(Last updated 13 April 2014)
· Great clip of the new Grannies playing The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue here: http://youtu.be/GC0PeOeqyMY
· Coming soon from SPB Publishing: ZaFTIG - The Zappa Family Trust Issues Guide by Edward Komara, a handy print reference guide to the 2012 CD reissues of the Zappa catalogue - and more!
· On the Wednesday before Zappanale (16 July), there will be another concert at St Catherine’s Church in Hamburg featuring Napoleon Murphy Brock. His band will include Benoit Moerlen (ex-Gong and now in Napi’s new band. Peach Noise) and Mats Oberg. Support comes from The String Trash Project, featuring my good friend and man about town, Amaretto Mick Zeuner, on acoustic bass. The programme will contain some Zappa, Bach, Satie, Miles Davis and Schubert.
· A nice little memory of Martin Lickert: http://thejohnfleming.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/glimpses-of-other-peoples-lives-the-beatles-frank-zappa-and-a-21-year-old/
· For those who might want to buy Roxy By Proxy from one of the 24 licensees, here ya go: http://r.ebay.com/5GYAov
· Sneak previews of a number of tracks (as well as the musicians involved) on the imminent Rare Episodes CD can now be seen and heard here.
· The Brecker Brothers Band Reunion Heavy Metal Bebop Euro tour featuring Terry Bozzio is happening – big bunch o’ dates in the Bastard’s Diary. And after that, Terry sets out on his Jack… http://www.idiotbastard.com/News/PressRelease1.htm
· New ZappaCast now up, featuring the second part of our chat with the mighty Scott Carter Thunes. Grab it: http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2014-04-08T07_04_00-07_00
· American rock guitarist, composer and recording artist Clark Colborn releases an EP on 11 May (the 21st anniversary of the release of Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar) called Frank Made Me Do It. It comprises “four of my songs that FZ inspired me to write, plus a cover of his immortal My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama.”
· Gail and Dweezil appeared in The Sunday Times’s ‘Relative Values’ column on 6 April 2014. Here’s the full article.
· This year’s Record Store Day Zappa release is the single edit of Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow b/w Down In De Dew (previously unreleased alternate mix): http://www.recordstoreday.com/SpecialRelease/6790
· Pauline Butcher: “BBC Radio 4 are adapting my book for an afternoon play [Frank Zappa And Me] on May 9. They have someone to play Frank and the younger Pauline but are looking for someone to play the older Pauline. Any suggestions?”
· Tommy Mars has uploaded a “ragtag transcription of FZ’s Wild Love” to Musescore: http://musescore.com/user/158559/scores/156551 (thanks Sexy MF!)
· Roxy By Proxy has finally been unleashed. Check out the full track list: http://www.zappa.com/fz/discography/2014roxybyproxy.html Available from G&S from Monday 24 March.
· Jon Anderson: “I’m going to get a band together with Jean-Luc Ponty...one of the great violin players. We start work in June. Then we’re going to tour next year. I love the violin.”
· FZ’s official biographer, Alan Clayson, was interviewed backstage at the Royal Festival Hall last year “for a forthcoming DVD” http://www.alanclayson.com/pages_single/argosies/ARGOSY%202013.htm
· On 11 March, Moon Unit tweeted : “It’s funny how a parent’s hospital stay can reinvigorate gratitude, refocus priorities and rekindle enthusiasm for the right people.” Here’s hoping @ZappaGail’s okay.
· Tommy Mars and Arthur Barrow are participating in a live performance of Jon Larsen’s Willie Nickerson's Egg at the Molde Jazz Festival in Norway on 14, 15 & 16 July 2014. Look: http://www.moldejazz.no/2014/index.php?page_id=19775
· The first part of my good friend Tim Op Het Broek’s interview with Robert Martin can now be heard here on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/#zappa-project/bobbymartinpart1
· New album by ‘Indonesian guitar icon’ Dewa Budjana, Surya Namaskar, features one Vinnie Colaiuta hitting things. Read all about it here.
· Tickets for the Ike Willis with ZAPPATiKA Just Passin’ Thru gig at the Thameside Theatre in Grays on Friday 16 May are now on sale (by phone (0845 300 5264 or online (www.thurrock.gov.uk/theatre). Ridiculously priced at just £13.50, the Thameside is a mere Oyster slap away from London. Plus it’s not on a school night. And the fantastic Gumbo Variation will be the opening act. Please take advantage!
· Tomorrow marks one year since Festival Moo-ah! It would be nice to hear how much interest there is in holding another event in 2015, and how it might be organised to ensure it is self-financing (Crowdsourcing?). Would you be willing to buy a ticket NOW! a year in advance with a guarantee that if there's insufficient interest, you'll get a 100% refund? Your thoughts via firstname.lastname@example.org would be most welcome. We would really like to see it happen again, but only if it is practicable to do so.
· Out latest ZappaCast takes a look back at last year’s performances of 200 Motels – with very special guest Scott Thunes: http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2014-02-28T09_59_22-08_00
· Here’s a great little clip of ZPZ playing Zomby Woof with a special guest late last year (with audio provided by Dweezil, from the mixing board): http://youtu.be/s9kDlgRFIAc
· Ike Willis will be passin’ thru Holland and the UK in May with ZAPPATiKA – see the Bastard’s Diary for dates (which include one in my backyard - at the Thameside Theatre in Grays, Essex - where Gumbo Variation will be the support band).
· Cordelia Records has just released a new CD in its series of albums that sees surf instrumental bands fearlessly extending their repertoire by recording unusual cover versions. Considerably Further Beyond The Sea includes crack renditions of Smoke On The Water, Theme One, Revolution 9, Dead Babies, Miserlou and Layla (which you can hear here).
· Out of the shower, she squeezes her spots – possibly caused by Zappa(e): http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/18/acne-bacteria-frank-zappa-grapes/5560493/
· Arthur Barrow will join Banned From Utopia (in Mike Miller’s place) for their March/April Spring 2014 tour - making them “the only 100% Zappa alumni band in the world!”. See the Bastard’s Diary for tour dates – more to come!
· The Vaultmeister (over at the Zappa Forum) has confirmed that “of course” the ZFT has plans for an official release of the Ritz 1981 show.
· “Switzerland gets a new music festival - outside the mainstream. Most popular music events in Helvetia, move on familiar paths. It lacks a festival of music that has gone into new territory. This bold, progressive music, shaped by (among others) Frank Zappa and is now known as Progressive Rock, Urban Crossover or Experimental. This gap will be closed by the Zapperlot-makers with a small and fine three-day festival at a beautiful place right on the Emme in Schangnau/Emmental. The aim is to give a new platform to a music which gets usually little attention, and maybe generate new fans. At Zapperlot! besides the music there are also stalls, children’s activities and workshops. Then there is the food of the official festival cuisine by René Sutter and his team from the ‘Goldener Anker’, Interlaken. ... And all without disposable tableware! In addition to expensive china and inexpensive tickets, the Zapperlot! comes with the motto: Fun instead of profit maximizing! Date: 15th-17th August 2014. Location: Schangnau im Emmental, Switzerland. Day’s Admission: CHF 40. Three-day-pass: CHF 80. Children under 13 years free entry. More info at: www.zapperlot-festival.ch. You can also support the festival by making a donation now: www.100-days.net/zapperlot-festival.”
· Ensemble musikFabrik are coming back REAL SOON, playing their ‘American Mavericks’ show (featuring The Black Page, RDNZL, Echidna's Arf (Of You) & Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing?) in Holland, Germany and England – see the Bastard’s Diary for dates.
· Banned From Utopia – 2013 tour highlights: http://youtu.be/1SpBan7ZiVI
· The astonishing Scott Thunes has just been diagnosed with unstable angina, caused by a clogged artery. He seems to be in good spirits, but please wish him well.
· Pre-order The Crimson ProjeKCt’s first proper CD, Live In Tokyo, here.
· Joe’s Camouflage has now been formally announced/released by the ZFT: http://www.zappa.com/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi?flavor=archive;list=zappanews;id=20140130105518. The track-list: Phyniox (Take 1)/T’Mershi Duween/Reeny Ra/“Who Do You Think You Are”/“Slack ‘Em All Down”/Honey, Don’t You Want A Man Like Me?/The Illinois Enema Bandit/Sleep Dirt - In Rehearsal/Black Napkins/Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance/Denny & Froggy Relate/“Choose Your Foot”/Any Downers?/Phyniox (Take 2)/“I Heard A Note!”.
· Swiss Zappa-tribute band, FiDOplaysZAPPA, have released the concert-movie FiDO wird 10 und feiert - Live at Gare du Nord & More: 100 minutes, 23 songs & some studio/tour/rehearsing-insights of FiDO’s breakneck big dipper ride through the big Z’s nutty cosmos in the last decade 2003-2013. The movie is available on USB-Stick (16GB) or download on www.fidoplayszappa.com/wordpress/fidoshop
· The Kindle edition of For Mother's Sake: The Memoirs And Recollections Of Jimmy Carl Black 1938-2008 was published by Amazon on 1 February, to commemorate Jimmy’s birthday. The list price is £4.37. Between 1 and 8 February, buy the print edition through Amazon and get the Kindle for FREE! Read my review: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#FMS
· You there - listen to Z3 with special guest Ed Mann: https://archive.org/details/Z32014-01-23.SBD-AKG483
· Listen to The Best Of Talking Zappa with Tony Trombo, featuring excerpts from his chats with Howard Kaylan, Lisa Popeil, Bob & Thana Harris and Ed Mann http://www.blogtalkradio.com/tonytrombo/2014/01/21/talking-zappa-with-tony-trombo-the-best-of-tz-part-1-1
· The world première of The Yellow Sound - a ballet with music by FZ - takes place at the Nationaltheater in Munich on 4 April. Look: http://www.bayerische.staatsoper.de/918-ZG9tPWRvbTEmaWQ9MzExNCZsPWVuJnRlcm1pbj0xMzc3Ng-~spielplan~ballett~veranstaltungen~termine.html
· Candy Zappa has just posted this on Facebook: “the front page of Frank’s book The Real Frank Zappa Book that he dedicated to our mom.” Nice.
· The new Zãþþã Éårlý Rênáissánçê Ørçhêstrå website has some interesting stuff - like the Semi-Random Secret Word Device, that builds abstract secret word sentences at the click of a button!
· “Rockmusicmemorabilia have combined both the complete 1970-78 Frank Zappa set and the complete 1972-75 Captain Beefheart commemorative set into one large comprehensive set, which they have produced in a very limited edition of only 100. It now contains 17 CDs and 3 DVDs,3 programmes, tickets and flyers including a very rare Captain Beefheart programme from his 1972 European tour,which includes a number of drawings by Don Van Vliet,20 photos of both Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart, 2 T-shirts from 1970 Bath festival, 1975 Captain Beefheart Knebworth festival and 1978 Frank Zappa Knebworth festival, 3 festival posters from Bath and Knebworth and the 330 page book There Must Be A Better Way, which covers all the dramas representing and touring Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart in Europe in the 1970s. All contained in a handmade presentation box. The set may be viewed on http://www.rockmusicmemorabilia.com/productdetails.php?catid=1&pid=88”
· The Muffin Men will NOT now be playing the Arf! Arf! Arf! Zappa Weekend end-party in March L
· Andrew was very happy to learn that, as at the end of 2013, his Zappa The Hard Way book had sold over 2,000 copies. Thank you very much if you’ve purchased at least one copy!
· Right here is a picture of God that Frank drew for Moon https://twitter.com/MoonZappa/status/423601705465282560/photo/1
· Some nice snaps of FZ and the Captain in 1975, from the files of Herb Cohen, got sold on eBay recently: http://lordevilvenom.tumblr.com/post/73453428863/unpublished-photos-of-frank-zappa-and-captain
· Out on 3 February 2014 is the first album collaboration by Peter Hammill & Gary Lucas, Other World.
· An interesting blog on Frank and Finland…and elsewhere: http://rhoerer.wordpress.com/category/zappa/folklore/
· I am hopeful that the Thameside Theatre in Grays will host a band playing the music of FZ in 2014. It would be helpful to know how many people would be interested in attending such an event – let me know via Facebook or email. For those Zappa fiends in the capital, you can use your Oyster card on National Rail trains all the way to Grays!
· “Banned From Utopia is looking forward to having the one and only Chad Wackerman joining us again for the next tour in March/April. Stay tuned for dates.” There’s some now in the Bastard’s Diary (together with a few Magic Band UK tour dates).
· Interesting article about Frank and Finland…and elsewhere: http://rhoerer.wordpress.com/category/zappa/folklore/
· See the new GrandMothers 2014 tour dates here. In Australia, they will be playing opposite The Magic Band.
· Chris Charlesworth remembers FZ at The Rainbow http://justbackdated.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/normal_11.html
· Pre-Experience Hendrix Tour interview with Dweezil, in which he talks about the burnt Fender Strat http://youtu.be/Drpxl68pxgQ
· Who knew? – a relative of Frank’s was born and raised in Sarf London: http://www.digitaljournal.com/entertainment/michelle-zappa-and-the-croydon-philharmonic-choir/article/365244
· Here’s a review of the Uncle Meat vinyl reissue for all you ‘sound fanatics’: http://www.analogplanet.com/content/uncle-meat%E2%80%94frank-zappas-soundtrack-album-movie-he-correctly-predicted-you-would-never-see
· A message from the main-man regarding the future of Zappanale: http://www.zappanale.de/en/news/569-r-jahresrueckblick.html
· Out in February, Oh No! Not Jazz!! by The Ed Palermo Big Band - half FZ, half EP: https://cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/oh-no-not-jazz
· Dale Bozzio has a new album coming out: http://www.idiotbastard.com/News/PressRelease.htm
· Hurry! The Mothers Of Invention - The Ultimate Listening Guide (Part One: 200 Motels And More) by Dave Thompson is now available on Kindle http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00F3NSR36
· Here’s an, umm, interesting interview with former Grandmother Napoleon Murphy Brock: http://youtu.be/cYekMMe6DuI Now that Napi has gone, why do the Grandmothers keep up the pretence that the band started in 2002? Don and Bunk ‘consistently performed’ as Grannies in the 80s & 90s (with Jimmy Carl Black), and Dave Parlato can be heard on the first Grandmothers ‘anthology’ album from 1981 (on tracks recorded with Don in the 70s). I’m really excited about seeing the latest incarnation, and the band should be proud of its long history.
· Robert Martin tells me “BFU did a 24 track recording of the concert in Frankfurt last month, and the mix is coming together superbly”. More when I get it.
· Zappanale #25 – the planned program (now with added GrandMothers): http://www.zappanale.de/en/component/content/article/108-programm/557-r-planned-program.html
· Wolfgang’s Vault now has the video of Frank’s late show at the Capitol Theater from 13 October 1978: http://www.concertvault.com/#frank-zappa/video/track-1_1009907.html See and hear Revenge Of The Knick Knack People/Persona Non Grata/Dancin' Fool/Easy Meat/Bamboozled By Love/Sy Borg/Suicide Chump/Little House I Used To Live In/Yo' Mama/Magic Fingers/Black Napkins/Camarillo Brillo/Muffin Man/Strictly Genteel performed by FZ, Ike Willis, Patrick O'Hearn, Denny Walley, Arthur Barrow, Vinnie Colaiuta, Ed Mann, Tommy Mars and Peter Wolf.
· Born 15 weeks early on what would have been Frank’s 53rd birthday, blind multi-instrumentalist Rachel Flowers has just produced this amazing cover of Inca Roads on which she plays every instrument: https://soundcloud.com/#rachelflowers-1/inca-roads
· Here’s a clip of George Duke playing Zappa stuff on his old piano as filmed by Frank Scheffer: http://youtu.be/JzpZgyaFPD4
· Frank’s Horny has been spruced-up. Read all about it: http://www.theconservationcenter.com/article/1982599-a-renewed-appreciation-for-frank-zappa
· Details of The Crimson ProjeKCt’s Live in Tokyo CD: http://www.insideoutmusic.com/release.aspx?IdRelease=1607
· Funny or what? http://youtu.be/ZbMpagpPVvU
· This year’s AAAFNRAA bundlement is “a documentary of the making of a recording and performance of Cheepnis”. Available from iTunes - grab it if you can. http://www.zappa.com/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi?flavor=archive;list=zappanews;id=20131217175139 (BTW, given that “nobody voted for Roxy By Proxy” (GZ’s words), will the prequel album - when eventually released - now be called something else?)
· We venture inside the piano for Episode 15 of the ZappaCast, - yes, it’s the BIG one for Zappadan: http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2013-12-17T06_59_55-08_00
· The Grandmothers have re-invented themselves once more! New line-up as follows: Don Preston (piano, keyboard synthesizers, electronics, gongage, magic and vocals), Christopher Garcia (drums, percussion, marimba and vocals), "Mad" Max Kutner (electric guitar, what-nots, pedals, hats and hair), Bunk Gardner (tenor sax, EWI, flute, straight man, commentary) and David Parlato (electric bass). More here: http://www.miooow.com/artists/live-artists/the-grandmothers-of-invention.html
· Gail’s talk a few days before the UK premiere of 200 Motels can now be heard at https://soundcloud.com/#southbankcentre/zappa-on-zappa
· A spiffy ‘new’ video for the song Fine Girl: http://youtu.be/9GNN-5zY0CI
· Coming early in the Year Of Zappa, Scott Parker’s new book: "Something Strange Happening Here": The Making Of Frank Zappa’s Freak Out!
· Fantom Records is “finishing two new albums, both FOH material sourced from recent ZPZ shows, as well as the LA shows DVD featuring George Duke - which is in final edit stage…we hope to make these all available in March 2014.”
· Frank Filipetti was responsible for recording the LA performance of 200 Motels. Read more about it: http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/filipetti_picks_sanken_microphones_for_historic_performance_of_zappas_200_m/live
· On Saturday 21 December, The Woolpack Inn in York is hosting a free ‘Frank Zappa Birthday Party’, featuring an evening of DJ spun Zappa toons. From 8pm onwards. Website: http://www.theswanyork.plus.com/woolpackevents.html
· In the last hour of this BBC Radio 6 Music Freak Zone programme, Stuart Maconie looks at how FZ is perceived today: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03kty87 Next Saturday, Maconie will be spanking some more Frank, and the very next day Radio 3 will re-broadcast this summer’s Proms performance of Greggery Peccary. Huzzah for Auntie Beeb! (Follow my Twitter feed for links an’ shit.)
· Caught the last Magic Band gig of their Euro tour at the Borderline – abba-zaba-zoom! Can’t wait to see them again at Zappanale. But before then should be a DVD of their earlier Under The Bridge show – a couple of clips are already here (parts of which were captured by the dynamic Clint Walker).
· Have now heard five of the proposed 14 tracks for the Rare Episodes album, and already it’s sounding quite awesome. Here’s a progress report from Evil Dick on his contribution: http://blog.leicesterdrumschool.co.uk/#post23
· The Thurston Lava Tube have a new album, The Poodle Collector, comprising 20 tracks that aren’t on their other albums, including Mr Green Genes, The Idiot Bastard Son, Caravan (with a drum solar, natch) and this.
· From somewhere deep inside the Steinway comes a very special episode of the ZappaCast, marking the twentieth Zappadan – and the start of the ‘Year of Zappa’. In yo’ lugholes soon.
· One of the bonus features on the new Jimi Hendrix documentary DVD/Blu-ray, Hear My Train A Comin’, is a 30 minute fillum about the Miami Pop Festival. According to Stuart Penney, “at the start we see Don Preston walking backstage and then it cuts to onstage footage of the MOI. Great colour footage, but no sound unfortunately. It’s just setting the scene for Hendrix’s appearance. Frank appears for maybe 10 secs.” And of course Dweezil (who is again part of the ‘Experience Hendrix’ tour in Spring 2014) appears in the main feature.
· The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra will perform Dupree’s Paradise at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on 28 January 2014. (This will then be broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm on Sunday 2 February, 8-10pm.) See more: http://www.rte.ie/orchestras/2014/0128/28jan.html
· Nice little tribute to his dad on the 20th anniversary of his passing - Dweezil Zappa as guest DJ on WYEP: http://www.wyep.org/audio/dweezil-zappa-guest-dj
· Fellow Zappa author (heh-heh!) Michael Gray has a blogspot: http://michaelgrayouttakes.blogspot.de/2013/12/frank-zappa.html
· Looks like the Corsaga is set to continue shortly with Joe’s Camouflage. Two tracks from this have been played on Zappa Radio - Any Downers? and Phyniox [Take 1] - which suggest that this is the previously unheard post-Bongo Fury line-up of: FZ, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Roy Estrada, Terry Bozzio, Denny Walley, Robert “Frog” Camarena and Novi Novog. Ooh, ‘citin’!
· The Theory Of Zappa with Paul Carr, Richard Hand and Evil Dick from Nottingham Contemporary, 28 November 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6ObCjj0TXU&feature=share
· The latest issue of PROG magazine features 11 pages on FZ, including interviews with Dweezil, Gail, Don Preston, Mike Keneally and Adrian Belew, ‘The Last Interview’ (from Cutting Edge) and a buyer's guide. http://www.progrockmag.com/news/prog-41-new-issue-on-sale/
· Here’s the latest in Zappa releases from G&S Music: http://www.idiotbastard.com/News/G+S.pdf Who knew that Official Release #97 was the soundtrack to A Token Of His Extreme? Longer tracks include Montana and Flo Po.
· This week, we conducted a roundtable chat with the highly entertaining Scott Thunes for our next 200 Motels themed ZappaCast. We also hope to have a special FZ tribute episode out in December. Hold on to yer hats!
· Dweezil: “This is the very first time I ever played Watermelon In Easter Hay. It was very challenging to play on many levels. It has always been a highly emotional song for me. Matching my father’s phrasing is very difficult as well.” http://youtu.be/yI7G5-BNY6k Now I’m very happy to say, I witnessed the second time ZPZ performed this song – at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Armistice Day. Here’s a very nice two-cam clip of that: http://youtu.be/g2NCiNKdCYU
· Tom Brown went to the LA production of 200 Motels – read his report here. As I’m sure you all will appreciate, the opinions and views expressed by ‘guest reviewers’ on this website are the opinions of the designated authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of myself or any other individual. Enjoy!
· Out now: Willin’: The Story Of Little Feat by Ben Fong-Torres. Includes interviews with (among many others) Roy Estrada and Elliot Ingber, and pooh-poohs Jimmy Carl Black’s story (in his new autobiography) that he was responsible for naming the band.
· Mike Keneally is reissuing his 1997 album Sluggo!, remixed in stereo & surround, in a variety of formats featuring a great deal of unreleased audio and video material. Grab one here: http://store.keneally.com/
· ZAPPATiKA they say: “With a little sadness, but very many great memories, we must report that our wonderful & talented violinist Annemarieke Schoonderwalt (Ke) will be getting off the bus very soon and will not enter 2014 as a member of ZAPPATiKA. This tough decision is based on various factors, but our parting is on the very best of terms and we wish her extreme wellness! We are currently completing some studio projects and these will be Ke’s last ‘official’ work as a band member though, of course, we never say never to her appearing out of the blue on stage with us in some corner of the globe in the future - Ke, we luvz ya!”
· Gary Steel reviews the orchestral premiere of 200 Motels: http://www.radionz.co.nz/concert/programmes/upbeat/audio/2575392/gary-steel-frank-zappa-review
· On 1 December 2012, Patrice ‘Candy’ Zappa and Nolan Porter played two benefit gigs with The Boogiemen in Ottawa to raise funds for prostate cancer research and treatment (in honour of Frank). Both sets were recorded for possible release. Anyone interested in hearing this, raise your hand now.
· My spies tell me the following are likely to play next year’s Jubilee Zappanale: LeBocal, Eric Svalgard’s School of Rock, the Muffin Men, Grandsheiks, Spanner Jazz Punks, The Magic Band, Tarentatec, Banned From Utopia and/or the Grand Mothers Of Invention, Harmonia Ensemble, Jazzprojekt Hundehagen, and Tony Levin/Pat Mastelotto. On the ‘wish list’ is Adrian Belew and the rest of The Crimson ProjeKCt. All still very much to be confirmed of course - and with other acts yet to be added. But looking pretty spiffy, innit?
· Inkanish Publications are pleased to announce that For Mother’s Sake, the epic, blockbuster of a memoir from the one and only ‘Indian of the Group’, the unforgettable Jimmy Carl Black, will be available from November 1st to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Jimmy’s sad demise. Copies can be purchased at the outrageous but reasonable price of $19.95 plus postage through CreateSpace.com as a print on demand service. Click here to purchase. Click here for a sneak preview. The ‘last written interview’ mentioned is of course here.
· Road Tapes Venue #2, shipping now: http://www.zappa.com/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi?flavor=archive;list=zappanews;id=20131031212721
· David Ocker has some great insights into the recent staging of 200 Motels on his Mixed Meters blog: http://mixedmeters.com/2013/10/frank-zappas-200-motels-suites.html
· The BBC are planning an adaptation of Pauline Butcher’s Freak Out! My Life With Frank Zappa for a Radio 4 afternoon play in 2014.
· New interview with Moon Zappa here: http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episodes/episode_434_-_moon_zappa (starts around the 17 minute mark). Among other things, she reveals that she is currently writing a book about her upbringing.
· The Arf Society will celebrate its 20th anniversary by hosting a Zappa Night. It takes place at Roadrunners in Berlin on 20 December, and will feature Jazzprojekt Hundehagen and The Grandsheiks, with Jim Cohen as MC.
· Mick Ekers: “I’m very pleased to be working with the Zappa Family Trust to make Zappa’s Gear an official ZFT book. Gail Zappa has approved the cover design. Watch the skies for an official announcement in the next few weeks.”
· My review of the UK premiere of 200 Motels is here. And Paul Carr’s “programme notes that never happened” here: http://paulcarrmusings.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/200-motels-the-programme-notes-that-never-happened/
· Ahmet on Twitter: “I’m conflicted about how I should feel about Lou Reed’s death. He was a great songwriter but also such an asshole to my father. I’m certain Frank never cared about what Lou Reed said about him, but as my father's son, Lou’s words put him on my permanent shit list.” Meanwhile at Zappa.com: http://www.zappa.com/whatsnew/ofconsequence/lou-reed/index.html
· Now available for free download from the BBC, ‘Freak Out – The Frank Zappa Story’: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/r4music/r4music_20131023-0800a.mp3
· This explains a lot: a ‘Zappa Year’ lasts more than 12 months...and note the careful wording re. Roxy: it simply says the 1973 concerts were filmed (fact) - no longer are they linking the movie’s completion to the ZPZ shows there http://www.msopr.com/press-releases/zappa-family-trust-will-close-out-2013-with-a-series-of-events-honoring-legendary-composer-frank-zappa/
· Hear GZ talk about 200 Motels on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-24649949
· Despite its rather naff cover - plus the fact that My Human Gets Me Blues, When It Blow's Its Stacks, Steal Softly Thru Snow and Alice In Blunderland will have appeared on all four Magic Band reunion CDs - this still sounds worthy of your attention: http://www.propermusic.com/product-details/The-Magic-Band-The-Magic-Band-Plays-The-Music-Of-Captain-Beefheart-158386
· The next Zappa Plays Zappa FOH album has been put back (yet again) - to January 2014; ditto the DWEEZILA ‘CD bundle’.
· The annual Chadfest will this year include a special Halloween performance by The Doc Chad All Dead Jazz And Pop All Stars, featuring (among others) Eugene Chadbourne as Jimmy Carl Black, Evan Gallagher as Thelonious Monk and Louie Pearlman as Cab Calloway. Wacky. Takes place at New York’s The Stone.
· Yay! The UK is also getting Diva Zappa for 200 Motels - but over here she’ll be playing Groupie 2 (Lucy). And but also: Tony Guilfoyle (accident-prone Father Larry Duff from the TV comedy Father Ted) will play Frank. Paul Carr has blogged some more about his programme notes for the event here: http://paulcarrmusings.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/zappa-zappa-zappa-zappa/ (I can reveal that the ‘someone else’ referred to is none other than Frank’s official biographer, the very agreeable Mr Alan Clayson). And here, GZ sez, “This score is more refined and it is actually very close, if not exact, to all the notes Frank actually wrote, in the order that he wrote them - and that’s what we’re presenting.” Initially this article said that, “Mrs. Zappa is advocating to include Lonesome Cowboy Burt as a tribute to Jimmy Carl Black.” But that got edited out pretty swiftly.
· The Norwegian Wind Ensemble (Det Norske Blåseensemble) will launch its new CD - The Brass From Utopia: A Frank Zappa Tribute - at three concerts in Oslo, Horten and Sarpsborg (see Diary). According to its Facebook page, “The release has been very well received by the Zappa family, who actually want it to be made available for sale both on the official website of theirs and when ZPZ is touring.” Great news.
· This from the LA Phil’s Facebook page: “A cast of renowned soloists and a band that includes Ian Underwood, Scott Thunes, Joe Travers and Jamie Kime will join us for the world premiere of the iconic musician’s 200 Motels. The performance will be the first complete realization of Zappa’s musical vision.” Joe will be joining Scott for the UK performance, too. Full band (and more) for US premiere here: http://laphil.com/200Motels
· What am I bid for this ‘Burnt Weenie (sic) Sandwich 1969/70 Film Production File’? http://www.ebay.com/itm/FRANK-ZAPPA-Burnt-Weenie-Sandwich-1969-70-Film-Production-File-/350892873650 Hurry, hurry - betting ends, November fifth.
· The Magic Band has a bespoke website once more: http://magicband.org/
· Here’s the trailer for Summer 82: When Zappa Came To Sicily: http://youtu.be/RCYjJvk7QbA. Hope they fix the sub-titles before it’s released.
· The cast for the US premiere of 200 Motels includes Mister Pamela Des Barres, Bob Fossil and Diva – see here. There will also be a presentation of the Drool, Britannia chapter from The Real FZ Book prior to the show.
· ZappaCast, Episode 14 is a special tribute to the late great George Duke. Listen up: http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2013-10-07T06_51_47-07_00
· LA singer/songwriter Holland Greco, who sang Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance on The FRANK ZAPPA aaafnraaaa Birthday Bundle, has her debut album Volume One released on Zappa Records next February. Read more here.
· Want to help Gary Steel finish his Zappa & Critical Thinking book, and save some chickens? Look here: https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/1439
· Read a nice little article on FZ – ‘American Composer’ - in Canada’s La Scena Musicale here: http://www.calameo.com/read/0002521967169d4ae26e8. Includes new interviews with Dweezil and Kent Nagano. Interesting that they should discuss Sinister Footwear; when I interviewed Kent 23 years ago (really?), he described it as “one of the best pieces that he’s written and it doesn’t exist in a recording...done with an orchestra”. Full interview at http://idiotbastard.com/Interviews/KentNagano.htm
· Dr Paul Carr reveals that he was asked to pen programme notes for the UK premiere of 200 Motels…and more: http://paulcarrmusings.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/back-to-blogging-more-zappa-i-am-afraid/
· Radio New Zealand will be exploring “the life and music of the incomparable Frank Zappa” on 16 October: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/comingup/2498996
· Some cast details for the UK premiere of 200 Motels later this month: Richard Strange (of proto-punk rock band The Doctors of Madness): narrator, Rance; Ian Shaw (Welsh jazz singer and stand-up comedian): Mark; Brendan Reilly (London-based American singer-songwriter): Howard; Sophia Brous (exotica diva/pop auteur): Groupie 1 (Janet); Bridget Christie (stand-up comedienne): Good Conscience, Donovan; Jay Rayner (food critic, son of Claire): Bad Conscience, Ginger; and Scott Carter Thunes (bass player/shit-disturber extraordinaire): Jeff…
· …and talking of Jeff, this just in from Howard Kaylan: “Hang onto your dentures, Zappa fans...the long-awaited Jeff Simmons NEW studio album is finally DONE! We're a mix away from your ear holes.”
· Dieter Jakob, who compiled the book Vinyl Is Not Dead - It Just Smells Funny: The Frank Zappa Singles, is currently helping put together a non-profit tome for the Arf Society, to help celebrate Zappanale’s silver jubilee next year. It will contain a collection of stories and pictures from those who’ve visited the festival over the last 25 years - including some reminiscences from yours truly. If you have any interesting photos from Zappanale’s #1 to #12, please get in touch with email@example.com.
· Carl King’s documentary, Morgan Ågren’s Conundrum: A Percussive Misadventure, is here!: http://vimeo.com/ondemand/morgan
· Hear Barbara Flaska talk about growing up with FZ in Claremont http://rockcritics.com/2013/09/29/zappa-10-interview-with-barbara-flaska/
· The GMOI’s gig @ UTB has been postponed until 1 March 2014. Ah well – at least The Magic Band are playing the Borderline before Christmas: http://mamacolive.com/theborderline/listings/upcoming-events/19028/the-magic-band/
· Cool Roxy & Elsewhere official z-shirt www.oldskoolhooligans.com/frank-zappa-t-shirt-roxy-elsewhere-100-official-us-import.html
· This from Michael Brenna: “Norway’s oldest orchestra, founded 1734, plays FZ at Janitsjarhuset, Sarpsborg, Norway on 26 October. They performed the same programme at Larvik’s Yellow Snow Festival in 2012. After sorting out copyright issues, The Blåseensemble [The Norwegian Wind Ensemble] has finally been allowed to release a CD with Zappa material – arranged by Stian Aareskjold. The album will hopefully be released in conjunction with the concert.” http://www.sa.no/kultur/article6830176.ece
· On 28 November, Dr Paul Carr presents The Theory Of Zappa at Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery. His guests will be Richard Hand and Evil Dick. The event is absolutely free, and ties-in with Geoffrey Farmer’s Let’s Make the Water Turn Black ‘sculpture play’ on display at the gallery. Read more: http://www.nottinghamcontemporary.org/event/theory-zappa
· Incredibly saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Glenn Leonard (former drummer with Project/Object, and more recently the mainman from Pojama People). It was nice that he clearly had so much fun at Zappanale in August, and I was hoping we’d meet up once more out in BD in a year or two. My thoughts are with his family and friends – especially his dear wife and musical partner, Alli Bach. RIP, Glenn.
· Anyone surprised that Roxy By Proxy has been delayed? Here’s the communiqué.
· Ignoring the fact that this includes live clips from the Royal Festival Hall in 1968, here’s an interesting video from Pamela Zarubica about the Mothers at the Royal Albert Hall in 1967: http://youtu.be/OIbZWUJwb6o
· Want one of the Captain’s doodles from the Bongo Fury tour? Go here.
· The WDR Sinfonieorchester is to premiere FZ’s Four Pieces for solo drummer and orchestra, arranged by Andrew Digby, Hubert Steiner (trombonist and guitarist respectively with the Ascolta Ensemble) and Ali N. Askin on 4 May next year in Cologne.
· Here’s a preview of rare episodes to come: Little Dots by those boys from Moo-ah, Gumbo Variation: http://gumbovariation.bandcamp.com/album/little-dots
· Smooth jazz keyboardist Jeff Lorber has a new album, Hacienda, featuring Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta and, on a cover of Frank’s King Kong, Jean-Luc Ponty and Ed Mann. Says Lorber, “It’s a song I’ve always loved. What you hear on the record is actually just a really quick arrangement that I put together, but a lot of stuff happened spontaneously in the studio that became part of the arrangement. It was almost an accident, but it came out great, and it became one of my favourite songs on the record when Jean-Luc Ponty, who also used to work with Frank Zappa, and Ed Mann, who was a member of the Mothers of Invention, both agreed to play on it.”
· Those who don’t follow me on Twitter (and why should you when you can now read my latest drunken tweetings above?) might be more inclined to do so on Facebook, where I sometimes post Zappa-related scoops before they appear anywhere else. www.facebook.com/idiotbastard
· As noted below, harpist Lou Anne Neill (Zoot Allures/Zappa In New York/Orchestral Favorites/QuAUDIOPHILIAc, etc.) is a member of the LA Philharmonic. I recently asked her if she would be involved in the forthcoming US premiere of 200 Motels at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on 23 October. This is what she told me: “I have known for about a month that there will be a harp part in 200 Motels. I picked up the part the other day. There are quite a few pages, so I will have some practicing to do. I was happy to see that it ‘looks’ nothing like The Black Page! The Philharmonic doesn't know that I was Frank’s harpist. A few years back, we played G-Spot Tornado on a Green Umbrella concert. John Adams conducted. It was so well received by the audience that we played it again. Never have seen that happen before on a LA Phil concert! Gail Zappa came to that concert and I enjoyed saying 'Hi' to her afterwards. At the time, I told John Adams about my infamous past. He seemed intrigued.”
· William Shatner, who previously worked with Adrian Belew (on 2004’s Has Been) has a new album out in October. Ponder The Mystery includes guest artists Steve Vai, George Duke and Zoot Horn Rollo, alongside Rick Wakeman, Al Di Meola, Robbie Krieger and Edgar Winter. Read more here.
· Interesting post re. Trevor Howell here. Anyone able to verify this? Sounds like he's no longer with us.
· Suddenly available: Chris Opperman’s Studio House EP featuring his ZFT-approved rendition of Blessed Relief, as well as contributions from Jordan Shapiro, Liz Cary and the mighty Marco Minnemann. Here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/chrisopperman3
· The Crimson ProjeKCt - featuring Tony Levin, Adrian Belew, Pat Mastelotto, Markus Reuter, Julie Slick and Tobias Ralph - are coming to Europe. First few dates in the Diary. Also in the Diary, Steve Wilson & Band (featuring Chad Wackerman) and (more) Aristocrats UK dates.
· Billy Connolly talks about FZ here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01g2ktz Wildly inaccurate in places, but never mind.
· Gary Lucas’ latest project ‘The World of Captain Beefheart’, featuring Nona Hendryx, will hit the road next year. Meantime, here's a clip of the gang performing When Big Joan Sets Up http://youtu.be/ZMILWDI4VB4 Gary will be in the UK in November, touring in support of his new book Touched By Grace – My Time With Jeff Buckley. (The event at the Purcell Room at London's Southbank Centre on 14 November promises “special surprise guests”.)
· When referring to Road Tapes, Venue #2 at the various Zappa fora, the Vaultmeister has made reference to “the shows”. Here’s why. I guess that means we’ll be getting something/everything from both performances. Yippee!
· In Episode 13 of the ZappaCast we chat awhile with Nigey Lennon and her long-time partner in crime, John Tabacco, about Reinventing The Wheel: Reinvented. There’s also a brief tribute to George Duke (Episode 14 will be a full-blown one). Check it out: http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2013-08-29T10_07_10-07_00
· Mr McFall’s Chamber will perform some Zappa (Echidna’s Arf/G-Spot Tornado) and Beefheart (Ice Rose/Suction Prints) in Scotland in September - see here http://www.mcfalls.co.uk/Gigs/Sep-2013-Tour
· The Magic Band will play the All Tomorrow’s Parties: End Of An Era Part 2 festival at Camber Sands on 1 December.
· Coming soon from Muffin Records: Tom Fowler’s Living Songbook Vol.1, featuring (among many others) Tom, Walt, Bruce, Steve and Ed Fowler, Albert Wing, Mike Miller, Alex Acuna, Vinnie Colaiuta, Ralph Humphrey and Chester Thompson.
· Terry Bozzio solo European tour dates now include the London Drum Show on 12 October: http://terrybozzio.com/tour-dates/
· On the Sunday before the UK premiere of 200 Motels at the Royal Festival Hall, GZ will be nattering about her husband: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/1960s-sunday-pass-74604 She will then introduce the concert itself on Tuesday 29 October. And here’s a little more on the LA Phil’s premiere the week before: http://variety.com/2013/music/features/zappas-100-motels-gets-disney-hall-close-up-1200590062/
· Ensemble Ascolta will play some of Frank’s Synclavier works at the Lucerne Festival, Switzerland on 6 September...and then again at the Stuttgart Liederhalle, Germany on 1 November.
· Dweezil now accepts that ZPZ is a tribute band: http://youtu.be/LePxOFWzDMQ
· Kevin Crosby of Pojama People has put together this nifty vid of the band’s trip to Bad Doberan in August: http://youtu.be/Vun4PQrYSkg
· Nice pro-shot video on the GrandMothers Of Invention in Budapest last April here: http://youtu.be/rFhHTb4MN8k
· A second Road Tapes will be “our next release”, says the ZFT (presumably before Roxy By Proxy then, which is scheduled for 20 September). ‘Venue 2’ is the Finlandia-talo in Helsinki. The concert took place on 23 August 1973 and featured the Piquantique-Mothers of FZ, Ponty, Duke, Humphrey, a couple of Underwoods and a pair of Fowlers. Yum! The tracklist is likely to be drawn from the following titles: Cosmik Debris, Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue, Kung Fu, Penguin In Bondage, RDNZL, Montana, Dupree's Paradise, Farther Oblivion, Village Of The Sun, Echidna's Arf, Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?, Brown Shoes Don't Make It, Mr Green Genes, King Kong, Chunga's Revenge, Be-Bop Tango, Dog Meat, RDNZL and maybe (hopefully!) T'Mershi Duween.
· Now available for download, They Saved Zappa’s Moustache, the full, official, re-mastered 38-track album sound collage mixed live on the air by Don Joyce and Phineas Narco in March 1995 on Negativland's KPFA radio show, Over The Edge: http://nationalcynical.bandcamp.com/album/they-saved-zappas-moustache
· A couple of bits of Beefheart news for ya: (i) the mono edition of Safe As Milk is being reissued by Sundazed Records (on vinyl and CD): http://www.sundazed.com/shop/safe-as-milk.php; and (ii) the long out-of-print book, Lunar Notes: Zoot Horn Rollo’s Captain Beefheart Experience by Bill Harkleroad with Billy James, is available once more - look here.
· German music promoter Fritz Rau has sadly passed away, aged 83.
· Lotta new dates in the Bastard’s Diary - Banned From Utopia touring the mainland in November (with Morgan Ågren on drums); the first gig by ZAPPATiKA with new bass player, Indian Joe; the Grand Sheiks & Bonnen; the amazing Aristocrats in Europe in Feb/Mar next year…
· Available now (at CDBaby and at iTunes), Timothy Carey presents The World’s Greatest Sinner (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by FZ. Coming soon on CD too, apparently (scroll to the foot of this page). You can also check it out on Spotify right now.
· The 24th album from Mike Keneally, You Must Be This Tall, will be released on 27 August 2013. It can be pre-ordered now at The Mike Keneally Store, complete with an instant mp3 or FLAC download and digital booklet. Go here: http://jamplify.com/dmf8Rd
· Nice one, Dweezil: “This video presentation was culled from our 2010 Los Angeles concert that featured a soulful guest performance from George Duke. I wanted to share a portion of that evening with everyone (prior to its official release) and respectfully pay tribute to George and offer a resounding thank you to him for all of his musical contributions in this world.” http://youtu.be/XIE57gCyKTM
· It seems highly likely that next year’s Zappanale – the 25th festival – will feature Banned From Utopia, the GrandMothers Of Invention and The Magic Band. Start making arrangements to be there now. I have. 17-20 July 2014, Bad Doberan. See you there.
· For those of us lucky enough to have seen Böller & Brot’s most excellent Jimmy Carl Black documentary, Where’s The Beer And When Do We Get Paid? (it was shown during the recent Zappanale), the gals tell me there will eventually be a DVD “with tons of bonus material”, and that there is an English sub-titled version. Yippee! Meantime, it will be shown in German cinemas next month and will premiere in the UK at the The Fifth JCB Memorial BBQ in November.
· Finally available on Kindle is my Zappa The Hard Way book. For you anoraks out there, there are no major changes from the physical renderings. The eBook does though include more photos from the limited edition hardbacks than the paperback version did (and in colour, should your reader allow it), the discography has also been updated, and a few more errors have been corrected (Pete Townsend – who were you?!)…oh, and I have added a very, very short piece on C. Everett Koop. But that’s it. Grab a copy here (UK) or here (US).
· Mike Keneally has posted ‘A Sampler’ for his brilliant next album, You Must Be This Small, on SoundCloud. While awaiting its official release, you can download two new excellent live EPs by Mike (either as mp3 or FLAC) for free via http://store.keneally.com/collections/free-downloads
· I understand the track played on the ‘In Memoriam Kongar-ol Ondar’ page at Zappa.com is Dance Me This’s last track, Calculus.
· Got back from a crackin’ Zappanale to be greeted with the very sad news about George Duke. He was being treated for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and passed away 12½ months after the death of his wife of over 40 years, Corine - also from cancer. Awful news. Nice that his passing has been commemorated at Zappa.com: http://www.zappa.com/whatsnew/ofconsequence/george-duke/index.html
· Kobalt Music Group (Kobalt) has concluded a worldwide agreement to administer the Zappa catalogue. Along with global copyright administration services, Kobalt will also represent the catalogue for synchronization in film, TV, games, and other media (https://www.kobaltmusic.com/page-news-detail.php?id=WN1421)
· Another slip-up by iTunes: Puttin’ On The Ritz - The Classic NYC Broadcast 1981 can be purchased from https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/puttin-on-the-ritz-live/id678917731 It’s the show with Al Di Meola. You can also check it out on Spotify.
· Back in black (at Rock Music Memorabilia): the ‘Not another boring old Knebworth’ FZ t-shirt: http://www.rockmusicmemorabilia.com/productdetails.php?catid=2&pid=29
· “Now available for pre-order at Barfko-Swill, ROXY BY PROXY! Presenting 75' 49" of musical mayhem and a voluminous booklet jacked with liner notes (no trivia here) by the redoubtable Ms Ruth Underwood. What’s on the CD? Never-before-released Frank Zappa master recordings from the Roxy Performances of 9 & 10 December 1973: Inca Roads, Penguin In Bondage, T’Mershi Duween, Dog/Meat, RDNZL, Cheepnis & Dupree’s Paradise, King Kong, Chunga’s Revenge.” And as if that weren’t enough, word on the street is that Madrid 88 is imminent…
· Here’s an article from The Times, in which Mrs Zappa hails her husband as “the HG Wells of rock’n’roll”: http://www.zappateers.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=280493#280493
· Eagle Rock is to issue Baby Snakes, The Dub Room Special and The Torture Never Stops as a 3-disc DVD set in October. You can pre-order here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00DVFI43G
· Tuvan throat singer Kongar-ol Ondar (who may or may not appear on Dance Me This, but certainly featured in the UMRK Salad Party ’93 footage) has sadly passed away. Ondar died after emergency surgery to treat a brain hemorrhage. He was only 51.
· Lengthy - yet interesting - blog from Dweezil: http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/posts/1968630-part-4-of-4 This is the final part of the blog he started last year to “give more insight into my mission statement” for Zappa Plays Zappa. (BTW, there’s a couple more November ZPZ dates in the Diary – Belgium, Estonia and Finland.)
· Geoffrey Farmer’s Let’s Make the Water Black art installation moves from Zurich (see below) to Nottingham in October. Read more: http://www.nottinghamcontemporary.org/art/geoffrey-farmer (Thanks, bespoke June!)
· Episode 12 - the request show - of ZappaCast is now available at http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2013-07-18T05_41_06-07_00 Thank you to all those who’ve told me how much they appreciate these podcasts – I seem to have had more feedback on these in the last few years than I’ve ever had regarding this here website in the last 12! But for both, it’s invariably positive, so mustn’t grumble.
· Well, well: Mike Keneally’s You Must Be This Tall was accidentally available briefly on GB iTunes, but now y’all gots to wait a little while longer. (It’s worth the wait, though ;-)
· John Etheridge and the Zappatistas play Soho’s PizzaExpress Jazz Club on 9 September.
· Nigey Lennon’s Reinventing The Wheel: Reinvented will be available for digital-download from Saturday 20 July, via the resurrected Muffin Records. It comprises the whole of the original RTW album - featuring Mike Keneally et al - plus three original demos from 1997 and a ‘slick’ studio version of Stolen Cadillac, the fab ‘Western Swing’ duet betwixt Jimmy Carl Black and Candy Zappa (sadly, Jimmy’s final recording). Oh, and cover art by one Don Van Vliet!
· An English language book made by a collector for fans and collectors, Vinyl Is Not Dead - It Just Smells Funny: The Frank Zappa Singles by Dieter Jakob can now be pre-ordered by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost is 110 Euros plus shipping (dependant on where you live). On more than 500 full coloured pages: every single, maxi and EP with contributions big and small by FZ. More than 3000 photos of the rarest test pressings, acetates, cover and label variations, a price guide, and a lot of other weird stuff. Features a preface by Jeff Simmons and Napoleon Murphy Brock, and a cover design by Cal Schenkel.
· Mick Ekers has completed his Zappa’s Gear book: “262 page high quality hardback, over 200 original photos, index and glossary, full colour throughout…I’m now waiting on a couple of things outside my direct control, but will be getting the first run to print as soon as humanly possible.” Hip-hip!
· Scott Thunes: “I am officially performing Bass Guitar (and hopefully more) at the live staging of 200 Motels at the Royal Festival Hall in London, 29 October 2013.”
· Steve Vai’s Story Of Light UK tour dates now in the Diary.
· Sing Like Frank Zappa (Karaoke Version) by La-Le-Lu, anyone?...come on - you know you want it: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sing-like-frank-zappa-karaoke/id667283640ZPZ’s Roxy & Elsewhere European dates now in the Diary. Meantime, the next FOH CD – a compilation from the last two tours – has been delayed until Summer.
· John ‘Drumbo’ French on Facebook: “Had a charming conversation with Gail Zappa, who assured me that The Magic Band was not going to have any problems with playing ‘The Music of Captain Beefheart.’ She said to tell you who are concerned that ‘We have an understanding.’ She gave me several reasons for the Trademark legalities. For instance, Frank wrote a movie script called Captain Beefheart Vs. The Grunt People, which is where Don actually got the name. Captain Glasspack And The Magic Mufflers was one of the names that Frank came up for a group that Don and Frank were going to have. Also, she owns the rights to two albums (BCP and TMR). Her main reason seems to be just what I thought: to nail people like Ozit who put out low quality crap to exploit the name. She also will relinquish ANYTHING to Jan Van Vliet that Jan would ever want, but she has shown absolutely no interest in anything. She also gave me some very sound advice about a couple of things I need to do business-wise and suggested a couple of money-making ideas to me that I had never thought of doing. She talks to me like I’m her kid brother, and I love her like a sister, so that’s it. I think if I were to actually have focused on the business end of this industry as she has done, people would be demonizing me too. It’s very cut throat, and Gail just decided to cut back. Good for her.” And here’s some related reading: http://webtm.com/can-gail-zappa-stop-anyone-from-using-the-name-captain-beefheart/
· The Financial Times’s Peter Aspden asks why FZ is being embraced by the classical community 20 years after his death: http://video.ft.com/v/2490893100001/Frank-Zappa-s-classical-comeback
· What would Ike Willis like to see at Zappanale that hasn't happened yet? “More opportunities for serious discussion of the huge impact FZ has had on America”. And so, there may be a ‘huge semi-academic/aesthetic conference’ in two years - for the 75th anniversary of Frank’s birth.
· Boulevard Entertainment is releasing 200 Motels on DVD on 1 July (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00D2S7FYQ). I first asked director Tony Palmer if this might be the same as the version he issued in 2010; his response, “Your guess is as good as mine. There are endless versions of the film, unfortunately.” So next I asked Boulevard, who confirmed that it is indeed a re-release of the ‘Palmer’ version (“we are running off his master”). Despite this confusion, this is the cheapest the DVD has ever been sold for in the UK.
· Here’s my review of the new Lex Bronkowitz Orchestra album: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#LBO
· Last year, Mrs Zappa trademarked the name ‘Captain Beefheart’ - for reasons unknown (she apparently has until 18 December to clarify) – see here: http://www.trademarkia.com/captain-beefheart-85695177.html What’s interesting is, you can search that site for trademarks belonging to the ZFT and find a bunch – both dead and live - but ‘Zappa Family Trust’ itself does not appear to have been taken. Anyone got a spare $159?
· Here’s a Press Release about the GrandMothers Of Invention’s imminent One Size Fits All and more US tour (with new guitarist, Max Kutner): www.idiotbastard.com/News/PressRelease1.htm Tom Fowler has meantime stated that he “will not be appearing with [these] rip-off artists any time soon”. Oh dear.
· The Adventures Of Dr. Mumbai features Marco Minnemann, Arthur Barrow, Aaron Arntz, Scheila Gonzalez, Bryan Beller, Pete Griffin, Dweezil Zappa, Billy Hulting and many more. Check it out at http://www.drmumbai.com/
· Keep On Keepin’ On: A Short Film About Soul features Nolan Porter - check this: http://www.leecogswell.co.uk/
· Here’s a short film about Nigey Lennon’s Reinventing The Wheel (due to be reissued shortly): http://youtu.be/CErPF5v-d_4
· The Muffin Men power quartet is hitting the road again in the second half of 2013 – three UK dates in the Diary so far. If you want them to play near you and know a local promoter or theatre manager, why not have a word in their lugholes and put them in touch with the lads? Here’s my review of the last time I saw the Fab Four (in April): http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#Gigs
· Here’s Gail on Roxy By Proxy and more: http://therumpus.net/2013/06/swinging-modern-sounds-45-the-distribution-problem-part-one/ ...and there’s a little more-a at http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/re-roxyminusdistribution/
· Here's an article about Freak Out! being remastered for vinyl at Bernie Grundman’s http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=165076 When Gail says, “We don't need to re-write history and reinvent Frank Zappa for today,” I can confirm that Paul Buff has been reinstated on the ‘contributors’ list (he was omitted from the 2012 UMe reissue) and that it includes the ‘hot spots’ map. I’m not sure what that statement says about ZPZ, though.) And here’s Freak Out! being pressed at Furnace Records: http://youtu.be/HYGrkxFspZg
· Adrian Belew is no longer part of NIN’s 2013 tour: “It didn't work,” he says.
· The Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival features Ensemble Modern playing some Yellow Shark and Greggery Peccary (at the Sentrum Scene on 5 September - http://ultima.no/#/program/05-09/apningskonsert-ensemble-modern-spiller-zappa) and the Oslo Philharmonic performing Sad Jane (at Oslo Konserthus on 13 September - http://ultima.no/#/program/13-09/gartiskonsert-med-oslo-filharmonien-zappa-ives-grenager - a free gig, that one). EM will repeat its performance at the Tinning Plant of ArcelorMittal, Krakau, Poland on 21 September.
· This week, Bologna remembers FZ with a concert by the Harmonia Ensemble. Things will continue in September with a photo exhibition and the showing of the 1982: The Summer Of Frank documentary (see below). The Idiot understands Mrs Z will be participating. Try and read more here.
· There’s a new eBook: Frank Zappa Buying Guide by Rev. Keith A. Gordon. This from the introduction: “…let’s be honest, though, shall we? Frank Zappa was also frequently a real prick…” ZFT approved? Probably not.
· ZappaCast, FUCK YEAH! Coming again, to save the mother-fucking-day yeah. In Episode Eleven, the fab four illustrate the greatness of the Bongo Fury album with a huge slab of live performances. Get in! http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2013-05-29T09_09_52-07_00
· This year’s Jimmy Carl Black Memorial BBQ takes place at Liverpool’s Capstone Theatre on 2 November. It commemorates five years since the passing of ‘The Indian Of The Group’, and features the UK premiere of the Where’s The Beer And When Do We Get Paid documentary (www.wheresthebeer.de), together with a musical performance by the JCB Memorial BBQ Band (that is: Carlo, Martin, Friz & Tilo). Just a tenner to get in. (There's a chance the BBQ may come darn sarf, so keep ’em peeled.)
· Some of you older readers may recall that the early days of this Idiot Bastard website had an IBS midi file play when you logged onto the home page. That file was supplied by one Kevin Crosby of The Squirrels. After many years of not meeting, the Idiot will finally get to high-five Master Crosby at Zappanale, where he’s playing bass guitar with Pojama People. In what spare time Kevin has, he also performs with The Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra (aka the ZERO Trio), playing stripped down rearrangements of early Frankie.
· Hopefully Thorsten Schütte’s documentary, Zapped, will actually be shown this year during the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (20 November to 1 December): http://www.idfa.nl/industry/tags/project.aspx?id=AED4277D-6C91-49AF-A23C-9E1A01C8BFD0. (Last year, it wasn’t.)
· If you’re anywhere near Zurich in the next three months, you should check out an improvised chronology of Frank in choreographed sculptures by Geoffrey Farmer. Why not, chief? Read all about Let’s Make The Water Turn Black here.
· The Crimson ProjeKCt now has two live in Tokyo, March 2013 official bootleg digital albums available. Check 'em out: http://iapetus-store.com/album/live-in-tokyo-march-16-2013
· My review of the latest batch of Unmatched CDs from Hall Of Fame Records can be viewed here: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#Unmatched
· Watch Cal Schenkel talk about the Uncle Meat album cover: http://youtu.be/sjopXMhEb0E
· Check out Gumbo Variation, live in the studio without a net http://youtu.be/n_1TphR6dsw
· In his recent blog about the ‘new guy’, drummer Ryan Brown, Dweezil mentioned a track they’d recorded for a DWEEZILA project. This imminent ‘CD bundle’ will feature original music by ‘Guest Guitarists’ Tom Quayle, Chris Buono, Derryl Gabel, Oz Noy, David Wallimann, James Santiago and Matt Piccone.
· The Arf! Arf! Arf! Zappa Weekend takes place at De Singel in Antwerp on 21/22 March 2014. It will feature Capt. Cheesebeard & the 7 Sisters Of Prevention, The Wrong Object and The Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra performing Zappa & Varèse - with special guest Robert Martin.
· Help I’m A Rock/It Can’t Happen Here and Who Are The Brain Police? (two versions) are being released together as a 12" single on Red Vinyl to celebrate Mother’s Day. In July! Cover art by Noel Fielding. Pre-order, if you want.
· Bass player Antoine Fafard’s second album, Occultus Tramitis, features Terry Bozzio and Chad Wakerman (as well as a host of other special guests). Listen to snippets at www.antoinefafard.com
· Drummer Joe Travers has left ZPZ and will be replaced by Ryan Brown on the upcoming Roxy & Elsewhere 40th Anniversary Tour. Joe assures me he will continue in his most excellent Vaultmeistering role with the ZFT, and is also looking forward to more musical adventures elsewhere. Dweezil has now blogged about the change.
· Gibson has now formally launched the ‘Roxy’ SG: http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/SG/Gibson-USA/Frank-Zappa-Roxy-SG.aspx
· The GrandMothers Of Invention are playing some European dates either side of their appearance at Zappa Union in November – including one in London! See the Bastard’s Diary for more.
· ZPZ are setting up shop at The Roxy in December 2013. But first they will tour the US, Canada, and Europe (from September to November) performing the entire Roxy & Elsewhere album in sequence. The Roxy stint (7-9 December) will mark 40 years to the date of the original shows (see http://theroxyonsunset.com/?p=9421 for more. US & Canada dates here).
· The May issue of French music magazine, Muziq, included a 16-page article on FZ by Guy Darol.
· Hey, I didn't realise that Quarteto Nuevo, the band that features Grandmother Chris Garcia, included a rendition of T’Mershi Duween on their second, self-titled album. Track it down.
· The ZFT has formally announced the release of three FZ albums on vinyl: Finer Moments (out now), with Freak Out! and Over-Nite Sensation to follow in June.
· Check out this great video of the BIT20 Ensemble playing a bit of Zappa and Varèse: https://vimeo.com/63818800
· You can now register your interest in For Mother’s Sake – Jimmy Carl Black’s autobiographical memoirs and recollections - and receive updates via email, here.
· “The following Bath and Knebworth Frank Zappa/Captain Beefheart combined set has increased in size, but not price and is only available to www.idiotbastard.com visitors. As well as the programmes, tickets and flyers from the 1970 Bath and Knebworth festivals it contains 12 CDs, three DVDs, a T-shirt from the 1978 Frank Zappa Knebworth festival and the Captain Beefheart festival, two posters from the 1970 Bath festival and the 1975 Captain Beefheart Knebworth festival, plus 20 photos of both Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart festivals. The total price is £59.99 and anyone interested should email email@example.com for further details. As it is a special offer to Andrew’s site visitors only, it has not been added to the main website www.rockmusicmemorabilia.com”
· GZ sez “Uncle Meat is next” project/object audio documentary, “but can’t say when.”
· Here’s my review of Tom Brown’s wondrous Confessions Of A ZAPPA Fanatic book: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#TomBrown
· …and here’s my thoughts on Howard Kaylan’s splendid autobiography, Shell Shocked: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#Howard
· This just in from George Duke: “For you fusion fans, I must let you know that I've finally found the time to work on the tracks from the original Billy Cobham/George Duke band featuring Al Johnson on bass and John Scofield on guitar. Not having heard this band and music in a long time I must tell you the playing is pretty amazing! I think I'll be able to release two volumes of music from these recordings so watch out for the first release sometime early next year! By the way, I have a new CD DreamWeaver to be released July 16th.”
· On 26 April, Hall Of Fame Records released two new volumes in “the infamous Unmatched series. And one of them is a double-CD! First, a very personal view of the FZ world in the hands of the renowned avant-garde, experimental and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire A.L. Guillén. Can you imagine The Residents performing FZ music? Well, forget it, it's nothing to do with that. Or perhaps it has. Truth is, we have no idea how to describe it, but we love it!. And secondly, a much anticipated new studio release by Caballero Reynaldo & The Grand Kazoo, where the full band performs the Ruben & The Jets album in its entirety in an effort entitled Marieta y los Jetas ("Jeta" meaning "cheeky" in slang), all in the Spanish language. This is a project that started as a Reynaldo solo effort and that eventually became a ridiculously big and expensive one, so we decided to release the original Reynaldo tracks as the second part of this volume, all performed by Luis G. in his marvelous Spanglish language. Both volumes will be available as digital downloads (as three separate records at unmatched.bandcamp.com) and as two CDs on our website.”
· Muffin Records Productions USA are reissuing Nigey Lennon’s Reinventing The Wheel album, with a bonus track. (For those who don’t know, the album features guest appearances by the likes of Mike Keneally, David Walley and top Donald Fagen impersonator and all-round good guy, John Tabacco!) But before then, they will release a very special and exclusive track by Nigey featuring Jimmy Carl Black’s very last recording. Stolen Cadillac is a Western Swing which Nigey and Candy Zappa premiered at Zappanale #13 in 2002. The studio recording features Jimmy and Candy on vocals, Laura Kass on fiddle, Paul Lacques on guitar, Jay Rozen on tuba and of course Nigey (rhythm tracks, programming, mixing).
· Touched By Grace - My Time With Jeff Buckley, the book by Gary Lucas which appeared last year in Italy, will be published in English by Jawbone in the UK and US this September. Drumbo’s Through The Eyes Of Magic will also be issued in paperback (and on Kindle) later this year.
· Bonhams is auctioning an original FZ painting, from 1961. It depicts a pair of brass instruments and is entitled (*cough*) Horny. Bid: http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20984/lot/3450/#.UVy0FQygvRw
· Shhh! Don’t tell the Barfies that Trout Mask Replica had been available on CD for years (only very recently becoming OOP); they’re reissuing it on Zappa Records! I understand that, like the recent UMe Zappa releases, it’s sourced from the original tapes and sounds fab but is otherwise a straight vanilla release (ie. no bonus material). In other related news, the iTunes version of last year’s Bat Chain Puller replaces the alternate rendition of Hobo-ism by Donnie & Denny with the more widely known bootlegged version. How queer…yet how cool!
· And another new album from Mike Keneally: You Must Be This Tall will be released in August. Sounds like a sort-of sequel to Parallel Universe! Check it out. (BTW, Wing Beat Elastic is not just a download thang – info updated below.)
· Unfortunately, there will be no Mosae Zappa in 2013.
· Check out Gumbo Variation’s Festival Moo-ah video diary here: http://youtu.be/Oxe0la4l9go
· Suddenly available: Wing Beat Elastic: Remixes, Demos & Unheard Music by Mike Keneally…and Andy Partridge, who appears on some of the demos. Get yours here http://store.keneally.com/products/mike-keneally-wing-beat-elastic-remixes-demos-unheard-music
· My On Broadway: Covers Of Invention CD of Zappa-inspired covers of the songs Frank covered on the Broadway The Hard Way tour (all fully documented in my Zappa The Hard Way book, soon to be obtainable as an eBook – yes, really) is now available from CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/onbroadwaycoversofinvent
· You can now buy you a copy of the Gibson Frank Zappa Roxy SG – but hurry, it’s a limited edition: http://www.thomann.de/gb/gibson_frank_zappa_roxy_sg.htm
· “After a four year stint as the hard working bassist in ZAPPATiKA, Ingo ‘The Kid’ Oosterbaan (23) will play his last show with the band on 8 June in Stockholm when ZAPPATiKA perform at violinist Ke’s wedding. The Kid is now deeply involved in music studies and has his eye on some new projects, so - with no animosity, but a little sadness - ZAPPATiKA will bid him farewell. Auditions for the new bass player begin this weekend (23 March) and the band already has a few very good potential new recruits lined up to show their skills in the rehearsal rooms. The successful applicant will be announced as soon as a final decision has been made!”
· Mmmm...sacrelicious: http://www.rhreport.net/current.html
· Eagle Rock Entertainment and the ZFT are pleased to announce the first official DVD release of A Token Of His Extreme. It features stereo mixes produced by FZ with Kerry McNabb in 1974, mastered by Bob Ludwig in 2009. Pre-order now.
· Wanna read a ‘special guest review’ of the new Zappa And The And book - by Ben Watson? Go here first: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#Books To find out more about the tome, visit: http://www.facebook.com/FrankZappaAndTheAnd
· Check out the revamped www.jimmycarlblack.com
· A new ZappaCast is upon us. In Episode 10, we discuss the mighty One Size Fits All album, and then Mick Ekers takes a close peek at the Roxy SG.
· A little after the event, but never mind: grab your Festival Moo-ah! t-shirts here: http://tps.indigo-tshirt.co.uk/designer/working_copy/1028413443, and read my diary at http://idiotbastard.com/Reviews/MooAh2013.htm
· Here’s the latest spoo on Roxy By Proxy. This doesn’t actually tell us when the soundtrack/prequel will be available to us mere mortals, but that’s no real surprise.
· The Orchestre Symphnique de Montréal, conducted by Kent Nagano, will perform Bogus Pomp at the Maison symphonique de Montréal on 26 October 2013.
· Ensemble musikFabrik are to play a tribute to FZ at the Edinburgh International Festival on 28 August. The programme will include a performance of Varèse’s Ionisation. Details here: http://www.eif.co.uk/musikfabrik
· The Crimson ProjeKCt (featuring Adrian Belew, Tony Levin and Julie Slick) has a new Official Bootleg Live 2012 album out. Buy one!
· The Vegetarians’ song, Titles (a sort of tribute to FZ), is available on SoundCloud – as a free download – at http://soundcloud.com/femailpongo-1/titles-by-the-vegetarians For a little background on this piece, see what GZ sed. Also new on SoundCloud is Buzzo’s track from the excellent On Broadway CD – The Closer You Are.
· Zappa fanatic Tom Brown recorded the ‘ultimate Zappa show’ with his pal Bennett Theissen last week. Check her out at http://chillroom.podomatic.com/entry/2013-03-10T21_02_11-07_00
· Pamela Zarubica remembers ‘H’, Jimi Hendrix's roadie: http://youtu.be/QPKi7XntdMs
· Pauline Bird remembers Frank (BBC World Service interview): http://youtu.be/vnpLipibl9M
· Professor Mick Ekers has posted a snap of the teenage Frank’s piccolo snare drum, possibly the one he composed Mice (http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/songs/Mice.html) on. Have a look. Mick says progress on his Zappa’s Gear book is going well and he’s “still on track for being in print in May!” Yippee!
· Now - the week before the UK premiere, at London’s Royal Festival Hall - comes the world premiere of the “complete orchestral version” of 200 Motels. Read it and weep: http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/1549891/frank-zappas-200-motels-gets-orchestral-world-premiere Of interest is the fact that harpist Lou Anne Neill is a member of the LA Philharmonic. Coincidentally, Lou Anne is giving a harp masterclass at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama near London’s Barbican on 15 March.
· New CD with Ike WIllis, Ed Mann, Arthur Barrow and Tommy Mars - be part of it: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/299472
· Zappa In France is celebrating its tenth anniversary with music (from Pierrejean Gaucher) and chat: http://studioh.free.fr/EMAL/ZIF_500px.jpg
· Record Store Day 2013 (20 April) sees the release of another Zappa/MOI 7" (on slime green vinyl): I’m the Slime b/w Montana: “remastered from original analog source, Montana is a 2013 single edit with an additional 25 seconds of music.” [Thanks for that, Mr Bean.]
· Joe Satriani’s album, Unstoppable Momentum features a studio band comprised of “Mike Keneally on keyboards, Chris Chaney on bass and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums. The chemistry between these awesome players was fantastic, and we blazed through all the tracks with everyone laying down amazing performances.” His Euro touring band to support the album will consist of “Mike Keneally on keys and guitar, Bryan Beller on bass, and Marco Minnemann on drums. I’m so excited about tearing it up on stage with this new band! See you out there on tour...” UK dates in the Bastard’s Diary.
· Ahmet Zappa has a new book, Because I’m Your Dad, out. “I wrote this book for anyone who is a father, has a father, or hopes to someday be a father,” he tweets.
· Guitarist Todd Grubbs, who has contributed to all three of the Idiot Bastard's FZ tribute CDs for Cordelia Records, has a new Best Of The Guests compilation album out. It features his collaborations with Mike Keneally, Don Preston, Jerry Outlaw, Blues Saraceno, Derek Sherinian and others, plus a brand new bonus track featuring Bryan Beller. Check her oot: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/toddgrubbs6
· Work is progressing on the German translation of Jimmy Carl Black’s memoirs...more soon.
· Martin Herraiz’s contribution to On Broadway: Covers Of Invention (Twelve Scenes From A Concerto – freely based on the Allegretto from Béla Bartók’s 3rd piano concerto) can now be heard in all its magnificent splendour on SoundCloud.
· Eddie Jobson: “I wanted to express my excitement for the upcoming ‘Four Decades’ tour, which is coming together really well. I think this will be my strongest solo/U-Z Project tour to date; the first-time-ever performances of the Green Album material are worth the price of admission alone, and the band is incredible. There will be tracks from Curved Air, Roxy Music, and Zappa; Theme of Secrets; Radiation; U.K. and more, a full 40 years of recording squeezed into 2 hours. The Master Class will explain some of the background about my 50 years of compositions, and about understanding music in general - what it is, why it works, and why my fan-base in particular is unified as a community. I am also planning to add video and lighting to the show that I have not previously been able to extend the budget to accommodate. This is a complete, one-time-only, retrospective of my entire career to date. I hope you will not miss it.” See www.eddiejobsontour.com for dates and more.
· Sony Pictures plans to turn Ahmet Zappa’s conceptual reinterpretation of Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist into a feature film called Dodge & Twist. Set 20 years after the events of the classic novel, Dodge & Twist finds Oliver Twist and the Artful Dodger at odds with one another as Oliver, now a police officer, tries to prevent the Dodger from a plan to steal the Crown Jewels.
· Suddenly available from Cordelia Records, in time to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Frank’s final tour, On Broadway: Covers Of Invention – a sort-of sister CD companion to my Zappa The Hard Way book. 15 of the world’s finest Zappa influenced artists toy with the tunes that Frank covered in '88. Click the cover above to order a copy (and why not check out the ‘4 for 3’ deal if you haven’t got the previous CDs in the series). Look here for full details. The album will be available from CD Baby - and also downloadable from iTunes - in the next couple of weeks.
· As well his memoirs, 2013 will see the release of a documentary on Jimmy Carl Black. Titled Where’s The Beer And When Do We Get Paid?, you can see more at http://www.wheresthebeer.de/
· During his stint with Duran Duran, Warren Cuccurullo worked on a side-project with keyboardist Nick Rhodes entitled TV Mania: Bored With Prozac And The Internet? An album is finally being released, in a variety of funky formats, on 11 March. Here’s a little more-a.
· Steven Wilson’s tour band features two thirds of The Aristocrats. However, drummer Marco Minnemann is unable to join the band on the North/South American leg of the current tour. Says Steven, “Sorry as I am to not have Marco for the whole tour, I’m very happy to announce that Chad Wackerman will be taking over the drum stool for these shows. Chad is perhaps best known for being Frank Zappa’s drummer for 7 years in the eighties, until Zappa’s retirement from live performance, but he is also a composer and band leader in his own right, and has performed with many other high profile artists. Needless to say Chad is an extraordinary musician who will bring his own talents and unique style to the SW band.”
· Dr Paul Carr’s Zappa And The And - “a collection of essays, documented by an international and interdisciplinary array of scholars” - is finally out this month. See here for more: http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409433378
· A new ANT-BEE video for the song Flutter-Bye, Butter-Flye, from his Electronic Church Muzik CD, can be seen here. The video was created by Victor Cristean, who does film and videowork for Jon Anderson. The song was written by Billy James and Michael Bruce. The very first ANT-BEE album, Pure Electric Honey, originally released in 1990 and featuring Bob & Suzannah Harris, will be reissued at the end of February by GONZO MultiMedia. This remastered CD will also include demos from 1987.
· Dweezil has announced “a special presentation planned for the fall.” Yes, ZPZ will be playing the Beacon Theater in New Work on Halloween (two days after 200 Motels at London’s Royal Festival Hall).
· My friend Andrew Taylor just bought the book Information Graphics, published by Taschen, and was surprised to find a fold-out timeline based on the life of our Frank by artist Ward Shelley. You can view its flawed magnificence here: http://www.wardshelley.com/paintings/pages/zappa.html
· Denny Walley says on Facebook that he’s “been busy getting ready for the Magic Band tour of UK in March. Adding some exciting and challenging material to our ever growing repertoire. Am also putting the finishing touches on six of my songs I recorded in Liverpool with my great friends, the Muffin Men! Last, but not least, I'll be doing a wee guest appearance with ZPZ tonight [29 January 2013] at the Variety Theatre here in Atlanta!”
· You can watch the short documentary, Ride For Your Life, about former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer Mike (later Michelle) Duff here: http://www.nfb.ca/film/ride_for_your_life. The improvised soundtrack music is performed by the Mothers Of Invention, recorded at the National Film Board of Canada’s studios in Monteal in January 1967. The first I knew of this was when I read about it in Billy James’ Necessity Is…The Early Years Of Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention in 2001.
· The Muffin Men have posted the second and last of their ‘rough edit’ Lost Episodes on YouTube: http://youtu.be/8vYYRtfitoA
· Jeff Simmons’ “new pop-psych record, co-produced by Howard Kaylan, comes out in April.” Jeff tells me, “this is a vinyl event.”
· The UK premiere of the 200 Motels score will be performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, members of the Southbank Sinfonia, London Voices and a large cast of rock musicians, actors and singers – all conducted by Jurjen Hempel as part of The Rest Is Noise festival at London’s Royal Festival Hall on 29 October 2013. With Hempel and soprano Claron McFadden involved, it sounds like a re-run of the 2000 Holland Festival performance. Sadly, though, no Mats & Morgan this time. Read more about it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21061287 (and also now at the Southbank site: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/frank-zappas-200-motels-71696)
· A few things over at Zappa.com that may have escaped your notice: the ‘Zappa Records’ page has finally been updated and now includes the VAULTernative stuff; Bat Chain Puller is now up on iTunes; and the Black Friday Big Leg Emma/Why Don’tcha Do Me Right? 45 can be bought from Barfko-Swill. Meantime, neither the ‘AAAFNRAA’ or the ‘Music Is The Best/official discography’ pages yet include Official Release #95 (that’s 2012 AAAFNRAA: Baby Snakes - The Soundtrack, for those of you who may not know); and “all those Enthusiastic ZAPPA Fans throughout the known Universe without a U.S. Passport” are still waiting to be given the updated info promised re. Roxy By Proxy.
· Check out Perry Ostin’s interview with Grandmothers drummer Chris Garcia here – lots of cool stuff about their teacher and Zappa alum percussionist John Bergamo, playing with the Grannies and other fun FZ tales. (Yay! The Grannies are coming back to Europe in April – see the Bastard’s Diary for some of the dates.)
· Someone at Zappateers wanted “a list of all officially released Zappa albums containing the 88 band”, so I posted this updated extract from my Zappa The Hard Way book: http://www.idiotbastard.com/FZ88discography.htm
· The wondrous Captain Beefheart Radio Station has been revamped to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of DVV’s birth (www.beefheart.com).
· The Muffin Men present Muffinz Moovies - The Lost Episodes 1: On The Road With Jimmy Carl Black 2007: http://youtu.be/bgDUl9urVH8
· The MOI’s version of Handsome Cabin Boy appears on a new compilation called Son Of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys - a collection of traditional sea-faring tunes, performed by some of rock’s biggest names. More here: http://www.anti.com/press/hal-willner-productions-presents/
· Ship ahoy! Check out Dweezil’s rig rundown with Premier Guitar: http://youtu.be/Rvok4jEH4hE
· So I met this guy on the Zappa Forum, and he’s real nice. Too! http://packardgoose.ploeg.ws/interactive/forums/Files/viewthread.php?tid=355&page=124#pid15358
· The Almost Three cover FZ’s Sleep Dirt on their new album, Big Muff, while Joce Mienniel takes a stab at Big Swifty on Paris Short Stories (Saison 1).
· This somehow slipped under the radar: The Smith Tapes: Collection #1 - Fillmore East features a near hour-long FZ interview by journalist (and WPLJ host!) Howard Smith, recorded on 6 June 1971. Available now from AmazonMP3 and iTunes. You can listen to a sample on SoundCloud, and there will also be a CD version (see here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1931493310/the-smith-tapes-box-set).
· Possibly the last ever issue of The Rondo Hatton Report is now up at http://www.rhreport.net/current.html. It includes a timely/prescient/apt (delete as appropriate) - what with my On Broadway CD almost upon us - paper on ‘The Best Covers You Never Heard’.
· Following his heart attack and subsequent coma, original Soul Giant and Mother Ray Collins very sadly passed away on Christmas Eve. His good friend, Denny Walley, said: “Ray was one of the founding members of Geronimo Black. We did a demo recording at Devonshire Recording Studio in the San Fernando valley, CA that led to us getting a recording contract with UNI records. Ray’s impromptu lyrics of the recording of Mayonnaise Mountain clinched the deal! Ray had very strong feelings about ecology, in fact he once quit Geronimo Black because Tjay threw a fast food wrapper out of the car window! He said he couldn't be associated with anyone that would do something like that! He will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.” RIP, Baby Ray.
· Jimmy Carl Black’s son Tom says: “The editing of Jimmy’s memoirs – For Mother’s Sake – is complete. At the end of July, it was announced that editing of the first part, from his birth up until the end of the original Mothers, was complete. We were canvassing support and opinion then on whether to print just this first part, or to continue the editing process as far as possible. Opinion was divided. Now, we would like to announce that the editing process for the complete “memoirs” is almost finished and that we will be looking for a publisher in the New Year. Jimmy would have been 75 on 1st February next year. We hope the book will become available in English by the spring, with a German edition to follow in the fall. Also, an updated jimmycarlblack.com website will come online shortly. We intend to keep all fans informed through the new site. Please keep checking. JCB’s music will also become available again through the updated website, in due course.”
· We asked Simon Prentis - the semantic scrutinizer - if he could translate ‘Moo-ah’ into Japanese for us. This is what he said: “First off, can we agree that it is actually pronounced ‘moo-air’? I say this because to make it work we’re going to have to choose a combination of characters that comes out close to the pronunciation we’re looking for. Rather than use the Japanese phonetic alphabet, which simply tells you what noise to make with your mouth, it’s going to be more fun to choose characters which are pronounced ‘moo-air’ but also have a meaning because they are characters (even though, and this is the point, it’s a combination that doesn’t yet exist in the Japanese lexicon, just as ‘moo-ah’ doesn’t exist in English outside of Zappaland.) If we go with ‘mu-a’ the possibilities are limited. However, ‘mu-e’ (pronounced ‘moo-air’) allows more choice, so I’m going to go for that. The combination I’ve chosen can be twisted to mean ‘fantasy image’ (literally ‘dream picture’) which is appropriot given the original context in Be In My Video. I think Uncle Frank would approve.” You can see the result of all this on the Festival Moo-ah! Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/FestivalMooAh
· Steve Vai writes: “At this time I’m hunkering down for the next 5 months to compose music for a ‘Stravinsky Festival’ that will take place in May 2013 in Holland. In June, we are looking at 10 or so dates in Europe with ‘The Evolution Orchestra’. Then for the rest of the year I am looking forward to taking the ‘Story of Light Band’ back out to perform anyplace around the world we have missed. More details on all this to come.”
· What kind of fuckery is this? I know that others have done it recently (eg. Peter Gabriel and Black Country Communion), but now the ZFT has joined in and released the entire soundtrack to the Baby Snakes movie as is – chat an’ all – as this year’s AAAFNRAA Birthday Bundle. A snip at £29.99? No, not really: at least when others did it (eg. Led Zeppelin, The Aristocrats) it came as part of a reasonably priced bundle – and the aforementioned Gabriel and BCC albums, together with their DVD counterparts, can be bought together for less than the Baby Snakes download alone. It’s even worse than when they tried to sell Zappa ringtones (remember those?) – does the ZFT not appreciate how technology has moved on in the last 20 years?
· Long-time FZ fan Tom Brown, the guy who compiled the first two Beat The Boots sets for Rhino, has followed-up his Summer Of Love, My Ass! book with Confessions Of A ZAPPA Fanatic. Comes fully endorsed by the author of Zappa the Hard Way! Buy it here: http://spbpublishing.webs.com/apps/webstore/products/show/3569180
· Pauline Butcher is posting excerpts from her never-before-broadcast interview with Frank in 1988 on YouTube: Part One (on children, parenting and AIDS); Part Two (composing); Part Three (TV evangelism) and Part Four (Jazz Discharge Party Hats).
· For the past year, the Zappa family has been working with director Salvo Cuccia on a documentary that focuses on Frank’s one and only trip to Sicily, birthplace of his grandfather. Dweezil and Diva visited last year, and recently they went again with Gail and Moon. Here’s a brief clip covering their first trip.
· Ascolta Plays Zappa again – in September 2013, at the Lucerne Festival. This will include “newly transcribed Synclavier music”.
· Finer Moments is being released by Universal on 18 December (or earlier!?), and you can now pre-order the CD from Amazon and elsewhere. A vinyl version is also in the works (probably out in February, according to the Vaultmeister). Läther, with its new cover, can also be pre-ordered from Amazon.
· Arthur Barrow and Tommy Mars have been part of the Robby Kreiger Band for a while now, but in mid-December they will be joined by Chad Wackerman on drums. Dates at http://www.chadwackerman.com/dates.html
· With all her duckies now lined up, GZ has announced what - on the face of it - is a barking idea for approximately 1000 U.S. residents only (all pre-vetted by the ZFT) to pay over $1000 to have the right to manufacture, distribute and sell (or even gift!) copies of the Roxy Prequel Soundtrack CD (Official Release #96) - in competition with Barfko-Swill. Given sales of Zappa releases generally, there is clearly no way any of the resultant ‘Officially Licensed Authorized Zappa ROXY BY PROXY Distributors’ will come close to making their money back. But that’s obviously not the point. The point is, the ZFT seemingly wants around $1M to finish the 40 year old Roxy Performances film, and maybe - just maybe - they will raise the necessary cash in this unique way. Here's hoping. Meantime, if you want to watch a concert by The Aristocrats filmed just last month for free right now, go here.
· There may be a ZPZ @ The Roundhouse DVD out early next year, as well as a new CD from the recent UK/Euro dates (“fully mixed from multi-track rather than from F.O.H. desk mix” says Fantom) plus another DVD filmed at one of last summer’s festivals. Son Of Roxy & Elsewhere meantime is on the backburner.
· Check out Marc Atkinson playing Mo’s Vacation here. Says Marc “I played the drums live and in one take. Arthur [Barrow] played the bass live, and Ed [Mann] played a mallet Kat, which is electronic (he used it on the 88 tour), but still live. Nothing was sequenced.” Don’t act like you’re not impressed.
· The true story of Frank and the Bridges Auditorium: http://magazine.pomona.edu/2012/fall/a-carefully-calculated-caper/
· The latest Hound Dawg music magazine includes an article on the early days of the MOI, with eye-witness accounts from Tony Palmer, Carol Kaye, Essra Mohawk and Pauline Butcher, plus previously unpublished photos by Heinrich Klaffs. There’s also items on Wild Man Fischer, John ‘Drumbo’ French and Syd Barrett. Order your copy here. (BTW, in the new Classic Rock article mentioned below, Pauline observes that Frank may have been sexually abused in Tank C.)
· The Idiot is pleased to announce that the tracks for the On Broadway – Covers Of Invention album are now with Cordelia Records. The CD should be available in time to mark the 25th anniversary of the Broadway The Hard Way tour (and also Festival Moo-ah!).
· A new ZappaCast – this time we talk ROXY! Includes audio excerpts from my interview with Napoleon Murphy Brock: http://zappacast.podomatic.com/player/web/2012-11-13T08_11_21-08_00
· Well, I went along to the Roundhouse on 9/10 November and was not expecting it to be so great! The new slimline ZPZ were probably the best I’ve ever seen ‘em (though Vicar Street, Dublin was a great night out!), and Scott Thunes was his usual fun self. Picked up a copy of the wondrous Road Tapes Venue #1 and bumped into Alan Clayson, who advised that things were starting to move a little quicker on the official biography front. Full report coming soon.
· The latest issue of Classic Rock magazine includes an eight page article on FZ (“Enigma, walking contradiction, musical genius,”) with new quotes from Gail, Dweezil, Pauline Butcher, Art Tripp and Don Preston.
· Some info on the audio quality of Road Tapes #1, from the Vaultmeister himself (via Zappateers): “Nobody affiliated with FZ made this recording. My GUESS is that somebody working at the venue ran this off for Frank. The original tape was full of a million inconsistent level jumps. It was a real bitch to get all of the program leveled out to a relatively equal listening level. Also, there were pitch problems. The reel starts at one pitch & progresses to another as it continues on. Lots of corrections. During the sections where the level was recorded too low there was a bunch of tape hiss, so during certain sections John Polito applied noise reduction....(Sonic Solutions NoNoise). Reel changes seem to always happen at the worst times, but we figured we’d rather include Trouble Every Day instead of not! It is what it is, the door slam was Gail's idea.” For fans of conceptual continuity, FZ inserted door slams into the Watts Riot Demo/Fillmore Sequence on the 2-disc MOFO, and they can also be heard on Joe’s XMASage.
· RIP former Penguin and singer of Frank’s Memories Of El Monte, Cleve Duncan: http://themusicsover.com/2012/11/07/cleve-duncan/
· Apparently released in April this year, a CD of reworked versions of various compositions by FZ, performed by the Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble, conducted by Franck Ollu, and recorded – “by kind permission of Gail Zappa” - immediately after their 13 November 2010 ‘Roundhouse’ gig at Duke’s Hall in London’s Marylebone Road. The track-list is: Peaches En Regalia, Big Swifty, Dupree’s Paradise, Twenty Small Cigars, The Legend Of The Golden Arches, St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast, Little Umbrellas, Black Page #2, Music For Low Budget Orchestra, Alien Orifice, Little House I Used To Live In, The Perfect Stranger and G-Spot Tornado. Order your copy here - only a fiver (plus postage). Barg’in.
· Now available now on Kindle, One Night Bands, a chapter left out of Pamela Des Barres’ Let's Spend The Night Together: Backstage Secrets Of Rock Muses And Supergroupies, “because the book was already too long!”
· Wolfram Klug is recording his new album, Go For Life, with help from Ed Mann, Ike Willis, Tommy Mars and Arthur Barrow. Read his blog at http://goforlife.wolframklug.com/
· Typical: Wolfgang’s Vault goes subscription only and then they post FZ’s early show from The Capitol Theatre, Passaic, New Jersey on 13 October 1978 – both on very grainy lo-res B&W video, and on 320kbps mp3 audio (which you can also download for ‘free’). It’s there for Halloween week only, and you can subscribe for a month for a mere $2.99. This is the band that featured Denny, Ikey, Pattie, Artie, Tommy, Petey, Vinnie and Eddie. What are you waiting for? Oh, the URL.
· Gibson has produced a prototype tribute guitar to replicate the iconic ‘Roxy SG’. Dweezil will ‘test drive’ one on ZPZ’s imminent European and US tours. Read more-a.
· The Muffin Men must’ve liked Manchester (and vice versa): they’re playing there again on 16 December (at The Roadhouse).
· Project Object’s Dave Johnsen will replace Tom Fowler on the GrandMothers Of Invention’s November tour of Spain, Germany and England. Guitar duties will be split between Robbie ‘Seahag’ Mangano (Project Object/Paper Cat) and Mike Miller (Chad Wackerman Trio/Banned From Utopia). See the Bastard’s Diary for more detail.
· After touring the mainland with The Magic Band, Denny Walley holed up with the Muffn Men in Liverpool to record tracks for a new album to (apparently) be called I Wish I'd Worn My Metal Kecks! Here’s some footage from those sessions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv3U9_acQto
· Steve Vai appears on a new album (out early next year) by classical duo 2Cellos, on a cover of AC/DC’s Highway To Hell. Check out the video here.
· Oh bumholes! Tom Fowler has announced on Facebook that he's unable to make the November GrandMothers Of Invention tour “on doctor's orders”. He adds “I’m not going to die” though, which is a relief. But still… ah well, at least Andrew Mitchell has resigned.
· Seems apt: members of FZ’s ‘cute band’ (step forward, Messrs. Jobson & Bozzio) to go cruising: http://cruisetotheedge.com/
· Scott Thunes was the special guest at the Roundhouse ‘Zappa weekend’ in November. He “will be performing (one song, maybe two) with Zappa Plays Zappa...on 10 November. Also, on Friday the 9th, I'll be doing a ‘chat’ thingie [‘An Evening With Dweezil Zappa And Guests’] similar to what we did last time.”
· Vinyl fetishists! Know your place. Er, wanna grab a copy of Why Don’tcha Do Me Right?/Big Leg Emma on 7" vinyl on 23 November: http://www.recordstoreday.com/SpecialRelease/5773?
· Our old mucker Pete Feenstra has just interviewed the Dweez: http://www.getreadytorock.com/rock_stars/dweezil_zappa2.htm
· The latest edition of PROG magazine includes an article on the making of Freak Out!, mofos: http://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/music/prog-magazine-back-issues/prog-Issue-30/
· Just a little recap on the legal dispute between the ZFT and Zappanale: http://www.internationallawoffice.com/newsletters/detail.aspx?g=39cc6820-11c5-4d50-aa6e-ccee8129df32
· The FZ part of The Legends Of Laurel Canyon documentary can be viewed online here for the next few days. It includes a new interview conducted with GZ just last month.
· The Fusion Syndicate, a new album put together by multi-instrumentalist/producer Billy Sherwood, features contributions from (among others) Rick Wakeman, Jerry Goodman, Nik Turner, Billy Cobham, Jay Beckenstein, Billy Sheehan, David Sancious, Larry Coryell, Derek Sherinian, Chester Thompson, Steve Morse, Randy Brecker, Percy Jones, John Etheridge, Tony Kaye, Chad Wackerman, Steve Hillage and Theo Travis. More info at http://cleorecs.com/store/shop/the-fusion-syndicate/
· Holland’s Cuccurullo Brillo Brullo are back and playing live in their homeland on 30 November and 2 December. Their line-up has been expanded to include sometime Muffin hornists, Martin Smith and Andy Frizell. For more info, contact: Cuccurullo-Brillo-Brullo@hotmail.com
· Here’s Mrs Zappa urging the young women of America to register to vote: http://youtu.be/L90fVHMaBck
· Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The Roxy Performances movie/DVD/Blu-Ray will be delivered “sometime before December 2013”. And by December 2012, we will get a prequel to the movie’s full soundtrack. And before all that, VAULTernative Records will launch a series of Road Tapes. Well, all that’s what GZ sez here, anyways.
· Scott Parker’s new book, The Return Of Rondo Hatton - The Recordings Of Frank Zappa Volume 5 1974-1975, can now be ordered from here: http://spbpublishing.webs.com/apps/webstore/
· In other ZPZ news, An Evening Of Music With Joe Travers & Friends (including Scheila Gonzalez, Rick Musallam, Kurt Morgan and Ben Thomas) takes place at Studio City’s famous Baked Potato on 17 October.
· Here’s a short interview with Robert ‘Frog’ Camarena, on playing with FZ and his new band, Forty-Seven 51.
· A new Rondo Hatton Report - the twelfth - is now up at http://www.rhreport.net/current.html. And that’s an opportune moment to remind you of this currently dormant Zappa blog: http://rhoerer.wordpress.com/ - leave comments for it to be reactivated, go on!
· LA’s female fronted rock trio, bellylove, is releasing its fifth CD in late September. Circles And Darkness, featuring Lisa Black (guitar) and Toni Valenta (vocals and bass), with Adam Steinberg (drums), includes eclectic covers ranging from FZ, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and Cheech and Chong (yes! Cheech and Chong), along with some exciting originals penned by the group. On her influences, Lisa says “I really fell in love with the song Apostrophe by Zappa when I first heard it and felt like I needed to figure it out on guitar. The same with Magic Fingers from his 1970 film 200 Motels, with its fiercely crafted guitar riffs. The Zappa, Sabbath, Cheech and Chong selections on the new album were a group effort.”
· Joe Travers hit the road with Steamroller, the power trio that features the Vaultmeister alongside Whitesnake's Doug Aldrich and Michael Devin. More here: http://www.blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=179207 And former ZPZ bassist Peter Griffin will be temporarily standing in for Bryan Beller when melodic death metal band Dethlklok’s US tour starts in October. Bryan will be on the road with the fantastic Aristocrats for the first part of the tour, but will rejoin Keneally and co in November.
· Here’s an interesting response to a question about the old ‘FZ approved masters’: http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/378/
· The October issue of Uncut magazine reviews the Universal reissues…and includes a short interview with Don Preston, as well as this story of Frank dissing Charles Shaar Murray and Mike Bloomfield.
· The Zappa book edited by Dr Paul Carr, Frank Zappa and the ‘And’, will be published early next year. It can be pre-ordered now from Amazon.
· Finally, my Zappanale #23 diary is here: http://idiotbastard.com/Reviews/z23.htm
· Always wanted to grow Zappa facial hair? Look no further: http://www.philips.nl/content/nl/mgep/www/male-grooming/how-to/beards/zappabeard.html
· Coming soon, Rock Chronicles: The Essential Guide To The Greatest 250 Rock Acts Of All Time, on which I helped contributing editor Bruno MacDonald (just a gnat’s) with the Zappa & Beefheart chapters. (If anything’s wrong, blame me, not him!)
· In response to this exchange betwixt Hans Annellsson and Gail Zappa, a few folk at the Zappa Forum weighed in with their thoughts. In response, Hans has asked me to post this:
I fully accept Gail’s decision not to give me permission to use the lyrics, or ”list”, for “commercial exploitation”, but her statement ‘Also, you should be ashamed of yourself for even considering that crediting FZ for half of the "lyrics" would be an attractive offer’ is totally unnecessary and insulting.
The reason I suggested a co-credit is that if you quote someone, verbally or musically, I think it’s fair to credit that person/s. It was out of courtesy and decency, not thinking it was “an attractive offer”. If she had given me permission and claimed that FZ be the sole lyricist, I’d happily agree. The same if FZ shouldn’t be listed as lyricist at all.
In 1993, Frank (and Gail) gave me permission for my Swedish translation of ‘Penis Dimension’ (‘Penisens Storlek’), so I am already ‘associated’ in a way, even if it was a long time ago.
Here’s a copy of the email I sent to Gail in response, which you probably won’t see in gz sez:
“Sorry if I’ve offended you, it wasn’t my intention, but ‘you should be ashamed of yourself…’ come on Gail… Did Yoko get in touch with Frank telling him to be ashamed of himself for changing the words of those Beatles’ tunes without permission? Did Frank really have permission in 1966 to use that quote of Edgard Varèse and did Louise Norton (Varèse’s widow) think it was ok for Frank to ‘associate’ himself with EV for ‘commercial exploitation’?”
28 August 2012
· The Mike Keneally Band - featuring Bryan Beller, Rick Musallam and Joe Travers - will play a 10-date European tour, commencing in March 2013, in support of Wing Beat Fantastic. Support will be the fantastic Godsticks (who supported the Aristocrats earlier this year). Most of the dates are now in the Bastard’s Diary. (Thanks to you-know-who for the tip-off!)
Young Frank’s collage, as seen on the History Detectives TV programme, is up for sale via Philip Weiss Auctions in September: http://www.artfixdaily.com/artwire/release/7784-original-works-of-art-by-the-beatles-and-frank-zappa-plus-contrac ...John ‘Drumbo’ French sat in with Rattle Snakes And Eggs in Palmdale, California on 1 September 2012. Says John Titter: “It’s part of a mega reunion for Palmdale High School, where John attended. Also sitting with the band will be none other than John "J.T." Thomas, former Beefheart keyboard player, who now plays for Bruce Hornsby and the Range.”…here’s the Zappa catalogue in chronological order on Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/user/ulyssestone/playlist/3Tp6UhOxoDOJAZ08fGkPVl. Nice...finally, officially - Frank’s entire original catalogue is now available worldwide on iTunes: http://www.msopr.com/press-releases/more-time-to-freak-out-frank-zappas-entire-original-catalog-available-on-itunes-available-today/. It’s also available for download from Amazon (though the Over-Nite Sensation bonus track seems to be an iTunes exclusive), and for immediate hearing on Spotify. Here’s a good place to keep checking to help you make up your mind about what to buy…do The GrandMothers Of Invention deserve their name? Read this…the UME reissues are now starting to appear on iTunes. Over-Nite Sensation sports an exclusive bonus track, which appears to be the single version of I’m The Slime (with a different guitar solo and fade-out). Also, The Best Band… and Broadway… confusingly show Zomby Woof, Sofa #1 and Hot Plate Heaven as alternate versions. I finally weighed in with a couple of hard-copy purchases and noted that in the ‘fine print dept’ of Fillmore East, it correctly lists Garry Bonner as co-composer of Happy Together; this was shown as ‘Gary Binner’ on the Ryko version. Anyone know when the error crept in? And did the ZFT ask Cal Schenkel to correct his manuscript?
· More multiple-disc sets from Crossfire coming soon: Breaktime For Surf: The World Of Paul Buff, Vol. 1, Drums A-Go-Go: The World Of Paul Buff, Vol. 2 and Prevalent Visionaries: The History Of Birmingham Sunday…you can read all about Steve Vai’s 13 favourite albums here…the statement that “the UME deal is for the entire Zappa Catalog as it appeared on Frank Zappa’s own independent label, Barking Pumpkin Records,” is not strictly 100% accurate, as both audio and artwork have been tweezed a gnat’s – certainly for the first batch. And now I am assured that Sheik Yerbouti (part of the second dozen) will have the original I’m So Cute coda restored. Great news. The third batch of 12 reissues (out on 25 September) will comprise: Orchestral Favorites, Joe's Garage Acts I, II & III, Tinsel Town Rebellion, Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar, You Are What You Is, Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch, The Man From Utopia, Baby Snakes, London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I & II, Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger, Them Or Us and Thing-Fish...word reaches me that the first part of Jimmy Carl Black’s memoirs (A Mother's Tale, 1938-69) is now finally ready for publication. Jimmy’s widow Moni revealed a little more about For Mother’s Sake at Zappanale #23: basically, keep your eyes on www.jimmycarlblack.com...Chester Thompson joined ZPZ (well, Dweezil and bassist Kurt Morgan) for a cover of Apostrophe on 13 July in Nashville. Watch: http://youtu.be/vPxDsMuIsAA ...Frank’s official biographer, Alan Clayson, has his first new album in 15 years out now. Titled One Dover Soul, here’s what the extraordinarily erudite eccentric has to say about it: “It was hand-tooled principally in Wreckless Eric’s studio in France on an Aladdin’s cave of instruments - such as an electric piano I’d found in a skip fifteen years before, and the wheezy old harmonium used when we’d recorded 1999’s The Last Show On Earth in the aftershock of Lord Sutch’s suicide. Via methods peculiar to himself, Eric isolated a quasi-military beat from the auto-rhythm of an ancient Farfisa organ as the bedrock of The Refugees - which also embraced a piano solo that wedded the salient idiosyncrasies of Russ Conway and Cecil Taylor. At times, two deeply middle aged men were behaving like unrestrained children in a toy shop, Yet off the assembly-line the tracks poured, one augmented by Amy [Rigby, Eric’s wife - and a singer-songwriter of some repute] cooing like a sweetly bestial Emmylou Harris, and two by the drumming of Ian Button from Death In Vegas. After the heating system exploded during the final session last January, I could see my breath when harmonising with my own lead vocal on autobiographical The Old Dover Road to Eric’s satisfaction - and my own by the time I lay late that night as rigid as a crusader on a tomb. Driving home after the return flight to England, I couldn’t resist an earful of work-in-progress, and concluding that Eric had drawn from me the best I could give. For that reason alone, if One Dover Soul has the commercial impact of a tract from the Flat Earth Society, well, so what?” Although largely penned by the Mr Clayson, it does also include Un Grand Sommeil Noir: lyrics by Paul Verlaine; music by Edgard Varèse…following the sad passing of Jon Lord, Glenn Hughes went into the studio with Steve Vai and Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith to record Highway Star. This will appear as a bonus track on the Deep Purple tribute album, RE-MACHINED, which will come free with September’s Classic Rock magazine. Glenn tweeted that the session “was EPIC...Steve’s playin’ was from another planet.”…very sad to learn of the passing of Corine Duke, George’s partner for over 40 years. Sincere condolences to the Duke family…I’m guessing that after Ozit Records released Dust Sucker a few years back (and reissued it on the same day the ZFT’s Bat Chain Puller came out), no one had any real interest in buying Ozit’s more recent Son Of Dust Sucker? Well, here’s a thing – if you check it out (eg. on Spotify), it sounds exactly like the Zappa Records version – and nothing like the original Dust Sucker CD. Track timings seem to match too. Funny that, huh? …here’s my review of the new Zappa On Zappa: The Lost Broadcasts DVD…more Muffin Men japes from Larvik, featuring Denny Walley: http://youtu.be/jFLnFzSixSk ...you can watch the ‘Zappa’s Lost Collage’ segment of History Detectives at http://video.pbs.org/video/2253617192 - plus an outtake featuring Cal Schenkel and Bobby Zappa here …you can listen to a reel-to-reel recording of FZ’s lecture at the University of Tennessee on 28 April 1969 here. He chats about Blind Faith, Bizarre Records, The Groupie Papers, snorks, Suzy Creamcheese, the GTOs, and Jim Morrison's wee-wee. Sadly, there's a one-minute silence during the bit about the Uncle Meat fillum…Steve Vai plays on Isfahan on Joe Jackson’s new tribute-to-Ellington album, The Duke. Which reminds me: anyone out there actually believe Frank’s story about Ellington “begging - pleading - for a ten-dollar advance” backstage in June 1969, causing him to immediately break up the ten-piece Mothers…two months later? 1969 was midway through the Duke’s ‘Sacred Concert’ series, after he'd recorded with Sinatra and been awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He was also picking up Grammys quite regularly through the late 60s/early 70s. Remember: ‘Maestro’ had been running far bigger bands than Frank (which, for the most part, included one of the highest paid in the business: Johnny Hodges) for nearly 50 years when this supposedly happened. And when he died, just five years later, he was very far from destitute. Discuss…Scott Parker’s new tome in his series of ‘The Recordings Of FZ…’, covers that wondrous period 1974-75. Titled The Return Of Rondo Hatton, keep an eye on the SPB Publishing website for release/order details… couple of reviews for ya: Mosae Zappa and Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: The Lost Broadcasts…years ago he recorded a historical document. Now, Co de Kloet will present The Supplement Tape live on stage at Zappanale 2012. He will be supported by very special guests George Duke, Gary Lucas and Scott Thunes. This will be hot! Don't miss it – you can save money by buying your tickets in the pre-sale, which ends soon…Prism Films (the production company responsible for the three Zappa DVDs released by Chrome Dreams) has just launched a channel on YouTube. There you will find the complete interviews with Jimmy Carl Black, Don Preston, Bunk Gardner and Art Tripp that were filmed for FZ & The MOI In The 60s. They'll be adding the Magic Band interviews from the 2005 Beefheart film (John French, Mark Boston, Doug Moon, Jerry Handley, Elliot Ingber, Gary Lucas, Moris Tepper, Eric Drew Feldman), plus further Zappa interviews with Jeff Simmons, George Duke, Ian Underwood, Mark Volman and Aynsley Dunbar…ZPZ at the Roundhouse on 10 November 2012 now confirmed: http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/productions/zappa-plays-zappa ...and here, Dweezil explains why Jamie Kime, Billy Hulting and Thomas Nordegg will not be in attendance. Despite what others may think about the Zappas living out in Hollywood sitting on all those priceless gems Frank left behind, I understand they in fact live quite modestly. In this blog, Dweezil spells out the harsh realities of touring in this day and age, and of his determination to keep the show on the road - for which we should all be very grateful. I know I am. See you in November…in this interview, Dweezil says the current tour will “allow for a couple of things that’ll throw in a few fun detours for the audience. I kind of want to have a ‘Storytellers’ element and connect some of the material’s personal stories and experiences, but relate that also to what inspired me to play guitar to begin with.” They also threw in Z’s Boodledang and a bit of Van Halen on the first night…The Old Grey Whistle Test Live, a new three CD box set, features Beefheart’s TV studio rendition of Upon The My O My (as well as a recent re-recording by Billy Bragg of his homage to the great trunk road to the sea that I live next to)…you can now pre-order Frank Zappa And The ‘And’, the book of essays on the contextualisation of Frank’s legacy edited by Dr Paul Carr, here…the next issue of Classic Rock magazine – issue number 174 – will be available as a Steve Vai variant edition, featuring his brand new solo album The Story Of Light. Pre-order here…those who purchased the Highlights From The Pal And Original Sound Studio Archives box set may also be interested in this - from Greg Russo: “I'm working on a pair of 3-CD sets. One set (Breaktime For Surf) covers The Masters, The Bongo Teens, The Rotations, Brian Lord And The Midnighters, and singles that Paul Buff did under his name, Paul Conrad, The Pauls, Lori Allison (Allison Buff), Lori Lynn (Allison Buff), and The Catalinas. Numerous alternate versions, mixes, rarities and outtakes will also be included. The other set (Drums A-Go-Go) is by The Hollywood Persuaders and also includes The Buff Organization, The Tired 4, and The Friendly Torpedoes (with Sean Bonniwell of The Music Machine). Lots more rarities here, including some tracks that I found recently which have not been released. Anyone interested can write me for more information.”…a little more from Gail on the reissues: http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/re-731-re-issues/...Volume 11 of The Rondo Hatton Report features a close inspection of the panty quilt; part two of Stravinsky’s influence on FZ, details on how Ben Watson ruined John Riley’s life, and a contribution from the semantic scrutinizer on Frank’s guitar soli: http://www.rhreport.net/archive/2012-06-21%20edition.pdf. Also ‘out today’ is volume 72 of The Arf Dossier: although largely written in German, there’s a nice tribute to the late André Lewis (although its one mention of FZ is factually incorrect) and the news in English…both Return To Forever (featuring Jean-Luc Ponty) and U.K. (featuring Eddie Jobson) have new live CD/DVDs out – called The Mothership Returns and Reunion – Live In Tokyo, respectively…Mike Keneally has heard the new Waka/Jawaka master and says it’s “endlessly better-sounding than the existing CD - it sounded like the vinyl I had in the 70s but better. I think this will be the definitive issue of the catalogue, sonically - Joe [Travers] is being real diligent about the many titles which are badly in need of upgrade, finding the right original masters to do the job and transferring them lovingly.”…given that PolyGram was swallowed up by the Universal Music Group several years ago, I asked Gail if there was any chance that Zappa's Universe would now be issued on DVD. She replied, “I'll check it out and let you know. That project was done under intense duress so it is not on my list of priorities. However, if you like it, that is what counts.” I think it would make a lot of sense to have this readily available (preferably in expanded form, eg. including additional material broadcast on Swedish TV), as it would appeal to both long-time and new DZPZ fans. And let’s not forget that it includes Steve Vai’s Grammy award winning rendition of Sofa...finally, some official words from the ZFT regarding the reissue deal with Universal: http://www.msopr.com/press-releases/zappa-family-trust-regains-control-of-iconic-musicians-extensive-catalog-global-licensedistribution-deal-signed-with-universal-music-enterprises/. GZ adds, “The digital masters were all re-transferred by the Vaultmeister and about a third of the titles were reMastered from the original analog source. Each one is carefully labelled with the information.”...ZPZ’s Scheila Gonzalez released her debut single, Jet Lag, featuring Joe Travers…The Mads Tolling Quartet recently released Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty: Live at Yoshi’s, which includes a groovy stab at the maestro’s King Kong…Episode 8 of the ZappaCast is here. In this one, we take a peek at the Mothers circa 66-69: Lord Parker of Waterbury plays the Mothers’ Copenhagen and Lund 1967 tapes in their entirety, Professor Ekers (from the University of Bognor Regis) pulls Frank’s Gibson Switchmaster to pieces, and this very Irreverend Greenaway is caught in the conservatory with a spanner...and Burt Ward, Eric Burdon, Lowell George and Grace Slick. SNAT! indeed…Voiceprint/Gonzo will follow-up its Beefheart DVD (featuring Roy Estrada, Art Tripp and Elliot Ingber) with Zappa On Zappa - The Lost Broadcasts. It consists of a lengthy interview with Frank from June 1970, and can be pre-ordered here: http://www.voiceprint.co.uk/product_details/15499 …anyone out there read the crime novel A Season For The Dead by David Hewson? In Chapter 33, where two detectives are at the scene of a murder by decapitation, one says, “I’ll tell you one thing though, he liked jazz. The place is full of CDs. He had one track on loop when we turned up. Sense of humour, huh? It must have been on when he did it.” The track is How Would You Like To Have a Head Like That? from King Kong - Jean-Luc Ponty Plays The Music of Frank Zappa. (People, we have Andrew Taylor and his wife to thank for bringing this to our attention.)…Vaultmeister Joe was (*cough*) havin’ a bad day and posted at the Zappa Forum in response to a fan’s negativity regarding the ZFT’s posthumous releases. He later admitted he “should have kept my mouth shut”, but didn’t. It all kicked off here… so, I leave the country for a few days to attend Mosae Zappa (thank you Billy & Ethell for a most splendid time) and loads of shit happens - the most significant of which was Gail Zappa losing the final trial at the German High Court for all claims against the Arf-Society and Zappanale (see here). Adding to the ZFT’s woes, Jamie Kime announced his departure from ZPZ via Facebook (read report - Dweezil has commented “The Summer tour is happening and so is the Fall European tour. Keep in mind that Frank had various versions of bands over the years and created arrangements to suit the bands he had.”). In an interview with Brian Coughlin of the Fireworks Ensemble, we learned that GZ felt “there wasn’t enough of Frank’s original intent” in the recordings for their None Of The Above CD, and they “had to come up with something more faithful if we wanted her consent to continue with the project,” (which they now have - read all about it here). While there was still no further news on Roxy, or the promised new releases from the Vault, the Highlights From The Pal And Original Sound Studio Archives Paul Buff box set is now in production - although the manufacturing time will be a bit longer than expected (they should be with Crossfire by the third week of June). That’s about it…Dweezil has now written Part 3 of his planned four-part ‘Tour Blog 2012’: http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/posts/1711-part-3-of-4 ...interesting legal letter sent to Ray, Roy and JCB in 1966 for sale on eBay here…here’s Diva learning her mum how to tweet: https://p.twimg.com/Ati-mejCMAEDehL.jpg:large. Looks pretty painful, dunnit? But hopefully Gail will be able to give us an update on Roxy and whatever else real soon…Derek Lee has just self-published his Super Ebook On Icon Frank Zappa. Being less than 30 Kindle pages long, it’s more a pamphlet. Between typos and factual errors, Lee essentially lists his favourite three Zappa albums and 10 songs, reviews The Freak-Out List DVD, and takes a peek at CPIII. He has also published ebooks on close combat techniques, Lil Wayne, the Sex Pistols, Crosby Stills & Nash, and making fireworks. Intrigued? Here ya go: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0081LOC3G ...available for download right this very minute is The Don Preston Story from Zonic Entertainment (who previously brought you The Jimmy Carl Black Story and The Bunk Gardner Story, Parts One and Two)…here’s the big announcement. Gail also tweeted us a “Happy Mothers Day”, and the wording on the front of that old Roxy-era Cal Schenkel/Richard Nixon t-shirt also appeared on the Zappa.com What's New page. I consulted the Babel Fish, and he sez this all means “pre-order The Roxy Performances soundtrack CD so we can finish off the fillum, please thank you.” We'll find out if he’s right next week…interviewette with Scott Thunes: http://www.dirtyimpound.com/2012/05/hey-shredder-bass-scott-thunes/ ...lurking in John Peel’s virtual record collection is this picture of him about to play a Mothers album (nice spot, Deepi!): http://thespace.org/content/s000004u/img/photos/studio.jpg ...more sad news: ‘Sweet Joe’ Russell of the Persuasions just passed away: http://www.vintagevinylnews.com/2012/05/sweet-joe-russell-of-persuasions-dies.html ...still no word on the Ascolta Plays Zappa CD, but the band’s website is being updated and you can now download their amazing renditions of Uncle Sam, Marque-son’s Chicken and Black Page…very interesting interview with Napoleon Murphy Brock here – including his views on DZPZ, and mention of the likelihood that Ruth Underwood, George Duke and Bruce Fowler will be joining the Grandmothers on their current US tour (“probably in LA”). Napi’s website has also just been updated…regarding the current scarcity of Ryko CDs, Gail Zappa says: “There is a reason for that and we are going to announce it as soon as some of the dust clears – part lawsuit, part resolution.” Asked about using Kickstarter to help with the Roxy DVD remastering, she further posited “we are working on something that brings an even larger experience to the True FZ Fan – more fulfilling and more pro-active and participatory and even a little bit educational. I am planning to announce by Mothers Day. Our Mothers Day, which is 10 May. So there’s a big meanwhile – during which there will be some releases!” It's all here: http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/category/questions/ ...Adam Mantereys tipped me off re. this spoof - which was swiftly followed up in my inbox by this: http://gothamist.com/2012/04/17/the_history_of_the_hologram_as_told.php. Frank as a hologram? It’s surely the next logical step for ZPZ?...Steve Vai’s Digital Nations is proud to present LA Sessions, a new album by JP Cervoni, featuring Vinnie Colaiuta, Albert Wing & Ike Willis (with whom JP has formed a new supergroup): http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=153125 ... here’s a great find (stupid sexy Flanders) – an obscure single from 1967 featuring our Frank: http://www.zappateers.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=24080 ...congrats to Dweezil: before flying out to Australia, he tied the knot with Megan Marsicano. This is they together at last year’s Grammys: http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Dweezil+Zappa+53rd+Annual+GRAMMY+Awards+Arrivals+yPyWOzMKi7Ul.jpg ...Don Preston has an album of previously unreleased electronic music, Filters, Oscillators & Envelopes 1967-82, out on the Sub Rosa label. More at http://subrosa.itcmedia.net/en/catalogue/early-electronic-music/filters-oscillators-and-envelopes-1967-75.html ...worrying tweet from Howard Kaylan: “Well kids, it looks like I've got an ending to the long-fabled autobiog tho I probably wouldn't have chosen it. Life lessons coming.”…in April, Dweezil & CoTM played down under, introducing new bassist (and Zappa ‘ScoreMeister’, curating FZ's written music), Kurt Morgan. I’m sure experience of backing teeny-(MMM)boppers is not a pre-requisite for the job, but did you know that Kurt used to “lay down the grooves night after night” for Hilary Duff, while his ZPZ predecessor Pete Griffin previously played with Hanson?...Billy James (aka ANT-BEE) tells me he “assisted a bit” with a PBS TV special History Detectives on Frank’s early art career. Cal Schenkel, Bobby Zappa and Peter Occhigrosso were all interviewed for the programme, which airs in the US on 17 July. More info here…foolish behaviour over at the Zappa Forum: on 1 April, Bonny Ploeg of the Packard Goose website thought it would be fun to claim that the ZFT had asked her to “remove every copyrighted symbol from the site: lyrics, photos, the moustache symbol and the names Zappa, Frank Zappa, FZ and Dweezil.” This apparently led to death threats towards Gail. Bonny now feels “guilty and stupid”. Jaypfunk was unusually restrained, and simply called her a “fucking moron”. Read more at http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/re-april-fools-prank-billy-the-mountain/ ...Zappa’s Gear author, Mick Ekers, visited Joe’s Garage/UMRK: check this Tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/ZappasGear/status/185889677025357825 ...after officially issuing the Van Morrison sung Dead Girls Of London on iTunes last December, Zappa Records has now made available Shankar’s Touch Me There album. “Masters transferred at 96K 24B by Joe Travers at UMRK…remastered by Bernie Grundman, July 2011.” [Thanks to Michael Sullivan for tipping me off about this one.]…poor Dweezil is being sued by his divorce lawyer for not paying his bill: http://www.tmz.com/2012/03/29/dweezil-zappa-sued-divorce-lawyer/ …anyone heard of Erica Lindsay, who apparently made a guest appearance with FZ in Europe sometime before 1980?...Gail says we can expect Dance Me This “within the year from now” (http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/re-the-world-wonders/)...the second part of Andrew Jacobs’ interview with Freak Out! My Life With Frank Zappa author Pauline Butcher is now up at Decibel Geek here: http://dbgeekshow.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/pauline-butcher-author-of-freak-out-my.html. (Part One can be found here.) And over at Zappa.com, you can now read what Gail has to say about Pauline’s book (http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/re-this-and-that/)...anyone know what’s happened to Steve Vai’s Secret Jewel Box? I’m still waiting for the final four discs more than ten years after getting the thing to put ‘em in! Anyone care (but me)? Whatever. Meantime, Steve and Joe Satriani will be joined by Steve Morse for a G3 tour of Europe this summer. Dates in Germany, Italy and Hungary have already been announced…make of this what you will: a few weeks ago, holders of Zappa At The Roundhouse gold tickets in the London area were invited by the Roundhouse music team “to meet with us to hear your feedback regarding your Golden Ticket experience, the festival itself, and to discuss possible events in the future.” This had nothing to do with the ZFT, who were unaware it was happening - purely a Roundhouse thing. This week, the event was postponed until a later date - no reason (or apology!) given…Alan Clayson reports that matters are proceeding with his ‘official biography of FZ, “though they appear to be doing so ploddingly. However, an agent who may prove agreeable to both Gail Zappa and I has been approached - although he wants two sample chapters.” See here for the quote, together with one from me (“claret everywhere”: I was that soldier, and I have the scar to prove it…before Dweezilla, came Zappa Unlocked: The Mars/Barrow Connection…great review of the excellent Beefheart Bat Chain Puller here. (Yeah, I had trouble with the booklet too!) What an interesting footnote: Hoboism is a different recording from the one widely bootlegged. Anyway, if you’re still unsure about buying BCP, you may wanna check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLRPmrMI_jc&feature=colike …oh Jeez, another one bites the dust: André Lewis passed away in January - http://www.waxpoetics.com/features/in-memoriam/andre-lewis ...some of what GZ Sez doesn’t make me laugh, but this one certainly did: http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/re-please-respond-availability/ ...a very intriguing article about an alternative treatment Frank received for his cancer here: http://www.deankrafthealer.com/CaseHistory-FrankZappa.html. The timeline is particularly interesting…the manager of Ike Willis is challenging the ZFT’s copyright claims. See here: http://ikewillis.com/ZFT.html ...Dweezil has posted this about upcoming projects this year - including a mention of Roundhouse 2. The ZPZ Oz/summer US dates (and the new bass player’s name – hey, he appeared all over the last two birthday bundles) are here…the first part of Steve Kusaba’s 47 hour song cycle, Centrifugal Satz Clock, is now available on iTunes. It features Dweezil Zappa, Steve Vai, Chad Wackerman, Vinnie Colaiuta, Novi Novog, Mike Miller (Banned From Utopia/Chad Wackerman), and Billy Hulting (ZPZ). Learn more here: http://satzclock.com/ ...Penguins In Bondage – an unacceptable substitute? Check this: http://www.thejambar.com/frank-zappa-lives-on-1.2708942 Would love to hear them…the LA Times reports that Chieftain Paddy Moloney is “dying to locate a recording he did in Los Angeles about two decades ago at the home studio of Frank Zappa, a fervent Chieftains fan who name-checked the group three times in his autobiography [oh really?]. The session at Zappa’s house, Moloney said, included one number on which the Irish group and the iconoclastic rock provocateur teamed up with a group of Tuvan throat singers. If he finds the tape, he may have a title ready to go: The Chieftains in Orbit — Again.” (The Chieftains in Orbit being the title of a track on the band’s new album, Voice of Ages.) Hasn’t Paddy asked Gail about it? You can of course see snippets from the session on YouTube…hopefully this clarifies the situation regarding Roy Estrada (although it still doesn’t tell us the full story): http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/02/22/3754559/former-frank-zappa-bassist-imprisoned.html ...United Mutations reports on the discovery of an old FZ painting here: http://united-mutations.blogspot.com/2012/02/another-frank-zappa-painting-discovered.html ...Caballero Reynaldo & The Grand Kazoo have a new CD/DVD, Li-i-iVE At Larvik - The Yellow Snow Festival 2011, now available from http://www.halloffame.es/caballero-reynaldo-the-grand-kazoo-live-at-larvik/ ...Ken Walter’s brass quintet, the Oxford Street Brass, premiered his arrangement of the Opening Theme To Lumpy Gravy at a recent church concert. Check out the video here: http://youtu.be/rM4XTfxvH-M ...Zappa’s Gear head, Mick Ekers, recently interviewed George Duke. See here: http://www.zappasgear.com/GeorgeDukeInterview.html ...looks like everyone had fun at the Yellow Snow Festival in Norway; the Muffin Men are devoting a new webpage to it here: http://www.muffinmen.co.uk/muffinz/larvik_2012.html …the Muffin Men have produced a very limited edition/promo only/not for re-sale/April 2011 Euro tour memoir CD/DVD, called Powdered Water. You can read my review of this tasty little morsel here…Rock Music Memorabilia now has Zappa and Beefheart t-shirts in stock (in both black and white). Anyone who wishes to buy either a Zappa or Beefheart commemorative set will also receive a free t-shirt along with the other goodies - if they mention visiting this website. What the sets contain (and the t-shirts) can be viewed at www.rockmusicmemorabilia.com ...early in 2010, Scott Thunes visited the UK to record with Adrian Styles. The resultant album, Essential Elements, is now here: http://www.adrianstyles.co.uk/essential-elements/ ...hey, boys and girls – I’ve just been interviewed for the Decibel Geek Podcast: http://dbgeekshow.blogspot.com/2012/01/andrew-greenaway-author-of-zappa-hard.html ...this one slipped under the radar: Grand Wazoo/Ruben And The Jets’ slide guitarist Tony Duran sadly passed away in December. Read more here: http://www.gracegardensfh.com/sitemaker/sites/GraceG1/obit.cgi?user=539436Duran ...Joe Satriani’s Satchurated, filmed live on ‘The Wormhole Tour’ at the Metropolis in Montreal on 12 December 2010 (and featuring Mike Keneally on keyboards), will be the first 3D theatrical concert film release with 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound (in the States, at least). The film is directed by François and Pierre Lamoureux, who produced and directed the ZPZ concert film. A physical release is due in March, although there’s no word on a UK release yet. Check this clip out: http://youtu.be/-nlSGsQY_3o ...fellow ZappaCaster Mick Ekers tweets: “Had a fantastic day today [24 January 2012] at the UMRK photographing FZ’s guitars, amps, etc. Thanks so much to Gail, Thomas, Todd, Kurt, Joe, Ruth...” That’s Ruth fluffin’ UNDERWOOD, people, who GZ persuaded to come along to talk to the Professor – all for his forthcoming Zappa’s Gear book. Meantime, this Idiot boy interviewed the ever delightful Scott Thunes for a future podcast...Terry Bozzio has a new double CD (“my first in years. New Material, handpicked by me from my 2007 solo tour”), called Live In Japan 2007. You can order it here…Chad Wackerman released his CD, Dreams, Nightmares and Improvisations in February. It features Allan Holdsworth, bassist Jimmy Johnson and keyboard player Jim Cox…for the next few more days, you can hear Gail, Dweezil and Joe talking to Bob Coburn on Rockline Replay (http://www.rocklineradio.com/replay/replay.php). Gail reveals that in 2012, they plan to “revisit” Trout Mask Replica, reissue An Evening With Wild Man Fischer and start a new series of FZ albums – the first of which will include a track named Front Of House – like Dweezil’s own series of albums…1982: The Summer Of Frank, a documentary by Salvo Cuccia which revolves around FZ’s show in Palermo on 14 July 1982, is being shown on Italian TV on 20 January. This is the fillum that Dweezil blogged about last November. Here’s a short preview http://video.repubblica.it/edizione/palermo/frank-zappa-i-figli-sulle-orme-del-mito/85092/83481 ...forty odd years ago, FZ and Cal Schenkel contributed this page to a comic book project chronicling the 60s. It has finally been published by Abrams Comicarts in The Someday Funnies (“129 original comic strips by 169 writers and artists from 15 countries”), edited by Michel Choquette…some of you may recall the little story I posted in 2008 by Curtis Sherwood on his first meeting with his cousin, Motorhead (here). Having just seen the clip of Jim on his bike that I linked to below, Curtis today recalls “...that's the man I met. He came ridin' in on his big-assed bike, Lynn on back, ridin' in to that dump in the middle of fucking nowhere Casa Grande, Arizona, USA in the out-of-this-world heat. It was HOT! Jim & Lynn said they had been held up in a traffic jam somewhere in or around Phoenix. Imagine the heat. Asphalt + heat. The desert roads aren't as hot as the city streets and highways are in that heat. I KNOW what they must've went through - and that all to see my Mom & Dad and the rest of us. Damn, that was surely Motor's last big road trip. I hope he enjoyed it as much as he appeared to have done. He was all smiles but from what I can see, that was just Motor being the way he was!”…more news from the Z-kidz: Moon Unit is to divorce her husband of 8½ years, rhythm guitarist and former drummist for Matchbox 20, Paul Doucette; Dweezil has poured his heart out re. the YCFOSA downloads (here); Ahmet reckons 2012 will be awesome: “I’m gonna make some new movies, new music, new books - and maybe even a new baby!”, he says; and Diva celebrated her father’s birthday with a nice cup of Joe (see pic). Hey, just realised something: haven’t the kids all got funny names?...couple of short reviews for ya: on Dweezil’s LIVE – ‘In The Moment’; and the new Bizarre/Straight documentary…hey, I got a mention in this interview with J21: http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=83676 …tributes are pooting forth for Jim ‘Motorhead’ Sherwood, who sadly passed away on Christmas day: “He was a good friend, and went to High School with Zappa. He had a brain tumour that couldn't be operated on. He died in his sleep with no pain.” - Don Preston; “His wife Lynn, and Jim's son and his wife, were with Jim when he left. Say some healing prayers for Lynn and Jim's family - they need them.” - Candy Zappa. “One of a kind. We miss you already, buddy.” - Howard Kaylan; “He was so handsome - like a movie star.” - Pauline Butcher; “I spoke with Jim's wife, Lynn, only an hour or so before he passed. His son Lance had driven all night on Thursday from Seattle to be with his father. I am glad I visited him last week, and will miss him terribly.” - Lorraine Belcher. Here’s a couple of clips of Motorhead from Freak Out In Cucamonga (which really needs to be finished and released one day soon) - Motor and Hell’s Angels - and a nice obit from the Grauniad…nother Birthday Bundle – and I thought these were gonna be every two years; guess that’s the anytime bit covered, then. But the reason is clear – happy birthday, Frankie: http://www.zappa.com/fz/aaafnraa/2011aaafnraaaaam.html …here's why Dweezil “might have to learn a few more Hendrix tunes...” (see http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/songs/203): he'll be part of March's Experience Hendrix tour (http://www.experiencehendrixtour.com/dates.php). Says the Dweez: “I've always been a great admirer of Jimi Hendrix. My dad told me some great stories about playing with him. Jimi's ability to express himself so completely with an electric guitar is very inspiring to me. I'm honored to be invited to participate in this tour and I'm really looking forward to playing with everyone!”…ZPZ toured the US West Coast in February (with Scott Thunes as temporary replacement for the newly departed Pete Griffin – see http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/posts/1367-february-tour-2012-update) and Australia in April…hopefully they’ll be back in the UK before too long, with Pete’s permanent replacement. Meantime, you can hear Dweezil chatting about his new “In The Moment” live CD on Stuart Maconie's Freakier Zone on BBC Radio 6music this Saturday (well, from midnight Friday). Here’s a short excerpt: http://soundcloud.com/jazzon3/dweezil-zappa-freakier-zone-1.…new book, Guitar Player Presents 50 Unsung Heroes Of The Guitar, includes a chapter on one Michael Joseph Keneally…Julie Slick is working on her second solo CD, and needs a helping hand: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/julieslick/julie-slick-terroir-my-second-album (If you’ve not heard it, her debut album is pretty nifty.)…Alice Cooper, Moon Zappa, Steve Vai and (Zappa family friend) Beverly D’Angleo have all written letters to their 16 year old selves in new book Dear Me from Simon & Schuster. Other contributors include Pattie Boyd, Pee-Wee Herman, John Waters, William Shatner, Kathleen Turner, Stephen King and Phil Ramone…“I think my Dad was an interesting man - even if I didn't get along all that well with him. He was good at mathematics - he wrote (and published himself) a small book on gambling probabilities,” wrote Frank in The Real FZ Book. And now you can buy Chances: And How To Take Them by Francis V. Zappa – from Crossfire Publications: http://www.crossfirepublications.com/chances.html Crossfire also has Candy Zappa’s My Brother Was A Mother: Take 2…Dweezil's cousin, Stanley Jason Zappa, heartily recommends checking out this project (to which he is “peripherally involved”): http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/747745719/the-composer-jazz-avant-garde-film-matthew-shipp-a/posts/146789 …Fireworks Ensemble’s website is now up and running, and it appears that the works left unperformed at the time of Frank's death that the Ensemble will premiere in its 2012-13 season are Number 6, Number 7, Number 8 and Number 9... of course, we already have #s 6 & 7 (see http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/songs/Number_7.html)...VaiTunes #8 is out now. Blues For Dust was recorded live at a sound-check in 1999, and features Mike Keneally on keyboards. For more, go here…Dweezil has posted an interesting ‘on the road’ report at http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/posts/1273-stolen-guitar-and-food …the paperback version of my book, Zappa The Hard Way, documenting Frank’s fateful final tour of 1988, was published on 21 November. Featuring interviews with the surviving band members, a Foreword by Frank’s sister Candy, and a new Afterword by his former secretary Pauline Butcher, who interviewed Frank during the tour, this is a must-read not only for Zappa fans but for anyone with an interest in playground psychology. The book can be purchased from: Amazon; Barnes & Noble; and Wymer UK. For more details - including excerpts, reviews and other nonsense - visit: http://www.facebook.com/ZappaTheHardWay. I thank you...the ZFT is using TuneSat to monitor TV usage of FZ’s music – read all about it here: http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=148467. Presumably Ryko gets a % of whatever is unearthed?...Steve Vai talks about his new composition, The Middle Of Everywhere, here: http://youtu.be/Hv7oYnWLD9I ...long-time Zappa fan Tom Brown, the guy who compiled the first two Beat The Boots sets for Rhino, has written a book. Summer Of Love, My Ass!, documents Tom’s attempts to avoid the draft. Visit www.summeroflovemyass.com for more info, including a whole chapter from the book - absolutely free…Dweezil goes to Sicily: http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/user_updates/8111 …Gail Zappa has formally granted Chris Opperman permission to release his version of Blessed Relief (see below). Chris says he has “permission for physical and full digital downloads, no streaming, and it has to say ‘Orchestration by Chris Opperman’," since the arrangement is the same as the Grand Wazoo version but with different instrumentation.”…Billy James (aka the ANT-BEE) is featured on background vocals on a new 21-minute opus by Yes vocal legend, Jon Anderson, called Open. I’ve penned a few words on the ANT-BEE’s own Electronic Church Muzik album, as well as Doug Lunn’s new CD (which you can get via Audiophile Imports), Zappanale #22 - and there’s also a review of Zappa The Hard Way (but not by moi, natch)…Pauline Butcher has posted this silent footage from 1969, shot in Cal Schenkel’s back yard: https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=304328046246379 ...Flo & Eddie to tour with Dweezil in 2012?…well, according to this blogger, anyway: http://musicofourheart.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/flo-eddie-to-tour-with-dweezil-zappa-in-2012/. But what precisely did Mark say on stage just a few days before Dweezilla 2011 and the ‘one night only’ F&E ZPZ gig in Bearsville? STOP PRESS: Howard Kaylan tells me: “There isn’t one single word of truth in that entire article.” So now you know...The Bunk Gardner Story, Part One from Zonic Entertainment is now available to download. This (and part two, which follows shortly) also feature(s) Don Preston. Read all about it here: http://www.idiotbastard.com/News/PressRelease1.htm ...despite what it says here, Black Milk’s Zap does not actually feature a sample from the maestro’s oeuvre – unless anyone can stand to listen to it longer than me and can tell me otherwise…the dynamic Scott Parker has a dynamic new version of his first book, Hungry Freaks Daddy (The Recordings Of FZ 1959-1969), out soom – “thoroughly updated, correcting all kinds of errors and issues both great and small,” he says. There’s also an updated and expanded edition of his The Zappa Supplement: A Box Of History And The Mud Shark Saga, co-written with Zappa historian Phil Lee. Visit www.spbpublishing.webs.com for more…funny lickle video of Denny Walley with the Muffin Men here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150477416439408 ...new interview with Chester Thompson: http://magazine2.idrummag.com/issue4/page/36 ...more from Butcher At The Beeb here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00k8trw and here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15082153. And pieces in the Grauniad, Get Bracknell and Express...Scott Thunes has been gigging with The Mother Hips of late – and on 24 September they had a special guest join them for a coupla tunes at the Belly Up Tavern in San Diego: one Michael Joseph Keneally. A few days earlier, Chick Corea joined ZPZ on stage again to dual with The Dweez on King Kong. Hear a bit here: http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/songs/137. Read about here: http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/posts/1139-i-m-grateful-for ...Dr Paul Carr had a Zappa paper published in Contemporary Theatre Review (Volume 21, Issue 3, 2011) recently. Titled An Autocratic Approach To Music Copyright?: The Case Of The Zappa Family Trust, you can purchase a copy via: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10486801.2011.585644 ...here’s some footage of Gail at the official FZ Day in Baltimore on 17 September: http://vimeo.com/29234820. As you’ll see/hear, she talks about an imminent Roxy soundtrack album with liner notes penned by Ruth Underwood and a “four record set of a live concert from 1971”, at which the Persuasions also played…one for all you vinyl fetishits (sic): http://www.musiconvinyl.com/releases/Zappa,_Dweezil/Return_Of_The_Son_Of.. ...Candy Zappa celebrated “the real” Frank Zappa day in Sylmar, CA with family and friends, including Ike Willis and husband Nolan Porter. She also visited Frank’s unmarked grave in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, though the proprietors (Service Corporation International) were apparently a little obstructive…Chris Opperman, of Vai/Keneally arranging and Zappanale #22 fame, is working on a project called Studio House “which will be an EP of songs by myself, Carla Bley, and Frank Zappa. Currently, Grammy award-winning engineer Neil Citron and I are putting together the final mix on Milliways while Inga Wohlgemuth and Louis Lagonik are busy assembling the artwork.” The FZ track is Blessed Relief. For those of you who may not know, Studio House is owned by the legendary Paul Green…apparently comedic actor Martin Clunes would rather take the complete works of FZ than William Shakespeare to his desert island. (Thanks to the numerous Radio 4 listeners who’ve contacted me regarding this – apparently the trailer features Doreen…personally. I’d like to take Kirsty to a desert island…)…short interview with Pauline Butcher re. her great new book here: http://radiodupree.blogspot.com/2011/09/radio-duprees-interview-with-pauline.html ...Alice Cooper’s Welcome 2 My Nightmare album not only features the surviving members of the original Straight-signed Cooper band, but also Mark Volman on backing vocals…Alan Clayson has written a very nice obituary for Wild Man Fischer in the October edition of Record Collector (with “special thanks to GZ”)…I attended Neil Innes Night at the BFI on Thursday 8 September 2011. During the Q&A session with the great man, I asked (given his one-time comment that the Bonzos were “the mothers of convention”, and his recent fronting of The Idiot Bastard Band) if FZ was an influence: his response was “yes”, citing principally WOIIFTM. He also sang “Fuzzy dice, bongos in the back…” and said what a great song Peaches is. A short while after, Danny Baker asked Neil if he regretted the fact that the Bonzos never got to make their WOIIFTM; surprsingly, his answer was that the band’s contractual obligation album, Let’s Make Up And Be Friendly, was probably the closest they came to that…on 27 September, Sundazed Music releases Oxford, UK-June 6, 2005, the first of three live Magic Band UK shows, on CD and vinyl. This one adds half a dozen tracks not included on either Back To The Front or 21st Century Mirror Men. Portsmouth and Penzance to follow…the ANT-BEE is asked eight questions by Gary Pig Gold here: http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/2011/04/pigshit-eight-questions-for-our-ant-bee/ ...Steve Vai is featured on classical guitarist Sharon Isbin’s new release Guitar Passions. For more, check out this video http://youtu.be/8u4krJw-HjM ...in 2008, the ZFT filed suit in the Southern District of New York against Rykodisc for alleged copyright and trademark infringement arising out of the label’s alleged unlawful use of Frank’s recordings (notably, the Strictly Commercial compilation). Ryko counterclaimed (citing the sale of ringtones, MOFO, Lumpy Money and the vinyl version of Hot Rats by the ZFT). On 17 August 2011, Ryko won ‘Part Judgment on Claims Of Infringement’ - the very same day the ZFT’s claims against Zappanale were taken to a higher court. You can read full details here: http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-york/nysdce/1:2008cv00396/319767/111/0.pdf?1313676451 (Thanks to Peter Brainpang for the tip-off – and Al Fresco for Googling!)…Mike Keneally tweets: “One of the shows from the ’97 G3 tour where I guested during Fripp’s set is downloadable - happy that it’s available!” And here it is: http://www.dgmlive.com/archive.htm?artist=14&show=917.
A CD of thirteen Zappa compositions that he either didn’t record, didn’t release or, if he did, he changed them quite a lot first, performed by some of the world’s foremost Zappa-influenced bands.
VARIANT #1 by Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra
One of a number of pieces Frank wrote “must record” – see The MOFO Project/Object booklet – and then actually did: at TTG Studios in Hollywood on 10 June 1966, during sessions for the Burt Ward single Boy Wonder I Love You.
2. FALLING IN LOVE IS A STUPID HABIT by The Vegetarians
A song Frank denied knowing, yet a tape exists of him demonstrating it to drummer Jimmy Carl Black. Jimmy told The Idiot Bastard that Frank said he “could have the song and we even discussed the instruments that would sound good on it. It was Frank playing the piano in his studio with Andy Cahan and me there. The year was 1981 and I was in California rehearsing for the first Grandmothers tour of Europe.”
3. BOGNOR REGIS by Jerry Outlaw & Friends
An instrumental originally recorded during the Hot Rats sessions in 1969, and intended to be released as the b-side of a single version of ‘Sharleena’ that never happened.
4. RALPH STUFFS HIS SHOES by Todd Grubbs Group feat J Todd Plant and Daniel Swartwood
In September 1974, shortly before it became ‘Can’t Afford No Shoes’ on One Size Fits All, Frank’s lyrics poked fun at drummer Ralph Humphrey.
5. MICE by Evil Dick
According to Frank, the first thing he ever composed: “a piece for snare drum...I wrote that when I was about 14 and performed it at school.”
6. PORTUGUESE LUNAR LANDING by Fuchsprellen
Performed live during the 1975 Bongo Fury tour, and rehearsed by the 1981 band, but like all of these songs, not officially released thus far.
7. MO’S VACATION by Marc Atkinson
An early version of ‘Mo ‘N Herb’s Vacation’ in a basic arrangement, described by drummer Terry Bozzio as "like ‘The Black Page’, but more of it!" Performed live with Vinnie Colaiuta and Arthur Barrow in 1978, Chad Wackerman told The Idiot Bastard he also "did a studio recording for Frank."
8. CLOWNS ON VELVET by Lex Bronkowitz Orchestra
First performed at New York's Ritz Theatre in November 1981, with special guest Al DiMeola on lead guitar. Frank then added studio overdubs to a fragment of this live recording and had the Thing-Fish rap over it.
9. LITTLE DOTS by Gumbo Variation
An instrumental similar to ‘Approximate’, only ever performed live by the Petit Wazoo in 1972.
10. ROLLO by Chato Segerer
Officially released in instrumental form only on the albums Imaginary Diseases, Apostrophe, QuAUDIOPHILIAc and You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 1. In 1972, the piece has the lyrics presented here. (This version also appends the rare ‘Village Of The Sun’ intro/outro that appeared on the recent Road Tapes, Venue #2 release.)
11. BRUTALITY by Neither Beasts, Nor Gods
A Synclavier composition from a cassette titled Resolver + Brutality that Frank handed to someone he'd had an 'intensive artistic relationship' with for several years.
12. VELVET SUNRISE by Spanner Jazz Punks
Another piece performed live during the 1975 Bongo Fury tour, providing Frank with an opportunity to tell various tales about life on the road.
13. WE ARE NOT ALONE by ZAPPATiKA
The instrumental track on The Man From Utopia album had these lyrics when rehearsed by the 1981 band.