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

(Last updated 20 February 2020)

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Hot Poop

 

·        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]

 

·        Listen to Vault & Pod Meisters Joe & Scott natter about The Hot Rats Sessions in this excellent new ZappaCast episode. Joe mentions a soon-come follow-up 'Hot Rats 2' set that will include material from the early 1970 live shows and Record Plant sessions (hopefully with stuff like Khaki Sack, Twinkle Tits/Interlude and Love Will Make You Lose Your Mind) plus a future Zappa/Beefheart compilation. Hotcha! [Added: 30 December 2019]

 

·        Petit Wazoo trumpeter Gary Barone sadly passed away aged 78 on Christmas Eve. A friend on Facebook said he'd, “had lung cancer, but still played until the end of November.” RIP. [Added: 30 December 2019]

 

·        Since The Zappa Tour Atlas went to the printers, the Zappa Trust has issued a few more albums. You can read/download my 150 word reviews of these here! [Added: 30 December 2019]

 

·        Here’s an interview I’ve just conducted with Kris Peterson about her contribution to Waka/Jawaka. [Added: 21 December 2019]

 

·        If you haven’t got The Hot Rats Sessions box set yet, here’s a closer look at the Zappa Land board game. [Added: 21 December 2019]

 

·        Moon Zappa joined Pamela Des Barres for her latest Pantheon Pajama Party podcast, revealing some more about her relationship with her parents and suggesting Babymetal re-record The GTOs Permanent Damage album! [Added: 21 December 2019]

 

·        The ZFT has teamed with Rowdy Sprout children’s clothing line for a few limited-edition Zappa items – Raglan Tees and Onesies! This marks the first collaboration, with more designs set to launch in 2020. [Added: 21 December 2019]

 

·        Here's Dame Margret's Son To Be A Bride (1969 Quick Mix) from The Hot Rat Sessions. It seems the title may have been inspired by Balham-born Oscar-winning actress Margaret Rutherford (Blithe Spirit, I'm All Right Jack, Murder, She Said), who adopted author and biographer Gordon Langley Hall. After sex reassignment surgery in 1968, Hall wed in the first legal interracial marriage in South Carolina – becoming Dawn Langley Simmons. [Added: 15 December 2019]

 

·        Percussionist Emil Richards of The Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Orchestra (Lumpy Gravy, Orchestral Favorites) sadly passed away yesterday. [Added: 15 December 2019]

 

·        Dave McMacken, who painted the covers of 200 Motels and Over-Nite Sensation (as well as the original cover for the Rhino/Del-Fi Cucamonga compilation, Rare Meat – and a rather splendid Zappa/Mothers 10th anniversary poster) has apparently passed away. [Added: 15 December 2019]

 

·        Adrian Belew: "The seminal record Remain In Light turns 40 next year and I will be recreating my role from the record and its world tour in festivals throughout the year with the great funk band Turkuaz and fellow talking head Jerry Harrison." [Added: 15 December 2019]

 

·        Very chuffed for guitarist Sam Ward of Treacherous Cretins who was invited up on stage to duel with Dweezil during the last UK date of the Hot Rats Live! tour. That gig in Brum was also the final ZPZ show for keyboard player Chris Norton, who is “joining the touring Cirque Du Soleil show Axel as the permanent bandleader/keyboard player.” [Added: 12 December 2019]

 

·        Robert Martin, talking about the upcoming Hologram band dates on Facebook, added: “And for all you amazing European fans, watch for announcements coming soon for summer and fall Zappa madness.” [Added: 12 December 2019]

 

·        Steve Vai recently posted on his socials that the final three discs in his Secret Jewel Box “are still up for grabs regarding what they will be. I was originally planning to release Panic Jungle, which is a double live Alcatrazz Record. And the last disk entitled Hot Chunks is still a wild work in progress. I made a totally 80s biker type record in the 80s with a friend. I never released it and am considering making that one of the additions to the box. I guess this is a project that is happening over time. I promise to live long enough to finish it…well, I’ll try at least.” [Added: 12 December 2019]

 

·        Full Muffin Men 30th anniversary tour dates now in the Diary. [Added: 12 December 2019]

 

·        Ahmet Zappa is co-hosting a new monthly show called Rocktails for SiriusXM Volume 106. He says the “show is all about having unfiltered conversations about my favourite thing to talk about - music - because music is the best.” [Added: 12 December 2019]

 

·        Pianist Dementia: Music of Frank Zappa by Dave Hartl is available here. [Added: 12 December 2019]

 

·        Don't Eat The Yellow Snow is on another new Universal Music Group compilation - among some unusual bedfellows, the album is called Songs About Colours. [Added: 12 December 2019]

 

·        Anyone fancy another cup of Moon Unit Tea? [Added: 12 December 2019]

 

·        Here’s an interview I’ve just conducted with Bill Gubbins and Ahmet Zappa about the imminent arrival of The Hot Rats Book. [Added: 06 December 2019]

 

·        The Muffin Men will celebrate 30 years of music, mayhem and madness at London’s Half Moon Putney next June. Tickets here. See you there! [Added: 06 December 2019]

 

·        Tickets are also now on sale for the Treacherous Cretins/Pygmy Twylyte double-header at London’s 100 Club next April. [Added: 06 December 2019]

 

·        The latest additions to next year's Zappanale line-up include The Mike Keneally Report, Marco Pacassoni Group (who produced the excellent Frank & Ruth album) and Valentina Ciardelli. See all of those announced thus far here. The Arf Society say, “We are still negotiating with two bands.” Word on the street is that this could well be two bands that Mike Keneally has played with in 2019. [Added: 06 December 2019]

 

·        The Hawkestrel (a bringing together of former members and associates of Hawkwind) has just issued this instrumental cover of Post Malone's Circles featuring Todd Rundgren and L. Shankar. Shankar himself has just issued a new album of his own called Face To Face, which features a number of guest vocalists – including Jonathan Davis of Korn and Chloe Trujillo (who of course provided a cover of The Torture Never Stops with her husband to The Frank Zappa AAA·FNRAA·AA Birthday Bundle 21.Dec.2010). [Added: 06 December 2019]

 

·        Here’s an interview I’ve just conducted with Mick Ekers about the imminent arrival of his Zappa Gear book. [Added: 29 November 2019]

 

·        Listen to Ahmet and Travers discuss the forthcoming Hot Rats Sessions box, a possible deluxe re-issue of 200 Motels, and more - here. [Added: 29 November 2019]

 

·        The Hologram band are playing six more shows at LA’s Baked Potato in January, right after their appearance at X-Jamm. [Added: 29 November 2019]

 

·        If your friends are experiencing problems accessing this website, this short video may help them. [Added: 29 November 2019]

 

·        At last! The 1974 Show, which featured Zappa Gear author Mick Ekers, is now on Spotify. [Added: 25 November 2019]

 

·        Officially available now, Bruce Whitaker’s book Zappa Doo Wop. The book explores FZ's influences from the LA doo-wop and R&B scenes of the 50s & 60s, and covers many of the songs he performed or referenced throughout his career. This paperback is 157 pages, including over 30 full colour pages of photos and illustrations. If interested, contact Bruce via BruceWhitaker1@comcast.net [Added: 25 November 2019]

 

·        Zappa Spielt Für Bach – Jazz Is Not Dead… (the pre-Zappanale Hamburg church gig from July 2019, featuring Fried Dähn, Christopher Garcia and Napoleon Murphy Brock) is now on Spotify. [Added: 25 November 2019]

 

·        Confirmed for Zappanale #31 next year are: Dweezil, who will return to perform with his band and also as a special guest of the UH Hilo Jazz Orchestra from Hawaii; and (as if that weren’t enough) John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension! More to come. Buy tickets here! [Added: 21 November 2019]

 

·        The Lost Meat album, featuring Zappa rareness purveyed by the world's premier covers artistes, can now be streamed on YouTube and Spotify. [Added: 21 November 2019]

 

·        Dweezil’s bass player Kurt Morgan: “About one year ago, fellow bassist and Zappa fanatic, Valentina Ciardelli, approached me and asked if I would be interested in composing an original piece of music for String Quintet. I was flattered by her proposition and graciously accepted her offer. The piece was premiered last November and recorded in the studio this past May. This is the result of that studio recording.” [Added: 21 November 2019]

 

·        A limited number of copies of Mats Öberg’s Frankful CD are now available from Annellssongs – send an email to hans@annellssongs.com for details. Here’s a taster: Läther. [Added: 17 November 2019]

 

·        Hear Dweezil and his band play most of Hot Rats LIVE! on Co de Kloet's NPR radio show – here! [Added: 17 November 2019 / Updated: 21 November 2019]

 

·        There will be a Zappa weekend at Burghof Lörrach in January featuring Ensemble Recherche, The Grandsheiks and more, with special guest Dweezil Zappa! [Added: 17 November 2019]

 

·        The Ed-less Hologram band are playing a show at X-Jamm in Anaheim on 18 January 2020. [Added: 17 November 2019]

 

·        Lost Meat: 100% Zappa Rareness  by various cool artists is now available from CD Baby. [Added: 17 November 2019]

 

·        The latest issue of RnR Magazine contains a review of The Zappa Tour Atlas plus an interview with this Idiot, conducted by Alan Clayson. [Added: 15 November 2019]

                                                                                                                                                       

·        Roddie Gilliard on Facebook: “The Muffin Men have agreed a licensing agreement with The Zappa Trust...30th Anniversary tour dates (1990-2020) to be announced soon.” [Added: 15 November 2019]

 

·        Steve Vai: Warren Cuccurullo's Coletrane-ing carries the depth of an inspired musician at its creation. The way he combines contemporary rhythmic patterns and inventive guitar tones to create an authentic fusion with jazz atmospheres is unique and innovative. It’s obvious that he is deeply connected with his musical passions and guitar craftsmanship. A rare find for sure.” [Added: 15 November 2019]

 

·        Nice little reviewette of Lost Meat at United Mutations. [Added: 15 November 2019]

 

·        New Universal mp3 compilation, '70s Jazz Fusion, includes FZ's The Purple Lagoon/Approximate. [Added: 15 November 2019]

 

·        Here’s Treacherous Cretins recording the rare Zappa song Solitude, for the Lost Meat album. [Added: 12 November 2019]

 

·        In the late 90s, Nick Rhodes and Warren Cuccurullo (aka TV Mania) offered their song Pop Trash Movie to Blondie. The band recorded it for a never to be released greatest hits album on EMI America, so Duran Duran re-recorded and released it a few years later. In her new autobiography, Blondie singer Debbie Harry reveals, “We tried working with Duran Duran, but [they] had this crazy, crazy guy in the band who seemed to be whacked out of his head. It was almost funny. We would be trying to record and he’d be ripping off his clothes, complaining that he was getting overheated, which was amusing. He had a good body and he knew it, but he also reeked of this acrid drug sweat and he seemed to be speeding his tits off. Quite a distraction. But we did record two or three songs with them.” In response, Warren has posted a video on Facebook of Duran performing the song live, with this “message to the ungrateful fat soulless witch that continues to refer to herself as Debbie Harry. This is the masterpiece I wrote for you. You hated Nick’s lyrics. You begrudgingly sang it anyway, with the flu. Memory failing you? Oh, before I forget: amino acids are not drugs. I guess one should never expect a fat person to understand a healthy bodybuilding lifestyle. Get your stories straight, bitch!” [Added: 12 November 2019]

 

·        Cal Schenkel has some very special limited offers over at his website – grab yo'seffs some cool art now! [Added: 11 November 2019]

 

·        Pauline Butcher has posted this video, utilising a snippet of our ZappaCast from 2015, which poses the question, “Why was it okay for Frank to play other people’s music, but not okay for others to cover his?” [Added: 11 November 2019]

 

·        The annual Frank Zappa Memorial Day organised by Idiots Records in Dortmund, Germany will this year feature Chato Segerer playng the music of FZ. The event starts at 11:00am and ends at 07:00pm. Entrance is free! [Added: 11 November 2019]

 

·        Co de Kloet: “November 16 on CoLive! One hour Dweezil Zappa special including exclusive live recordings of his current Hot Rats tour! Absolutely amazing performances! Also, remastered Noord Nederlands Orkest recordings!” [Added: 11 November 2019]

 

·        Read my preview of Guranfoe’s debut studio album here. [Added: 11 November 2019]

 

·        Here Geoff Pointer (aka Turbulator) explains the motivation behind his rad re-arrangement of L. Shankar's No More Mr. Nice Girl for the recent Lost Meat compilation. [Added: 04 November 2019]

 

·        Alan Clayson was interviewed by Tony Blackburn on BBC Radio Berkshire last week and confirmed that he is finally working on the long-promised authorised biography of FZ. The deadline for submission of his manuscript is June 2020, so fingers crossed it'll slip into our Christmas stockings next year. [Added: 04 November 2019]

 

·        The next edition of The 1974 Music Show Podcast will be broadcast on Ship Full of Bombs (Thames Delta Independent Music Radio Station) on Friday 22nd November at 7.00pm. The show will be a special feature on the music and influence of FZ, and the special guest in the studio will be Mick Ekers – author of the soon to be published book Zappa Gear. [Added: 04 November 2019]

 

·        A previously unheard interview with FZ from 1991 is now up at The Tapes Archive. As per the Dweezil interview, a transcript is also available. [Added: 01 November 2019]

 

·        Frank & Ruth, the Zappa/Underwood tribute from Marco Pacassoni Group, will be released in North America on 10 November. “To celebrate this, we post an unreleased live version of Sleep, Pink And Black (The Napkins Suite) also featuring Petra Magoni. It is an amateur shooting (thanks Giuseppe Martino), originally just for archives but I love Marco's solo on Pink, re-proposing the first part of Frank's original solo on vibes, and Alberto's second guitar solo on Black, and of course Petra's improvisation,” says Pierre Ruiz. [Added: 01 November 2019]

 

·        An interesting previously unheard interview with Dweezil from 1994 can be found in The Tapes Archive – and there’s one with Frank to follow this week. [Added: 28 October 2019]

 

·        The Halloween 73 ZappaCast is here. Listen to Professor Parker and Vaultmeister Joe tell all about it…and more. [Added: 28 October 2019]

 

·        Cian Coey has confirmed she’s “not in [Dweezil’s] band anymore”. [Added: 28 October 2019]

 

·        Here is a snippet from Pauline Butcher's play, Honest Betrayal (scroll down for my review here), from rehearsals earlier this year. [Added: 28 October 2019]

 

·        Congratulations to Charles Ulrich on The Big Note winning the 'Best Discography' category in the 2019 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research. [Added: 28 October 2019]

 

·        Another teaser track from the imminent Halloween 73 set has been unleashed: Cheepnis (from the first show). [Added: 20 October 2019]

 

·        On Friday 1 November 2019, Scissor Sister Ana Matronic goes on a journey into the afterlife of pop on BBC Four. Includes “Frank Zappa’s son” delving into the morality of hologram tours; here’s hoping they’re talking about Dweezil! [Added: 20 October 2019]

 

·        Until recently, Coy Featherston – FZ’s former lighting director, immortalised in the song Goblin Girl – had been living on the street in Austin, Texas as a homeless person. Friends have come to his aid and set-up this GoFundMe page. [Added: 20 October 2019]

 

·        Cordelia Records has just released Lost Meat - an album of songs composed by FZ that you won’t find in his Official Discography. The album includes tracks performed by ZERO (featuring Prairie Prince, Sandro Oliva and Craig 'Twister' Steward), Treacherous Cretins, Gabba Zappa Hey!, Fred Händl, and tasty cover artwork by Art For Dinosaurs (aka Hoops and Robert Ross). To celebrate this release, Cordelia is having a temporary sale of eight previous CDs of the world's finest Zappa cover bands performing his music here. [Added: 10 October 2019]

 

·        In celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, The Hot Rats Sessions box set is suddenly available to pre-order here (you can stream/download It Must Be A Camel (1969 Mix Outtake) right now). Additionally, Peaches En Regalia and Little Umbrellas will get their first-ever single release (in both mono single master and rhythm track mixes) on a limited edition 10" picture disc. Read all about that here. There’s also a translucent hot pink vinyl version of the original album, plus of course Bill GubbinsThe Hot Rats Book. And as if that wasn’t enough, I have put together these hopefully enlightening essays to mark the anniversary of my favourite ever Zappa album (including a sketch of Bub n’ Gil by John “Drumbo” French)! [Added: 10 October 2019]

 

·        Brand new interview with the amazing Ray White here! [Added: 06 October 2019]

 

·        An update on the Zappa movie from Alex Winter: “I’ve spent the last several months painstakingly tracking and licensing the vast amount of visual and audio media that we’re using in this film. I was determined to construct the film primarily from original and unseen Zappa archival, which requires an enormous amount of labour to be able to use all that footage. And use it we did! Now we’re closing out that process and beginning the work of colour correction and the laborious sound mix, all of which will take us to New Year. It’s extremely important to get this film right and not skimp on any part of the process. But I’m thrilled with the movie we made and excited to get it out into the world.” [Added: 06 October 2019]

 

·        Get a sneak preview of Mats Öberg's Frankful album from these in-studio video clips. [Added: 06 October 2019]

 

·        Scott Thunes wrote an interesting post on the Zappateers forum in response to a question about whether horn charts were used on the 1988 tour. Here's an extract: “I recall only one horn part coming fully-formed out of an evening of Frank messing around in his Synclavier submenus to generate the ugly chart that turned into When The Lie's So Big. As far as parts for most everything else, they were usually barked at the horn section by Frank during rehearsals, reminding of what he must have done for the Wazooers. There were many times when he'd say, “Hold on,” and head on down to the Synclavier and either come up with a voicing based on one of the chords or one of the melody notes, or he would try some funky combination of tones that spiced up the proceedings. Frank built all the chords/parts downwards from the Trumpet/Flugelhorn at the top. This annoyed Walt to the point where he said out loud (and I paraphrase) “Frank, for all his 'modern composer' talk, never alters the voicings of his horn chords. It's always Trumpet, Alto, Tenor, Trombone, McGettrick.” [Added: 06 October 2019]

 

·        An update from Mick Ekers on his forthcoming tome: “Word from Backbeat Books is that there has been a slight delay at the printers and Zappa Gear will now be published late November/start of December. The publisher has seen some sample pages from the printer and assure me it’s going to look great – so we are almost there!” [Added: 06 October 2019]

 

·        New Universal mp3 compilation, '80s Jazz Fusion, includes FZ's Alien Orifice. [Added: 02 October 2019]

 

·        You can now hear Valentina Ciardelli (the girl in the magnesium dress) perform her Zappa Trust-approved rendition of Echidna's Arf (Of You) with Alessandro Viale on Spotify. Better still, buy a copy fo the whole CD here. [Added: 02 October 2019]

 

·        This just in from Thana Harris: “Bob wants you to know that the new AXE record Final Offering is now released on Escape Records in England. Bob sang a lot of the leads; Bob, our son Nathan, and I did almost all the back up vocals. You can find it on Escape-music.com.” And here's the track Bad Romance from it. [Added: 02 October 2019]

 

·        Listen to Ahmet Zappa talk openly to Bob Lefsetz about his father's cocksmithery, the Ryko deal, leaving the family home, his marriage to Selma Blair, the formation of ZPZ, the recent family business issues, the Hologram tour and more, here. [Added: 21 September 2019]

 

·        Following a restraining order against Timothy Mark Brownfield in 2001, who allegedly threatened to kill Moon Zappa, the plonker apparently turned up on her doorstep on September 11 this year and handed her a $50 million lawsuit involving a "delusional vendetta" against her. Fortunately, a judge has now granted another temporary restraining order against Brownfield. [Added: 21 September 2019]

 

·        Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls has announced the initial all-star line-up for his solo tour. Lukewarm Water Live! kicks off at the The Wiltern in LA on November 6 with a rockstellar bill that includes Dweezil Zappa. And beaming in live on satellite, on all dates, will be Steve Vai. [Added: 21 September 2019]

 

·        Dweezil’s live 2010 version of The Gumbo Variations with ZPZ is now on Spotify. [Added: 15 September 2019]

 

·        The Halloween 73 Highlights CD will be released a few days after the costume box set. [Added: 15 September 2019]

 

·        Ray White's debut solo album, A Wrinkle In The Plan, will be upon us shortly. [Added: 15 September 2019]

 

·        Moon recently posted this short video on Instagram. Who do you think the mother she mentions might be? Answers on a postcard… [Added: 15 September 2019]

 

·        Teensville Records has just released a compilation called Goodbye, Boys, Goodbye! Girl Pop Gems: Obscure & Unreleased (1963-1967), which includes The Memory Of Your Voice by Jamie Carter (aka Sandy Hurvitz and Essra Mohawk). [Added: 15 September 2019]

 

·        Halloween 73 will be released on October 25, 2019. As well as a 4-disc box set (containing ‘FRANKenZAPPA’ mask and gloves!), there will also be a single ‘highlights’ CD. Here’s the cover artwork for the latter. And here’s a preview of The Idiot Bastard Son from Show #1. [Added: 08 September 2019]

 

·        For the past several months, Adam Minkoff (Dweezil's most recent recruit) has been celebrating legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone's 90th birthday by releasing a song a week under the name of Morricone 90. One such track was Di Corsa Oltre I Cento, which was originally used in the 1977 film, Autostop Rosso Sangue. Adam's rendition features former Project Object, Grandmothers and Banned From Utopia member Robbie Mangano as well as fellow ZPZ-ers, Chris Norton and DZ hisself. Dweezil plays a fretless guitar solo, which Adam transcribed and arranged for horns. Dweezil describes it as one of his favourite musical accomplishments. Grab yourself a copy here. [Added: 08 September 2019]

 

·        Liverpool-based group She Drew The Gun has just released its reinterpretation of FZ’s Trouble Every Day. Frontwoman Louisa Roach says her “revisions to the lyrics received the full blessing of the Zappa estate, who were keen to hear the song adapted to suit contemporary times.” [Added: 08 September 2019]

 

·        The Orchestral Favorites 40th Anniversary Edition is released today. Listen on Spotify, why not? [Added: 30 August 2019]

 

·        According to Dick Boner, Dweezil's marketing ‘wizrad’, a 2010 live version of The Gumbo Variations by ZPZ is set for video and audio release before his Hot Rats tour kicks off. [Added: 25 August 2019]

 

·        The last batch of special guests sitting in with the The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa band's sans-hologram LA dates were Eric Dover, Toshi Yanagi, Ian Underwood and Ahmet Zappa. Oodles of fan vids on YouTube from these gigs – here’s a few: Cheepnis, The Evil Prince, Alien Orifice, and The Black Page. [Added: 25 August 2019]

 

·        Legendary music promoter and founder of the Knebworth festivals Freddy Bannister has died aged 84. Poignantly, he died 40 years to the day since his last Led Zeppelin Knebworth Festival. Freddy started promoting in 1959 when his newly acquired father-in-law suggested he swap his jazz trombone playing for a ‘proper job’. He never looked back. He went on to work with some of the biggest names in music with a track record that reads like an A-Z of the 60s and 70s music scene including Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Ike & Tina Turner, Roy Orbison, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Canned Heat, Jefferson Airplane and Tom Waits.
    He had a knack for spotting talent – perhaps best illustrated when he booked a little known band to play a club night at the Bath Pavilion which just happened to coincide with their reaching #1 in the charts – that band was The Beatles. In 1969, he was approached by the Bath Festival to ‘do something for the kids’ – that something was the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music – a deceptively formal name for a festival that featured the likes of Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall, and Led Zeppelin. The following year, he broke records to fly in 14 US bands with a line up that included Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, Santana, Pink Floyd, Canned Heat, Steppenwolf, Johnny Winter, Dr John, Country Joe and Hot Tuna. Among the thousands of fans in attendance was one Michael Eavis, who to this day credits Freddy with being the inspiration for Glastonbury.
    In 1974, Freddy started the Knebworth festivals, which he ran for eight consecutive years (FZ of course played the 1978 festival). RIP Freddy.
[Added: 25 August 2019]

 

·        As well as Mike Keneally, Devin Townsend’s band for his upcoming European tour will also include Morgan Ågren. [Added: 25 August 2019]

 

·        Watch Treacherous Cretins’ Zappanale #30 set here. (Fast-forward a couple of minutes if you want to miss my introduction!) [Added: 25 August 2019]

 

·        The first special guests sitting in with the The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa band's sans-hologram LA dates were Jamie Kime and Ralph Humphrey. And spotted in the audience so far have been Ian Underwood, John ‘Drumbo’ French and Ruth Underwood. Rare FZ compositions performed include Khaki Sack and Twinkle Tits. [Added: 16 August 2019]

 

·        On his Facebook page before his guest appearance at LA’s Baked Potato with the not-the-Hologram band, Ralph Humphrey mentioned an upcoming release from the Zappa Trust (as I believe it’s now called) of "a four disc box set of performances by the Mothers from the 1973 Halloween show in Chicago." Woo-hoo! [Added: 16 August 2019]

 

·        Whitesnake's Slip Of The Tongue: 30th Anniversary Edition will be available in October as a 6CD/DVD collection, including a newly remastered version of the album, unreleased studio recordings and the band’s 1990 performance at Castle Donington – all featuring Steve Vai. [Added: 16 August 2019]

 

·        Here’s an update on Tony Palmer's 200 Motels 2CD / 2DVD box set PledgeMusic doings. [Added: 16 August 2019]

 

·        A compilation album of girl pop gems from the 60s, called Goodbye, Boys,Goodbye!, includes The Memory Of Your Voice by Jamie Carter...later known as Essra Mohawk. [Added: 16 August 2019]

 

·        Bet your ass I will sign…this petition to nominate The Mothers Of Invention for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame! Let’s do it for Walter Becker (who unsuccessfully lobbied for Jimmy Carl Black's inclusion – see here). Let’s do it for Don and Bunk! The campaign has both Facebook and Twitter pages for y'all to like/follow. [Added: 08 August 2019]

 

·        After Choice Cuts, Dweezil will be playing Deep Cuts on his upcoming Hot Rats Live! tour – including Phyniox, Dwarf Nebula, Run Home Slow, Reeny Ra, Would You Go All The Way? and Untitled Mystery Song. In the meanwhile, check out DZ’s just-for-fun video on Instagram. [Added: 08 August 2019]

 

·        Mats Öberg has recorded solo grand piano renditions of a bunch of FZ pieces, including Toads Of The Short Forest, Läther and Ruth Is Sleeping. He hopes to release these on an album called Frankful soon. [Added: 08 August 2019]

 

·        Essra Mohawk's Sandy's Album Is Here At Last (arranged & produced by Ian Underwood, engineered by Dick Kunc, with artwork by Cal Schenkel) is being reissued on CD with bonus tracks (“the first songs I ever wrote and recorded, when I was 15,” she tells me). Gonzo Multimedia is also finally set to unleash the ‘best of’ DVD set that features footage from her 2011 European dates – including Zappanale. Meanwhile, Essra has just released her first brand new album of new material in a while, called The One And Only Essra Mohawk. [Added: 08 August 2019]

 

·        Wolfhard Kutz (of the Arf Society): “There are rumours that the hologram band is making plans to go on tour without the hologram show. That would be a highlight for the Zappanale...[and] Dweezil plans several concerts in Europe next year, which would also be a chance to have him back.” [Added: 04 August 2019]

 

·        Warren Cuccurullo’s new album, Missing Person, is now available to download and stream. As well as a blinding cover of Tubeway Army’s Me! I Disconnect From You (featuring the Vaultmeister and the late Doug Lunn), it also includes four songs played during the epic Zappanale #29 set by the Bozzio-O'Hearn-Cuccurullo Power Trio last year (viz: Back In 1981, 4U, You Should Dance To This and The Backwards Alphabeat Exercise and Drum Solo). Hot on the heels of this will be a third One Man Jam Band - Live! EP featuring Lil' Will (a sort of Willie The Pimp remix). [Added: 04 August 2019]

 

·        Some years ago, Ahmet Zappa had a band called Sleeps 9. Here’s a six-song demo they recorded. [Added: 04 August 2019]

 

·        Kevin Crosby of ZERO tells me “We're going to record The World's Greatest Sinner. Candy Zappa & Mark Watson on vox, Sandro Oliva & Rupert Kettle on guitars, John Parkinson on drums, and moi on bass and etc. (I may add a sax.) It is a great early FZ song that is frequently overlooked. And a perfect vehicle for Sandro and Candy. Oh yeah...and Fred Händl on keys. Should be pretty cool.” Sounds fab indeed, and chimes nicely with a project I have been working on. Full details as and when. [Added: 04 August 2019]

 

·        For those who may not know, The HeadShakers’ set at Zappanale was interrupted following a severe weather warning (they resumed the next day). You can watch what they are calling ‘The Storm Concert’ here. [Added: 04 August 2019]

 

·        Mike Keneally is contributing musical ideas to an orchestral work that Todd Rundgren will perform in Europe in 2020. MK has also apparently expressed an interest in returning to Bad Doberan after a long Zappanale absence. [Added: 04 August 2019]

 

·        Most hard-core Zappa fans will know The Story of Ms. X, as told by Warren Cuccurullo after Frank asked him to recite it on stage in 1978. It's about Warren's encounter with a transexual. When I interviewed him in 1994, Warren confirmed that the story was indeed true, adding, "I told Frank it in Florida and he recorded it. He laughed all the way through. As the shows progressed, he said, 'I really want you to do it with us.' I changed the name for the show. I think he was testing me to see if I could handle it. And I handled it!"
    In his recently published memoir, By Way Of Canarsie, Warren's younger brother Rob states that Ms. X was Ernest Aron/Liz Eden, who's desire for sex reassignment surgery was the reason behind the robbery portrayed in the excellent film, Dog Day Afternoon. (Chris Sarandon memorably played the character, re-named Leon in the film.) Warren however corrects this: he tells me Ms X was in fact International Chrysis (born Billy Schumacher), the Bronx-born drag queen and protégé of Salvador Dalí. (Chrysis appears alongside Nick Nolte in Sidney Lumet’s film, Q&A.) Warren adds, "The only thing my youngest brother got from me was the fumes of my band smoking weed through the vents three floors up; he does not know me at all. I left when he was still a child. Anything he says happened is guesswork or extremely lazy research. Liz was a friend, though: I went to the premiere of Dog Day with her and her boyfriend, Tony. That was the first time I was ever flash-photographed, à la rock stardom!"
    In addition to all of this, Warren says: "Be sure to watch the unbelievably true mockumentary about Warren Cuccurullo & Baland Barand by Luciferian pedovore apologists, the BBC." I believe that was the one called Duran Duran: There's Something You Should Know
. Meanwhile, Warren now has a second One Man Jam Band - Live! EP available for your listening pleasure. [Added: 24 July 2019]

 

·        A fantastic double-bill a-happening in London next year: Treacherous Cretins and Pygmy Twylyte will play the legendary 100 Club in Oxford Street on Saturday April 18, 2020. [Added: 24 July 2019]

 

·        If you’re interested in getting an advance copy of The Zappa Tour Atlas, get in touch with we authors via Facebook @ZappaTourAtlas. Otherwise, you can pre-order from the publisher. [Added: 24 July 2019]

 

·        Another not-the-hologram-show featuring Scott Thunes, Mike Keneally, Robert Martin, Ray White and Joe Travers will take place at Dizzy’s in San Diego on August 18, 2019. [Added: 24 July 2019]

 

·        Hear Igor's boogie from L'Histoire Du Soldat, performed here by The Girls In The Magnesium Dress. [Added: 24 July 2019]

 

·        Alice Cooper is releasing a new six-track EP called Breadcrumbs in September. A tribute to the garage rock heroes from Alice’s home city of Detroit, it features covers of MC5’s Sister Anne and Suzi Quatro’s Your Mamma Won't Like Me, and Detroit natives including former Grand Funk Railroad singer Mark Farner. [Added: 24 July 2019]

 

·        The FZ88 photo book I provided the text for is now available from Amazon UK, US, France, Germany, Spain and elsewhere. Probably. [Added: 14 July 2019]

 

·        Those of us who attended Zappanale last year will recall the Bozzio-O'Hearn-Cuccurullo Power Trio’s rendition of Back In 1981 – a Prince tribute, penned by Warren. The track will be on Warren’s soon-come Missing Person album, and here's the new video for it. I asked WC what inspired the track, and he told me, “The synth part in what was to be the chorus reminded me of a sound Chuck [Wild] and Pat woulda had 'back in 1981'. So, I wrote that down. Boom![Added: 14 July 2019]

 

·        Sad to hear of the passing of Jerry Lawson. Jerry was a founding member of The Persuasions (who supported The Mothers at Carnegie Hall in 1971, performed at the Zappa’s Universe concerts in 1991 and recorded Frankly A Cappella: The Persuasions Sing Zappa featuring Bruce Fowler, Robert Martin and Mike Keneally in 2000). Jerry also contributed a solo version of Love Of My Life (produced by Gail Zappa) to The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAAAAAM Birthday Bundle 21 Dec 2011. Hear him talk about his assocatoion with FZ here, and listen to The Persuasions sing Zappa here. [Added: 14 July 2019]

 

·        Here's a SoundCloud playlist of the five solo piano tracks not on the vinyl and digital editions of Fred Händl's The Poodle Magic Pig Type album. [Added: 14 July 2019]

 

·        The Arf Society’s Wolfhard Kutz discussed the technical requirements of staging The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa with Ahmet Zappa and, “in conclusion, I want to say that this show would not fit the Zappanale.” [Added: 14 July 2019]

 

·        Warren Cuccurullo has a new One Man Jam Band - Live! Volume 1 EP available for your listening pleasure. [Added: 07 July 2019]

 

·        Noel Fielding Tweeted this ‘morning sketch’ of the Bongo Fury cover recently. [Added: 07 July 2019]

 

·        Here's an interesting webpage by James "Birdlegs" Youmans about his time with FZ. [Added: 07 July 2019]

 

·        Ahead of their Zappanale appearance, Treacherous Cretins have posted this video of them recording Any Kind Of Pain in the studio. [Added: 07 July 2019]

 

·        Ahead of their Zappanale appearance, AMM All-Stars will perform Lumpy Gravy on the Cock Tavern stage on Chalton Street at the Somers Town Festival at 1.30pm on Saturday 13 July. [Added: 07 July 2019]

 

·        Next month, The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa band, plus special guests (but minus the Hologram and Ed Mann, who I understand bailed immediately after the last Euro date), are playing six gigs in Los Angeles. Scott Thunes adds, “This is NOT a Hologram gig. REPEAT: NOT A Bizarre World of Frank Zappa gig. This is a one-off, band-only, just for fun gig we put together ourselves.” [Added: 02 July 2019]

 

·        With news of the 40th anniversary edition of Orchestral Favorites, comes Gary Panter’s tale of designing the artwork for three of Frank’s albums (as liberated from Facebook): “I was contacted by a big design firm that I really wanted to work for to do a Zappa cover, Studio Tan, and for an art director I knew a little. They seemed to have little information about the record and I was surprised. I was very excited, did my best and waited to meet Zappa. Nothing. A few weeks later I got a call from another art director to do a second cover, Sleep Dirt. They wanted it in one night. I jumped at the chance to do another cover, but was not able to get to the image I wanted in one night, but it turned out OK, I think. Still did not meet Zappa. I wanted to meet Zappa and expected to, but I was also very intimidated by the idea of meeting Frank Zappa. They said he was on tour. The first design agency, who I wanted to please, got mad at me for taking the job from the second art director and considered that I stole the job away from them, so that was uncool and unexpected, though I was scrambling for beans and not informed of what was going on, so not surprised I socially fucked up at that time. Shortly I got a call from the second art director again to do the cover of Orchestral Favorites. I went to work, trying to impress and please, did a 22x30 painting and designed a new  type style. In the middle of the job called up the art director and asked him why was I not meeting Frank Zappa, as I knew from being a fan that Zappa was a control guy and took packages seriously. The art director told me that the company had problems with Zappa and wanted him off the label and was dumping the records on the market. I was shocked and  upset, but I finished the art and turned it in and never met Zappa. The family has continued to use the packages over the years, as they like, and I heard through a friend that Zappa liked the covers fine, but did not like the little skull on the back cover of Orchestral Favorites. I could have stopped in the middle of the third record on principle. I did not. I did the best job I could and that was that and I remain a fan especially of the first 10 LPs or so with Jazz From Hell and Civilization Phase III as other favourites. I remain friends with Cal Schenkel. My dream came true but with nightmare baggage. So, judge as you like.” [Added: 02 July 2019]

 

·        Freak Out Phantasia by Geronimo Black is available now – here's the Press Release. [Added: 02 July 2019]

 

·        Now get Gabba Zappa Hey!'s second album absolutely free – here. [Added: 02 July 2019]

 

·        Next Official Release from the ZFT is a 3-CD Orchestral Favorites 40th Anniversary Edition featuring the remastered original album with a bonus live concert from the Royce Hall event of 1975, with a 32-page booklet featuring liner notes by Terry Bozzio and photos from the performances. Out in August – meantime, here’s Revised Music For Low-Budget Symphony Orchestra on Spotify. [Added: 30 June 2019]

 

·        Get Gabba Zappa Hey!'s debut album absolutely free – here. [Added: 30 June 2019]

 

·        A previously unbroadcast interview with FZ from 1988 can now be heard here. [Added: 30 June 2019]

 

·        Warren Cuccurullo’s new album, Missing Person, will be released on July 15, 2019. Here’s the track Einstein from it. [Added: 30 June 2019]

 

·        Coming this November, the Frank Zappa Coloring Book by Fantoons: “An officially licensed coloring book packed with original art that will delight any Frank Zappa fan, from diehards to newcomers!” says the blurb. [Added: 25 June 2019]

 

·        The Zappa Tour Atlas by Mick Zeuner (with Klaus Kühner and myself) will be available soon – read all about it here. [Added: 25 June 2019]

 

·        Available now: By Way Of Canarsie: A Memoir by Rob Cuccurullo is the true story of a man who grows up in the shadow of his famous brother, seeking to find his place in life surrounded by death, drugs and Organized Crime. Meanwhile, Rob’s brother Warren has posted some more ‘one man jam band’ videos: Out Of My Mind (2019) and Fail Satan. [Added: 25 June 2019]

 

·        There’s an FZ watercolour from the late 50s up for auction here. This is the one his first wife Kay talked about in 2012: “One painting I don't have a photo of is one of a base (sic) player playing a stand-up base. Very few lines but just enough to get the whole feeling of this base player's mood. It was a masterpiece. Don't know what ever happened to this painting. At one point I was going to contact Gail to see if she had it.” [Added: 17 June 2019]

 

·        Watch the Ed Palermo Big Band's recent show – titled America The Beautiful (An’ Maybe Even a Little Ugly on the Side) – at New York's Iridium jazz and blues club here. [Added: 17 June 2019]

 

·        Mick Zeuner: “My long-awaited book The Zappa Tour Atlas will be published worldwide later this year (6th September 2019 to be precise), but fortunately my publisher Wymer UK gave me the opportunity for an exclusive launch/pre-sale during Zappanale #30! The exhibition – Touring Can Make You Crazy – will present the maps of the book framed big-size plus other treasures around this year’s motto – including the sale of a limited and individually numbered poster-print of all the places Zappa used to live in (only 50 copies). With a little help from Bob and Candy, this is THE ultimate FZ pilgrimage map!” Copies of the new Mappa Zappa EP and other spiffy doo-dads will also be on sale at the exhibition. [Added: 17 June 2019]

 

·        Warren Cuccurullo – ‘one man jam band’ - has a couple of new song vids on YouTube: God Made Music and Stupid Loopit. New studio album called Missing Person to follow. [Added: 17 June 2019]

 

·        Gerry Fialka (laughtears.com): “I suggest Frank Zappa as a hologram in the middle of the stage, with Dweezil's band on one side and Ahmet's band on the other side. Retrieving the El Monte Legion Stadium shows, this would enable the bands to aspire pushing their musical and humor excellence more. Tommy Mars told me, ‘This match-up might be helpful to increase the desire for superiority in musical creativity. That engagement could spawn an unimagined Zappatic propagation.’ Also, the hologram show could vary FZ's taped involvement by switching his musical input every night, every show. There's lot to choose from. And don't tell the humans on stage. It will require an essential part of music, that is ‘listening.’” [Added: 17 June 2019]

 

·        To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Trout Mask Replica, the Idiot posted this spiffy Spotify playlist. [Added: 17 June 2019]

 

·        In an interview with The Irish News, Alex Winter said “We're just wrapping up on my film, Zappa. To me, Frank is a hero – but he also has a lot of negative aspects that are not so likeable that the film doesn't shy away from.” [Added: 09 June 2019]

 

·        Songwriter/journalist/photographer Paul Zollo: “I'm working on a book of interviews Zappa gave and speaking with those who know their Zappa inside and out. It will be called Zappa On Zappa: and happy to say interviews by some of my favourite writers are to be included, from Studs Terkel to Rip Rense and beyond. Also my 1988 interview, plus much else: such as local TV appearances, his congressional testimony and dialogue – and even the full text of his first national TV appearance on the Steve Allen TV show, 1963.” [Added: 09 June 2019]

 

·        Dweezil has just issued this spiffy little Hot Rats Live! promo video. [Added: 09 June 2019]

 

·        Sad to hear of the passing of Dr. John (aka Mac Rebennack). Rebennack of course played piano on Freak Out!, but walked out during the sessions and never came back. He was later parodied on Beat The Boots I: Freaks & Motherfu*#@%! [Added: 09 June 2019]

 

·        Adrian Belew’s new album, Pop Sided, is now available from his webstore – signed or unsigned! [Added: 09 June 2019]

 

·        The Muffin Men gig at The Queen’s Head, Box was streamed live on Facebook, and can be re-watched now – in two parts: one and two. [Added: 02 June 2019]

 

·        Update from Alex Winter on the Zappa Movie: “We started this project over four years ago, and are now locking up picture on the edit and moving into the mixing phase. It will still be some time before it's all done, but the lion share of the labor to build this thing is nearly done. I'm turning reels over to our genius sound designer and mixer Lon Bender who will spend the next few months constructing soundscapes and making the whole thing sing!” [Added: 02 June 2019]

 

·        Mothermania is being re-issued on vinyl in July – “treated with All Analog production from the original 1969 master tape by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, 2019. Pressed on 180g audiophile vinyl by Pallas MFG.” [Added: 02 June 2019]

 

·        Terry Bozzio’s ‘Reality Tour’ dates now in the Diary. [Added: 02 June 2019]

 

·        Check out Craig ‘Twister’ Steward’s solo rendition of Watermelon In Easter Hay. [Added: 02 June 2019]

 

·        Candy Zappa will join the UK’s Treacherous Cretins for one song at Zappanale in July. [Added: 02 June 2019]

 

·        Chester Thompson has a new album out, called Steppin', and featuring Alphonso Johnson on bass – their first recording together since Weather Report's Black Market. [Added: 02 June 2019]

 

·        Greg Russo’s Ancient Armaments: The Frank Zappa Singles Project, available now! [Added: 26 May 2019]

 

·        The planned Bizarre World of FZ show in Mexico this August has now been cancelled. [Added: 26 May 2019]

 

·        Moon Unit™ is behind a new blend of Laurel Canyon-inspired tea. [Added: 26 May 2019]

 

·        If you haven't already, subscribe to 'Zappawoman' Valentina Ciardelli's YouTube page. As many of you know, Valentina is a part of the Girls In The Magnesium Dress, has performed at Zappanale and St. Catherine's Church in Hamburg (twice), and recently premiered live in London a composition for string quintet by Kurt Morgan (Dweezil's bassist and former ZFT ScoreMeister) called Waveforms – which she has also just made a studio recording of (which we should be able to hear next month). She is currently working on her own CD (for double bass and piano, plus) due for release later this year. It will hopefully include an FZ composition. [Added: 26 May 2019]

 

·        Dweezil, who is planning a faithful DNA level audio reproduction of his father's Hot Rats album later this year, recently posted this video bemoaning the proliferation of freeze dried entertainment. [Added: 20 May 2019]

 

·        While The Bizarre World of FZ date at the Doctor Music festival in July has been cancelled (because the technology used needs to have the stage all day for its correct adjustment), word is there will be more European dates this September/October. For those of you who may not know, the first run of shows featured two newly discovered compositions by Frank, titled #2 and Van Moldred; the pieces were alternated along the way, so if you attended one show (like me) you won’t have caught them both. Keep your fingers crossed that we’ll get another chance before the year is out. [Added: 20 May 2019/ Updated: 26 May 2019]

 

·        The new album by Vinnie Corbo, Mirror Point, features Ike Willis on vocals on two tracks. Here’s one called I Don’t Know. [Added: 20 May 2019]

 

·        The Persuasions are suing Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, Capitol Records, Sony/ATV and Concord Music Group for millions of dollars in damages in the New York Supreme court claiming they failed to pay them royalties for more than 48 years. [Added: 20 May 2019]

 

·        Drumbo has suggested that The Magic Band may return to the UK at the end of 2019 to mark the 50th anniversary of Trout Mask Replica. Fingers crossed for that. In other Beefheart news, Scotland’s wonderful Orange Claw Hammer are currently working on a follow-up to their Cooks The Beef first album. [Added: 20 May 2019]

 

·        Could it possibly be true?! The Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra could have another album on Cordelia Records winging its way to your lugholes – may the fourth (album) be with us before too long! [Added: 20 May 2019]

 

·        Here’s my review of The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa at the London Palladium. [Added: 16 May 2019]

 

·        Crossfire Publications: “Coming very soon…Ancient Armaments: The Frank Zappa Singles Project. It's a look at how Zappa's single releases work into his project/object. If you just hear FZ's albums, you're missing a piece of the puzzle. It will be released as an e-book and a PDF.” [Added: 16 May 2019]

 

·        Check out this fabtastic collection of Zappa arrangements as recently performed by the ABSTRAI ensemble, including the first-ever recording of Number 9. The arrangements are all by Martin Herraiz, who provided Twelve Scenes From A Concerto (based on Béla Bartók’s 3rd piano concerto) for the On Broadway album what I compiled. [Added: 16 May 2019]

 

·        Hot damn! The amazing mister Bruce Bickford passed away following eating disorder complications on April 28, 2019. May he rest in peace. [Added: 02 May 2019]

 

·         Hot on the heels of their stellar debut performance at Festival Moo-ah, the UK’s Treacherous Cretins will be opening the Zappanale festival in July, playing on the Friday afternoon on the main stage! The Cretins now join Moo-ahhers Graham “Gabba” Davis and Helen “HRH” Tate, who will be playing Lumpy Gravy as part of Ben Watson’s AMM All-Stars at the festival, as well as MagNiFZnt! See ya there. [Added: 02 May 2019]

 

·        The dust has now settled on another fab Festival Moo-ah, and we'd like to thank all of those who attended and supported us. Uncle Ian and I had a great time, and we're already plotting a probable Moo-5! So tell all your friends what a great time you had, get them to like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter, and we'll tell YOU all about our plans for Spring 2021 in due course. [Added: 28 April 2019]

 

·        Dweezil: “I’m celebrating the 50th anniversary of my father’s daredevil album Hot Rats. The 50-year-old classic album will be surrounded by an assortment of other psychedelic, avant-garde odd metered toe-tappers well known to Zappa aficionados as well as being equally exciting for music fans new to my dad's music. I am planning to do a faithful DNA level audio reproduction on tour. In order to recreate the guitar sounds as closely as possible I will be employing a unique gold top Les Paul just like the one my dad used to make the album.” Euro tour dates in the Diary. [Added: 28 April 2019]

 

·        Don't want to see the Hologram yet, but wanna hear a previously unheard FZ composition? Close your eyes and click this for Orchestral A / #2. [Added: 28 April 2019 / Updated: 16 May 2019 – “This  video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Zappa Family Trust dba Munchkin Music.”]

 

·        My review of Pauline Butcher’s play, Honest Betrayal, can be found here. [Added: 28 April 2019]

 

·        Sad to hear of the passing of both John Smothers and Dave Samuels. Ahmet announced his father’s former bodyguard’s demise on WNSTV. Zappa In New York timpanist Samuels succumbed to a long-term illness, according to Spyro Gyra’s Facebook page. [Added: 28 April 2019]

 

·        Following on from her quirky videos with brother Dweezil on Instagram, Moon recently created the slightly disturbing finger-sucking Pollyammarie for your delectation. [Added: 28 April 2019]

 

·        Coming this October, The Hot Rats Book: A Fifty-Year Retrospective of Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats by photographer Bill Gubbins with Ahmet Zappa. Contains essays by Bill, Ian Underwood, Steve Vai, David Fricke and Matt Groening. Pre-order here. [Added: 14 April 2019]

 

·        Listen to Pauline Butcher with Harry Harrington (who plays FZ in Pauline’s play, Honest Betrayal) on Jo Good's BBC Radio London show here (jump to 11:53). [Added: 14 April 2019]

 

·        Talk about buses: out now digitally, The Black Page Piano Solo, arranged and played by Ulrich Löffler of Ensemble Musikfabrik (who play at Zappanale in July). Read about it here. [Added: 14 April 2019]

 

·        You may be aware of the On Track... series of books from SonicbondBurning Shed sells them. Well, there's an FZ one coming in June – “every album, every song, 1966 to 1979” – by Eric Benac. [Added: 04 April 2019]

 

·        New ZappaCast featuring Vaultmeister Joe on Zappa In New York at 40 and more. [Added: 04 April 2019]

 

·        Here’s a nice little documentary about Gábor Csupó and his friendship with FZ, titled Cosmic Debris. [Added: 04 April 2019]

 

·        Ike Willis will be back in the UK with ZAPPATiKA this October! [Added: 04 April 2019]

 

·        Pick a headline: “Dweezil agrees to shut up and play his guitar as Judge approves settlement between three Zappa children.”/ “Ex-sibs wake up and decide to make dad proud” Read all about it! [Added: 04 April 2019]

 

·        An album of previously unreleased live and studio sessions by Geronimo Black (featuring Bunk Gardner and Jimmy Carl Black) will be released on Munster Records imminently. Called called Freak Out Phantasia, you can order your copy here. [Added: 04 April 2019]

 

·        Chad Wackerman will join the Aristocrats at their Aristocamp in June. [Added: 04 April 2019]

 

·        New Bizarre World Of Frank Zappa tour promo vid here. [Added: 20 March 2019]

 

·        Zappanale #30 update: Napoleon Murphy Brock, Patrice "Candy" Zappa and Fried Dähn will all guest with the Ed Palermo Big Band. "Candy" will also present her My Brother Was A Mother, Take 3 book in the "Kamp Theater". The GrandMothers of Invention, with Don Preston and Bunk Gardner, will be boosted by some of Ed Palermo's horn section and four members of Percussion Under Construction. The Zappanale Orchestra, feat. Ali N. Askin, the Bad Doberan Concert Band, Fried Dähn, Chris Garcia, Ed Palermo & guests, will perform Terry Riley's In C. And finally, while L. Shankar has yet to formally commit, he has been asked to play some pieces from his Touch Me There album with his band, and also to be a part of the expanded GrandMothers. Keep ‘em crossed. [Added: 20 March 2019]

 

·        The Zappa Tour Atlas will be published in September, with advance copies being made exclusively available to attendees of Zappanale. The Atlas is the brainchild of my very dear friend Mick Zeuner, and provides the most comprehensive listing ever of every Zappa concert date and venue. Also included are maps that trace the locations of all of the places Frank ever called home, 150 word reviews of all 111 Official Releases, and a foreword by (organ rising music) Robert Martin! [Added: 20 March 2019]

 

·        Mick Ekers' on his long awaited tome: “Note that the title has changed to just Zappa Gear. This was Ahmet’s suggestion and, although I've had Zappa's Gear in my head as a working title for years, Backbeat and I immediately agreed it was much stronger. As always, the apostrophe is the crux of the biscuit!” [Added: 20 March 2019]

 

·        Ike Willis & ZAPPATiKA are playing a weekend of Euro dates in May (check the Diary for details) and have just issued their Highway Maintenance (Live In The UK) album digitally, physically and streamingly! [Added: 20 March 2019]

 

·        The estate of the late John Wetton is suing Eddie Jobson for $45,5000, insisting that Wetton was never paid in full for eleven UKZ shows in 2015. Jobson has responded by saying, “I have always prided myself on being honest and ethical in both my personal life and business practices, I have treated everyone as fairly and generously as possible throughout my life and career. So I am shocked, saddened and outraged that John Wetton’s managers have stooped so low as to engage in an undeserved character assassination and a dishonest misrepresentation regarding my treatment of John. Nothing could be further from the truth, as they present it. However, I am actually relieved that these specious claims have been asserted in the form of a detailed lawsuit so that the courts can determine the erroneousness of their assertions and throw out the entire case. I will say more about this outrage when the case is resolved.” [Added: 20 March 2019]

 

·        Last Thursday, I was lucky enough to sit down and chat with Ahmet Zappa and (briefly) Jeff Pazzuti, the founder of Eyellusion. I met Ahmet at the Royal Garden Hotel – scene of the infamous ‘Zappa Crappa’ snap – where Jeff had been speaking at an International Live Music Conference. Ahmet was super excited about the first Bizarre World Of Frank Zappa dates but said he didn't want to give too much away and spoil my surprise. I managed to glean that the shows will be nothing like anybody has ever seen before, as well as being chockfull of great surprises. I was also privy to a new tour trailer that will be unleashed shortly. Hot dog! Now check out a photo of AZ down the pub, which now illustrates my recent interview with the feller. [Added: 09 March 2019]

 

·        A couple of chaps, calling themselves In The Court Of The Wenton King, sat down and talked about my Zappa The Hard Way book – ultimately giving it a four star review. Which was nice. [Added: 09 March 2019]

 

·        The Muffin Men have a new limited edition live CD, Smoke And Mirrors, Live In The UK 2018. 75 minutes of Muffinz Madness will cost you just £5 plus £2 P&P (UK), £2.50 (Europe), £3 (USA). PayPal roddiemuf@hotmail.com [Added: 09 March 2019]

 

·        Take a first look at Harry Harrington as FZ in Pauline Butcher's forthcoming play, Honest Betrayal. [Added: 09 March 2019]

 

·        Confirmation of part of the programme for Zappanale #30 is here. [Added: 09 March 2019]

 

·        Stefan Kleiber will be publishing a book (in German) about his visit to Zappanale #29 in 2018. Says Stefan, "The book contains interviews with musicians (Gabba Zappa Hey!, Tante Tofu and Monika Roscher), Wolfhard Kutz, Thorsten Semrau (the mayor of Bad Doberan), fans from Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, USA, Germany, Dieter Jakob, Olaf Rösler, Ben Watson…" Read a little more-a here. [Added: 09 March 2019]

 

·        Didn’t fancy a pair of Diva’s Zappa tights? Maybe you’ll prefer MOONUKNITSTM – from as little as...$440?! [Added: 09 March 2019]

 

·        The ZappaCast will return shortly, and all the old episodes should also be available again too. [Added: 09 March 2019]

 

·        Next Record Store Day also sees the reissue of the Jack White/Third Man Records’ remastered Trout Mask Replica – this time on plain ol' black vinyl, and minus all the doo-dads. [Added: 09 March 2019]

 

·        Conductor Kent Nagano's 2014 book, Erwarten Sie Wunder!, has been translated into English and will be published (as Classical Music: Expect The Unexpected) next month. Chapter 4 includes a passage sub-titled FZ, or The Serious Side of the Artist. [Added: 09 March 2019]

 

·        Now in stock and ready for immediate shipment: FZ88, a photobook that covers Frank’s final Broadway The Hard Way world tour. The book includes: an introduction that brings you up to date on the 88 bands’ doings since my Zappa The Hard Way book; over 100 photos taken by Sergio “Milo” Albonico during rehearsals; more than 50 ‘fan’ photos from the tour (mostly from the collection of Ole Lysgaard, of Joe’s Menage fame); an updated 1988 discography; quotes from the principals that tell the tale of the tour; a brand new interview with Milo specially conducted for this book (not the same as this one); and the full interview Frank’s former secretary Pauline Butcher conducted with Frank mid-tour. Strictly limited to 500 copies, grab one while stocks last! [Added: 01 March 2019]

 

·        Ticketmaster censored the artwork for The Bizarre World Of Frank Zappa tour due to ‘questionable content’– so the ZFT responded, with the help of Frank’s hologram! [Added: 1 March 2019]

 

·        Record Store Day on 13 April 2019 sees the reissue of The Guitar World According To Frank Zappa, the 1987 cassette-only compilation, on 180g clear audiophile vinyl re-mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering. [Added: 01 March 2019]

 

·        It seems unlikely that there will be any special guests on the initial Zappa Hologram tour dates: ‘The Vai Alliance’ has just issued a statement saying, “We would like to clarify that Steve is not slated to be performing on any of the shows in this first run of published dates,”; and when asked if he might be joining the European leg of the tour, Arthur Barrow replied, “I doubt it.” [Added: 01 March 2019]

 

·        Following their Spring 2018 farewell tour, the GrandMothers Of Invention will be back this Summer – at Zappanale and elsewhere! [Added: 01 March 2019]

 

·        An extended version of Night After Night by UK (Eddie Jobson, John Wetton and Terry Bozzio) will be issued on 29 March 2019. Digitised from the original masters and remixed by Bob Clearmountain, the extended edition finally offers a full concert-length release in 24-bit/96k high-fidelity stereo and 5.1 surround-sound. Comes in a limited blu-ray audio and double CD digipak edition. [Added: 01 March 2019]

 

·        There will be a weekend of the music of Edgard Varèse at London’s Southbank Centre in May next year – titled Hyperfutures. More here. [Added: 01 March 2019]

 

 

Lukewarm Poop

 

·         You can 'listen again' to the Idiot Bastard on RockRadio.de talking about next month's Festival MOO-AH! Some very fine Moo-choons get spun too! [Added: 17 February 2019]

 

·         Late last year I spoke again with Ahmet Zappa. We discussed The Rage & The Fury, the 50th anniversary of Hot Rats, Frank and Captain Beefheart singing about holograms, the demise of the band "Z", Knight Rider and more! Find our interview here. [Added: 17 February 2019]

 

·         As noted below, Ruth Underwood was coaxed out of retirement to record one of two piano versions of The Black Page that appear on the 40th Anniversary edition of Zappa In New York; the other version is performed by Tommy Mars (recorded at Village Recorders in 1978)! [Added: 17 February 2019]

 

·         Mike Keneally on the Hologram Tour: “For anyone concerned about a potential lack of musical spontaneity, a significant portion of each gig will be devoted to us in the band just playing songs we want to play, and not synchronized to specific visuals (although there WILL still be visual doodads flying around, we won't have to ‘hit cues’ during these sections. We'll just be playing). It's going to be fucking great. Relax.” Read what others say here. [Added: 17 February 2019]

 

·         Ray White now has a website! [Added: 17 February 2019]

 

·         Walt Fowler recently won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, as part of the Steve Gadd Band for its eponymous 2018 album. [Added: 17 February 2019]

 

·         Now confirmed for Zappanale 2019: Ed Palermo Big Band feat. Napoleon Murphy Brock; the return of Don & Bunk and an expanded GrandMothers Of Invention (incl. Ed Palermo); Percussion Under Construction (playing Zappa and Varèse); Ensemble Musikfabrik (also featuring NMB); Det Skandalose Orkester (from Norway); Jazzprojekt Hundehagen (naturally); Das Duo Zement; Ali N. Askin; and the AMM-All Stars (featuring Ben Watson and Graham Davis, performing their unique rendition of Lumpy Gravy). [Added: 11 February 2019]

 

·         US dates just announced for The Bizarre World Of Frank Zappa hologram tour – here. [Added: 11 February 2019]

 

·         Check out this detailed analysis of RDNZL on YouTube by Samuel R. Howard. [Added: 11 February 2019]

 

·         Final resolution of the Zappa family dispute has suffered a set-back: Moon is apparently concerned that the settlement terms could jeopardize her livelihood (meaning, I think, that she would be unable to make disparaging remarks about family members, even in jest). Read all about it here. [Added: 04 February 2019]

 

·         Tickets are available here for Pauline Butcher's play, Honest Betrayal (inspired by Frank and Gail Zappa), at the Hampton Hill Theatre in April. My recent interview with Pauline can be found here. [Added: 04 February 2019]

 

·         More Euro Holo dates in the Diary. [Added: 04 February 2019]

 

·         Ike Willis and ZAPPATiKA’s Highway Maintenance road movie is here. Including interviews, concert footage, backstage stuff and some great FZ anecdotes from Mr Willis, it will be followed-up by a full one hour live Highway Maintenance audio album on 1st March. [Added: 04 February 2019]

 

·         Zappa Movie backers were recently gifted an exclusive audio treat not included in the upcoming Zappa In New York deluxe box set. If anyone failed to grab it, Alex Winter has posted a new download link (log-in to Update #75 and see his recent comment). [Added: 04 February 2019]

 

·         PledgeMusic seems to be having a spot of bother, which probably explains why Tony Palmer’s 200 Motels campaign is currently unpledgeable. [Added: 04 February 2019]

 

·         One of the ‘relevant Vault nuggets’ on the forthcoming 40th anniversary edition of Zappa In New York is a newly recorded solo piano version of The Black Page by Ruth Underwood. Of this, she says, The Black Page has proven to be one of Frank Zappa’s most intriguing and enduring compositions. It is performed in many kinds of venues all over the world. It is taught and studied in schools. Perhaps most exciting is that it is adaptable and lends itself to a variety of orchestrations and re-workings, as FZ himself demonstrated. I am proud that after forty years, mine is finally among them. It is my love letter to Frank and Gail.” You can listen to The Purple Lagoon/Any Kind Of Pain from this forthcoming set on Spotify here and now. [Added: 26 January 2019]

 

·         If you're still umming and ahhing about coming along to Festival Moo-ah! in March, please be aware that the Hampton By Hilton has just eight rooms left at the specially discounted rate for Festival attendees. These will be held, "for a couple of weeks, however they will then be released." Pounce now! [Added: 26 January 2019]

 

·         Dweezil on Twitter: “By far, Ryan Brown is the best drummer I’ve ever had in my band. Ryan is a good person and a joy to have on tour. Everyone loves him. We are lucky to have him in the band.” [Added: 26 January 2019]

 

·         UK hologram dates for The Bizarre World Of Frank Zappa tour (which Ahmet describes as "a love letter and a journey celebrating the genius artistry of Frank Zappa") in the Diary. [Added: 23 January 2019]

 

·         Hopefully out in March (also!), Scott Parker's Frank Zappa Meets The Be-Bop Samurai, a book about the Fall 1976/Spring 1977 band. [Added: 23 January 2019]

 

·         Check out this vid of Berklee students paying tribute to FZ with a fab medley of Waka/Jawaka-Inca Roads-Peaches En Regalia-Zomby Woof. [Added: 23 January 2019]

 

·         Pauline Butcher: “Here is the cast for Honest Betrayal to be staged in April at Hampton Hill Theatre. Frank Zappa: Harry Harrington; Gail Zappa: Emily Tucker; Melanie: Lucie Fletcher; Matt Houlihan: barrister/priest/man with gun.” [Added: 21 January 2019]

 

·         On ZappaCast Episode #31, I asked Mike Keneally about the possibility of a Steve Vai Piano Reductions Volume 2. He told me, “I was contacted by a Japanese pianist – I can’t remember her name, but she was magnificent. She sent me a video of her playing some of Steve’s stuff. And I said, ‘Steve, do you know about this girl?’ And he did know about her and I said, ‘You know what, there’s no rule saying you can’t do a volume two with another piano player.’ So some day there might be a Volume 2, but it won’t be me.” That day has now come: Piano Reductions Vol. 2, Performed by Miho Arai is here. [Added: 21 January 2019]

 

·         In addition to those mentioned below, the Rock Radio dudes just announced the following probably playing at Zappanale #30 in July: Don & Bunk, Ed Palermo Big Band, Ali N. Askin, Fried Dähn, Candy Zappa and the AMM All Stars. Check out the full broadcast here. [Added: 21 January 2019]

 

·         Steve Vai has written "a guide to the fundamentals of music theory for the aspiring guitar player." Read all about Vaideology here. [Added: 21 January 2019]

 

·         Devin Townsend's new album Empath features a plethora of guests, including Mike Keneally (as music director), drummer Morgan Ågren and Steve Vai. [Added: 21 January 2019]

 

·         I spoke again with Frank’s former secretary, Pauline Butcher, about this and that – and her new stage play. Read on, Macduff. [Added: 08 January 2019]

 

·         After all the family kerfuffle, Moon and Dweezil are able to laugh again and have created a joint account on Instagram (@moonanddweezilzappa) to show some “dumb stuff....whenever we get around to it”; this has so far included some fun songs about Moon’s Honey Hill dolls. [Added: 08 January 2019]

 

·         Following the 2010 Voiceprint DVD reissue of Tony Palmer’s Film Of Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels comes a new 2CD & 2DVD box set via PledgeMusic with extras & exclusives (but maybe no bells and whistles). Read all about it here. As well as a second DVD of live concert material (from “Germany 1974, later 'edited' by Frank and given to us by Frank's manager before he died”), I understand there’s a possibility of third ‘making of’ documentary disc. [Added: 08 January 2019]

 

·         Pauline Butcher: “Coming up in April 2019, a stage play about Frank and Gail Zappa, inspired by my book Freak Out! My Life With Frank Zappa – but not it. (The play is set in London over one week when Frank is in London during his court case, suing the Albert Hall.)” Venue: Hampton Hill Theatre, Middlesex. Director: Nadia Papachronopoulou. Tickets: available soon! [Added: 30 December 2018]

 

·         Part two of the Frank Zappa’s Jazz Allures podcast is here. [Added: 30 December 2018]

 

·         Adrian Belew is ready to re-invent his live show with a new quartet that includes Jordan Perlson (drums), Saul Zonana (keyboards, guitar and vocals), and bassist extraordinaire Julie Slick. Their US tour (late February to mid-April 2019) will be in support of Adrian's newest release, Pop-Sided, coming March 2019. [Added: 30 December 2018]

 

·         Out on March 29, 2019: a five CD Zappa In New York 40th Anniversary set! More here. [Added: 22 December 2018]

 

·         The first sighting of a Hologram date can be found in the Diary. Tickets for the tour will go on sale in January. [Added: 22 December 2018]

 

·         Mike Keneally: “We start rehearsals for The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa in March. We’ll start announcing dates very soon. I’ll say a lot more about it later, but basically, take whatever your expectations about what a Zappa hologram tour might be, and abandon them, because this is going to be an experience unlike anything that’s happened to you before. From a musical standpoint, I’m delighted to be joining Joe Travers, Scott Thunes, Ray White, Robert Martin and Ed Mann in bringing Frank’s amazing music to you (some of which has never been heard before), and from a visual standpoint, we are going to present something you simply won’t see coming. Not gonna say more than that for now, but prepare to be truly affected by this experience.” [Added: 18 December 2018]

 

·         A settlement has been reached whereby Dweezil, Diva and Ahmet have agreed “not to say anything negative about each other in public”. Hurrah! Full resolution of the family spat is be subject to approval by a judge in February 2019. Read more…and rejoice! [Added: 18 December 2018]

 

·         Published next March, The Ultimate Droodles Compendium, featuring every one of Roger Price’s 352 most famous Droodles – including Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch. Meantime, why not create your own Droodle here. [Added: 18 December 2018]

 

·         Check out this radio show looking at "the complex relationship between Zappa and Jazz". [Added: 18 December 2018]

 

·         The fourth Festival MOO-AH is all systems go. Have you bought your ticket yet? [Added: 09 December 2018]

 

·         Very sadly, Frank's brother Bob Zappa suddenly passed away on 8 December 2018. I met Bob at Zappanale #13 and, several years before his memoir Frankie & Bobby - Growing Up Zappa came out, he sought my advice on getting a publisher. In 2015, I interviewed Bob and was a part of the ZappaCast team that chatted to him. When I told him of my hope to visit New York for my 60th birthday this year, he very kindly invited me to visit him at his home. In the event, that didn't happen and now I will never see or speak to this lovely man again. RIP Bob, and sincere condolences to his wife Diane and (of course) all of his family and friends. [Added: 09 December 2018]

 

·         RIP Victor Hayden, aka The Mascara Snake, who was Captain Beefheart’s cousin, and got to play bass clarinet on Trout Mask Replica as well as providing the painting that adorns the front cover of the Captain’s Bluejeans And Moonbeams album. [Added: 09 December 2018]

 

·         UK publisher Wymer has just announced FZ88 - A Visual Documentary of Zappa's Last Tour. It follows in the wake of Wymer's successful Zappa The Hard Way book that documented the tour, but which lacked a swathe of great photos to accompany the story. This new title is built around the photos of Sergio Albonico, whose photos were used on the 1988 tourbook and the Guitar album. For the first time ever, an extensive selection of Albonico’s photos will be published in this limited edition hardback book, together with other previously unpublished shots and memorabilia from the time. Strictly limited to 500 copies, it can be pre-ordered here. [Added: 09 December 2018]

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

...and finally, Esther...

...out now!

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Contact: disco.boy@blueyonder.co.uk