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

(Last updated 17 October 2020)

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Hot Poop

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

·        ZappaCast Episode #47 sees The Vaultmeister talk about the recent Mothers 1970 set, the imminent Halloween 1981 box and his fanboy life as the drummer for The Zappa Band. [Added: 23 September 2020]

 

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

 

·        This just in:

Zappateers is not dead – it just smells funny

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

ZappaCheers from the Zappateers,

StatusBaby
London 19/09/20

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Lukewarm Poop

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

                                                                                                                                                       

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

...and finally, Esther...

...out now!

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Contact: disco.boy@blueyonder.co.uk