(Last updated 30 October 2014)
· 31 October is nearly upon us, boys and girls. Will we get Dance Me This to pre-order…or Road Tapes 3? Or maybe both! Happy Halloween, everybody.
· Shuggie Otis has just had his album, Live In Williamsburg, released on Cleopatra Records. Shuggie’s live band includes Albert Wing. The CD will be followed by a DVD version of the same concert. Sony Music recently issued The Very Best Of Shuggie Otis 1969-1974 on CD.
· Very sad news about the mighty Jack Bruce. May he rest in peace.
· So far confirmed for Zappanale #26: Banned From Utopia, Magma, Napoleon Murphy Brock & Peach Noise, Inventionis Mater, Norwegian Wind Ensemble and The Z3.
· Moon Unit won an award at the 2014 Austin Film Festival for her script (co-written with Molly Stein) for The 700 Year Itch.
· HOORAY! And indeed MOOAH! Festival Moo-ah 2015 (aka Moo 2) IS ON! Yes, we have reached the break-even sales with just a week to spare. This from Uncle Ian:
“Wow, you guys sure know how to string us out!
Thanks to the Idiot Bastard - working daily on Facebook, Twitter, idiotbastard.com and festivalmoo-ah.com - we have achieved the target figure required to go ahead with the line-up as advertised. So we will be confirming with the Bands and the Venue etc. immediately. Also, as a result of the Idiot's publicity, we have a ‘waiting list’ of other Bands who are keen to play in March. So, keep telling your friends to join in and we may be able to add some more Bands to the line-up.
Regarding accommodation: we have 40 rooms reserved at the Hampton By Hilton, and 30 rooms reserved at another hotel five miles away. As soon as I arrange the discount code and the minibuses, the info for this one will also be available on www.festivalmoo-ah.com/Accommodation.htm. So watch this space.
A big thank you to all of you (especially our mystery benefactor) for making Moo-ah! happen again.”
· Check out the Fantastic Mr Fox and Acton Zappa: http://youtu.be/1mrWrwhCZQs
· Diva’s made another film: in The Bloody Indulgent “a Zappa Zombie tries to kill a Backstreet Boy Vampire”. Read more here.
· Dates for the MufFinZ ‘May Blitz’ tour of Germany are now in the Bastard’s Diary.
· Drew Friedman has produced this fine art print of FZ: http://drewfriedman.net/prints/zappa.html
· Prog-fusion guitarist Jane Getter’s next album will feature the dynamic rhythm section of Bryan Beller and Chad Wackerman.
· Read this very interesting interview with Gail Zappa, in which (inter alia) she slams Zappanale and reveals that Official Release #100 will be Dance Me This: http://www.celebrityaccess.com/members/profile.html?id=676
· Wanna replica of a guitar strap used by FZ? http://rvrb.io/honeycomb-blue-yel-t49
· Shindig! issue #42, published in September, features an article by Neil Hussey on FZ & the original Mothers - including new interviews with Don Preston...and Howard Kaylan http://www.shindig-magazine.com/SD42.html
· The new Stanley Clarke Band album, Up, features a version of Brazilian Love Affair and a re-recording of School Days. You can hear the former track - dedicated to Stanley’s old mucker, George Duke - here http://youtu.be/P-jXegiLiNQ
· Here’s some great silent footage of The Mothers at the Newport Jazz Festival in July 1969: http://www.historicfilms.com/tapes/2338_2046_2547
· Jeff Simmons tells me his pre-MOI Easy Chair material will be coming out on the World In Sound label this Autumn...and also that his “new bits” (recorded with Howard Kaylan) will be released “Stateside as soon as we get the glass master”.
· Here’s an extract from the second volume of Danny Baker’s autobiography, Going Off Alarming, which features all the grizzly details of an interview NME attempted to conduct with FZ in 1980: http://www.waterstones.com/blog/2014/09/read-going-off-alarming/
· Dweezil has blogged about ZPZ not touring Europe this autumn, their 2010 live Apostrophe tour DVD (featuring George Duke), his future musical direction, and the completion of the Roxy movie! - here: http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/posts/1968884-zpz-2014-and-beyond
· Check out the Flat Earth Society performing FZ’s Solitude on Belgian TV: http://www.een.be/programmas/hotel-m/mauro-pawlowski-en-de-flat-earth-society-solitude
· Want a tote bag, wall clock or shower curtains adorned with Diva Zappa’s art? I saw you coming here: http://society6.com/divazappa
· Episode 20 of the ZappaCast features a tribute to Ray Collins, an interview with Don & Bunk and David Parlato, and…it’s wonderful, Goddammit! http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2014-09-16T09_01_32-07_00 (Btw, Magic Bandsman Eric Klerks will be stepping up once again to play bass for the Grandmothers when they tour mainland Europe in November.
· TV presenter Matthew Wright has purchased tickets for Festival Moo-ah. He told me, “I met some lovely Moo-ah supporters at the Grandmothers Under the Bridge concert last spring, and I really wanted to help make the event go ahead!” It’s not too late: you can do the (*cough*) Wright thing too: www.wegottickets.com/festivals/f/7782
· Dweezil says he’s “getting ready to record an album of new DWEEZIL ZAPPA material. More details soon!” While we wait, check out this video of ZPZ doing the ‘ice bucket beat down’: http://youtu.be/DC7krSpY2lo
· Here's a groovy promo video for the Zappanale book, We Are The Other People, in which I appear very briefly (clue: Ben Watson can be seen dancing behind me) and in which my name is spelled rong! http://youtu.be/XjIBjxNrMrc
· A pristine, rediscovered recording of the FZ-hosted tribute to Edgar Varèse at New York’s Palladium on 17 April 1981 can now be heard here: http://www.wqxr.org/story/archives-frank-zappa-hosts-edgard-varese-concert/ The page also includes links to Frank’s letter to the idol of his youth and other cool ‘bonus’ items. Here’s the direct link to the 1981 performance.
· Out on 4 September 2014 is a new book titled The Greatest Albums You'll Never Hear: Unreleased Records By The World’s Greatest Musicians. I provided three entries for the book, including one on Frank’s Läther. The book was edited by Bruno MacDonald, who some may recall from the Amazing Pudding Pink Floyd fanzine. Makes an ideal gift for Christmas!
· The Kindle e-Edition of Jimmy Carl Black’s most excellent autobiography, For Mother’s Sake, has been updated with 50 or so photos added. If you have already bought a copy from Amazon, it should be automatically updated. If you haven’t, it's currently selling for a mere £2.47. Get in! http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00I6HKM6Q
· Want to help acoustic Zappa duo Inventionis Mater make their second album, Kong’s Revenge? Of course you do! Click away: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/inventionis-mater-zappa-duo-kong-s-revenge
· A new 4 CD set by Captain Beefheart, Sun Zoom Spark 1970 To 1972, appears to be an official release featuring remastered versions of Lick My Decals Off, Baby, The Spotlight Kid, Clear Spot and a fourth disc of alternate versions, rehearsals and outtakes from the sessions for the two ‘Spot’ albums http://www.spincds.com/cds/smile-cd-43038
· With two months to go before Festival Moo-ah Decision Day, we’ve sold half the tickets we need to break even. Big thanks to all those who’ve already put their money where their mouths are. We now need the rest of you to put your hands in your pockets and help ensure this UK Zappa Festival goes ahead: it’s in the lap of you sods! Please please please, if you want Festival Moo-ah to happen, buy your ticket now. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of places for you to stay, and we’ll advise on that in due course. But you have nothing to lose by buying a festival ticket NOW! Remember the Uncle Ian Guarantee: everyone will get a 100% £60 refund if we have to cancel the event. But let’s make sure it doesn’t come to that and we can all enjoy Ike Willis, John Etheridge’s Zappatistas, The Muffin Men, ZAPPATiKA, Inventionis Mater and more next March.
· Here’s a couple of interesting videos from the recent ‘Zappa Celebration at the Egyptian Theater’: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152458828533705 and https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152458887468705
· The Mothers Of Invention live at Wollman Rink, Central Park NY 3rd August 1968 is another gray area CD release that seems to be readily available - if you want it.
· The Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra has been hard at work recording a collection of music by FZ, and has just come to an agreement to release a full length CD on Cordelia Records sometime early in 2015. The tracks, performed in ZERO’s own inimitable style, will feature a number of special guests - including Prairie Prince and Alli Bach. Keep tabs on progress via http://zeroensemble.com/
· Violinist Zach Brock’s new album, Purple Sounds, features his version of Frank’s Twenty Small Cigars - hear a snatch here: http://secretfortmusic.com/track/twenty-small-cigars
· This Is Our Youth, a new Broadway play at the Cort Theatre, includes three Frank Zappa songs as well as new music penned by Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/music/272135541.html
· Anyone know (care) what’s happened to Zappa Radio? http://www.live365.com/index.live#stations/zappa_radio
· Another new gray area Beefheart release - but one that finally sounds worthwhile: http://www.beefheart.com/live-1966-67/
· Long time readers of idiotbastard.com may recall me asking various Zappa alums to list their top ten Beatles songs. While I was writing The Beatles…, I decided to revisit their various inputs (now long-since removed from IBS) and add to them. I was lucky enough to cajole my publisher into appending this little bit of self-indulgence to the end of my book. So if any FZ fans are interested in learning which of the Fabs tunes Warren Cuccurullo, Don Preston, Pamela Des Barres, Mark Volman, Joe Travers, Jimmy Carl Black, Arthur Barrow, Scott Thunes, Essra Mohawk, Mike Keneally, Candy Zappa, Thana Harris, Albert Wing and Robert Martin enjoyed, you may want to beg, borrow or...no, not steal!...buy a copy of my latest book.
· And while I’m bigging myself up, you may be interested to know that I have a new solo radio show on Thurrock Community Business Radio (http://www.thurrockradio.org.uk/): Anything Anytime Anyplace For No Reason At All airs every Tuesday and Saturday at 17:00 GMT – and will feature at least one Zappa piece per show! This is in addition to Lee & Andy’s Rock Show that I co-host every night on TCBR at 21:00 GMT. In both instances, new shows are added fortnightly.
· We now have 70 twin bed hotel rooms reserved for Festival Moo-ah! But we're not telling you where they are until you buy your ticket!
· Here a couple of photos of the Zappas (one snapped by Diva) at the US premiere of Bunny Bunny Bunny:
· Don Pardo (who delivered a special Illinois enema bandit-type announcement) has sadly passed away – in his sleep, aged 96: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/don-pardo-dead-booming-voice-720129
· Orange Claw Hammer are paying tribute to Captain Beefheart at Henry’s Cellar Bar in Edinburgh on 22 August.
· A bit late in mentioning this, but John Tabacco signed a deal with Muffin Records and they have released his latest CD, Unfulfilled Shopping Carts Syndrome. It contains two Zappa covers: How Could I Be Such A Fool and Jelly Roll Gum Drop. Here's a link to the disc: http://muffinrecordsproductions.com/muffin-records-productions-blog/john-tabacco-news-blog/ John has also put some music up at Bandcamp. The address below is for a three CD set called Suburban Hermit, recorded from 2009 to 2012, and the whole thing can be purchased for a mere $5.00 https://johntabacco.bandcamp.com/album/suburban-hermit
· Ahoy! Nigey Lennon needs your help to complete her new Ship In A Bottle album. Go here, me hearties: http://igg.me/at/nigey-lennon-ship-in-a-bottle And while yer about it, why not pick up a copy of her Being Frank: My Time With Frank Zappa - a snip at £3.80 on Kindle: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0057ZQLXS
· In case any of you are interested in that popular 60s beat combo from Liverpool, I have just had my second book published by Wymer UK, titled The Beatles… The Easy Way: A Guide To The Official Recordings. It’s readily right now available from Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, Waterstones, Wymer and elsewhere. You can also like it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BeatlesTheEasyWay
· The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra has a new Hybrid SACD album out called Perfect Strangers. It features nearly 40 mins of Frank. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KFU2YTK
· Check out this cold cast bronze bust of FZ by Stephen Paterson: http://www.stevepaterson.co.uk/frank-zappa?show=slide
· Zoot Horn Rollo (Bill Harkleroad) has a new 4-track download available, titled The Mask Tracks. Read more about it: http://www.zoothornrollo.com/news/four-new-tracks
· Read my review of the new Tom O’Dell film, Frank Zappa 1969-1973: Freak Jazz, Movie Madness & Another Mothers: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#FreakJazz
· Scott Parker’s A Freak Out In The Making has just been published. You can get it on Kindle right now. Also just out as an eBook is Pauline Butcher’s Freak Out! My Life With Frank Zappa.
· If you can’t make it to Norway for the Zappa Union on 8 November, why not enjoy the Zappa Experience with The FoolZ and the Percussion Ensemble KNA Lunteren in Barneveld, Holland instead?
· ZAPPATiKA have remastered and added some vocal “tweakz” to their version of We Are Not Alone, which originally appeared on the Rare Episodes album. This has been issued as a ‘single version’ on iTunes, CD Baby, etc. And here’s a preview/download link at the band’s Reverbnation page: http://www.reverbnation.com/store/store/artist_168547?item_type=music
· Want a copy the amazing We Are The Other People – 25 Years of Zappanale book, featuring your truly and some other folk? Get one here: http://www.arf-shop.zappanale.de/product_info.php?products_id=193
· Zappanale #26 (16-19 July 2015) should feature Banned From Utopia, The Z3 (with Ed Mann?), Bogus Pomp, Peach Noise (with Napi?), Ozric Tentacles, Magma and many more.
· Brand new documentary DVD from Prism Films, Frank Zappa 1969-1973: Freak Jazz, Movie Madness & Another Mothers, available now: http://www.chromedreams.co.uk/frank-zappa---1969-1973-1075-p.asp
· Read all about the collaboration between Jon Anderson and Jean-Luc Ponty – here: http://www.idiotbastard.com/News/PressRelease.htm
· Check out the excellent Gumbo Variation live at Old School Studios II on 26 June 2014 http://youtu.be/Y--s2uPRTwM
· So. The 40th Anniversary Edition of Apostrophe(’) will be available on 180-Gram Vinyl at the end of September - but no mention of other formats or the Record Store Day single bonus tracks http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2070691
· Warren Cuccurullo’s latest project, The Master with Ustad Sultan Khan, is now out. Featuring Joe Travers on one track, you can grab it from iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-master/id891816788), Amazon (http://tinyurl.com/qh4vma4) or Bandcamp (http://tinyurl.com/k5tnqlm). And here's the press release: http://www.idiotbastard.com/News/PressRelease1.htm
· Festival Moo-ah! Band accommodation sorted! A big thank you to those who cancelled their rooms at the Raven Hotel to allow the Bands to stay there. We now have enough accommodation for the Bands that are booked for 20/21 March 2015. Co-organiser Uncle Ian said, “There are three or four rooms we haven’t obtained yet and if we are able to book more bands we will need these too. But I am pleased to say we are back in business – subject to selling enough tickets by 1st November!”
· Wolfram Klug’s Bert, The Nerd – featuring Ike Willis, Tommy Mars, Ed Mann, Robert Martin, Arthur Barrow and Albert Wing - is now available. Try here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/burt-the-nerd/id897002990, or here http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00LLCH41Y
· The second part of our chat with Pauline Butcher Bird makes up the bulk of ZappaCast, Episode 19. Your ears await: http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2014-07-08T10_16_52-07_00
· You can see the Celebrity Wife Swap episode featuring Dweezil here: http://youtu.be/Y66lab0ogps
· Look, Ben Watson places me side-by-side with Dweezil and confronts us with the Dreadful Face of Bishop Brown – here.
· Here’s a great interview with original Magic Band bassist Jerry Handley: http://www.beefheart.com/interview-with-jerry-handley-by-steve-froy/
· Al Jarreau has recorded a tribute album, My Old Friend: Celebrating George Duke. It features Stanley Clarke and Mac Rebennack, among many others.
· Mike Keneally has unleashed a downloadable album, Dancing Demos - “a nine-song, 37-minute collection of the demos I recorded in 2000 to distribute to the members of Beer For Dolphins, prior to beginning the rehearsals for the album Dancing.”
· Rare Episodes is now available at G&S Music – along with all the other Zappa-themed albums I’ve compiled for Cordelia Records: http://www.gandsmusic.com/IBS.htm
· Another Cordelia/IBS collaboration in the offing – featuring many of the stars of MOO-AH! http://www.idiotbastard.com/Weasels.htm
· Guess I should mention the recent physical release of last year’s Puttin’ On The Ritz - The Classic NYC Broadcast 1981 download. Also coming is a vinyl release in November (http://www.moonunitrecords.co.uk/frank-zappa-puttin-on-the-ritz-limited-colour-4lp-deluxe-hardcover-collectors-edition.html). Of course, you shouldn’t pay for any of these.
· Tickets for the second Festival Moo-ah! are available from WeGotTickets NOW: www.wegottickets.com/festivals/f/7782
· Chrome Dreams has issued Beefheart Vs. Zappa - When Don Met Frank, a two DVD set that comprises its Captain Beefheart - Under Review and From Straight To Bizarre - Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Alice Cooper And LA’s Lunatic Fringe documentaries. At less than £12, this represents great value for money if you haven't already got them. They feature exclusive interviews with John French, Alan Clayson, Jeff Simmons, Bill Harkleroad, Mark Boston, Elliot Ingber, Doug Moon and Gary Lucas among many others. Grab one today http://www.chromedreams.co.uk/beefheart-vs-zappa---when-don-met-frank-1063-p.asp
· Back by popular demand: Festival Moo-ah! On 20/21 March 2015 at The Raven Hall, Corby - featuring: Ike Willis with ZAPPATiKA and Jeff Hollie, John Etheridge’s Zappatistas, The Muffin Men, Inventionis Mater and acts still to be announced. Here's a word from our organiser, Uncle Ian:
“We all had a great time at Moo-ah! '13, but I lost a lot of money! Andrew and I have been asked many times if we would do it again and we'd love to. BUT this time it's got to break even. Last year we had 90 people. At Moo-ah! 2015 we will charge £60 per person (including handling charge) for the two nights and should break even at 120 people. There will be no one night tickets - this is a Festival after all. I have agreed a maximum of 200 people with the venue to reduce the cost of staffing and security. Festival Moo-ah! is a non profit event. Any profits go to 'ProstAid', a registered Charity dedicated to Prostate Cancer care and research.
Tickets will go on sale very soon through WeGotTickets.com only. We need to sell enough tickets to break even by 31st October (4 months time). This is early to give people enough time to book cheap flights etc. But don't book before 1st November.
The Uncle Ian Guarantee:
If on the 1st November we haven't sold enough tickets to break even, I will cancel the event and everyone will get a 100% £60 refund to their credit card direct from WeGotTickets, less any currency charges - I can't handle that! The handling charge is included in the £60 and I will refund that myself.
REMEMBER: WeGotTickets hold all the ticket money and don't pay me a penny until after the event has taken place. Ticket sales will be announced at the official website (www.FestivalMoo-AH.com), www.zappateers.com, the Festival Moo-ah! Facebook page, on Twitter and here at IBS.
REMEMBER ALSO: I won’t decide if it goes ahead YOU WILL - so buy a ticket when they come on sale. Don't wait to see if its going ahead because it wont!
Thanks and MOO-AH!”
· Frank Made Me Do It by Clark Colborn is here: http://store.clarkplaysguitar.com/album/frank-made-me-do-it
· In November 2013, John ‘Drumbo’ French appeared at Rough Trade East in London to talk about the early days of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band and the new Magic Band Under The Bridge live album. Here's a video from that night in which John describes working with Don Van Vliet and how the beat came about for the song Bat Chain Puller. It also features a number of friends! http://proper-records.co.uk/2014/05/watch-john-drumbo-french-of-captains-beefhearts-magic-band-in-conversation-rough-trade-east/
· Warren Cuccurullo’s recordings with the late great sarangi player, Ustad Sultan Khan, will finally be released in July. Read all about it here http://www.idiotbastard.com/News/PressRelease1.htm
· The wonderful Rare Episodes album is now available from CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/rareepisodesfrankzappasu
· In this documentary, Gumbo Variation discuss the process of practice, set building and improvisation while sharing their thoughts about Frank Zappa and his music. The film also follows the build up to their support show for Ike Willis and ZAPPATiKA at the Thameside Theatre in Grays: http://youtu.be/JWBCcwHSqVY
· Watch how to create a Zappa beard: http://youtu.be/YmiKNB_4STk
· The Banned From Utopia line-up is changing some more: out go Arthur Barrow and Ed Mann, in comes former ZPZ guitarist Jamie Kime. They will be on tour at the end of 2014. Meantime, the rest of the boys (Ray White, Chad Wackerman, Albert Wing, Tom Fowler and Robert Martin) will be touring and recording as part of the band Roister.
· Live versions of Cosmik Debris (essentially an outtake from Road Tapes, Venue #2) and Zoot Allures (largely from Hammersmith Odeon 18 June 1982, with Chad later overdubbing his drums at UMRK) were released as downloads by the ZFT to commemorate 10 May 1964.
· Terry Bozzio is selling some of his art…including this one of FZ: http://terrybozzioart.com/canvas10.html
· Our latest ZappaCast features the return of the delightful Pauline Butcher (who asks me a few questions about my Zappa The Hard Way book before we get onto more important matters!): http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2014-04-30T09_14_46-07_00 The radio play adaptation of Pauline’s Freak Out! book, Frank Zappa And Me, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 6 May. It featured Ronan Summers as FZ, Lucy Briggs Owen as young Pauline, and Richenda Carey (who appeared in Mike Leigh’s wondrous but-still-not-readily-available-on-DVD, Nuts In May) as present-day Pauline. More here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b042jhlc (including a two minute clip).
· Read more about the Roxy By Proxy licensees: http://www.idiotbastard.com/RoxyByProxy.htm Incidentally, GZ’s reference to “yet another lawsuit” in her liner notes relates to Ryko – not Universal. Phew!
· Billy Mundi (“yak & black lace underwear”) sadly passed away on 29 March 2014. RIP Billy.
· Great clip of the new Grannies playing The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue here: http://youtu.be/GC0PeOeqyMY
· Coming soon from SPB Publishing: ZaFTIG - The Zappa Family Trust Issues Guide by Edward Komara, a handy print reference guide to the 2012 CD reissues of the Zappa catalogue - and more!
· A nice little memory of Martin Lickert: http://thejohnfleming.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/glimpses-of-other-peoples-lives-the-beatles-frank-zappa-and-a-21-year-old/
· New ZappaCast now up, featuring the second part of our chat with the mighty Scott Carter Thunes. Grab it: http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2014-04-08T07_04_00-07_00
· American rock guitarist, composer and recording artist Clark Colborn releases an EP on 11 May (the 21st anniversary of the release of Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar) called Frank Made Me Do It. It comprises “four of my songs that FZ inspired me to write, plus a cover of his immortal My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama.”
· Gail and Dweezil appeared in The Sunday Times’s ‘Relative Values’ column on 6 April 2014. Here’s the full article.
· “Ritual Of Pope Decapitation is not a biopic of Frank Zappa - although he’s the hero of the story.” Read all about it here. And here’s a teaser: http://vimeo.com/54462339
· 2014’s Record Store Day Zappa release was the single edit of Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow b/w Down In De Dew (previously unreleased alternate mix): http://www.recordstoreday.com/SpecialRelease/6790
· Tommy Mars has uploaded a “ragtag transcription of FZ’s Wild Love” to Musescore: http://musescore.com/user/158559/scores/156551 (thanks Sexy MF!)
· Roxy By Proxy has finally been unleashed. Check out the full track list: http://www.zappa.com/fz/discography/2014roxybyproxy.html
· Jon Anderson: “I’m going to get a band together with Jean-Luc Ponty...one of the great violin players. We start work in June. Then we’re going to tour next year. I love the violin.”
· FZ’s official biographer, Alan Clayson, was interviewed backstage at the Royal Festival Hall last year “for a forthcoming DVD” http://www.alanclayson.com/pages_single/argosies/ARGOSY%202013.htm
· On 11 March 2014, Moon Unit tweeted: “It’s funny how a parent’s hospital stay can reinvigorate gratitude, refocus priorities and rekindle enthusiasm for the right people.” Here’s hoping @ZappaGail’s okay.
· Tommy Mars and Arthur Barrow are participating in a live performance of Jon Larsen’s Willie Nickerson's Egg at the Molde Jazz Festival in Norway on 14, 15 & 16 July 2014. Look: http://www.moldejazz.no/2014/index.php?page_id=19775
· The first part of my good friend Tim Op Het Broek’s interview with Robert Martin can now be heard here on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/#zappa-project/bobbymartinpart1
· New album by ‘Indonesian guitar icon’ Dewa Budjana, Surya Namaskar, features one Vinnie Colaiuta hitting things.
· Out latest ZappaCast takes a look back at last year’s performances of 200 Motels – with very special guest Scott Thunes: http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2014-02-28T09_59_22-08_00
· Here’s a great little clip of ZPZ playing Zomby Woof with a special guest late last year (with audio provided by Dweezil, from the mixing board): http://youtu.be/s9kDlgRFIAc
· Out of the shower, she squeezes her spots – possibly caused by Zappa(e): http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/18/acne-bacteria-frank-zappa-grapes/5560493/
· The Vaultmeister (over at the Zappa Forum) has confirmed that “of course” the ZFT has plans for an official release of the Ritz 1981 show.
· Check out (the bottom left of) this page of the latest Berklee Today alumni magazine...a mention for Cordelia Record’s Rare Episodes CD! http://berkleetoday.epubxp.com/i/247249/34
· Joe’s Camouflage has now been formally announced/released by the ZFT: http://www.zappa.com/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi?flavor=archive;list=zappanews;id=20140130105518
· Swiss Zappa-tribute band, FiDOplaysZAPPA, have released the concert-movie FiDO wird 10 und feiert - Live at Gare du Nord & More: 100 minutes, 23 songs & some studio/tour/rehearsing-insights of FiDO’s breakneck big dipper ride through the big Z’s nutty cosmos in the last decade 2003-2013. The movie is available on USB-Stick (16GB) or download on www.fidoplayszappa.com/wordpress/fidoshop
· The Kindle edition of For Mother's Sake: The Memoirs And Recollections Of Jimmy Carl Black 1938-2008 was published by Amazon on 1 February 2014, to commemorate Jimmy’s birthday. The list price is £4.37. Between 1 and 8 February, buy the print edition through Amazon and get the Kindle for FREE! Read my review: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#FMS
· You there - listen to Z3 with special guest Ed Mann: https://archive.org/details/Z32014-01-23.SBD-AKG483
· Listen to The Best Of Talking Zappa with Tony Trombo, featuring excerpts from his chats with Howard Kaylan, Lisa Popeil, Bob & Thana Harris and Ed Mann http://www.blogtalkradio.com/tonytrombo/2014/01/21/talking-zappa-with-tony-trombo-the-best-of-tz-part-1-1
· The world première of The Yellow Sound - a ballet with music by FZ - takes place at the Nationaltheater in Munich on 4 April. Look: http://www.bayerische.staatsoper.de/918-ZG9tPWRvbTEmaWQ9MzExNCZsPWVuJnRlcm1pbj0xMzc3Ng-~spielplan~ballett~veranstaltungen~termine.html
· Andrew was very happy to learn that, as at the end of 2013, his Zappa The Hard Way book had sold over 2,000 copies. Thank you very much if you’ve purchased at least one copy!
· Right here is a picture of God that Frank drew for Moon https://twitter.com/MoonZappa/status/423601705465282560/photo/1
· Some nice snaps of FZ and the Captain in 1975, from the files of Herb Cohen, got sold on eBay recently: http://lordevilvenom.tumblr.com/post/73453428863/unpublished-photos-of-frank-zappa-and-captain
· Out on 3 February 2014 was the first album collaboration by Peter Hammill & Gary Lucas, Other World.
· An interesting blog on Frank and Finland…and elsewhere: http://rhoerer.wordpress.com/category/zappa/folklore/
· Chris Charlesworth remembers FZ at The Rainbow http://justbackdated.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/normal_11.html
· Pre-Experience Hendrix Tour interview with Dweezil, in which he talks about the burnt Fender Strat http://youtu.be/Drpxl68pxgQ
· Who knew? – a relative of Frank’s was born and raised in Sarf London: http://www.digitaljournal.com/entertainment/michelle-zappa-and-the-croydon-philharmonic-choir/article/365244
· Here’s a review of the Uncle Meat vinyl reissue for all you ‘sound fanatics’: http://www.analogplanet.com/content/uncle-meat%E2%80%94frank-zappas-soundtrack-album-movie-he-correctly-predicted-you-would-never-see
· A message from the main-man regarding the future of Zappanale: http://www.zappanale.de/en/news/569-r-jahresrueckblick.html
· Out in February, Oh No! Not Jazz!! by The Ed Palermo Big Band - half FZ, half EP: https://cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/oh-no-not-jazz
· Hurry! The Mothers Of Invention - The Ultimate Listening Guide (Part One: 200 Motels And More) by Dave Thompson is now available on Kindle http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00F3NSR36
· Here’s an, umm, interesting interview with former Grandmother Napoleon Murphy Brock: http://youtu.be/cYekMMe6DuI Now that Napi has gone, why do the Grandmothers keep up the pretence that the band started in 2002? Don and Bunk ‘consistently performed’ as Grannies in the 80s & 90s (with Jimmy Carl Black), and Dave Parlato can be heard on the first Grandmothers ‘anthology’ album from 1981 (on tracks recorded with Don in the 70s). I’m really excited about seeing the latest incarnation, and the band should be proud of its long history.
· Robert Martin tells me “BFU did a 24 track recording of the concert in Frankfurt last month, and the mix is coming together superbly”. More when I get it.
· Wolfgang’s Vault now has the video of Frank’s late show at the Capitol Theater from 13 October 1978: http://www.concertvault.com/#frank-zappa/video/track-1_1009907.html
· Born 15 weeks early on what would have been Frank’s 53rd birthday, blind multi-instrumentalist Rachel Flowers has just produced this amazing cover of Inca Roads on which she plays every instrument: https://soundcloud.com/#rachelflowers-1/inca-roads
· Here’s a clip of George Duke playing Zappa stuff on his old piano as filmed by Frank Scheffer: http://youtu.be/JzpZgyaFPD4
· Frank’s Horny has been spruced-up. Read all about it: http://www.theconservationcenter.com/article/1982599-a-renewed-appreciation-for-frank-zappa
· Funny or what? http://youtu.be/ZbMpagpPVvU
· 2013’s AAAFNRAA bundlement is “a documentary of the making of a recording and performance of Cheepnis”. Available from iTunes - grab it if you can. http://www.zappa.com/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi?flavor=archive;list=zappanews;id=20131217175139
· We venture inside the piano for Episode 15 of the ZappaCast, - yes, it’s the BIG one for Zappadan: http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2013-12-17T06_59_55-08_00
· The Grandmothers have re-invented themselves once more! New line-up as follows: Don Preston (piano, keyboard synthesizers, electronics, gongage, magic and vocals), Christopher Garcia (drums, percussion, marimba and vocals), "Mad" Max Kutner (electric guitar, what-nots, pedals, hats and hair), Bunk Gardner (tenor sax, EWI, flute, straight man, commentary) and David Parlato (electric bass). More here: http://www.miooow.com/artists/live-artists/the-grandmothers-of-invention.html
· Gail’s talk a few days before the UK premiere of 200 Motels can now be heard at https://soundcloud.com/#southbankcentre/zappa-on-zappa
· A spiffy ‘new’ video for the song Fine Girl: http://youtu.be/9GNN-5zY0CI
· Fantom Records is “finishing two new albums, both FOH material sourced from recent ZPZ shows, as well as the LA shows DVD featuring George Duke - which is in final edit stage…we hope to make these all available in March 2014.”
· Frank Filipetti was responsible for recording the LA performance of 200 Motels. Read more about it here.
· The Thurston Lava Tube have a new album, The Poodle Collector, comprising 20 tracks that aren’t on their other albums, including Mr Green Genes, The Idiot Bastard Son and Caravan (with a drum solar, natch).
· One of the bonus features on the new Jimi Hendrix documentary DVD/Blu-ray, Hear My Train A Comin’, is a 30 minute fillum about the Miami Pop Festival. According to Stuart Penney, “at the start we see Don Preston walking backstage and then it cuts to onstage footage of the MOI. Great colour footage, but no sound unfortunately. It’s just setting the scene for Hendrix’s appearance. Frank appears for maybe 10 secs.” And of course Dweezil (who is again part of the ‘Experience Hendrix’ tour in Spring 2014) appears in the main feature.
· The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra performed Dupree’s Paradise at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on 28 January 2014. (This was then broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm on Sunday 2 February, 8-10pm.) See more: http://www.rte.ie/orchestras/2014/0128/28jan.html
· Nice little tribute to his dad on the 20th anniversary of his passing - Dweezil Zappa as guest DJ on WYEP: http://www.wyep.org/audio/dweezil-zappa-guest-dj
· Fellow Zappa author (heh-heh!) Michael Gray has a blogspot: http://michaelgrayouttakes.blogspot.de/2013/12/frank-zappa.html
· The Theory Of Zappa with Paul Carr, Richard Hand and Evil Dick from Nottingham Contemporary, 28 November 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6ObCjj0TXU&feature=share
· Issue 41 of PROG magazine featured 11 pages on FZ, including interviews with Dweezil, Gail, Don Preston, Mike Keneally and Adrian Belew, ‘The Last Interview’ (from Cutting Edge) and a buyer's guide. http://www.progrockmag.com/news/prog-41-new-issue-on-sale/
· Here’s the latest in Zappa releases from G&S Music: http://www.idiotbastard.com/News/G+S.pdf Who knew that Official Release #97 was the soundtrack to A Token Of His Extreme? Longer tracks include Montana and Flo Po.
· Dweezil: “This is the very first time I ever played Watermelon In Easter Hay. It was very challenging to play on many levels. It has always been a highly emotional song for me. Matching my father’s phrasing is very difficult as well.” http://youtu.be/yI7G5-BNY6k Now I’m very happy to say, I witnessed the second time ZPZ performed this song – at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Armistice Day. Here’s a very nice two-cam clip of that: http://youtu.be/g2NCiNKdCYU
· Tom Brown went to the LA production of 200 Motels – read his report here. As I’m sure you all will appreciate, the opinions and views expressed by ‘guest reviewers’ on this website are the opinions of the designated authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of myself or any other individual. Enjoy!
· Out now: Willin’: The Story Of Little Feat by Ben Fong-Torres. Includes interviews with (among many others) Roy Estrada and Elliot Ingber, and pooh-poohs Jimmy Carl Black’s story (in his own autobiography) that he was responsible for naming the band.
· Mike Keneally has reissued his 1997 album Sluggo!, remixed in stereo & surround, in a variety of formats featuring a great deal of unreleased audio and video material. Grab one here: http://store.keneally.com/
· Gary Steel reviews the orchestral premiere of 200 Motels here.
· Inkanish Publications are pleased to announce that For Mother’s Sake, the epic, blockbuster of a memoir from the one and only ‘Indian of the Group’, the unforgettable Jimmy Carl Black, will be available from November 1st to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Jimmy’s sad demise. Copies can be purchased at the outrageous but reasonable price of $19.95 plus postage through CreateSpace.com as a print on demand service. Click here to purchase. Click here for a sneak preview. The ‘last written interview’ mentioned is of course here.
· David Ocker has some great insights into the recent staging of 200 Motels on his Mixed Meters blog: http://mixedmeters.com/2013/10/frank-zappas-200-motels-suites.html
· New interview with Moon Zappa here: http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episodes/episode_434_-_moon_zappa (starts around the 17 minute mark). Among other things, she reveals that she is currently writing a book about her upbringing.
· Mick Ekers: “I’m very pleased to be working with the Zappa Family Trust to make Zappa’s Gear an official ZFT book. Gail Zappa has approved the cover design. Watch the skies for an official announcement in the next few weeks.”
· Ahmet on Twitter: “I’m conflicted about how I should feel about Lou Reed’s death. He was a great songwriter but also such an asshole to my father. I’m certain Frank never cared about what Lou Reed said about him, but as my father's son, Lou’s words put him on my permanent shit list.” Meanwhile at Zappa.com: http://www.zappa.com/whatsnew/ofconsequence/lou-reed/index.html
· Now available for free download from the BBC, ‘Freak Out – The Frank Zappa Story’: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/r4music/r4music_20131023-0800a.mp3
· This explains a lot: a ‘Zappa Year’ lasts more than 12 months...and note the careful wording re. Roxy: it simply says the 1973 concerts were filmed (fact) - no longer are they linking the movie’s completion to the ZPZ shows there http://www.msopr.com/press-releases/zappa-family-trust-will-close-out-2013-with-a-series-of-events-honoring-legendary-composer-frank-zappa/
· Hear GZ talk about 200 Motels on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-24649949
· Despite its rather naff cover - plus the fact that My Human Gets Me Blues, When It Blow's Its Stacks, Steal Softly Thru Snow and Alice In Blunderland will have appeared on all four Magic Band reunion CDs - this still sounds worthy of your attention: http://www.propermusic.com/product-details/The-Magic-Band-The-Magic-Band-Plays-The-Music-Of-Captain-Beefheart-158386
· The next Zappa Plays Zappa FOH album has been put back (yet again) - to January 2014; ditto the DWEEZILA ‘CD bundle’.
· The annual Chadfest will this year include a special Halloween performance by The Doc Chad All Dead Jazz And Pop All Stars, featuring (among others) Eugene Chadbourne as Jimmy Carl Black, Evan Gallagher as Thelonious Monk and Louie Pearlman as Cab Calloway. Wacky. Takes place at New York’s The Stone.
· Yay! The UK is also getting Diva Zappa for 200 Motels - but over here she’ll be playing Groupie 2 (Lucy). And but also: Tony Guilfoyle (accident-prone Father Larry Duff from the TV comedy Father Ted) will play Frank. Paul Carr has blogged some more about his programme notes for the event here: http://paulcarrmusings.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/zappa-zappa-zappa-zappa/ (I can reveal that the ‘someone else’ referred to is none other than Frank’s official biographer, the very agreeable Mr Alan Clayson). And here, GZ sez, “This score is more refined and it is actually very close, if not exact, to all the notes Frank actually wrote, in the order that he wrote them - and that’s what we’re presenting.” Initially this article said that, “Mrs. Zappa is advocating to include Lonesome Cowboy Burt as a tribute to Jimmy Carl Black.” But that got edited out pretty swiftly.
The Norwegian Wind Ensemble (Det Norske Blåseensemble) will launch its new CD - The Brass From Utopia: A Frank Zappa Tribute - at three concerts in Oslo, Horten and Sarpsborg. According to its Facebook page, “The release has been very well received by the Zappa family, who actually want it to be made available for sale both on the official website of theirs and when ZPZ is touring.” Great news...This from the LA Phil’s Facebook page: “A cast of renowned soloists and a band that includes Ian Underwood, Scott Thunes, Joe Travers and Jamie Kime will join us for the world premiere of the iconic musician’s 200 Motels. The performance will be the first complete realization of Zappa’s musical vision.” Joe will be joining Scott for the UK performance, too. Full band (and more) for US premiere here: http://laphil.com/200Motels ...What am I bid for this ‘Burnt Weenie (sic) Sandwich 1969/70 Film Production File’? http://www.ebay.com/itm/FRANK-ZAPPA-Burnt-Weenie-Sandwich-1969-70-Film-Production-File-/350892873650 Hurry, hurry - betting ends, November fifth...The Magic Band has a bespoke website once more: http://magicband.org/ ...Here’s the trailer for Summer 82: When Zappa Came To Sicily: http://youtu.be/RCYjJvk7QbA ...Hope they fix the sub-titles before it’s released...The cast for the US premiere of 200 Motels includes Mister Pamela Des Barres, Bob Fossil and Diva. There will also be a presentation of the Drool, Britannia chapter from The Real FZ Book prior to the show...LA singer/songwriter Holland Greco, who sang Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance on The FRANK ZAPPA aaafnraaaa Birthday Bundle, has her debut album Volume One released on Zappa Records next February...Read a nice little article on FZ – ‘American Composer’ - in Canada’s La Scena Musicale here: http://www.calameo.com/read/0002521967169d4ae26e8 Includes new interviews with Dweezil and Kent Nagano. Interesting that they should discuss Sinister Footwear; when I interviewed Kent 23 years ago (really?), he described it as “one of the best pieces that he’s written and it doesn’t exist in a recording...done with an orchestra”. Full interview at http://idiotbastard.com/Interviews/KentNagano.htm ...Dr Paul Carr reveals that he was asked to pen programme notes for the UK premiere of 200 Motels…and more: http://paulcarrmusings.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/back-to-blogging-more-zappa-i-am-afraid/ ...Radio New Zealand will be exploring “the life and music of the incomparable Frank Zappa” on 16 October: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/comingup/2498996 ...Some cast details for the UK premiere of 200 Motels later this month: Richard Strange (of proto-punk rock band The Doctors of Madness): narrator, Rance; Ian Shaw (Welsh jazz singer and stand-up comedian): Mark; Brendan Reilly (London-based American singer-songwriter): Howard; Sophia Brous (exotica diva/pop auteur): Groupie 1 (Janet); Bridget Christie (stand-up comedienne): Good Conscience, Donovan; Jay Rayner (food critic, son of Claire): Bad Conscience, Ginger; and Scott Carter Thunes (bass player/shit-disturber extraordinaire): Jeff…and talking of Jeff, this just in from Howard Kaylan: “Hang onto your dentures, Zappa fans...the long-awaited Jeff Simmons NEW studio album is finally DONE! We're a mix away from your ear holes.”...Dieter Jakob, who compiled the book Vinyl Is Not Dead - It Just Smells Funny: The Frank Zappa Singles, is currently helping put together a non-profit tome for the Arf Society, to help celebrate Zappanale’s silver jubilee next year. It will contain a collection of stories and pictures from those who’ve visited the festival over the last 25 years - including some reminiscences from yours truly. If you have any interesting photos from Zappanale’s #1 to #12, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org ...Carl King’s documentary, Morgan Ågren’s Conundrum: A Percussive Misadventure, is here!: http://vimeo.com/ondemand/morgan ...Hear Barbara Flaska talk about growing up with FZ in Claremont http://rockcritics.com/2013/09/29/zappa-10-interview-with-barbara-flaska/ ...Cool Roxy & Elsewhere official z-shirt www.oldskoolhooligans.com/frank-zappa-t-shirt-roxy-elsewhere-100-official-us-import.html ...This from Michael Brenna: “Norway’s oldest orchestra, founded 1734, plays FZ at Janitsjarhuset, Sarpsborg, Norway on 26 October. They performed the same programme at Larvik’s Yellow Snow Festival in 2012. After sorting out copyright issues, The Blåseensemble [The Norwegian Wind Ensemble] has finally been allowed to release a CD with Zappa material – arranged by Stian Aareskjold. The album will hopefully be released in conjunction with the concert.” http://www.sa.no/kultur/article6830176.ece ...On 28 November 2013, Dr Paul Carr presented The Theory Of Zappa at Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery. His guests were Richard Hand and Evil Dick. The event was absolutely free, and tied-in with Geoffrey Farmer’s Let’s Make the Water Turn Black ‘sculpture play’ on display at the gallery. Read more: http://www.nottinghamcontemporary.org/event/theory-zappa ...Incredibly saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Glenn Leonard (former drummer with Project/Object, and more recently the mainman from Pojama People). It was nice that he clearly had so much fun at Zappanale in August, and I was hoping we’d meet up once more out in BD in a year or two. My thoughts are with his family and friends – especially his dear wife and musical partner, Alli Bach. RIP, Glenn...Ignoring the fact that this includes live clips from the Royal Festival Hall in 1968, here’s an interesting video from Pamela Zarubica about the Mothers at the Royal Albert Hall in 1967: http://youtu.be/OIbZWUJwb6o ...The WDR Sinfonieorchester premiered FZ’s Four Pieces for solo drummer and orchestra, arranged by Andrew Digby, Hubert Steiner (trombonist and guitarist respectively with the Ascolta Ensemble) and Ali N. Askin on 4 May 2014 in Cologne...Smooth jazz keyboardist Jeff Lorber has a new album, Hacienda, featuring Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta and, on a cover of Frank’s King Kong, Jean-Luc Ponty and Ed Mann. Says Lorber, “It’s a song I’ve always loved. What you hear on the record is actually just a really quick arrangement that I put together, but a lot of stuff happened spontaneously in the studio that became part of the arrangement. It was almost an accident, but it came out great, and it became one of my favourite songs on the record when Jean-Luc Ponty, who also used to work with Frank Zappa, and Ed Mann, who was a member of the Mothers of Invention, both agreed to play on it.”...As noted below, harpist Lou Anne Neill (Zoot Allures/Zappa In New York/Orchestral Favorites/QuAUDIOPHILIAc, etc.) is a member of the LA Philharmonic. I recently asked her if she would be involved in the forthcoming US premiere of 200 Motels at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on 23 October. This is what she told me: “I have known for about a month that there will be a harp part in 200 Motels. I picked up the part the other day. There are quite a few pages, so I will have some practicing to do. I was happy to see that it ‘looks’ nothing like The Black Page! The Philharmonic doesn't know that I was Frank’s harpist. A few years back, we played G-Spot Tornado on a Green Umbrella concert. John Adams conducted. It was so well received by the audience that we played it again. Never have seen that happen before on a LA Phil concert! Gail Zappa came to that concert and I enjoyed saying 'Hi' to her afterwards. At the time, I told John Adams about my infamous past. He seemed intrigued.”...William Shatner, who previously worked with Adrian Belew (on 2004’s Has Been) has a new album out in October. Ponder The Mystery includes guest artists Steve Vai, George Duke and Zoot Horn Rollo, alongside Rick Wakeman, Al Di Meola, Robbie Krieger and Edgar Winter...Suddenly available: Chris Opperman’s Studio House EP featuring his ZFT-approved rendition of Blessed Relief, as well as contributions from Jordan Shapiro, Liz Cary and the mighty Marco Minnemann. Here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/chrisopperman3 ...Billy Connolly talks about FZ here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01g2ktz Wildly inaccurate in places, but never mind...Gary Lucas’ latest project ‘The World of Captain Beefheart’, featuring Nona Hendryx, will hit the road in 2014. Meantime, here's a clip of the gang performing When Big Joan Sets Up http://youtu.be/ZMILWDI4VB4 ...In Episode 13 of the ZappaCast we chat awhile with Nigey Lennon and her long-time partner in crime, John Tabacco, about Reinventing The Wheel: Reinvented. There’s also a brief tribute to George Duke (Episode 14 will be a full-blown one). Check it out: http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2013-08-29T10_07_10-07_00 ...Mr McFall’s Chamber will perform some Zappa (Echidna’s Arf/G-Spot Tornado) and Beefheart (Ice Rose/Suction Prints) in Scotland in September - see here http://www.mcfalls.co.uk/Gigs/Sep-2013-Tour ...Robert Martin has set up a bespoke Banned From Utopia webpage at http://multimartinmusic.com/bannedfromutopia.htm ...Ensemble Ascolta played some of Frank’s Synclavier works at the Lucerne Festival, Switzerland on 6 September 2013...and then again at the Stuttgart Liederhalle, Germany on 1 November...Dweezil now accepts that ZPZ is a tribute band: http://youtu.be/LePxOFWzDMQ ...Kevin Crosby of Pojama People has put together this nifty vid of the band’s trip to Bad Doberan in August: http://youtu.be/Vun4PQrYSkg ...Nice pro-shot video on the GrandMothers Of Invention in Budapest last April here: http://youtu.be/rFhHTb4MN8k ...Now available for download, They Saved Zappa’s Moustache, the full, official, re-mastered 38-track album sound collage mixed live on the air by Don Joyce and Phineas Narco in March 1995 on Negativland's KPFA radio show, Over The Edge: http://nationalcynical.bandcamp.com/album/they-saved-zappas-moustache ...A couple of bits of Beefheart news for ya: (i) the mono edition of Safe As Milk is being reissued by Sundazed Records (on vinyl and CD): http://www.sundazed.com/shop/safe-as-milk.php; and (ii) the long out-of-print book, Lunar Notes: Zoot Horn Rollo’s Captain Beefheart Experience by Bill Harkleroad with Billy James, is available once more...German music promoter Fritz Rau has sadly passed away, aged 83...Available now (at CDBaby and at iTunes), Timothy Carey presents The World’s Greatest Sinner (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by FZ. Coming soon on CD too, apparently (scroll to the foot of this page). You can also check it out on Spotify right now...The 24th album from Mike Keneally, You Must Be This Tall, was released on 27 August 2013. Go here: http://jamplify.com/dmf8Rd ...Nice one, Dweezil: “This video presentation was culled from our 2010 Los Angeles concert that featured a soulful guest performance from George Duke. I wanted to share a portion of that evening with everyone (prior to its official release) and respectfully pay tribute to George and offer a resounding thank you to him for all of his musical contributions in this world.” http://youtu.be/XIE57gCyKTM ...For those of us lucky enough to have seen Böller & Brot’s most excellent Jimmy Carl Black documentary, Where’s The Beer And When Do We Get Paid? (it was shown during the recent Zappanale), the gals tell me there will eventually be a DVD “with tons of bonus material”, and that there is an English sub-titled version. Yippee! Meantime, it will be shown in German cinemas next month and will premiere in the UK at the The Fifth JCB Memorial BBQ in November...Finally available on Kindle is my Zappa The Hard Way book. For you anoraks out there, there are no major changes from the physical renderings. The eBook does though include more photos from the limited edition hardbacks than the paperback version did (and in colour, should your reader allow it), the discography has also been updated, and a few more errors have been corrected (Pete Townsend – who were you?!)…oh, and I have added a very, very short piece on C. Everett Koop. But that’s it...I understand the track played on the ‘In Memoriam Kongar-ol Ondar’ page at Zappa.com is Dance Me This’s last track, Calculus...Got back from a crackin’ Zappanale to be greeted with the very sad news about George Duke. He was being treated for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and passed away 12½ months after the death of his wife of over 40 years, Corine - also from cancer. Awful news. Nice that his passing has been commemorated at Zappa.com: http://www.zappa.com/whatsnew/ofconsequence/george-duke/index.html ...Kobalt Music Group (Kobalt) has concluded a worldwide agreement to administer the Zappa catalogue. Along with global copyright administration services, Kobalt will also represent the catalogue for synchronization in film, TV, games, and other media (https://www.kobaltmusic.com/page-news-detail.php?id=WN1421) ...Another slip-up by iTunes: Puttin’ On The Ritz - The Classic NYC Broadcast 1981 can be purchased from https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/puttin-on-the-ritz-live/id678917731 It’s the show with Al Di Meola. You can also check it out on Spotify...Back in black (at Rock Music Memorabilia): the ‘Not another boring old Knebworth’ FZ t-shirt: http://www.rockmusicmemorabilia.com/productdetails.php?catid=2&pid=29 ...Here’s an article from The Times, in which Mrs Zappa hails her husband as “the HG Wells of rock’n’roll”: http://www.zappateers.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=280493#280493 ...Eagle Rock issued Baby Snakes, The Dub Room Special and The Torture Never Stops as a 3-disc DVD set in October 2013. You can order here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00DVFI43G ...Tuvan throat singer Kongar-ol Ondar (who may or may not appear on Dance Me This, but certainly featured in the UMRK Salad Party ’93 footage) has sadly passed away. Ondar died after emergency surgery to treat a brain hemorrhage. He was only 51...Lengthy - yet interesting - blog from Dweezil: http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/posts/1968630-part-4-of-4 This is the final part of the blog he started last year to “give more insight into my mission statement” for Zappa Plays Zappa...Episode 12 - the request show - of ZappaCast is now available at http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2013-07-18T05_41_06-07_00 Thank you to all those who’ve told me how much they appreciate these podcasts – I seem to have had more feedback on these in the last few years than I’ve ever had regarding this here website in the last 12! But for both, it’s invariably positive, so mustn’t grumble...Paul Morley on Frank: http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/52411-frank-zappa-tribute-set-for-2013-edinburgh-international-festival/ ...Nigey Lennon’s Reinventing The Wheel: Reinvented will be available for digital-download from Saturday 20 July 2013, via the resurrected Muffin Records. It comprises the whole of the original RTW album - featuring Mike Keneally et al - plus three original demos from 1997 and a ‘slick’ studio version of Stolen Cadillac, the fab ‘Western Swing’ duet betwixt Jimmy Carl Black and Candy Zappa (sadly, Jimmy’s final recording). Oh, and cover art by one Don Van Vliet!...An English language book made by a collector for fans and collectors, Vinyl Is Not Dead - It Just Smells Funny: The Frank Zappa Singles by Dieter Jakob can now be pre-ordered by emailing: email@example.com. Cost is 110 Euros plus shipping (dependant on where you live). On more than 500 full coloured pages: every single, maxi and EP with contributions big and small by FZ. More than 3000 photos of the rarest test pressings, acetates, cover and label variations, a price guide, and a lot of other weird stuff. Features a preface by Jeff Simmons and Napoleon Murphy Brock, and a cover design by Cal Schenkel...Mick Ekers has completed his Zappa’s Gear book: “262 page high quality hardback, over 200 original photos, index and glossary, full colour throughout…I’m now waiting on a couple of things outside my direct control, but will be getting the first run to print as soon as humanly possible.” Hip-hip!...Sing Like Frank Zappa (Karaoke Version) by La-Le-Lu, anyone?...come on - you know you want it: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sing-like-frank-zappa-karaoke/id667283640 ...John ‘Drumbo’ French on Facebook: “Had a charming conversation with Gail Zappa, who assured me that The Magic Band was not going to have any problems with playing ‘The Music of Captain Beefheart.’ She said to tell you who are concerned that ‘We have an understanding.’ She gave me several reasons for the Trademark legalities. For instance, Frank wrote a movie script called Captain Beefheart Vs. The Grunt People, which is where Don actually got the name. Captain Glasspack And The Magic Mufflers was one of the names that Frank came up for a group that Don and Frank were going to have. Also, she owns the rights to two albums (BCP and TMR). Her main reason seems to be just what I thought: to nail people like Ozit who put out low quality crap to exploit the name. She also will relinquish ANYTHING to Jan Van Vliet that Jan would ever want, but she has shown absolutely no interest in anything. She also gave me some very sound advice about a couple of things I need to do business-wise and suggested a couple of money-making ideas to me that I had never thought of doing. She talks to me like I’m her kid brother, and I love her like a sister, so that’s it. I think if I were to actually have focused on the business end of this industry as she has done, people would be demonizing me too. It’s very cut throat, and Gail just decided to cut back. Good for her.” And here’s some related reading: http://webtm.com/can-gail-zappa-stop-anyone-from-using-the-name-captain-beefheart/ ...The Financial Times’s Peter Aspden asks why FZ is being embraced by the classical community 20 years after his death: http://video.ft.com/v/2490893100001/Frank-Zappa-s-classical-comeback ...What would Ike Willis like to see at Zappanale that hasn't happened yet? “More opportunities for serious discussion of the huge impact FZ has had on America”. And so, there may be a ‘huge semi-academic/aesthetic conference’ in two years - for the 75th anniversary of Frank’s birth...Boulevard Entertainment is releasing 200 Motels on DVD on 1 July (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00D2S7FYQ). I first asked director Tony Palmer if this might be the same as the version he issued in 2010; his response, “Your guess is as good as mine. There are endless versions of the film, unfortunately.” So next I asked Boulevard, who confirmed that it is indeed a re-release of the ‘Palmer’ version (“we are running off his master”). Despite this confusion, this is the cheapest the DVD has ever been sold for in the UK...Here’s my review of the new Lex Bronkowitz Orchestra album: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#LBO ...In 2012, Mrs Zappa trademarked the name ‘Captain Beefheart’ - for reasons unknown (she apparently has until 18 December to clarify) – see here: http://www.trademarkia.com/captain-beefheart-85695177.html What’s interesting is, you can search that site for trademarks belonging to the ZFT and find a bunch – both dead and live - but ‘Zappa Family Trust’ itself does not appear to have been taken. Anyone got a spare $159?...The Adventures Of Dr. Mumbai features Marco Minnemann, Arthur Barrow, Aaron Arntz, Scheila Gonzalez, Bryan Beller, Pete Griffin, Dweezil Zappa, Billy Hulting and many more. Check it out at http://www.drmumbai.com/ ...Keep On Keepin’ On: A Short Film About Soul features Nolan Porter - check this: http://www.leecogswell.co.uk/ ...Here’s Gail on Roxy By Proxy and more: http://therumpus.net/2013/06/swinging-modern-sounds-45-the-distribution-problem-part-one/ ...and there’s a little more-a at http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/re-roxyminusdistribution/ ...Here's an article about Freak Out! being remastered for vinyl at Bernie Grundman’s http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=165076 When Gail says, “We don't need to re-write history and reinvent Frank Zappa for today,” I can confirm that Paul Buff has been reinstated on the ‘contributors’ list (he was omitted from the 2012 UMe reissue) and that it includes the ‘hot spots’ map. I’m not sure what that statement says about ZPZ, though.) And here’s Freak Out! being pressed at Furnace Records: http://youtu.be/HYGrkxFspZg ...Adrian Belew is no longer part of NIN’s 2013 tour: “It didn't work,” he says...The Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival features Ensemble Modern playing some Yellow Shark and Greggery Peccary (at the Sentrum Scene on 5 September 2013 - http://ultima.no/#/program/05-09/apningskonsert-ensemble-modern-spiller-zappa) and the Oslo Philharmonic performing Sad Jane (at Oslo Konserthus on 13 September - http://ultima.no/#/program/13-09/gartiskonsert-med-oslo-filharmonien-zappa-ives-grenager - a free gig, that one). EM will repeat its performance at the Tinning Plant of ArcelorMittal, Krakau, Poland on 21 September...There’s a new eBook: Frank Zappa Buying Guide by Rev. Keith A. Gordon. This from the introduction: “…let’s be honest, though, shall we? Frank Zappa was also frequently a real prick…” ZFT approved? Probably not...ZappaCast, FUCK YEAH! Coming again, to save the mother-fucking-day yeah. In Episode Eleven, the fab four illustrate the greatness of the Bongo Fury album with a huge slab of live performances. Get in! http://zappacast.podomatic.com/entry/2013-05-29T09_09_52-07_00 ...Some of you older readers may recall that the early days of this Idiot Bastard website had an IBS midi file play when you logged onto the home page. That file was supplied by one Kevin Crosby of The Squirrels. After many years of not meeting, the Idiot will finally get to high-five Master Crosby at Zappanale, where he’s playing bass guitar with Pojama People. In what spare time Kevin has, he also performs with The Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra (aka the ZERO Trio), playing stripped down rearrangements of early Frankie...Hopefully Thorsten Schütte’s documentary, Zapped, will actually be shown this year during the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (20 November to 1 December): http://www.idfa.nl/industry/tags/project.aspx?id=AED4277D-6C91-49AF-A23C-9E1A01C8BFD0 The Crimson ProjeKCt now has two live in Tokyo, March 2013 official bootleg digital albums available. Check 'em out: http://iapetus-store.com/album/live-in-tokyo-march-16-2013 ...my review of the latest batch of Unmatched CDs from Hall Of Fame Records can be viewed here: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#Unmatched ...Watch Cal Schenkel talk about the Uncle Meat album cover: http://youtu.be/sjopXMhEb0E ...Check out Gumbo Variation, live in the studio without a net http://youtu.be/n_1TphR6dsw ...In his recent blog about the ‘new guy’, drummer Ryan Brown, Dweezil mentioned a track they’d recorded for a DWEEZILA project. This imminent ‘CD bundle’ will feature original music by ‘Guest Guitarists’ Tom Quayle, Chris Buono, Derryl Gabel, Oz Noy, David Wallimann, James Santiago and Matt Piccone...Help I’m A Rock/It Can’t Happen Here and Who Are The Brain Police? (two versions) were released together as a 12" single on Red Vinyl to celebrate Mother’s Day. In July! Cover art by Noel Fielding...Bass player Antoine Fafard’s second album, Occultus Tramitis, features Terry Bozzio and Chad Wakerman (as well as a host of other special guests). Listen to snippets at www.antoinefafard.com ...Drummer Joe Travers has left ZPZ and will be replaced by Ryan Brown on the upcoming Roxy & Elsewhere 40th Anniversary Tour. Joe assures me he will continue in his most excellent Vaultmeistering role with the ZFT, and is also looking forward to more musical adventures elsewhere. Dweezil has now blogged about the change...Gibson has now formally launched the ‘Roxy’ SG: http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/SG/Gibson-USA/Frank-Zappa-Roxy-SG.aspx ...Hey, I didn't realise that Quarteto Nuevo, the band that features Grandmother Chris Garcia, included a rendition of T’Mershi Duween on their second, self-titled album. Track it down...The ZFT has formally announced the release of three FZ albums on vinyl: Finer Moments (out now), with Freak Out! and Over-Nite Sensation to follow...Check out this great video of the BIT20 Ensemble playing a bit of Zappa and Varèse: https://vimeo.com/63818800 ...GZ sez “Uncle Meat is next” project/object audio documentary, “but can’t say when...Here’s my review of Tom Brown’s wondrous Confessions Of A ZAPPA Fanatic book: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#TomBrown ...…and here’s my thoughts on Howard Kaylan’s splendid autobiography, Shell Shocked: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#Howard ...This just in from George Duke: “For you fusion fans, I must let you know that I've finally found the time to work on the tracks from the original Billy Cobham/George Duke band featuring Al Johnson on bass and John Scofield on guitar. Not having heard this band and music in a long time I must tell you the playing is pretty amazing! I think I'll be able to release two volumes of music from these recordings so watch out for the first release sometime early next year! By the way, I have a new CD DreamWeaver to be released July 16th.”...Touched By Grace - My Time With Jeff Buckley, the book by Gary Lucas which appeared last year in Italy, will be published in English by Jawbone in the UK and US this September. Drumbo’s Through The Eyes Of Magic will also be issued in paperback (and on Kindle) later this year...Bonhams is auctioning an original FZ painting, from 1961. It depicts a pair of brass instruments and is entitled (*cough*) Horny. Bid: http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20984/lot/3450/#.UVy0FQygvRw ...Shhh! Don’t tell the Barfies that Trout Mask Replica had been available on CD for years (only very recently becoming OOP); they’re reissuing it on Zappa Records! I understand that, like the recent UMe Zappa releases, it’s sourced from the original tapes and sounds fab but is otherwise a straight vanilla release (ie. no bonus material). In other related news, the iTunes version of last year’s Bat Chain Puller replaces the alternate rendition of Hobo-ism by Donnie & Denny with the more widely known bootlegged version. How queer…yet how cool!...Check out Gumbo Variation’s Festival Moo-ah video diary here: http://youtu.be/Oxe0la4l9go ...Suddenly available: Wing Beat Elastic: Remixes, Demos & Unheard Music by Mike Keneally…and Andy Partridge, who appears on some of the demos. Get yours here http://store.keneally.com/products/mike-keneally-wing-beat-elastic-remixes-demos-unheard-music My On Broadway: Covers Of Invention CD of Zappa-inspired covers of the songs Frank covered on the Broadway The Hard Way tour (all fully documented in my Zappa The Hard Way book, soon to be obtainable as an eBook – yes, really) is now available from CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/onbroadwaycoversofinvent ...Pauline Bird remembers Frank (BBC World Service interview): http://youtu.be/vnpLipibl9M ...Professor Mick Ekers has posted a snap of the teenage Frank’s piccolo snare drum, possibly the one he composed Mice (http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/songs/Mice.html) on. Have a look. Mick says progress on his Zappa’s Gear book is going well and he’s “still on track for being in print in May!” Yippee!...Joe Satriani’s album, Unstoppable Momentum features a studio band comprised of “Mike Keneally on keyboards, Chris Chaney on bass and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums. The chemistry between these awesome players was fantastic, and we blazed through all the tracks with everyone laying down amazing performances.” His Euro touring band to support the album will consist of “Mike Keneally on keys and guitar, Bryan Beller on bass, and Marco Minnemann on drums. I’m so excited about tearing it up on stage with this new band! See you out there on tour...” Ahmet Zappa has a new book, Because I’m Your Dad, out. “I wrote this book for anyone who is a father, has a father, or hopes to someday be a father,” he tweets...Guitarist Todd Grubbs, who has contributed to all three of the Idiot Bastard's FZ tribute CDs for Cordelia Records, has a new Best Of The Guests compilation album out. It features his collaborations with Mike Keneally, Don Preston, Jerry Outlaw, Blues Saraceno, Derek Sherinian and others, plus a brand new bonus track featuring Bryan Beller. Check her oot: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/toddgrubbs6 ...Sony Pictures plans to turn Ahmet Zappa’s conceptual reinterpretation of Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist into a feature film called Dodge & Twist. Set 20 years after the events of the classic novel, Dodge & Twist finds Oliver Twist and the Artful Dodger at odds with one another as Oliver, now a police officer, tries to prevent the Dodger from a plan to steal the Crown Jewels...As well his memoirs, 2013 will see the release of a documentary on Jimmy Carl Black. Titled Where’s The Beer And When Do We Get Paid?, you can see more at http://www.wheresthebeer.de/ ...During his stint with Duran Duran, Warren Cuccurullo worked on a side-project with keyboardist Nick Rhodes entitled TV Mania: Bored With Prozac And The Internet? An album is finally being released, in a variety of funky formats, on 11 March. Here’s a little more-a...I asked Muffin Man Roddie Gilliard why the band has just started posting ‘Lost Episodes’ from the Muffinz Moovies on YouTube. Here’s what he said:
RG: The simple answer to that is they were lying around, so we decided to throw them onto the site.
The complicated answer is many layered, but the advances in media technology and access are main factors. Add the fact that Jimmy left us - we just stopped doing stuff for a while...DVD suddenly became last year’s model - yet it was still expensive to compile/edit/produce to a professional level.
IB: You’ve issued DVDs of Zappanale #14 and a tour report from the April 2011 Euro Tour with Denny. Why not just compile all of these into Vols 4-6 of Muffinz Moovies, and continue the story of those silly old fools from Liverpool?
RG: Both those “items” were limited edition, private runs for in-house, a few were used in promotion - but basically they were done for band/management archive.
We are fortunate to have a fairly comprehensive video/audio archive of the band activities. The period from 1990-2005 was made available in volumes 1-3 of the Muffinz Moovies DVDs. Volume 3 included the complete 90 minute Cropredy set from 2005. Countless hours were spent transferring various formats of video using the latest Apple Macs, with programs like Final Cut. The sequences were then compiled for DVD. The first DVD contained 3¾ hours of footage, and cost a fortune to be authored into DVD-9. The following discs we completed in-house after we acquired the software.
In order to (re)compile the more recent material into DVD format is not cost or time-effective. Upgrades to the systems would mean we’d have to start from scratch. We would sooner rethink everything as new forms of archive retrieval become available.
So the story does continue. We have posted various tour reports over the last few years. And now we have made these ‘Lost Episodes’ available for free. We would stress that they are rough edits, missing captions, credits and final audio mastering. What they supply is the general smell of the period.
Don’t forget, today’s culture allows a fanbase to post any clips onto YouTube - ignoring any copyright issues relating to content. That is the way things are now. Something that a punter thinks is good (mainly because they were there) is not always what the artist would consider fit for consumption - but that subject is for a separate discussion.