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

 

(Last updated 14 July 2019)

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Hot Poop

 

·        All of the events at next week’s Zappanale Exhibition hall can now be found here – including the launch of The Zappa Tour Atlas! [Added: 14 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 Sonicbond – Burning 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]

 

·        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]

 

·        I have completed a third interview in three months: this one with FZ’s long-time engineer, Mark “Markman” Pinske. If you enjoy this (and my recent interviews with Patrick O’Hearn, Ahmet Zappa, Warren Cuccurullo and Bunk Gardner), many more can be found in my Frank Talk book! [Added: 26 August 2018]

 

·        Fifteen years after releasing his album On Time, Arthur Barrow has shared the promo video for the track God’s Demo. [Added: 26 August 2018]

 

·        Peter Sijnke has written a book on FZ titled Controversieel Componist. It will be launched at De Drukkerij in Middelburg, The Netherlands (with music provided by Peter Bolderman) on 4 November 2018. Before then (on 6 September), a French version of Them Or Us (The Book) will be published - as translated by Thierry Bonhomme, and featuring a Preface by Guy Darol and Afterword by Pacôme Thiellement. [Added: 26 August 2018]

 

·        The new Spanner Jazz Punks album, We Are Not Alone, can now be downloaded or streamed. [Added: 26 August 2018]

 

·        Ike Willis & ZAPPATiKA will be in the UK this November. Keep an eye on the Diary for dates. [Added: 26 August 2018]

 

·        I interviewed Bunk Gardner at Zappanale in July; read the transcript of our chat here. [Added: 21 August 2018]

 

·        Warren Cuccurullo’s next album, originally to be titled Album Of The Century, has been re-named Missing Person. It will feature a reworking of Thanks 2 Frank (called Woman, with lyrics sung by Casey Desmond) as well several pieces performed at this year’s Zappanale - such as You Should Dance To This (feat. Prima Apollinaare), The Backwards Alphabeat Exercise And Drum Solo and the two Prince-inspired ditties 4U and Back In 1981. My recent interview with Warren also now includes a few more questions and answers! [Added: 21 August 2018]

 

·        Details of Project/Object’s Fall 2018 tour with Napoleon Murphy Brock & Denny Walley are here. [Added: 21 August 2018]

 

·        An interesting event titled, Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance (*Optional), takes place at Manchester Metropolitan University’s new venue, The Union, on 30 November 2018. It will feature “brand new arrangements of Frank Zappa’s genre-defying instrumental works” performed by students from the Royal Northern College of Music’s Pop and Classical courses. [Added: 14 August 2018]

 

·        If you bought a DVD of one of the shows at this year’s Zappanale, you need to read this. [Added: 14 August 2018]

 

·        Luxury furniture builder LUNO has teamed up with the Frank Zappa Estate to create the SSKL Soundwave, FZ Limited Edition record console. A limited to just ten units, it includes a mini-bar with Zappa whiskey glasses! [Added: 07 August 2018]

 

·        Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls has just released this video of the track MRI (from his Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing) album), which features a guest guitar solo from Dweezil. [Added: 07 August 2018]

 

·        Following his appearance at Zappanale, Warren Cuccurullo’s proposed Call It Everything touring band is now likely to include Alex Alessandroni (keyboards), Bizarro Patanè (bass), Steve Ferrone (drums) and (Hologram tour permitting) Ed Mann. Dates and more later, but Warren says his set/visual presentation will be “performed properly with the new line-up”. Here’s the first part of the Bozzio-O’Hearn-Cuccurullo Power Trio’s set at Zappanale. And here are some words on it all. [Added: 29 July 2018 / Updated: 07 August 2018]

 

·        Great-googly-moogly! Uncle Ian and this Idiot Boy are gonna try and make it happen again - yes, a pre-Brexit fourth Festival MOO-AH! on 22/23 March 2019. All being well, this will feature the Muffin Men, Progfathers, Voodoo Room, Pygmy Twylyte, Absolutely Frank and the Treacherous Cretins. We will be sticking to the 'Moo-ah Formula': tickets will go on sale soon (£30 for Friday; £40 for Saturday; £70 for both days), and we will need to sell enough to break even by 1st December 2018 before we can confirm with the bands, venue, etc. The ‘Uncle Ian Guarantee’ will again apply: if we don’t sell enough tickets to break-even, WeGotTickets will refund you IN FULL and we will pay the admin charge. More info here as soon as. Meantime, keep an eye on our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. [Added: 29 July 2018]

 

·        Listen to Ben Watson's Zappanale #29 quiz here. [Added: 29 July 2018]

 

·        Get an Official Frank Zappa “Zappa Krappa” Toilet Poster from photographer Robert Davidson for 20 notes. [Added: 29 July 2018]

 

·        For those who didn’t help kick-start Alex Winter’s Movie project, he tells us, “The movie is in the early stages of editorial, and it’s going great! The vault material is a treasure trove we’re diving into to lay out FZ’s story as it’s never been told. Me and editor Mike Nichols are bashing away and hope to have a first pass at the whole animal within the next six months, with the movie done and out hopefully by Spring or Summer of 2019.” [Added: 18 July 2018]

 

·        Suddenly available from Cordelia Records: an album of 20 mostly FZ-composed tunes performed by the Spanner Jazz Punks (essentially, a studio rendering of their highly acclaimed 2014 Zappanale set). [Added: 18 July 2018]

 

·        In this new article by Miss Pamela, she reveals how she was able to resist FZ’s advances during the filming of 200 Motels and that she once gave Captain Beefheart a handjob. [Added: 18 July 2018]

 

·        Newbury Comics are set to release Burnt Weeny Sandwich and Chunga’s Revenge on (respectively) silver and lime green marbled vinyl - pass the sick bag, Alice! [Added: 18 July 2018]

 

·        Some interesting information about next year’s 30th anniversary Zappanale. [Added: 12 July 2018]

 

·        The album Mappa Zappa, featuring various artists performing geographical-related Zappa songs, can now be purchased for download from CD Baby, iTunes and AmazonMP3 or steamed on Spotify. You can also hear some chat and tracks in the last forty minutes of RockRadio.de’s Zappanale #29 preview broadcast. [Added: 12 July 2018]

 

·        “Unfortunately, we were a bit hasty with the announcement that L. Shankar will be at this year’s Zappanale...” Hopefully in 2019, then. [Added: 04 July 2018]

 

·        New album, Frank & Ruth by Marco Pacassoni Group, is a lovely vibes and marimba tribute to the music of FZ (and Ruth Underwood, natch). The branchild of Pierre Ruiz (read his notes on the album here) is available to download from AmazonMP3 and iTunes, listen to on Spotify …just generally out there. Give your ears a treat! [Added: 04 July 2018]

 

·        Scottish Zappa tribute band Pygmy Twylyte will be playing two gigs in August with very special guest: former ZPZ vocalist Ben Thomas. Details in the Diary. [Added: 04 July 2018]

 

·        Check out the fab version of What’s New In Baltimore? by Z.E.R.O. featuring Ike Willis (an’ little ole me!) from the Mappa Zappa album on that there YouTube. [Added: 04 July 2018]

 

·        Dame Gillian Lynne, the choreographer on 200 Motels and National Lampoon’s European Vacation (which featured both Moon and Dweezil) sadly passed away on 1 July, aged 92. [Added: 04 July 2018]

 

·        ZappaCast Episode #38: Zappa And The Blues - suddenly available! [Added: 24 June 2018]

 

·        A vanilla version of Chunga’s Revenge is being reissued on black vinyl, 20 July 2018. [Added: 24 June 2018]

 

·        “The Bizarre World Of Frank Zappa” Hologram Tour is scheduled to kick-off early next year, with rehearsals taking place in LA in January. According to Scott Thunes, “chances are almost 100%” that the tour will come to the UK. [Added: 24 June 2018]

 

·        Listen to the opening track from the Mappa Zappa CD here. (It’s a cover of Transylvania Boogie by The Todd Grubbs Group). [Added: 17 June 2018]

 

·        All being well, L. Shankar will be at Zappanale next month, guesting with the Bozzio-O’Hearn-Cuccurullo power trio and the GrandMothers. [Added: 17 June 2018]

 

·        Scoremeister Scott Thunes on Facebook: “Today [15 June 2018] I received a bunch of scores from the ZFT to peruse. Stuff that has never been seen by any musician for performance purposes. Stuff in Frank’s handwriting from the 60s. Just deep UberFan stuff. Really geekery. <swoon>” [Added: 17 June 2018]

 

·        The latest Zappa-themed CD curated for Cordelia Records by the Idiot Bastard is a collection of tunes with place names in their titles. Read more about it here or here. Then buy a copy here! [Added: 07 June 2018]

 

·        Ahead of his appearances at Zappanale in July (and on the Hologram Tour in 2019), I had a brief chat with Warren Cuccurullo. [Added: 07 June 2018]

 

·        Order a copy of Frank Talk: The Inside Stories Of Zappa’s Other People direct from the publisher and quote the code ‘Zappa1’ to get a 20% discount – here! [Added: 07 June 2018]

 

·        Anyone interested in photos of FZ at the London’s Royal Garden Hotel in 1967 on Silver Gelatin on Ilford Fibre Paper (signed and numbered by photographer, Robert Davidson), should mention this website for a discount. [Added: 01 June 2018]

 

·        For those who might’ve likened more than the one instrumental from Gizmodrome, there’s Riff Tricks - The Instrumentals Vol. 1! (Bit slow finding out about this, but they’ve yet to sell all thousand copies.) [Added: 01 June 2018]

 

·        Geoff Wills writes: “The other day I was browsing through my notes for Zappa And Jazz and I came across a bit of conceptual continuity that I hadn’t included in the book. In my Postscript chapter I suggested that there were similarities between Zappa and jazz orchestra leader Stan Kenton, who recorded Bob Graettinger’s piece City Of Glass, which I thought might have appealed to Zappa. It turns out that Graettinger was born in Ontario, California (in 1923) where Zappa lived in 1960 when he married Kay Sherman. Graettinger studied composition at Chaffey Union High School (1937-1941) which I guess is connected to Chaffey Junior College where Zappa studied composition in 1959. There’s an album of Graettinger compositions and arrangements played by Holland’s Ebony Big Band (Channel Crossings, 1998) and the vocalist with the band is Claron McFadden, who took the role of The Soprano in the 2013 Southbank performance of 200 Motels. She’s a good jazz singer, as well as all the other things she can do. Listening to the way a Graettinger arrangement can twist a standard tune like Everything Happens To Me, you wonder if he was an inspiration for Zappa, when he introduced a distorted version of Isn’t it Romantic? into Punky’s Whips. A chapter is devoted to Graettinger in the book Songs In The Key Of Z: The Curious Universe Of Outsider Music by Irwin Chusid (Chicago Review Press, 2000), which also features chapters on Captain Beefheart and Wild Man Fischer. I hope this stuff might be of interest to you and Idiot Bastard readers.” [Added: 01 June 2018]

 

·        You can grab the new GrandMothers Of Invention album, Free Energy, here. [Added: 23 May 2018]

 

·        As Ed Mann was about to take the stage with Club D’Elf at the Flyday Music Festival last week, he fell and fractured his pelvis. He’s since posted on Facebook, “One second walking, the next, unable to walk. We work in a potentially dangerous business - be extra extra careful and take nothing for granted. Just because someone puts up a ramp, doesn’t mean it’s safe.” [Added: 23 May 2018]

 

·        Dweezil has posted the following statement: “Recently, we Zappa siblings (Diva, Ahmet and Dweezil) got together with the goal of resolving our differences. Once we sat down and actually listened to one another, we found a much greater understanding of each other’s intentions. We regret that our communication broke down and that things were misconstrued. It may be a bumpy road at times – we are a passionate Italian family – but we have decided to work toward privately discussing issues rather than using public forums and lawyers. We are hopeful that if any of our father’s fans have felt conflicted, they can join us in the peace of our resolution. With our best feet forward, we are moving ahead and will faithfully deliver much more of our father’s indefinable brilliance, also known as the “World’s Finest Optional Entertainment.” Thank you for your passion and love for our father. We can assure you, we all feel the same about him.” No mention of Moon, but great news – and hopefully the end of DZ’s ‘Others Of Intention’ campaign. [Added: 15 May 2018]

 

·        In the final episode of the FZ Discography podcast. Marc With A C throws a bunch of questions at “Weird Al” Yankovic, Alex Winter and Mike Keneally…and gives a shout out to the Idiot Bastard! [Added: 15 May 2018]

 

·        Burnt Weeny Sandwich is being reissued on vinyl, replete with the B&W poster originally available with the US edition. [Added: 15 May 2018]

 

·        This week I finished writing 150 words on each of the 111 albums in Zappa’s Official Discography - a sort of ‘Idiot’s Guide’. All being well, you’ll be able to read them next year. Meantime, there’s still Zappa The Hard Way and Frank Talk: The Inside Stories Of Zappa’s Other People! [Added: 10 May 2018]

 

·        The penultimate episode of the FZ Discography podcast goes from You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore to Civilization Phase III. [Added: 10 May 2018]

 

·        Pamela Zarubica talks about her first marijuana experience and her second remarkable man: Otis Redding. [Added: 10 May 2018]

 

·        In March, Scott Thunes wrote (on Facebook): “Last year up til last week, I’ve been working on finishing-up the score to a Frank Zappa piece called Pound For A Brown/Exercise #4. It was arranged by a lovely person back in 1995 for a chamber orchestra (it’s supposed to be ‘any orchestra under 15’ but now it’s more of any ensemble that doesn’t have a full complement of strings ala ‘modern symphony orchestra’) and performed by somebody at some point, but somebody wanted to play it so it needed to be ‘presentable’. I had parts and a score already printed and used, but they were covered in pencil marks from the previous use (orchestral musicians NEED to have a pencil with them for marking up conductor’s notes and other ‘attention-grabbing’ moments. The fact that there is no ‘rock musician equivalent’ either shows that ‘rock musicians/rock music don’t/doesn’t need to have notes OR that a lot of pressure and stress could be resolved in the learning of music for presentation if there were some methodology thereof). I also had files from the last time it was printed. Unfortunately, these files were for A: a program I didn’t have nor was ever going to get (Finale) and B: weren’t exactly perfectly useful for my needs. Almost like an OCR situation, you can scan a page of a book but it includes so many mistakes that you spend as much time editing the results as if you inputted the data by hand in the first place. So finally I was tasked with the engraving (basically inputting all the notes and dynamics and EVERYTHING into my music publishing software [Sibelius] so it can be published professionally by the ZFT’s chosen publishing house, Schott [one of my favourites!]) way back in November. Because of this and that, the deadline for finishing got pushed back further and further. But it was finally upon me and so I sent out my parts and score to the publisher and I was given to understand that I had much more work to do. For instance, a conductor’s score is usually done in a ‘tabloid’ size, which means paper that is 17" x 11" (432 by 279 mm). I had to change it from ‘Letter’ (215.9mm by 279.4mm) or A4 (210mm by 297mm) which was the size I had for the ‘parts’. Rookie Mistake #1. Sending THAT forced another round of corrections (which is fine and awesome and I wanted that and needed that and was so happy to have that input from a pro) and a note stating that there was an actual set of standards put out by the Major Orchestra Librarian’s Association (MOLA) – I wish they added some ‘R’ word at the end so it could be MOLAR – that I should be following, along with an example score that my guy considered ‘perfect’. One of the main issues with orchestral parts is ‘where you put the break’, meaning where in a multi-page document you put the page turns so that the musician isn’t rushing to get to the next notes, possibly fucking up the following passage (when I was in my 20s, I saw Itzhak Perlman do the Bartók Violin Concerto #2 at the SF Symphony. I don’t KNOW that his being in a wheelchair had anything to do with this but I DID see him fucking up a passage because of a page turn issue. He actually used his bow to THROW the page – instead of his hand – and he wasn’t able to get to the next notes in time. Really weird and gross. I don’t know if this is standard usage among string soloists. I should ask.) So my ‘breaks’ weren’t exemplary and my guy actually set up a phone call with me so he could walk me through his process (he’s also a composer) and it SAVED ME, not only me but obviously Pound For A Brown/Exercise #4. He not only showed me how he does what he does - giving me new tools in the process - but showing me exactly how much music can be on a single page along with the ‘pleasing to the eye’ concept that, as an orchestral musician, is necessary to make the entire ‘sucking up of musical data from the written notes’ the most pleasant experience possible. To make a long story short (ha!) I sent the further edits along the next day and got the digital ‘OK’ from both the ZFT and my guy at Schott. And that’s how I got through my first score-and-parts-publishing gig without getting fired.” And now here it is, on the Schott website. [Added: 06 May 2018]

 

·        Discography: Frank Zappa: Episode 4Them Or Us to Broadway The Hard Way. [Added: 06 May 2018]

 

·        Robert Martin has recorded “six-and-a-half minutes of kick butt, high energy, old school, funk rock. Land Of The Free draws from the deep well of American soul, ignites and rolls relentlessly with the power of a freight train at full throttle. It features a powerhouse lead vocal, blues-rock piano, five strong horns, soulful backing vocals, percolating organ, driving funk bass and force-of-nature drums.” [Added: 06 May 2018]

 

·        Cool podcast-type thing: Electricity: Conversations With Captain Beefheart. [Added: 06 May 2018]

 

·        Two more Euro dates for Dweezil in the Diary: Vienna and (as predicted below) Dublin. [Added: 25 April 2018]

 

·        Part Two of Scott Parker’s chat with Ahmet Zappa has now been hammered into shape as ZappaCast Episode 37. [Added: 25 April 2018]

 

·        Two more of the Consequence Of Sound ‘Discography’ podcasts are now up: part two covers 200 Motels to Zappa In The New York (is Dale Bozzio really the other ‘chick’ enjoying the recreational activities on The Torture Never Stops? I don’t think so!), while part three takes us from Studio Tan to The Perfect Stranger. [Added: 25 April 2018]

 

·        Denny Walley will return to Zappanale this July. [Added: 25 April 2018]

 

·        The first of six podcast episodes taking an album by album look at FZ covers Freak Out! to Fillmore East contains a few unfortunate errors (FZ born in 1941? Beefheart singing on Brown Shoes Don't Make It?!), but is a very interesting listen nonetheless. Grab it now. [Added: 15 April 2018]

 

·        Uwe Dierksen’s arrangement for solo trombone of Revised Music For Low Budget Orchestra was released on a double CD several years ago, obtainable from the Ensemble Modern webstore. It is now readily available to download as an individual track. Herr Dierksen of course appears on The Yellow Shark, Civilization Phaze III, Everything Is Healing Nicely and Greggery Peccary & Other Persuasions. Nice arrangement. [Added: 15 April 2018]

 

·        A new Grandmothers Of Invention CD, Live in Bremen (recorded in 2014), is suddenly available - and hopefully at the merch stand on their imminent Euro tour. [Added: 15 April 2018]

 

·        As well as the gigs in Holland, Belgium and Germany (see Diary), it’s possible Dweezil might play Dublin this year. Sadly, nothing planned for the UK at this time. [Added: 08 April 2018]

 

·        The first episode in a new series from the Consequence Podcast Network sees indie-pop songwriter Marc With A C chronicle FZ, album by album, with help from Alex Winter, Mike Keneally and others. Debuts on Tuesday 10 April. [Added: 08 April 2018]

 

·        The tenth Zappanale exhibition in downtown Bad Doberan this July will feature a Q&A with Pauline Butcher and Bill Gubbins’ photos from the Hot Rats sessions (one of which is featured on the cover of The Idiot Bastard Sons Of Mr. Green Genes album). And more! [Added: 08 April 2018]

 

·        New rock fusion album from Shuggie Otis, Inter-fusion, features drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge/Beck Bogert & Appice) and bassist Tony Franklin (The Firm/Roy Harper). Out on 20 April, it includes a new version of the track Ice Cold Daydream, first heard on his Freedom Flight album in 1971. [Added: 08 April 2018]

 

·        Digital Vault Passes have just been sent to backers of Alex Winter’s Zappa movie. These give access to over two hours of audio (including longer edits of Thirteen & Stucco Homes, and a live version of Oh No from 1984 featuring Napi) and just under an hour of video wonderment (including an epic rendition of RDNZL from Dusseldorf in 1982). Here’s Alex’s introduction. [Added: 02 April 2018]

 

·        Captain Beefheart was the subject of the BBC Radio 4 programme Great Lives on Tuesday 3 April (you can download it here); chosen by Jim Moir (aka Vic Reeves and Colin Callen), he was accompanied by Beefheart biographer Mike Barnes. And as if that wasn’t enough, to celebrate the relaunch of the Bizarre record label imprint, Third Man Records (in cahoots with the ZFT) is proud to announce a tote bag/vinyl Trout Mask Replica package thingy. Subscribe and whatnot here, if that floats yer boat. [Added: 02 April 2018 / Updated: 08 April 2018]

 

·        Bill Bruford’s new book, Uncharted: Creativity And The Expert Drummer, draws on interviews with nine top drummers - including Chad Wackerman. [Added: 02 April 2018]

 

·        Halfway through this podcast, Co de Kloet re-broadcast's Mike Keneally’s Nonkertompf live from Groningen in 2001. [Added: 02 April 2018]

 

·        Manuel de la Fuente, who together with Vicente Forés translated into Spanish The Real Frank Zappa Book and Pauline Butcher’s Freak Out! My Life With Frank Zappa, has just conducted this interview with Ahmet Zappa. It touches on Hologram tour dates, another Halloween box (with a new mask), The Rage & The Fury and more. [Added: 28 March 2018]

 

·        Check out (and also please back!) ‘Morgan Ågren/Mats Öberg CDs/DVDs + urgent hearing treatment’ Kickstarter. [Added: 28 March 2018]

 

·         Bassist and cellist Buell Neidlinger recently suffered a heart attack and died. Neidlinger of course played bass on King Kong. Jean-Luc Ponty Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa. According to Frank, he used Neidlinger because, “he’s the only man I could think of who could play the bass part” on Music For Electric Violin And Low Budget Orchestra. In Jimmy Carl Black’s memoirs he talks of Captain Beefheart needing a new bass player during his time with the Magic Band: “I knew this other guy (he had played with Geronimo Black briefly) who I thought could play this music. The guy’s called Buell Neidlinger and he was a monster bass player. He’d done a lot of sessions and he’d played contra bass with the Boston Philharmonic. He was also into the blues and stuff and was a very good friend of mine and Elliot’s. Buell had also done some stuff with Frank in the past, but it seems that he and Frank had had a serious falling out. So, when Buell went to the rehearsal on the first day, Zappa came flying out of the office, pulled Beefheart off to the side and said, ‘That guy ain’t playing in your band because he’s not gonna rehearse on these premises and in fact, we want him outta here right now!’ I guess Beefheart wasn’t in any position to do anything about it because otherwise I know he would have told Frank to fuck off! Buell would have been a great player for Beefheart in my opinion. It seems that back in 1971, Buell had called the Musicians’ Union and told them that Aynsley Dunbar was making all this money with Zappa and he wasn’t in the Union - and not only that, he wasn’t even American. The Musicians’ Union came down really hard on Herb and Frank. That is when Herb arranged for one of the girls in Herb’s office to marry Aynsley, so that he could get a Green Card.” [Added: 28 March 2018]

 

·        Inventionis Mater and Valentina Ciardelli will now be joined by Napoleon Murphy Brock at St. Catherine’s Church in Hamburg on 18 July 2018. [Added: 23 March 2018]

 

·        Following advice from his Doctor, Shuggie Otis has had to cancel his forthcoming UK tour: Shuggie has unfortunately not recovered from an accident last year but hopes to continue his recovery and make music again soon. [Added: 23 March 2018]

 

·        Halfway through this podcast, Steve Vai talks to Co de Kloet about the creation of the epic Classified track Pink And Blows Over, featuring Tommy Mars. [Added: 23 March 2018]

 

·        The first in Pamela Zarubica’s series of Meetings With Remarkable Men celebrates her time with Tom Wilson. [Added: 18 March 2018]

 

·        Robert “Frog” Camarena, who played rhythm guitar and sang on Apostrophe ('), Roxy & Elsewhere, Bongo Fury, Joe’s Camouflage and (of course) Ruben & The Jets’ For Real!, sadly passed away on 8 March following a liver transplant. His family said, “He was never one for mourning and we would like that we remember all good things he did and the many lives he had touched in his life.” [Added: 18 March 2018]

 

·        Pauline Butcher now has a nifty little website at http://paulinebutcher.com/ [Added: 18 March 2018]

 

·        As mentioned below, I have been discussing a possible coffee-table book of Zappa fan memorabilia with Ahmet Zappa. He has clarified that he wants this to be the ultimate fan’s scrapbook, collecting together fan mail, art, posters, bootlegs, t-shirts, fanzine extracts and as many exciting instances as possible of “people's passion around Frank” (as an example, Ahmet cited Cameron Piko’s wonderful interactive map of Frank’s conceptual continuity). I have been tasked with “assembling the goodies” and contextualising what’s there. If you have something you feel should be in the book, please email me with details at disco.boy@blueyonder.co.uk [Added: 10 March 2018]

 

·        In spite of the recent happy together snap of the Zappa sisters, Dweezil says, “the trademark matter involving the surname Zappa is unfortunately still ongoing”. [Added: 10 March 2018]

 

·        Record Store Day on 21 April 2018 sees the vinyl reissue of the eponymous debut album by U.K., featuring Messrs. Jobson, Holdsworth, Bruford and Wetton. [Added: 10 March 2018]

 

·        Robert Williams (aka Wait For Me: Beefheart drummer from 1977 to 1981; Magic Band drummer for their two UK shows in 2003) has been diagnosed with a Glioma brain tumor which will have to be removed. As Robert is self-employed, he will not be able to work while he recovers. His son has therefore set up this gofundme page. [Added: 10 March 2018]

 

·        The Big Note: A Guide To The Recordings Of Frank Zappa by Charles Ulrich now available to pre-order – here, and over here also. [Added: 03 March 2018]

 

·        In ZappaCast #35 Ahmet talked about the rat tomago shirts Gail presented him and Frank with. He has very kindly forwarded a photo of these which now adorns our interview. [Added: 03 March 2018]

 

·        In ZappaCast #36, Podmeister Scott talks to the Vaultmeister Joe about The Roxy Performances and more! [Added: 03 March 2018]

 

·        A 30 year edition of Pamela Des BarresI’m With The Band will be published in April, which includes a brand new chapter. At the end of that month, Miss Pamela will host one of her ladies only UK Writers’ Workshops, followed by An Evening With Pamela Des Barres (for all comers), at The Islington in London. [Added: 03 March 2018]

 

·        ‘An Evening With Terry Bozzio’ mainland Euro dates (despite the reference to Swaziland!) here. [Added: 03 March 2018]

 

·        Moon has posted a happy happy joy joy picture on Facebook of her with her sister Diva, captioned “Thanks for the willingness to share and listen with an open heart. It was good to find common ground and laugh, and it was worthwhile to hit bumpy patches and core wounds with mutual respect. Great start. Planting seeds. Thanks Steve Vai for clearing a small path with your sacred axe.” A similarly encouraging post can be found on Twitter. [Added: 26 February 2018]

 

·        The Wrong Object are recording an all Zappa album. Pre-order the CD and be a part of a recording of unorthodox arrangements of the great man’s music here. [Added: 26 February 2018]

 

·        I have just conducted this interview with Ahmet Zappa. After our chat, we discussed a possible coffee-table book of interesting Zappa fan memorabilia that might include concert photos, tickets (anyone got one for the late show at the Rainbow?), posters, bootleg artwork, t-shirts, fanzines and all manner of FZ wonderment. Any collectors out there wanting to assist me in compiling this should contact me via disco.boy@blueyonder.co.uk. The rarer the material, the better the book! It goes without saying that all contributions will be fully credited in the resultant tome (working title: Project Objects: A Zappa Fanthology). [Added: 24 February 2018 / Updated: 26 February 2018]

 

·        Sounds like plans were already afoot for an ‘Official Zappa Band’ tour pre-Hologram. Interesting. [Added: 24 February 2018]

 

·        If you haven’t read Pauline Butcher’s most excellent book, Freak Out! My Life With Frank Zappa, yet - and why ever not? - then the latest Muses And Stuff Podcast features a nice precis/commentary for you to enjoy. [Added: 24 February 2018]

 

·        Tante Tofu, Bonnen, Aigui & Burghaus and Amon Düül II have been added to this year’s Zappanale line-up. [Added: 24 February 2018]

 

·        I have just conducted this short interview with Patrick O’Hearn ahead of his appearance at Zappanale in July. [Added: 11 February 2018]

 

·        This is a shame: “It has just come to my attention the advertisement circulating for the proposed Frank Zappa Hologram Tour, states my name as a guest. As I have not consented, or given any commitment, this disclaims any involvement whatsoever. Thank you, Vinnie Colaiuta.” [Added: 11 February 2018]

 

·        Eyellusion has announced the line-up for “The Bizarre World Of Frank Zappa” Hologram Tour, which will start at the end of 2018. The core band will comprise Ray White, Mike Keneally, Scott Thunes, Robert Martin and Joe Travers. They will be joined along the way by Steve Vai, Warren Cuccurullo, Ian Underwood, Vinnie Colaiuta, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Arthur Barrow, Ed Mann - and more, still to be announced. Of the show, Ahmet says, “Circumstances, objects, places and subject matter from Frank’s songs and imagination will be brought to life for the first time on stage. We are anthropomorphizing Frank’s music, so his own hand drawn illustrations, classic imagery from his album artwork and characters from his songs can all interact and perform on stage.” Sounds fun to me. Follow the links above for more. [Added: 05 February 2018]

 

·        London-based Great Point Media (who helped fund the comedy drama TV series Doc Martin) is backing the Zappa Movie. Alex Winter recently said the documentary process has now begun, with editors coming onboard and the first phase of production about to commence. Expect a formal announcement of some kind soon. [Added: 05 February 2018]

 

·        Frank Zappa’s Three Card Trick is a 3 DVD box set from Chrome Dreams featuring the documentaries Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention – In The 1960s, The Freak-Out List and From Straight To Bizarre. [Added: 05 February 2018]

 

·        Italian Zappa duo Inventionis Mater are hooking up with the girl in the magnesium dress, Valentina Ciardelli, and will pre-open the 29th Zappanale at St. Catherine’s Church in Hamburg on Wednesday 18 July. [Added: 05 February 2018]

 

·        Only physical copies of The Roxy Performances have been delayed, and only in certain parts of the world (primarily outside of the US): it’s been possible to stream or download the whole lovely thing since its scheduled day of release (02.02.18). Joy! [Added: 04 February 2018]

 

·        Project/Object will be touring the US in April/May, with very special guests Napoleon Murphy Brock and Denny Walley. Details here. [Added: 04 February 2018]

 

·        Patrice Zappa-Porter will accompany husband Nolan Porter to The Third Blackpool International Soul Festival in June, where he’ll be performing alongside the likes of Patti Austin and Lamont Dozier. ‘Candy’ tells me, “Nolan and I recorded a record with lyrics he wrote about Northern Soul called Go-Go-Go, and he’s selling the record - a 45rpm 7" vinyl - if any of your readers are interested.” [Added: 04 February 2018]

 

·        The UK’s very own Gabba Zappa Hey! will play three times at Zappanale this year (opening party/exhibition/festival grounds), and may even do their version of Peaches En Torture – as performed for Ben Watson here. Meantime, the official programme for this year’s fest is growing here. [Added: 04 February 2018]

 

·        The Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal will perform Mo And Herb’s Vacation under the baton of Kent Nagano shortly. Details here. [Added: 04 February 2018]

 

·        Gary Lucas is doing a solo From Beefheart To Buckley & Beyond UK tour in May. Details in the Diary. [Added: 04 February 2018]

 

·        According to UMe Canada, the Roxy box now has a revised street date of 23 March 2018. [Added: 25 January 2018]

 

·        After Diva’s appearance in The Mighty Boosh and Bob Fossil’s turn as Lonesome Cowboy Burt in 200 Motels - The Suite, Dixon Bainbridge (aka Matt Berry) has just unleashed a version of Mr Green Genes on his album Night Terrors (alongside covers of Pink Floyd and Icehouse). [Added: 25 January 2018]

 

·        Scheila Gonzalez will be touring this year with Colin Hay January/February and The Mother Hips March/April...so, no longer a part of ZPZ? [Added: 25 January 2018]

 

·        The Muffin Men are hitting the road again in 2018 (with Mike Kidson on the saxamaphone). Some dates in the Diary, with more still to be confirmed. [Added: 21 January 2018]

 

·        Here’s an amusing video of Dweezil presenting Steve Vai with an old notebook containing guitar lessons he wrote for DZ in 1982. [Added: 21 January 2018]

 

·        Many of you have liked double-bassist Valentina Ciardelli’s videos on YouTube, performing with The Girls In The Magnesium Dress and others. To ensure we get even more of this wondrousness, please subscribe to her Zappawoman channel. [Added: 21 January 2018]

 

·        The GrandMothers Of Invention will headline Zappanale on Sunday 22 July 2018 - plus the band’s UK ‘farewell’ dates are now in the Diary. [Added: 18 January 2018]

 

·        Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls releases his star-studded solo album, Smalls Change, Meditations On Ageing, in April. It features guest appearances from Steve Vai, Dweezil Zappa and a host of other top bods. Read more here. [Added: 18 January 2018]

 

·        A slightly worrying post from Howard Kaylan: The Turtles continue to be the headliners of the Happy Together Tour. As always, founding member/singer Mark Volman will bring his infamous antics to the stage. However, for medical reasons, this summer the voice of The Archies, Ron Dante will stand in for singer Howard Kaylan.” Here’s to a speedy return, Howie. [Added: 18 January 2018]

 

·        Couple of dates in the Diary for Reach For It - The Genius Of George Duke (a musical celebration of the man, from “…Mothers to Montreux”). [Added: 12 January 2018]

 

·        Moon Zappa makes a brief appearance on the new Dr. Demento Covered In Punk compilation, during an introduction to a cover of Frank’s Disco Boy by Missing Persons feat. Dale Bozzio. The album also includes a version of My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama by The Meatmen. [Added: 12 January 2018]

 

·        Doreen Tracey, an original ‘Red Team’ Mouseketeer, has passed away aged 74. Tracey was subsequently a Promotion Director at Warner Brothers Records, and said her “best achievement was getting Frank Zappa his first single hit, Don’t Eat That Yellow Snow! That was a challenge because Top Forty stations considered Frank an underground artist, not mainstream.” There is also a suggestion that Frank may have written Doreen in her honour. (Anyone able to verify this?) [Added: 12 January 2018]

 

·        Now available to download, the Bowie/Eno composition I’m Afraid Of Americans - as performed by Dweezil and his merry band. And there’s a promo vid! [Added: 09 January 2018 / Updated: 12 January 2018]

 

·        Here’s my review of Charlie Freak’s dissection of We’re Only In It For The Money. [Added: 09 January 2018]

 

·        Three more acts playing Zappanale this year: Sex Without Nails Bro’sis, Monika Roscher Big Band and Gabba Zappa Hey! I understand Ben Watson will also return to quiz us and, all being well, Pauline Butcher, various members of ZERO and Moon Zappa could all be in attendance too. [Added: 09 January 2018]

 

·        All of the tracks for the Mappa Zappa CD are now all completed and the webpage updated. All being well, the album should be ready for the world to hear before Zappanale! [Added: 09 January 2018]

 

·        Listen to the brand new ZappaCast, featuring the head of the ZFT in conversation with the Podmeister! Lots of interesting stuff from Ahmet about Gail, Zappanale and much, much more.[Added: 02 January 2018]

 

·        Here’s my review of the Summer 82: When Zappa Came To Sicily film. [Added: 02 January 2018]

 

·        Co de Kloet’s radio programme covering the recent Dweezil Zappa’s Orchestral Favorites shows with the Noord Nederlands Orkest can be heard right here. Mixing extant recordings, interviews (with both Frank and Dweezil) and music from the actual concerts (including the premiere of DZ’s The Adventures Of Dindoo and a lovely rendition of Watermelon In Easter Hay), it’s a fun way to spend a couple of hours. [Added: 02 January 2018]

 

·        Rain Joan of Arc Phoenix and Moon Unit Zappa interview Dweezil on their latest Podcast. (NB. Marius Constant actually wrote the Twilight Zone music performed by Dweezil - Bernard Herrmann wrote the orchestral theme used in season one only.) [Added: 02 January 2018]

 

·        Here’s a new interview I conducted with Alessandra Izzo regarding her ‘special friendship’ with Frank. [Added: 21 December 2017]

 

·        For those of you who might not know…Jen Jewel Brown (who has written an essay for the forthcoming wonderment that is The Roxy Performances) is the same lady who receives an ‘honourable mention’ from Gail in her FZ:OZ liner notes, and was also mentioned in Moon’s 2016 Flirting With Disaster stand-up skit (which was the subject of my question to her at this year’s Zappanale, for those of you who were there)…and but also, digitally pre-ordering The Roxy Performances gets you an instant gratification download of the same version of RDNZL that’s on Roxy By Proxy – albeit the new 2016 mix rather than FZ’s 1987 remix. [Added: 21 December 2017]

 

·        Instead of offering us another AAAFNRAA bundle, the ZFT has decided to celebrate Frank’s birthday by releasing limited edition 180g coloured vinyl editions of: Hot Rats (pink & purple splatter); Over-Nite Sensation (clear & orange); Apostrophe (') (yellow & clear). Over here, vinyl lovers. [Added: 21 December 2017]

 

·        Anyone else notice that the liner notes to Dweezil’s F.O.H. album state “this double CD is a limited edition of two releases: F.O.H. One and F.O.H. Two...” Fantom Records subsequently issued F.O.H. III - Out Of Obscurity. Now, Dweezil’s liner notes to his Live In The Moment II album state, “On volume II of my F.O.H. Series...” Colour me confused. [Added: 21 December 2017]

 

·        The first four months of 2018 will see visits to these shores from Steve Vai, Bunk Gardner, Adrian Belew (twice!), Don Preston, Ed Mann, Mike Keneally and the Vaultmeister! See Diary for more. [Added: 21 December 2017]

 

·        The HeadShakers are participating in a French production of 200 Motels next year: with the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra at Festival Musica, Zenith de Strasbourg on 21 September 2018; and the Paris Philharmonic Orchestra at La Philharmonie, Salle Boulez, Paris on 30 September 2018. [Added: 21 December 2017]

 

·        Coming on 2 February 2018: The Roxy Performances, a seven CD box set of the soundcheck from 8 December 1973, all four shows from 9 & 10 December, rehearsal nuggets, unreleased tracks and highlights from the contemporaneous Bolic Studio sessions - all with a 48 page booklet. Check Zappa.com for more. [Added: 15 December 2017]

 

·        The Ubu Ensemble, who spanked some Frank at St Luke’s in 2011, will perform music from The Yellow Shark (as well as some Stravinsky, Webern and Varèse) at a free concert at London’s Silk Street Music Hall on 19 January 2018. [Added: 15 December 2017]

 

·        Check out the amazing Rachel Flowers’ version of The Black Page #2 on SoundCloud. [Added: 15 December 2017]

 

·        It looks like the headline act at Zappanale in 2018 will be a power trio comprising Terry Bozzio, Patrick O’Hearn and Warren Cuccurullo – playing the music of FZ, natch. [Added: 09 December 2017]

 

·        The live feed of Dweezil’s recent orchestral favourites concert in Holland will be broadcast on www.nposoulenjazz.nl/colive on 30 December. It will be available as a podcast thereafter. Meantime, here are some video highlights. [Added: 09 December 2017]

 

·        Suddenly available: VaiTunes #10. Says Steve, “I was digging through the infinity shelf and found one of perhaps 600 sound check jams that we recorded. Don’t know why I picked this one...a 20 minute impromptu blues jam, but I only used the first four and half minutes or so and used a lot of room mics for a little different experience. The track is called Cupid And His Lasers, and not sure where that came from either. Check it out, hope you enjoy.” Music. Booklet. [Added: 09 December 2017]

 

·        As promised, Dweezil’s Live In The Moment II has just been issued. As well as his own ‘air sculptures’, it also includes renditions of some of his father’s compositions - Five Five Five, Return Of The Son Of Orange County, Filthy Habits and Watermelon In Easter Hay - plus a couple of songs from the compilation album of Bulgarian folk songs that Frank was fond of (Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares). Also this week, Dweezil will be recording performances of his orchestral works in Holland: “The pieces that are being performed are Shampoohorn (orchestral arrangement with electric guitar), Truth (orchestral arrangement with electric guitar), Preludumus Maximus, and new compositions called Marmux Buhdardux and The Adventures Of Dindoo. I hope to have them come out soon!” [Added: 29 November 2017]

 

·        Spend a cool half-hour in the company of Bob & Thana Harris (and sometimes Steve Vai) - aka Rantin & Rayven (and Reckless Fable) here. Interviews with all three appear in my latest book, Frank Talk - which makes an ideal Christmas gift for all of your loved ones! [Added: 29 November 2017]

 

·        Great news all-round from Dweezil: regarding the family feud, he tells the ‘Others Of Intention’, “there have been some discussions of engaging in settlement talks. It would be nice to move forward and put this behind all of us.” Here! Here! He also provided a download of “the final track to the long-awaited, very soon to be released Live In The Moment II album. It’s a version of Watermelon In Easter Hay live on stage from Minneapolis earlier this year.” And finally, he said he hopes to see us on his ‘Choice Cuts’ world tour next year. Hell yeah! [Added: 23 November 2017]

 

·        Suddenly available: Lightning In a Bottle, Album #69: Hot Rats by Charlie Freak. [Added: 23 November 2017]

 

·        From the ZFT: “Unforeseen circumstances beyond our control have delayed the release of Lumpy Gravy: Primordial for Black Friday Record Store Day 2017. We are disappointed. But never fear, it will be in stores for Record Store Day April 2018!” [Added: 23 November 2017]

 

·        An error has been discovered in the version of Wild Love on Halloween 77 from Show #2, 10-28-77: the second verse (“Mama stroked his dinger...”) has been inadvertently repeated. Those who bought USBs via Zappa.com have been sent a link and password to download the shorter, corrected version. Those who bought elsewhere should write to info@zappa.com with a photo of their box number and they’ll be sent a special code. Similarly, some have found fault with the 50th anniversary expanded 2 LP vinyl edition of Absolutely Free (a white label on the laser etching and muddled-up libretto pages); folk should go back from whence their copies came. [Added: 21 November 2017]

 

·        Beer For Dolphins (viz., Mike Keneally, Bryan Beller and Joe Travers) are Joe Satriani’s new backing band for 2018! [Added: 21 November 2017]

 

·        2 For Z Duet, an offshoot of the Chironomids Outerspace Group, perform the music of FZ via voice, dance, piano, gas masks, poodles and other weird stuff! Check out some more here. [Added: 21 November 2017]

 

·        L. Shankar will be the GrandMothers’ special guest when they play Oslo next May. Dates in the Diary. [Added: 17 November 2017]

 

·        Charlie Freak is writing a 150 volume series of books on the most important rock albums in music history, under the heading of Lightning In A Bottle. The first in the series to be issued covers We’re Only In It For The Money and can be purchased right now, right here. Charlie says, “I will be publishing each ebook as fast as I can over the next year. Overall, there are six Zappa albums on this list, Freak Out! at #3, We're Only In It For The Money at #17, Joe’s Garage Acts I,II & III at #34, Hot Rats at #69, Absolutely Free at #125 and Sheik Yerbouti at #131. Also, there are eight Steely Dan studio albums on the list, with Aja at #1 overall.” [Added: 17 November 2017]

 

·        Here’s a press release for the great new Ed Palermo Big Band album, The Adventures Of Zodd Zundgren. [Added: 17 November 2017]

 

·        Flying Dutchman Fred Händl is not only attending this weekend’s Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra CD release party at Darrell’s Tavern in Seattle (with Ike Willis and Bruce Bickford), but will also be playing keyboards with Acton Zappa at the annual Zappadan Zappajam in London on 9 December. [Added: 17 November 2017]

 

·        On 4 December, Idiots Records in Dortmund, Germany presents the Frank Zappa Memorial Day #24, with many Zappa-rarities. Mak, one of the catering crew on the European leg of the Broadway The Hard Way tour, will also be there presenting rare photos from that part of the 1988 tour. Videos, fun and frolics from eleven to seven. [Added: 17 November 2017]

 

·        The University of Hawaii Hilo Jazz Orchestra has performed annual Frank Zappa tribute concerts since 2013. Watch their story... from classroom to concert hall. And on 8 & 9 December this year, Dweezil will be heading to Hilo to perform with the orchestra under the direction of Trever Veilleux. Says Veilleux, “We’ve got a special set planned that spans three decades of Frank Zappa’s diverse catalogue.” [Added: 10 April 2017 / Updated: 17 November 2017]

 

·        Here’s a great in-depth look at Halloween 77 by Senior Zap-o-phile, the Resentment Listener. [Added: 08 November 2017]

 

·        Backers of Alex Winter’s Zappa Movie Kickstarter campaign were recently sent a blistering guitar solo from The Illinois Enema Bandit, recorded live on 1 July 1980 in Mulhouse, France. It was remixed by FZ at the UMRK from an 8-Track 1" Master Tape in the late 80s, “for what, we'll never know”. [Added: 08 November 2017]

 

·        The bonus features on the imminent Blu-ray edition of Summer 82: When Zappa Came To Sicily include previously unpublished behind the scenes photos of FZ. At the recent LA premiere, Dweezil, Moon and Steve Vai spoke before the fillum, and GTOs Pamela and Mercy say Diva was there too! Anyways, here’s the official trailer. [Added: 08 November 2017]

 

·        If you’re wondering why the Halloween 77 3CD set is Official Release 110K, it’s because the ZFT gave each of the shows a different suffix – with the exception of the 30 October one, which was not originally intended to be made available as a stand-alone download. So 28/10 show 1 has the suffix ‘F’; show 2 ‘R’; and the 29/10 shows ‘A’ and ‘N’. Geddit? [Added: 04 November 2017]

 

·        At the end of 2014, Dweezil said, “The editing for the Apostrophe LIVE concert is complete now.” He talked of stereo and surround mixes to finalise the project. Nearly three years on, DZ has just posted a clip of the audio for Chrissy Puked Twice (from the DVD, originally filmed in 2010) being tinkered with in Oslo. Hopefully the Pledge campaign to finally get this out will commence soon. In the meantime, ZPZ drummer Ryan Brown says, “Our final show in Oslo with the Norwegian Wind Ensemble was off the hook! 91st show of this tour. This gig was also filmed...so maybe you all will get to see it someday.” Keep everything crossed. [Added: 04 November 2017]

 

·        Heikki Poroila has produced a corrected and enlarged English language PDF edition of his 2015 printed book, Frank Zappan sävellykset. Compositions By Frank Zappa includes spiffy artwork by Marko Nakari, and can be read/downloaded for free here. [Added: 04 November 2017]

 

·        Grab yourself a copy of ZAPPATiKA’s new live album here. [Added: 04 November 2017]

 

·        The Riccardo Fassi Tankio Band has followed up its 1995 Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa album with Return Of The Fat Chicken, featuring special guest Napoleon Murphy Brock. Hear it on Spotify here. [Added: 04 November 2017]

 

·        Do you like vinyl? Do you like Beefheart? Then you might like A Giraffe Is Listening To The Radio by Men & Volts. [Added: 04 November 2017]

 

·        Frank’s former secretary Pauline Butcher has written this lovely review of my book, Frank Talk. [Added: 29 October 2017]

 

·        Croydon-based doom metal trio Slabdragger has just released its version of FZ’s Muffin Man. Issued as part of an EP entitled Mothers Of Beef And The Magic Of Invention, it also features a rendition of Captain Beefheart’s Electricity performed by the band Wren. Grab it on vinyl, CD or download here. [Added: 29 October 2017]

 

·        G&S Music now has the Halloween 77 3CD set in stock. [Added: 26 October 2017]

 

·        The title of Dweezil’s new orchestral composition, being premiered at De Oosterpoort in Groningen on 30 November, is The Adventures Of Dindoo. See the full programme here. [Added: 26 October 2017]

 

·        A few more GrandMothers dates in the Diary. For those who may not know, the band for this farewell tour will consist of Don Preston, Bunk Gardner, Ed Mann, drummer Chris Garcia and “a few special guests along the way”. UK dates at the start of the tour have still to be announced. [Added: 26 October 2017]

 

·        Halloween 77 physical products seem to have been delayed by up to a week throughout Europe, but you can download right now individual tracks and complete shows, or stream the whole bloody lot (on Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music, Amazon Digital, Tidal, Deezer, etc.). Happy Halloween, everybody! [Added: 20 October 2017]

 

·        Ahoy, vinyl fetishists! Want Lumpy Gravy: Primordial on a 12" 45rpm mono translucent burgundy vinyl single? Yes, it’s one of them spiffy limited edition Record Store Day thangs. Primordial comprises Sink Trap/Gum Joy/Up & Down/Local Butcher/Gypsy Airs/Hunchy Punchy/Foamy Soaky/Let's Eat Out/Teen-Age Grand Finale and can be found on the Lumpy Money album. Here it is split (Gypsy Airs starts the second side), as was planned for its original vinyl release in August 1967. Here’s the skinny. [Added: 20 October 2017]

 

·        Yet another new ZappaCast - just in time for Halloween - featuring a look at the new box set with an interview with FZ’s guitar tech, Thomas Nordegg! [Added: 20 October 2017]

 

·        Check out Bobby Brown as performed by Cécile Nordegg, Thomas’ sister. [Added: 20 October 2017]

 

·        Moon Unit has a new podcast with River Phoenix’s sister Rain in which they interview musical mavericks and the like. One such will be Dweezil. Go here to subscribe and learn a little more-a. [Added: 16 October 2017]

 

·        GrandMothers Of Invention farewell tour dates now in the Diary. [Added: 16 October 2017]

 

·        I got to see two dates on Dweezil’s UK tour last week: both were fantastic, though I have to say the Royal Festival Hall show in London was extra-special; with Martin Clunes introducing the band formerly known as ZPZ, they were joined on stage by the Norwegian Wind Ensemble for several numbers. If you can catch them on any of their remaining Euro dates (with or without the ‘Brass From Utopia’), do it! [Added: 16 October 2017]

 

·        ZappaCast 33 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Absolutely Free album. Check her out here. [Added: 11 October 2017]

 

·        And the battle rages on: Ahmet has now posted a second open letter to his brother, and Dweezil responded thusly. [Added: 11 October 2017]

 

·        ZFT employees have recently referred to another forthcoming box set being worked on. This is hopefully the Waka/Wazoo set first mentioned about a year ago (see below). [Added: 11 October 2017]

 

·        Just in case you didn’t spot it, Halloween 77 costume boxed sets are a limited edition of 5,000. Hurry! [Added: 11 October 2017]

 

·        Dweezil has been very forthcoming with his views on the hologram tour and ZFT trademark issues. Take a listen to Ahmet’s side here. [Added: 05 October 2017]

 

·        Former ScoreMeister Kurt Morgan on Dweezil Zappa’s Orchestral Favorites: “Dweezil composed a 12-minute piece of original music for the Noord Nederlands Orkest and I had the challenge/pleasure of orchestrating it. The score that I produced is for an orchestra of 77 players, comprising 388 total measures of music and will be premiered in Holland along with two other original pieces by Dweezil (orchestrated by Mr. Tom Trapp) on November 30th at De Oosterpoort in Groningen, followed by another performance on December 1st at Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht. I could say a lot about this piece [but] it's probably best you just go and hear it performed if you can and, if not, check out the recording when it’s released.” [Added: 05 October 2017]

 

·        To celebrate ZAPPATiKA’'s first decade of existence, they will be releasing a new album, From Glasgow To The Isle Of Wight Live (A Tribute To The Music Of Frank Zappa), recorded earlier this year. The album will be made available in October 2017 - for ABSOLUTELY FREE! [Added: 05 October 2017]

 

·        Finally, official ZFT confirmation regarding all the Halloween 77 goodies coming our way next month, including pre-order links and the like. Worth pondering all of the available options before pressing ‘buy’. [Added: 26 September 2017]

 

·        As the whole hologram tour thing has caused a shit-storm on-the-line, I decided to put this together. [Added: 26 September 2017]

 

·        After Dweezil’s latest call to arms, some interesting exchanges took place on Facebook between employees of the Dweez and ZFT – brace yourselves. [Added: 26 September 2017]

 

·        Steve Vai recently joined Al Di Meola on stage at LA’s Canyon Club and together they performed Clownz On Velvet. [Added: 26 September 2017]

 

·        In 2018, thirty years after the Broadway The Hard Way tour ended in disarray, Frank will be back on the road again with Mike Keneally and Scott Thunes - in hologram form! - performing well-known, rare and unheard material. Other non-virtual musicians involved could be Steve Vai, Ian Underwood, Arthur Barrow, Vinnie Colaiuta, Warren Cuccurullo and Napoleon Murphy Brock. Says Arthur, “I was honoured to be asked to part of it. Ahmet asked if I would be interested, and I said yes - especially with Vinnie involved. There are a lot of technical issues and other details to be worked out, like who is in the core band and who would be guest stars, how would the band sync up to the hologram, etc. 2019 (sic) is a long way off, so we'll see what happens.” Mike adds, “I’m so intrigued by the idea. I am already seeing a lot of hand-wringing online about it, but I'm interested in the potential for something pretty dang mind-blowing. I mean, I still have dreams about playing with Frank live - once I started thinking about the potentially dreamlike nature of this thing, it was an easy ‘yes’ for me. Whenever it's ready I think it'll be big fun and I'm excited about doing this with all the other amazing players who are taking part.” Although the press release talks of the possible involvement by Dweezil and Moon, it's unlikely they will participate - indeed, Dweezil has already confirmed (on Twitter) that he will not be part of the touring band. [Added: 22 September 2017]

 

·        The street date for Halloween 77 has been put back to 20 October 2017. [Added: 22 September 2017]

 

·        Santaville, the Christmas album from the Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra featuring Ike Willis (and me!), is available here and NOW! [Added: 22 September 2017]

 

·        Hall Of Fame Records continues to celebrate the XX anniversary of its Unmatched series of albums with the release of Le Grand Oiseau. This compilation of covers of the tracks from The Grand Wazoo features two brand new recordings by Spanner Jazz Punks and the Muffin Men (both commissioned by The Idiot). Order your copy here. [Added: 19 September 2017]

 

·        Eddie Jobson was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Sonja Kristina at the Progressive Rock Music Awards 2017. Compere for the event in London on 14 September was Zappa fan Matthew Wright. In his acceptance speech, Eddie gave thanks to Frank and said how much he missed Allan Holdsworth and John Wetton. [Added: 19 September 2017]

 

·        Interesting podcast, Zappa For Germans, can be found here. It asks, “Who was Frank Zappa? Virtuoso guitarist? Modernist composer? Smutty lyricist? Anti-censorship activist? All of the above....and in much more the former East Germany. There his banned records fetched small fortunes among rebellious young men who dreamed of freedom. We spend 30 minutes in the company of one such man who now runs a Zappa-themed festival [Wolfhard Kutz]. We also hear from an American translator [Jim Cohen] who explains Zappa's obscure lyrics to German fans, line by line.” Dweezil also briefly appears. [Added: 19 September 2017]

 

·        New book, Frank Zappa – The Composer by Daniel Schröder, is available now in English. It asks, “What was conventional about Zappa’s music, and what was innovative? And, did Zappa really refuse to die?” Read the Idiot’s review here. [Added: 07 September 2017 / Updated: 19 September 2017]

 

·        Full official details from Universal Music Canada on Halloween 77: “Halloween was Frank Zappa’s favourite holiday and by 1977 his Halloween shows were legendary. Recorded live at The Palladium in NYC, Zappa performed six shows 28‐31 October. Four shows were filmed and resulted in Zappa’s movie Baby Snakes. The Halloween 77 3CD version includes the Halloween night show in its entirely, mixed in 2016 from original Vault masters, plus select tracks from the other five shows. The Halloween 77 Box Set includes all six shows in their entirety, mixed in 2016 from original Vault masters, on USB stick in 24‐bit WAV audio with 32‐page digital booklet, Zappa Halloween mask & costume. The shows rock hard and feature unreleased performances and arrangements.
3CD: 1. Show Start / 2. Peaches En Regalia / 3. The Torture Never Stops / 4. Tryin’ To Grow A Chin / 5. City Of Tiny Lites / 6. Pound For A Brown / 7. The Demise Of The Imported Rubber Goods Mask / 8. Bobby Brown Goes Down / 9. Conehead / 10. Flakes / 11. Big Leg Emma / 1. Envelopes / 2. Terry’s Halloween Solo / 3. Disco Boy / 4. Lather / 5. Wild Love / 6. Titties N Beer / 7. Audience Participation / 8. The Black Page #2 / 9. Jones Crusher
Boxed Set: 1. Introduction / 2. Peaches En Regalia / 3. The Torture Never Stops / 4. Tryin’ To Grow A Chin / 5. City Of Tiny Lites / 6. Pound For A Brown / 7. Bobby Brown Goes Down / 8. Conehead / 9. Flakes / 10. Big Leg Emma / 11. Envelopes / 12. Terry’s Solo #1 / 13. Disco Boy / 14. Lather / 15. Wild Love / 16. Titties N Beer / 17. Audience Participation #1 / 18. The Black Page #2 / 19. Jones Crusher / 20. Broken Hearts Are For Assholes
[Added: 07 September 2017]

 

·        Dweezil’s Live In The Moment II album is nearly ready. As per volume one, it highlights extemporaneous live guitar soli in the Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar tradition, but this one also has some demos and instrumental tracks recorded in the studio - including an acoustic version of Fwakstension from the early 90s. This release will hopefully be swiftly followed by Dweezil Zappa Plays Apostrophe (the entire album, played in sequence by ZPZ). [Added: 02 September 2017]

 

·        It looks like Universal will reissue Zoot Allures on vinyl on 20 October 2017. [Added: 02 September 2017]

 

·        Listen to Ron Nasty (aka Neil Innes) talk about his favourite album – The Mothers’ We’re Only In It For The Moneyhere. [Added: 02 September 2017]

 

·        The next album from the Ed Palermo Big Band will be The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren - The Music of Frank Zappa And Todd Rundgren. Released on 6 October 2017, it features Napoleon Murphy Brock on three tracks. Listen to a sample/pre-order here. [Added: 02 September 2017]

 

·        News on the Halloween 77 box set arrives from Japan: to be released by UMe on 6 October 2017, there will be a 3CD ‘highlights’ version (ZR 20027) costing around £40, and what is hopefully the complete six Palladium shows in a ‘Costume Box Set’ (ZR 20027K) for about £130. [Added: 25 August 2017 / Updated: 02 September 2017]

 

·        A public spat between Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew has developed online. Here’s hoping they sort it out swiftly. [Added: 25 August 2017]

 

·        Hopefully some exciting news coming our soon regarding Mick Ekers’ book, Zappa Gear - The Unique Guitars, Amplifiers, Effect Units, Keyboards And Studio Equipment Of Frank Zappa. [Added: 18 August 2017]

 

·        Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack to this here new fillum Dunkirk (which stars Zappa fan Cillian Murphy as a shivering soldier) utilises the orchestrating skills of brothers Bruce and Walt Fowler. [Added: 18 August 2017]

 

·        Here’s some words on Zappanale #28. [Added: 07 August 2017]

 

·        Rachel FlowersHearing Is Believing soundtrack album will feature her guest appearance with ZPZ performing Montana. [Added: 07 August 2017]

 

·        The Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra has completed its third album, which should be available in time for the season of goodwill. Santaville features Ike Willis, Craig ‘Twister’ Steward, Fred Händl, Prairie Prince, the guys from MagNiFZnt, and whole bunch of the usual suspects! [Added: 07 August 2017]

 

·        In the wake of The Magic Band announcing its farewell tour, the Idiot understands the GrandMothers Of Invention will do similar in 2018. [Added: 07 August 2017]

 

·        There’s a Captain Beefheart event in Liverpool in November featuring Gary Lucas, Zappadan Zappajam has been shifted, Shuggie Otis has re-scheduled yet again…it’s all there in the Bastard’s Diary (plus a whole lot more). [Added: 07 August 2017]

 

·        My second Zappa book (Frank Talk: The Inside Stories Of Zappa's Other People) is available NOW in paperback and on Kindle: the former includes caricatures of all the interviewees by the cover artist, Antero Valério, plus several photos and detailed footnotes – which are NOT available in the eBook version. [Added: 25 July 2017]

 

·        The Norwegian Wind Ensemble (aka the Brass From Utopia) will be Dweezil’s special guests on selected dates in October – see Diary for details. [Added: 25 July 2017]

 

·        Urban Gwerder, Swiss artist/writer and publisher of the Hot Raz Times, sadly passed away on 4 July 2017. [Added: 25 July 2017]

 

·        The next Zappanale takes place on 20-22 July 2018 (the week after the FIFA World Cup final). Fingers crossed Moon Zappa, Tommy Mars and Arthur Barrow will be there. [Added: 25 July 2017]

 

·        Engineer Mark Pinske has posted early mixes of Beauty Knows No Pain, Teen-Age Wind and Doreen on his webpage. [Added: 11 July 2017]

 

·        Some of the Magic Band’s farewell UK tour dates now in the Diary. [Added: 11 July 2017]

 

·        The CoLive! Radio Show & Podcast will repeat the 1997 show Co de Kloet made with Steve Vai, called The Missing Link Between Contemporary Music & The Rock ‘n’ Roll Guitar Solo. It will also be available as a podcast on iTunes and CoLive. [Added: 11 July 2017]

 

·        Officially available from 21 July 2017, my new book Frank Talk: The Inside Stories Of Zappa's Other People collects together over 40 of the interviews I have conducted during the past three decades with the people who knew and worked with Frank - from his own family, some original Mothers, his major discoveries and members of his final touring band. Most of these interviews were previously housed here, but have now been extensively annotated and re-edited for posterity, with new and additional interviews thrown in for good measure. Augmented with artwork and caricatures created by noted designer Antero Valério, Frank Talk gives an extraordinary insight into the man and his music. All being well, I will be selling and signing copies of the book ahead of its official publication date at Zappanale. If you're unable to attend the festival, you can pre-order the book now from the publisher, Amazon UK, Amazon US or elsewhere! [Added: 04 July 2017]

 

·        Just ahead of his appearance at Zappanale, Dweezil seems to be looking for a replacement for multi-instrumentalist/vocalist David Luther. [Added: 04 July 2017]

 

·        Thorsten Schütte is being interviewed at Zappanale and will be showing some outtakes from Eat That Question. Here’s the full festival programme.  [Added: 04 July 2017]

 

·        The fruits of that Ritual Of Pope Decapitation crowdfunder thing are pooting forth. Make us green, Peter. [Added: 04 July 2017]

 

·        Bob Zappa’s …The Rest Of Our Story (the follow-up to …Growing Up Zappa) is available here and NOW! Read the press release and my review. [Added: 24 June 2017 / Updated: 04 July 2017]

 

·        Summer 82: When Zappa Came To Sicily is coming to Blu-Ray this December, courtesy of MVD Visual. [Added: 24 June 2017]

 

·        You can order the swell looking catalogue for the recent Mr. Bickford Discovers A New Land exhibition in Ulm here. [Added: 24 June 2017]

 

·        Devin Townsend recently reunited with Steve Vai on stage at Norway’s Starmus Festival for the first time in almost 25 years. The performances together included Here And Now (from the Sex & Religion album), plus Townsend’s Truth and Vai’s Liberty, both performed with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. Townsend has also been working on new music with Mike Keneally recently. Says the cat in the hat: “It was just the two of us in his studio writing and recording stuff. It’s sounding fascinating thus far, and we’re both looking forward to continuing the process when schedules allow – the music is very varied and we’re eager to continue discovering what exactly we’re creating here.” [Added: 24 June 2017]

 

·        Nigey Lennon never got to finish her album of sea shanties, but we can at least listen to a demo of the title song here. [Added: 24 June 2017]

 

·        Gary Lucas will finally release The World Of Captain Beefheart album, featuring Nona Hendryx, in October. [Added: 24 June 2017]

 

·        The footage of Frank ‘n Floyd at Amougies is back online, here. [Added: 24 June 2017]

 

·        ZappaCast Episode 32 (Freak Out! at 51), available NOW! [Added: 14 June 2017]

 

·        Charles Ulrich’s long-awaited Zappa book (likely title, The Big Note) will finally be published in May 2018 by New Star Books. An extract can now be viewed (*cough*) absolutely free online. [Added: 14 June 2017]

 

·        Gizmodrome, the all star band formed by Stewart Copeland (The Police), Mark King (Level 42), Vittorio Cosma (PFM) and Adrian Belew, release their self-titled debut album on 15 September 2017. Here’s a track from it. [Added: 14 June 2017]

 

·        A special standalone edition of Steve Vai & The Classified’s Modern Primitive, as the latest installment of The Secret Jewel Box collection, is out in July. [Added: 14 June 2017]

 

·        Ike Willis will be playing a few shows with the The Paul Green Rock Academy before Zappanale - check this. Paul says, “We will accept a select number of adults for this camp as well.” [Added: 14 June 2017]

 

·        The ZFT is marking the 50th anniversary of Absolutely Free with an expanded vinyl-exclusive edition, including a laser etching of Zappa’s fizzog from the album cover, and a t-shirt. Whoop-de-doo! [Added: 03 June 2017]

 

·        After the ZFT ‘let go’ of Kurt Morgan as ScoreMeister late last year, it has now appointed the luscious Scott Thunes as his successor. [Added: 03 June 2017]

 

·        Grab this great sounding interview with FZ from 13 November 1967. This was recently unearthed by one of the two radio DJs who conducted it at a head shop in Detroit. Hear Frank talk about the delayed release of We’re Only In It For The Money and his imminent appearance on The Monkees. [Added: 27 May 2017]

 

·        Wolfram Klug is planning a follow-up to his Burt, The Nerd album. For L.A. Bang Bang, Ike Willis, Arthur Barrow and Robert Martin have so far agreed to take part. Find out more here. [Added: 27 May 2017]

 

·        Typescript submitted to Wymer, my next book should now be available this summer. Titled Frank Talk: The Inside Stories Of Zappa’s Other People, it is a compendium of my interviews with (deep breath) Arthur Barrow, Lorraine Belcher Chamberlain, Bruce Bickford, Jimmy Carl Black, Terry Bozzio, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Pauline Butcher, Warren Cuccurullo, Dr Dot, Roy Estrada, Bob Harris, Thana Harris, Mike Keneally, Nigey Lennon, Martin Lickert, Robert Martin, Essra Mohawk, Kent Nagano, Lisa Popeil, Don Preston, Craig ‘Twister’ Steward, Scott Thunes, The Tornadoes, Steve Vai, Mark Volman, Chad Wackerman, Denny Walley, Ike Willis, Albert Wing, Bob Zappa, Candy Zappa and Dweezil Zappa. These have all been comprehensively re-edited, corrected and expanded (yes, never before seen words from Dweezil, Belcher, Keneally, Mohawk, Thunes and Wing), as well as being extensively annotated - such that you’ll swear you can hear (*cough*) Frank talk! [Added: 18 May 2017]

 

·        Check out this amazing video of the amazing Rachel Flowers recording Zomby Woof. [Added: 18 May 2017]

 

·        John ‘Drumbo’ French is considering undertaking a Magic Band farewell tour of Europe this November. Here’s hoping. [Added: 18 May 2017]

 

·        The Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra is now on Bandcamp - grab stuff here. [Added: 18 May 2017]

 

·        Y’all should check out ‘Zappa Woman’ Valentina Ciardelli on YouTube. Here she performs Your Mouth with Edoardo Teani - both on doublebasses! She also plays with harpist Anna Quiroga as The Girls In The Magnesium Dress (here’s a clip of them playing Baby Snakes) and with vibist Benjamin Boo as The Untouchables (they will be playing together at Zappanale in July). [Added: 04 May 2017 / Updated: 18 May 2017]

 

·        Jean-Luc Ponty is touring Europe later this year – UK dates in the Diary. [Added: 04 May 2017]

 

·        Here’s a video of six Muffin Men performing Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus earlier this year for Hall Of Fame Records’ forthcoming re-imagining of The Grand Wazoo – the third in its series of XX anniversary Unmatched albums that will also feature a brand new recording by Spannertate. [Added: 04 May 2017]

 

·        Somehow missed the fact that Phil Kaufman’s book, Road Mangler Deluxe, had been reissued and is readily available to all and sundry. Kaufman was of course ‘the human trombone’ in Baby Snakes, as well as the inspiration behind Why Does It Hurt When I Pee? [Added: 04 May 2017]

 

·        The third Festival Moo-ah was a roaring success, artistically and organisationally. Check out our report here. [Added: 08 April 2017]

 

·        Hall Of Fame Records continues to celebrate the XX anniversary of its Unmatched series of albums with the release of Sensations Over Night. This compilation of covers of the tracks from Over-Nite Sensation features Caballero Reynaldo And The Grand Kazoo and a brand new recording of Fifty-Fifty by the Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra. Order your copy here. [Added: 08 April 2017]

 

·        Captain Beefheart’s last lengthy phone interview with Co de Kloet was set to music by Gary Lucas, and named I Have A Cat. It has just been released by Okaymusic, and you can grab a copy here. [Added: 08 April 2017]

 

·        Finnish cosmic jazz-rockers Superfjord and Wales-based instrumental psyche-space-rock band Sendelica have reinterpreted two FZ songs - Peaches En Regalia and Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow - which will be available on a 7" single from Fruits de Mer Records on 17 April 2017. [Added: 08 April 2017]

 

·        You can now pre-order Scott Parker’s book, DISCORPORATE! - Frank Zappa In The Studio 1966-1967, here. [Added: 08 April 2017]

 

·        The second part of Bob Zappa’s memoirs, Frankie & Bobby: The Rest Of Our Story (1967 to the present day), is now in production and should be available through Amazon in June 2017. It promises to lift the lid Gail’s “increasingly irrational behaviour during the final years of Frank’s life.” [Added: 04 January 2017 / Updated: 08 April 2017]

 

·        Sadly, Moon Zappa is now unable to attend Zappanale in person – but she’ll still be there thanks to the miracle of Skype! [Added: 29 March 2017]

 

·        Extras on the German DVD of the Eat That Question - Frank Zappa In His Own Words documentary include Thorsten Schütte’s interviews with the members of Band From Utopia from the Jazz Open Festival in Stuttgart in July 1994. Here’s hoping we get them on the UK Region 2 version in May. [Added: 29 March 2017]

 

·        Suddenly available, Jim Pons’ memoir, Hard Core Love: Sex, Football, And Rock And Roll In The Kingdom Of God. Read the Press Release. [Added: 29 March 2017]

 

·        Albert Wing - tenox saxophonist on Frank’s Broadway The Hard Way tour and, more recently, with Banned From Utopia - suffered a stroke in February which disabled the motor functions on the right side of his body from head to foot. He now faces overwhelming medical expenses and ongoing physical therapy expenses. You can help him here. [Added: 21 March 2017]

 

·        Zappa Records celebrates Record Store Day on 22 April 2017 with an exclusive 10" clear vinyl release featuring the Petit Wazoo: Side 1 is Rollo in its complete form, as released on Little Dots; Side 2 contains the unreleased track Portland Improvisation, produced by FZ and mastered by Bernie Grundman. [Added: 21 March 2017]

 

·        Finally, formal confirmation from UMe of the imminent posthumous reissue programme. [Added: 17 March 2017]

 

·        While Ahmet and Diva are looking to hit back at Dweezil and Moon’s alleged misrepresentations of the ZFT’s recent actions, they are also planning to open the UMRK’s new location and home for the vault (according to an article on the Relix website). Ahmet is quoted as saying, “When you’re in the control room, behind you will be windows into the room, and you’ll be able to see just how much content Frank made. It will be the crown jewel of this space.” [Added: 17 March 2017]

 

·        Denny Walley and Ike Willis are now also confirmed for this year’s Zappanale (as special guests of Paul Green’s Rock Academy). [Added: 17 March 2017]

 

·        Alex Winter says the bulk of the Zappa Movie Kickstarter rewards are now on their way. Although it got deleted as an Add-On, the reissued Frank Zappa Songbook - Volume 1 is now readily available elsewhere. [Added: 17 March 2017]

 

·        Nice interview with the great Cal Schenkel here. [Added: 17 March 2017]

 

·        Of the 20 plus Zappa Records/UMe reissues coming on 24 March, ZFT designer Mike Mesker tells me, “Just about all the releases will retain original packaging.” [Added: 07 March 2017]

 

·        Watch Terry Bozzio talk about the limited edition ‘Black Page’ Icon Snare Drum – yours for around £1300. [Added: 07 March 2017]

 

·        Z.E.R.O. have revealed “We are going to be working with Ike Willis and the usual suspects on What’s New In Baltimore? for the upcoming CD Mappa Zappa from Mr Greenaway, to be released in co-ordination with Mick Zeuner’s Zappa Tour Atlas project...YAY!!” Yay, indeed. For those who care, this will not be the first time Mr Willis has appeared on one of the albums I have compiled for Cordelia Records: he previously performed appears under the guise of Sick Willie on Pojama People’s rendition of The Idiot Bastard Son. [Added: 07 March 2017]

 

·        Here’s a press release for the great new Ed Palermo Big Band album, which includes a link to the Idiot’s review. I have also recently penned a few words on the new CD from Orange Claw Hammer. [Added: 07 March 2017]

 

·        Eddie Jobson and Marc Bonilla will undertake a short semi-acoustic tribute tour to their musical partners, John Wetton and Keith Emerson. European dates for the Fallen Angels tour are in the Diary. [Added: 07 March 2017]

 

·        The orchestral premiere of Dweezil’s composition Marmux Buhdardux will take place in Holland at the end of the year. A little like T’Mershi Duween, the piece is named after a daughter-invented character. A version of Marmux Buhdardux was first performed by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet in Montana in 2015. This time around, the Northern Dutch Orchestra will do the honours - alongside a bunch of works by FZ. [Added: 19 February 2017]

 

·        This Idiot understands Dweezil will play for around three hours at Zappanale in July, and that the Norwegian Wind Ensemble will be joining the band formerly known as ZPZ during October’s shows in London, Gothenburg, Stockholm and Oslo. [Added: 19 February 2017]

 

·        Dweezil has finally completed work on What The Hell Was I Thinking?, the track he started work on over 20 years ago. As to whether it still features contributions from over 30 guest guitarists - including Eddie Van Halen, Brian May, Steve Vai, Angus and Malcolm Young, Yngwie Malmsteen, Warren Cuccurullo, Albert Lee and Joe Walsh - remains to be seen. Hopefully we'll get the download details very soon and find out. Meantime, those who haven’t coughed up for his PledgeMusic ‘In The Name Of...?’ campaign can hear a short snippet here. [Added: 19 February 2017]

 

·        Pink Floyd’s 4-disc The Dramatis/ation 1969 set (culled from the bigger Early Years 196572 box), will be released in March. This includes footage of the band jamming with FZ on stage at the Amougies festival that year. [Added: 19 February 2017]

 

·        In March, there will be CD reissues of Lord Buckley’s A Most Immaculately Hip Aristocrat and Permanent Damage by The GTO’s from Greyscale Records. [Added: 19 February 2017]

 

·        The revised editions of Greg Russo’s Cosmik Debris and Candy Zappa’s My Brother Was A Mother became available from 24 January from Crossfire Publications. [Added: 19 February 2017]

 

·        Shuggie Otis returns to the UK in May – details in the Diary. [Added: 19 February 2017]

 

·        While 200 Motels - The Suites did not win the Grammy for ‘Best Classical Compendium’ for its two producers, the day before attending the ceremony, Diva posted on Instagram “I didn’t realize that BOTH OF MY PARENTS would get a Grammy if we win on Sunday!” Does this mean Frank Filipetti is her father? [Added: 12 February 2017]

 

·        Saddened to learn of the passing of bassist extraordinaire, Doug Lunn, who had been battling pancreatic cancer. Doug worked with Chad Wackerman, Mike Keneally, Chester Thompson (Fire Merchants), Vinnie Colaiuta, Terry Bozzio (OUTtrio), L. Shankar, Warren Cuccurullo (Playing In Tongues), Eddie Jobson, Ed Mann and many more. Some may recall his headline performance at Zappanale with Chad, who he first met when he auditioned for FZ in the early 80s. Lovely man. [Added: 12 February 2017]

 

·        Check out the Valentina Scheldhofen Ciardelli Duo, who will play at Zappanale in July (including the pre-concert at St. Katharinen in Hamburg). Valentina graduated from the Royal College Of Music last July, as well as spanking some Frank in another duo, The Girls In The Magnesium Dress. The almost complete programme for Zappanale is now up here. [Added: 12 February 2017]

 

·        There was to have been a performance of three Zappa pieces (Outrage At Valdez/Be-Bop Tango/G-Spot Tornado) at the Leeds College of Music on 27 February by the Chamber Orchestra & New Music Collective. However, conductor Damien Harron tells me, “The hire prices for the music were VERY expensive so we were unable to programme as originally planned.” [Added: 12 February 2017]

 

·        Chato – who played the first Festival Moo-ah in 2013 and covered Rollo on my Rare Episodes album – would appreciate your help in making his second album even better than it might otherwise be. The album is to be called So Und Nicht Anders and will comprise seven Zappaesque prog-rock originals, plus a cover of FZ’s Let’s Move To Cleveland, and should be done in time for his band’s appearance at Zappanale in July. Please pledge here. [Added: 06 February 2017]

 

·        A bunch more posthumous Zappa albums are to be reissued via Universal on 24 March, including Civilization Phase III, Everything Is Healing Nicely, the Joe’s Corsaga series and Dance Me This. [Added: 06 February 2017]

 

·        We are happy to announce that Acton Zappa have been added to the line-up for the third Festival Moo-ah. They will open the second day (Saturday 1 April 2017). Tickets here. [Added: 06 February 2017]

 

·        Artist Theo Holdt talks about how his work ended up on the cover of Meat Light here. [Added: 06 February 2017]

 

·        All of the UK dates for Dweezil’s ‘50 Years Of Frank’ tour now in the Diary. Meanwhile, on the family dispute, he has this to say: “I would prefer that there was no conflict and I look forward to the day when there is an end to the vexatious episodes I am forced to deal with. Not only are they eating up my time and resources they are casting shadows on the amazing musical legacy our father created. None of it should be happening at all.” [Added: 24 January 2017]

 

·        Tony Palmer has just written this interesting article on the making of 200 Motels. [Added: 24 January 2017]

 

·        The Ed Palermo Big Band has a new album, The Great Un-American Songbook: Volumes I & II, which features loads of great British rock toons. No FZ this time (although the arrangement for Traffic’s The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys owes something to him!) , but Napoleon Murphy Brock does sing Arthur Brown’s Fire! Check it out here. [Added: 24 January 2017]

 

·        Terry Bozzio is issuing unreleased tracks digitally from his website. Check this out. [Added: 24 January 2017]

 

·        Robert Davidson, the snapper of Zappa on the crapper, now has a presentation called I Shot Frank Zappa. Hear him talk about it on this podcast. And buy a signed copy of the poster here. [Added: 24 January 2017]

 

·        Adrian Belew is “writing liner notes for a new Zappa release…a new box set: all six shows from Halloween at the Palladium in New York 1977. 18 hours worth! It’s the shows the Baby Snakes movie was made from.” [Added: 22 January 2017]

 

·        A six-piece Muffin Men are about to go into the studio to record their version of Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus for a new Unmatched compilation album. [Added: 22 January 2017]

 

·        Here’s a fun little promo video for Festival Moo-ah, featuring the wondrous Mark Watson. Get yer tickets NOW! [Added: 22 January 2017]

 

·        The Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra has a concept, a record deal and a plan for its third album. “We begin recording with Ike Willis in June!” says ZERO main man Kevin Crosby. [Added: 22 January 2017]

 

·        As well as playing selections from The Yellow Shark and Greggery Peccary & Other Persuasions in Berlin next month, Ensemble Modern is also going down under to do same in June. Dates in the Diary. [Added: 22 January 2017]

 

·        According to his manager, Ike Willis will be playing the music of FZ alongside Dweezil at Zappanale this year. [Added: 15 January 2017]

 

·        Another year, and Alan Clayson now informs us that, “The Zappa book has almost-but-not quite left the runway...it’s now been seven years since Gail Zappa and I first met and the project was suggested.” [Added: 15 January 2017]

 

·        The new album featuring multiple renditions of Zappa’s Son Of Mr. Green Genes is now available to buy for download from Amazon and iTunes, and to listen to for free on Spotify. So now you have no excuses not to listen to it! [Added: 15 January 2017]

 

·        A limited number of one-day tickets for Festival Moo-ah are now available for those that can’t make both days – check out your options here. [Added: 15 January 2017]

 

·        In addition to Dweezil, expect to see Chato!, Studio Dan and Caballero Reynaldo & The Grand Kazoo at Zappanale in July. [Added: 04 January 2017]

 

·        In our latest ZappaCast, we grill the ever genial Mike Keneally about all manner of things, including his illustrious solo career, Zappa’s Universe, AZ/DZ, Steve Vai, Nigey Lennon, 1988 an’ all that. [Added: 04 January 2017]

 

·        The Frank Zappa Guitar Book will be back in print this June. Compiled, introduced and transcribed by Steve Vai, it features 22 transcriptions of songs from seven FZ albums. Meanwhile, the reissue of The Frank Zappa Songbook - Volume 1 has been delayed a tad. [Added: 04 January 2017]

 

·        The Idiot Bastard Sons Of Mr. Green Genes album is now available from CD Baby. [Added: 04 January 2017]

 

 

 

Lukewarm Poop

 

·         Hans Annellsson and his band The Vegetarians have just released a four track EP in time for Christmas called, appropriately enough, Let’s Have A Good Time. Napoleon Murphy Brock sings on three of the tracks - one being an amazing acoustic cover of Zappa’s Amnerika, where he is backed back by the fabulous-o Mats Öberg on grand piano and harmonica. Grab a copy from CD Baby now! [Added: 23 December 2016]

 

·         New editions of Greg Russo’s Cosmik Debris: The Collected History & Improvisations Of Frank Zappa and Candy Zappa’s My Brother Was A Mother will be available from Crossfire Publications in January 2017. Greg says, Cosmik Debris will be over 400 pages. The complete and very expansive Pal/Studio Z saga is now a separate chapter. Everything has been reformatted.  The discography covers everything up to Little Dots. Candy has now brought her book up to the end of 2016, since lots of things have happened in the meantime. Gonzo Multimedia will be printing books in the UK to handle European orders. Book PDFs will only be available at Crossfire’s site.” [Added: 23 December 2016]

 

·         After Moo-ah, you can catch the Muffin Men with Denny Walley elsewhere in the UK throughout April – check the Diary for details. [Added: 23 December 2016]

 

·         Far be it from me to tell you how great The Idiot Bastard Sons Of Mr. Green Genes album is, but Peter at United Mutations can! And Ben Watson has also given us a plug as only he can on his radio show. [Added: 23 December 2016]

 

·         Backers of the Zappa Movie got an update from Alex Winter and Joe Travers in the week: footage from the Halloween 1974 show at the Felt Forum is being spiffed up, they’re working their way through show footage and backstage material from 1988, and discovered some previously unseen material from the 1993 jam with the Tuvans, the Chieftains, Terry Bozzio and Johnny Guitar Watson, as well as excellent quality video of Frank working with Ensemble Modern at Joe’s Garage in 1991. Joe also tells us he’s been working on “two mammoth audio projects” that will be announced in 2017. [Added: 17 December 2016]

 

·         John ‘Drumbo’ French has “decided not to pursue any more tours” with The Magic Band. The reunion lasted 14 glorious years, with many great shows and some nice CDs and DVDs along the way. John will now concentrate on conducting drum clinics. [Added: 17 December 2016]

 

·         Dweezil’s pledge thing (to allow him to continue using his surname) is now live. Go here to grab rewards, like guitars, picks, mugs and music - including ‘new’ song Dinosaur, that features a solo “via zenochrony” (sic) by FZ! [Added: 17 December 2016]

 

·         200 Motels – The Suites has been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Classical Compendium category. [Added: 17 December 2016]

 

·