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YOU CALL THAT NEWS?
(Hot Poop, Lukewarm Poopfinal poop)

(Last updated 17 September 2021)

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Hot Poop

 

·        To celebrate the 50th anniversary of 200 Motels, I have put together a sort of true story of the making of the fillum by those involved. It includes a few previously unpublished quotes. I have also reposted my interview with Martin Lickert and The Idiot Bastard Shop is offering a modest discount on the Would You Like A Snack? CD (all orders come with a free ‘auto-rip’, including a mystery bonus track not on the album and digital booklet); follow the links at the end of my article. [Added: 17 September 2021]

 

·        Finally, confirmation that Zappa Records, UMe and MGM will present an extensive 7-disc 200 Motels box set next month. It contains the original soundtrack remastered by Bernie Grundman along with never-before-heard demos, studio outtakes, work mixes, interviews and movie ads. Also included is a Blu-ray disc featuring the film in 1080p high-definition with its intended screen-crop-ratio and the digital premiere of the 1987 documentary The True Story Of 200 Motels. Finally, the package contains a replica of the movie poster, a custom motel keychain, Do-Not-Disturb motel door hanger and the original 1971 soundtrack packaging along with new liner notes by Pamela Des Barres, Ruth Underwood and Joe Travers. (This info popped up on Amazon, then swiftly disappeared. Fortunately a Zappateer copied it. You can see the full spiel with tracklist here.) [Added: 17 September 2021]

 

·        As noted down below, The Zappa Band, with special guests, will play at the Baked Potato in LA this Halloween. The dates are 28-31 October. [Added: 17 September 2021]

 

·        Tower and HMV in Japan are listing a 6CD version of 200 Motels, to be released on 29 October. (And yes, there are vinyl and 2CD editions too!) As reported below, Pamela Des Barres has written the liner notes for this 50th anniversary reissue. More as and when. [Added: 10 September 2021]

 

·        Italian guitarist/songwriter Marco Mattei releases his debut solo album, Out Of Control, in November. It features Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta, Pat Mastelotto and Chad Wackerman. [Added: 10 September 2021]

 

·        Ike Willis, courtesy of Dr Dot, gives us an update on his battle with prostate cancer here. (Winning!) He also reveals that he has been asked to guest with the (unbanned-from-utopia) Zappa Band in LA later this year. Good news all-around! [Added: 07 September 2021]

 

·        As well as catching up with Ike, Dot also had a Zoom chat with the always healthy Robert Martin. Robert reveals that (all being well) Ike will guest with the Zappa Band at one of its four shows at the Baked Potato this Halloween. And the pair also have a burp-off! Check that one out here. [Added: 07 September 2021]

 

·        The Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra has mixed, mastered, sequenced and shipped off to Cordelia Records its fifth album, called Make An Arf Noise Here. This features many of the usual suspects, including Prairie Prince, Ike Willis, Sandro Oliva, Fred Händl – and even yours truly – plus  the latest stellar addition to the ZERO auxiliary, Randy Hansen! [Added: 07 September 2021]

 

·        The Zappa Band (currently on tour with King Crimson) is capturing performances in hi-res quality. You can stream (or download, without subscription) a live album from Saratoga Springs right now, from  Qobuz. Says Mike Keneally, “More shows coming soon! Follow the sound from town to town! No post-show mixing or fixes possible! Hear the unalloyed reality of the musics we are creating on this very tour at this very moment!” [Added: 05 September 2021]

 

·        Zappa book news: Podmeister Scott Parker's PREPOSTEROUS! Frank Zappa On Stage 1977-1978 should finally start shipping in September; Peter Van Laarhoven's The Others Of Invention books are now readily available via print-on-demand through Amazon; Candy Zappa is writing a book about her time with Nolan Porter, called If I Could Only Be Sure, which will be published by Crossfire Publications (Crossfire will also be reissuing updated versions of Candy's My Brother Was a Mother (Take 4) and Greg Russo's Cosmik Debris in December); the Chicago Press Review has now cancelled publication of Paul Zollo's Zappa On Zappa tome; and finally, out next month is the affordable softcover version of FZ88 (the visual documentary of FZ's final tour) – pre-order now, and save a fiver! [Added: 26 August 2021]

 

·        Ed Mann recently removed his Facebook posts about his two Gonzo Today articles, commenting that he was going away for a while as he was "stunned" about something. It very sadly transpired that his 27 year old daughter Anaïs had passed away. My sincere condolences go to Ed and the family and friends of Anaïs. How terrible. [Added: 26 August 2021]

 

·        More sad news: those of you who attended Frank’s 1984 shows at London's Hammersmith Odeon will know of PR man Roland Hyams. (You can hear FZ's opening spiel about him from the 24 September late show here; this followed an article by Alan Rusbridger in the Grauniad.) Well, poor Roland today really is in deep shit – his wife posted on Facebook: “Roland was diagnosed with cancer last year. He had his cancer operation March this year and was making a remarkable recovery. He went into hospital two weeks ago for a small procedure. Two days later he had a cardiac arrest and a massive stroke. He won’t be able to walk again. All we can do now is pray. I am devastated and heartbroken.” Here’s hoping for a recovery of some sort for the poor chap. [Added: 26 August 2021]

 

·        The Specials will release a new album, Protest Songs – 1924-2012, on 24 September. It includes 12 new versions of protest songs by artists like Bob Marley, Leonard Cohen, and...FZ's Trouble Every Day! [Added: 19 August 2021]

 

·        Chapter Two of Ed Mann’s Hired by Frank Zappa tale is here. A great read. [Added: 19 August 2021]

 

·        The 15-piece Stinkfoot Orchestra has re-scheduled it’s San Jose gig, with special guest Napoleon Murphy Brock, which was planned to celebrate Frank's 80th last year: it will now take place on September 11. Read a new interview with Napi here, and visit the ensemble’s website for more. [Added: 19 August 2021]

 

·        The virtual Zappanale has been…but it’s not gone. If you want, you can still check out my personal highlight: Patrick O’Hearn‘s solo bass rendition of Twenty Small Cigarshere! [Added: 14 August 2021]

 

·        Interesting new article here about Tom Wilson and his move to MGM/Verve and working as producer on albums by the Mothers, The Animals and The Velvet Underground. And who can forget Pamela Zarubica's reminiscences here? [Added: 14 August 2021]

 

·        Australian pianist Michael Kieran Harvey, who previously recorded Ruth Is Sleeping and 48 Fugues For Frank: A Homage To Frank Zappa, has a new FZ influenced project. Catalogue des Errances Bibliques/Bible Stories, for eight keyboardists and four percussionists – together with spoken narration, written and spoken by Arjun von Caemmerer – has just been released on CD. Check it out here – and over here also. “The influence of Zappa – both on the music and text – exceeds that of frozen beef pies,” says Arjun. [Added: 14 August 2021]

 

·        Cherry Red subsidiary él Records will release I’d Love to Turn You On, Vol. 2, a 4-CD set, in October. It “explores the relationship between 60s pop and classical music, free jazz and the avant-garde; providing many examples of how popular music evolved, matured and became liberated under the influence of apparently deeper, more expansive genres.” Representing FZ's influences, it collects together Igor Stravinsky’s L`Histoire du Soldat, Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 16 by Arnold Schoenberg and selections from Music On The Desert Road: A Sound Travelogue by Deben Bhattacharya. (Vol. 1 included Varèse's Hyperprism.) [Added: 14 August 2021]

 

·        Check out this behind the scenes footage of preparations for the 2019 Bizarre World…/Hologram tour, featuring Frunobulax - and FZ, in many animated forms! [Added: 30 July 2021 / Spotter: Corné van Hooijdonk]

 

·        Typically gonzo article by Ed Mann about how he finally got hired by the ‘evil and demonic’ FZ. [Added: 30 July 2021]

 

·        Ben Watson played three tracks from the Would You Like A Snack? album on his 30-vii-2021 OTL Show on Soho Radio. Check it out here. [Added: 30 July 2021]

 

·        Read about an almost lost episode when in 1974 Frank and the Roxy band went to Westminster College in Salt Lake City (where Albert Wing and Walt Fowler were students) here. [Added: 24 July 2021]

 

·        The Ed Palermo Big Band's full headlining set from Zappanale 2019 – with special guests Napoleon Murphy Brock and Candy Zappa – is now up on YouTube with remastered audio. Give you eyes and ears a treat. [Added: 24 July 2021]

 

·        Chato: “This Sunday (25/07/2021) at 7pm German time, my composition In Memoriam, Frank Zappa will be released on YouTube as a premiere! It's my tribute to my greatest hero Frank Zappa. Because of him I wanted to compose and it's no wonder it's in a similar style as his. I had the post-solo section of Sinister Footwear Mvt. 2 and Black Page #2 in mind when I wrote this. It would be great to watch this together, so here is the link.” [Added: 24 July 2021]

 

·        The Spanner Big Band livestreamed their gig at the Gunners Pub in North London last week, and paid tribute to the then imminent virtual Zappanale festival by playing a splendid version of Waka Jawaka. Check it out here. And don't forget you can listen to their version of Son Of Mr Green Genes over here (full album available from my webshop!). Oh, and Dan Spanner’s solo rendition of Daddy, Daddy, Daddy from the new Would You Like A Snack? album was part of the virtual Zappanale too! [Added: 24 July 2021]

 

·        Suddenly available (in good time for the 50th anniversary): Would You Like A Snack?an album of choice cuts from 200 Motels, as performed by a bunch of my Zappa friends. Buy it here. Read all about here. Listen to the title track here. [Added: 14 July 2021]

 

·        A number of you responded to the quiz below re. the FZ references in Simon Prentis's book promo vid. I can now reveal the winner. Step forward Corné van Hooijdonk. And here is what Corné spotted (in order of appearance in the video):

o   Arf! (The ever recurring theme of the dog barking)

o   Stinkfoot: "Here Fido!" and "This is the dog talking now"

o   I'm So Cute!

o   Stinkfoot: "Bring the slippers!"

o   Arf Arf Arf!

o   Arf?

o   Honey Don't You Want A Man Like Me: "She had an Irish setter!"

o   The Poodle

o   The Radio Is Broken

o   Muffin Man

o   I'm Using The Chicken To Measure It

o   Greggery Peccary, little pig.

o   Penguin In Bondage: stitched up little penguin.

o   Lumpy Gravy: "I hear you are having trouble with Pigs & Ponies!"

o   The back-cover of One Size Fits All

o   Mudd Club: "And all the rest of whom for which to when

o   So ever of partially indeterminate bio-chemical degradation

o   Seek the path to the sudsy yellow nozzle of their

o   Foaming nocturnal parametric digital whole-wheat

o   Inter-faith geothermal terpsichorean ejectamenta"

o   Fido again.

o   Scratch & Sniff

o   Florentine Pogen: Chester's Gorilla

o   The Blue Light: "You can't even speak your own fucking language"

o   The adventures of greggery peccary: "What?"

o   The Grand Wazoo

o   Inca Roads: "Did a vehicle come from somewhere out there?"

o   Shall we takes ourselves seriously?

o   The Crystall Ball sound from "Cosmik Debris"

o   Dinah Moe Humm: Do you know what I'm really telling you - Is it something that you can understand

o   Fido - again

o   I ain't got no heart: "There Ain't No Such Thing As Love"

o   Jumbo Go Away

o   The whistle in the beginning of "Find Her Finer" (Which I inserted during the Rotterdam May 3rd performance, that caused FZ to give me a fowl look)

o   I Don't Even Care (from FZ Meets The Mothers of Prevention)

o   The Air (we breathe)

o   Sofa: "FZ: A light shines down from Heaven, a dense ecumenical patina at the right hand of God's big sofa."

o   Church Chat (the organ sound)

o   The Poodle Story: God created man, wooo-man, and the poodle.

o   Bobby Brown: "Women's liberation, came creeping all along the nation".

o   The Big Note: FZ's take on the Big Bang theory.

o   Ding-Dong: the doorbell from "The Perfect Stranger"

o   The Illinois Enema Bandit: "No pooh-pooh jokes!"

o   Wino Man

o   The Poodle

o   In France

o   Greggery Peccary: The construction of a thrilling new trend: The Calendar! Monday, etc.

o   Punky's Whips: ""He's a little fond of chiffon in a wrist array-ee-ay-ee-ay"

o   Ko-Ko the female gorilla was also able to communicate. FZ dedicated TRFZ book to her.

o   Bark: Barking Pumpkin Records

o   Gibson SG guitar on stage

o   Sound of a cow: used in the Yellow Shark

o   1348: the year of the plague, on the skull of the backcover of Uncle Meat

o   Bamboozled: "Bamboozled By Love"

o   Aura: Dinah Moe Humm

o   Bizarre: "Our Bizarre Relationship", "Bizarre", the record label.

o   Wazoo: "The Grand Wazoo"

o   Yellow Snow (Dog on the brink of peeing in the snow)

o   What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body: "Some say your toes"

o   "We Are Not Alone", Man From Utopia

o   "Hope you enjoyed the show!": many times, FZ ended a concert with those words, or similar.

Simon sez, “He pretty much spotted everything (and a few I hadn’t noticed myself!) – the only notable lacuna in his list being that the Morse code message being tapped out at 0.26 actually spells F-R-U-N-O-B-U-L-A-X. Of course it does!” Very well done, Corné. [Added: 14 July 2021]

·        Chato’s performance of Marque-son’s Chicken at Zappanale in 2017 can now be obtained via Bandcamp. And here’s the video of said performance. [Added: 14 July 2021]

 

·        Ed Palermo (of Big Band fame): “I’m so happy to announce the release of our 2019 headlining performance at the Zappanale Festival in Germany. We'll premiere the entire gig (with newly remastered audio) on the 2nd anniversary, Tuesday, July 20th, 2021. Meanwhile, enjoy a stroll down Inca Roads with our special guest, Napoleon Murphy Brock. Crank it up, the sound quality is out of this world!” [Added: 14 July 2021]

 

·        The 2012 remaster of Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band’s Trout Mask Replica is finally being unleashed on streaming services. To tie-in with this, the Duck Foot Brewing company has produced a limited edition (wait for it) Stout Mask Replica beer. [Added: 14 July 2021]

 

·        Interesting li’l nugget for yez: the Bruce Bickford exhibition currently happening in New York (see below) is curated by artist Eric White. Some time after FZ passed, Eric befriended Gail Zappa and she wrote an essay for his book of paintings, It Feeds Itself (2003). He in turn provided the cover artwork for the posthumous Zappa releases, Trance-Fusion (2006) and The Dub Room Special (2007). Eric today is the boyfriend of actress Patricia Arquette. I just felt you needed to know this. [Added: 14 July 2021]

 

·        A couple of people have written to me to point out that Zappa 88: The Last US Show went straight into the German album charts at number 9. How mad is that? I seem to recall Ahmet commenting on the number of sales of some of the other recent releases too. There’s hope for the future! [Added: 14 July 2021]

 

·        The Married Widow: My Journey With Bob Zappa by Diane Papalia Zappa is now available from Amazon (in paperback and on Kindle). It includes a chapter on 'Frankie And Bobby' as well as one on 'Hanging with Moon and Dweezil'. Says Dick Barber, “Read how Diane was able to cope with a cruel turn of events and turn her life from loss to a loving memory of her husband Bobby.” [Added: 14 July 2021]

 

·        From the Zappanale website: “What can you expect next year at Zappanale #31? Here are some clues: Co de Kloet ... Lisa Popeil ... Valentina Ciardelli ... Marco Paccasoni Group ... John McLaughlin ... Mike Keneally ... Robert Martin & Zappa All Stars Band ... HILO feat. Dweezil Zappa.” See you there? [Added: 09 July 2021]

 

·        The Muffin Men: Roddie is taking a break from gigging this year. He’s having a bit of trouble getting his kex on, so in the interest of public decency, we’ve got new boy Phil Oakes to stand in for him. Phil’s a great player and a massive Zappa fan, and he jumped at the chance to play with us. We’ve been rehearsing all through spring and are very much looking forward to playing some old favourites and some new stuff at the few gigs we'll be doing this summer.” Keep checking the Bastard’s Diary for the dates. [Added: 09 July 2021]

 

·        Here's a little ditty from my tenth collaboration with Cordelia Records – the title track from the Would You Like A Snack? album, a selection of choice cuts from 200 Motels recorded by friends old and new. The track is performed by Johnny Hawk & The Pavement Oysters, and features Sam Ward (guitar/engineering), Kevin Crosby (bass), John Parkinson (drums), yours truly (vocals/whistling), and artwork by ArtForDinosaurs. The full album will be available from the Cordelia Record Shop next week. Full details on the album can be found here. [Added: 09 July 2021]

 

·        Chanan Hanspal: “I've just uploaded a video to YouTube on Zappa's concept of time and space in which I talk about xenochrony, fractals and the subliminal, I thought it might be something of interest to you and your readers. I've also recently completed an album called Culture Sculpture which follows a similar conceptual framework to Lumpy Gravy. It can be downloaded from Bandcamp where the buyer can nominate the amount they wish to pay for it. It features jazz musicians John Medeski and Jeff Lorber.” Impressive stuff! [Added: 09 July 2021]

 

·        Dweezil will be uploading a live album – “Dweezil Kn'EvilLIVE in Kansas City 2018 – to his website. Pre-order it now to save $10, and at the end of July you'll have access to 32 songs – both audio and video. [Added: 04 July 2021]

 

·        The virtual Zappanale later this month will include three bands (Jazzprojekt Hundehagen Trio, Die Reise and Coogans Bluff) performing live in front of an audience in Bad Doberan. The online programme is divided into pre-recorded videos (throughout 16-18 July) with the live concert taking place on the Saturday evening. Some info can already be found on the revamped Zappanale website here, with more detail to follow. [Added: 04 July 2021]

 

·        You can now watch the Don Preston Trio performance mentioned below on YouTube. [Added: 04 July 2021]

 

·        The Uplands, Bruce Bickford’s first ever solo exhibition in New York, opens on 12 July at the Andrew Edlin Gallery & Electric Lady Studios. [Added: 04 July 2021]

 

·        Earlier this week, I conducted a short interview with the director of 200 Motels, Mr Tony Palmer. [Added: 30 June 2021]

 

·        The Don Preston Trio will play a virtual concert at The World Stage on 2 July 2021. Read all about it here. [Added: 30 June 2021]

 

·        Listen to Umphrey’s McGee playing Dirty Love at the Red Rocks Ampitheatre on 19 June 2021 here. [Added: 30 June 2021]

 

·        Fred Händl, best known for his unique renditions on solo piano of the works of FZ, has just “launched a Kickstarter campaign for my new solo piano album, TOVARISHCHI. My goal is to raise €1,900 which will allow me to fund production, artwork and sound engineering.” See if you can spare him a dime. [Added: 30 June 2021]

 

·        Adam Minkoff, and three other members of Dweezil's Hot Rats Orchestra, have made an EP in honour of the late great  Bernard Herrmann’s 110th birthday. Check out Citizen Herrmann here. [Added: 30 June 2021]

 

·        Some of you older folk may remember an image of FZ as Batman that I provided for the back cover of Issue 10 of the British Zappa Fanzine, T'Mershi Duween, in November 1989. Well, I have just recycled it for use on the front 'cover' of Fred Händl's new ‘single’ on Bandcamp. This is a revised reading of FZ's little known gem, Boy Wonder, I Love You. This version, unlike the one on the Lost Meat album (currently on sale at a modestly discounted price in The Idiot Bastard Shop!), features lead vox by the affable Mark Watson. The Idiot also makes an appearance. Check it out here – and buy and download a copy too! [Added: 20 June 2021]

 

·        Dutch newspaper Het Parool recently spoke with Ahmet Zappa who revealed that as well as the 200 Motels set scheduled for later this year, there will also be a Bongo Fury box (“ear melting stuff”), a Synclavier project (“with a visual component”) and much more. Says Ahmet, “I could easily spend the rest of my life doing this!” (Thanks to Daniël Janssen for this.) And you can watch Mark Ellen and David Hepworth ask Ahmet, “What's life like when Frank’s your father?” here. [Added: 20 June 2021]

 

·        The long-awaited official FZ bio may finally appear in June next year. The working title ('Project X') seems to have been replaced by Mother Superior: The Saga of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention: The Authorised Biography. 320 pages written by Alan Clayson. Keep them fingers crossed. [Added: 20 June 2021]

 

·        As we cautiously but irreversibly emerge from lockdown, I have been able to update the Bastard’s Diary a tad. [Added: 20 June 2021]

 

·        Dweezil has recently added a bunch more songs on his website, including a few from his Hot Rats Live! tour. [Added: 20 June 2021]

 

·        The latest episode of the ZappaCast features an incredibly revealing interview with the wonderful Chad Wackerman – ahead of the imminent release of Zappa '88: The Last U.S. Show (here's another preview track, by the way: I Am The Walrus). Chad mentions that Frank allowed Allan Holdsworth to use UMRK where Mark Pinske remixed three of his Road Games tracks; these can be found here. [Added: 13 June 2021]

 

·        French FZ tribute band Zappy Birthday Mister Frank are playing two FREE concerts this summer: July 2nd at La Guinguette Blois (41) Loire Valley, and August 14th at Longwy (54) North East. Get there if you can. [Added: 13 June 2021]

 

·        King Crimson will be accompanied by the Zappa Band for the whole of the second leg of the tour from 22nd August-11th September, and also for the concerts in Concord and Los Angeles on 5th and 6th August.” Details here. [Added: 09 June 2021]

 

·        Watch Alice Cooper and Pamela Des Barres take part in a discussion about Miss Mercy's new book, Permanent Damage: Memoirs of An Outrageous Girl. (My review of the book can be found here.) [Added: 09 June 2021]

 

·        Simon Prentis, ‘The Semantic Scrutinizer’ (see Läther, The Crux Of The Biscuit), has a new book: SPEECH! How Language Made Us Human. Check out this promo video and see how many FZ references you can spot. (Send your lists to me and I'll forward them to Simon – the one who spots the most will get a free signed copy of the book!) [Added: 09 June 2021]

 

·        GoldmanT at Zappateers has posted a lovely bunch of high school snaps of Zappa alumni here. (Tap and scroll up – or click and select i – to reveal the names of any you're unsure of.) [Added: 01 June 2021]

 

·        Zappawoman Valentina Ciardelli now has some v nice FZ shirts for sale, here. [Added: 01 June 2021]

 

·        Dweezil has just revamped his website, adding new music (including tracks featuring Ray White) and merch. He has also announced a new series of audio documentaries about his own albums and music – coming soon. [Added: 01 June 2021]

 

·        L. Shankar: Darlene is a song I wrote for my solo album Touch Me There in 1979, produced by Frank Zappa for Zappa Records. This is a different version I recently did.” Three more 'different versions' of songs from Touch Me There can be found on the Cordelia Records album, Lost Meat –available here! [Added: 28 May 2021]

 

·        Listen to Dr Dot (a member of The Long Island Ballet Company!) in conversation with Ray White here. Ray answers questions from, inter alia, Scott Thunes, Robert Martin, Steve Vai and the Idiot Bastard (although he didn't actually have an answer for me). He also chats about the song he wrote for FZ’s children. Great listen. [Added: 28 May 2021]

 

·        Hear Mike Keneally and Joe Travers talk about the imminent Last US Show album – as well as the fact that the Trust is working on two anniversary releases for this year (we know about the 200 Motels set, for which Miss Pamela has written liner notes: could t'other possibly be Fillmore East related? I expect we'll learn more after 18 June. [Added: 28 May 2021]

 

·        You can now pre-order Podmeister Scott Parker’s next book here. Says Scott: “This one follows the exploits of the beloved Baby Snakes/Sheik Yerbouti band as they levelled North America and Western Europe with some of the greatest live performances of Frank Zappa’s (or anyone else’s) career. This was an amazing era for Frank, who triumphed despite nearly drowning in legal troubles during this period.” [Added: 28 May 2021]

 

·        Here’s my review of former GTO Miss Mercy’s book, which is due out next month. [Added: 22 May 2021]

 

·        On Sunday May 23, Radio Venice does Zappa! Guests include Chris Opperman, André Cholmondeley and Gerry Fialka. Go here. [Added: 22 May 2021]

 

·        Chad Wackerman has just been interviewed for a future ZappaCast episode. [Added: 22 May 2021]

 

·        To celebrate next month's release of Zappa '88: The Last US Show, I am offering some modest discounts on ‘Broadway’ products at my webstore. You can also now get another taster from the album here. [Added: 22 May 2021]

 

·        Double-bassist Valentina Ciardelli now has just launched her new range of Zappawoman t-shirts, here. More will be added soon. [Added: 22 May 2021]

 

·        I am very excited to announce that this Idiot has been invited to take part in this year’s virtual Zappanale (#30.75) – by two different bands! Stay tuned for more closer to the time. [Added: 22 May 2021]

 

·        Vinnie Colaiuta has released another streaming-only album via Extreme Music – this time in cahoots with film composer Mark Isham. [Added: 22 May 2021]

 

·        Everybody Loves Me is a book of photos taken by bass legend Leland Sklar. It features – among many, many others – Michael Brecker, Dweezil Zappa, Steve Vai and Howard Kaylan, all flipping Leland the bird. For those of you who might not know, Sklar's first band, Wolfgang, featured one Ricky Lancelotti. You can hear Leland reminisce about Ricky here. And if you’re interested in Zappa-related artwork, check this piece out by ‘Mr Natural’! [Added: 22 May 2021]

 

·        Dweezil says he “was forced to re-invent my whole approach to creating a sustainable way to support my family” as a result of the pandemic. He writes in a new blog that he will soon have his own ‘Sound Laboratory’ that will enable him to “create new music, collaborate with different artists, perform live stream concerts and one off events with multi-camera set ups paired with studio quality audio.” He also says he'll “be able to mix live concert audio like never before and create Live Concert Specials (the equivalent of DVDs) from years of filmed shows. I'll also be able to complete What The Hell Was I Thinking? Here’s hoping he finally does! [Added: 08 May 2021]

 

·        You can now pre-order the softcover version of FZ88: A Visual Documentary (Zappa's Final Tour) here – and save a fiver! [Added: 08 May 2021]

 

·        Last September, I mentioned 3DD Entertainment’s Birth Of Invention TV programme (go on, have a look below). Well, Sky Arts finally aired it for the first time in the UK on Thursday 6 May 2021. For those critical of Alex Winter condensing FZ’s life in his two hour movie, compare it to this half hour programme which additionally covers the work of Captain Beefheart and King Crimson . Contains nothing we didn’t already know (as well as a few factual errors); you can check it out again on Sunday. See here for more. [Added: 08 May 2021]

 

·        The June 2021 issue of Guitarist magazine celebrates the life and music of FZ (across eleven of its pages), with the help of Ahmet, Alex Winter, Guthrie Govan, John Etheridge, Steve Vai and Mike Keneally. And here’s a bonus article from Co de Kloet. [Added: 02 May 2021]

 

·        On June 18, Zappa ’88: The Last U.S. Show will be Official Release #119. The 2 CD/4LP 180-gram vinyl box set features Frank's final American show at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY on March 25, 1988. The renditions of Whipping Post and Stairway To Heaven with Dweezil as special guest have been replaced by earlier recordings from the tour; the Trust says, “We honoured Dweezil's wishes to remove his performances.” (Brother A West’s monologue during Pound For A Brown has gone AWOL too – more can be found on him in Zappa The Hard Way.) The album is notable for containing the first official release of The Beatles Medley, and also includes liner notes by Chad Wackerman (who celebrated his 28th birthday on stage that night). Having written two books (ZTHW & FZ88) and curated an album (On Broadway: Covers Of Invention) commemorating the tour, I can say I am officially excited! Here’s the press release. [Added: 24 April 2021]

 

·        “One thing that can be said about the Ensemble Modern is that there hasn't been anything that I've presented to them which they can't play. And that's amazing.” So said FZ at the press conference launching The Yellow Shark concerts in 1992. I have just interviewed five members of Frank’s last ‘band’ about their time working with the maestro. Wanna read it? Answer Yes or No. Well, it's here. [Added: 20 April 2021]

 

·        Here’s my review of the fab second album from Orange Claw Hammer. [Added: 20 April 2021]

 

·        With the paperback version of FZ88 coming out later this year, Wymer has now sold out of its limited edition hardback version (in custom-made presentation box with a set of prints). The Idiot Web Shop still has a few left if anyone is interested. [Added: 20 April 2021]

 

·        Drumbo's marvellous book, Beefheart: Through The Eyes Of Magic, is being reissued in hardback and digital formats on April 23. His City Of Refuge solo album (featuring ex-Magic Band members Bill Harkleroad, Mark Boston, John Thomas and Greg Davidson) is also being reissued with new artwork – including on vinyl, for the first time. [Added: 20 April 2021]

 

·        Sadly, Zappanale #31 has again had to be postponed. “Unfortunately, we were unable to obtain all the necessary permits. However, we are working for you on “Zappanale # 30.75” in July.” All being well, the next Zappanale-proper will happen on 15-17 July 2022. [Added: 04 April 2021]

 

·        Ahmet and Travers reveal a little more-a about the hi-res re-releases of 29 official Zappa albums currently appearing on Qobuz here. [Added: 04 April 2021]

 

·        An update on Ike Willis' prostate cancer diagnosis from his manager, Hank: “Ike has been to several doctors and has been told that this is not a terminal condition. Ike will be taking medication as directed. The need for radiation or chemotherapy is also not required. Ike is however experiencing some body pain and is taking steps to relieve the pain and discomfort. Ike would like to thank Dr. Dot for her help with the recent Go Fund Me drive on Ike’s behalf. The drive was a great success and Ike thanks each of you who contributed. Also Ike wants everyone to know that all of your best wishes and kind words are uplifting and positive, giving him support in this time of need. He is resting, and anxious to return to the road as soon as possible.” [Added: 04 April 2021]

 

·        Scott Parker's new book will be coming out in June. The title is PREPOSTEROUS! Frank Zappa On Stage Volume 8, 1977-1978. [Added: 04 April 2021]

 

·        Co de Kloet's Frank And Co is now available as an eBook. My review of the book is here. [Added: 04 April 2021]

 

·        Mats Öberg's Frankful is now available on double vinyl as a numbered limited edition. Grab one here. [Added: 04 April 2021]

 

·        Ike Willis needs our help: he has just been diagnosed as having prostate cancer. He obviously hasn't been able to tour for over a year and has no funding to buy the medication needed to fight this. Please contribute what you can here. [Added: 26 March 2021]

 

·        Ronnie Williams, the man who saved his numies on a window in his room and introduced FZ to Paul Buff, has sadly passed away. He latterly became a Tik-Tok sensation it seems – here’s some highlights from his grandson. Find more here. [Added: 26 March 2021]

 

·        ZappaCast #49 features the wondrous Robert Martin reflecting on his early career playing classic Philly soul, his audition for Frank, the 88 tour and more. [Added: 26 March 2021]

 

·        There has been a lot of confusion and misinformation about the Zappa movie from the get-go, and that seems to be continuing right up to the end. For your info, the bonus material on the backer DVD/Blu Ray comprises: four Vault nuggets (FZ demonstrating the Synclavier, Haskell Wexler & Uncle Meat, Frank and the pig, and The Way It Was); three interview outtakes (with Mike Keneally, Steve Vai and Ruth Underwood); the TV ad for Apostrophe ('); and a Q&A Zoom session featuring Alex Winter and associate producer Mike Nichols, moderated by “Weird Al” Yankovic. And here, from our friends at IINK, is a breakdown of the various soundtrack releases. Hope that helps clear a few things up. [Added: 26 March 2021]

 

·        Later this year, Wymer UK plans to issue in paperback the visual documentary of Frank's final tour, FZ88, featuring ooodles of previously unseen photos by Sergio 'Milo' Albonico. But you can still get the original limited edition hardback (in its custom-made presentation box and a set of prints) for just £30 here. [Added: 26 March 2021]

 

·        Hi-res versions of the 2012 UMe Zappa albums are now appearing on HDtracks and Qobuz. [Added: 26 March 2021]

 

·        Serious FZ 45 collector (and former Chicago guitarist), Dawayne Bailey, has revealed his part in the Cucamonga-era compilation, Rare Meat: “Harold Bronson, the president of Rhino, called me explaining that they had just acquired Bob Keane’s archives, but couldn't find the master tapes for the early Zappa stuff. They knew I had the cleanest 45s and asked if I would take those to a studio in Redondo Beach to have them recorded so they could release them. I did as they asked, but I told Harold to not include my name on the back cover in the credits because I had just been to Zappa’s home and his rehearsals and I did not want to burn a bridge with him as I had a feeling Zappa was going to sue Rhino as soon as that album came out.” Which of course, he did – but for using artwork by David McMacken (who did the illustrations for Over-Nite Sensation & 200 Motels, and sadly passed away a couple of years ago), creating an album cover that looked too much like an official Zappa release. For those of you who might not know the full story, look here. [Added: 20 March 2021]

 

·        While recovering from trigger finger surgery, Steve Vai decided to write something for one hand only. His new song, Knappsack, is here. [Added: 20 March 2021]

 

·        The latest in the Allan Holdsworth live series features Allan at the Leverkusen Jazztage Festival in Germany on October 16, 1997, accompanied by drummer and long-time collaborator Chad Wackerman. Chad also wrote the liner notes for Leverkausen '97, and is featured in a bonus interview on the DVD. [Added: 20 March 2021]

 

·        The bonus material on the Zappa movie backer DVD/Blu Ray comprises four Vault nuggets, three interview outtakes (with Mike Keneally, Steve Vai and Ruth Underwood) and the TV ad for Apostrophe ('). Hope to get my copy real soon. [Added: 09 March 2021]

 

·        You may have heard FZ read The Talking Asshole from William Burroughs' 1959 novel, Naked Lunch, But have you actually seen him read it? You can now. [Added: 09 March 2021]

 

·        The Arf Society is still planning for a 'live' Zappanale in July. “At the end of March, the board will meet to be able to react early to the current situation. After this meeting we will inform you.” Realistically, should the event go ahead, it is unlikely to have any overseas participants. But I live in hope. [Added: 09 March 2021]

 

·        I have just interviewed Karen Sperling, who had a relationship with Frank between 1971 and 1975. They met during his annus horribilis (at a recording of What’s My Line?) and she was with him in Montreux and at the Rainbow. She is mentioned in a number of books about FZ, but no one has spoken to her about this period before. Read all about it here! [Added: 24 February 2021 / Updated: 28 February 2021]

 

·        Mike Keneally has clarified the title of one of the 'new' FZ pieces performed on the Bizarre World/Hologram tour, which was alternated with #2 each night, and was previously thought to be called Van Moldred. It is in fact titled, "Piano Transcription Van Morrison <phone number>, which was a printed out score of some music Frank had written – I don't know the origin of the piano that was transcribed, or why Van Morrison's name and phone number were part of the title. I'm assuming it was written around the time that Van was doing vocals on Dead Girls Of London, and somehow his info leaked into the title…[it] is really suitable for performance by small ensemble." [Added: 28 February 2021]

 

·        The first three albums by Missing Persons (that is, Zappa alums Warren Cuccurullo, Patrick O'Hearn, Chuck Wild and Dale & Terry Bozzio) have been reissued as a limited edition box set, wittily titled The Album Collection. [Added: 28 February 2021]

 

·        New Beef Dreams! by Orange Claw Hammer suddenly available from Bandcamp. All Beefheart, including a live vershum of Willie The Pimp! [Added: 28 February 2021]

 

·        Irresponsible RockNRoll Shenanigans - Live in Texas by The Chadbourne/Gonzalez Collusion (featuring Eugene Chadbourne, of Jack & Jim Show infamy) includes a cover of Who Are The Brain Police? (plus a pair of Beefheart songs). Listen on Bandcamp. [Added: 28 February 2021]

 

·        Alex Winter’s Zappa movie can now be viewed in the UK and Ireland – here! The fillum has received positive reviews from the Grauniad , Stuart Penney and Mark Kermode. [Added: 24 February 2021]

 

·        Fellow Webmeister Peter Van Laarhoven (of United Mutations fame) has compiled a book or three! The Others Of Invention lists bands and artists who have recorded and released compositions written by FZ. It also includes recordings that Frank contributed to and more. Available in three volumes. Read all about it direct from PvL’s ‘pen’ here. [Added: 24 February 2021]

 

·        Co de Kloet’s fab book, Frank & Co, is now available from G&S Music in the UK. [Added: 24 February 2021]

 

·        Well Festival MOO-AH isn't happening on 19/20 March, but Fred Händl will still be playing the music of FZ on solo piano then. Click and go! [Added: 24 February 2021]

 

·        There seems to be some confusion online regarding the 5LP vinyl version of the Zappa – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. It is (and always was) scheduled to be released in May. The CD version is available now. [Added: 24 February 2021]

 

·        On Facebook, Miss Pamela said she's writing the liner notes for the 50th anniversary reissue of 200 Motels. [Added: 15 February 2021]

 

·        An Italian language version of Geoff Wills’ excellent Zappa And Jazz book has just been published by Auditorium Edizioni. [Added: 15 February 2021]

 

·        Here’s my review of the audio version of Pauline Butcher’s Freak Out! My Life with Frank Zappa. [Added: 15 February 2021]

 

·        Say what you like about Steve Vai, he doesn't just churn out instrumental guitar records. The Sound Theories series is set to continue ("I've got about four hours of orchestra music. Once it's recorded, I'll have enough for probably Vol. III, IV, V, VI...maybe VII. I'm really excited about that."), plus he is planning an acoustic vocal record ("Just me playing acoustic guitar and singing. Whenever I come across a song idea that falls into that category, I kind of put it on the shelf under a different category. I have a whole bunch of these, so that's what I'm working on."). Looking forward to both. [Added: 15 February 2021]

 

·        Hal Leonard is now offering FZ guitar tabs for instant download here. [Added: 15 February 2021]

 

·        Zappa movie global release dates (UK excluded) can be found here. [Added: 06 February 2021]

 

·        Here’s my review of the book, Frank Zappa – The Nordic Stories. [Added: 06 February 2021]

 

·        Very sad to learn that R&B singer/songwriter Nolan Porter – who married Frank’s sister ‘Candy’ in 2007 – has  passed away. Nolan's 1970 debut album No Apologies featured former Mothers Jimmy Carl Black, Roy Estrada and Lowell George. His follow-up album, titled simply Nolan (1973), spawned the UK northern soul hit If I Could Only Be Sure – which featured Johnny “Guitar” Watson on guitar and background vocals. At one time, Nolan was related to Napoleon Murphy Brock: he told me, “My mother was married to his uncle, between 1959-1961. So it was just by marriage.” In 2005, Nolan appeared alongside Napoleon (though not on the same tracks) on Greg Russo’s Neonfire album, which also featured contributions from Candy, The Tornadoes and the late Nigey Lennon. He was a very nice guy and will be much missed. My sincere condolences go to Candy and all of his family and friends. [Added: 06 February 2021]

 

·        Night pianist, and all round good egg, Fred Händl has written this lovely opened lettuce to the lovely Ruth Underwood. [Added: 06 February 2021]

 

·        Rolling Stone just posted this fantastic interview with drummer Chester Thompson, in which he talks at length about his time with FZ (as well as a bunch of other interesting stuff). [Added: 06 February 2021]

 

·        ZappaCast, Episode #48 sees AZ/JT answer all your questions on future video releases and such. And I can answer the question, ‘why wasn’t Ed Mann on the 1984 tour?’: Ed told me, “I was touring with Shadowfax a little bit – beginning to write some, teaching at Cal Arts, and playing live locally in LA quite a bit. I saw that band play live at the Palace in Hollywood. They were good, but of course I thought it would sound better with marimba!”  [Added: 02 February 2021]

 

·        While he’s selling some of his guitars, here you can see some of the ones Dweezil is keeping – including a few that belonged to his dad. Interesting watch. [Added: 02 February 2021]

 

·        Pamela Zarubica wrote this tribute to the late Phil Spector. [Added: 02 February 2021]

 

·        Dweezil is selling a selection of his guitars, amps and pedals, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Feeding America charity. “I have some really great things that haven't been out of the case in about 10 or 12 years,  so I figured why not let somebody else enjoy those things.” Included is his green Charvel S-Type, of which he said, “Under normal circumstances, I would keep that guitar but like most musicians, I'm not immune to the problems related to the live music shutdown stemming from Covid.” Visit his shop here. [Added: 28 January 2021]

 

·        The Zappa movie will be available to purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray in the US in early March, and can be pre-ordered now from many outlets. Digital and physical Kickstarter copies of the movie will be sent to backers at the same time (this version will contain exclusive bonus material not included in the publicly available version).For those outside the US, the roll out is starting in theatres and digitally beginning in February in certain territories. [Added: 28 January 2021]

 

·        Edinburgh based tribute band Pygmy Twylyte have re-scheduled some shows for later this year. Check the Bastard’s Diary…and keep everything crossed! [Added: 28 January 2021]

 

·        Zappawoman Valentina Ciardelli has just produced this homage to Frank: Questi Cazzi di Bicordo. [Added: 28 January 2021]

 

·        In 2020, I wrote 12 essays that provided answers to some of those questions that no one ever asks me! While researching these FUQs (Frequently Unasked Questions) I learnt a lot – including: the identity of the girl at Frank's feet on the cover of Roxy & Elsewhere (Joan Lou Gatt, mother of Lala Sloatman); that Frank’s composed an unreleased 'doo-wop rocker' for Ruben And The Jets; the name (and nationality!) of the lady who played The Countess in the Uncle Meat home movie; where Dweezil took the photo on the cover of Zappa In New York (from one of the World Trade Center towers), and a whole bunch more. I hope you did too. In case you missed FUQ #4, about Zappa’s London, here ‘tis. I will happily send one of any of the other FUQs to anyone who purchases a Zappa’s London map from my new webstore! [Added: 23 January 2021]

 

·        Spot the Idiot: here's a great little vid of the band EAK (Eric Trøim, guitar/Armin Beck, drums/Kevin Crosby, bass) playing Zoot Allures. [Added: 23 January 2021]

 

·        Tubist/baritone saxist Howard Johnson, who was the live band conductor of the Saturday Night Live Band in the 70s, has passed away. He can be seen and heard on the Halloween DVD-A, and was apparently FZ's first choice to play the title role in his planned Hunchentoot musical. RIP. [Added: 23 January 2021]

 

·        The Official Keith Emerson Tribute Concert – which featured performances by Eddie Jobson, Vinnie Colaiuta and Joe Travers – will finally be unleashed on DVD and Blu-Ray (with a bonus 2-CD set) in March. Pre-order here. [Added: 23 January 2021]

 

·        Here’s my review of Co de Kloet’s excellent new book, Frank & Co. [Added: 12 January 2021]

 

·        A lengthy but interesting Zoom interview with Mike Keneally and FZ techs Bob Rice, Thomas Nordegg & Merl Saunders Jr can be viddied here. As well as lots of great Zappa tour stories and such, Keneally also reveals that he’ll release his first new solo album in five years in 2021, which will feature special guest appearances by the likes of Steve Vai and Gentle Giant’s Malcolm Mortimore, plus some archival stuff from the last 20 years (including material with his Euro friends Jaan Wessman and Schroeder) that will be repurposed into a lengthy suite, featuring narration by David Ossman from the Firesign Theater. In the meanwhile, MFTJ – Mike’s ‘band’ with Scott Schorr – has just unleashed its second album, My Mom's Getting A Horse. [Added: 12 January 2021]

 

·        The death of British-American rapper and record producer Daniel Dumile – aka MF DOOM – was announced by his widow on the last day of 2020. For those who may not know, Dumile sampled Would You Like A Snack? on the track Gumbo from his 2004 album Mm..Food and Sleeping In A Jar on Meat Grinder from the Madvillainy album he created with producer Madlib that same year. He is also featured on J Dilla’s Mash's Revenge, which samples Dance Contest, on the 2007 Peanut Butter Wolf compilation, 2K8 B-Ball Zombie War. And then in 2013, Grip Grand produced an MF DOOM remix album, which saw his song Melody renamed But How? (Jesus Pizzas), and added a sample from Peaches En Regalia. May Doom rest in peace. [Added: 12 January 2021]

 

 

Lukewarm Poop

·         Festival Moo-ah organisers Uncle Ian & The Idiot (hey, that’s me!): “Given the current world situation, it is with heavy hearts (and udders) that we have decided to cancel Festival Moo-ah! 2021. We hope to run it again in the future, but will wait until life returns to 'normal' before making a decision. If you have bought tickets, WeGotTickets will carry out a full refund in January; please wait until you hear from them. If you have booked rooms at the Corby Hampton By Hilton, please request a refund - either by phone or online: they are aware of the situation. We thank you all for your support over the past seven years, and we wish you and your families good health through this worrying period.” [Added: 30 December 2020]

 

·         Watch Ahmet share the unsolved mystery of his father's UFO. [Added: 30 December 2020]

 

·         Here’s Inventionis Mater celebrating Frank's 80th – live from the sofa! [Added: 30 December 2020]

 

·         To celebrate FZ’s birthday, the Trust announced a tribute beer: Why Does It Hurt When IPA? [Added: 30 December 2020]

 

·         Treacherous Cretins' FZ@80 online celebration show with special guests Ed Palermo, Craig ‘Twister’ Steward, Ray White and Robert Martin can be (re-)watched anytime on YouTube here.! [Added: 21 December 2020 / Updated: 30 December 2020]

 

·         Universal Music and the Zappa Trust has invited us to “revisit some classics” with a digital EP of previously released material called A Very Zappa Birthday. [Added: 21 December 2020]

 

·         The third and final part of CBC’s audio documentary on our Frankie is here. [Added: 21 December 2020]

 

·         ZAPPATiKA (with Ike Willis) has just released Before The Shit Hit The Fan – Live In The UK. Check it out here. [Added: 21 December 2020]

 

·         Piece of Magic Entertainment has acquired European distribution rights to Alex Winter’s Zappa documentary from Great Point Media. It will receive a theatrical release across Europe from March 2021 – excluding the UK, Ireland, German-speaking territories and Poland, where deals have yet to be closed. [Added: 21 December 2020]

 

·         The audio version of Pauline Butcher’s book Freak Out! My Life with Frank Zappa is now available digitally via Google Play and Audible, or as a physical 13-CD set. [Added: 21 December 2020]

 

·         To celebrate 20 years of bringing you Zappa and related news via this here website, I have been writing an essay each month that provides answers to some of those questions that no one ever asks me. Yes, I have given you 12 FUQs (Frequently Unasked Questions) in 2020. Here's the final one – a random bunch of Zappa & related facts. (If you missed FUQ #4 about Zappa’s London, you can still buy a map and related doo-dads for Xmas here – hurry!) [Added: 16 December 2020]

 

·         Here’s an article what I wrote (with the help of Deepinder Cheema…and Dean Gaffney) about FZ’s alter ego, the beatnik Vincent Beldon. [Added: 16 December 2020]

 

·         Moon Zappa has sold her long-awaited coming-of-age memoir, provisionally titled I Hope You Die Love Me, to Dey Street Books. According to the HarperCollins imprint, the book is both heartbreaking and hilarious and reads like an offbeat love-letter to her father. It will be published in the UK by The Orion Publishing Group– but not before spring 2023. [Added: 16 December 2020]

 

·         Dale Bozzio’s upcoming book, Life Is So Strange, will detail her friendship with FZ. She says, “Frank made me what I am today. He gave me the opportunity for me to open my mouth and sing things I never thought I would sing in my life. I wrote about Frank through my whole book. He is my mentor.” [Added: 16 December 2020]

 

·         The FZ Nordic Stories book will be back from the printers in the next couple of days, so those who pre-ordered should get their's just as soon as Erland's numbered them! For those who haven't placed an order, what are you waiting for? In it you will find out why Frank wanted to hire an anthropologist to study Scandinavia, why Ian and Ruth broke up, why FZ had to let Jeff Simmons 'have it' and much, much more, as well as previously unpublished interviews and photos. It's great, and it's in US English! [Added: 16 December 2020]

 

·         Read why Steve Vai loves Freak Out! here. [Added: 16 December 2020]

 

·         The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has a three part-documentary about FZ (titled Dangerous Kitchen) that features family members, musicians and others, as well as excerpts from a CBC interview recorded the year before his death. Here are parts One & Two...Three next week. [Added: 14 December 2020]

 

·         Treacherous Cretins, and a cast of very special guests, will be to celebrating FZ's 80th birthday with a remotely-recorded online concert. "The event will be premiered on YouTube at 8:30PM GMT on the 21st December, and will be absolutely free to watch – but we would encourage donations to Prostate Cancer UK and the Live Music Trust." More details as soon as. [Added: 14 December 2020]

 

·         Aunty Owl (that is, Helen Tate, formerly of the Spanner Jazz Punks, and Graham Davis of Gabba Zappa Hey!) who recorded the Shankar/Zappa tune Knee-Deep In Heaters for my Lost Meat CD, have posted some home recordings here. The dynamic duo are currently recording some FZ tunes for a special album coming to your ears in 2021, and will hopefully be playing at Deptford's Birds Nest pub on 15 January. [Added: 14 December 2020]

 

·         The official non-exclusive Zappa Original Motion Picture Soundtrack album is now available to stream or download: hard copies won’t be available until February (CD) and May (vinyl). It features 12 previously unreleased FZ tracks, including Call Any Vegetable & Happy Together (Fillmore West, 1970), Apostrophe’ (LA rehearsal hall, 1974), Dancin’ Fool (Saturday Night Live, 1978) and The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing (The Pier, NYC, 1984), plus two interview excerpts and five tracks from the exclusive backer album. As well as tracks by Stravinsky, Varèse, The GTOs and Alice Cooper, it also adds the film’s orchestral cues by John Frizzell (all of these are omitted from a slimmed down 21 song download version). A tad confusing, but to get all of the previously unreleased material, all you have to do is buy this new album and to have pledged at $300+ a few years back. [Added: 01 December 2020]

 

·         An audio version of Pauline Butcher’s excellent book Freak Out! My Life with Frank Zappa will be available from 3 December. Narrated by Emma Gregory, it follows the text of a re-structured and revised version of the original book, which will be reissued in small paperback form in May next year. [Added: 01 December 2020]

 

·         The Zappa movie was available "everywhere" (in North America) last week. Following the main feature, some audiences were treated to 12 minutes of previously unseen footage backstage at the Roxy and from the 'Premore' shoot (aka the DiscReet Studio TV Special). Alex Winter has confirmed that next year’s generally available DVD of the film will have some extras. And backers at $150+ have already been told to expect special packaging and exclusive bonus materials that "WON'T ever be offered outside of our campaign!" Shame they didn't say this about the soundtrack, really. [Added: 01 December 2020]

 

·         Here’s Pamela Zarubica introducing Laura Matthews & The Flakes perform a cover of Bob Dylan's I'll Be Your Baby Tonight in her kitchen. [Added: 01 December 2020]

 

·         Diva is now the President of InterContinental Absurdities. [Added: 01 December 2020]

 

·         More sad news, in the wake of the passing of Carl Zappa: Candy reports that their half-sister Ann (from Francis’ first marriage) just passed away. In his memoir, Bob states that Frank never actually met her, though he and Candy certainly did. “That's it. I am truly the last one standing.” wrote Candy. Once again, my thoughts go to all family and friends. [Added: 25 November 2020]

 

·         Still no UK release date for Alex Winter’s documentary, Zappa, but it will be distributed over here by Altitude Film. Meantime, here’s the tracklist for the backer exclusive soundtrack EP: "The Full Impact" (interview excerpt, 1967)/Rawgah (FZ and John Guerin, 1966)/Watermelon In Easter Hay (The Ritz NY, 1981)/Vault Of Imaginary Diseases (San Diego CA, 1973)/Brutality (Maniac Mix) (Synclavier, circa 1985). Hopefully the more generally available soundtrack album will gather all of this and more together. [Added: 25 November 2020]

 

·         Update on Frank Zappa – The Nordic Stories: the book (for which I oversaw the English text) has been sent to the printers, with its official publication date now being 21 December (yes, Frank’s 80th birthday). The first 300 numbered copies having sold out yonks ago, you can already pre-order the second edition here. [Added: 25 November 2020]

 

·         To celebrate 20 years of bringing you Zappa and related news via this here website, I have been writing an essay each month that provides answers to some of those questions that no one ever asks me. Yes, I am giving you 12 FUQs (Frequently Unasked Questions) in 2020. Here's number eleven – about some of the nuggets residing in Frank’s sequin mines. (If you missed FUQ #4 about Zappa’s London, you can still buy a map and related doo-dads here – but hurry, as I only have a few of the badge sets left.) [Added: 20 November 2020]

 

·         The latest ZappaCast sees host Scott Parker and producer Phil Surkis welcome Alex Winter, Ahmet Zappa and Joe Travers for a conversation about the making of the Zappa movie. You can also see Winter talk about the film during his appearance this week on Jimmy Kimmel Live! here. [Added: 20 November 2020]

 

·         Terry Bozzio: "I have a new book coming out on December 21 (a few days before my 70th birthday!). It is a book about my life with interviews, pictures, some teaching, and stories of the many artists I have worked with over the years. Please check it out!" The text may only be in Japanese, though! [Added: 20 November 2020]

 

·         Dweezil and Premier Guitar have joined forces to celebrate the life and work of Edward Van Halen. A new podcast, Runnin' With The Dweezil, was already in the making prior to Eddie’s death. Each week, Dweezil invites a different guitar luminary (first up is Steve Vai) to talk about their encounters with Van Halen and his music. “It would have been a dream to have an episode with [EVH] that would explore his own personal musical journey. His sudden loss has inspired an even deeper connection to his music for me and so many others. We want to honour and celebrate him," says DZ. [Added: 20 November 2020]

·         Candy Zappa has announced the passing of her brother, Carl, on Facebook: "There was just too much wrong for him to come back. He's with Frank, Bob, Mom and Dad and I know they are taking care of him like crazy. See you on the other side, Carl. I love you." She had earlier reported that Carl was in “ICU in a hospital in Michigan...coronary and pneumonia.” Thoughts go to all family and friends. RIP Young Minnesota Tishman. [Added: 13 November 2020]

 

·         More on Co de Kloet’s imminent book, Zappa & Co: a bespoke microsite (with audio snippets and ordeing info) plus this promo video. [Added: 13 November 2020]

 

·         The Zappa movie companion book and soundtrack album (and also an EP, both with exclusive artwork by Cal Schenkel) are now being sent out to those who pledged at that level (or added them on). Here’s the album tracklist: Toronto (Excerpt) (interview, 1968)/Memories Of El Monte-Oh, In The Sky-The Duke (Whisky A Go Go, 23 July 1968)/Theme From "Run Home Slow"-The Little March (Ballroom, Stratford CT, 16 February 1969)/"Oink" (Apostolic Studios, 1968)-Randomonium (Apostolic Studios, 1968)/"Humble & Naive" (circa 1968)/Mo' s Vacation (Circus Krone, 31 August 1978)/None Of The Above (Kronos Quartet, 2018)/Envelopes (LSO, 1983)/Overture (Ensemble Modern, 1992). [Added: 08 November 2020 / Updated: 13 November 2020]

 

·         If you haven't yet subscribed to Dweezil's Reward Music site, you're missing out on a lot of great stuff. As well as excellent live renditions of a lot of his father's music (including Zoot Allures, Black Napkins, The Torture Never Stops, Jelly Roll Gum Drop, Cosmik Debris, The Gumbo Variations, A Pound For A Brown, Montana – with the ‘Brass From Utopia’ – and the entire Apostrophe album with a special guest appearance by George Duke), there's also a couple of great covers (such as an amazing version of Johnny 'Guitar' Watson's I Want To Ta Ta You Babe), all the hard-to-find Live In The Moment & F.O.H. releases, plus the rest of his solo albums – including Via Zammata' with six bonus tracks. Additionally, there's some 'new' solo archival material dating back to 1995. And he just keeps adding more and more. If you subscribe, you can stream everything – and download/keep a fair chunk of it too. The Idiot heartily endorses this event or product! [Added: 08 November 2020]

 

·         Check out Nothin' Gonna Stop This Love by Robert Martin on Bandcamp. [Added: 08 November 2020]

 

·         Finally, the official Zappa movie trailer is here. And you can grab the press kit over here also. It seems the film will be released on DVD/Blu-Ray in March 2021. [Added: 02 November 2020]

 

·         Some more info on Co de Kloet's book (out next month): Co and Frank were friends for 26 years. Co recorded every conversation. The two men also corresponded frequently. Frank & Co is more than a book about Zappa’s music: it also includes Co’s favourite memories of Frank as well as interviews with, among others, Flo & Eddie, Jimmy Carl Black and Pamela Zarubica. 460 pages of text plus 20 photos and a foreword by Dweezil. Can’t wait! [Added: 02 November 2020]

 

·         Update on Frank Zappa – The Nordic Stories: the book has been delayed until December as the authors are keen to make it as good as possible (they are currently awaiting some very interesting material from Denmark). The first 300 numbered copies are now sold out, but you can pre-order the second edition here. [Added: 02 November 2020]

 

·         The London Zappa Collective has added a few interesting lockdown covers to its SoundCloud page of late. [Added: 02 November 2020]

 

·         This is the Fred Händl version of Oh No! that appears on the soundtrack of the new Zappa movie (as Ruth Underwood talks about trying to play it on a “beautiful grand piano” having just heard the Mothers perform it at the Garrick). If you haven’t already got it, there’s also a version from his new album up on Fred’s Bandcamp page. [Added: 25 October 2020]

 

·         Remember ZPZ's 2008/09 You Can't Fit On Stage Anymore! shows? Attendees were supposed to get a download of their entire concert as part of their ticket price within eight days. Sadly that never happened, and Dweezil was asked about it on his website recently. Here’s what he said: "I completed all of the mixes from that tour project several years ago and then the ZFT blocked the mixes from being released by Nugs. Nugs was/is the platform that generated the concert codes ticket holders are to use to redeem their downloads. Last I heard Nugs was trying to sort it out. I hope that will happen soon. Because of the prior delays, you may recall that ticket holders received a complete concert download in good faith until their own concert was available on Nugs." In the meantime, here's ZPZ (featuring three Zappa Band members) performing Billy The Mountain on the YCFOSA tour at The Roxy in December 2008. [Added: 25 October 2020]

 

·         Patrick O'Hearn now has a Bandcamp page with a couple of new tracks – here. [Added: 25 October 2020]

 

·         To celebrate 20 years of bringing you Zappa and related news via this here website, I am writing an essay each month which provides answers to some of those questions that no one ever asks me! Yes, I am giving you 12 FUQs (Frequently Unasked Questions) in 2020. Here's number ten – about some of the photographers who captured our Frankie! (If you missed FUQ #4 about Zappa’s London, you can still buy a map here – but I only have a few of the badge sets left.) [Added: 17 October 2020]

 

·         Co de Kloet's book, Frank & Co, will be published on 20 November. It includes a foreword by Dweezil plus lots of new insights into the great man's life. The first 250 come signed and numbered. A formal announcement will be made in Soundz magazine shortly. [Added: 17 October 2020]

 

·         The all new Zappateers.com is officially open. Old members need to register anew; new members, sign-up…NOW! [Added: 17 October 2020]

 

·         Those who pledged $1k+ or purchased any of the Exclusive Theatrical Preview Screenings (in Austin, New York, San Francisco or LA), have now had an opportunity to stream the Zappa movie. If that’s you and you missed out, contact the Kickstarter team via kieranzkickstarter@gmail.com. Us other mortals who pledged a tad lower should get an opportunity to see it shortly. [Added: 17 October 2020]

 

·         Check out this acoustic double bass duo version of Your Mouth by Valentina Ciardelli and Manuel Dell'Oglio. [Added: 17 October 2020]

 

·         Listen to Let's Move to Cleveland/Fixing a Hole by The Ed Palermo Big Band here. [Added: 17 October 2020]

 

·         Remember when the Prague Proms played host to Musics by Frank Zappa: Orchestra En Regalia in 2016? Well, you can now watch the whole darn thing on YouTube. It features Zappa Band members Thunes, Travers & Kime, plus Ian Underwood. [Added: 12 October 2020]

 

·         Both Dweezil and the Adrian Belew Power Trio are to be part of the 2022 Cruise To The Edge. [Added: 12 October 2020]

 

·         You can watch the Zappa movie Q&A with director Alex Winter and editor Mike Nichols from the Camden International Film Festival here. [Added: 12 October 2020]

 

·         Sad to hear of the passing of Eddie Van Halen, who I first saw in 1978 when Van Halen supported Black Sabbath at the Hammersmith Odeon – what a line-up! IIRC my brother already had the band's eponymous debut album, as little Nicky Horne was playing the shit out of RunninWith The Devil and their version of You Really Got Me around the time. Anyway, obviously Dweezil was hugely influenced by Edward and has paid two touching tributes to him first on Instagram and then on his website. He has also made available a ZPZ live version of Florentine Pogenretitled Flo Po EVH – to subscribers of his Reward Music doings. [Added: 12 October 2020]

 

·         Mark Pinske, Frank's sound engineer for many years, sadly passed away after going into cardiac arrest on Wednesday (30 September). Here's the interview I did with him a couple of years back. May he rest in peace. [Added: 02 October 2020]

 

·         Dweezil has just posted the 2010 performance of Gumbo Variations (released in audio form last year), which is the opening number from his forthcoming full-length Apostrophe (’) concert film. [Added: 02 October 2020]

 

·         In a new interview with Modern Drummer magazine, Aynsley Dunbar tells how he joined The Mothers and why he eventually left Frank's employ. Check it out here. [Added: 02 October 2020]

 

·         The Dutch premiere of the Zappa movie takes place during the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in November. Great Point Media tell me “the film will most probably be released in the UK in the near future”. [Added: 02 October 2020]

 

·         The Zappateers tell me they are now entering the testing stage of the new website, and hope to make a formal announcement shortly. Keep an eye on their Facebook group page for updates. And should you feel like making a donation to help ensure things run smoothly in future, send dosh to their PayPal account. [Added: 02 October 2020]

 

·         The Ed Palermo Big Band will unleash The Great Un-American Songbook Vol. III: Run For Your Life on 6 November. As per Vols. 1 & 2, it includes "the music of The Beatles...and a healthy American serving of Frank Zappa". Bandcamp pre-order here. [Added: 02 October 2020]

 

·         Android Trio – comprised of former Magic Band members Andy Niven, Max Kutner and Eric Klerks – have a new tune available on Bandcamp called Take Me. It was produced by Mike Keneally. [Added: 02 October 2020]

 

·         Dweezil’s Reward Music site is now up and running. Grab yo'seffs some music and merch – subscribe and get even more-a! [Added: 28 September 2020]

 

·         Update on the roll-out of the Zappa movie: as well as the Woodstock drive-in mentioned below, there will also be opportunities to see the documentary in the US at the San Francisco Film Festival (on 3 & 4 October) and the Camden International Film Festival (10 October). There are more US and international festival dates to be announced. Those who Kickstarted the project at $1k or more will gain access to a virtual screening via VOD on 14 October. And anyone who pledged $35 or more will receive a download link for a digital copy "very close to the general release date in each territory". [Added: 28 September 2020]

 

·         A third and, presumably, final teaser track from the imminent Halloween 81 set has been unleashed: What’s New in Baltimore? (from the first Halloween night show). For those who might not know, the box set can be purchased legitimately via Qobuz as a 16-bit CD quality download. Obviously, you don’t get the mask, but you do get a digital booklet. [Added: 28 September 2020]

 

·         Dweezil says he will “have lots of new/old music available for streaming and purchase” via Reward Music, which launches on 28 September. This will include his “performance of my dad’s classic album, Apostrophe (’), live in its entirety. A video performance is coming too!” But he made it clear, they’ll be, “no Z albums.” [Added: 23 September 2020]

 

·         Looks like the Zappa movie's first screening will now be at the Woodstock Film Festival on 2 October – then it's 'everywhere' (cinemas/on demand) from 27 November. [Added: 23 September 2020]

 

·         ZappaCast Episode #46 sees The Vaultmeister talk about the recent Mothers 1970 set, the imminent Halloween 1981 box and his fanboy life as the drummer for The Zappa Band. [Added: 23 September 2020]

 

·         To celebrate 20 years of bringing you Zappa and related news via this here website, I am writing an essay each month which provides answers to some of those questions that no one ever asks me! Yes, I am giving you 12 FUQs (Frequently Unasked Questions) in 2020. Here's number nine – about the Italian connection! (If you missed FUQ #4 about Zappa’s London, you can still buy a map here – but I only have half a dozen of the badge sets left.) [Added: 19 September 2020]

 

·         This just in:

Zappateers is not dead – it just smells funny

Zappateers had been limping along burdened with long since unsupported and un-upgradable software since our last major overhaul in 2012. In May of this year we had serious problems with the server – which miraculously righted itself – but we knew it couldn’t last – and so we started preparing for the worse. As always when things work, the natural instinct is not to poke it, and everything was sort-of working until August, when we had another series of problems. We have only very basic expertise in-house, and the problems were beyond any of us to fix. By this time the server was crashing every hour or so, requiring a hard reboot. We decided that if Zappateers was to have a future, we’d have to find and pay a developer to create a new site based on modern supported technologies.
That developer is now working on a new Zappateers site – it won’t look exactly like the old Zappateers – and there will be a learning curve as we all try and learn our way around the board. But in terms of function it will do the same job. Content is of course provided by the members – and we hope all of our regulars will return once the new site is up and running. Unfortunately I can’t give a date when that will be, as it is all bespoke customisation, but I can say that we hope to go into testing phase within the next fortnight.
We hope all of our regulars remember us and will jump back on board when the new site is launched.
In the meantime we encourage everyone to drop into www.zappateers.com once in a while for updates, and www.idiotbastard.com for news.

ZappaCheers from the Zappateers,

StatusBaby
London 19/09/20

·         At the end of July, Chris Opperman (who has worked on orchestrations for Steve Vai and Mike Keneally, among others) released his sixth full-length album, produced by Dweezil's bassman Kurt Morgan. Chamber Music From Hell includes performances by Keneally and ZPZ drummer Ryan Brown, and you can grab a copy from Chris' website or via Bandcamp. Chris recently posted on FB that Scheila Gonzalez just sent him her soprano sax solo for an alternate take of the track Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?, which will be issued separately in the futchum. [Added: 19 September 2020]

 

·         London-based 3DD Entertainment has produced a programme for TV called Birth Of Invention featuring FZ, Captain Beefheart and King Crimson. It will air on AXS TV in the US on 11 October as part of its ‘Rock Legends’ series, and on Sky Arts in the UK as part of its ‘Music Icons’ series (date TBA). [Added: 13 September 2020]

 

·         Another teaser track from the imminent Halloween 81 set has been unleashed: Joe’s Garage (from the second Halloween night show). [Added: 13 September 2020]

 

·         FZ's Night Flight Interview from 1985 has been officially released by the makers of the TV series. You can buy it as a physical ‘special collector's edition’ CD, or stream it on YouTube, Spotify, etc. [Added: 13 September 2020]

 

·         Since The Zappa Tour Atlas was published last year, there have been a further six new Official Releases. As per the book, I have written 150 word reviews of these. You can find them on our Facebook page here. [Added: 06 September 2020]

 

·         I have been helping proofread the text of the new book, Frank Zappa – The Nordic Countries, and I must say it's chockfull of great unheard stories about Frank's visits to Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. I haven't seen the near 300 unpublished photos that will illustrate this text yet, but I know this is a book ALL Zappa fans will want. Pre-order here. [Added: 06 September 2020]

 

·         There's an interesting article in Sound On Sound magazine about Craig Parker Adams. You can view 20% of it online, and download the whole thang for "less than the price of a coffee". For those of you who might not know, Adams initially worked for Dweezil (recording/mastering Live - 'In The Moment', F.O.H., and Via Zammata') and, as the article says, was nabbed by GZ to spiff-up a version of City Of Tiny Lites for The Frank Zappa AAA·FNRAA·AA Birthday Bundle 21.Dec.2010. Since 2016, he has been the Trust's go-to remix guy, working on everything since Official Release #108. (The full article also mentions Nellie McKay, who recorded a version of Hungry Freaks, Daddy which Adams engineered.) [Added: 06 September 2020]

 

·         French-Brazilian guitar virtuoso Marcelo Paganini has just released his new prog rock-jazz-fusion single Circus Is Empty, featuring Chad Wackerman on drums. [Added: 06 September 2020]

 

·         During Co de Kloet's recent Dweezil radio special, DZ talked about Reward Music, a new scheme whereby artists get 100% from every sale and fans are rewarded with exclusive content (similar to Patreon and OnlyFans). Sounds promising. It launches next month, and you can check out DZ’s promo ad for it here. [Added: 27 August 2020]

 

·         ZappaCast Episode #46 answers the question do politics belong in music, with aplomb. [Added: 27 August 2020]

 

·         Read all about Eddie Jobson’s new live CD in this Press Release. Check out a video for Caesar's Palace Blues here. [Added: 27 August 2020 / Updated: 06 September 2020]

 

·         Not Your Mother's Radio's recent alumni interviews are now being uploaded as podcasts for your more permanent listening pleasure. So far there's chats with Arthur Barrow. Ray White and Scott Thuneshere. [Added: 23 August 2020]

 

·         Drummer Gergo Borlai's new album, The Missing Song, features nine tributes to his skin-thumping heroes – including Terry Bozzio and Vinnie Colaiuta. The Terry track is played à la The Black Page, and the Vinnie track (played in the style of He Used To Cut The Grass) features Mike Keneally on guitar; both feature Ben Thomas (formerly of ZPZ) speaching. [Added: 23 August 2020]

 

·         Devin Townsend will release a new album, Order Of Magnitude – Empath Live Volume 1, on October 23, recorded in London last December. The band for this gig of course included Mike Kenneally and Morgen Ågren. [Added: 23 August 2020]

 

·         The Zappa movie now has a page at the Magnolia Pictures website (as well as a presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram). [Added: 23 August 2020]

 

·         The next Official Releases from the Zappa Trust are: a six CD costume box set, comprising three of the five Palladium, New York shows from 1981; and a Highlights CD including an exclusive bonus track. Both will be released on 2nd October. Details here. You can check out the previously unreleased version of I’m The Slime, from the November 1 show, here. And now. [Added: 14 August 2020]

 

·         To celebrate 20 years of bringing you Zappa and related news via this here website, I am writing an essay each month which provides answers to some of those questions that no one ever asks me! Yes, I am giving you 12 FUQs (Frequently Unasked Questions) in 2020! Here's number eight – about some of the women in Frank’s life. (If you missed FUQ #4 about Zappa’s London, you can still buy a map here – but I only have half a dozen of the badges left!) [Added: 14 August 2020]

 

·         Robby Krieger's The Ritual Begins At Sundown is now out and you can listen to his cover of Chunga's Revenge – featuring five-Five-FIVE Zappa alumni (Arthur Barrow, Jock Ellis, Sal Marquez, Tommy Mars & Chad Wackerman) – here. [Added: 14 August 2020]

 

·         Adam Minkoff has put together this 50th anniversary version of Weasels Ripped My Flesh with a whole bunch of folk, including fellow/past ZPZers Kevin Bents, Ryan Brown, Scheila Gonzalez, David Luther, Kurt Morgan & Chris Norton…and Moon Zappa! [Added: 14 August 2020]

 

·         Zappateers.com is experiencing some serious issues: when the server is rebooted, "it only lasts a few hours and crashes again. No quick fix this time..." Fingers crossed they can resolve this soon. [Added: 14 August 2020]

 

·         The Zappa movie will screen in select theatres and be available ‘on demand’ in North America from November 27. International release dates will be announced soon. With London-based Great Point Media being executive producers, it bodes well for an early viewing in the UK. Keep ‘em crossed. [Added: 07 August 2020]

 

·         Check out a short but sweet lockdown version of Yo Mama by the London Zappa Collective here. [Added: 07 August 2020]

 

·         Out shortly, Live by Eddie Jobson - a 2-CD compilation of solo live performances from Poland, Russia, Japan and the US with the all-star U-Z Project, featuring Simon Phillips, Tony Levin, Marco Minnemann, Trey Gunn, Billy Sheehan and the late John Wetton. Pre-order here. [Added: 07 August 2020]

 

·         John ‘Drumbo’ French is currently mixing the Magic Band's live show from Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall in 2017 (which featured guest horns by some former Muffins). Drumbo says, "Instead of just mixing, I'm enhancing with overdubs, playing a little guitar here and there, and re-doing some of the vocals." [Added: 07 August 2020]

 

·         Alex Winter advises that the distributor for the Zappa movie will be announcing release plans very shortly, and adds that the accompanying "book and album are already well down the road…and they look and sound fantastic!" [Added: 03 August 2020]

 

·         Frank Zappa – The Nordic Stories by Erland Bekkelund (with Cege Berglund, Matti Laipo and Ole Lysgaard) – a coffee table picture book with English text – is ready for pre-order here. [Added: 03 August 2020]

 

·         L. Shankar's new album, Chepleeri Dream, features Chester Thompson on a number of tracks. [Added: 03 August 2020]

 

·         RIP Bennett Glotzer, who was Frank's manager from 1976 to 1984. According to Ed Mann, his absence on the 1988 tour had a huge impact: "Bennett made sure the family feeling was always present. The disappearance of that was felt big time. The new, faceless managers were slick suit-wearing Hollywood hot-shots. Their approach was that Frank was walled off and isolated." However, as GZ noted: "In 1984, we'd gotten into a situation where we were really subsidising [Glotzer]. He owed us a lot of money, and so in order to keep the business going we were taking care of all his outstanding debts. Things weren't working in an efficient way. Frank was on the road, and the shit hit the fan. He fired him, and I took over the business." He obviously did a lot of good for FZ though, especially in the wake of the Herb Cohen and Warner Bros. debacles. [Added: 30 July 2020]

 

·         Fred Händl's new CD, simply titled ZAPPA, will feature sixteen solo piano arrangements of FZ compositions recorded between March and July 2020. It will be released in October 2020. There will be 100 copies only, numbered and signed. It won't be available on Spotify. You can pre-order your copy by emailing: mudshark@jazzappa.com, and Fred will answer as soon as possible with payment/shipment info. [Added: 30 July 2020]

 

·         Miss Pamela: “My beloved sister for most of my life, Miss Mercy, has just passed. Words don’t work for me at this moment. I can’t imagine my world without her in it.” Happily though Mercy finished her autobiography (Permanent Damage: Memoirs Of An Outrageous Girl), which will now be published in 2021. It’s available to pre-order here. [Added: 30 July 2020]

 

·         Check out this Monnow Valley Live Jam by The Mandonnas (Devin Townsend, Mike Keneally, Morgan Ågren & Nathan Navarro). [Added: 30 July 2020]

 

·         Mike Keneally: "I’m putting the finishing touches on a new solo album. It’s a collection of seven new songs, along with a few of the best unreleased tracks that I’ve had in my back pocket for a while. There are loads of great players on it: [including] Tobias Ralph, Nick D’Virgilio, Pete Griffin, Rick Musallam, Doug Lunn and Steve Vai." [Added: 27 July 2020]

 

·         This is what happens when you convince your locked-down musician chums that it would be a good idea for them to record something for you to 'sing'! Yes, a tribute to the late, great Vivian Stanshall, featuring Sam and John from Treacherous Cretins, ZERO's Kevin Crosby and Craig 'Twister' Steward! (This Idiot on vox, obvs.) [Added: 27 July 2020]

 

·         Well, the Zappanale #30.5 online festival was great. And now you can watch some great stuff at your leisure on YouTube. [Added: 16 July 2020 / Updated: 27 July 2020]

 

·         To celebrate 20 years of bringing you Zappa and related news via this here website, I am writing an essay each month which provides answers to some of those questions that no one ever asks me! Yes, I am giving you 12 FUQs (Frequently Unasked Questions) in 2020! Here's number seven – about the guy I should be watching in Bad Doberan this weekend: Dweezil Zappa! (If you missed FUQ #4 about Zappa’s London, you can still buy a map here!) [Added: 16 July 2020]

 

·         Robert Martin has released a new solo piano piece, called Russell's Healing. Beautiful song, with a beautiful story. [Added: 16 July 2020]

 

·         I understand Roy Estrada has now been discharged from hospital and returned to jail. [Added: 16 July 2020]

 

·         The Arf Society has provided some more details about next week's online Zappanale #30.5 festival. In addition to a livestream, there will be new contributions and the best shows from previous Zappanales, with optional opportunities to watch select concerts. Can’t wait? Valentina Ciardelli has premiered a sneak preview of her contribution here: Tengo Na Minchia Tanta by The Girls From Utopia! [Added: 07 July 2020]

 

·         Last week, Diva found a test pressing of her dad's The World's Greatest Sinner 45. [Added: 07 July 2020]

 

·         Nolan Potter has unleashed a spiffy rendition of Dog Breath, In The Year Of The Plague on Bandcamp. [Added: 07 July 2020]

 

·         As I will not be making my annual pilgrimage to Bad Doberan next month, I have put together this video of snaps from my 18 consecutive visits in readiness for the online Zappanale #30.5. [Added: 29 June 2020]

 

·         The August 2020 edition of MOJO magazine includes a 10 page article, marking what would have been Frank’s eightieth year. Includes some new quotes from the likes of Ahmet, Vai, Alex Winter, Bozzio (who talks about Frank’s end of tour bad moods) and Ruth & Ian Underwood (the latter comparing himself to Frank’s Synclavier: “a useful tool”!), plus a review of The Mothers 1970. [Added: 29 June 2020].

 

·         To coincide with the release of The Mothers 1970, I have compiled a Spotify playlist of various tracks featuring the 1970 Mothers band members. [Added: 29 June 2020]

 

·         Roy Estrada has apparently been moved from jail in Navasota to a hospital in Galveston. More as and when. [Added: 29 June 2020]

 

·         With tickets for Festival MOO-AH! 2021 now on sale, we have also just negotiated discounted rates for anyone wishing to stay at the nearby Hampton By Hilton in Corby. Bookings can be cancelled up to sixty days before, and Festival ticket refunds will automatically be made in the event of MOO-AH! being cancelled – so you have nothing to lose by booking your visit right now! [Added: 18 June 2020]

 

·         To celebrate 20 years of bringing you Zappa and related news via this here website, I am writing an essay each month which provides answers to some of those questions that no one ever asks me! Yes, I am giving you 12 FUQs (Frequently Unasked Questions) in 2020! Here's number six – about Rubén Guevara. (If you missed #4 about Zappa’s London, you can still buy a map!) [Added: 18 June 2020]

 

·         Adam Minkoff from Dweezil’s band has just released a four-track EP of rare FZ material that he “transcribed and recorded over the last year or so and during this quaran-time.” Unimaginary Diseases features contributions from current/former ZPZ/BFU members Scheila Gonzalez, Kurt Morgan, Chris Norton and Robbie 'Seahag' Mangano. [Added: 18 June 2020]

 

·         The area where the Log Cabin used to stand, which FZ rented for several months in 1968, is up for sale again. $999K will get you Zappawood! [Added: 18 June 2020]

 

·         Vaultmeister Joe Travers now has his own YouTube channel. He also took part in ‘Coffee Talk with ADIKA LIVE. [Added: 18 June 2020]

 

·         I recently spoke with Spencer Chrislu. As you will know, Spence worked as Frank's engineer from 1991 until his passing in 1993 – and then continued to be involved with the family biznis until 1998. During this period, Spence worked on The Yellow Shark, Civilization Phase III, Music For Pets, The Rage And The Fury and many more. You can read our interview here. [Added: 12 June 2020]

 

·         Broadway The Hard Way tour photographer Sergio "Milo" Albonico has just unearthed some more snaps from rehearsals and kindly allowed me to post some on Facebook. Obviously, none of these appear in FZ88: (A Visual Documentary – Zappa's Final Tour) – last few copies available from Wymer! [Added: 12 June 2020]

 

·         Grab a free download of FZ's Trouble Every Day, as performed by members of The Tubes and a former Grandmother (all under the auspices of the Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra). Go here – go now! [Added: 12 June 2020]

 

·         Some lovely snaps by Ed Lefkowicz of Frank & The Mothers backstage at the Durfee Theatre, Fall River, Massachusetts on February 18, 1968 here. [Added: 12 June 2020]

 

·         Mick Ekers talks Zappa Gear some more in Zappacast Episode #44. [Added: 12 June 2020]

 

·         Mike Keneally appears as a special guest guitarist on prog ensemble Staring Into Nothing's second album, Love. [Added: 12 June 2020]

 

·         Diva just held a Zoom session to play and talk about some of her father's album collection. Sam from Treacherous Cretins partook and enquired about Frank's 45s. Diva told him, "There are a bunch in storage that I have to get – we just found them." As ever, Instagram is the place to keep an eye on for more. [Added: 07 June 2020]

 

·         To celebrate Steve Vai’s 60th birthday (he was born on the sixth day of the sixth month, 1960), I have re-posted our interview from 1997 and uploaded a spiffy little video slideshow thang. Steve hisself has released the new song, Candle Power, together with a commemorative candle! [Added: 07 June 2020]

 

·         Here's some fan footage from a Real FZ Book signing session in New York, 1989. [Added: 07 June 2020]

 

·         Chris Opperman has just released a new single, And If You Know, featuring lead vocals and production by Robert Martin. [Added: 07 June 2020]

 

·         Zappanale WILL happen this year. But online. Yes, the Zappanale team is working on a 'virtual festival', comprising standout performances from previous years together with new contributions from 2020. The planned programme with Dweezil Zappa, John McLaughlin, Mike Keneally and others will now take place in Bad Doberan in the summer of 2021. But in the meanwhile we can enjoy Zappanale 30.5 from the comfort of our homes (though I plan to camp out in my back garden that weekend!) Keep checking the official website for details. [Added: 28 May 2020]

 

·         Tickets for next year’s Festival MOO-AH! are on sale now. Here. [Added: 28 May 2020]

 

·         Sharleena (Roy Thomas Baker Mix) from the forthcoming The Mothers 1970 set is now on YouTube. [Added: 28 May 2020]

 

·         Having had a number of shows cancelled in 2020, the Muffin Men are trying again for the end of the year. See the Bastard’s Diary for details. [Added: 28 May 2020]

 

·         John ‘Drumbo’ French: "Rockette has had a minor stroke and is hospitalized and resting comfortably. I'm going to organize a fund-raiser...to raise as much as we can to help Mark. I'm sure he'll be grateful." Details will be posted on Facebook. [Added: 28 May 2020]

 

·         To celebrate 20 years of bringing you Zappa and related news via this here website, I am writing an article each month that provides answers to some of those questions that no one ever asks! Yes, I am giving you 12 FUQs (Frequently Unasked Questions) in 2020! Here's number five – about Gail and the Sloatman family. (If you missed #4 about Zappa’s London, you can always buy a map!) [Added: 19 May 2020]

 

·         New raunchy musical horror-comedy Vampire Burt’s Serenade features Diva Zappa as Zombie Connie. Here's the trailer. Now I'm not gonna tell you to check out Diva's Instagram page again, alright? She's recently posted some more discoveries from her father's album collection – including a letter from Cordelia Records’ supremo Alan Jenkins (inside a Deep Freeze Mice elpee) and a test pressing of Joe's Garage. You have been told. [Added: 19 May 2020]

 

·         Mike Keneally has just posted about the duet that Reprise Records didn't want you to hear. Explains MK: “28 years ago, Marc Bonilla and I worked up an acoustic guitar arrangement of the Prelude from Ravel’s Le Tombeau De Couperin, originally a composition for solo piano, for inclusion on Marc's second album American Matador – but then Reprise informed Marc that they wanted Marc to play both guitar parts on the recording, which he did with my blessing – can’t go upsetting Reprise Records can you? I was delighted when Marc asked me a few weeks ago if I was willing to play the piece with him again. Of course I was! Thank you Marc for playing so beautifully, and encouraging me to take on this amazing piece of music one more time.” Here it is. [Added: 19 May 2020]

 

·         With both Zappanale and Zappa Union cancelled in 2020, might the next mass gathering of Zappa fans be at The Raven in Corby? With sanitised fingers firmly crossed, we are planning the fifth Festival MOO-AH for 19-20 March 2021 with the following stellar artistes: Muffin Men, Guranfoe, Burger & The Beast, Jimmy Carl Black Memorial Barbecue House Band, Orange Claw Hammer, Treacherous Cretins and Fred Händl! Tickets will go on sale shortly. Any profit made by the festival will go to ProstAid. In the event that the festival is cancelled due to Coronavirus, full refunds will be given. [Added: 15 May 2020]

 

·         I now have some more Zappa’s London badges, so put an order in soon before they all go again! [Added: 15 May 2020]

 

·         Lynn Goldsmith, whose snaps of FZ adorn three of his albums (with a few more being utilised in Zappa The Hard Way) tells how Martian Love Secrets became Sheik Yerbouti here. [Added: 15 May 2020]

 

·         Watch Ralph Humphrey demonstrate his rhythmic awareness of FZ’s T'Mershi Duween here. (Incidentally, the title is the name of camel in a story made up by Moon Unit when she was little.) [Added: 15 May 2020]

 

·         During an interview for Tower Records LIVE, Ahmet hinted that the Zappa Trust is working on a 200 Motels anniversary project. (With thanks to Corné for this.) [Added: 09 May 2020]

 

·         On the ZappaCast late last year, Joe Travers talked about an upcoming Vault release that would include material from early 1970 live shows and Record Plant sessions. The Zappa Trust has just announced its next release, The Mothers 1970, that Travers compiled this year. This includes live material from mid to late 1970 and the June Trident Studio sessions mentioned here. These therefore appear to be two different sets. The Mothers 70 will be released on June 26 as a 4-CD set, including a pin badge. You can download or stream the track Portuguese Fenders right now. [Added: 09 May 2020]

 

·         L. Shankar will release a new album on 12 June called Chepleeri Dream. Among many guest artists playing on the record is one Chester Cortez Thompson. [Added: 09 May 2020]

 

·         Well, I didn’t expect the Zappa’s London badges to be so popular and have run out of stock! But panic ye not – there’s more on the way! If you’re interested in the badges, drop me a line and I’ll be sure to reserve you a set and let you know when they’re back in. Meantime, you can still order copies of the pocket map. Big thanks to those who already have. [Added: 07 May 2020]

 

·         Ike Willis is facing extreme hardship during the current pandemic and needs our help. If you can, please donate. There's a new podcast that includes an interview with Ike talking about the day he met Frank (starts about ten minutes in). [Added: 07 May 2020]

 

·         Steve Vai recently revealed a little more about the audition tape he sent to Frank. Read all about it here. [Added: 07 May 2020]

 

·         Read "No Instruction Sheet": Trout Mask Replica's Unfathomable Origin Story by Eric Gudas here. [Added: 07 May 2020]

 

·         A previously unseen interview with FZ by NZ film maker Geoff Steven was recently uploaded to YouTube. In it, Frank discusses the state of American television and its effect on the country. [Added: 25 April 2020]

 

·         Bass and stick man Tony Levin: “The first band I was in, when I moved to New York in 1970, was with three guys from the Mothers: Don Preston, who I'm still friends with, Billy Mundi and Ray Collins. We formed a quartet and weren't playing Zappa music at all. It was Don Preston music – very interesting and quite inspired by Frank Zappa. The group was called Aha, The Attack Of The Green Slime Beast. The name of the band was longer than our career!” [Added: 25 April 2020]

 

·         Pygmy Twylyte are premiering their live at Eden Court, Inverness show from October 2018 on YouTube on May 1 at 20:00 GMT. [Added: 25 April 2020]

 

·         Samuel Andreyev's lengthy interview with Art Tripp is here. Lots of great insights into the recordings of Uncle Meat and Lick My Decals Off, Baby. [Added: 25 April 2020]

 

·         Diva Zappa (on Instagram): “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the last album in the pile and piles of my dad’s collection. I have been sorting through and cataloguing ALL of them (1300 albums). Now I get to put them all back in some sort of alphabetical order. I’m thinking of diving in and listening to a few of these beauties. Keep an eye out for my posts and join me in deep discoveries.” [Added: 25 April 2020]

 

·         Det Norske Blåseensemble filmed The Brass From Utopia – A Frank Zappa Tribute concert in March. You can watch it on Facebook here. [Added: 25 April 2020]

 

·         Marvel Studios' upcoming Thor: Love And Thunder film is being directed by Taika Waititi (of JoJo Rabbit fame), who has introduced a new character called Zappa. They are looking for a young black male between 11 and 12 years old to play the part. His personality will be intelligent, fearless, mature and with a good sense of humour. FZ was of course friends with Thor creator Jack Kirby, and apparently Waititi has mentioned being a fan of FZ’s music too. [Added: 25 April 2020]

 

·         In the late 90s, Mike Keneally played on composer/musician Neil Sadler's Theory Of Forms album. Sadler has just posted a piece of never before released music on his website, which includes an excerpt from an "LA gig with an amazing band" that included Keneally, Bruce Fowler and the late Kurt McGettrick. Check it out here. [Added: 25 April 2020]

 

·         To celebrate 20 years of bringing you Zappa and related news via this here website, I will be writing an article each month that provides answers to some of those questions no one asks. Yes, I am giving you 12 FUQs (Frequently Unasked Questions) in 2020! Here's number four – in which you can read all about Zappa’s London. It ends with a link to all manner of related wonderment! [Added: 16 April 2020]

 

·         Zappanale #31 is officially postponed for one year. Here’s a couple of other dates for your Diaries: 19th March 2021. And 20th March 2021. Festival MOO-AH! will return to The Raven in Corby on those days. We hope to start announcing bands shortly. [Added: 16 April 2020]

 

·         It will be 32 years since I last saw Frank on Saturday. I was hoping to mark this by going to see Pygmy Twylyte and Treacherous Cretins at London's 100 Club. This event has now been rescheduled for February 26, 2021 - but the Cretins are hosting a virtual gig on YouTube. See you there. Cheers! [Added: 16 April 2020]

 

·         Denny Walley (on Facebook): “I've been listening to a LOT of music these last few weeks and came across this song. I wrote it to sing and play for Jim "Motorhead" Sherwood's birthday party. Bunk Gardner, Peter Lovio, Lou Alred and I drove up from LA to surprise him and play some music for him. For those that aren't familiar with "Motor", it's well known that he knew everything about everything... Really! With that in mind, I wrote this little tribute à la Bo Diddley-style. Hope it gives y'all a smile. Love Over Gold.” [Added: 16 April 2020]

 

·         After Don Preston left Frank and the Mothers, he toured with Leo Sayer. In a recent interview, Sayer claims that in 1986 he “went to AIR Studios in Oxford Street and Frank Zappa was recording in the next room to that. [If true, this was more likely to have happened in early 1979 when Frank was recording overdubs for the Shankar’s Touch Me There album.] Every five minutes Frank Zappa would wander in and ask ‘what are you recording?’ and then the next moment Van Morrison would walk in and then Mark Knopfler, and they all used to just sit around the studio.” He was recording a song called Passion which wound up as the b-side for his smash/flop single Solo. “The backing vocals are all those guys,” he claims. On learning of this, Don Preston said, “I know for a fact that Zappa hated Leo Sayer and would never do back-up vocals with him.” Elsewhere in the interview, Sayer mentions that he helped design a record sleeve for The Wailers, which he later showed Bob Marley on “the Internet”. Bear in mind that Marley passed away in 1981... [Added: 16 April 2020]

 

·         Arthur Barrow (on Facebook): “I am sorry to say that my old friend Tom Brown has passed away. I am here at the Astro motel where he’s been living waiting for the coroner. He was the most ardent and loyal Frank Zappa fan that I ever knew. May he rest in peace. Thanks to everyone who gave him money to help him survive this long." As you may know, Tom helped compile the Beat The Boots boxes for Rhino and wrote the fabulous Confessions Of A Zappa Fanatic book, published in 2012. [Added: 16 April 2020]

 

·         Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp have been working on new music together. Their version of John Lennon’s 1970 track Isolation is their first single release as a duo. It features Vinnie Colaiuta hitting things. Recorded last year, and being released now "given all the hard days and true ‘isolation’ that people are going through in these challenging times," according to Jeff. [Added: 16 April 2020]

 

·         King Crimson's tour with The Zappa Band has been postponed until 2021 – they hope to replicate the planned 2020 tour as much as much as possible, one year on. [Added: 13 April 2020]

 

·         Dweezil is donating 100% of the proceeds of sales from his webstore to Feeding America. Here’s his short video appeal. [Added: 13 April 2020]

 

·         Miss Pamela has been reading excerpts from her book I'm With The Band on her Instagram page. Here she talks about how The GTOs came to be. [Added: 13 April 2020]

 

·         Another new book in the pipeline (from the author and designer of Zappa In Norway): Frank Zappa – The Nordic Concerts will feature stories from the people who met FZ on his visits to Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark – stretching from Gothenburg 67 to Stockholm 88. Watch the promo video here. [Added: 13 April 2020]

 

·         The Vegetarians have issued their version of the Shankar/Zappa song Touch Me There as part of a two track 'album' release on Bandcamp. Also on Bandcamp is Guranfoe's 2017-10-14 Banham Barrel, Banham, England, which includes a live rendition of The Grand Wazoo. [Added: 13 April 2020]

 

·         Encouraging news from the Zappanale team: "Of course we are concerned with the same thoughts as all of you, but we continue to think positively. We are of the opinion that the rules in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania are so strict that the Zappanale can take place. This is also shown by the cautious optimism on the part of the authorities, who gave us a permit. We continue to work on the preparations." [Added: 06 April 2020]

 

·         John ‘Drumbo’ French (on Facebook): “Back when I was transcribing the music that became Trout Mask Replica, I often could hear it as orchestral music in my head – probably from being inspired by Frank Zappa, who I had recently met. Watching him working on orchestral charts with Ian Underwood is what I'm sure inspired Don to get a piano. I supposed I became his ‘poor man's Ian’ though I only had a tiny percentage of the abilities possessed by Ian. There was something very seductive about writing notes on paper that could be translated by the players into music. It helped me get through a very difficult period. In order to put this on YouTube, I pretended I was conducting – complete with applause at the end. A man can dream can't he?” [Added: 06 April 2020]

 

·         A great orchestral weekend in Paris is being planned for 11-12 December 2020, featuring Ensemble Musikfabrik with Napoleon Murphy Brock, a Zappa ‘Happy Hour’ DJ set, the French premieres of Sad Jane and Mo'N Herb's Vacation, plus music by Varèse and Stravinsky. [Added: 06 April 2020]

 

·         Art Tripp has written this fantastic article about his time with Frank and Beefheart. [Added: 29 March 2020]

 

·         Co de Kloet will release a book later this year detailing his personal and professional relationship with FZ. As advised last year (see below) journalist Paul Zollo has also been working on his Zappa On Zappa book: this will now be published by Chicago Review Press in December 2020. Although the Idiot doesn’t condone the buying of bootlegs, another Zappa book that is now out ahead of schedule is The Frank Zappa Vinyl-Bootleg Compendium by Burkhard Schempp, together with Peter Müller and Robert Gsteu. [Added: 29 March 2020]

 

·         Ralph Kessler is currently mixing the multi-track tapes of Ensemble Musikfabrik's Zappanale 30 set for an official release later this year. He is being assisted by arranger Ali N. Askin. Kessler previously mastered Greggery Peccary And Other Persuasions: The Ensemble Modern Plays Frank Zappa and produced the curiously credited Happy Mother's Day CD from 2012 which featured Napoleon Murphy Brock – who guested with the Ensemble in Bad Doberan. Check out the work in progress via RockRadio.de. [Added: 29 March 2020]

 

·         CHATO! released an album, Live at Zappanale #28, on its Bandcamp site. Says Herr Segerer: "Over 60 minutes of music! A great overview of our two studio albums, with some arrangements being different. Includes Let's Move To Cleveland.” [Added: 29 March 2020]

 

·         Polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki, who Frank cited as one of his favourite composers in interviews, passed away today. He was 86. Sad to hear that Zappa fan Aad Hoogesteger just passed too. He, together with Axel Wünsch, recorded many interviews with Zappa band members – some of which I helped transcribe for T'Mershi Duween back in the day. RIP. [Added: 29 March 2020]

 

·         The first CD review for fifteen years by Ben Watson was prompted by the release of Valentina Ciardelli's Music From The Sphinx. Read it here. [Added: 29 March 2020]

 

·         Obviously many dates in the Bastard’s Diary are now likely to be scrubbed. I’ll do my best to keep the page updated, but of course y’all should check with venues. And wash your hands. [Added: 21 March 2020]

 

·         To celebrate 20 years of bringing you Zappa and related news via this here website, I will be writing an article each month that provides answers to some of those questions no one asks. Yes, I am giving you 12 FUQs (Frequently Unasked Questions) in 2020! Here's number three - which includes a new edit of my interview with Napoleon Murphy Brock from 2002 (to mark his return to these shores after an absence of eight years, fingers crossed! [Added: 21 March 2020]

 

·         Chris Wade has released his two books on The Music Of Frank Zappa (1966-1976 and 1978-1993) in one volume. Grab a copy here. [Added: 21 March 2020]

 

·         FLAC and CD versions of Mats Öberg’s Frankful album can now be obtained on Bandcamp here. Here’s my review and a taster. [Added: 21 March 2020]

 

·         A great radio interview with FZ from 1989 has just been uploaded to YouTube. Frank is asked random questions, about song titles and such, and sounds like he enjoyed it. Well worth a listen. [Added: 21 March 2020]

 

·         Following the success of Ray White's GoFundMe campaign, fellow Zappa Band member Mike Keneally has now asked for help to make music at home. His target was exceeded in a few hours, but I'm sure he'd appreciate a little more-a – if you can spare it. If you don't feel like donating, you might consider buying his new duo project's debut album instead. Read all about MFTJ (Mankind’s Final Traffic Jam!) here. [Added: 15 March 2020]

 

·         Dweezil: "Due to Corona Virus concerns worldwide, our final US and Canadian dates are postponed. We are in the process of rescheduling and hope to announce new dates soon. We appreciate your understanding and your support. Be well!" [Added: 15 March 2020]

 

·         ZappaCast Episode #43 is hereMick Ekers talks Zappa Gear. [Added: 15 March 2020]

 

·         Listen to this interesting interview with Don Preston by Gerry Fialka. [Added: 15 March 2020]

 

·         Following cancellation of the SXSW film fest, Alex Winter now says they have also had to postpone the Hollywood premiere of his Zappa movie, "and other backer screenings until such time that we can safely hold [them]." Meantime, here's a review. [Added: 15 March 2020]

 

·         King Crimson has now provided details of its tour with The Zappa Band as special guests here. [Added: 09 March 2020]

 

·         Interesting article in the LA Times re. Hot Rats, which refers to the unpublished press release that would have announced the original Mothers’ dissolution (“I wanted the group to be a frightening big band. The only thing frightening about the band today is the expenses, the wrong notes and disinterested performances – and the inability of the audience to grasp what the group is really doing.”). Though I have still to receive my copy, I understand the full press release (as typed by FZ) can be seen in The Hot Rats Book. [Added: 09 March 2020]

 

·         The 2020 Jimmy Carl Black Memorial Barbecue will take place at The Caledonia, Liverpool on April 13. [Added: 09 March 2020]

 

·         You can now read the latest issue of Le Jazzophone with its review of FZ88: (A Visual Documentary – Zappa's Final Tour) (a few copies still available!) and article on ‘Broadway’ tour photographer Sergio Albonico here. [Added: 09 March 2020]

 

·         The planned world premiere of Alex Winter’s Zappa movie at the SXSW Festival has been scuppered by cancellation of the whole festival due to Coronavirus fears. [Added: 09 March 2020]

 

·         The next Record Store Day (June 20) vinyl reissue will be the You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Sampler, limited to 5000 copies (on red & yellow transparent discs). For those of you who might not know, this album contains unique versions of Dickie's Such An Asshole and Cosmic Debris. [Added: 04 March 2020 / Updated: 09 March 2020]

 

·         Treacherous Cretins: “We are delighted to announce that Zappa legend NAPOLEON MURPHY BROCK will be joining us at the Celebrate Zappa show at the 100 Club, as well as the rest of our just-announced UK tour! [See Diary for details.] Thank you to everyone who has already bought tickets! For those who haven't yet, the early bird sale is finishing soon so get yours now!” [Added: 04 March 2020]

 

·         The first screenings of the Zappa movie outside of the US take place later this month at the CPH:DOX festival in Copenhagen. Confused movie backers have been reminded that “the digital and DVD copies of the movie will go out once we’re into the general distribution, along with the book and the soundtracks (digital, CD, vinyl and Limited Edition vinyl)!” [Added: 04 March 2020]

 

·         Greg Russo's Ancient Armaments: The Frank Zappa Singles Project has been updated to includes material on The Hot Rats Sessions. [Added: 04 March 2020]

 

·         Ray White: “I have the opportunity to be a part of a great touring experience, but funds to purchase a new amp are totally out of reach. The tour starts in May (rehearsals in mid-May). I hope that I can get enough funding to purchase a great piece of equipment that can represent the cool music we will be playing. I would be forever grateful for your help in making more great music.” [Added: 04 March 2020]

 

·         Scott Thunes on The Zappa Band line-up: “The addition of Jamie [Kime] is to have another lead-type instrument to perform melodic harmonies while another instrument does actual harmonic support (or for full three-part harmonies like in latter section of Echidna). With Mike, Robert, Ray, and Jamie we have all bases covered, combinatorially-speaking. He is merely a physical replacement for Ed's prodigious skills…Jamie is in because Jamie is awesome and we love him.” [Added: 04 March 2020]

 

·         A new 15-piece ensemble, the Stinkfoot Orchestra featuring Napoleon Murphy Brock, has been formed in anticipation of celebrating Frank's 80th at the end of this year. But they are holding a sneak preview show in San Jose on April 3rd. Visit their website and/or FB page. [Added: 04 March 2020]

 

·         Read a previously unpublished anecdote by Randy Brecker, regarding his participation in the Zappa In New York shows in 1976, here. All thanks to Bill Milkowski! [Added: 27 February 2020]

 

·         Just before I jetted off to see Ensemble Modern in Hamburg, I did a quick site update that included news of a couple of upcoming London gigs (see Diary for details) – which raised a few questions. The first related to the SEED Ensemble, who formed in early 2016. The Ensemble is a Mercury Award nominated ten-piece band led by alto saxophonist and composer Cassie Kinoshi. I asked Cassie for a few insights. She told me FZ “was a formidable composer and artist who I am continuously learning from. As I write for large ensemble, I thought it would be a challenge to arrange and perform some of his works as well as a privilege to pay homage to him. Myself and our first trumpeter, Miguel Gorodi, are in the midst of arranging some works for the gig.” Tunes you might here in April include Eat That Question, Help, I’m A Rock, The Purple Lagoon/Approximate and Waka/Jawaka. Cassie also told me that the Ensemble was recently “invited to perform three of my compositions as a part of a series put together in collaboration with the festival SXSW in the States next month, Bluesound and Jazz Re:freshed – we live streamed from The British Grove Studios in London and were lucky enough to have Spencer Chrislu as the sound engineer.” The other gig features Aurora Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Collon who will perform Greggery Peccary at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in October. The Orchestra performed this piece at the 2013 Proms under Collon’s baton – as did the London Sinfonietta at the Roundhouse in 2010. [Added: 27 February 2020]

 

·         Doors guitarist Robby Krieger will release his first solo album in 10 years on April 24. The Ritual Begins At Sundown features Arthur Barrow, Jock Ellis (Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra trombonist), Sal Marquez, Tommy Mars and former Banned From Utopia drummer Joel Taylor – and a cover of Chunga’s Revenge. If that line-up floats your boat, you may wish to check out Robby’s previous album, Singularity, which featured most of the aforementioned Zappa alums, plus Albert Wing and Bruce & Walt Fowler. [Added: 27 February 2020]

 

·         It seems that when the streaming/download/CD versions of Feeding The Monkies (sic) At Ma Maison were reissued around 2017, the last two bonus tracks on the original 2011 ‘popsicle’ CD got lopped off of the CD, as per the 2015 vinyl version. Hopefully the issue has now been resolved, but new buyers beware. [Added: 27 February 2020]

 

·         I mention below Tony Palmer’s participation at The Harrogate Film Festival on March 12. Due to the phenomenal demand for tickets, the event has now been moved to a bigger venue: The Clubhouse at Cold Bath Brewing Co. [Added: 27 February 2020]

 

·         A little more-a on the Crimson/Zappa tour: the blurb says The Zappa Band “will be performing a mix of classics along with new and rare Zappa compositions. Described as ‘the ultimate Zappa alumni band in partnership with the Zappa Trust’, this tour will not be appearing with the hologram of Frank Zappa.” [Added: 27 February 2020]

 

·         Finally confirmed for Zappanale #31: the Muffin Men, celebrating their 30th anniversary. Denny Walley, Mike Keneally and Sam Ward (of Treacherous Cretins, sitting in for Jumpy) will be their special guests. It seems the rumoured talks with The Zappa Band must’ve broken down as the full festival line-up has now been finalised. [Added: 20 February 2020]

 

·         Couple of interesting gigs now in the Diary: the SEED Ensemble is performing the ‘Frank Zappa Songbook’ at the Church of Sound in Clapton in April; and Aurora Orchestra will perform The Adventures of Greggery Peccary (as they did at the Proms in 2013) at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in October. [Added: 20 February 2020]

 

·         To celebrate 20 years of bringing you Zappa and related news via this here website, I will be writing an article each month that provides answers to some of those questions no one asks. Yes, I am giving you 12 FUQs (Frequently Unasked Questions) in 2020! Here's number two. [Added: 16 February 2020]

 

·         Robert Martin (on Facebook): Ed [Mann] chose not to continue. This upcoming tour with King Crimson will not include the hologram technology, not sure after that. Either way, more touring is being planned.” [Added: 16 February 2020]

 

·         The Carnegie Hall album is being re-released on CD in April, but with one less disc. Presumably, as per the 2017 download/streaming version, this new 3-CD version will excise the Persuasions’ set. [Added: 16 February 2020]

 

·         Adrian Belew (on Facebook): “People are already asking me if I am part of the upcoming King Crimson/Zappa band tour. Let’s please understand something: I am not in King Crimson. There is no ‘Adrian Belew WITH King Crimson’. So please don’t ask about it...it hurts my feelings.” [Added: 13 February 2020]

 

·         Dweezil’s new keyboard player/vocalist is three-time Emmy winner Kevin Bents, who has previously performed with the likes of John Fogerty and Steely Dan. [Added: 13 February 2020]

 

·         Listen to this very interesting Mike Keneally interview by Gerry Fialka. [Added: 13 February 2020]

 

·         The Idiot is trying to shift some shit. Check this page out. [Added: 13 February 2020]

 

·         The Zappa Band will open for King Crimson on a summer tour of North America. “6 weeks, east coast only. Chance of a lifetime.” says Scott Thunes. The Zappa Band features Scott, Mike Keneally, Ray White and Robert Martin, plus ZPZ alumni Joe Travers and Jamie Kime. [Added: 10 February 2020]

 

·         I didn’t realise what a year for anniversaries this was: obviously Frank would have been 80 in 2020, but it’s also 10 years since Zappa The Hard Way was published; 20 years since I started this website; and 30 years since I conducted my first interview…which leads nicely to my telling you about this new, short one with unsung hero Jay Anderson! [Added: 09 February 2020]

 

·         Interesting little reminiscence from Rainbow Theatre History about the time Frank returned to the scene of the crime. [Added: 09 February 2020]

 

·         New video from Warren Cuccurullo: In Defense Of The King – coming soon. [Added: 09 February 2020]

 

·         Is the Zappa Holo band morphing into Banned From Utopia? Word is Morgan Ågren may (temporarily) join them later this year, and Ray White just posted on Facebook that Jamie Kime is now “an addition to the band”. Look out for official updates soon. [Added: 09 February 2020]

 

·         The JazzTimes 2019 Readers’ Poll saw wins for Zappa alums Jean-Luc Ponty, Randy Brecker and Vinnie Colaiuta. [Added: 09 February 2020]

 

·         Guy Arnaud passed away on February 5. He was the bass clarinetist of the Ensemble InterContemporain and appeared on Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger. [Added: 09 February 2020]

 

·         ZERO's Bläther CD can now be pre-ordered (with an immediate digital download, including two exclusive bonus tracks) from Bandcamp. Cost is $9.50 USD (plus $3.50 shipping within the Americas and EU – but only $0.50 shipping in post-Brexit UK! $10 to Oz & Japan). What’re you waiting for? [Added: 04 February 2020]

 

·         If you haven't got your copy of The Zappa Tour Atlas yet, order it direct from the publisher using code 'FZ001’ and get 20% off! [Added: 04 February 2020]

 

·         To mark Jimmy Carl Black's birthday anniversary, his website has some fantastic offers: visit the ‘Record Store’ and click on the ‘CD List’ link; order all four remaining CD titles and get FREE post worldwide. Then add any or all of the following for the same free post price: for example, add both 1980’s vintage, unplayed vinyl 45s – Big Sonny & The Lo Boys and Albuquerque Bound, add Jimmy’s Audio Memoir – The Jimmy Carl Black Story – recorded in 2007 by Jon Larsen. They also have copies of his written Memoirs & Recollections published in 2013, and the DVD Where's The Beer? And When Do We Get Paid? released in 2012 (in the PAL format only). [Added: 04 February 2020]

 

·         The Idiot notes that two of the Zappa's Universe concerts from 1991 (featuring Mike Keneally, Scott Thunes, Mats Öberg, Morgan Ågren, Dweezil, Steve Vai, Dale Bozzio, The Persuasions and more) are currently available from Wolfgang's. But be aware that GZ sed, “Everything Zappa in that vault is a bootleg!” I really wish the Zappa Trust in conjunction with Universal would reissue/expand some of the stuff from these concerts officially on DVD/Blu Ray/something! [Added: 04 February 2020]

 

·         On March 12, The Harrogate Film Festival has an event called Rock Goes To The Movies With Tony Palmer in which the filmmaker will talk about working with music legends like The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Cream and FZ. [Added: 04 February 2020]

 

·         In 1984, Frank wrote None Of The Above for The Kronos Quartet, and they performed the piece a few times the following year. On Twitter, the Quartet recently posted about the Zappa movie, “in which we have a small cameo.” Quizzed about their association, they responded saying, “He wrote one piece for us…and it’s never been recorded (until this film!)” Of course, None Of The Above was revisited by Ensemble Modern in 1992, and a 1985 live recording by Kronos turned up on Beat The Boots III: Disc Three. But this promises to be the first officially sanctioned professionally recorded vershum by the guys he wrote it for. [Added: 26 January 2020]

 

·         Beefheart Project Toronto’s I Heard These Tweety Things is an album of 21 Van Vliet songs, available now on Bandcamp. BPT also has a Doctor Dark tutorial video on YouTube. [Added: 26 January 2020]

 

·         An exhibition of Captain Beefheart’s paintings, titled Don Van Vliet: Parapliers the Willow Dipped, Paintings 1967-1997, takes place at Michael Werner’s Gallery in New York from January 31 to March 31, 2020. Here’s the press release. [Added: 26 January 2020]

 

·         Dweezil and his band of merry men are playing at least four festivals this summer. Dates in the Diary. [Added: 26 January 2020]

 

·         To celebrate 20 years of bringing you Zappa and related news via this here website, I will be writing an article each month that provides answers to some of those questions no one asks. Yes, I am giving you 12 FUQs (Frequently Unasked Questions) in 2020! Here's number one. [Added: 19 January 2020]

 

·         Here, Steve Vai talks about his worst gig. (NB. The Armadillo was of course in Austin, Texas – not Albuquerque.). [Added: 19 January 2020]

 

·         Frankful by Mats Öberg is now available from CD Baby, and for streaming on Spotify. [Added: 19 January 2020]

 

·         Venetian cover duo 2XZ released an interesting album last year called Planet Of Prunes. Check it out on Spotify. [Added: 19 January 2020]

 

·         Chris Darrow, a Claremont friend of both Frank and Bob Zappa, passed away recently. Here's an interview he did in 2013 with Tim Corvin, from which extracts were culled for the not yet released Frank Zappa's Greater Ontario documentary. [Added: 19 January 2020]

 

·         Alex Winter says the Zappa movie is now complete and headed to its world premiere at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas in March. He adds, “The coffee table book is being made as we speak; stuffed with never before seen images and the text being written for us by the legendary David Fricke, with design by the great Mike Mesker. The soundtrack is also in the works, with original album cover art being created by the genius Cal Schenkel. We’re not f*cking around!” Read this article in Rolling Stone about the movie. [Added: 16 January 2020]

 

·         The Reviews page has been updated and now includes words on Mats Öberg's Frankful CD and Mick Ekers' Zappa Gear book. [Added: 16 January 2020]

 

·         Following their 2018 farewell tour and Zappanale #30 appearance, The Grandmothers of Invention (the band that refuses to give up, thank goodness!) are playing at MorYork in LA on 24 January. [Added: 16 January 2020]

 

·         The DVD of the 2016 Keith Emerson Tribute Concert – featuring performances by Eddie Jobson, Vinnie Colaiuta, Rachel Flowers and Joe Travers – was premiered in California on 16 January. Proceeds from the event will help fund production and distribution of the discs to all and sundry. Here's the trailer. [Added: 16 January 2020]

 

·         Warren Cuccurullo: “What better way to start the new year than with two new bonus tracks from the new Missing Person album? Here's a cool couple of 'Hatin' on Satan' tracks for your amusement. I should send 'em to Kanye! Happy 2020 everyone!” Here’s We Like It Loose and In Defense Of The King. [Added: 16 January 2020]

 

·         Steve Vai recently posted this rather nice tribute to guitar tech (and ‘video obsessive’!) Thomas Nordegg. [Added: 16 January 2020]

 

·          For those of you in the UK thinking about attending Zappanale #31 this July, I have just updated the Idiot’s travel guide. [Added: 12 January 2020]

 

·         The latest issue of Le Jazzophone includes a review of FZ88, plus an article on ‘Broadway’ tour photographer Sergio 'Milo' Albonico. [Added: 12 January 2020]

 

·         Lisa Popeil: “Announcing my November 2020 performance at ZappaUnion in Oslo, Norway! Excited to work with Ed Palermo and Napoleon Brock for the first time, and to play with my friend Denny Walley as well.” [Added: 12 January 2020]

 

·         Miss Mercy: “I have finished my book Permanent Damage with friend and co-author Lyndsey Parker (Yahoo! Music editor), and we are looking for the right publisher.” [Added: 12 January 2020]

 

·         Chato has just unleashed his composition In Memoriam, Frank Zappa on Bandcamp. There's live-in-the-studio YouTube video to follow. [Added: 12 January 2020]

 

·         The late Nigey Lennon's long-time collaborator John Tabacco has just released a new album, In Memory Of Captain Tank. It features covers of Mom And Dad and Fountain Of Love, as well as a guest appearance by The Vegetarians. [Added: 12 January 2020]

 

·         The fourth ZERO CD, Bläther, is now complete and has been sent to Cordelia Records to weave its magic. The album features over 30 musicians – including Craig ‘Twister’ Steward, Prairie Prince, Sandro Oliva, Fred Händl, members of Tante Tofu/Turbulator/Inventionis Mater/Treacherous Cretins/MagNiFZnt and yours truly! [Added: 30 December 2019 / Updated: 12 January 2020]

...and finally, Esther...

...coming soon!

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Contact: disco.boy@blueyonder.co.uk