2018]


·        A new Grandmothers Of Invention CD, Live in Bremen (recorded in 2014), is suddenly available - and hopefully at the merch stand on their imminent Euro tour. [Added: 15 April 2018]


·        As well as the gigs in Holland, Belgium and Germany (see Diary), it’s possible Dweezil might play Dublin this year. Sadly, nothing planned for the UK at this time. [Added: 08 April 2018]


·        The first episode in a new series from the Consequence Podcast Network sees indie-pop songwriter Marc With A C chronicle FZ, album by album, with help from Alex Winter, Mike Keneally and others. Debuts on Tuesday 10 April. [Added: 08 April 2018]


·        The tenth Zappanale exhibition in downtown Bad Doberan this July will feature a Q&A with Pauline Butcher and Bill Gubbins’ photos from the Hot Rats sessions (one of which is featured on the cover of The Idiot Bastard Sons Of Mr. Green Genes album). And more! [Added: 08 April 2018]


·        New rock fusion album from Shuggie Otis, Inter-fusion, features drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge/Beck Bogert & Appice) and bassist Tony Franklin (The Firm/Roy Harper). Out on 20 April, it includes a new version of the track Ice Cold Daydream, first heard on his Freedom Flight album in 1971. [Added: 08 April 2018]


·        Digital Vault Passes have just been sent to backers of Alex Winter’s Zappa movie. These give access to over two hours of audio (including longer edits of Thirteen & Stucco Homes, and a live version of Oh No from 1984 featuring Napi) and just under an hour of video wonderment (including an epic rendition of RDNZL from Dusseldorf in 1982). Here’s Alex’s introduction. [Added: 02 April 2018]


·        Captain Beefheart was the subject of the BBC Radio 4 programme Great Lives on Tuesday 3 April (you can download it here); chosen by Jim Moir (aka Vic Reeves and Colin Callen), he was accompanied by Beefheart biographer Mike Barnes. And as if that wasn’t enough, to celebrate the relaunch of the Bizarre record label imprint, Third Man Records (in cahoots with the ZFT) is proud to announce a tote bag/vinyl Trout Mask Replica package thingy. Subscribe and whatnot here, if that floats yer boat. [Added: 02 April 2018 ‘ Updated: 08 April 2018]


·        Bill Bruford’s new book, Uncharted: Creativity And The Expert Drummer, draws on interviews with nine top drummers - including Chad Wackerman. [Added: 02 April 2018]


·        Halfway through this podcast, Co de Kloet re-broadcast's Mike Keneally’s Nonkertompf live from Groningen in 2001. [Added: 02 April 2018]


·        Manuel de la Fuente, who together with Vicente Forés translated into Spanish The Real Frank Zappa Book and Pauline Butcher’s Freak Out! My Life With Frank Zappa, has just conducted this interview with Ahmet Zappa. It touches on Hologram tour dates, another Halloween box (with a new mask), The Rage & The Fury and more. [Added: 28 March 2018]


·        Check out (and also please back!) ‘Morgan Ågren/Mats Öberg CDs/DVDs + urgent hearing treatment’ Kickstarter. [Added: 28 March 2018]


·         Bassist and cellist Buell Neidlinger recently suffered a heart attack and died. Neidlinger of course played bass on King Kong. Jean-Luc Ponty Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa. According to Frank, he used Neidlinger because, “he’s the only man I could think of who could play the bass part” on Music For Electric Violin And Low Budget Orchestra. In Jimmy Carl Black’s memoirs he talks of Captain Beefheart needing a new bass player during his time with the Magic Band: “I knew this other guy (he had played with Geronimo Black briefly) who I thought could play this music. The guy’s called Buell Neidlinger and he was a monster bass player. He’d done a lot of sessions and he’d played contra bass with the Boston Philharmonic. He was also into the blues and stuff and was a very good friend of mine and Elliot’s. Buell had also done some stuff with Frank in the past, but it seems that he and Frank had had a serious falling out. So, when Buell went to the rehearsal on the first day, Zappa came flying out of the office, pulled Beefheart off to the side and said, ‘That guy ain’t playing in your band because he’s not gonna rehearse on these premises and in fact, we want him outta here right now!’ I guess Beefheart wasn’t in any position to do anything about it because otherwise I know he would have told Frank to fuck off! Buell would have been a great player for Beefheart in my opinion. It seems that back in 1971, Buell had called the Musicians’ Union and told them that Aynsley Dunbar was making all this money with Zappa and he wasn’t in the Union - and not only that, he wasn’t even American. The Musicians’ Union came down really hard on Herb and Frank. That is when Herb arranged for one of the girls in Herb’s office to marry Aynsley, so that he could get a Green Card.” [Added: 28 March 2018]


·        Inventionis Mater and Valentina Ciardelli will now be joined by Napoleon Murphy Brock at St. Catherine’s Church in Hamburg on 18 July 2018. [Added: 23 March 2018]


·        Following advice from his Doctor, Shuggie Otis has had to cancel his forthcoming UK tour: Shuggie has unfortunately not recovered from an accident last year but hopes to continue his recovery and make music again soon. [Added: 23 March 2018]


·        Halfway through this podcast, Steve Vai talks to Co de Kloet about the creation of the epic Classified track Pink And Blows Over, featuring Tommy Mars. [Added: 23 March 2018]


·        The first in Pamela Zarubica’s series of Meetings With Remarkable Men celebrates her time with Tom Wilson. [Added: 18 March 2018]


·        Robert “Frog” Camarena, who played rhythm guitar and sang on Apostrophe ('), Roxy & Elsewhere, Bongo Fury, Joe’s Camouflage and (of course) Ruben & The Jets’ For Real!, sadly passed away on 8 March following a liver transplant. His family said, “He was never one for mourning and we would like that we remember all good things he did and the many lives he had touched in his life.” [Added: 18 March 2018]


·        Pauline Butcher now has a nifty little website at http://paulinebutcher.com/ [Added: 18 March 2018]


·        As mentioned below, I have been discussing a possible coffee-table book of Zappa fan memorabilia with Ahmet Zappa. He has clarified that he wants this to be the ultimate fan’s scrapbook, collecting together fan mail, art, posters, bootlegs, t-shirts, fanzine extracts and as many exciting instances as possible of “people's passion around Frank” (as an example, Ahmet cited Cameron Piko’s wonderful interactive map of Frank’s conceptual continuity). I have been tasked with “assembling the goodies” and contextualising what’s there. If you have something you feel should be in the book, please email me with details at disco.boy@blueyonder.co.uk [Added: 10 March 2018]


·        In spite of the recent happy together snap of the Zappa sisters, Dweezil says, “the trademark matter involving the surname Zappa is unfortunately still ongoing”. [Added: 10 March 2018]


·        Record Store Day on 21 April 2018 sees the vinyl reissue of the eponymous debut album by U.K., featuring Messrs. Jobson, Holdsworth, Bruford and Wetton. [Added: 10 March 2018]


·        Robert Williams (aka Wait For Me: Beefheart drummer from 1977 to 1981; Magic Band drummer for their two UK shows in 2003) has been diagnosed with a Glioma brain tumor which will have to be removed. As Robert is self-employed, he will not be able to work while he recovers. His son has therefore set up this gofundme page. [Added: 10 March 2018]


·        The Big Note: A Guide To The Recordings Of Frank Zappa by Charles Ulrich now available to pre-order – here, and over here also. [Added: 03 March 2018]


·        In ZappaCast #35 Ahmet talked about the rat tomago shirts Gail presented him and Frank with. He has very kindly forwarded a photo of these which now adorns our interview. [Added: 03 March 2018]


·        In ZappaCast #36, Podmeister Scott talks to the Vaultmeister Joe about The Roxy Performances and more! [Added: 03 March 2018]


·        A 30 year edition of Pamela Des BarresI’m With The Band will be published in April, which includes a brand new chapter. At the end of that month, Miss Pamela will host one of her ladies only UK Writers’ Workshops, followed by An Evening With Pamela Des Barres (for all comers), at The Islington in London. [Added: 03 March 2018]


·        ‘An Evening With Terry Bozzio’ mainland Euro dates (despite the reference to Swaziland!) here. [Added: 03 March 2018]


·        Moon has posted a happy happy joy joy picture on Facebook of her with her sister Diva, captioned “Thanks for the willingness to share and listen with an open heart. It was good to find common ground and laugh, and it was worthwhile to hit bumpy patches and core wounds with mutual respect. Great start. Planting seeds. Thanks Steve Vai for clearing a small path with your sacred axe.” A similarly encouraging post can be found on Twitter. [Added: 26 February 2018]


·        The Wrong Object are recording an all Zappa album. Pre-order the CD and be a part of a recording of unorthodox arrangements of the great man’s music here. [Added: 26 February 2018]


·        I have just conducted this interview with Ahmet Zappa. After our chat, we discussed a possible coffee-table book of interesting Zappa fan memorabilia that might include concert photos, tickets (anyone got one for the late show at the Rainbow?), posters, bootleg artwork, t-shirts, fanzines and all manner of FZ wonderment. Any collectors out there wanting to assist me in compiling this should contact me via disco.boy@blueyonder.co.uk. The rarer the material, the better the book! It goes without saying that all contributions will be fully credited in the resultant tome (working title: Project Objects: A Zappa Fanthology). [Added: 24 February 2018 / Updated: 26 February 2018]


·        Sounds like plans were already afoot for an ‘Official Zappa Band’ tour pre-Hologram. Interesting. [Added: 24 February 2018]


·        If you haven’t read Pauline Butcher’s most excellent book, Freak Out! My Life With Frank Zappa, yet - and why ever not? - then the latest Muses And Stuff Podcast features a nice precis/commentary for you to enjoy. [Added: 24 February 2018]


·        Tante Tofu, Bonnen, Aigui & Burghaus and Amon Düül II have been added to this year’s Zappanale line-up. [Added: 24 February 2018]


·        I have just conducted this short interview with Patrick O’Hearn ahead of his appearance at Zappanale in July. [Added: 11 February 2018]


·        This is a shame: “It has just come to my attention the advertisement circulating for the proposed Frank Zappa Hologram Tour, states my name as a guest. As I have not consented, or given any commitment, this disclaims any involvement whatsoever. Thank you, Vinnie Colaiuta.” [Added: 11 February 2018]


·        Eyellusion has announced the line-up for “The Bizarre World Of Frank Zappa” Hologram Tour, which will start at the end of 2018. The core band will comprise Ray White, Mike Keneally, Scott Thunes, Robert Martin and Joe Travers. They will be joined along the way by Steve Vai, Warren Cuccurullo, Ian Underwood, Vinnie Colaiuta, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Arthur Barrow, Ed Mann - and more, still to be announced. Of the show, Ahmet says, “Circumstances, objects, places and subject matter from Frank’s songs and imagination will be brought to life for the first time on stage. We are anthropomorphizing Frank’s music, so his own hand drawn illustrations, classic imagery from his album artwork and characters from his songs can all interact and perform on stage.” Sounds fun to me. Follow the links above for more. [Added: 05 February 2018]


·        London-based Great Point Media (who helped fund the comedy drama TV series Doc Martin) is backing the Zappa Movie. Alex Winter recently said the documentary process has now begun, with editors coming onboard and the first phase of production about to commence. Expect a formal announcement of some kind soon. [Added: 05 February 2018]


·        Frank Zappa’s Three Card Trick is a 3 DVD box set from Chrome Dreams featuring the documentaries Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention – In The 1960s, The Freak-Out List and From Straight To Bizarre. [Added: 05 February 2018]


·        Italian Zappa duo Inventionis Mater are hooking up with the girl in the magnesium dress, Valentina Ciardelli, and will pre-open the 29th Zappanale at St. Catherine’s Church in Hamburg on Wednesday 18 July. [Added: 05 February 2018]


·        Only physical copies of The Roxy Performances have been delayed, and only in certain parts of the world (primarily outside of the US): it’s been possible to stream or download the whole lovely thing since its scheduled day of release (02.02.18). Joy! [Added: 04 February 2018]


·        Project/Object will be touring the US in April/May, with very special guests Napoleon Murphy Brock and Denny Walley. Details here. [Added: 04 February 2018]


·        Patrice Zappa-Porter will accompany husband Nolan Porter to The Third Blackpool International Soul Festival in June, where he’ll be performing alongside the likes of Patti Austin and Lamont Dozier. ‘Candy’ tells me, “Nolan and I recorded a record with lyrics he wrote about Northern Soul called Go-Go-Go, and he’s selling the record - a 45rpm 7" vinyl - if any of your readers are interested.” [Added: 04 February 2018]


·        The UK’s very own Gabba Zappa Hey! will play three times at Zappanale this year (opening party/exhibition/festival grounds), and may even do their version of Peaches En Torture – as performed for Ben Watson here. Meantime, the official programme for this year’s fest is growing here. [Added: 04 February 2018]


·        The Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal will perform Mo And Herb’s Vacation under the baton of Kent Nagano shortly. Details here. [Added: 04 February 2018]


·        Gary Lucas is doing a solo From Beefheart To Buckley & Beyond UK tour in May. Details in the Diary. [Added: 04 February 2018]


·        According to UMe Canada, the Roxy box now has a revised street date of 23 March 2018. [Added: 25 January 2018]


·        After Diva’s appearance in The Mighty Boosh and Bob Fossil’s turn as Lonesome Cowboy Burt in 200 Motels - The Suite, Dixon Bainbridge (aka Matt Berry) has just unleashed a version of Mr Green Genes on his album Night Terrors (alongside covers of Pink Floyd and Icehouse). [Added: 25 January 2018]


·        Scheila Gonzalez will be touring this year with Colin Hay January/February and The Mother Hips March/April...so, no longer a part of ZPZ? [Added: 25 January 2018]


·        The Muffin Men are hitting the road again in 2018 (with Mike Kidson on the saxamaphone). Some dates in the Diary, with more still to be confirmed. [Added: 21 January 2018]


·        Here’s an amusing video of Dweezil presenting Steve Vai with an old notebook containing guitar lessons he wrote for DZ in 1982. [Added: 21 January 2018]


·        Many of you have liked double-bassist Valentina Ciardelli’s videos on YouTube, performing with The Girls In The Magnesium Dress and others. To ensure we get even more of this wondrousness, please subscribe to her Zappawoman channel. [Added: 21 January 2018]


·        The GrandMothers Of Invention will headline Zappanale on Sunday 22 July 2018 - plus the band’s UK ‘farewell’ dates are now in the Diary. [Added: 18 January 2018]


·        Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls releases his star-studded solo album, Smalls Change, Meditations On Ageing, in April. It features guest appearances from Steve Vai, Dweezil Zappa and a host of other top bods. Read more here. [Added: 18 January 2018]


·        A slightly worrying post from Howard Kaylan: The Turtles continue to be the headliners of the Happy Together Tour. As always, founding member/singer Mark Volman will bring his infamous antics to the stage. However, for medical reasons, this summer the voice of The Archies, Ron Dante will stand in for singer Howard Kaylan.” Here’s to a speedy return, Howie. [Added: 18 January 2018]


·        Couple of dates in the Diary for Reach For It - The Genius Of George Duke (a musical celebration of the man, from “…Mothers to Montreux). [Added: 12 January 2018]


·        Moon Zappa makes a brief appearance on the new Dr. Demento Covered In Punk compilation, during an introduction to a cover of Frank’s Disco Boy by Missing Persons feat. Dale Bozzio. The album also includes a version of My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama by The Meatmen. [Added: 12 January 2018]


·        Doreen Tracey, an original ‘Red Team’ Mouseketeer, has passed away aged 74. Tracey was subsequently a Promotion Director at Warner Brothers Records, and said her “best achievement was getting Frank Zappa his first single hit, Don’t Eat That Yellow Snow! That was a challenge because Top Forty stations considered Frank an underground artist, not mainstream.” There is also a suggestion that Frank may have written Doreen in her honour. (Anyone able to verify this?) [Added: 12 January 2018]


·        Now available to download, the Bowie/Eno composition I’m Afraid Of Americans - as performed by Dweezil and his merry band. And there’s a promo vid! [Added: 09 January 2018 / Updated: 12 January 2018]


·        Here’s my review of Charlie Freak’s dissection of We’re Only In It For The Money. [Added: 09 January 2018]


·        Three more acts playing Zappanale this year: Sex Without Nails Bro’sis, Monika Roscher Big Band and Gabba Zappa Hey! I understand Ben Watson will also return to quiz us and, all being well, Pauline Butcher, various members of ZERO and Moon Zappa could all be in attendance too. [Added: 09 January 2018]


·        All of the tracks for the Mappa Zappa CD are now all completed and the webpage updated. All being well, the album should be ready for the world to hear before Zappanale! [Added: 09 January 2018]


·        Listen to the brand new ZappaCast, featuring the head of the ZFT in conversation with the Podmeister! Lots of interesting stuff from Ahmet about Gail, Zappanale and much, much more.[Added: 02 January 2018]


·        Here’s my review of the Summer 82: When Zappa Came To Sicily film. [Added: 02 January 2018]


·        Co de Kloet’s radio programme covering the recent Dweezil Zappa’s Orchestral Favorites shows with the Noord Nederlands Orkest can be heard right here. Mixing extant recordings, interviews (with both Frank and Dweezil) and music from the actual concerts (including the premiere of DZ’s The Adventures Of Dindoo and a lovely rendition of Watermelon In Easter Hay), it’s a fun way to spend a couple of hours. [Added: 02 January 2018]


·        Rain Joan of Arc Phoenix and Moon Unit Zappa interview Dweezil on their latest Podcast. (NB. Marius Constant actually wrote the Twilight Zone music performed by Dweezil - Bernard Herrmann wrote the orchestral theme used in season one only.) [Added: 02 January 2018]


·        Here’s a new interview I conducted with Alessandra Izzo regarding her ‘special friendship’ with Frank. [Added: 21 December 2017]


·        For those of you who might not know…Jen Jewel Brown (who has written an essay for the forthcoming wonderment that is The Roxy Performances) is the same lady who receives an ‘honourable mention’ from Gail in her FZ:OZ liner notes, and was also mentioned in Moon’s 2016 Flirting With Disaster stand-up skit (which was the subject of my question to her at this year’s Zappanale, for those of you who were there)…and but also, digitally pre-ordering The Roxy Performances gets you an instant gratification download of the same version of RDNZL that’s on Roxy By Proxy – albeit the new 2016 mix rather than FZ’s 1987 remix. [Added: 21 December 2017]


·        Instead of offering us another AAAFNRAA bundle, the ZFT has decided to celebrate Frank’s birthday by releasing limited edition 180g coloured vinyl editions of: Hot Rats (pink & purple splatter); Over-Nite Sensation (clear & orange); Apostrophe (') (yellow & clear). Over here, vinyl lovers. [Added: 21 December 2017]


·        Anyone else notice that the liner notes to Dweezil’s F.O.H. album state “this double CD is a limited edition of two releases: F.O.H. One and F.O.H. Two...” Fantom Records subsequently issued F.O.H. III - Out Of Obscurity. Now, Dweezil’s liner notes to his Live In The Moment II album state, “On volume II of my F.O.H. Series...” Colour me confused. [Added: 21 December 2017]


·        The first four months of 2018 will see visits to these shores from Steve Vai, Bunk Gardner, Adrian Belew (twice!), Don Preston, Ed Mann, Mike Keneally and the Vaultmeister! See Diary for more. [Added: 21 December 2017]


·        The HeadShakers are participating in a French production of 200 Motels next year: with the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra at Festival Musica, Zenith de Strasbourg on 21 September 2018; and the Paris Philharmonic Orchestra at La Philharmonie, Salle Boulez, Paris on 30 September 2018. [Added: 21 December 2017]


·        Coming on 2 February 2018: The Roxy Performances, a seven CD box set of the soundcheck from 8 December 1973, all four shows from 9 & 10 December, rehearsal nuggets, unreleased tracks and highlights from the contemporaneous Bolic Studio sessions - all with a 48 page booklet. Check Zappa.com for more. [Added: 15 December 2017]


·        The Ubu Ensemble, who spanked some Frank at St Luke’s in 2011, will perform music from The Yellow Shark (as well as some Stravinsky, Webern and Varèse) at a free concert at London’s Silk Street Music Hall on 19 January 2018. [Added: 15 December 2017]


·        Check out the amazing Rachel Flowers’ version of The Black Page #2 on SoundCloud. [Added: 15 December 2017]


·        It looks like the headline act at Zappanale in 2018 will be a power trio comprising Terry Bozzio, Patrick O’Hearn and Warren Cuccurullo – playing the music of FZ, natch. [Added: 09 December 2017]


·        The live feed of Dweezil’s recent orchestral favourites concert in Holland will be broadcast on www.nposoulenjazz.nl/colive on 30 December. It will be available as a podcast thereafter. Meantime, here are some video highlights. [Added: 09 December 2017]


·        Suddenly available: VaiTunes #10. Says Steve, “I was digging through the infinity shelf and found one of perhaps 600 sound check jams that we recorded. Don’t know why I picked this one...a 20 minute impromptu blues jam, but I only used the first four and half minutes or so and used a lot of room mics for a little different experience. The track is called Cupid And His Lasers, and not sure where that came from either. Check it out, hope you enjoy.” Music. Booklet. [Added: 09 December 2017]


·        As promised, Dweezil’s Live In The Moment II has just been issued. As well as his own ‘air sculptures’, it also includes renditions of some of his father’s compositions - Five Five Five, Return Of The Son Of Orange County, Filthy Habits and Watermelon In Easter Hay - plus a couple of songs from the compilation album of Bulgarian folk songs that Frank was fond of (Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares). Also this week, Dweezil will be recording performances of his orchestral works in Holland: “The pieces that are being performed are Shampoohorn (orchestral arrangement with electric guitar), Truth (orchestral arrangement with electric guitar), Preludumus Maximus, and new compositions called Marmux Buhdardux and The Adventures Of Dindoo. I hope to have them come out soon!” [Added: 29 November 2017]


·        Spend a cool half-hour in the company of Bob & Thana Harris (and sometimes Steve Vai) - aka Rantin & Rayven (and Reckless Fable) here. Interviews with all three appear in my latest book, Frank Talk - which makes an ideal Christmas gift for all of your loved ones! [Added: 29 November 2017]


·        Great news all-round from Dweezil: regarding the family feud, he tells the ‘Others Of Intention’, “there have been some discussions of engaging in settlement talks. It would be nice to move forward and put this behind all of us.” Here! Here! He also provided a download of “the final track to the long-awaited, very soon to be released Live In The Moment II album. It’s a version of Watermelon In Easter Hay live on stage from Minneapolis earlier this year.” And finally, he said he hopes to see us on his ‘Choice Cuts’ world tour next year. Hell yeah! [Added: 23 November 2017]


·        Suddenly available: Lightning In a Bottle, Album #69: Hot Rats by Charlie Freak. [Added: 23 November 2017]


·        From the ZFT: “Unforeseen circumstances beyond our control have delayed the release of Lumpy Gravy: Primordial for Black Friday Record Store Day 2017. We are disappointed. But never fear, it will be in stores for Record Store Day April 2018!” [Added: 23 November 2017]


·        An error has been discovered in the version of Wild Love on Halloween 77 from Show #2, 10-28-77: the second verse (“Mama stroked his dinger...”) has been inadvertently repeated. Those who bought USBs via Zappa.com have been sent a link and password to download the shorter, corrected version. Those who bought elsewhere should write to info@zappa.com with a photo of their box number and they’ll be sent a special code. Similarly, some have found fault with the 50th anniversary expanded 2 LP vinyl edition of Absolutely Free (a white label on the laser etching and muddled-up libretto pages); folk should go back from whence their copies came. [Added: 21 November 2017]


·        Beer For Dolphins (viz., Mike Keneally, Bryan Beller and Joe Travers) are Joe Satriani’s new backing band for 2018! [Added: 21 November 2017]


·        2 For Z Duet, an offshoot of the Chironomids Outerspace Group, perform the music of FZ via voice, dance, piano, gas masks, poodles and other weird stuff! Check out some more here. [Added: 21 November 2017]


·        L. Shankar will be the GrandMothers special guest when they play Oslo next May. Dates in the Diary. [Added: 17 November 2017]


·        Charlie Freak is writing a 150 volume series of books on the most important rock albums in music history, under the heading of Lightning In A Bottle. The first in the series to be issued covers We’re Only In It For The Money and can be purchased right now, right here. Charlie says, “I will be publishing each ebook as fast as I can over the next year. Overall, there are six Zappa albums on this list, Freak Out! at #3, We're Only In It For The Money at #17, Joe’s Garage Acts I,II & III at #34, Hot Rats at #69, Absolutely Free at #125 and Sheik Yerbouti at #131. Also, there are eight Steely Dan studio albums on the list, with Aja at #1 overall.” [Added: 17 November 2017]


·        Here’s a press release for the great new Ed Palermo Big Band album, The Adventures Of Zodd Zundgren. [Added: 17 November 2017]


·        Flying Dutchman Fred Händl is not only attending this weekend’s Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra CD release party at Darrell’s Tavern in Seattle (with Ike Willis and Bruce Bickford), but will also be playing keyboards with Acton Zappa at the annual Zappadan Zappajam in London on 9 December. [Added: 17 November 2017]


·        On 4 December, Idiots Records in Dortmund, Germany presents the Frank Zappa Memorial Day #24, with many Zappa-rarities. Mak, one of the catering crew on the European leg of the Broadway The Hard Way tour, will also be there presenting rare photos from that part of the 1988 tour. Videos, fun and frolics from eleven to seven. [Added: 17 November 2017]


·        The University of Hawaii Hilo Jazz Orchestra has performed annual Frank Zappa tribute concerts since 2013. Watch their story... from classroom to concert hall. And on 8 & 9 December this year, Dweezil will be heading to Hilo to perform with the orchestra under the direction of Trever Veilleux. Says Veilleux, “We’ve got a special set planned that spans three decades of Frank Zappa’s diverse catalogue.” [Added: 10 April 2017 / Updated: 17 November 2017]


·        Here’s a great in-depth look at Halloween 77 by Senior Zap-o-phile, the Resentment Listener. [Added: 08 November 2017]


·        Backers of Alex Winter’s Zappa Movie Kickstarter campaign were recently sent a blistering guitar solo from The Illinois Enema Bandit, recorded live on 1 July 1980 in Mulhouse, France. It was remixed by FZ at the UMRK from an 8-Track 1" Master Tape in the late 80s, “for what, we'll never know”. [Added: 08 November 2017]


·        The bonus features on the imminent Blu-ray edition of Summer 82: When Zappa Came To Sicily include previously unpublished behind the scenes photos of FZ. At the recent LA premiere, Dweezil, Moon and Steve Vai spoke before the fillum, and GTOs Pamela and Mercy say Diva was there too! Anyways, here’s the official trailer. [Added: 08 November 2017]


·        If you’re wondering why the Halloween 77 3CD set is Official Release 110K, it’s because the ZFT gave each of the shows a different suffix – with the exception of the 30 October one, which was not originally intended to be made available as a stand-alone download. So 28/10 show 1 has the suffix ‘F’; show 2 ‘R’; and the 29/10 shows ‘A’ and ‘N’. Geddit? [Added: 04 November 2017]


·        At the end of 2014, Dweezil said, “The editing for the Apostrophe LIVE concert is complete now.” He talked of stereo and surround mixes to finalise the project. Nearly three years on, DZ has just posted a clip of the audio for Chrissy Puked Twice (from the DVD, originally filmed in 2010) being tinkered with in Oslo. Hopefully the Pledge campaign to finally get this out will commence soon. In the meantime, ZPZ drummer Ryan Brown says, “Our final show in Oslo with the Norwegian Wind Ensemble was off the hook! 91st show of this tour. This gig was also filmed...so maybe you all will get to see it someday.” Keep everything crossed. [Added: 04 November 2017]


·        Heikki Poroila has produced a corrected and enlarged English language PDF edition of his 2015 printed book, Frank Zappan sävellykset. Compositions By Frank Zappa includes spiffy artwork by Marko Nakari, and can be read/downloaded for free here. [Added: 04 November 2017]


·        Grab yourself a copy of ZAPPATiKA’s new live album here. [Added: 04 November 2017]


·        The Riccardo Fassi Tankio Band has followed up its 1995 Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa album with Return Of The Fat Chicken, featuring special guest Napoleon Murphy Brock. Hear it on Spotify here. [Added: 04 November 2017]


·        Do you like vinyl? Do you like Beefheart? Then you might like A Giraffe Is Listening To The Radio by Men & Volts. [Added: 04 November 2017]


·        Frank’s former secretary Pauline Butcher has written this lovely review of my book, Frank Talk. [Added: 29 October 2017]


·        Croydon-based doom metal trio Slabdragger has just released its version of FZ’s Muffin Man. Issued as part of an EP entitled Mothers Of Beef And The Magic Of Invention, it also features a rendition of Captain Beefheart’s Electricity performed by the band Wren. Grab it on vinyl, CD or download here. [Added: 29 October 2017]


·        G&S Music now has the Halloween 77 3CD set in stock. [Added: 26 October 2017]


·        The title of Dweezil’s new orchestral composition, being premiered at De Oosterpoort in Groningen on 30 November, is The Adventures Of Dindoo. See the full programme here. [Added: 26 October 2017]


·        A few more GrandMothers dates in the Diary. For those who may not know, the band for this farewell tour will consist of Don Preston, Bunk Gardner, Ed Mann, drummer Chris Garcia and “a few special guests along the way”. UK dates at the start of the tour have still to be announced. [Added: 26 October 2017]


·        Halloween 77 physical products seem to have been delayed by up to a week throughout Europe, but you can download right now individual tracks and complete shows, or stream the whole bloody lot (on Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music, Amazon Digital, Tidal, Deezer, etc.). Happy Halloween, everybody! [Added: 20 October 2017]


·        Ahoy, vinyl fetishists! Want Lumpy Gravy: Primordial on a 12" 45rpm mono translucent burgundy vinyl single? Yes, it’s one of them spiffy limited edition Record Store Day thangs. Primordial comprises Sink Trap/Gum Joy/Up & Down/Local Butcher/Gypsy Airs/Hunchy Punchy/Foamy Soaky/Let's Eat Out/Teen-Age Grand Finale and can be found on the Lumpy Money album. Here it is split (Gypsy Airs starts the second side), as was planned for its original vinyl release in August 1967. Here’s the skinny. [Added: 20 October 2017]


·        Yet another new ZappaCast - just in time for Halloween - featuring a look at the new box set with an interview with FZ’s guitar tech, Thomas Nordegg! [Added: 20 October 2017]


·        Check out Bobby Brown as performed by Cécile Nordegg, Thomas’ sister. [Added: 20 October 2017]


·        Moon Unit has a new podcast with River Phoenix’s sister Rain in which they interview musical mavericks and the like. One such will be Dweezil. Go here to subscribe and learn a little more-a. [Added: 16 October 2017]


·        GrandMothers Of Invention farewell tour dates now in the Diary. [Added: 16 October 2017]


·        I got to see two dates on Dweezil’s UK tour last week: both were fantastic, though I have to say the Royal Festival Hall show in London was extra-special; with Martin Clunes introducing the band formerly known as ZPZ, they were joined on stage by the Norwegian Wind Ensemble for several numbers. If you can catch them on any of their remaining Euro dates (with or without the ‘Brass From Utopia’), do it! [Added: 16 October 2017]


·        ZappaCast 33 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Absolutely Free album. Check her out here. [Added: 11 October 2017]


·        And the battle rages on: Ahmet has now posted a second open letter to his brother, and Dweezil responded thusly. [Added: 11 October 2017]


·        ZFT employees have recently referred to another forthcoming box set being worked on. This is hopefully the Waka/Wazoo set first mentioned about a year ago (see below). [Added: 11 October 2017]


·        Just in case you didn’t spot it, Halloween 77 costume boxed sets are a limited edition of 5,000. Hurry! [Added: 11 October 2017]


·        Dweezil has been very forthcoming with his views on the hologram tour and ZFT trademark issues. Take a listen to Ahmet’s side here. [Added: 05 October 2017]


·        Former ScoreMeister Kurt Morgan on Dweezil Zappa’s Orchestral Favorites: “Dweezil composed a 12-minute piece of original music for the Noord Nederlands Orkest and I had the challenge/pleasure of orchestrating it. The score that I produced is for an orchestra of 77 players, comprising 388 total measures of music and will be premiered in Holland along with two other original pieces by Dweezil (orchestrated by Mr. Tom Trapp) on November 30th at De Oosterpoort in Groningen, followed by another performance on December 1st at Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht. I could say a lot about this piece [but] it's probably best you just go and hear it performed if you can and, if not, check out the recording when it’s released.” [Added: 05 October 2017]


·        To celebrate ZAPPATiKA’'s first decade of existence, they will be releasing a new album, From Glasgow To The Isle Of Wight Live (A Tribute To The Music Of Frank Zappa), recorded earlier this year. The album will be made available in October 2017 - for ABSOLUTELY FREE! [Added: 05 October 2017]


·        Finally, official ZFT confirmation regarding all the Halloween 77 goodies coming our way next month, including pre-order links and the like. Worth pondering all of the available options before pressing ‘buy’. [Added: 26 September 2017]


·        As the whole hologram tour thing has caused a shit-storm on-the-line, I decided to put this together. [Added: 26 September 2017]


·        After Dweezil’s latest call to arms, some interesting exchanges took place on Facebook between employees of the Dweez and ZFT – brace yourselves. [Added: 26 September 2017]


·        Steve Vai recently joined Al Di Meola on stage at LA’s Canyon Club and together they performed Clownz On Velvet. [Added: 26 September 2017]


·        In 2018, thirty years after the Broadway The Hard Way tour ended in disarray, Frank will be back on the road again with Mike Keneally and Scott Thunes - in hologram form! - performing well-known, rare and unheard material. Other non-virtual musicians involved could be Steve Vai, Ian Underwood, Arthur Barrow, Vinnie Colaiuta, Warren Cuccurullo and Napoleon Murphy Brock. Says Arthur, “I was honoured to be asked to part of it. Ahmet asked if I would be interested, and I said yes - especially with Vinnie involved. There are a lot of technical issues and other details to be worked out, like who is in the core band and who would be guest stars, how would the band sync up to the hologram, etc. 2019 (sic) is a long way off, so we'll see what happens.” Mike adds, “I’m so intrigued by the idea. I am already seeing a lot of hand-wringing online about it, but I'm interested in the potential for something pretty dang mind-blowing. I mean, I still have dreams about playing with Frank live - once I started thinking about the potentially dreamlike nature of this thing, it was an easy ‘yes’ for me. Whenever it's ready I think it'll be big fun and I'm excited about doing this with all the other amazing players who are taking part.” Although the press release talks of the possible involvement by Dweezil and Moon, it's unlikely they will participate - indeed, Dweezil has already confirmed (on Twitter) that he will not be part of the touring band. [Added: 22 September 2017]


·        The street date for Halloween 77 has been put back to 20 October 2017. [Added: 22 September 2017]


·        Santaville, the Christmas album from the Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra featuring Ike Willis (and me!), is available here and NOW! [Added: 22 September 2017]


·        Hall Of Fame Records continues to celebrate the XX anniversary of its Unmatched series of albums with the release of Le Grand Oiseau. This compilation of covers of the tracks from The Grand Wazoo features two brand new recordings by Spanner Jazz Punks and the Muffin Men (both commissioned by The Idiot). Order your copy here. [Added: 19 September 2017]


·        Eddie Jobson was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Sonja Kristina at the Progressive Rock Music Awards 2017. Compere for the event in London on 14 September was Zappa fan Matthew Wright. In his acceptance speech, Eddie gave thanks to Frank and said how much he missed Allan Holdsworth and John Wetton. [Added: 19 September 2017]


·        Interesting podcast, Zappa For Germans, can be found here. It asks, “Who was Frank Zappa? Virtuoso guitarist? Modernist composer? Smutty lyricist? Anti-censorship activist? All of the above....and in much more the former East Germany. There his banned records fetched small fortunes among rebellious young men who dreamed of freedom. We spend 30 minutes in the company of one such man who now runs a Zappa-themed festival [Wolfhard Kutz]. We also hear from an American translator [Jim Cohen] who explains Zappa's obscure lyrics to German fans, line by line.” Dweezil also briefly appears. [Added: 19 September 2017]


·        New book, Frank Zappa – The Composer by Daniel Schröder, is available now in English. It asks, “What was conventional about Zappa’s music, and what was innovative? And, did Zappa really refuse to die?” Read the Idiot’s review here. [Added: 07 September 2017 / Updated: 19 September 2017]


·        Full official details from Universal Music Canada on Halloween 77: “Halloween was Frank Zappa’s favourite holiday and by 1977 his Halloween shows were legendary. Recorded live at The Palladium in NYC, Zappa performed six shows 28‐31 October. Four shows were filmed and resulted in Zappa’s movie Baby Snakes. The Halloween 77 3CD version includes the Halloween night show in its entirely, mixed in 2016 from original Vault masters, plus select tracks from the other five shows. The Halloween 77 Box Set includes all six shows in their entirety, mixed in 2016 from original Vault masters, on USB stick in 24‐bit WAV audio with 32‐page digital booklet, Zappa Halloween mask & costume. The shows rock hard and feature unreleased performances and arrangements.
3CD: 1. Show Start / 2. Peaches En Regalia / 3. The Torture Never Stops / 4. Tryin’ To Grow A Chin / 5. City Of Tiny Lites / 6. Pound For A Brown / 7. The Demise Of The Imported Rubber Goods Mask / 8. Bobby Brown Goes Down / 9. Conehead / 10. Flakes / 11. Big Leg Emma / 1. Envelopes / 2. Terry’s Halloween Solo / 3. Disco Boy / 4. Lather / 5. Wild Love / 6. Titties N Beer / 7. Audience Participation / 8. The Black Page #2 / 9. Jones Crusher
Boxed Set: 1. Introduction / 2. Peaches En Regalia / 3. The Torture Never Stops / 4. Tryin’ To Grow A Chin / 5. City Of Tiny Lites / 6. Pound For A Brown / 7. Bobby Brown Goes Down / 8. Conehead / 9. Flakes / 10. Big Leg Emma / 11. Envelopes / 12. Terry’s Solo #1 / 13. Disco Boy / 14. Lather / 15. Wild Love / 16. Titties N Beer / 17. Audience Participation #1 / 18. The Black Page #2 / 19. Jones Crusher / 20. Broken Hearts Are For Assholes
[Added: 07 September 2017]


·        Dweezil’s Live In The Moment II album is nearly ready. As per volume one, it highlights extemporaneous live guitar soli in the Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar tradition, but this one also has some demos and instrumental tracks recorded in the studio - including an acoustic version of Fwakstension from the early 90s. This release will hopefully be swiftly followed by Dweezil Zappa Plays Apostrophe (the entire album, played in sequence by ZPZ). [Added: 02 September 2017]


·        It looks like Universal will reissue Zoot Allures on vinyl on 20 October 2017. [Added: 02 September 2017]


·        Listen to Ron Nasty (aka Neil Innes) talk about his favourite album – The Mothers’ We’re Only In It For The Moneyhere. [Added: 02 September 2017]


·        The next album from the Ed Palermo Big Band will be The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren - The Music of Frank Zappa And Todd Rundgren. Released on 6 October 2017, it features Napoleon Murphy Brock on three tracks. Listen to a sample/pre-order here. [Added: 02 September 2017]


·        News on the Halloween 77 box set arrives from Japan: to be released by UMe on 6 October 2017, there will be a 3CD ‘highlights’ version (ZR 20027) costing around £40, and what is hopefully the complete six Palladium shows in a ‘Costume Box Set’ (ZR 20027K) for about £130. [Added: 25 August 2017 / Updated: 02 September 2017]


·        A public spat between Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew has developed online. Here’s hoping they sort it out swiftly. [Added: 25 August 2017]


·        Hopefully some exciting news coming our soon regarding Mick Ekers’ book, Zappa’s Gear - The Unique Guitars, Amplifiers, Effect Units, Keyboards And Studio Equipment Of Frank Zappa. [Added: 18 August 2017]


·        Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack to this here new fillum Dunkirk (which stars Zappa fan Cillian Murphy as a shivering soldier) utilises the orchestrating skills of brothers Bruce and Walt Fowler. [Added: 18 August 2017]


·        Here’s some words on Zappanale #28. [Added: 07 August 2017]


·        Rachel FlowersHearing Is Believing soundtrack album will feature her guest appearance with ZPZ performing Montana. [Added: 07 August 2017]


·        The Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra has completed its third album, which should be available in time for the season of goodwill. Santaville features Ike Willis, Craig ‘Twister’ Steward, Fred Händl, Prairie Prince, the guys from MagNiFZnt, and whole bunch of the usual suspects! [Added: 07 August 2017]


·        In the wake of The Magic Band announcing its farewell tour, the Idiot understands the GrandMothers Of Invention will do similar in 2018. [Added: 07 August 2017]


·        There’s a Captain Beefheart event in Liverpool in November featuring Gary Lucas, Zappadan Zappajam has been shifted, Shuggie Otis has re-scheduled yet again…it’s all there in the Bastard’s Diary (plus a whole lot more). [Added: 07 August 2017]


·        My second Zappa book (Frank Talk: The Inside Stories Of Zappa's Other People) is available NOW in paperback and on Kindle: the former includes caricatures of all the interviewees by the cover artist, Antero Valério, plus several photos and detailed footnotes – which are NOT available in the eBook version. [Added: 25 July 2017]


·        The Norwegian Wind Ensemble (aka the Brass From Utopia) will be Dweezil’s special guests on selected dates in October – see Diary for details. [Added: 25 July 2017]


·        Urban Gwerder, Swiss artist/writer and publisher of the Hot Raz Times, sadly passed away on 4 July 2017. [Added: 25 July 2017]


·        The next Zappanale takes place on 20-22 July 2018 (the week after the FIFA World Cup final). Fingers crossed Moon Zappa, Tommy Mars and Arthur Barrow will be there. [Added: 25 July 2017]


·        Engineer Mark Pinske has posted early mixes of Beauty Knows No Pain, Teen-Age Wind and Doreen on his webpage. [Added: 11 July 2017]


·        Some of the Magic Band’s farewell UK tour dates now in the Diary. [Added: 11 July 2017]


·        The CoLive! Radio Show & Podcast will repeat the 1997 show Co de Kloet made with Steve Vai, called The Missing Link Between Contemporary Music & The Rock ‘n’ Roll Guitar Solo. It will also be available as a podcast on iTunes and CoLive. [Added: 11 July 2017]


·        Officially available from 21 July 2017, my new book Frank Talk: The Inside Stories Of Zappa's Other People collects together over 40 of the interviews I have conducted during the past three decades with the people who knew and worked with Frank - from his own family, some original Mothers, his major discoveries and members of his final touring band. Most of these interviews were previously housed here, but have now been extensively annotated and re-edited for posterity, with new and additional interviews thrown in for good measure. Augmented with artwork and caricatures created by noted designer Antero Valério, Frank Talk gives an extraordinary insight into the man and his music. All being well, I will be selling and signing copies of the book ahead of its official publication date at Zappanale. If you're unable to attend the festival, you can pre-order the book now from the publisher, Amazon UK, Amazon US or elsewhere! [Added: 04 July 2017]


·        Just ahead of his appearance at Zappanale, Dweezil seems to be looking for a replacement for multi-instrumentalist/vocalist David Luther. [Added: 04 July 2017]


·        Thorsten Schütte is being interviewed at Zappanale and will be showing some outtakes from Eat That Question. Here’s the full festival programme.  [Added: 04 July 2017]


·        The fruits of that Ritual Of Pope Decapitation crowdfunder thing are pooting forth. Make us green, Peter. [Added: 04 July 2017]


·        Bob Zappa’s …The Rest Of Our Story (the follow-up to …Growing Up Zappa) is available here and NOW! Read the press release and my review. [Added: 24 June 2017 / Updated: 04 July 2017]


·        Summer 82: When Zappa Came To Sicily is coming to Blu-Ray this December, courtesy of MVD Visual. [Added: 24 June 2017]


·        You can order the swell looking catalogue for the recent Mr. Bickford Discovers A New Land exhibition in Ulm here. [Added: 24 June 2017]


·        Devin Townsend recently reunited with Steve Vai on stage at Norway’s Starmus Festival for the first time in almost 25 years. The performances together included Here And Now (from the Sex & Religion album), plus Townsend’s Truth and Vai’s Liberty, both performed with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. Townsend has also been working on new music with Mike Keneally recently. Says the cat in the hat: “It was just the two of us in his studio writing and recording stuff. It’s sounding fascinating thus far, and we’re both looking forward to continuing the process when schedules allow – the music is very varied and we’re eager to continue discovering what exactly we’re creating here.” [Added: 24 June 2017]


·        Nigey Lennon never got to finish her album of sea shanties, but we can at least listen to a demo of the title song here. [Added: 24 June 2017]


·        Gary Lucas will finally release The World Of Captain Beefheart album, featuring Nona Hendryx, in October. [Added: 24 June 2017]


·        The footage of Frank ‘n Floyd at Amougies is back online, here. [Added: 24 June 2017]


·        ZappaCast Episode 32 (Freak Out! at 51), available NOW! [Added: 14 June 2017]


·        Charles Ulrich’s long-awaited Zappa book (likely title, The Big Note) will finally be published in May 2018 by New Star Books. An extract can now be viewed (*cough*) absolutely free online. [Added: 14 June 2017]


·        Gizmodrome, the all star band formed by Stewart Copeland (The Police), Mark King (Level 42), Vittorio Cosma (PFM) and Adrian Belew, release their self-titled debut album on 15 September 2017. Here’s a track from it. [Added: 14 June 2017]


·        A special standalone edition of Steve Vai & The Classified’s Modern Primitive, as the latest installment of The Secret Jewel Box collection, is out in July. [Added: 14 June 2017]


·        Ike Willis will be playing a few shows with the The Paul Green Rock Academy before Zappanale - check this. Paul says, “We will accept a select number of adults for this camp as well.” [Added: 14 June 2017]


·        The ZFT is marking the 50th anniversary of Absolutely Free with an expanded vinyl-exclusive edition, including a laser etching of Zappa’s fizzog from the album cover, and a t-shirt. Whoop-de-doo! [Added: 03 June 2017]


·        After the ZFT ‘let go’ of Kurt Morgan as ScoreMeister late last year, it has now appointed the luscious Scott Thunes as his successor. [Added: 03 June 2017]


·        Grab this great sounding interview with FZ from 13 November 1967. This was recently unearthed by one of the two radio DJs who conducted it at a head shop in Detroit. Hear Frank talk about the delayed release of We’re Only In It For The Money and his imminent appearance on The Monkees. [Added: 27 May 2017]


·        Wolfram Klug is planning a follow-up to his Burt, The Nerd album. For L.A. Bang Bang, Ike Willis, Arthur Barrow and Robert Martin have so far agreed to take part. Find out more here. [Added: 27 May 2017]


·        Typescript submitted to Wymer, my next book should now be available this summer. Titled Frank Talk: The Inside Stories Of Zappa’s Other People, it is a compendium of my interviews with (deep breath) Arthur Barrow, Lorraine Belcher Chamberlain, Bruce Bickford, Jimmy Carl Black, Terry Bozzio, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Pauline Butcher, Warren Cuccurullo, Dr Dot, Roy Estrada, Bob Harris, Thana Harris, Mike Keneally, Nigey Lennon, Martin Lickert, Robert Martin, Essra Mohawk, Kent Nagano, Lisa Popeil, Don Preston, Craig ‘Twister’ Steward, Scott Thunes, The Tornadoes, Steve Vai, Mark Volman, Chad Wackerman, Denny Walley, Ike Willis, Albert Wing, Bob Zappa, Candy Zappa and Dweezil Zappa. These have all been comprehensively re-edited, corrected and expanded (yes, never before seen words from Dweezil, Belcher, Keneally, Mohawk, Thunes and Wing), as well as being extensively annotated - such that you’ll swear you can hear (*cough*) Frank talk! [Added: 18 May 2017]


·        Check out this amazing video of the amazing Rachel Flowers recording Zomby Woof. [Added: 18 May 2017]


·        John ‘Drumbo’ French is considering undertaking a Magic Band farewell tour of Europe this November. Here’s hoping. [Added: 18 May 2017]


·        The Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra is now on Bandcamp - grab stuff here. [Added: 18 May 2017]


·        Y’all should check out ‘Zappa Woman’ Valentina Ciardelli on YouTube. Here she performs Your Mouth with Edoardo Teani - both on doublebasses! She also plays with harpist Anna Quiroga as The Girls In The Magnesium Dress (here’s a clip of them playing Baby Snakes) and with vibist Benjamin Boo as The Untouchables (they will be playing together at Zappanale in July). [Added: 04 May 2017 / Updated: 18 May 2017]


·        Jean-Luc Ponty is touring Europe later this year – UK dates in the Diary. [Added: 04 May 2017]


·        Here’s a video of six Muffin Men performing Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus earlier this year for Hall Of Fame Records’ forthcoming re-imagining of The Grand Wazoo – the third in its series of XX anniversary Unmatched albums that will also feature a brand new recording by Spannertate. [Added: 04 May 2017]


·        Somehow missed the fact that Phil Kaufman’s book, Road Mangler Deluxe, had been reissued and is readily available to all and sundry. Kaufman was of course ‘the human trombone’ in Baby Snakes, as well as the inspiration behind Why Does It Hurt When I Pee? [Added: 04 May 2017]


·        The third Festival Moo-ah was a roaring success, artistically and organisationally. Check out our report here. [Added: 08 April 2017]


·        Hall Of Fame Records continues to celebrate the XX anniversary of its Unmatched series of albums with the release of Sensations Over Night. This compilation of covers of the tracks from Over-Nite Sensation features Caballero Reynaldo And The Grand Kazoo and a brand new recording of Fifty-Fifty by the Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra. Order your copy here. [Added: 08 April 2017]


·        Captain Beefheart’s last lengthy phone interview with Co de Kloet was set to music by Gary Lucas, and named I Have A Cat. It has just been released by Okaymusic, and you can grab a copy here. [Added: 08 April 2017]


·        Finnish cosmic jazz-rockers Superfjord and Wales-based instrumental psyche-space-rock band Sendelica have reinterpreted two FZ songs - Peaches En Regalia and Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow - which will be available on a 7" single from Fruits de Mer Records on 17 April 2017. [Added: 08 April 2017]


·        You can now pre-order Scott Parker’s book, DISCORPORATE! - Frank Zappa In The Studio 1966-1967, here. [Added: 08 April 2017]


·        The second part of Bob Zappa’s memoirs, Frankie & Bobby: The Rest Of Our Story (1967 to the present day), is now in production and should be available through Amazon in June 2017. It promises to lift the lid Gail’s “increasingly irrational behaviour during the final years of Frank’s life.” [Added: 04 January 2017 / Updated: 08 April 2017]


·        Sadly, Moon Zappa is now unable to attend Zappanale in person – but she’ll still be there thanks to the miracle of Skype! [Added: 29 March 2017]


·        Extras on the German DVD of the Eat That Question - Frank Zappa In His Own Words documentary include Thorsten Schütte’s interviews with the members of Band From Utopia from the Jazz Open Festival in Stuttgart in July 1994. Here’s hoping we get them on the UK Region 2 version in May. [Added: 29 March 2017]


·        Suddenly available, Jim Pons’ memoir, Hard Core Love: Sex, Football, And Rock And Roll In The Kingdom Of God. Read the Press Release. [Added: 29 March 2017]


·        Albert Wing - tenox saxophonist on Frank’s Broadway The Hard Way tour and, more recently, with Banned From Utopia - suffered a stroke in February which disabled the motor functions on the right side of his body from head to foot. He now faces overwhelming medical expenses and ongoing physical therapy expenses. You can help him here. [Added: 21 March 2017]


·        Zappa Records celebrates Record Store Day on 22 April 2017 with an exclusive 10" clear vinyl release featuring the Petit Wazoo: Side 1 is Rollo in its complete form, as released on Little Dots; Side 2 contains the unreleased track Portland Improvisation, produced by FZ and mastered by Bernie Grundman. [Added: 21 March 2017]


·        Finally, formal confirmation from UMe of the imminent posthumous reissue programme. [Added: 17 March 2017]


·        While Ahmet and Diva are looking to hit back at Dweezil and Moon’s alleged misrepresentations of the ZFT’s recent actions, they are also planning to open the UMRK’s new location and home for the vault (according to an article on the Relix website). Ahmet is quoted as saying, “When you’re in the control room, behind you will be windows into the room, and you’ll be able to see just how much content Frank made. It will be the crown jewel of this space.” [Added: 17 March 2017]


·        Denny Walley and Ike Willis are now also confirmed for this year’s Zappanale (as special guests of Paul Green’s Rock Academy). [Added: 17 March 2017]


·        Alex Winter says the bulk of the Zappa Movie Kickstarter rewards are now on their way. Although it got deleted as an Add-On, the reissued Frank Zappa Songbook - Volume 1 is now readily available elsewhere. [Added: 17 March 2017]


·        Nice interview with the great Cal Schenkel here. [Added: 17 March 2017]


·        Of the 20 plus Zappa Records/UMe reissues coming on 24 March, ZFT designer Mike Mesker tells me, “Just about all the releases will retain original packaging.” [Added: 07 March 2017]


·        Watch Terry Bozzio talk about the limited edition ‘Black Page’ Icon Snare Drum – yours for around £1300. [Added: 07 March 2017]


·        Z.E.R.O. have revealed “We are going to be working with Ike Willis and the usual suspects on What’s New In Baltimore? for the upcoming CD Mappa Zappa from Mr Greenaway, to be released in co-ordination with Mick Zeuner’s Zappa Tour Atlas project...YAY!!” Yay, indeed. For those who care, this will not be the first time Mr Willis has appeared on one of the albums I have compiled for Cordelia Records: he previously performed appears under the guise of Sick Willie on Pojama People’s rendition of The Idiot Bastard Son. [Added: 07 March 2017]


·        Here’s a press release for the great new Ed Palermo Big Band album, which includes a link to the Idiot’s review. I have also recently penned a few words on the new CD from Orange Claw Hammer. [Added: 07 March 2017]


·        Eddie Jobson and Marc Bonilla will undertake a short semi-acoustic tribute tour to their musical partners, John Wetton and Keith Emerson. European dates for the Fallen Angels tour are in the Diary. [Added: 07 March 2017]


·        The orchestral premiere of Dweezil’s composition Marmux Buhdardux will take place in Holland at the end of the year. A little like T’Mershi Duween, the piece is named after a daughter-invented character. A version of Marmux Buhdardux was first performed by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet in Montana in 2015. This time around, the Northern Dutch Orchestra will do the honours - alongside a bunch of works by FZ. [Added: 19 February 2017]


·        This Idiot understands Dweezil will play for around three hours at Zappanale in July, and that the Norwegian Wind Ensemble will be joining the band formerly known as ZPZ during October’s shows in London, Gothenburg, Stockholm and Oslo. [Added: 19 February 2017]


·        Dweezil has finally completed work on What The Hell Was I Thinking?, the track he started work on over 20 years ago. As to whether it still features contributions from over 30 guest guitarists - including Eddie Van Halen, Brian May, Steve Vai, Angus and Malcolm Young, Yngwie Malmsteen, Warren Cuccurullo, Albert Lee and Joe Walsh - remains to be seen. Hopefully we'll get the download details very soon and find out. Meantime, those who haven’t coughed up for his PledgeMusic ‘In The Name Of...?’ campaign can hear a short snippet here. [Added: 19 February 2017]


·        Pink Floyd’s 4-disc The Dramatis/ation 1969 set (culled from the bigger Early Years 196572 box), will be released in March. This includes footage of the band jamming with FZ on stage at the Amougies festival that year. [Added: 19 February 2017]


·        In March, there will be CD reissues of Lord Buckley’s A Most Immaculately Hip Aristocrat and Permanent Damage by The GTO’s from Greyscale Records. [Added: 19 February 2017]


·        The revised editions of Greg Russo’s Cosmik Debris and Candy Zappa’s My Brother Was A Mother became available from 24 January from Crossfire Publications. [Added: 19 February 2017]


·        Shuggie Otis returns to the UK in May – details in the Diary. [Added: 19 February 2017]


·        While 200 Motels - The Suites did not win the Grammy for ‘Best Classical Compendium’ for its two producers, the day before attending the ceremony, Diva posted on Instagram “I didn’t realize that BOTH OF MY PARENTS would get a Grammy if we win on Sunday!” Does this mean Frank Filipetti is her father? [Added: 12 February 2017]


·        Saddened to learn of the passing of bassist extraordinaire, Doug Lunn, who had been battling pancreatic cancer. Doug worked with Chad Wackerman, Mike Keneally, Chester Thompson (Fire Merchants), Vinnie Colaiuta, Terry Bozzio (OUTtrio), L. Shankar, Warren Cuccurullo (Playing In Tongues), Eddie Jobson, Ed Mann and many more. Some may recall his headline performance at Zappanale with Chad, who he first met when he auditioned for FZ in the early 80s. Lovely man. [Added: 12 February 2017]


·        Check out the Valentina Scheldhofen Ciardelli Duo, who will play at Zappanale in July (including the pre-concert at St. Katharinen in Hamburg). Valentina graduated from the Royal College Of Music last July, as well as spanking some Frank in another duo, The Girls In The Magnesium Dress. The almost complete programme for Zappanale is now up here. [Added: 12 February 2017]


·        There was to have been a performance of three Zappa pieces (Outrage At Valdez/Be-Bop Tango/G-Spot Tornado) at the Leeds College of Music on 27 February by the Chamber Orchestra & New Music Collective. However, conductor Damien Harron tells me, “The hire prices for the music were VERY expensive so we were unable to programme as originally planned.” [Added: 12 February 2017]


·        Chato – who played the first Festival Moo-ah in 2013 and covered Rollo on my Rare Episodes album – would appreciate your help in making his second album even better than it might otherwise be. The album is to be called So Und Nicht Anders and will comprise seven Zappaesque prog-rock originals, plus a cover of FZ’s Let’s Move To Cleveland, and should be done in time for his band’s appearance at Zappanale in July. Please pledge here. [Added: 06 February 2017]


·        A bunch more posthumous Zappa albums are to be reissued via Universal on 24 March, including Civilization Phase III, Everything Is Healing Nicely, the Joe’s Corsaga series and Dance Me This. [Added: 06 February 2017]


·        We are happy to announce that Acton Zappa have been added to the line-up for the third Festival Moo-ah. They will open the second day (Saturday 1 April 2017). Tickets here. [Added: 06 February 2017]


·        Artist Theo Holdt talks about how his work ended up on the cover of Meat Light here. [Added: 06 February 2017]


·        All of the UK dates for Dweezil’s ‘50 Years Of Frank’ tour now in the Diary. Meanwhile, on the family dispute, he has this to say: “I would prefer that there was no conflict and I look forward to the day when there is an end to the vexatious episodes I am forced to deal with. Not only are they eating up my time and resources they are casting shadows on the amazing musical legacy our father created. None of it should be happening at all.” [Added: 24 January 2017]


·        Tony Palmer has just written this interesting article on the making of 200 Motels. [Added: 24 January 2017]


·        The Ed Palermo Big Band has a new album, The Great Un-American Songbook: Volumes I & II, which features loads of great British rock toons. No FZ this time (although the arrangement for Traffic’s The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys owes something to him!) , but Napoleon Murphy Brock does sing Arthur Brown’s Fire! Check it out here. [Added: 24 January 2017]


·        Terry Bozzio is issuing unreleased tracks digitally from his website. Check this out. [Added: 24 January 2017]


·        Robert Davidson, the snapper of Zappa on the crapper, now has a presentation called I Shot Frank Zappa. Hear him talk about it on this podcast. And buy a signed copy of the poster here. [Added: 24 January 2017]


·        Adrian Belew is “writing liner notes for a new Zappa release…a new box set: all six shows from Halloween at the Palladium in New York 1977. 18 hours worth! It’s the shows the Baby Snakes movie was made from.” [Added: 22 January 2017]


·        A six-piece Muffin Men are about to go into the studio to record their version of Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus for a new Unmatched compilation album. [Added: 22 January 2017]


·        Here’s a fun little promo video for Festival Moo-ah, featuring the wondrous Mark Watson. Get yer tickets NOW! [Added: 22 January 2017]


·        The Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra has a concept, a record deal and a plan for its third album. “We begin recording with Ike Willis in June!” says ZERO main man Kevin Crosby. [Added: 22 January 2017]


·        As well as playing selections from The Yellow Shark and Greggery Peccary & Other Persuasions in Berlin next month, Ensemble Modern is also going down under to do same in June. Dates in the Diary. [Added: 22 January 2017]


·        According to his manager, Ike Willis will be playing the music of FZ alongside Dweezil at Zappanale this year. [Added: 15 January 2017]


·        Another year, and Alan Clayson now informs us that, “The Zappa book has almost-but-not quite left the runway...it’s now been seven years since Gail Zappa and I first met and the project was suggested.” [Added: 15 January 2017]


·        The new album featuring multiple renditions of Zappa’s Son Of Mr. Green Genes is now available to buy for download from Amazon and iTunes, and to listen to for free on Spotify. So now you have no excuses not to listen to it! [Added: 15 January 2017]


·        A limited number of one-day tickets for Festival Moo-ah are now available for those that can’t make both days – check out your options here. [Added: 15 January 2017]


·        In addition to Dweezil, expect to see Chato!, Studio Dan and Caballero Reynaldo & The Grand Kazoo at Zappanale in July. [Added: 04 January 2017]


·        In our latest ZappaCast, we grill the ever genial Mike Keneally about all manner of things, including his illustrious solo career, Zappa’s Universe, AZ/DZ, Steve Vai, Nigey Lennon, 1988 an’ all that. [Added: 04 January 2017]


·        The Frank Zappa Guitar Book will be back in print this June. Compiled, introduced and transcribed by Steve Vai, it features 22 transcriptions of songs from seven FZ albums. Meanwhile, the reissue of The Frank Zappa Songbook - Volume 1 has been delayed a tad. [Added: 04 January 2017]


·        The Idiot Bastard Sons Of Mr. Green Genes album is now available from CD Baby. [Added: 04 January 2017]




Lukewarm Poop


·         Hans Annellsson and his band The Vegetarians have just released a four track EP in time for Christmas called, appropriately enough, Let’s Have A Good Time. Napoleon Murphy Brock sings on three of the tracks - one being an amazing acoustic cover of Zappa’s Amnerika, where he is backed back by the fabulous-o Mats Öberg on grand piano and harmonica. Grab a copy from CD Baby now! [Added: 23 December 2016]


·         New editions of Greg Russo’s Cosmik Debris: The Collected History & Improvisations Of Frank Zappa and Candy Zappa’s My Brother Was A Mother will be available from Crossfire Publications in January 2017. Greg says, Cosmik Debris will be over 400 pages. The complete and very expansive Pal/Studio Z saga is now a separate chapter. Everything has been reformatted.  The discography covers everything up to Little Dots. Candy has now brought her book up to the end of 2016, since lots of things have happened in the meantime. Gonzo Multimedia will be printing books in the UK to handle European orders. Book PDFs will only be available at Crossfire’s site.” [Added: 23 December 2016]


·         After Moo-ah, you can catch the Muffin Men with Denny Walley elsewhere in the UK throughout April – check the Diary for details. [Added: 23 December 2016]


·         Far be it from me to tell you how great The Idiot Bastard Sons Of Mr. Green Genes album is, but Peter at United Mutations can! And Ben Watson has also given us a plug as only he can on his radio show. [Added: 23 December 2016]


·         Backers of the Zappa Movie got an update from Alex Winter and Joe Travers in the week: footage from the Halloween 1974 show at the Felt Forum is being spiffed up, they’re working their way through show footage and backstage material from 1988, and discovered some previously unseen material from the 1993 jam with the Tuvans, the Chieftains, Terry Bozzio and Johnny Guitar Watson, as well as excellent quality video of Frank working with Ensemble Modern at Joe’s Garage in 1991. Joe also tells us he’s been working on “two mammoth audio projects” that will be announced in 2017. [Added: 17 December 2016]


·         John ‘Drumbo’ French has “decided not to pursue any more tours” with The Magic Band. The reunion lasted 14 glorious years, with many great shows and some nice CDs and DVDs along the way. John will now concentrate on conducting drum clinics. [Added: 17 December 2016]


·         Dweezil’s pledge thing (to allow him to continue using his surname) is now live. Go here to grab rewards, like guitars, picks, mugs and music - including ‘new’ song Dinosaur, that features a solo “via zenochrony” (sic) by FZ! [Added: 17 December 2016]


·         200 Motels – The Suites has been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Classical Compendium category. [Added: 17 December 2016]


·         Brand new recordings by ZERO, the Muffin Men and Spannertate are set to appear on two new Unmatched albums from Hall Of Fame Records in 2017. More soon. [Added: 17 December 2016]


·         Terry Bozzio’s Composer Series CD/DVD set now readily available to all-comers. [Added: 17 December 2016]


·         Acton Zappa has a brand new website, at www.actonzappa.fourfour.com. [Added: 17 December 2016]


·         Haven’t you always wanted to hear loads of different versions of Frank Zappa’s Son Of Mr. Green Genes? Of course you have. And now you can. Cordelia Records is proud to announce the release of 14 new recordings of the tune commissioned by the Idiot Bastard (that’s me!) - plus one old Muffin remnant - on The Idiot Bastard Sons Of Mr Green Genes. The album features many artists who have played (or are about to play) Festival Moo-ah, a previously unseen photo from the Hot Rats sessions (by Bill Gubbins), and graphics by the artist formerly known as Antero Valério (of Portuguese extraction). Here's The Kettering Vampires' rendition. Here's where to buy the complete collection. And here’s where you can read all about it. [Added: 29 November 2016]


·         Keyboardist Allan Zavod, famous for his ‘Volcano solos’ during the 1984 tour, has sadly passed away. [Added: 29 November 2016]


·         After announcing Dweezil as the headliner, the complete programme for Zappanale #28 is apparently now confirmed and the Arf Society will release full details in the coming weeks at www.zappanale.de [Added: 29 November 2016]


·         Happily, Bob Zappa’s memoirs are set to continue beyond he and his big brother’s ‘growing up’ years: “The first draft of the second part of our story is now complete and being edited for publication soon. The events described...in the second book, continuing up to and beyond 1993, will give readers an intimate look into Frank’s unique personality and the circumstances relating to his untimely death.” [Added: 29 November 2016]


·         The funky Z3 has a fantastic new four-track EP available to download, titled Zappa Probably Would Think You’re Stupid. Check it out on Spotify – then buy a copy! [Added: 29 November 2016]


·         More UK screenings of Eat That Question in the diary, and a whole lot more! [Added: 29 November 2016]


·         Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water is to be inducted into the 2017 Grammy Hall of Fame. [Added: 29 November 2016]


·         It is now confirmed: six years after saying he personally was not a fan of Zappanale, Dweezil Zappa will headline the festival in 2017! [Added: 25 November 2016]


·         After it dropped out of the Zappa Movie Add-On Rewards, Hal Leonard is now reprinting The Frank Zappa Songbook - Volume 1 in paperback, making it available to all-comers this December. [Added: 25 November 2016]


·         Another great ZappaCast in the offing for Zappadan following a two hour chat with the ever genial Mike Keneally – chatting 88, Zappa’s Universe, AZ/DZ, XTC, Steve Vai, Nigey Lennon, The Beatles and MK’s own illustrious solo career. [Added: 25 November 2016]


·         Robert Davidson, who took the photo of FZ on the loo, is currently writing a book about his experiences almost 50 years ago. He claims he was forced to hand over the negatives to Herb Cohen in 1967 following a mix-up over royalty payments. A year ago, he managed to buy them back on eBay for just £66. [Added: 25 November 2016]


·         Get your tickets for Zappanale #28 before 16 December at a ‘Christmas Special’ price here. [Added: 25 November 2016]


·         Saddened to learn of the passing of Nigey Lennon due to complications from her radiation treatment for cancer in 1998. I interviewed Nigey in 2000 as she was about to unleash her “super-bitchen debut album” and had remained in touch with her ever since. As a result, I contributed to this article in the New York Times about her. The one and only time we met was at Zappanale in 2002, a gig I had some part in helping her secure. She contributed her unique take on The Idiot Bastard Son to my 20 Extraordinary Renditions CD in 2008, and allowed me to use her FZ-approved master Opus One, recorded in 1970 and based on Ian Underwood’s improvised piano introduction to Little House I Used To Live In, for my 21 Burnt Weeny Sandwiches album. My photo of Nelson’s Ship In A Bottle atop the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square was to have been the cover of her never completed album of sea shanties and still adorns her Twitter page. I interviewed her again in 2013 with Scott Parker for the ZappaCast. She was always very sweet and incredibly funny, and I will miss her a lot. Time to re-read her book (Being Frank: My Time With Frank Zappa) and listen again to her album (Reinventing The Wheel Reinvented), which drew on her musical and personal connection to FZ. [Added: 16 November 2016]


·         Hey, wouldn’t it be nice if Dweezil had the Christmas number one this year? I’ve started a campaign to help make it happen here. [Added: 16 November 2016]


·         Here’s my review of the new Evil Dick album, All That Glisters. [Added: 16 November 2016]


·         Someone has helpfully filmed their TV set so that we can see a clip of FZ playing with Pink Floyd at the Amougies Festival in 1969, taken from the band’s new Early Years 196572 box set. [Added: 12 November 2016]


·         Dweezil is claiming that the ZFT (ie. his two youngest siblings) want to ban him from using his own surname and plans to sell branded ‘Zappa beer, wine and yoga pants’. He says will shortly be seeking pledges to aid his campaign to stop this. Given that the ZFT half-heartedly sought to copyright the name Zappa for beer and soft drinks in 2007, this is something Dweezil must already have been aware of as a beneficiary of the Trust. Its more recent applications do go further (covering live music performances, the production of music and music video recordings, etc.), but who’s to say Ahmet and Diva will be any more tenacious than their mother in seeing these become a reality? In his open letter to his brother, Ahmet talked about Dweezil paying the Trust a token sum of $1 per year to continue as ZPZ. If these new applications do become legally binding, would Dweezil really be charged any more than he wants from us to help fight for his right to use his surname? To quote Frank, this all seems ill-conceived and promises to keep the courts busy for years. I'd certainly like to know much more before contributing. [Added: 12 November 2016]


·         This Idiot attended the UK premiere of Eat That Question – Frank Zappa In His Own Words in London this week. Some have commented that there’s very little rare footage included, which I think misses the point: it’s a beautifully edited overview of FZ and his views on music, politics and life in general - showing that they remained consistent throughout his time. Also in attendance at the Hackney Picturehouse were the semantic scrutinizer, Simon Prentis, and the ever wonderful Ben Watson, who I had engineered to do the Q&A that followed with director Thorsten Schütte (live from Germany via Skype). You can watch it here. [Added: 12 November 2016]


·         Here’s a selection of Zappa property sold by Julien’s Auctions on 4 November 2016. And there’s still time to bid on quite a few other bits and bobs, here. [Added: 06 November 2016]


·         While you wait for postie to deliver your CDs, you can hear the three new FZ releases on Spotify: Meat Light (Official Release #107); Chicago '78 (Official Release #108); Little Dots (Official Release #109). [Added: 06 November 2016]


·         More UK screenings of Eat That Question in the Diary. [Added: 06 November 2016]


·         FESTIVAL MOO-AH! – IT’S HAPPENING ONCE MORE!: Having failed to reach our break-even sales target, we have re-negotiated deals with everyone - except the bands, of course - in order to lower the running costs. We have also negotiated a new sponsorship deal which covers the shortfall to ensure Festival Moo-ah! 2017 goes ahead. A big thanks to all those who have already bought their tickets. If you haven’t, buy them NOW and help us to make this the best one yet! [Added: 02 November 2016]


·         New ZappaCast, featuring a monster interview with the Vaultmeister, waiting for you here. Includes live versions of Sy Borg, Rollo and Uncle Meat from Official Releases 107-109. [Added: 02 November 2016]


·         Watch Lisa Popeil perform Teen-age Prostitute with Banned From Utopia at ZappaUnion here. [Added: 02 November 2016]


·         The next three albums from the ZFT (Meat Light/Chicago 78/Little Dots) are now available to pre-order from Amazon UK. Hopefully the prices will drop over the next few days – if not, shopping at Amazon.fr or Spin might be a better option. [Added: 29 October 2016]


·         November’s Zappa Record Day Release is another coloured vinyl single, this time comprising How Could I Be Such A Fool? Backed with Help, I’m A Rock 3rd Movement: It Can’t Happen Here. Freak out here. All you vinyl junkies will also no doubt be pleased that Joe’s Garage, We’re Only In It For The Money, Lumpy Gravy, Cruising With Ruben & The Jets and Weasels Ripped My Flesh are all being reissued on black plastic before the end of the year. [Added: 29 October 2016]


·         Miss Pamela will be in town on 14 November at The Islington in Tolpuddle Street, London. An Evening With Pamela Des Barres will feature readings from her books, a Q&A, and an exclusive meet & greet opportunity with one of rock and rolls most captivating storytellers. [Added: 29 October 2016]


·         Thanks to all those who reached out and touched this old Idiot when this news page disappeared for a couple of days. I’ll try not to let it happen again as I didn’t realize how many of you still visited. Thanks a big bunch. [Added: 27 October 2016]


·         IBS readers in the US can purchase the Frank Zappa FAQ book for 25% off the cover price here. [Added: 25 October 2016]


·         Lady GaGa confirmed to Howard Stern that she did indeed buy the Zappa home. She excitedly said, “His studio is in it, and I get to keep the board! The idea is to restore it and to help it to be in its best condition, but to kind of leave it the way that it is and hear the sound that comes out.” One assumes she’s blissfully unaware that Frank’s Harrison and Neve mixing consoles are about to be flogged off by Julien’s. Talking of which, Muffin Man Roddie Gilliard has pointed out to me that Lot 378 (‘Frank Zappa Portrait Letterman’s Sweater’) in fact belonged to Jimmy Carl Black: in his memoirs, Jim tells us that Tom Wilson can be seen on the cover of We’re Only In It For The Money wearing his “high school Letterman’s sweater”. The ‘G’ stands for Gadsden, in Anthony, New Mexico. [Added: 25 October 2016]


·         Would he really choose Vinnie to do His Work? [Added: 25 October 2016]


·         Okay people – we need to sell around 50 odd tickets this week to ensure the third Festival Moo-ah happens. Just a reminder that (i) if it doesn’t proceed, everyone will get a FULL refund; (ii) if it does go ahead, you have five months to figure out how to get to Corby!; and (iii) none of your money comes our way until after the event has taken place (by which time most of the bands will have been paid). We want it to happen, but only you can MAKE IT HAPPEN! [Added: 24 October 2016]


·         Here’s my review of the new Frank Zappa FAQ book. [Added: 24 October 2016]


·         Hear Inventionis Mater’s contribution to The Idiot Bastard Sons Of Mr. Green Genes album (coming soon!) here. [Added: 24 October 2016]


·         Below I mention the planned Waka/Wazoo box set the Vaultmeister is working on. Travers mentioned that “Frank produced about four tunes for George Duke around that time. Psychosomatic Dung is one of them…” which he hopes to include on the album. When Mick Ekers interviewed Duke for his Zappa’s Gear book, he mentioned this track. Listen to it here. [Added: 24 October 2016]


·         My dear friend Hans Annellsson has re-recorded Bobby Brown…with topical new lyrics. Have a listen. [Added: 24 October 2016]


·         Dweezil has posted this blog about new band members, the current Cease & Desist tour and the ongoing battle with the ZFT. [Added: 18 October 2016]


·         Seems I wasn’t the only one who took 15 years to find out that unscrewing the bottom of Steve Vai’s Secret Jewel Box reveals a hidden interview CD. Very neat secret! [Added: 18 October 2016]


·         Oh joy! Craig ‘Twister’ Steward will be joining the Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra on stage at Moo-ah next year – if we sell enough tickets! [Added: 18 October 2016]


·         The UK premiere of the documentary Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words takes place at London’s Hackney Picturehouse on 8 November 2016. Details here. [Added: 02 October 2016]


·         Here’s the catalogue for the 4 November 2016 auction of property from the Zappa estate. It includes a fair bit of Frank’s gear (guitars, recording equipment, clothes, awards, etc.) as well as original artwork - including some by Beefheart, Cal Schenkel and Bruce Bickford, along with FZ. Regarding the Performance Strat, Dweezil has Tweeted that “It was given to me by Frank, taken back by my mom & ZFT said I could bid on it at auction like everyone else.” [Added: 02 October 2016]


·         Variety reports that it was Lady GaGa who purchased the Zappa house last month. Let’s hope she retains the UMRK and starts making some decent music again soon. [Added: 27 September 2016]


·         Watch Ike Willis with the band formerly known as ZPZ rehearsing for their upcoming Cease & Desist US tour dates together here. [Added: 27 September 2016]


·         Another ZappaCast is here – this ‘lost episode’ features the wonderful Matthew Galaher, with stories of alumni interaction and stuff. [Added: 27 September 2016]


·         The Vaultmeister has revealed he’ll be working on a Waka/Wazoo audio documentary project/object type o’ thing, which he hopes will include some FZ produced George Duke tracks recorded contemporaneously. Read about this and a whole lot more here. [Added: 20 September 2016]


·         Who The F*@% Is Frank Zappa movie backers will soon be getting information about their Kickstarter rewards, Meanwhile, a video showing Bruce Bickford at work on his exclusive artwork can be viewed here. In all the excitement, you may not have noticed that The Frank Zappa Songbook Vol. 1 no longer appears as an Add-On option. What the f*@%?! [Added: 20 September 2016]


·         For those perplexed by the omission of Stink-Foot from the recent Crux Of The Biscuit CD, engineer Mark Pinske has been delving through his archives and pulled out “this ridiculous mix for the song” that he prepared while working on The Dub Room Special. Mark tells us (on Facebook), “Frank said that he thought it might be a bit over the top. So I said to Frank that we need to make some of these things so they can hold up for the future because 20 years from now everything will be more outrageous. So Frank just started laughing hard and said ‘I tell you what Markman, you hang on to this work tape and then 20 years from now you can pull it out and see how well it does.’ Well it has been more than 20 years so, see what you think.” [Added: 20 September 2016]


·         Project/Object are about to tour the US with Ike Willis and Don Preston – read all about it here. [Added: 20 September 2016]


·         Sunset Dreams Records are reissuing Robert Martin’s one and only solo album, Bobby Martin, for the first time since 1983, “not only in 180 gram remastered LP, but also in CD included in the ultra limited edition of the vinyl with only 1000 copies available worldwide.” [Added: 20 September 2016]


·         Some of the world’s finest experimental surf bands (it says here) will be featured on a new CD from Cordelia Records, which can be acquired via Kickstarter along with the Zappa-themed albums I have compiled for the label. [Added: 20 September 2016]


·         Machine Mass - featuring The Wrong Object’s Michel Delville - are recording an album featuring their arrangements and interpretations of nine Jimi Hendrix compositions. Help them complete it here. [Added: 20 September 2016]


·         Anyone who listened to me nattering on WCR FM recently, will have heard that I’m currently compiling all of my Zappa alum interviews into a book for Wymer UK - which is why they’re not here anymore. They are all being edited, expanded and annotated, so hopefully a very worthwhile exercise. [Added: 20 September 2016]


·         And they thought it couldn’t happen here! Dweezil informs us that, “Ike Willis will be joining us for songs from Joe’s Garage and more,” in Chicago and New York (12 & 30 October). He adds, “For me, Ike’s voice has a special place in my father’s music – Joe’s Garage, Thing-Fishit’s part of the fabric of the music and the folklore. I especially look forward to playing Outside Now. I anticipate that the dialogue between the guitar and vocal will stir some emotions for me. Hearing the authenticity of Ike’s voice in the mix will be exciting for all of us.” The band formerly known as ZPZ now has a new female vocalist in Cian Coey, and baritone singer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Luther has replaced Ben Thomas. [Added: 08 September 2016]


·         Terry Bozzio: “Coming in November is the History Of Terry Bozzio live concert DVD, featuring me singing and playing favourites from my past with an all-star Japanese band.” [Added: 08 September 2016]


·         Listen to FZ chatting with Co de Kloet at UMRK in 1990 here. [Added: 04 September 2016]


·         Napoleon Murphy Brock will be in Leipzig on 12 October with Mats and Morgan and the MDR Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kristjan Järvi, playing the music of FZ and George Duke. Check the diary for details. [Added: 04 September 2016]


·         Belgium’s Flat Earth Society is releasing a new CD called Terms Of Em-Barr-Ass-Ment, which is described as a “Homage to Zappa or not, he's dead anyway”! It features three FZ covers (Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance, Solitude and City of Tiny Lites) as well as an “insanely scored mash-up of about 100 assorted themes and riffs of Frank’s all stuck together in under 4 minutes.” Grab a copy here. [Added: 04 September 2016]


·         ZAP feat. Ike Willis, Chip Z’Nuff and Sean McKee have released a digital single, Air Traffic Control, on Steve Vai’s Favored Nations label. Here’s the Press Release. [Added: 04 September 2016]


·         Hot on the heels of ZAPPAtite, expect three more Zappa releases on 14 October: Meat Light: The Uncle Meat Project/Object (3CD – yay!); Chicago '78 (2CD – with Vinnie!); and Little Dots (1CD). In 2003, GZ sed there were two finished Petite Wazoo CD projects (“with a possible special vinyl edition”) - since then, we’ve had Imaginary Diseases. Little Dots is the second, which looks like it includes the R&B version of Cosmik Debris at 15:15 here. Huzzah! [Added: 23 August 2016]


·         Ahmet and Diva bid farewell to Woodrow Wilson Drive on Twitter. Yes, the Zappa house sold for $5,250,000 on 22 August 2016. [Added: 23 August 2016]


·         Big box of Adrian Belew-era King Crimson coming your way if you want it. [Added: 23 August 2016]


·         The latest in the Zappa family distrust comes from Gail’s brother, Jay ‘DuntSloatman, who has posted on Facebook: “I will be suing Moon Zappa, Bob Zappa and others for 20 million in damages. You won’t believe why!” Responding to comments on his post, he has added “Dweezil and Moon have a lot to answer for…Dweezil’s divorce discloses things he doesn’t want anyone to know. Made me sick…what Moon Zappa did one week before Gail’s death will astound you. It’s the reason I’m suing her.” [Added: 16 August 2016]


·         Universal will be issuing an 18-track ‘best of’ CD on 16 September 2016, titled ZAPPAtite - Frank Zappa’s Tastiest Tracks. Presumably being released to tie-in with the appearance of Eat That Question on DVD later that month, the album repeats nine of the tracks that appeared on Ryko’s Best Of… eight years ago. For full details of this new compilation, go here. [Added: 16 August 2016]


·         A few months ago, Zappa Forum administrator Mikey announced they were “planning for significant message board upgrades/changes in the coming months” and it appeared as if Zappa.com was heading for a major overhaul. The first significant change has now been rolled-out in the shape of a new Zappa Store. [Added: 16 August 2016]


·         Some details of the items up for grabs from the estate of Frank & Gail Zappa via Julien’s Auctions in November can now be viddied here. You should bear in mind that the auction catalogue will set you back $100 before bidding for the likes of: the purple ribbed turtleneck worn by Frank in 200 Motels; his vest from the back cover of Waka/Jawaka; various Gold records; his National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Lifetime Achievement Award; his Grammy nomination plaque; a clay Thing-Fish model (plus the ukulele featured on the album cover); or a collection of hotel keys. The Inquisitr has additionally ascertained that several of Frank’s guitars will be included in the sale [Added: 11 August 2016 / Updated: 16 August 2016]


·         There’s new 150 word reviews of the last five Zappa albums here. [Added: 11 August 2016]


·         In November, Pink Floyd release The Early Years 1965–1972, a 27 disc box-set with bonus content and memorabilia that includes (on the 1969 DRAMATIS/ATION DVD/Blu-ray)) “Interstellar Overdrive with Frank Zappa” from Amougies, 25 October 1969. [Added: 28 July 2016]


·         Magnum Classics ordered, work permit sorted: we are delighted to announce that Denny Walley will definitely, positively be joining those loveable scamps, the Muffin Men, at Festival Moo-ah next year. No foolin’....provided enough tickets are sold! So go do that voodoo that you do so well: www.festivalmoo-ah.com/Tickets.htm [Added: 28 July 2016]


·         Zappanale #27 was a blast: full report in due course, but you can see my snaps here …and the dates for next year are here. And here’s my review of the new z26 CD set. [Added: 28 July 2016]


·         John K Sloatman III has posted the following on Facebook: “In honour of my sister Gail Zappa we are going to build a mini home for a homeless family. Need all the Zappa fans moral support and help to find a homeless family in need of a tiny home. We don’t need your money. I will put up a live camera so you can watch the progress - we need to get suggestions from all of you. Gail helped a lot of people out, and animals, including me. Let’s do this and find peace within all of us. It will be fun and rewarding. Let me know your ideas and suggestions please.” Diva and Carl need not apply, one assumes. [Added: 28 July 2016]


...and finally, Esther...

...out now!


Contact: disco.boy@blueyonder.co.uk