(Hot Poop, Lukewarm Poopfinal poop)


(Last updated 14 August 2018)


Hot Poop


·        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, the Progfathers, Voodoo Room, Pygmy Twylyte, Spannertate, 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]


·        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 ‘Dunt’ Sloatman, 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]




Lukewarm Poop


·         This just in: “For many music people, Tom Wilson is known mainly by his unique record as a producer: Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Connie Francis, the Velvet Underground, of course the Mothers of Invention, and many more. But the man behind the resumé remains to this day unknown, with no books, films or scholarly articles having yet appeared about him. With the help of his family and friends, we aim to change that with a documentary, and so would appreciate any information you might share, whether it be people who may have known Wilson, written materials, recordings, photos or footage. Thank you in advance; we can be contacted at marshallcrenshaw1@aol.com [Added: 04 July 2016]


·         Interesting comment from Gail Zappa’s closest friend, Beverly D’Angelo, regarding Frank’s will and more, here. [Added: 04 July 2016]


·         Nice little promo video for Dweezil’s current summer tour. [Added: 04 July 2016]


·         The Zappa family distrust continues with more volleys from Moon and Dweezil. I assume Moon refers to Melanie Starks, Holland Greco, Michael Mesker, Owen J. Sloane - and maybe even Joe Travers - when she talks about “the team the ZFT has lovingly kept in place”? It’s all pretty mind-boggling, and I continue to pray that heads will soon be knocked together and this will all blow over. [Added: 04 July 2016]


·         Ben Watson has written this erudite review of Dance Me This (for which he is grateful to David Aldridge and Evil Dick for their technical input). [Added: 04 July 2016]


·         I don't tend to review things that I am directly involved with, but I just want to say how immensely proud I am of the Weasels Re-Ripped CD that Cordelia Records released in April 2015. I think it includes some of the best performances of any of the Zappa-themed CDs I have compiled thus far - as well as amazing artwork! Sadly, it seems to have come and gone relatively unnoticed, and I would hate for our next collaboration to go the same way. Most of the Sons Of Mr. Green Genes are now in, and I can tell thee it's sounding pretty awesome too. For those of you who care, it should be available in time for Moo 3. [Added: 04 July 2016]


·         Wanna schedule a tour of the Zappa Estate – and maybe even own this piece of music history? Look here and here. And you may also want to buy some property from the estate of Frank & Gail from Julien’s Auctions? [Added: 23 June 2016 / Updated: 04 July 2016]


·         Turns out that - despite what it states on the actual discs - Roxy - The Movie is Official Release #102 and Road Tapes, Venue #3 is #103. Got that? [Added: 23 June 2016]


·         Dweezil has impishly decided to rename his band ‘Dweezil Zappa Plays Whatever The Fuck He Wants’ for his upcoming Cease And Desist Tour. He recently talked about this and the origins of the current family spat during an emotional WTF interview with Marc Maron. [Added: 23 June 2016]


·         Moon reunited with her Uncle Bob during a promo tour for the Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words documentary. In a damning Facebook post, she refers to the “years of GZ brainwashing, believing my dad was estranged from his brother, another spell has been broken. The journey of undoing all the lies and madness of my mother is a strange one, including her untrue, altruistic brag about paying for Bobby’s son’s cancer treatments.” She also ponders “the complex layers of my mother’s undiagnosed and hidden-to-the-public mental illness. Is that why my dad stayed away so much of the time?” On a slightly lighter note, here’s a cool video chat with Moon and ETQ director Thorsten Schütte. [Added: 23 June 2016]


·         Mike Keneally assures us “there’s a sizeable amount of really good unreleased material coming” on the Uncle Meat project/object. But when, we ask?  While we wait to find out, you can order Mike’s long-awaited Scambot 2 album here and NOW! [Added: 23 June 2016]


·         On 15 July, Zappa Records will release two new albums: Frank Zappa For President (a rag bag of “unreleased compositions realized on the Synclavier, along with other relevant tracks mined from the Vault, with a political thread tying it all together”) and The Crux Of The Biscuit (the belated 40th Anniversary Apostrophe audio documentary project/object). Full details here. [Added: 10 June 2016]


·         DZPFZ has a brand new band member for its imminent Summer dates: Mikki Hommel (www.mikkihommel.com), who opened one of Dweezil’s recent Via Zammata’ shows, will be on hand to sing some of the high notes. [Added: 05 June 2016]


·         Sony Pictures has posted a new trailer for the Eat That Question documentary. The film will be shown in various US cinemas from 24 June 2016. [Added: 05 June 2016]


·         Trombonist Glenn Ferris says he has yet to be paid for his contributions to Imaginary Diseases and Wazoo. [Added: 05 June 2016]


·         Turns out Road Tapes, Venue #3 is Official Release #102 – after Roxy – The Soundtrack was #102.2. That’s Zappalogical. [Added: 30 May 2016]


·         The 25th Anniversary Edition of Steve Vai’s Passion And Warfare comes with Disc 7 of The Secret Jewel Box: Modern Primitive by The Classified - featuring Tommy Mars and seen as the ‘missing link’ between Steve’s first two solo albums. You can hear one of the bonus tracks on the Passion And Warfare disc here. The package will be released on 24 June 2016 [Added: 30 May 2016]


·         Those of you in Western Canada and that top left bit of the US of A might want to look out for Jooklo Zappa, touring your way soon. [Added: 30 May 2016]


·         Guranfoe (formerly Gumbo Variation, who opened the inaugural Moo-ah, supported Ike Willis & ZAPPATiKA in Grays and contributed to Rare Episodes and Weasels Re-Ripped) will be playing in Bad Doberan on 14 July 2016. [Added: 30 May 2016]


·         After Moon referred to Ahmet as “evil incarnate” on Twitter, Dweezil finally posted his riposte to his kid bro’s open letter. (So glad that Gail got all the profits from those shitty ZPZ mugs that the lettering fell off after a couple of washes.) [Added: 17 May 2016]


·         Looks like the Adrian Belew Power Trio will be touring Europe again in July – coupla dates int Diary. [Added: 17 May 2016]


·         Ed “One Star” Mann will also be joining the Muffin Men live on stage at Zappanale - along with Denny Walley and Candy Zappa. [Added: 17 May 2016]


·         The biggest developments in the ‘Zappa Pay$ Zappa’ saga this week are Ahmet’s opened lettuce to his brother and Moon’s Mother’s Day missive. Both pretty extraordinary, and sadly there’s more to come as Dweezil says he will be setting out his side of things in a blog. [Added: 10 May 2016]


·         Somewhere down below, I mention that the Czech National Symphony Orchestra will perform Musics By Frank Zappa at the Prague Proms. I am now informed that the orchestra will be joined by a rock band. Scoremeister Kurt Morgan now provides us with a little more info: “I am putting this entire programme together. The band is Joe Travers, Scott Thunes, Jamie Kime and Ian Underwood.” Sadly the unreleased orchestral version of Sinister Footwear, 2nd Movement will not be included, but still sounds like summat not to be missed. [Added: 10 May 2016]


·         You can buy some mighty fine Dave McMacken art and illustrations here. [Added: 10 May 2016]


·         Tickets for Festival Moo-ah #3 are available now. Remember, if we don't sell enough to break-even by Halloween, it won't happen. Go buy a few here. [Added: 02 May 2016]


·         Following Dweezil’s comment (on Facebook) that “Gail Zappa controlled everything about the music catalog and Frank’s name and likeness…the ZFT changed hands this year, and there is no change in the operating procedure,” it’s sad to now read a little more about the family rift (in the New York Times), which sees ZPZ having to be re-branded as ‘Dweezil Zappa Plays Frank Zappa’. I will continue to support Dweezil, all future ZFT releases and Alex Winter’s plans to save the vault, and hope that the family can resolve its differences soon. [Added: 02 May 2016]


·         Road Tapes, Venue #3 will be issued by Universal on 27 May 2016. It consists of two complete shows from the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, recorded on stereo reel-to-reel on 5 July 1970. The Mothers at this time featured Flo & Eddie, George Duke, Ian Underwood, Aynsley Dunbar and Jeff Simmons. For the tracklist and more, go here. [Added: 27 April 2016]


·         The Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra featuring Ike Willis and Prairie Prince with special ZAPPATiKA envoy and keyboardist, Fred Händl along with Rupert Kettle, Rob Morgan and Kevin Crosby are putting together a quick tour of the Pacific Northwest for September 2016! And you you can help ZERO continue its efforts to perform and record the music of Frank Zappa by joining the ZERO Support Group - right here! [Added: 27 April 2016]


·         Patrice “Candy” Zappa will be the special guest of the Muffin Men featuring Denny Walley at Zappanale in July. [Added: 27 April 2016]


·         On 18 June, as part of the Prague Proms, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra will perform Musics by Frank Zappa: Orchestra En Regalia at the Rudolfinum in Prague. Check out the spiffingly good programme here. [Added: 19 April 2016]


·         Free Express-O Machine is the title of the album taken from the sessions recorded three years ago by The Rose Vortex (that is, Warren Cuccurullo, Azar Lawrence, Tommy Mars, Alex Alessandroni, Doug Lunn and Joe Travers). Warren tells me it’s now finally mixed and sequenced: “it was done in a day, with three additional days of vocals, horn, keyboards and guitar overdubs…‘makes it own sauce’ kinda thing. Planning on releasing it by myself July 4th - same as N’liten Up, basically.” [Added: 19 April 2016]


·         The line-up for Festival Moo-ah #3 in 2017 looks complete. Here ‘tis: The Muffin Men, The Wrong Object, Orange Claw Hammer, Zãþþã Éårlý Rênáissánçê Ørçhêstrå, span'nər-tāte, MagNiFZnt, The Goodges and Charlie’s Gorilla. [Added: 19 April 2016]


·         Steve Vai will embark on a Passion And Warfare 25th Anniversary World Tour in June, and there will be an announcement about a 25th Anniversary Edition of said album shortly. [Added: 19 April 2016]


·         The Banned From Utopia will play this year’s Zappa Union in Oslo with very special guest Lisa Popeil. BFU will also play Camden’s Underworld in October. Details in the Diary. [Added: 19 April 2016 / Updated: 27 April 2016]


·         Across five concerts of music, dance and drama, the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen will explore the storytelling that lies at the heart of the music of Igor Stravinsky, in a series entitled Stravinsky: Myths And Rituals on London’s South Bank and elsewhere. Find out more here. [Added: 19 April 2016]


·         Interesting excerpt from Zubin Mehta: A Musical Journey, the new authorised biography of the world renowned conductor: “When he was with LA Philharmonic, Mehta did a rock concert with Frank Zappa. Critics took it apart. So did he. ‘It was the worst piece of music I’d ever heard, but I’d given him my word so we performed it,’ he said about Zappa’s composition.” This of course refers to the excerpts from 200 Motels ‘for Mothers & Orchestra’ performed during Contempo 70. [Added: 12 April 2016]


·         Zappa Plays Zappa will be back out on the road in 2016 celebrating the 50th anniversary of Freak Out! Several Euro dates now in the Diary. [Added: 21 November 2015 / Updated: 12 April 2016]


·         Banned From Utopia will also be back touring Europe – a few dates in the Diary. [Added: 31 March 2016 / Updated: 12 April 2016]


·         After getting our wires crossed summat chronic last time around (maybe The Idiot’s Guide To Sprechen Zee Swedish didn't help?), we are now incredibly delighted to advise that the magnificent twosome MagNiFZnt will definitely, positively play the third Moo-ah...assuming we sell enough tickets by Halloween, that is! [Added: 12 April 2016]


·         Dweezil plays on the track Damn This Groove on Oz Noy’s new album, Who Gives A Funk. In other news, Dweezil says the 2008 ZPZ YCFOSA mixes have finally been completed, and “a release date for download from http://nugs.net/ is imminent.” [Added: 12 April 2016]


·         This mural of Frank was painted several years ago by graffiti artists James Mayle and Leigh Drummond, on London Road in Newark, Nottinghamshire. It can be found here, but James tells me “it’s looking a little worse for wear now.” [Added: 12 April 2016]


·         As well as playing both the pre-Zappanale Hamburg church gig and in Bad Doberan itself, that great Italian double act Inventionis Mater will also have a new long player ready in July. Zapping! will be an album dedicated to Frank’s Wonderful World mixed up with other composers who inspired him: from Stravinsky to Varese to themes often quoted by Frank. All the arrangements are original. Original and crazy artwork, as usual, by Antero Valerio. On the track list you’ll find Zappa pieces like G-Spot Tornado, Echidna’s Arf, Wet T-Shirt Nite and Son Of Mr Green Genes.” Go here to help them make it. [Added: 12 April 2016]


·         Denny Walley says he will be “playing Zappanale #27 along with those wild Liverpool gents, The Muffin Men! This is one that you don't want to miss. Hope to see you there!” [Added: 07 April 2016]


·         Ike Willis has announced plans to record an album of Beatles/John Lennon songs with ZAPPATiKA. Here’s hoping there’s room for Norwegian Jim, Louisiana Hooker With Herpes and Texas Motel! There will also be a live album taken from Ike & ZAPPATiKA’s recent Spring Tour, entitled Live In the Starlight Lounge. [Added: 07 April 2016]


·         Another act lined-up to play next year’s Festival Moo-ah: the dynamic duo that is span'nər-tāte! [Added: 07 April 2016]


·         Arthur Barrow: “SURPRISE! I wrote a book called Of Course I Said Yes! It’s about my life in music from my earliest memories up to the present. A lot of it is about my time with Zappa, so you FZ fans are gonna love it! I also talk about my experiences with Giorgio Moroder, Robby Krieger and much more. It is available from Amazon.” [Added: 07 April 2016]


·         We are excited to announce a third Festival Moo-ah, featuring the Muffin Men, The Wrong Object, the Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra and more still to be announced. It’s scheduled for 31 March & 1 April 2017. We will be sticking to the ‘Moo-ah Formula’: tickets will go on sale soon, but we will need to sell enough to break-even by 31st October 2016 before we can confirm with the bands, venue, etc. The Raven Hall in Corby has been booked again, and a discounted rate for 60 rooms in nearby hotels has been negotiated. The ‘Uncle Ian Guarantee’ will apply again: if we don’t sell enough tickets to break-even before Halloween, WeGotTickets will refund you IN FULL and Uncle Ian will pay the admin charge. Keep your eyes on www.festivalmoo-ah.com for more. Hope to see as many of you as possible there! [Added: 31 March 2016]


·         For those that have still to lob-in to Alex Winter’s wondrous Kickstarter project, the emphasis just changed slightly: the first £1M (or whatever gets raised up to that figure by 8 April) will ALL go towards saving, cataloguing and digitising the contents of the Vault. Pledgers will also gain exclusive access to “a dozen brand new clips that have never been released, featuring concert performances, interviews, news features, personal videos and more. This is stuff that Joe Travers has already been working to protect and digitize...we’ll have a brand new clip every single day for the rest of the campaign, which we'll release exclusively to our backers through PRIVATE Kickstarter updates.” The first nugget from the mine was the Lady Bianca line-up performing Chrissy Puked Twice. There’s also some very cool add-ons to be had. So what are you waiting for? [Added: 31 March 2016]


·         Warren Cuccurullo says he has “just completed a Q&A for a forthcoming book release by author Chris Wade titled The Music Of Frank Zappa: 1978-1993. He enjoyed reading my 1400 words and I'm sure you all will too. It was such a trip for me going back 40 years and beyond to the night when I met Frank and even as far back as when I first heard his music. No cobwebs yet!” Wade of course published The Music Of Frank Zappa: 1966-1976 last year via Wisdom Twins Books. Wonder if he’ll be covering 1977 in isolation? [Added: 21 March 2016]


·         Sadly, Bogus Pomp will not now be playing at Zappanale this year…but ZERO still are, and they’ll have their second album out very soon on Cordelia Records too! [Added: 21 March 2016]


·         Here’s Ian Stone’s review of Bruce Bickford’s recent Sacred & Profane exhibition in Seattle. And here’s Diva Zappa’s snap of some little clay FZs. [Added: 21 March 2016]


·         We are very proud to present a new ZappaCast featuring Alex Winter, talking ’baht that there forthcoming Zappa movie an’ all that Kickstarter malarkey – totally non-egregious! Listen here. And don’t forget to keep an eye on all the groovy updates Alex and his team are providing over at www.zappamovie.com. [Added: 17 March 2016/21 March 2016]


·         Roxy: The Movie is being screened in London on 5 April: be there – it’s for a great cause! [Added: 17 March 2016]


·         Reporter David Allen of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin has been trying to find out if FZ attended eighth (and part of ninth) grade at Claremont High from Autumn 1953 to late 1954. He appears to have found out. Is this a picture of the 13-year old Frank’s signature in the school’s yearbook? Read more about it here. [Added: 17 March 2016]


·         ZPZ will be playing some Euro dates in July – a few in the Diary now (including the band’s return to Germany!); hopefully more to follow. [Added: 17 March 2016]


·         Since the launch of the Who The F*@% Is Frank Zappa? Kickstarter project, Ahmet has clarified the ZFT’s stance on it, Dweezil has denied any involvement with it, Winter has been ferociously updating the FAQs, Travers has taken us on a tour of the UMRK, and the film is over half-way to getting started. [Added: 12 March 2016]


·         Record Store Day on 16 April 2016 will see the limited release of two Zappa singles: Joe’s Garage b/w The Central Scrutinizer, on limited green marble-effect vinyl and (as mentioned below) mono recordings of My Guitar and Dog Breath on coloured vinyl. [Added: 12 March 2016]


·         If you can bear to listen to Mark Maron, his WTF interview with Dweezil is worth checking out. [Added: 12 March 2016]


·         The Budapest Organ Festival in May will feature the Frank Zappa Project. Check it out here. [Added: 12 March 2016]


·         The Zappa documentary announced by Alex Winter late in 2015 is now part of a Kickstarter project, called Who The F*@% Is Frank Zappa? Winter invites fans to help save Frank’s archives, make the definitive movie and even buy the Zappa house! The movie now has its own dedicated website and you can check out everything you need to know about the project here. Anyone got $9M to spare an old Idiot? [Added: 8 March 2016]


·         Finally, confirmation of more acts playing Zappanale this year. [Added: 1 March 2016]


·         After all them recent rock casualties, here’s better news: Howard Kaylan tweeted “Thanks for all of your positive thoughts. Here to tell the world, Mark (Flo) Volman is cancer free!” [Added: 1 March 2016]


·         Ike Willis & ZAPPATiKA’s London gig on 26 March will take place at Under The Bridge – with Acton Zappa as special guests. [Added: 18 February 2016]


·         Eddie Jobson has put together a 16-disc U.K. Ultimate Collectors’ Edition box set, which includes the band’s first two studio albums, the live album Night After Night expanded by 50 minutes, and loads more. Read all about it here. [Added: 18 February 2016]


·         Pauline Butcher’s Freak Out! My Life With Frank Zappa is now available in Spanish. [Added: 18 February 2016]


·         Here’s my review of the new Beat Club Lost Broadcast DVD. [Added: 12 February 2016]


·         John French on Facebook: “Although I don't have a signed and sealed contract as of yet, it looks very much as though we [The Magic Band] will be playing Zappanale again this Summer, and a possible London show.” [Added: 12 February 2016]


·         Resonance FM wants to raise some dosh and is offering this unique wax bust of our Frank. [Added: 12 February 2016]


·         Ahmet has opened up the UMRK for an art exhibition, named after the spoken word track on Civilization Phaze III, ‘Someplace Else Right Now’. This article in the Hollywood Reporter talks about the possibility that the Zappa house might be put up for sale soon, and ponders Barack Obama’s lack of a vagina. [Added: 12 February 2016]


·         The press notes for Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words confirm that it has the continued support of the ZFT. To quote Ahmet, “Gail collaborated with Thorsten Schütte and Estelle Fialon for many years on this project and had great respect for both of them. The film that Thorsten has made provides a new way for old and new Frank Zappa fans to discover more about FZ — in his own words.” [Added: 4 February 2016]


·         It’s February and we only have Bogus Pomp and the Lex Bronkowitz Orchestra formally confirmed for this year’s Zappanale. However, it’s highly-very that Inventionis Mater will play at the church in Hamburg, that sound engineer Guy Bickel will present his Behind The Garage Door paper at the Kamptheatre, that the Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra feat. Alli Bach will play the Mystery stage, and that Paul Green’s Rock Academy feat. Ed Mann and The Grandmothers will appear on the Main stage. Confirmation (or otherwise) as soon as. [Added: 4 February 2016]


·         For those who pull one-off about such things, the next Zappa vinyl release on Record Store Day (16 April 2016) is likely to be another coloured vinyl 7" single comprising remastered 1969 mono recordings of My Guitar and Dog Breath. [Added: 4 February 2016]


·         Mark Pinske has posted another soundboard snippet – this time Why Does It Hurt When I Pee? from London’s Wembley Arena in 1980…I was there! [Added: 4 February 2016]


·         Check out the King Kong Orcheztra’s A Brass Tribute To Frank Zappa EP on YouTube. [Added: 4 February 2016]


·         Since their appearance at Zappanale (with Ike Willis, Ed Mann, Denny Walley, Jeff Hollie and Craig ‘Twister’ Steward) there have been big changes in the ZAPPATiKA camp and the band is approaching its upcoming Spring tour (again with Willis, Hollie & Steward on every show) with a very new line-up and quite different sound and dynamic. With the amazing Jeff Hollie now a fixed member of the band, there is less need of ‘surplus’ guitars and this has given way to much more keyboard interaction as well - between Hieronymus and Fred Händl, all the keys are covered! Band leader Zap Mcinnes puts it this way: “So the instrumentation and musicians we have now has really altered the ‘general harmonic structure’ of the band, and with a totally revamped rhythm section - due to the arrival of our little Italian drum virtuoso, Diego Mocci - everything has become much, much more dynamic and the whole band has worked REALLY hard this Winter to bring it all ‘into the pocket’. I am also enjoying the chance to further explore all the guitar parts for the first time, and the interaction between drums, sax and guitar in the solos has become something we are all quite excited about. This version of Zappatika is, without doubt, rather more evolved than previous incarnations, something I have been trying to move towards for quite some time. Then, when you add Ike and Twister back into the mix, it’s headed for something pretty awesome on this tour.” ZAPPATiKA & Friends will kick off the 15 date Spring tour in Osnabruck on 17th March and go through Paris and then eight shows in the UK before heading back to Germany for four more shows and finishing off in The Netherlands on April 1st. All of the dates can be found in the Diary - and you can hear a sneak preview of the new line-up in rehearsal right here. [Added: 4 February 2016]


·         Watch the trailer for Thorsten Schütte’s Eat That Question - Frank Zappa In His Own Words documentary. Sony Pictures Classics has announced that it has acquired the worldwide rights to the film (excluding France and Germany). “I’m delighted and I’m thrilled that Sony Pictures Classics believes in the film, and I feel we’re in very good hands,” said Schutte. “The news of the acquisition is really the cherry on the cake of our world premiere at Sundance.” Here’s a short review of the documentary. [Added: 24 January 2016]


·         An Evening With Wild Man Fischer will be exclusively available on CD from Gonzo Multimedia shortly. [Added: 24 January 2016]


·         Caballero Reynaldo is celebrating 20 years in the music biz this year, and is “re-recording, re-mixing, re-friting his discography. The first step of his evil master plan, obviously, is the volume dedicated to the music of Frank Zappa, with which he toured around Europe in 2010 thanks to records such as The Grand Kazoo, Traca/Matraca or Marieta y Los Jetas. In Reynaldo plays Zappa? he squeezes and minimalises the original music up to the limit of non-recognition.” Do yourself a favour and grab one of these. [Added: 24 January 2016]


·         After x and ê, let’s get the Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra to #3 in the charts! Download Who Are The Brain Police? and Montana (which features Tubes’ drummer, Prairie Prince, the talents of Thriftshop vocalist, Macklemore...and The Idiot too) NOW! [Added: 12 January 2016]


·         Sad to learn that composer/conductor Pierre Boulez passed away on 5 January 2016 - at the grand old age of 90. [Added: 12 January 2016]


·         ZappaCast #27 marks the passing of Gail Zappa, and can be heard right now and here. [Added: 12 January 2016]


·         After his wife lost her battle with cancer, Chad Wackerman now faces huge medical and funeral costs. Please help if you can https://www.youcaring.com/chad-wackerman-485395 [Added: 30 December 2015]


·         So far confirmed for Zappanale #27: Lex Bronkowiz Orchestra and Bogus Pomp! [Added: 30 December 2015]


·         During my interview with Dweezil in October, he said he'd like to have his band play some of FZ’s orchestral/major instrumentals with a brass section, and also work with Vinnie Colaiuta. And so it came to pass that on 1 and 2 November, ZPZ were joined by the 20-piece Norwegian Wind Ensemble (for Regyptian Strut, Imaginary Diseases, Sinister Footwear and more) and, at LA’s Saban Theater on 11 December, Vinnie was one of a number of special guests. He still hasn’t worked with Mike Keneally either. [Added: 30 December 2015]


·         Mark Pinske has now posted a soundboard recording of Outside Now from FZ’s 11 December 1980 shows at the Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica. The Resentment Listener has all this and more here. [Added: 30 December 2015]


·         A new documentary DVD, Frank Zappa - In His Own Words, will be released in March. Presumably nothing to do with the film of the same name by  Thorsten Schütte. Anyone know more? [Added: 30 December 2015]


·         Just for shits and giggles, here’s some things we might be lucky enough to get on the next AAAFNRAA Birthday Bundle: Flambay (Lucy Lawless); Dr Acula (Diva Zappa); Uncle Sam (Ascolta Plays Zappa); Drowning Witch (Fireworks Ensemble); What’s The Name Of Your Group? (200 Motels outtake, 1971); Cosmik Debris (Petit Wazoo, Capitol Theatre Passaic, 1972); Montana & Dupree’s Paradise (Roxy, 1973 - video download). [Added: 15 December 2015]


·         Here’s the press release for the imminent Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention - The Lost Broadcast: The Beat Club ’68 DVD. [Added: 15 December 2015]


·         From Me To You - A George Duke Experience - featuring Napi, Mats & Morgan, Josie James and Byron Miller - is finally happening, in Sweden in January. More here. [Added: 15 December 2015]


·         Here’s a trailer for Tim Corvin’s forthcoming documentary, Frank Zappa’s Greater Ontario. [Added: 15 December 2015]


·         And now for your delectation, ladies and gentlemen, Ms Eryka Badu will perform a tender little ballad for you. This is dedicated to all the Republicans in the audience – it’s Cock-Suckers’ Ball. A one, a two, a one-two-three-four[Added: 15 December 2015]


·         Thorsten Schütte’s FZ documentary, which he discussed with Gail at the Roundhouse in 2010, will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah next month. Now named Eat That Question — Frank Zappa In His Own Words (its working title was ZAPPED), the blurb says it’s “full of rich and rare archival footage...and dashes a few myths about the man himself”. I always wondered what became of this – especially since Alex Winter’s documentary, due out in 2017, was announced. Now we have two docs to look forward to. Lucky us. [Added: 8 December 2015]


·         Engineer Mark Pinske has posted (at pinske.com) a few soundboard samples from Frank’s St Paul Civic Arena Bowl show on 18 November 1980. Check out the Intro Panty Rap, Love Of My Life and City Of Tiny Lites. Thanks, Mark! [Added: 8 December 2015]


·         Howard Kaylan seems a tad miffed that his and Mark’s ‘special material’ has been removed from 200 Motels – The Suites. Here’s what he said, “Great idea - NOT. Let’s do 200 Motels onstage with hired hands singing. Then, we’ll remove all of the solos and the humour. Sorta like listening to Australian Pink Floyd. Heard it. Laughed at the ‘performances’ of our vocal parts; even the use of our names, just as FZ had written it. Weezer should have done this. Or at least, Ryan Adams. Something very sad and desperate here. Sadder if this music sells WITHOUT the genius who conceived it. Good luck, Family Trust and Universal. Hope it sells a billion downloads. But you should own the original soundtrack. That one doesn't suck.” Personally, I’m happy to have both versions J. [Added: 8 December 2015]


·         Warren Cuccurullo: “To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the NON-RELEASE of my concept album N’Liten Up we’re making it available to everyone TODAY [8 December 2015], my 59th birthday. Visit www.nlitenup.com for a trip you'll never forget!” The album features Shenkar, Dale Bozzio, Nick Rhodes and Joe Travers, among many others, and is cheap as chips to download. [Added: 8 December 2015]


·         Dweezil will play some Stateside ‘solo’ shows in support of Via Zammata’ next February. Details here. [Added: 5 December 2015]


·         James Richardson and Zappa And Jazz author Geoff Wills both attended the recent ‘Britten Sinfonia plays Frank’ gig at the Barbican. Read what they thought here. [Added: 5 December 2015]


·         200 Motels – The Suites (Official Release #101) is out now – and streaming on Spotify. Here’s the official trailer. You can also listen to the pre-concert chat here (including a reading of Drool Britannia). [Added: 21 November 2015 / Updated: 5 December 2015]


·         My review of Geoff Wills’ Zappa And Jazz: Did It Really Smell Funny, Frank? is here. [Added: 21 November 2015]


·         Zappa Plays Zappa will be back out on the road in 2016 celebrating the 50th anniversary of Freak Out! But before that, Dweezil is planning a short solo tour to support Via Zammata’. [Added: 21 November 2015]


...and finally, Esther...

...out now!


Contact: disco.boy@blueyonder.co.uk