(Last updated 14 May 2013)
· As you know, The Banned From Utopia will play ZappaUnion in Oslo on Thursday 7 November – but now with Chad Wackerman replacing Ralph Humphrey on the drumstool (rather than Marco Minnemann, as previously reported). The GrandMothers Of Invention are headlining the Friday night. Read all about it here.
· In his recent blog about the ‘new guy’, drummer Ryan Brown, Dweezil mentioned a track they’d recorded for a DWEEZILA project. This imminent ‘CD bundle’ will feature original music by ‘Guest Guitarists’ Tom Quayle, Chris Buono, Derryl Gabel, Oz Noy, David Wallimann, James Santiago and Matt Piccone.
· The Arf! Arf! Arf! Zappa Weekend takes place at De Singel in Antwerp on 21/22 March 2014. It will feature Capt. Cheesebeard & the 7 Sisters Of Prevention, Ben Watson (congrats on that FA Cup winning goal, boy!), The Wrong Object and The Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra performing Zappa & Varèse - with special guest Robert Martin.
· Help I’m A Rock/It Can’t Happen Here and Who Are The Brain Police? (two versions) are being released together as a 12" single on Red Vinyl to celebrate Mother’s Day. In July! Cover art by Noel Fielding. Pre-order, if you want.
· Bass player Antoine Fafard’s second album, Occultus Tramitis, features Terry Bozzio and Chad Wakerman (as well as a host of other special guests). Listen to snippets at www.antoinefafard.com
· Drummer Joe Travers has left ZPZ and will be replaced by Ryan Brown on the upcoming Roxy & Elsewhere 40th Anniversary Tour. Joe assures me he will continue in his most excellent Vaultmeistering role with the ZFT, and is also looking forward to more musical adventures elsewhere. Dweezil has now blogged about the change.
· Gibson has now formally launched the ‘Roxy’ SG: http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/SG/Gibson-USA/Frank-Zappa-Roxy-SG.aspx
· Mike Keneally: “Joe Travers showed me the master for the official release of [A Token Of His Extreme] and it looks and sounds amazing. Cool bonus stuff on the DVD also.”
· The GrandMothers Of Invention are playing some European dates either side of their appearance at Zappa Union in November – including one in London! See the Bastard’s Diary for more.
· Here’s a Press Release about Project/Object’s imminent US/EU tour featuring Ike Willis, Ray White, Tom Fowler, Ed Mann & Denny Walley here: www.idiotbastard.com/News/PressRelease1.htm You can support P/O – “to creatively lift the level of activity, and get out there more often” - via PayPal. Send ‘tour donations’ to: email@example.com
· ZPZ are setting up shop at The Roxy in December 2013. But first they will tour the US, Canada, and Europe (from September to November) performing the entire Roxy & Elsewhere album in sequence. The Roxy stint (8-10 December) will mark 40 years to the date of the original shows (see http://theroxyonsunset.com/?p=9421 for more. US & Canada dates here).
· The May issue of French music magazine, Muziq, includes a 16-page article on FZ by Guy Darol.
· Hey, I didn't realise that Quarteto Nuevo, the band that features Grandmother Chris Garcia, included a rendition of T’Mershi Duween on their second, self-titled album. Track it down.
· The ZFT has formally announced the release of three FZ albums on vinyl: Finer Moments (out now), with Freak Out! and Over-Nite Sensation to follow in June.
· Check out this great video of the BIT20 Ensemble playing a bit of Zappa and Varèse: https://vimeo.com/63818800
· The Shuggie Otis Rite (featuring Albert Wing) will not be visiting these shores in May – dates have been rescheduled for July (see Diary for details). Meantime, here’s a clip from The Sugar Club, Dublin: http://www.thesugarclub.com/video/watch/shuggie-otis
· You can now register your interest in For Mother’s Sake – Jimmy Carl Black’s autobiographical memoirs and recollections - and receive updates via email, here.
· The long awaited None Of The Above: Fireworks Plays Zappa CD should finally be unleashed this June – it says here. Woo-hoo!
· The Aurora Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Collon, will perform The Adventures of Greggery Peccary (“for male voice, 2 actors, narrator and orchestra”) at London's Royal Albert Hall on 31 July as part of this year’s BBC Proms. A little more-a here.
· “The following Bath and Knebworth Frank Zappa/Captain Beefheart combined set has increased in size, but not price and is only available to www.idiotbastard.com visitors. As well as the programmes, tickets and flyers from the 1970 Bath and Knebworth festivals it contains 12 CDs, three DVDs, a T-shirt from the 1978 Frank Zappa Knebworth festival and the Captain Beefheart festival, two posters from the 1970 Bath festival and the 1975 Captain Beefheart Knebworth festival, plus 20 photos of both Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart festivals. The total price is £59.99 and anyone interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details. As it is a special offer to Andrew’s site visitors only, it has not been added to the main website www.rockmusicmemorabilia.com”
· GZ sez “Uncle Meat is next” project/object audio documentary, “but can’t say when.”
· Here’s my review of Tom Brown’s wondrous Confessions Of A ZAPPA Fanatic book: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#TomBrown
· …and here’s my thoughts on Howard Kaylan’s splendid autobiography, Shell Shocked: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#Howard
· This just in from George Duke: “For you fusion fans, I must let you know that I've finally found the time to work on the tracks from the original Billy Cobham/George Duke band featuring Al Johnson on bass and John Scofield on guitar. Not having heard this band and music in a long time I must tell you the playing is pretty amazing! I think I'll be able to release two volumes of music from these recordings so watch out for the first release sometime early next year! By the way, I have a new CD DreamWeaver to be released July 16th.”
· Check out the big brain on Brad…er, I mean Gumbo Variation & Friends playing FZ at The Brickmakers, Norwich on 9 April 2013 http://gumbovariation.bandcamp.com/album/gumbo-variation-and-friends-play-frank-zappa-the-brickmakers-norwich-april-9-2013
· On 26 April, Hall Of Fame Records will release two new volumes in “the infamous Unmatched series. And one of them is a double-CD! First, a very personal view of the FZ world in the hands of the renowned avant-garde, experimental and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire A.L. Guillén. Can you imagine The Residents performing FZ music? Well, forget it, it's nothing to do with that. Or perhaps it has. Truth is, we have no idea how to describe it, but we love it!. And secondly, a much anticipated new studio release by Caballero Reynaldo & The Grand Kazoo, where the full band performs the Ruben & The Jets album in its entirety in an effort entitled Marieta y los Jetas ("Jeta" meaning "cheeky" in slang), all in the Spanish language. This is a project that started as a Reynaldo solo effort and that eventually became a ridiculously big and expensive one, so we decided to release the original Reynaldo tracks as the second part of this volume, all performed by Luis G. in his marvelous Spanglish language. Both volumes will be available as digital downloads (as three separate records at unmatched.bandcamp.com) and as two CDs on our website.”
· Muffin Records Productions USA are reissuing Nigey Lennon’s Reinventing The Wheel album, with a bonus track. (For those who don’t know, the album features guest appearances by the likes of Mike Keneally, David Walley and top Donald Fagen impersonator and all-round good guy, John Tabacco!) But before then, they will release a very special and exclusive track by Nigey featuring Jimmy Carl Black’s very last recording. Stolen Cadillac is a Western Swing which Nigey and Candy Zappa premiered at Zappanale #13 in 2002. The studio recording features Jimmy and Candy on vocals, Laura Kass on fiddle, Paul Lacques on guitar, Jay Rozen on tuba and of course Nigey (rhythm tracks, programming, mixing).
· Touched By Grace - My Time With Jeff Buckley, the book by Gary Lucas which appeared last year in Italy, will be published in English by Jawbone in the UK and US this September. Drumbo’s Through The Eyes Of Magic will also be issued in paperback (and on Kindle) later this year.
· Bonhams is auctioning an original FZ painting, from 1961. It depicts a pair of brass instruments and is entitled (*cough*) Horny. Bid: http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20984/lot/3450/#.UVy0FQygvRw
· Shhh! Don’t tell the Barfies that Trout Mask Replica had been available on CD for years (only very recently becoming OOP); they’re reissuing it on Zappa Records! I understand that, like the recent UMe Zappa releases, it’s sourced from the original tapes and sounds fab but is otherwise a straight vanilla release (ie. no bonus material). In other related news, the iTunes version of last year’s Bat Chain Puller replaces the alternate rendition of Hobo-ism by Donnie & Denny with the more widely known bootlegged version. How queer…yet how cool!
· And another new album from Mike Keneally: You Must Be This Tall will be released on 16 July. Sounds like a sort-of sequel to Parallel Universe! Check it out. (BTW, Wing Beat Elastic is not just a download thang – info updated below.)
· On 6 June, the Orchestre National de Lille Fritsch Francis perform Dupree’s Paradise, Outrage At Valdez, Naval Aviation In Art?, Dog/Meat and G-Spot Tornado at the Auditorium Nouveau Siècle, Lille in France.
· Unfortunately, there will be no Mosae Zappa in 2013.
· Check out Gumbo Variation’s Festival Moo-ah video diary here: http://youtu.be/Oxe0la4l9go
· Suddenly available: Wing Beat Elastic: Remixes, Demos & Unheard Music by Mike Keneally…and Andy Partridge, who appears on some of the demos. Get yours here http://store.keneally.com/products/mike-keneally-wing-beat-elastic-remixes-demos-unheard-music
· My On Broadway: Covers Of Invention CD of Zappa-inspired covers of the songs Frank covered on the Broadway The Hard Way tour (all fully documented in my Zappa The Hard Way book, soon to be obtainable as an eBook – yes, really) is now available from CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/onbroadwaycoversofinvent
· You can now buy you a copy of the Gibson Frank Zappa Roxy SG – but hurry, it’s a limited edition: http://www.thomann.de/gb/gibson_frank_zappa_roxy_sg.htm
· Members of the Banned From Utopia will join Ike Willis and Pojama People on Sunday 4th August at Zappanale – look: http://www.zappanale.de/en/zappanale-24/bands/526-r-banned-from-utopia.html! And before it all kicks off in Bad Doberan, there’s a concert at St. Katharinen’s church in Hamburg featuring a couple of the guys from Bonnen: http://community.zappanale.de/community/de/news/konzerte/164-r-dylan-hendrix-zappa-spielen-fuer-bach.html
· Holy effineck! Top US FZ tribute band Project/Object – with special guests Ike Willis, Ray White, Tom Fowler and Ed Mann – are playing Effenaar in Eindhoven on 24 May. Believe: http://www.effenaar.nl/agenda/7517
· “After a four year stint as the hard working bassist in ZAPPATiKA, Ingo ‘The Kid’ Oosterbaan (23) will play his last show with the band on 8 June in Stockholm when ZAPPATiKA perform at violinist Ke’s wedding. The Kid is now deeply involved in music studies and has his eye on some new projects, so - with no animosity, but a little sadness - ZAPPATiKA will bid him farewell. Auditions for the new bass player begin this weekend (23 March) and the band already has a few very good potential new recruits lined up to show their skills in the rehearsal rooms. The successful applicant will be announced as soon as a final decision has been made!”
· Mmmm...sacrelicious: http://www.rhreport.net/current.html
· The Banned From Utopia is set to re-emerge - initially as headliners at Zappanale #24 on 3 August - in the following configuration: Robert Martin (vocals, keyboards, tenor sax, French horn); Ray White (vocals, guitar); Ed Mann (mallets, percussion); Albert Wing (alto and soprano sax); Tom Fowler (bass); Ralph Humphrey (drums); and Mike Miller (guitar)… mmmm, incapacitating. Before then (on 11/12 April), Ray White will be joining the Ed Palermo Big Band to spank some Frank at the Iridium in NYC.
· This Idiot has attended two outrageously good gigs in London in the last five days, featuring two outrageously gifted Zappa alums. Firstly, ‘twas The Magic Band at Under The Bridge (the house of the Blues!), which was filmed/recorded for a future DVD/CD release (see stills here). Then, last nightly (20 March), I saw the Mike Keneally Band at the Borderline. This was the first date of Mike’s UK/Euro tour, and you just have to see him and his wonderful band. Awesome.
· Eagle Rock Entertainment and the ZFT are pleased to announce the first official DVD release of A Token Of His Extreme, in June. It features stereo mixes produced by FZ with Kerry McNabb in 1974, mastered by Bob Ludwig in 2009. Pre-order now.
· Wanna read a ‘special guest review’ of the new Zappa And The And book - by Ben Watson? Go here first: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#Books To find out more about the tome, visit: http://www.facebook.com/FrankZappaAndTheAnd
· Check out the revamped www.jimmycarlblack.com
· A new ZappaCast is upon us. In Episode 10, we discuss the mighty One Size Fits All album, and then Mick Ekers takes a close peek at the Roxy SG.
· A little after the event, but never mind: grab your Festival Moo-ah! t-shirts here: http://tps.indigo-tshirt.co.uk/designer/working_copy/1028413443, and read my diary at http://idiotbastard.com/Reviews/MooAh2013.htm
· Bad news: The Grandsheiks and Tarentatec have had to pull out of Zappanale #24. But the good news...is coming tomorrow (Wednesday 20 March): “It's just utopian that we ever may announce this band.”
· Here’s the latest spoo on Roxy By Proxy. This doesn’t actually tell us when the soundtrack/prequel will be available to us mere mortals, but that’s no real surprise.
· The Orchestre Symphnique de Montréal, conducted by Kent Nagano, will perform Bogus Pomp at the Maison symphonique de Montréal on 26 October 2013.
· Triple M Symphonic Rock takes place at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in Australia on 3 & 4 May and features G-Spot Tornado performed by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (alongside ditties by Queen, Zeppelin, The Who and Coldplay).
· Ensemble musikFabrik are to play a tribute to FZ at the Edinburgh International Festival on 28 August. The programme will include a performance of Varèse’s Ionisation. Details here: http://www.eif.co.uk/musikfabrik
· Festival MOO-AH! A summary/apology from Uncle Ian: “What a fantastic weekend we had. The bands were ALL excellent. The Idiot Bastard and I started organising this back at the beginning of September. Since then everybody we have dealt with has been helpful and positive. My small 'Moo-Crew' enabled me to enjoy the music on both nights, and Glen the Hotel Manager did a great job with the venue and the sound. Next time???? we will organise the food better. I had made plans for food but found out that I would be contracted to pay for 200 people and realised that we may not get that many and had to cancel. Sorry! Lastly, a big thank you to everybody that came, without you it wouldn't have happened at all. Thank you for all the Facebook messages. Several people have asked if we will do it again. The answer is: Yes, maybe every 2 years, but we have got to figure out a way of making it break even. Thank you again, and MOO-AH!” There’s a shed-load of snaps from the fest here. And of course I’ll be posting my ‘diary’ just as soon as.
· Opinion may be divided about the merits of uncle Ben Watson’s studies of Frank from a Marxist perspective, but one thing’s certain: he sure ain’t dull. And he cannot- and should not - be ignored. I urge you to support him during his current spat with Resonance FM, which has suspended his weekly internet radio show following comments he made on air about The Wire magazine. Read what he said here. If you agree that “complaints from a powerful, overground magazine [should not] be allowed to snuff one small flame of (unpaid, underground) dissent about definitions of avantgarde and counter-culture”, drop him a line (via email@example.com) agreeing to have your name added to a ‘Bring Back Ben’ petition.
· The Crimson ProjeKCt (featuring Adrian Belew, Tony Levin and Julie Slick) has a new Official Bootleg Live 2012 album out. Buy one!
· The Vegetarians’ song, Titles (a sort of tribute to FZ), is available on SoundCloud – as a free download – at http://soundcloud.com/femailpongo-1/titles-by-the-vegetarians For a little background on this piece, see what GZ sed. Also new on SoundCloud is Buzzo’s track from the excellent On Broadway CD – The Closer You Are.
· Zappa fanatic Tom Brown recorded the ‘ultimate Zappa show’ with his pal Bennett Theissen last week. Check her out at http://chillroom.podomatic.com/entry/2013-03-10T21_02_11-07_00
· Pamela Zarubica remembers ‘H’, Jimi Hendrix's roadie: http://youtu.be/QPKi7XntdMs
· Pauline Bird remembers Frank (BBC World Service interview): http://youtu.be/vnpLipibl9M
· Professor Mick Ekers has posted a snap of the teenage Frank’s piccolo snare drum, possibly the one he composed Mice (http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/songs/Mice.html) on. Have a look. Mick says progress on his Zappa’s Gear book is going well and he’s “still on track for being in print in May!” Yippee!
· The long out-of-print book, Lunar Notes: Zoot Horn Rollo’s Captain Beefheart Experience by Bill Harkleroad with Billy James, will be reissued by Gonzo MultiMedia later this year.
· Now - the week before the UK premiere, at London’s Royal Festival Hall - comes the world premiere of the “complete orchestral version” of 200 Motels. Read it and weep: http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/1549891/frank-zappas-200-motels-gets-orchestral-world-premiere Of interest is the fact that harpist Lou Anne Neill is a member of the LA Philharmonic. Coincidentally, Lou Anne is giving a harp masterclass at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama near London’s Barbican on 15 March.
· Uncle Ian goes a-publicity balling for Moo-ah! Check this out (from 2h 40m 20s): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p014ng50 And over here also: http://community.zappanale.de/community/de/news/festivals/161-moo-ah.html
· George Duke’s schedule shows a “possible Euro tour” in July 2013.
· New CD with Ike WIllis, Ed Mann, Arthur Barrow and Tommy Mars - be part of it: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/299472
· Adrian Belew will be on guitar for Nine Inch Nails’ “full-on arena tour of the US this fall, and lots of other dates worldwide to follow through 2014.”
· Read an exclusive excerpt from Howard Kaylan’s forthcoming autobiography right here.
· Zappa In France is celebrating its tenth anniversary with music (from Pierrejean Gaucher) and chat: http://studioh.free.fr/EMAL/ZIF_500px.jpg
· Record Store Day 2013 (20 April) sees the release of another Zappa/MOI 7" (on slime green vinyl): I’m the Slime b/w Montana: “remastered from original analog source, Montana is a 2013 single edit with an additional 25 seconds of music.” [Thanks for that, Mr Bean.]
· Joe Satriani’s next album, Unstoppable Momentum (due out 7 May) features a studio band comprised of “Mike Keneally on keyboards, Chris Chaney on bass and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums. The chemistry between these awesome players was fantastic, and we blazed through all the tracks with everyone laying down amazing performances.” His Euro touring band to support the album will consist of “Mike Keneally on keys and guitar, Bryan Beller on bass, and Marco Minnemann on drums. I’m so excited about tearing it up on stage with this new band! See you out there on tour...” UK dates in the Bastard’s Diary.
· Ahmet Zappa has a new book, Because I’m Your Dad, out in April. “I wrote this book for anyone who is a father, has a father, or hopes to someday be a father,” he tweets.
· Guitarist Todd Grubbs, who has contributed to all three of the Idiot Bastard's FZ tribute CDs for Cordelia Records, has a new Best Of The Guests compilation album out. It features his collaborations with Mike Keneally, Don Preston, Jerry Outlaw, Blues Saraceno, Derek Sherinian and others, plus a brand new bonus track featuring Bryan Beller. Check her oot: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/toddgrubbs6
· Work is progressing on the German translation of Jimmy Carl Black’s memoirs...more soon.
· Reen-toon-teen-toon-teen-toon-tee-nu-nee-nu-nee...with less than a month to go before Festival Moo-ah (moo-wah-wah-wah-ooo!), we have decided to sell individual tickets for the individual days to any individuals who are unable to make a long weekend of it. ‘Combi’ tickets will continue to be available at the slightly reduced overall rate, but please don't leave it too late if you’re planning on attending one or both days (especially as the discounted hotel rooms have now nearly all gone)...details as ever at www.idiotbastard.com/Mooah.htm
· Martin Herraiz’s contribution to On Broadway: Covers Of Invention (Twelve Scenes From A Concerto – freely based on the Allegretto from Béla Bartók’s 3rd piano concerto) can now be heard in all its magnificent splendour on SoundCloud.
· Eddie Jobson: “I wanted to express my excitement for the upcoming ‘Four Decades’ tour, which is coming together really well. I think this will be my strongest solo/U-Z Project tour to date; the first-time-ever performances of the Green Album material are worth the price of admission alone, and the band is incredible. There will be tracks from Curved Air, Roxy Music, and Zappa; Theme of Secrets; Radiation; U.K. and more, a full 40 years of recording squeezed into 2 hours. The Master Class will explain some of the background about my 50 years of compositions, and about understanding music in general - what it is, why it works, and why my fan-base in particular is unified as a community. I am also planning to add video and lighting to the show that I have not previously been able to extend the budget to accommodate. This is a complete, one-time-only, retrospective of my entire career to date. I hope you will not miss it.” See www.eddiejobsontour.com for dates and more.
· Sony Pictures plans to turn Ahmet Zappa’s conceptual reinterpretation of Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist into a feature film called Dodge & Twist. Set 20 years after the events of the classic novel, Dodge & Twist finds Oliver Twist and the Artful Dodger at odds with one another as Oliver, now a police officer, tries to prevent the Dodger from a plan to steal the Crown Jewels.
· Suddenly available from Cordelia Records, in time to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Frank’s final tour, On Broadway: Covers Of Invention – a sort-of sister CD companion to my Zappa The Hard Way book. 15 of the world’s finest Zappa influenced artists toy with the tunes that Frank covered in '88. Click the cover above to order a copy (and why not check out the ‘4 for 3’ deal if you haven’t got the previous CDs in the series). Look here for full details. The album will be available from CD Baby - and also downloadable from iTunes - in the next couple of weeks.
· As well his memoirs, 2013 will see the release of a documentary on Jimmy Carl Black. Titled Where’s The Beer And When Do We Get Paid?, you can see more at http://www.wheresthebeer.de/
· During his stint with Duran Duran, Warren Cuccurullo worked on a side-project with keyboardist Nick Rhodes entitled TV Mania: Bored With Prozac And The Internet? An album is finally being released, in a variety of funky formats, on 11 March. Here’s a little more-a.
· Steven Wilson’s tour band features two thirds of The Aristocrats. However, drummer Marco Minnemann is unable to join the band on the North/South American leg of the current tour. Says Steven, “Sorry as I am to not have Marco for the whole tour, I’m very happy to announce that Chad Wackerman will be taking over the drum stool for these shows. Chad is perhaps best known for being Frank Zappa’s drummer for 7 years in the eighties, until Zappa’s retirement from live performance, but he is also a composer and band leader in his own right, and has performed with many other high profile artists. Needless to say Chad is an extraordinary musician who will bring his own talents and unique style to the SW band.”
· Dr Paul Carr’s Zappa And The And - “a collection of essays, documented by an international and interdisciplinary array of scholars” - is finally out this month. See here for more: http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409433378
· A new ANT-BEE video for the song Flutter-Bye, Butter-Flye, from his Electronic Church Muzik CD, can be seen here. The video was created by Victor Cristean, who does film and videowork for Jon Anderson. The song was written by Billy James and Michael Bruce. The very first ANT-BEE album, Pure Electric Honey, originally released in 1990 and featuring Bob & Suzannah Harris, will be reissued at the end of February by GONZO MultiMedia. This remastered CD will also include demos from 1987.
· Dweezil has announced “a special presentation planned for the fall.” Yes, ZPZ will be playing the Beacon Theater in New Work on Halloween (two days after 200 Motels at London’s Royal Festival Hall).
· Denny Walley and Friends (incl. Muffinz & Crumpettes), will play at Liverpool’s Zanzibar Club on 21 March. The gig will mainly feature a selection of Denny’s material, plus some Beefheart and Zappa things.
· My friend Andrew Taylor just bought the book Information Graphics, published by Taschen, and was surprised to find a fold-out timeline based on the life of our Frank by artist Ward Shelley. You can view its flawed magnificence here: http://www.wardshelley.com/paintings/pages/zappa.html
· Denny Walley says on Facebook that he’s “been busy getting ready for the Magic Band tour of UK in March. Adding some exciting and challenging material to our ever growing repertoire. Am also putting the finishing touches on six of my songs I recorded in Liverpool with my great friends, the Muffin Men! Last, but not least, I'll be doing a wee guest appearance with ZPZ tonight [29 January 2013] at the Variety Theatre here in Atlanta!”
· You can watch the short documentary, Ride For Your Life, about former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer Mike (later Michelle) Duff here: http://www.nfb.ca/film/ride_for_your_life. The improvised soundtrack music is performed by the Mothers Of Invention, recorded at the National Film Board of Canada’s studios in Monteal in January 1967. The first I knew of this was when I read about it in Billy James’ Necessity Is…The Early Years Of Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention in 2001.
· Sadly, the FrazKnapp Fusion Project has had to pull out of playing Festival Moo-ah, but you can still marvel at their wondrous reworking of Sunshine Of Your Love on the imminent On Broadway CD (which comprises deranged cover versions of the songs Frank covered on his final world tour). If you haven't heard Fraz before, then beg/steal/borrow/download copies of the previous two CDs in the IBS/Cordelia trilogy: 20 Extraordinary Renditions and 21 Burnt Weeny Sandwiches. Right, the good news: we have secured a replacement for Fraz in the form of Gumbo Variation - a great bunch of lads from the home of Alan Partridge, greatly influenced by the likes of the Grateful Dead, Yes, Phish, Stanley Clarke, White Denim, Weather Report, Tame Impala and, of course, Uncle Frank. Knowing you - a-ha! - we know you will love them too. Check them out on Facebook now.
· The Muffin Men have posted the second and last of their ‘rough edit’ Lost Episodes on YouTube: http://youtu.be/8vYYRtfitoA
· …so we asked Glen McCabe: “Oh Mr Painter, do us a picture with your brush. Make it easy on the eye, so the children of the world can live in peace.” And he drew the splendid cow on the crapper you see above. Definitely a case of moo-ah!
· Change of venue for John Etheridge’s Zappatistas in Buxton on 19 February: it’s now at the Pavilion Arts Centre, which is next to the Opera House (slightly behind it). So expect a much more informal setting, with the bulk of the seating being set out cabaret style (tables and chairs), and a lower stage. The Muffin Men are also adding more and more dates to their Spring UK tour. Keep checking the Bastard’s Diary, y’all.
· Jeff Simmons’ “new pop-psych record, co-produced by Howard Kaylan, comes out in April.” Jeff tells me, “this is a vinyl event.”
· The UK premiere of the 200 Motels score will be performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, members of the Southbank Sinfonia, London Voices and a large cast of rock musicians, actors and singers – all conducted by Jurjen Hempel as part of The Rest Is Noise festival at London’s Royal Festival Hall on 29 October 2013. With Hempel and soprano Claron McFadden involved, it sounds like a re-run of the 2000 Holland Festival performance. Sadly, though, no Mats & Morgan this time. Read more about it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21061287 (and also now at the Southbank site: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/frank-zappas-200-motels-71696)
· A few things over at Zappa.com that may have escaped your notice: the ‘Zappa Records’ page has finally been updated and now includes the VAULTernative stuff; Bat Chain Puller is now up on iTunes; and the Black Friday Big Leg Emma/Why Don’tcha Do Me Right? 45 can be bought from Barfko-Swill. Meantime, neither the ‘AAAFNRAA’ or the ‘Music Is The Best/official discography’ pages yet include Official Release #95 (that’s 2012 AAAFNRAA: Baby Snakes - The Soundtrack, for those of you who may not know); and “all those Enthusiastic ZAPPA Fans throughout the known Universe without a U.S. Passport” are still waiting to be given the updated info promised re. Roxy By Proxy.
· Check out Perry Ostin’s interview with Grandmothers drummer Chris Garcia here – lots of cool stuff about their teacher and Zappa alum percussionist John Bergamo, playing with the Grannies and other fun FZ tales. (Yay! The Grannies are coming back to Europe in April – see the Bastard’s Diary for some of the dates.)
· Someone at Zappateers wanted “a list of all officially released Zappa albums containing the 88 band”, so I posted this updated extract from my Zappa The Hard Way book: http://www.idiotbastard.com/FZ88discography.htm
· The wondrous Captain Beefheart Radio Station has been revamped to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of DVV’s birth (www.beefheart.com).
· Mosae Zappa will take place in the Autumn this year – dates as soon as I have them.
· The Zappatistas’ gig at Buxton Opera House next month will feature two – possibly more – ‘new’ songs for the band: Montana and Waka/Jawaka. They also plan to open the second set with their splendiferous rendition of Sleep Dirt. Should be a cracking night.
· The Muffin Men present Muffinz Moovies - The Lost Episodes 1: On The Road With Jimmy Carl Black 2007: http://youtu.be/bgDUl9urVH8
· The MOI’s version of Handsome Cabin Boy appears on a new compilation called Son Of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys - a collection of traditional sea-faring tunes, performed by some of rock’s biggest names. More here: http://www.anti.com/press/hal-willner-productions-presents/
· Ship ahoy! Check out Dweezil’s rig rundown with Premier Guitar: http://youtu.be/Rvok4jEH4hE
· So I met this guy on the Zappa Forum, and he’s real nice. Too! http://packardgoose.ploeg.ws/interactive/forums/Files/viewthread.php?tid=355&page=124#pid15358
· The Almost Three cover FZ’s Sleep Dirt on their new album, Big Muff, while Joce Mienniel takes a stab at Big Swifty on Paris Short Stories (Saison 1).
· Two months until Festival MOO-AH! Get your tickets now via http://www.idiotbastard.com/Mooah/Tickets.htm
· This somehow slipped under the radar: The Smith Tapes: Collection #1 - Fillmore East features a near hour-long FZ interview by journalist (and WPLJ host!) Howard Smith, recorded on 6 June 1971. Available now from AmazonMP3 and iTunes. You can listen to a sample on SoundCloud, and there will also be a CD version (see here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1931493310/the-smith-tapes-box-set).
· In case readers in Amsterdam, Germany, France and Norway aren’t already aware, pieces of Zappa will be performed in their countries imminently – check out the Bastard’s Diary for details. And peeps in San Diego need to go see Mike Keneally perform a solo set at The Loft at UCSD on 25 January – before checking out Alex Machacek, Jimmy Johnson and Terry Bozzio! Of course, that’s the day after Zappa Plays Zappa set out on their first US tour of the year.
· More details of Zappanale 2013 have just emerged. Among those we will see are: Ali N. Askin; Fritz Rau; Pojama People featuring Ike Willis (and special guest, Chato Segerer); Ensemble Modern’s Fried Dähn; The GrandSheiks (featuring three former members of Sheik Yerbouti); and it wouldn’t be the same without them, Tarentatec & Jazzprojekt Hundehagen. Suddenly see more at: http://www.zappanale.de/en/zappanale-24/programm.html
· Possibly the last ever issue of The Rondo Hatton Report is now up at http://www.rhreport.net/current.html. It includes a timely/prescient/apt (delete as appropriate) - what with my On Broadway CD almost upon us - paper on ‘The Best Covers You Never Heard’.
· Following his heart attack and subsequent coma, original Soul Giant and Mother Ray Collins very sadly passed away on Christmas Eve. His good friend, Denny Walley, said: “Ray was one of the founding members of Geronimo Black. We did a demo recording at Devonshire Recording Studio in the San Fernando valley, CA that led to us getting a recording contract with UNI records. Ray’s impromptu lyrics of the recording of Mayonnaise Mountain clinched the deal! Ray had very strong feelings about ecology, in fact he once quit Geronimo Black because Tjay threw a fast food wrapper out of the car window! He said he couldn't be associated with anyone that would do something like that! He will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.” RIP, Baby Ray.
· Jimmy Carl Black’s son Tom says: “The editing of Jimmy’s memoirs – For Mother’s Sake – is complete. At the end of July, it was announced that editing of the first part, from his birth up until the end of the original Mothers, was complete. We were canvassing support and opinion then on whether to print just this first part, or to continue the editing process as far as possible. Opinion was divided. Now, we would like to announce that the editing process for the complete “memoirs” is almost finished and that we will be looking for a publisher in the New Year. Jimmy would have been 75 on 1st February next year. We hope the book will become available in English by the spring, with a German edition to follow in the fall. Also, an updated jimmycarlblack.com website will come online shortly. We intend to keep all fans informed through the new site. Please keep checking. JCB’s music will also become available again through the updated website, in due course.”
· We asked Simon Prentis - the semantic scrutinizer - if he could translate ‘Moo-ah’ into Japanese for us. This is what he said: “First off, can we agree that it is actually pronounced ‘moo-air’? I say this because to make it work we’re going to have to choose a combination of characters that comes out close to the pronunciation we’re looking for. Rather than use the Japanese phonetic alphabet, which simply tells you what noise to make with your mouth, it’s going to be more fun to choose characters which are pronounced ‘moo-air’ but also have a meaning because they are characters (even though, and this is the point, it’s a combination that doesn’t yet exist in the Japanese lexicon, just as ‘moo-ah’ doesn’t exist in English outside of Zappaland.) If we go with ‘mu-a’ the possibilities are limited. However, ‘mu-e’ (pronounced ‘moo-air’) allows more choice, so I’m going to go for that. The combination I’ve chosen can be twisted to mean ‘fantasy image’ (literally ‘dream picture’) which is appropriot given the original context in Be In My Video. I think Uncle Frank would approve.” You can see the result of all this on the Festival Moo-ah! Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/FestivalMooAh
· Steve Vai writes: “At this time I’m hunkering down for the next 5 months to compose music for a ‘Stravinsky Festival’ that will take place in May 2013 in Holland. In June, we are looking at 10 or so dates in Europe with ‘The Evolution Orchestra’. Then for the rest of the year I am looking forward to taking the ‘Story of Light Band’ back out to perform anyplace around the world we have missed. More details on all this to come.”
· What kind of fuckery is this? I know that others have done it recently (eg. Peter Gabriel and Black Country Communion), but now the ZFT has joined in and released the entire soundtrack to the Baby Snakes movie as is – chat an’ all – as this year’s AAAFNRAA Birthday Bundle. A snip at £29.99? No, not really: at least when others did it (eg. Led Zeppelin, The Aristocrats) it came as part of a reasonably priced bundle – and the aforementioned Gabriel and BCC albums, together with their DVD counterparts, can be bought together for less than the Baby Snakes download alone. It’s even worse than when they tried to sell Zappa ringtones (remember those?) – does the ZFT not appreciate how technology has moved on in the last 20 years?
· Long-time FZ fan Tom Brown, the guy who compiled the first two Beat The Boots sets for Rhino, has followed-up his Summer Of Love, My Ass! book with Confessions Of A ZAPPA Fanatic. Comes fully endorsed by the author of Zappa the Hard Way! Buy it here: http://spbpublishing.webs.com/apps/webstore/products/show/3569180
· Here’s the latest in Zappa releases from G&S Music: http://www.idiotbastard.com/News/G+S.pdf
· Great news: the Magic Band are playing in the UK either side of Festival MOO-AH!, and there seems to be a demi-official pre-MOO party a-brewing at the Manchester gig on 7 March. Sadly we couldn't arrange for the band to play MOO-AH the next night (said Denny: “Shame that day is a travel day to Scotland, damn! Would have loved to play that event.”), but there you go: if you're thinking of attending MOO-AH, why not make a long weekend of it and see them too. Dates in the Bastard’s Diary. And if you are planning to attend MOO-AH! you'd better book your hotel and gig tickets soon. Uncle Ian tells me that the Best Western Hotel only has 20 rooms left at his super discounted rate. That and the Hampton Hilton Hotel are the only two offering discounted rates and are walking distance from the gig site. For more info, see here http://www.idiotbastard.com/Mooah/Accommodation.htm
· Pauline Butcher is posting excerpts from her never-before-broadcast interview with Frank in 1988 on YouTube: Part One (on children, parenting and AIDS); Part Two (composing); Part Three (TV evangelism) and Part Four (Jazz Discharge Party Hats).
· The Muffin Men (“power quartet”) have added more UK dates to their 2013 itinerary. As ever, details in the Bastard’s Diary.
· For the past year, the Zappa family has been working with director Salvo Cuccia on a documentary that focuses on Frank’s one and only trip to Sicily, birthplace of his grandfather. Dweezil and Diva visited last year, and recently they went again with Gail and Moon. Here’s a brief clip covering their first trip.
· Ascolta Plays Zappa again – in September 2013, at the Lucerne Festival. This will include “newly transcribed Synclavier music”.
· Finer Moments is being released by Universal on 18 December (or earlier!?), and you can now pre-order the CD from Amazon and elsewhere. A vinyl version is also in the works (probably out in February, according to the Vaultmeister). Läther, with its new cover, can also be pre-ordered from Amazon.
· Arthur Barrow and Tommy Mars have been part of the Robby Kreiger Band for a while now, but in mid-December they will be joined by Chad Wackerman on drums. Dates at http://www.chadwackerman.com/dates.html
· With all her duckies now lined up, GZ has announced what - on the face of it - is a barking idea for approximately 1000 U.S. residents only (all pre-vetted by the ZFT) to pay over $1000 to have the right to manufacture, distribute and sell (or even gift!) copies of the Roxy Prequel Soundtrack CD (Official Release #96) - in competition with Barfko-Swill. Given sales of Zappa releases generally, there is clearly no way any of the resultant ‘Officially Licensed Authorized Zappa ROXY BY PROXY Distributors’ will come close to making their money back. But that’s obviously not the point. The point is, the ZFT seemingly wants around $1M to finish the 40 year old Roxy Performances film, and maybe - just maybe - they will raise the necessary cash in this unique way. Here's hoping. Meantime, if you want to watch a concert by The Aristocrats filmed just last month for free right now, go here.
· There may be a ZPZ @ The Roundhouse DVD out early next year, as well as a new CD from the recent UK/Euro dates (“fully mixed from multi-track rather than from F.O.H. desk mix” says Fantom) plus another DVD filmed at one of last summer’s festivals. Son Of Roxy & Elsewhere meantime is on the backburner.
· Check out Marc Atkinson playing Mo’s Vacation here. Says Marc “I played the drums live and in one take. Arthur [Barrow] played the bass live, and Ed [Mann] played a mallet Kat, which is electronic (he used it on the 88 tour), but still live. Nothing was sequenced.” Don’t act like you’re not impressed.
· The true story of Frank and the Bridges Auditorium: http://magazine.pomona.edu/2012/fall/a-carefully-calculated-caper/
· The latest Hound Dawg music magazine includes an article on the early days of the MOI, with eye-witness accounts from Tony Palmer, Carol Kaye, Essra Mohawk and Pauline Butcher, plus previously unpublished photos by Heinrich Klaffs. There’s also items on Wild Man Fischer, John ‘Drumbo’ French and Syd Barrett. Order your copy here. (BTW, in the new Classic Rock article mentioned below, Pauline observes that Frank may have been sexually abused in Tank C.)
· The Idiot is pleased to announce that the tracks for the On Broadway – Covers Of Invention album are now with Cordelia Records. The CD should be available in time to mark the 25th anniversary of the Broadway The Hard Way tour (and also Festival Moo-ah!).
· Zappa Records will release the two-disc Finer Moments CD on 18 December. Sounds like it’s more live Mothers – here’s the track list: Intro/Sleazette/Mozart Piano Sonata In Bb/The Walking Zombie Music/The Old Curiosity Shoppe/You Never Know Who Your Friends Are/Uncle Rhebus/Music From The Big Squeeze/Enigmas 1 Thru 5/Pumped And Waxed/There Is No Heaven From Where Slogans Go To Die/Squeeze It, Squeeze It, Squeeze It/The Subcutaneous Peril. If we get another Birthday Bundle and the Roxy sample before the end of the year, well…hats off to Mrs Z!
· The Zappatistas will be playing the Buxton Opera House, as part of its annual Four-Four Time Festival, on Tuesday 19th February 2013. Doors 7.00, gig 7.30. They will play two sets, with an interval, so the gig should end around 9.30 / 9.45. As this is a ‘traditional’ theatre venue, these times will be (barring stuff such as technical failure), pretty much as they are. Box Office 0845 127 2190. I understand they are planning some new material, too!
· A new ZappaCast – this time we talk ROXY! Includes audio excerpts from my interview with Napoleon Murphy Brock: http://zappacast.podomatic.com/player/web/2012-11-13T08_11_21-08_00
· Well, I went along to the Roundhouse on 9/10 November and was not expecting it to be so great! The new slimline ZPZ were probably the best I’ve ever seen ‘em (though Vicar Street, Dublin was a great night out!), and Scott Thunes was his usual fun self. Picked up a copy of the wondrous Road Tapes Venue #1 and bumped into Alan Clayson, who advised that things were starting to move a little quicker on the official biography front. Full report coming soon.
· The latest issue of Classic Rock magazine includes an eight page article on FZ (“Enigma, walking contradiction, musical genius,”) with new quotes from Gail, Dweezil, Pauline Butcher, Art Tripp and Don Preston.
· Some info on the audio quality of Road Tapes #1, from the Vaultmeister himself (via Zappateers): “Nobody affiliated with FZ made this recording. My GUESS is that somebody working at the venue ran this off for Frank. The original tape was full of a million inconsistent level jumps. It was a real bitch to get all of the program leveled out to a relatively equal listening level. Also, there were pitch problems. The reel starts at one pitch & progresses to another as it continues on. Lots of corrections. During the sections where the level was recorded too low there was a bunch of tape hiss, so during certain sections John Polito applied noise reduction....(Sonic Solutions NoNoise). Reel changes seem to always happen at the worst times, but we figured we’d rather include Trouble Every Day instead of not! It is what it is, the door slam was Gail's idea.” For fans of conceptual continuity, FZ inserted door slams into the Watts Riot Demo/Fillmore Sequence on the 2-disc MOFO, and they can also be heard on Joe’s XMASage.
· RIP former Penguin and singer of Frank’s Memories Of El Monte, Cleve Duncan: http://themusicsover.com/2012/11/07/cleve-duncan/
· Apparently released in April this year, a CD of reworked versions of various compositions by FZ, performed by the Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble, conducted by Franck Ollu, and recorded – “by kind permission of Gail Zappa” - immediately after their 13 November 2010 ‘Roundhouse’ gig at Duke’s Hall in London’s Marylebone Road. The track-list is: Peaches En Regalia, Big Swifty, Dupree’s Paradise, Twenty Small Cigars, The Legend Of The Golden Arches, St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast, Little Umbrellas, Black Page #2, Music For Low Budget Orchestra, Alien Orifice, Little House I Used To Live In, The Perfect Stranger and G-Spot Tornado. Order your copy here - only a fiver (plus postage). Barg’in.
· Now available now on Kindle, One Night Bands, a chapter left out of Pamela Des Barres’ Let's Spend The Night Together: Backstage Secrets Of Rock Muses And Supergroupies, “because the book was already too long!”
· The Aristocrats live album, BOING, We'll Do It Live! The Aristocrats At Alvas Showroom, comes out on 10 December. Says Bryan Beller, “The Deluxe Package is DVD+2CD's, with two bonus tracks, band interviews, soundcheck outtakes, and more - with a 5.1 surround mix by Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree. A regular 2CD version will also be available. Presale will start at our website sometime in late November.” Check out the cover art here.
· I am pleased to announce that Chato Segerer (playing a solo set) and G&S Music (plugging holes in your FZ collection) will be at Festival MOO-AH! next March. That means three of the acts on my forthcoming On Broadway CD will be playing (with maybe some more in the audience?)! The event now has a Facebook page; please like, and let us know if you’ll be attending.
· The Roundhouse will stream the whole of Friday’s ‘An Evening With Dweezil Zappa And Guests’ (and the first 30 minutes of ZPZ the next night) here: http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/live. I’ll give y’all a wave (even if you’re there with me)!
· You can now pre-order Howard Kaylan’s Shell Shocked: My Life With The Turtles, Flo And Eddie, And Frank Zappa, Etc. from Amazon - with a foreword by Zappa fan Penn Jillette and nifty cover art by Cal Schenkel.
· Who wants to see eight great acts – including the Muffin Men, The FoolZ and ZAPPATiKA - in the UK next March? Well, you can – check this out: http://www.idiotbastard.com/Mooah.htm
· Wolfram Klug is recording his new album, Go For Life, with help from Ed Mann, Ike Willis, Tommy Mars and Arthur Barrow. Read his blog at http://goforlife.wolframklug.com/
· Typical: Wolfgang’s Vault goes subscription only and then they post FZ’s early show from The Capitol Theatre, Passaic, New Jersey on 13 October 1978 – both on very grainy lo-res B&W video, and on 320kbps mp3 audio (which you can also download for ‘free’). It’s there for Halloween week only, and you can subscribe for a month for a mere $2.99. This is the band that featured Denny, Ikey, Pattie, Artie, Tommy, Petey, Vinnie and Eddie. What are you waiting for? Oh, the URL.
· Gibson has produced a prototype tribute guitar to replicate the iconic ‘Roxy SG’. Dweezil will ‘test drive’ one on ZPZ’s imminent European and US tours. Read more-a.
· Understanding America is suddenly available. The track list for this “exciting new title compiled by FZ just in time for what turns out to be THIS U.S. Presidential Election”, is: Hungry Freaks, Daddy/Plastic People/Mom & Dad/It Can't Happen Here/Who Are The Brain Police?/Who Needs The Peace Corps?/Brown Shoes Don't Make It/Concentration Moon/Trouble Every Day/You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here/We're Turning Again/Road Ladies/What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?/Camarillo Brillo/Find Her Finer/Dinah-Moe Humm/Disco Boy/200 Years Old/I'm The Slime/Be In My Video/I Don't Even Care/Can't Afford No Shoes/Heavenly Bank Account/Cocaine Decisions/Dumb All Over/Promiscuous/Thing-Fish Intro/The Central Scrutinizer/Porn Wars Deluxe/Tinseltown Rebellion/Jesus Thinks You're A Jerk.
· The Muffin Men must’ve liked Manchester (and vice versa): they’re playing there again on 16 December (at The Roadhouse).
· Project Object’s Dave Johnsen will replace Tom Fowler on the GrandMothers Of Invention’s November tour of Spain, Germany and England. Guitar duties will be split between Robbie ‘Seahag’ Mangano (Project Object/Paper Cat) and Mike Miller (Chad Wackerman Trio/Banned From Utopia). See the Bastard’s Diary for more detail.
· After touring the mainland with The Magic Band, Denny Walley holed up with the Muffn Men in Liverpool to record tracks for a new album to (apparently) be called I Wish I'd Worn My Metal Kecks! Here’s some footage from those sessions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv3U9_acQto
· Here’s Dweezil’s sketch for the next FOH release, Out Of Obscurity.
· Steve Vai appears on a new album (out early next year) by classical duo 2Cellos, on a cover of AC/DC’s Highway To Hell. Check out the video here.
· First band confirmed for the mainstage at Zappanale #24 (31 July-3 August 2013): Pojama People featuring Ike Willis. Pojama People are of course led by former Project/Object drummer Glenn Leonard (who played at Zappanale #13 with P/O, Grandmothers West and Bob & Thana Harris). Glenn will be joined by his talented wife Alli Bach (MalletKAT, vox, dance), Ted Clifford (keyboards) and Andrew Walley (Denny's grandson, on bass, vox). Check them out on 20 Extraordinary Renditions.
· Oh bumholes! Tom Fowler has announced on Facebook that he's unable to make the November GrandMothers Of Invention tour “on doctor's orders”. He adds “I’m not going to die” though, which is a relief. But still… ah well, at least Andrew Mitchell has resigned.
· Seems apt: members of FZ’s ‘cute band’ (step forward, Messrs. Jobson & Bozzio) to go cruising: http://cruisetotheedge.com/
· Scott Thunes will be the special guest at the Roundhouse ‘Zappa weekend’ in November. He “will be performing (one song, maybe two) with Zappa Plays Zappa...on 10 November. Also, on Friday the 9th, I'll be doing a ‘chat’ thingie [‘An Evening With Dweezil Zappa And Guests’] similar to what we did last time.”
· Vinyl fetishists! Know your place. Er, wanna grab a copy of Why Don’tcha Do Me Right?/Big Leg Emma on 7" vinyl on 23 November: http://www.recordstoreday.com/SpecialRelease/5773?
· Our old mucker Pete Feenstra has just interviewed the Dweez: http://www.getreadytorock.com/rock_stars/dweezil_zappa2.htm
· The latest edition of PROG magazine includes an article on the making of Freak Out!, mofos: http://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/music/prog-magazine-back-issues/prog-Issue-30/
· Just a little recap on the legal dispute between the ZFT and Zappanale: http://www.internationallawoffice.com/newsletters/detail.aspx?g=39cc6820-11c5-4d50-aa6e-ccee8129df32
· The FZ part of The Legends Of Laurel Canyon documentary can be viewed online here for the next few days. It includes a new interview conducted with GZ just last month.
· Terry Bozzio will be playing a solo drum performance matinee show at Highbury’s The Garage on Saturday 10 November.
· The Fusion Syndicate, a new album put together by multi-instrumentalist/producer Billy Sherwood, features contributions from (among others) Rick Wakeman, Jerry Goodman, Nik Turner, Billy Cobham, Jay Beckenstein, Billy Sheehan, David Sancious, Larry Coryell, Derek Sherinian, Chester Thompson, Steve Morse, Randy Brecker, Percy Jones, John Etheridge, Tony Kaye, Chad Wackerman, Steve Hillage and Theo Travis. More info at http://cleorecs.com/store/shop/the-fusion-syndicate/
· Holland’s Cuccurullo Brillo Brullo are back and playing live in their homeland on 30 November and 2 December. Their line-up has been expanded to include sometime Muffin hornists, Martin Smith and Andy Frizell. For more info, contact: Cuccurullo-Brillo-Brullo@hotmail.com
· Here’s Mrs Zappa urging the young women of America to register to vote: http://youtu.be/L90fVHMaBck
· Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The Roxy Performances movie/DVD/Blu-Ray will be delivered “sometime before December 2013”. And by December 2012, we will get a prequel to the movie’s full soundtrack. And before all that, VAULTernative Records will launch a series of Road Tapes. Well, all that’s what GZ sez here, anyways.
· Scott Parker’s new book, The Return Of Rondo Hatton - The Recordings Of Frank Zappa Volume 5 1974-1975, can now be ordered from here: http://spbpublishing.webs.com/apps/webstore/
· Fantom Records is to release another ‘front of house’ ZPZ CD. Titled FOH 3 - Out Of Obscurity, it features the following tracks: Sexual Harassment In The Work Place/Hungry Freaks, Daddy/Bow Tie Daddy/Motherly Love/Trouble Everyday/Any Kind Of Pain/Blessed Relief/Mother People/Who Are The Brain Police?/Ride My Face To Chicago/Advance Romance/Wedding Dress Song-Handsome Cabin Boy/Debra Kadabra/Carolina Hard-core Ecstasy. Taken from the February 2012 West Coast tour, Dweezil says, “Scott Thunes is performing on bass. The majority of the songs were premiere songs on that tour and many were only played on that tour. The intimate sound of the record almost puts you on stage with us. With a large percentage of songs selected from the first few Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Invention records there is a distinctly different feel to this collection of songs. I'm pleased to hear the musical growth and development within the band as well.” All being well, it will be available in time for ZPZ’s upcoming tour.
· In other ZPZ news, An Evening Of Music With Joe Travers & Friends (including Scheila Gonzalez, Rick Musallam, Kurt Morgan and Ben Thomas) takes place at Studio City’s famous Baked Potato on 17 October.
· Here’s a short interview with Robert ‘Frog’ Camarena, on playing with FZ and his new band, Forty-Seven 51.
· A new Rondo Hatton Report - the twelfth - is now up at http://www.rhreport.net/current.html. And that’s an opportune moment to remind you of this currently dormant Zappa blog: http://rhoerer.wordpress.com/ - leave comments for it to be reactivated, go on!
· LA’s female fronted rock trio, bellylove, is releasing its fifth CD in late September. Circles And Darkness, featuring Lisa Black (guitar) and Toni Valenta (vocals and bass), with Adam Steinberg (drums), includes eclectic covers ranging from FZ, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and Cheech and Chong (yes! Cheech and Chong), along with some exciting originals penned by the group. On her influences, Lisa says “I really fell in love with the song Apostrophe by Zappa when I first heard it and felt like I needed to figure it out on guitar. The same with Magic Fingers from his 1970 film 200 Motels, with its fiercely crafted guitar riffs. The Zappa, Sabbath, Cheech and Chong selections on the new album were a group effort.”
· Joe Travers is about to hit the road with Steamroller, the power trio that features the Vaultmeister alongside Whitesnake's Doug Aldrich and Michael Devin. More here: http://www.blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=179207 And former ZPZ bassist Peter Griffin will be temporarily standing in for Bryan Beller when melodic death metal band Dethlklok’s US tour starts in October. Bryan will be on the road with the fantastic Aristocrats for the first part of the tour, but will rejoin Keneally and co in November.
· Here’s an interesting response to a question about the old ‘FZ approved masters’: http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/378/
· The October issue of Uncut magazine reviews the Universal reissues…and includes a short interview with Don Preston, as well as this story of Frank dissing Charles Shaar Murray and Mike Bloomfield.
· Howard Kaylan’s autobiography, now officially titled Shell Shocked, will sport a cover designed by Cal Schenkel when it’s published next April.
· The Zappa book edited by Dr Paul Carr, Frank Zappa and the ‘And’, will be published early next year. It can be pre-ordered now from Amazon.
· Project/Object are hitting the road again shortly – with Ike Willis and Ray White…and also Greg Bendian – more here: http://www.idiotbastard.com/News/PressRelease1.htm
· Finally, my Zappanale #23 diary is here: http://idiotbastard.com/Reviews/z23.htm
· Always wanted to grow Zappa facial hair? Look no further: http://www.philips.nl/content/nl/mgep/www/male-grooming/how-to/beards/zappabeard.html
· Coming soon, Rock Chronicles: The Essential Guide To The Greatest 250 Rock Acts Of All Time, on which I helped contributing editor Bruno MacDonald (just a gnat’s) with the Zappa & Beefheart chapters. (If anything’s wrong, blame me, not him!)
· In response to this exchange betwixt Hans Annellsson and Gail Zappa, a few folk at the Zappa Forum weighed in with their thoughts. In response, Hans has asked me to post this:
I fully accept Gail’s decision not to give me permission to use the lyrics, or ”list”, for “commercial exploitation”, but her statement ‘Also, you should be ashamed of yourself for even considering that crediting FZ for half of the "lyrics" would be an attractive offer’ is totally unnecessary and insulting.
The reason I suggested a co-credit is that if you quote someone, verbally or musically, I think it’s fair to credit that person/s. It was out of courtesy and decency, not thinking it was “an attractive offer”. If she had given me permission and claimed that FZ be the sole lyricist, I’d happily agree. The same if FZ shouldn’t be listed as lyricist at all.
In 1993, Frank (and Gail) gave me permission for my Swedish translation of ‘Penis Dimension’ (‘Penisens Storlek’), so I am already ‘associated’ in a way, even if it was a long time ago.
Here’s a copy of the email I sent to Gail in response, which you probably won’t see in gz sez:
“Sorry if I’ve offended you, it wasn’t my intention, but ‘you should be ashamed of yourself…’ come on Gail… Did Yoko get in touch with Frank telling him to be ashamed of himself for changing the words of those Beatles’ tunes without permission? Did Frank really have permission in 1966 to use that quote of Edgard Varèse and did Louise Norton (Varèse’s widow) think it was ok for Frank to ‘associate’ himself with EV for ‘commercial exploitation’?”
28 August 2012
· The Mike Keneally Band - featuring Bryan Beller, Rick Musallam and Joe Travers - will play a 10-date European tour, commencing in March 2013, in support of Wing Beat Fantastic. Support will be the fantastic Godsticks (who supported the Aristocrats earlier this year). Most of the dates are now in the Bastard’s Diary. (Thanks to you-know-who for the tip-off!)
· Young Frank’s collage, as seen on the recent History Detectives TV programme, is up for sale via Philip Weiss Auctions in September: http://www.artfixdaily.com/artwire/release/7784-original-works-of-art-by-the-beatles-and-frank-zappa-plus-contrac
· Fantom Records are planning the next DZPZ releases - possibly two new FOH sets.
· John ‘Drumbo’ French will be sitting in with Rattle Snakes And Eggs in Palmdale, California on 1 September 2012. Says John Titter: “It’s part of a mega reunion for Palmdale High School, where John attended. Also sitting with the band will be none other than John "J.T." Thomas, former Beefheart keyboard player, who now plays for Bruce Hornsby and the Range.”
· GZ has announced the October batch of reissues (which includes Broadway The Hard Way, The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life and Make A Jazz Noise Here – see here) will add Mothermania, plus an “Exciting New Title (TBA): Compiled by Frank Zappa just in time for what turns out to be THIS U.S. Presidential Election”. Some are taking this to mean Dance Me THIS. But my money’s on another set from THAT previous Election year, 1988. We’ll see.
· Here’s the Zappa catalogue in chronological order on Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/user/ulyssestone/playlist/3Tp6UhOxoDOJAZ08fGkPVl. Nice.
· The Magic Band has slipped in another UK date - for the full itinerary, clock this: http://blog.beefheart.com/2012/08/the-magic-band-usukeurope-giant-mini.html
· According to this, Mike Keneally is planning to tour the UK early next year! Meantime, check out my review of.
· Finally, officially - Frank’s entire original catalogue is now available worldwide on iTunes: http://www.msopr.com/press-releases/more-time-to-freak-out-frank-zappas-entire-original-catalog-available-on-itunes-available-today/. It’s also available for download from Amazon (though the Over-Nite Sensation bonus track seems to be an iTunes exclusive), and for immediate hearing on Spotify. Here’s a good place to keep checking to help you make up your mind about what to buy.
· Given that Billy Talent are playing London’s Roundhouse on Sunday 11 November, it looks like the “soon-to-be-announced ‘Frank Zappa Weekend’” might just be Friday 9 to Saturday 10 November. Hi ho.
· Do The GrandMothers Of Invention deserve their name? Read this.
· My Zappanale #23 diary will appear just as soon as, but if you couldn’t make it out to Bad Doberan, please check out this clip of the surprise hit of the festival: ladies, put your legs together for Nottingham’s Just Another Band: http://youtu.be/Slry8o1eOTg
· The UME reissues are now starting to appear on iTunes. Over-Nite Sensation sports an exclusive bonus track, which appears to be the single version of I’m The Slime (with a different guitar solo and fade-out). Also, The Best Band… and Broadway… confusingly show Zomby Woof, Sofa #1 and Hot Plate Heaven as alternate versions. I finally weighed in with a couple of hard-copy purchases and noted that in the ‘fine print dept’ of Fillmore East, it correctly lists Garry Bonner as co-composer of Happy Together; this was shown as ‘Gary Binner’ on the Ryko version. Anyone know when the error crept in? And did the ZFT ask Cal Schenkel to correct his manuscript?
· As well as Magdalena’s birthday party in Manchester later this month, the Muffin Men will also play a show at Liverpool’s Zanzibar Club in Liverpool on 20 October – this one with very special guest, Denny Walley. And in other Muffin news, former stunt-guitarist Carl Bowry has provided some incendiary axe work to the FrazKnapp Fusion Project’s reworking of Sunshine Of Your Love for my upcoming On Broadway CD.
· You can listen to the 2012 reissue of Waka/Jawaka in full now on Spotify. And if the samples at Amazon (and now US iTunes) are to be believed, it sounds like the Sleep Dirt reissue will be the non-vocal version. Meantime, Universal has finally fessed up to this reissue programme: http://universalmusicenterprises.com/frankzappa
· More multiple-disc sets from Crossfire coming soon: Breaktime For Surf: The World Of Paul Buff, Vol. 1, Drums A-Go-Go: The World Of Paul Buff, Vol. 2 and Prevalent Visionaries: The History Of Birmingham Sunday.
· Here’s a press release regarding Ike Willis’ forthcoming biography. Looks like we might see this before Howard Kaylan’s, which has just been put back till April 2013.
· Stick this in your diaries: Zappanale #24, 31 July-3 August 2013. And also, the Muffin Men will play The Attic in Manchester on Thursday 30 August 2012, with very special guest the brilliant young German guitarist Chato Segerer - who will play Zappa, Beefheart and a couple of his own songs.
· The statement that “the UME deal is for the entire Zappa Catalog as it appeared on Frank Zappa’s own independent label, Barking Pumpkin Records,” is not strictly 100% accurate, as both audio and artwork have been tweezed a gnat’s – certainly for the first batch. And now I am assured that Sheik Yerbouti (part of the second dozen) will have the original I’m So Cute coda restored. Great news. The third batch of 12 reissues (out on 25 September) will comprise: Orchestral Favorites, Joe's Garage Acts I, II & III, Tinsel Town Rebellion, Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar, You Are What You Is, Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch, The Man From Utopia, Baby Snakes, London Symphony Orchestra Vol. I & II, Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger, Them Or Us and Thing-Fish.
· Word reaches me that the first part of Jimmy Carl Black’s memoirs (A Mother's Tale, 1938-69) is now finally ready for publication. Jimmy’s widow Moni revealed a little more about For Mother’s Sake at Zappanale #23: basically, keep your eyes on www.jimmycarlblack.com.
· For those (like me) still pondering which of the Universal reissues they need, G&S Music has provided this handy little page: http://www.gandsmusic.com/ZappaCD1.htm
· Chester Thompson joined ZPZ (well, Dweezil and bassist Kurt Morgan) for a cover of Apostrophe on 13 July in Nashville. Watch: http://youtu.be/vPxDsMuIsAA
· Frank’s official biographer, Alan Clayson, has his first new album in 15 years out now. Titled One Dover Soul, here’s what the extraordinarily erudite eccentric has to say about it: “It was hand-tooled principally in Wreckless Eric’s studio in France on an Aladdin’s cave of instruments - such as an electric piano I’d found in a skip fifteen years before, and the wheezy old harmonium used when we’d recorded 1999’s The Last Show On Earth in the aftershock of Lord Sutch’s suicide. Via methods peculiar to himself, Eric isolated a quasi-military beat from the auto-rhythm of an ancient Farfisa organ as the bedrock of The Refugees - which also embraced a piano solo that wedded the salient idiosyncrasies of Russ Conway and Cecil Taylor. At times, two deeply middle aged men were behaving like unrestrained children in a toy shop, Yet off the assembly-line the tracks poured, one augmented by Amy [Rigby, Eric’s wife - and a singer-songwriter of some repute] cooing like a sweetly bestial Emmylou Harris, and two by the drumming of Ian Button from Death In Vegas. After the heating system exploded during the final session last January, I could see my breath when harmonising with my own lead vocal on autobiographical The Old Dover Road to Eric’s satisfaction - and my own by the time I lay late that night as rigid as a crusader on a tomb. Driving home after the return flight to England, I couldn’t resist an earful of work-in-progress, and concluding that Eric had drawn from me the best I could give. For that reason alone, if One Dover Soul has the commercial impact of a tract from the Flat Earth Society, well, so what?” Although largely penned by the Mr Clayson, it does also include Un Grand Sommeil Noir: lyrics by Paul Verlaine; music by Edgard Varèse.
· Following the sad passing of Jon Lord, Glenn Hughes went into the studio with Steve Vai and Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith to record Highway Star. This will appear as a bonus track on the Deep Purple tribute album, RE-MACHINED, which will come free with September’s Classic Rock magazine. Glenn tweeted that the session “was EPIC...Steve’s playin’ was from another planet.”
· Very sad to learn of the passing of Corine Duke, George’s partner for over 40 years. Sincere condolences to the Duke family.
· I’m guessing that after Ozit Records released Dust Sucker a few years back (and reissued it on the same day the ZFT’s Bat Chain Puller came out), no one had any real interest in buying Ozit’s more recent Son Of Dust Sucker? Well, here’s a thing – if you check it out (eg. on Spotify), it sounds exactly like the Zappa Records version – and nothing like the original Dust Sucker CD. Track timings seem to match too. Funny that, huh?
· Here’s my review of the new Zappa On Zappa: The Lost Broadcasts DVD.
· Fantom Records reports that they’re “Looking at putting on an extra gig for DZ when he's over for the ZPZ UK tour - with a very different set list and direction.”
· More Muffin Men japes from Larvik, featuring Denny Walley: http://youtu.be/jFLnFzSixSk
· The Idiot Bastard’s next CD project page has been updated a tad: http://www.idiotbastard.com/OnBroadway.htm
· Amazon now has samples of some of the imminent Universal reissues in its ‘MP3 Downloads’ section – like this one: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fillmore-East-June-1971/dp/B008JAEARM/ref=mb_oe_o
· You can listen to a reel-to-reel recording of FZ’s lecture at the University of Tennessee on 28 April 1969 here. He chats about Blind Faith, Bizarre Records, The Groupie Papers, snorks, Suzy Creamcheese, the GTOs, and Jim Morrison's wee-wee. Sadly, there's a one-minute silence during the bit about the Uncle Meat fillum
· Steve Vai plays on Isfahan on Joe Jackson’s new tribute-to-Ellington album, The Duke. Which reminds me: anyone out there actually believe Frank’s story about Ellington “begging - pleading - for a ten-dollar advance” backstage in June 1969, causing him to immediately break up the ten-piece Mothers…two months later? 1969 was midway through the Duke’s ‘Sacred Concert’ series, after he'd recorded with Sinatra and been awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He was also picking up Grammys quite regularly through the late 60s/early 70s. Remember: ‘Maestro’ had been running far bigger bands than Frank (which, for the most part, included one of the highest paid in the business: Johnny Hodges) for nearly 50 years when this supposedly happened. And when he died, just five years later, he was very far from destitute. Discuss.
· Scott Parker’s new tome in his series of ‘The Recordings Of FZ…’, covers that wondrous period 1974-75. Titled The Return Of Rondo Hatton, keep an eye on the SPB Publishing website for release/order details.
· Not only did our Norwegian friends host The Yellow Snow Festival this year, now they’re having a ZappaUnion in October. Featuring musicians from the Oslo Philharmonic and the Norwegian Academy of Music, Dino Dead Storage and Tarentatec, you can learn more here: http://www.zappateers.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=249765#249765
· The Wrong Object are working on a new studio album and need your help: http://www.rockethub.com/projects/9245-the-wrong-object-s-new-studio-album
· The second batch of Universal reissues will consist of: Zoot Allures, Over-Nite Sensation, Sleep Dirt, Studio Tan, Sheik Yerbouti, Grand Wazoo, Roxy & Elsewhere, Bongo Fury, Waka/Jawaka, Apostrophe (’), Zappa In New York and One Size Fits All. These should hit the streets - and iPods - on 28 August.
· Couple of reviews for ya: Mosae Zappa and Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: The Lost Broadcasts.
· Years ago he recorded a historical document. Now, Co de Kloet will present The Supplement Tape live on stage at Zappanale 2012. He will be supported by very special guests George Duke, Gary Lucas and Scott Thunes. This will be hot! Don't miss it – you can save money by buying your tickets in the pre-sale, which ends soon.
· Prism Films (the production company responsible for the three Zappa DVDs released by Chrome Dreams) has just launched a channel on YouTube. There you will find the complete interviews with Jimmy Carl Black, Don Preston, Bunk Gardner and Art Tripp that were filmed for FZ & The MOI In The 60s. They'll be adding the Magic Band interviews from the 2005 Beefheart film (John French, Mark Boston, Doug Moon, Jerry Handley, Elliot Ingber, Gary Lucas, Moris Tepper, Eric Drew Feldman), plus further Zappa interviews with Jeff Simmons, George Duke, Ian Underwood, Mark Volman and Aynsley Dunbar.
· ZPZ at the Roundhouse on 10 November 2012 now confirmed: http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/productions/zappa-plays-zappa ...and here, Dweezil explains why Jamie Kime, Billy Hulting and Thomas Nordegg will not be in attendance. Despite what others may think about the Zappas living out in Hollywood sitting on all those priceless gems Frank left behind, I understand they in fact live quite modestly. In this blog, Dweezil spells out the harsh realities of touring in this day and age, and of his determination to keep the show on the road - for which we should all be very grateful. I know I am. See you in November!
· In this interview, Dweezil says the current tour will “allow for a couple of things that’ll throw in a few fun detours for the audience. I kind of want to have a ‘Storytellers’ element and connect some of the material’s personal stories and experiences, but relate that also to what inspired me to play guitar to begin with.” They also threw in Z’s Boodledang and a bit of Van Halen on the first night.
· The Old Grey Whistle Test Live, a new three CD box set, features Beefheart’s TV studio rendition of Upon The My O My (as well as a recent re-recording by Billy Bragg of his homage to the great trunk road to the sea that I live next to).
· You can now pre-order Frank Zappa And The ‘And’, the book of essays on the contextualisation of Frank’s legacy edited by Dr Paul Carr, here.
· Here’s some pukka info for ya, right from the horse’s mouth regarding the upcoming reissues from Universal/Hip-O Records: Absolutely Free will include Big Leg Emma and Why Don’tcha Do Me Right; We’re Only In It For The Money will have the Sgt Pepper collage parody on the front cover; Uncle Meat will include the film excerpts and Tengo Na Minchia Tanta; and Fillmore East - June 1971 will include Willie The Pimp parts one and two, as one track (for more on this, read the Vaultmeister’s comments here).
· Zappa Plays Zappa are to play in London on 10 November – as part of the Roundhouse’s “broader Zappa related event”, I’m assuming.
· The one and only Robert Martin has just been added to the line-up for this year’s Zappanale – and, for the first time, he’s bringing his French Horn.
· Those who purchased the Highlights From The Pal And Original Sound Studio Archives box set may also be interested in this - from Greg Russo: “I'm working on a pair of 3-CD sets. One set (Breaktime For Surf) covers The Masters, The Bongo Teens, The Rotations, Brian Lord And The Midnighters, and singles that Paul Buff did under his name, Paul Conrad, The Pauls, Lori Allison (Allison Buff), Lori Lynn (Allison Buff), and The Catalinas. Numerous alternate versions, mixes, rarities and outtakes will also be included. The other set (Drums A-Go-Go) is by The Hollywood Persuaders and also includes The Buff Organization, The Tired 4, and The Friendly Torpedoes (with Sean Bonniwell of The Music Machine). Lots more rarities here, including some tracks that I found recently which have not been released. Anyone interested can write me for more information.”
· This just in from Fantom Records: “There is a new-look Zappa Plays Zappa going on tour this summer (they are rehearsing right now) and it’s true that both Billy Hulting and Jamie Kime are not part of the new line-up. Both guys have done sterling service for ZPZ, but Dweezil is taking ZPZ into new territory. The UK tour [see the Bastard’s Diary for details] will showcase a fairly different set-list to the forthcoming US set-lists, with the strong possibility of featuring a number of Frank’s compositions that Dweezil has never performed before. We’re working on some pretty special surprises for the Roundhouse. The support Dweezil and ZPZ get in the UK and Europe is fantastic and he’s very much looking forward to returning.”
· A little more from Gail on the reissues: http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/re-731-re-issues/
· The Magic Band are returning to the UK in September…and Dublin too. Then they’re off to the mainland in October.
· Volume 11 of The Rondo Hatton Report features a close inspection of the panty quilt; part two of Stravinsky’s influence on FZ, details on how Ben Watson ruined John Riley’s life, and a contribution from the semantic scrutinizer on Frank’s guitar soli: http://www.rhreport.net/archive/2012-06-21%20edition.pdf. Also ‘out today’ is volume 72 of The Arf Dossier: although largely written in German, there’s a nice tribute to the late André Lewis (although its one mention of FZ is factually incorrect) and the news in English.
· Both Return To Forever (featuring Jean-Luc Ponty) and U.K. (featuring Eddie Jobson) have new live CD/DVDs out – called The Mothership Returns and Reunion – Live In Tokyo, respectively.
· Mike Keneally has heard the new Waka/Jawaka master and says it’s “endlessly better-sounding than the existing CD - it sounded like the vinyl I had in the 70s but better. I think this will be the definitive issue of the catalogue, sonically - Joe [Travers] is being real diligent about the many titles which are badly in need of upgrade, finding the right original masters to do the job and transferring them lovingly.”
· Given that PolyGram was swallowed up by the Universal Music Group several years ago, I asked Gail if there was any chance that Zappa's Universe would now be issued on DVD. She replied, “I'll check it out and let you know. That project was done under intense duress so it is not on my list of priorities. However, if you like it, that is what counts.” I think it would make a lot of sense to have this readily available (preferably in expanded form, eg. including additional material broadcast on Swedish TV), as it would appeal to both long-time and new DZPZ fans. And let’s not forget that it includes Steve Vai’s Grammy award winning rendition of Sofa.
· Finally, some official words from the ZFT regarding the reissue deal with Universal: http://www.msopr.com/press-releases/zappa-family-trust-regains-control-of-iconic-musicians-extensive-catalog-global-licensedistribution-deal-signed-with-universal-music-enterprises/. GZ adds, “The digital masters were all re-transferred by the Vaultmeister and about a third of the titles were reMastered from the original analog source. Each one is carefully labelled with the information.”
· ZPZ’s Scheila Gonzalez has just released her debut single, Jet Lag, featuring Joe Travers.
· The Mads Tolling Quartet recently released Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty: Live at Yoshi’s, which includes a groovy stab at the maestro’s King Kong.
· Episode 8 of the ZappaCast is here. In this one, we take a peek at the Mothers circa 66-69: Lord Parker of Waterbury plays the Mothers’ Copenhagen and Lund 1967 tapes in their entirety, Professor Ekers (from the University of Bognor Regis) pulls Frank’s Gibson Switchmaster to pieces, and this very Irreverend Greenaway is caught in the conservatory with a spanner...and Burt Ward, Eric Burdon, Lowell George and Grace Slick. SNAT! indeed.
· Voiceprint/Gonzo will follow-up its Beefheart DVD (featuring Roy Estrada, Art Tripp and Elliot Ingber) with Zappa On Zappa - The Lost Broadcasts. It consists of a lengthy interview with Frank from June 1970, and can be pre-ordered here: http://www.voiceprint.co.uk/product_details/15499
· Anyone out there read the crime novel A Season For The Dead by David Hewson? In Chapter 33, where two detectives are at the scene of a murder by decapitation, one says, “I’ll tell you one thing though, he liked jazz. The place is full of CDs. He had one track on loop when we turned up. Sense of humour, huh? It must have been on when he did it.” The track is How Would You Like To Have a Head Like That? from King Kong - Jean-Luc Ponty Plays The Music of Frank Zappa. (People, we have Andrew Taylor and his wife to thank for bringing this to our attention.)
· The GrandMothers Of Invention are to play two dates at London’s Jazz Café in November. And before then (for those in the vicinity who aren’t whizzing off to Bad Doberan, that is), the Zappatistas will play Soho’s Pizza Express Jazz Club. As ever, details can be found in the Bastard’s Diary.
· Here’s a tasty teaser for Zappanale 2012: http://vimeo.com/43398846
· Vaultmeister Joe was (*cough*) havin’ a bad day and posted at the Zappa Forum in response to a fan’s negativity regarding the ZFT’s posthumous releases. He later admitted he “should have kept my mouth shut”, but didn’t. It all kicked off here.
· Mike Keneally tweets: “Hard at work; announcement about new music pre-order coming soon. Thanks for your patience - I think you'll be pretty pleased, pretty soon.”
· So, I leave the country for a few days to attend Mosae Zappa (thank you Billy & Ethell for a most splendid time) and loads of shit happens - the most significant of which was Gail Zappa losing the final trial at the German High Court for all claims against the Arf-Society and Zappanale (see here). Adding to the ZFT’s woes, Jamie Kime announced his departure from ZPZ via Facebook (read report - Dweezil has commented “The Summer tour is happening and so is the Fall European tour. Keep in mind that Frank had various versions of bands over the years and created arrangements to suit the bands he had.”). In an interview with Brian Coughlin of the Fireworks Ensemble, we learned that GZ felt “there wasn’t enough of Frank’s original intent” in the recordings for their None Of The Above CD, and they “had to come up with something more faithful if we wanted her consent to continue with the project,” (which they now have - read all about it here). While there was still no further news on Roxy, or the promised new releases from the Vault, the Highlights From The Pal And Original Sound Studio Archives Paul Buff box set is now in production - although the manufacturing time will be a bit longer than expected (they should be with Crossfire by the third week of June). That’s about it. Phew!
· Dweezil has now written Part 3 of his planned four-part ‘Tour Blog 2012’: http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/posts/1711-part-3-of-4
· Interesting legal letter sent to Ray, Roy and JCB in 1966 for sale on eBay here.
· Friedemann ‘Fried’ Dähn’s Yellow String Quartet have just been added to the line-up for this year’s Zappanale. Cellist, composer and sound-artist Dähn is a former member of Ensemble Modern and can be heard on The Yellow Shark, Civilization Phaze III and Everything Is Healing Nicely. The other members of the Yellow String Quartet are soloists from the Württembergische Philharmonie: Timo de Leo (violin); Konrad Balik (violin); Benjamin Hartung (viola). They will play compositions from Stravinsky, Schostakowitsch, Haydn, Terry Riley, Fried Dähn and, of course, FZ. Check out http://www.friedstyle.com/news_d2.shtml for more.
· Here’s Diva learning her mum how to tweet: https://p.twimg.com/Ati-mejCMAEDehL.jpg:large. Looks pretty painful, dunnit? But hopefully Gail will be able to give us an update on Roxy and whatever else real soon.
· Steve Vai’s next opus, The Story Of Light, is now pre-orderable from www.vai.com.
· Derek Lee has just self-published his Super Ebook On Icon Frank Zappa. Being less than 30 Kindle pages long, it’s more a pamphlet. Between typos and factual errors, Lee essentially lists his favourite three Zappa albums and 10 songs, reviews The Freak-Out List DVD, and takes a peek at CPIII. He has also published ebooks on close combat techniques, Lil Wayne, the Sex Pistols, Crosby Stills & Nash, and making fireworks. Intrigued? Here ya go: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0081LOC3G
· Available for download right this very minute is The Don Preston Story from Zonic Entertainment (who previously brought you The Jimmy Carl Black Story and The Bunk Gardner Story, Parts One and Two).
· So. Here’s the big announcement. Gail also tweeted us a “Happy Mothers Day”, and the wording on the front of that old Roxy-era Cal Schenkel/Richard Nixon t-shirt also appeared on the Zappa.com What's New page. I consulted the Babel Fish, and he sez this all means “pre-order The Roxy Performances soundtrack CD so we can finish off the fillum, please thank you.” We'll find out if he’s right next week.
· New interviewette with Scott Thunes: http://www.dirtyimpound.com/2012/05/hey-shredder-bass-scott-thunes/
· Lurking in John Peel’s virtual record collection is this picture of him about to play a Mothers album (nice spot, Deepi!): http://thespace.org/content/s000004u/img/photos/studio.jpg
· More sad news: ‘Sweet Joe’ Russell of the Persuasions just passed away: http://www.vintagevinylnews.com/2012/05/sweet-joe-russell-of-persuasions-dies.html
· Very interesting interview with Napoleon Murphy Brock here – including his views on DZPZ, and mention of the likelihood that Ruth Underwood, George Duke and Bruce Fowler will be joining the Grandmothers on their current US tour (“probably in LA”). Napi’s website has also just been updated.
· Regarding the current scarcity of Ryko CDs, Gail Zappa says: “There is a reason for that and we are going to announce it as soon as some of the dust clears – part lawsuit, part resolution.” Asked about using Kickstarter to help with the Roxy DVD remastering, she further posited “we are working on something that brings an even larger experience to the True FZ Fan – more fulfilling and more pro-active and participatory and even a little bit educational. I am planning to announce by Mothers Day. Our Mothers Day, which is 10 May. So there’s a big meanwhile – during which there will be some releases!” It's all here: http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/category/questions/
· Adam Mantereys tipped me off re. this spoof - which was swiftly followed up in my inbox by this: http://gothamist.com/2012/04/17/the_history_of_the_hologram_as_told.php. Frank as a hologram? It’s surely the next logical step for ZPZ?
· Dream Theater and the Crimson ProjeKct (featuring Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto and Julie Slick) are set to hit the road together this summer. More here.
· Steve Vai’s Digital Nations is proud to present LA Sessions, a new album by JP Cervoni, featuring Vinnie Colaiuta, Albert Wing & Ike Willis (with whom JP has formed a new supergroup): http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=153125
· I’m all set for Zappanale #23 now – flights and tickets sorted – and I thought it worth recounting what’s in store for me. The festival – including Heavy Guitar Day – will last five days this year (1-5 August). During that period, I will get to witness: Gary Lucas’ Beefheart Symposium; the Mother Hips featuring Scott Thunes; Jean-Luc Ponty and George Duke on stage together playing “original compositions and some by Frank Zappa”; Zappanale #16 headliners, Bogus Pomp; Fast 'N' Bulbous, featuring the afore-mentioned Gary Lucas, Phillip Johnston and Ed Palermo Big Band trombonist Joe Fiedler; the mighty Magma; former Grandmother Sandro Oliva performing a Garrick-era Mothers’ set; one-time Scorpion, Uli Jon Roth; the return of Doctor Dark; and, of course, ALICE COOPER! Add to this, lectures by the likes of Co de Kloet & Ben Watson, plus an exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Yellow Shark concerts and much much more, and it looks like I’m in for something good. See you there?
· Here’s a great find (stupid sexy Flanders) – an obscure single from 1967 featuring our Frank: http://www.zappateers.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=24080
· Congrats to Dweezil: before flying out to Australia, he tied the knot with Megan Marsicano. This is they together at last year’s Grammys: http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Dweezil+Zappa+53rd+Annual+GRAMMY+Awards+Arrivals+yPyWOzMKi7Ul.jpg
· Don Preston has an album of previously unreleased electronic music, Filters, Oscillators & Envelopes 1967-82, out on the Sub Rosa label. More at http://subrosa.itcmedia.net/en/catalogue/early-electronic-music/filters-oscillators-and-envelopes-1967-75.html
· Worrying tweet from Howard Kaylan: “Well kids, it looks like I've got an ending to the long-fabled autobiog tho I probably wouldn't have chosen it. Life lessons coming.”
· In April, Dweezil & CoTM played down under, introducing new bassist (and Zappa ‘ScoreMeister’, curating FZ's written music), Kurt Morgan. I’m sure experience of backing teeny-(MMM)boppers is not a pre-requisite for the job, but did you know that Kurt used to “lay down the grooves night after night” for Hilary Duff, while his ZPZ predecessor Pete Griffin previously played with Hanson?
· Billy James (aka ANT-BEE) tells me he “assisted a bit” with a PBS TV special History Detectives on Frank’s early art career. Cal Schenkel, Bobby Zappa and Peter Occhigrosso were all interviewed for the programme, which airs in the US on 17 July. More info here.
· Foolish behaviour over at the Zappa Forum: on 1 April, Bonny Ploeg of the Packard Goose website thought it would be fun to claim that the ZFT had asked her to “remove every copyrighted symbol from the site: lyrics, photos, the moustache symbol and the names Zappa, Frank Zappa, FZ and Dweezil.” This apparently led to death threats towards Gail. Bonny now feels “guilty and stupid”. Jaypfunk was unusually restrained, and simply called her a “fucking moron”. Read more at http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/re-april-fools-prank-billy-the-mountain/
· Zappa’s Gear author, Mick Ekers, visited Joe’s Garage/UMRK: check this Tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/ZappasGear/status/185889677025357825
· After officially issuing the Van Morrison sung Dead Girls Of London on iTunes last December, Zappa Records has now made available Shankar’s Touch Me There album. “Masters transferred at 96K 24B by Joe Travers at UMRK…remastered by Bernie Grundman, July 2011.” [Thanks to Michael Sullivan for tipping me off about this one.]
· Poor Dweezil is being sued by his divorce lawyer for not paying his bill: http://www.tmz.com/2012/03/29/dweezil-zappa-sued-divorce-lawyer/
· Anyone heard of Erica Lindsay, who apparently made a guest appearance with FZ in Europe sometime before 1980?
· Gail says we can expect Dance Me This “within the year from now” (http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/re-the-world-wonders/).
· The second part of Andrew Jacobs’ interview with Freak Out! My Life With Frank Zappa author Pauline Butcher is now up at Decibel Geek here: http://dbgeekshow.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/pauline-butcher-author-of-freak-out-my.html. (Part One can be found here.) And over at Zappa.com, you can now read what Gail has to say about Pauline’s book (http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/re-this-and-that/).
· Anyone know what’s happened to Steve Vai’s Secret Jewel Box? I’m still waiting for the final four discs more than ten years after getting the thing to put ‘em in! Anyone care (but me)? Whatever. Meantime, Steve and Joe Satriani will be joined by Steve Morse for a G3 tour of Europe this summer. Dates in Germany, Italy and Hungary have already been announced.
· Make of this what you will: a few weeks ago, holders of Zappa At The Roundhouse gold tickets in the London area were invited by the Roundhouse music team “to meet with us to hear your feedback regarding your Golden Ticket experience, the festival itself, and to discuss possible events in the future.” This had nothing to do with the ZFT, who were unaware it was happening - purely a Roundhouse thing. This week, the event was postponed until a later date - no reason (or apology!) given.
· Alan Clayson reports that matters are proceeding with his ‘official biography of FZ, “though they appear to be doing so ploddingly. However, an agent who may prove agreeable to both Gail Zappa and I has been approached - although he wants two sample chapters.” See here for the quote, together with one from me (“claret everywhere”: I was that soldier, and I have the scar to prove it.
· Before Dweezilla, came Zappa Unlocked: The Mars/Barrow Connection.
· Great review of the excellent Beefheart Bat Chain Puller here. (Yeah, I had trouble with the booklet too!) What an interesting footnote: Hoboism is a different recording from the one widely bootlegged. Anyway, if you’re still unsure about buying BCP, you may wanna check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLRPmrMI_jc&feature=colike
· Oh Jeez, another one bites the dust: André Lewis passed away in January - http://www.waxpoetics.com/features/in-memoriam/andre-lewis
· Some of what GZ Sez doesn’t make me laugh, but this one certainly did: http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/re-please-respond-availability/
· A very intriguing article about an alternative treatment Frank received for his cancer here: http://www.deankrafthealer.com/CaseHistory-FrankZappa.html. The timeline is particularly interesting.
· The manager of Ike Willis is challenging the ZFT’s copyright claims. See here: http://ikewillis.com/ZFT.html
· Dweezil has posted this about upcoming projects this year - including a mention of Roundhouse 2. The ZPZ Oz/summer US dates (and the new bass player’s name – hey, he appeared all over the last two birthday bundles) are here.
· The first part of Steve Kusaba’s 47 hour song cycle, Centrifugal Satz Clock, is now available on iTunes. It features Dweezil Zappa, Steve Vai, Chad Wackerman, Vinnie Colaiuta, Novi Novog, Mike Miller (Banned From Utopia/Chad Wackerman), and Billy Hulting (ZPZ). Learn more here: http://satzclock.com/
· Penguins In Bondage – an unacceptable substitute? Check this: http://www.thejambar.com/frank-zappa-lives-on-1.2708942 Would love to hear them.
· The LA Times reports that Chieftain Paddy Moloney is “dying to locate a recording he did in Los Angeles about two decades ago at the home studio of Frank Zappa, a fervent Chieftains fan who name-checked the group three times in his autobiography [oh really?]. The session at Zappa’s house, Moloney said, included one number on which the Irish group and the iconoclastic rock provocateur teamed up with a group of Tuvan throat singers. If he finds the tape, he may have a title ready to go: The Chieftains in Orbit — Again.” (The Chieftains in Orbit being the title of a track on the band’s new album, Voice of Ages.) Hasn’t Paddy asked Gail about it? You can of course see snippets from the session on YouTube.
· Hopefully this clarifies the situation regarding Roy Estrada (although it still doesn’t tell us the full story): http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/02/22/3754559/former-frank-zappa-bassist-imprisoned.html
· United Mutations reports on the discovery of an old FZ painting here: http://united-mutations.blogspot.com/2012/02/another-frank-zappa-painting-discovered.html
· Caballero Reynaldo & The Grand Kazoo have a new CD/DVD, Li-i-iVE At Larvik - The Yellow Snow Festival 2011, now available from http://www.halloffame.es/caballero-reynaldo-the-grand-kazoo-live-at-larvik/
· Ken Walter’s brass quintet, the Oxford Street Brass, premiered his arrangement of the Opening Theme To Lumpy Gravy at a recent church concert. Check out the video here: http://youtu.be/rM4XTfxvH-M
· Zappa’s Gear head, Mick Ekers, recently interviewed George Duke. See here: http://www.zappasgear.com/GeorgeDukeInterview.html
· Looks like everyone had fun at the Yellow Snow Festival in Norway; the Muffin Men are devoting a new webpage to it here: http://www.muffinmen.co.uk/muffinz/larvik_2012.html
· Okay – get this Straight (*snigger*): Alice Cooper is headlining the Arf Society’s ‘Heavy Guitar Day’ in Bad Doberan on Sunday 5 August; prior to this, George Duke & Jean-Luc Ponty - the Brothers of Invention! - will play the entire King Kong: Jean-Luc Ponty Plays The Music of Frank Zappa album during Zappanale on Thursday 2 August. Got that? Blinding! See you there.
· The Muffin Men have produced a very limited edition/promo only/not for re-sale/April 2011 Euro tour memoir CD/DVD, called Powdered Water. You can read my review of this tasty little morsel here.
· Rock Music Memorabilia now has Zappa and Beefheart t-shirts in stock (in both black and white). Anyone who wishes to buy either a Zappa or Beefheart commemorative set will also receive a free t-shirt along with the other goodies - if they mention visiting this website. What the sets contain (and the t-shirts) can be viewed at www.rockmusicmemorabilia.com
· Early in 2010, Scott Thunes visited the UK to record with Adrian Styles. The resultant album, Essential Elements, is now here: http://www.adrianstyles.co.uk/essential-elements/
· Hey, boys and girls – I’ve just been interviewed for the Decibel Geek Podcast: http://dbgeekshow.blogspot.com/2012/01/andrew-greenaway-author-of-zappa-hard.html
· This one slipped under the radar: Grand Wazoo/Ruben And The Jets’ slide guitarist Tony Duran sadly passed away in December. Read more here: http://www.gracegardensfh.com/sitemaker/sites/GraceG1/obit.cgi?user=539436Duran
· Joe Satriani’s Satchurated, filmed live on ‘The Wormhole Tour’ at the Metropolis in Montreal on 12 December 2010 (and featuring Mike Keneally on keyboards), will be the first 3D theatrical concert film release with 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound (in the States, at least). The film is directed by François and Pierre Lamoureux, who produced and directed the ZPZ concert film. A physical release is due in March, although there’s no word on a UK release yet. Check this clip out: http://youtu.be/-nlSGsQY_3o
· Fellow ZappaCaster Mick Ekers tweets: “Had a fantastic day today [24 January 2012] at the UMRK photographing FZ’s guitars, amps, etc. Thanks so much to Gail, Thomas, Todd, Kurt, Joe, Ruth...” That’s Ruth fluffin’ UNDERWOOD, people, who GZ persuaded to come along to talk to the Professor – all for his forthcoming Zappa’s Gear book. Meantime, this Idiot boy interviewed the ever delightful Scott Thunes for a future podcast.
· Terry Bozzio has a new double CD (“my first in years. New Material, handpicked by me from my 2007 solo tour”), called Live In Japan 2007. You can order it here.
· Chad Wackerman released his CD, Dreams, Nightmares and Improvisations in February. It features Allan Holdsworth, bassist Jimmy Johnson and keyboard player Jim Cox.
· For the next few more days, you can hear Gail, Dweezil and Joe talking to Bob Coburn on Rockline Replay (http://www.rocklineradio.com/replay/replay.php). Gail reveals that in 2012, they plan to “revisit” Trout Mask Replica, reissue An Evening With Wild Man Fischer and start a new series of FZ albums – the first of which will include a track named Front Of House – like Dweezil’s own series of albums.
· 1982: The Summer Of Frank, a documentary by Salvo Cuccia which revolves around FZ’s show in Palermo on 14 July 1982, is being shown on Italian TV on 20 January. This is the fillum that Dweezil blogged about last November. Here’s a short preview http://video.repubblica.it/edizione/palermo/frank-zappa-i-figli-sulle-orme-del-mito/85092/83481
· Forty odd years ago, FZ and Cal Schenkel contributed this page to a comic book project chronicling the 60s. It has finally been published by Abrams Comicarts in The Someday Funnies (“129 original comic strips by 169 writers and artists from 15 countries”), edited by Michel Choquette.
· Some of you may recall the little story I posted in 2008 by Curtis Sherwood on his first meeting with his cousin, Motorhead (here). Having just seen the clip of Jim on his bike that I linked to below, Curtis today recalls “...that's the man I met. He came ridin' in on his big-assed bike, Lynn on back, ridin' in to that dump in the middle of fucking nowhere Casa Grande, Arizona, USA in the out-of-this-world heat. It was HOT! Jim & Lynn said they had been held up in a traffic jam somewhere in or around Phoenix. Imagine the heat. Asphalt + heat. The desert roads aren't as hot as the city streets and highways are in that heat. I KNOW what they must've went through - and that all to see my Mom & Dad and the rest of us. Damn, that was surely Motor's last big road trip. I hope he enjoyed it as much as he appeared to have done. He was all smiles but from what I can see, that was just Motor being the way he was!”
· More news from the Z-kidz: Moon Unit is to divorce her husband of 8½ years, rhythm guitarist and former drummist for Matchbox 20, Paul Doucette; Dweezil has poured his heart out re. the YCFOSA downloads (here); Ahmet reckons 2012 will be awesome: “I’m gonna make some new movies, new music, new books - and maybe even a new baby!”, he says; and Diva celebrated her father’s birthday with a nice cup of Joe (see pic). Hey, just realised something: haven’t the kids all got funny names?
· Hey, I got a mention in this interview with J21: http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=83676
· Tributes are pooting forth for Jim ‘Motorhead’ Sherwood, who sadly passed away on Christmas day: “He was a good friend, and went to High School with Zappa. He had a brain tumour that couldn't be operated on. He died in his sleep with no pain.” - Don Preston; “His wife Lynn, and Jim's son and his wife, were with Jim when he left. Say some healing prayers for Lynn and Jim's family - they need them.” - Candy Zappa. “One of a kind. We miss you already, buddy.” - Howard Kaylan; “He was so handsome - like a movie star.” - Pauline Butcher; “I spoke with Jim's wife, Lynn, only an hour or so before he passed. His son Lance had driven all night on Thursday from Seattle to be with his father. I am glad I visited him last week, and will miss him terribly.” - Lorraine Belcher. Here’s a couple of clips of Motorhead from Freak Out In Cucamonga (which really needs to be finished and released one day soon) - Motor and Hell’s Angels - and a nice obit from the Grauniad.
· Another Birthday Bundle – and I thought these were gonna be every two years; guess that’s the anytime bit covered, then. But the reason is clear – happy birthday, Frankie: http://www.zappa.com/fz/aaafnraa/2011aaafnraaaaam.html
· The real evil comes to Bad Doberan! Yes, Alice Cooper is special guest at Zappanale on Sunday 5 August 2012, on the main stage. Sunday will be a special "guitar day", with the main event being Alice and band. Festival ticketholders pay half price, while Arf-Society members with festival tickets get in for nowt. Corks 'n safeties, pigs 'n donkeys, ALICE COOPER, baby...WAAAAH!
· So here's why Dweezil “might have to learn a few more Hendrix tunes...” (see http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/songs/203): he'll be part of March's Experience Hendrix tour (http://www.experiencehendrixtour.com/dates.php). Says the Dweez: “I've always been a great admirer of Jimi Hendrix. My dad told me some great stories about playing with him. Jimi's ability to express himself so completely with an electric guitar is very inspiring to me. I'm honored to be invited to participate in this tour and I'm really looking forward to playing with everyone!”
· ZPZ toured the US West Coast in February (with Scott Thunes as temporary replacement for the newly departed Pete Griffin – see http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/posts/1367-february-tour-2012-update) and Australia in April…hopefully they’ll be back in the UK before too long, with Pete’s permanent replacement. Meantime, you can hear Dweezil chatting about his new “In The Moment” live CD on Stuart Maconie's Freakier Zone on BBC Radio 6music this Saturday (well, from midnight Friday). Here’s a short excerpt: http://soundcloud.com/jazzon3/dweezil-zappa-freakier-zone-1.
· New book, Guitar Player Presents 50 Unsung Heroes Of The Guitar, includes a chapter on one Michael Joseph Keneally.
· Julie Slick is working on her second solo CD, and needs a helping hand: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/julieslick/julie-slick-terroir-my-second-album (If you’ve not heard it, her debut album is pretty nifty.)
· Alice Cooper, Moon Zappa, Steve Vai and (Zappa family friend) Beverly D’Angleo have all written letters to their 16 year old selves in new book Dear Me from Simon & Schuster. Other contributors include Pattie Boyd, Pee-Wee Herman, John Waters, William Shatner, Kathleen Turner, Stephen King and Phil Ramone.
· “I think my Dad was an interesting man - even if I didn't get along all that well with him. He was good at mathematics - he wrote (and published himself) a small book on gambling probabilities,” wrote Frank in The Real FZ Book. And now you can buy Chances: And How To Take Them by Francis V. Zappa – from Crossfire Publications: http://www.crossfirepublications.com/chances.html Crossfire also has Candy Zappa’s My Brother Was A Mother: Take 2.
· Dweezil's cousin, Stanley Jason Zappa, heartily recommends checking out this project (to which he is “peripherally involved”): http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/747745719/the-composer-jazz-avant-garde-film-matthew-shipp-a/posts/146789
· Fireworks Ensemble’s website is now up and running, and it appears that the works left unperformed at the time of Frank's death that the Ensemble will premiere in its 2012-13 season are Number 6, Number 7, Number 8 and Number 9... of course, we already have #s 6 & 7 (see http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/songs/Number_7.html).
· VaiTunes #8 is out now. Blues For Dust was recorded live at a sound-check in 1999, and features Mike Keneally on keyboards. For more, go here.
· Dweezil has posted an interesting ‘on the road’ report at http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/posts/1273-stolen-guitar-and-food
· The paperback version of my book, Zappa The Hard Way, documenting Frank’s fateful final tour of 1988, was published on 21 November. Featuring interviews with the surviving band members, a Foreword by Frank’s sister Candy, and a new Afterword by his former secretary Pauline Butcher, who interviewed Frank during the tour, this is a must-read not only for Zappa fans but for anyone with an interest in playground psychology. The book can be purchased from: Amazon; Barnes & Noble; and Wymer UK. For more details - including excerpts, reviews and other nonsense - visit: http://www.facebook.com/ZappaTheHardWay. I thank you.
· The ZFT is using TuneSat to monitor TV usage of FZ’s music – read all about it here: http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=148467. Presumably Ryko gets a % of whatever is unearthed?
· Steve Vai talks about his new composition, The Middle Of Everywhere, here: http://youtu.be/Hv7oYnWLD9I
· Long-time Zappa fan Tom Brown, the guy who compiled the first two Beat The Boots sets for Rhino, has written a book. Summer Of Love, My Ass!, documents Tom’s attempts to avoid the draft. Visit www.summeroflovemyass.com for more info, including a whole chapter from the book - absolutely free!
· Dweezil goes to Sicily: http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/user_updates/8111
· Gail Zappa has formally granted Chris Opperman permission to release his version of Blessed Relief (see below). Chris says he has “permission for physical and full digital downloads, no streaming, and it has to say ‘Orchestration by Chris Opperman’," since the arrangement is the same as the Grand Wazoo version but with different instrumentation.”
· Billy James (aka the ANT-BEE) is featured on background vocals on a new 21-minute opus by Yes vocal legend, Jon Anderson, called Open. I’ve penned a few words on the ANT-BEE’s own Electronic Church Muzik album, as well as Doug Lunn’s new CD (which you can get via Audiophile Imports), Zappanale #22 - and there’s also a review of Zappa The Hard Way (but not by moi, natch).
· Pauline Butcher has posted this silent footage from 1969, shot in Cal Schenkel’s back yard: https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=304328046246379
· Flo & Eddie to tour with Dweezil in 2012?…well, according to this blogger, anyway: http://musicofourheart.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/flo-eddie-to-tour-with-dweezil-zappa-in-2012/. But what precisely did Mark say on stage just a few days before Dweezilla 2011 and the ‘one night only’ F&E ZPZ gig in Bearsville? STOP PRESS: Howard Kaylan tells me: “There isn’t one single word of truth in that entire article.” So now you know.
· The Bunk Gardner Story, Part One from Zonic Entertainment is now available to download. This (and part two, which follows shortly) also feature(s) Don Preston. Read all about it here: http://www.idiotbastard.com/News/PressRelease1.htm
· Despite what it says here, Black Milk’s Zap does not actually feature a sample from the maestro’s oeuvre – unless anyone can stand to listen to it longer than me and can tell me otherwise.
· The dynamic Scott Parker has a dynamic new version of his first book, Hungry Freaks Daddy (The Recordings Of FZ 1959-1969), out soom – “thoroughly updated, correcting all kinds of errors and issues both great and small,” he says. There’s also an updated and expanded edition of his The Zappa Supplement: A Box Of History And The Mud Shark Saga, co-written with Zappa historian Phil Lee. Visit www.spbpublishing.webs.com for more.
· Funny lickle video of Denny Walley with the Muffin Men here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150477416439408
· New interview with Chester Thompson: http://magazine2.idrummag.com/issue4/page/36
· More from Butcher At The Beeb here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00k8trw and here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15082153. And pieces in the Grauniad, Get Bracknell and Express.
· Scott Thunes has been gigging with The Mother Hips of late – and on 24 September they had a special guest join them for a coupla tunes at the Belly Up Tavern in San Diego: one Michael Joseph Keneally. A few days earlier, Chick Corea joined ZPZ on stage again to dual with The Dweez on King Kong. Hear a bit here: http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/songs/137. Read about here: http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/posts/1139-i-m-grateful-for
· Dr Paul Carr had a Zappa paper published in Contemporary Theatre Review (Volume 21, Issue 3, 2011) recently. Titled An Autocratic Approach To Music Copyright?: The Case Of The Zappa Family Trust, you can purchase a copy via: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10486801.2011.585644
· Here’s some footage of Gail at the official FZ Day in Baltimore on 17 September: http://vimeo.com/29234820. As you’ll see/hear, she talks about an imminent Roxy soundtrack album with liner notes penned by Ruth Underwood and a “four record set of a live concert from 1971”, at which the Persuasions also played.
· One for all you vinyl fetishits (sic): http://www.musiconvinyl.com/releases/Zappa,_Dweezil/Return_Of_The_Son_Of..
· Candy Zappa celebrated “the real” Frank Zappa day in Sylmar, CA with family and friends, including Ike Willis and husband Nolan Porter. She also visited Frank’s unmarked grave in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, though the proprietors (Service Corporation International) were apparently a little obstructive. She will write about this in the forthcoming revised edition of her book, My Brother Was A Mother.
· Chris Opperman, of Vai/Keneally arranging and Zappanale #22 fame, is working on a project called Studio House “which will be an EP of songs by myself, Carla Bley, and Frank Zappa. Currently, Grammy award-winning engineer Neil Citron and I are putting together the final mix on Milliways while Inga Wohlgemuth and Louis Lagonik are busy assembling the artwork.” The FZ track is Blessed Relief. For those of you who may not know, Studio House is owned by the legendary Paul Green.
· Apparently comedic actor Martin Clunes would rather take the complete works of FZ than William Shakespeare to his desert island. (Thanks to the numerous Radio 4 listeners who’ve contacted me regarding this – apparently the trailer features Doreen…personally. I’d like to take Kirsty to a desert island…)
· Here’s my review of Freak Out! My Life With FZ by Pauline Butcher: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#FreakOut
· I knew it! The Rage And The Fury will be released on the day the world ends (Frank’s 72nd birthday): http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/the-rage-and-the-fury/
· Short interview with Pauline Butcher re. her great new book here: http://radiodupree.blogspot.com/2011/09/radio-duprees-interview-with-pauline.html
· Alice Cooper’s Welcome 2 My Nightmare album not only features the surviving members of the original Straight-signed Cooper band, but also Mark Volman on backing vocals.
· Alan Clayson has written a very nice obituary for Wild Man Fischer in the October edition of Record Collector (with “special thanks to GZ”).
· I attended Neil Innes Night at the BFI on Thursday 8 September 2011. During the Q&A session with the great man, I asked (given his one-time comment that the Bonzos were “the mothers of convention”, and his recent fronting of The Idiot Bastard Band) if FZ was an influence: his response was “yes”, citing principally WOIIFTM. He also sang “Fuzzy dice, bongos in the back…” and said what a great song Peaches is. A short while after, Danny Baker asked Neil if he regretted the fact that the Bonzos never got to make their WOIIFTM; surprsingly, his answer was that the band’s contractual obligation album, Let’s Make Up And Be Friendly, was probably the closest they came to that.
· On 27 September, Sundazed Music releases Oxford, UK-June 6, 2005, the first of three live Magic Band UK shows, on CD and vinyl. This one adds half a dozen tracks not included on either Back To The Front or 21st Century Mirror Men. Portsmouth and Penzance to follow.
· The ANT-BEE is asked eight questions by Gary Pig Gold here: http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/2011/04/pigshit-eight-questions-for-our-ant-bee/
· The ‘September release’ from the ZFT is Feeding The Monkies At Ma Maison - the recently discovered Synclavier album (intended for vinyl release by Frank) that Gail mentioned at the Roundhouse last year. The track listing is: Feeding The Monkies At Ma Maison/Buffalo Voice/Secular Humanism/Worms From Hell/Samba Funk (the last two being ‘bonus tracks’ added by the Trust).
· Steve Vai is featured on classical guitarist Sharon Isbin’s new release Guitar Passions. For more, check out this video http://youtu.be/8u4krJw-HjM
· In 2008, the ZFT filed suit in the Southern District of New York against Rykodisc for alleged copyright and trademark infringement arising out of the label’s alleged unlawful use of Frank’s recordings (notably, the Strictly Commercial compilation). Ryko counterclaimed (citing the sale of ringtones, MOFO, Lumpy Money and the vinyl version of Hot Rats by the ZFT). On 17 August 2011, Ryko won ‘Part Judgment on Claims Of Infringement’ - the very same day the ZFT’s claims against Zappanale were taken to a higher court. You can read full details here: http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-york/nysdce/1:2008cv00396/319767/111/0.pdf?1313676451 (Thanks to Peter Brainpang for the tip-off – and Al Fresco for Googling!)
· Mike Keneally tweets: “One of the shows from the ’97 G3 tour where I guested during Fripp’s set is downloadable - happy that it’s available!” And here it is: http://www.dgmlive.com/archive.htm?artist=14&show=917
· Diva wants you to check out her website: http://www.divazappa.com/
· Gail wants to clear some brown clouds: http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/168/ Come on, boys and girls – time to ask her sensible, searching questions. Respectfully.
· Mike Keneally’s next album is: “now officially entitled Wing Beat Fantastic and centered upon the material I've written with the lovely and talented Andy Partridge.”
· Adrian Belew (with the Metropole Orkest)’s e for orchestra is now available as a studio version CD and live DVD (here)…Gryphon Labs (who are basically the Zappa Plays Zappa band with Rick Musallam on guitar instead of Dweezil) are offering a free album download here: http://gryphonlabs.bandcamp.com/ And the Aristocrats have a little something for ya at http://the-aristocrats-band.com/news/free-download-of-sweaty-knockers/. For those who couldn’t make it, Marco Minnemann was wunderbar at Zappanale; Eddie Jobson’s headline set was probably my favourite ever…check out this great bit of animation on YouTube: A Business Lesson with Frank Zappa…new book, Surf Beat: Rock 'N' Roll’s Forgotten Revolution by Kent Crowley, stresses the importance of Pal Studios to the genre. Read more here: http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_18662344 ...Dweezil has posted a snippet of ZPZ performing Road Ladies with a shaky sounding Flo & Eddie here: http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/songs/72 ...as many of you will have read, Roy “I didn’t do it!” Estrada is currently incarcerated in Tarrant County Jail. Roy has been on the public sex offender registry for some time, following offences dating back to the time of Baby Snakes. In 2009, Gail Zappa alluded to earlier misdemeanors when she threatened to “officially go on record for what he has never taken responsibility for and remind him that we did not report him to the police all those years ago” if he continued to bad-mouth Frank in interviews. With three crimes against children under his belt, I think it unlikely Roy would ever be questioned by the music press again…another batch of wonderment from Crossfire: firstly, Candy Zappa’s …To Be Perfectly Frank is now available for download (from http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/candyzappa); this version excludes all of the FZ radio spot snippets that appear on the CD version. Also available for download are Nolan Porter (husband of Candy)’s first two albums – with oodles of bonus tracks. The backing band for half of the tracks on No Apologies (http://cdbaby.com/cd/nolanporter) consisted of Jimmy Carl Black (drums), Roy Estrada (bass) and Lowell George (guitar). When JCB left to form Geronimo Black, he got drummer Richie Hayward and keyboardist Bill Payne to replace him. A short time after writing the song Somebody’s Gone for Nolan, Lowell left with Hayward and Payne to form Little Feat. Nolan (http://cdbaby.com/cd/nolanporter2) includes the Northern Soul classic If I Could Only Be Sure, featuring Johnny “Guitar” Watson (guitar); other musicians on the album include Jim Gordon and Larry Carlton. Studio-quality versions of all three albums will soon be available directly from Crossfire, with expansive liner notes (including exclusive interview material), photos, credits and discographies…Flo & Eddie played the following ditties with Dweezil Zappa Plays Zappa: Accept No Substitutes© in Woodstock on 28 July: This Town Is a Sealed Tuna Sandwich, Magic Fingers, Tell Me You Love Me, Would You Go All The Way, Road Ladies, Do You Like My New Car?, Happy Together and Dog Breath…some of FZ’s ditties have just been rescored for classical orchestral instruments, tracked on Sear Sound’s custom Avalon/Sear console, produced by Susan Del Giorno and engineered by Silas Brown. More on this when I get it...Pamela Des Barres has recorded “I’m With the Band (unabridged) for Audible. Pretty soon you'll be able to hear the entire book spoken by the, ahem, author!” For those of you who may not know, Miss Pamela recorded an edited version some 16 years ago, which is pretty fine listening…The George Duke Band Live In Prague DVD (featuring a tribute to FZ) is finally available – from GD’s website. (“This NTSC disc is region free,” says he.) Hopefully this will make up for the cancellation of the planned Cobham/Duke Band Euro tour…Napi’s album is here at last: http://www.idiotbastard.com/News/PressRelease.htm ... and here’s a Press Release for J21…for all you guitar freaks oot there (Master Campbell, I’m looking at you), Hal Leonard is issuing another in its series of Zappa album transcription book things - this time, in the shape of One Size Fits All…pay attention, your Freditor has spoken: yes, Mr Tomsett informs me of a very new compact disc that features “a version of Uncle Frank’s It Just Might Be a One-Shot Deal, taken slightly slower than the old guy’s and with an even creepier vocal performance, if that's possible.” It appears, among other goodies, on Perfavore Sing by Vincenzo Vasi & Giorgio Pacorig…interesting interview with Howard Kaylan here. But why does the man who writes ‘Eddie’s Media Corner’ – and is not Professor Flo - refer to himself as the ‘Florescent Leech’?... Tom Fowler has a new album out; Let’s Start Over features brother Walt and Mr Mike Miller. And also, the great vocals of Andrea Miller. Another former z-bassist - little Patrick O’Hearn - also has a new single out (with album to follow - both) called Reaching Land…the ‘uncut’ version of my interview with Essra Mohawk is now here: http://idiotbastard.com/Interviews/EssraMohawk.htm ...Don Preston has written a book “of poems and stories”, called Listen: A Thought, Faster Than Light. It is currently only available directly from Don (Brain Publishing)...GZ has offered some more clues re. possible ZFT releases this year here. Based on previous utterances, I believe she refers to Dance Me This (“Synclavier”), Joe’s Menage A Trois (“Corsaga”), Vaudeville band live (“Concert”), and an exciting new deal with iTunes (“Download”). But I could be wrong. And here’s the latest on Bat Chain Puller: http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/orig-bcp-release-date/ …Michael Kieran Harvey’s 48 Fugues For Frank (see my review) has just won a 2011 Art Music Award (presented by the Australasian Performing Right Association and the Australian Music Centre) for 'Instrumental Work of the Year'…Larry ‘Wild Man’ Fischer has died - of heart disease. A tormented soul, may he rest in peace. Dr Demento will pay tribute on his radio show on 2 July. Meantime, you can download An Evening With… here, and listen to one track from it over at Zappa.com: http://www.zappa.com/whatsnew/ofconsequence/wild-man-fischer/index.html ... do Ensemble Modern risk incurring the (*cough*) rage and fury of the ZFT with this new CD, Kontinent Varèse? They also have a new companion piece to their Nancarrow Studies CD, As Fast As Possible…Candy Zappa’s …To Be Perfectly Frank CD is available now from: http://www.cafepress.co.uk/ZappaPorterMusic.543909140 ...Jeff Simmons tells me he has been catching up with some old friends: he met Janet “Gabby Furggy” Ferguson (in LA) and Ray Collins (in Claremont); caught George Duke in rehearsals; and spoke to Aynsley Dunbar and Bruce Fowler ont’phone. More details as soon as…English fashion designer Paul Smith’s Winter 2011 Collection is dedicated to Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and ‘all other space eccentrics that have made the world a more interesting place’. Says Smith “When I started working on the collection, I was interested in exploring Frank Zappa, the Yardbirds and Captain Beefheart — I just really loved that posh rock era and that whole disjointed sound — the randomness of it. There wasn’t any fashion then; it was you just threw on these huge hairy jackets with these skinny trousers and off you’d go. And then, when Captain Beefheart died, it seemed like an awfully dreary subject for a show. Then I remembered that Zappa named his daughter Moon Unit. And the whole interest in the space program dates to the same era, and I figured that was a pretty random thought so that’s where I went.” Now look here: http://www.paulsmith.co.uk/collections/men/paul-smith-autumn-winter-11/autumn-winter-11/ Oh, and that reminds me: Diva’s London art show – Bruce – ended ahead of schedule. So loblolly on you if you missed it…Dale Bozzio and Warren Cuccurullo are reforming Missing Persons (again) for a US reunion tour in June celebrating the 30th anniversary of Spring Session M. No Terry Ted, Patrick or Chuck this time, but the great Doug Lunn will be on bass…arriba, riba! Mike Keneally has recorded “keyboards on four tunes for the next Chickenfoot record”. Chickenfoot is of course the American super-group comprising former Van Halen members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, Red Chili Pepper Chad Smith and Joe Satriani…following on from the Jukebox, Roots Of... and Classical Selection CDs comes a download-only package: The Blueprints Of Frank Zappa - The Original Recordings By The Original Artists adds four tracks not included on the afore-mentioned (St. James Infirmary by Louis Amstrong; Sweet Leilani by Les Paul; Little Girl Of Mine by The Cleftones; and Mary Lou by Buddy Knox)…some ho-ho stuff from the Muffin Men and Professor Walley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6bM5beTHro (and there’s more new wonderment over at www.muffinmen.co.uk)...slightly off topic, but I attended the launch of Glenn Hughes’ new book, Deep Purple and Beyond: Scenes From The Life of a Rock Star, on 12 May and who else should be there? None other than fellow Z author, Neil Slaven (Electric Don Quixote). Neil produced Trapeze (Glenn’s first band) way back when. Also in attendance was the inspiration for The Mud Shark, Mr Richard Cole…you've got to hand it to [REDACTED]; we can grumble and gripe all we want about what the [REDACTED] should and should not release from the vault - and in what format - but [REDACTED] consistently surprises us with stuff we didn't know we wanted. Laddies and inverted genital-peeps, it’s: Penguin In Bondage and The Little Known History Of The Mothers Of Invention (Frank talkin’ Buff to AbFree), a download-only EP “recorded at Auditorium Theater, Chicago, Illinois at the stroke of midnight on one of the Mothers Day Concerts, 10/11/12 May 1974.” Tasty…the Muffin Men have posted, for your delectation, their excellent rendition of the Captain’s Suction Prints (featuring Feelers Reebo) at: http://www.muffinmen.co.uk/muffinz/euro_tour_2011.html. And Gary Lucas has posted his great song with Essra Mohawk here…gosh darn it: Kill Ugly Radio has decided to call it a day. Now where will I go to steal news stories? Guess this means PvL (of United Mutations) and me must have a stare-off to the death. It’s the end of the world as we know it L …heck out this radio interview with Billy Hulting, Cal Schenkel and Howard Kaylan (who confirms he has been busy recording a “rocking teenage album” with Jeff Simmons, and says that Flo & Eddie will be playing more dates with ZPZ “later in the year”)…ahead of their Preserving and Protecting the Frank Zappa Archives presentation at the 45th Annual Association For Recorded Sound Collections in Los Angeles on 12 May, Gail and Joe spoke to Kevin Ferguson: http://www.scpr.org/programs/offramp/2011/04/30/gail-zappa-joe-travers-talk-frank-zappas-archives/ Meantime, GZ (ever the provocateur) seeks to preserve the fanbase here: http://www.zappa.com/gzsez/questions/106/ ...Zappa loving guitarist J21's Beyond The Holographic Veil (the album that features the first collaboration between Scott Thunes and Ed Mann since 1988, as well as contributions from Reeves Gabrels, Geoff Tyson, Robert Martin, Don Preston, Marco Minnemann, Mike Garson and (*cough*) andrew greenaway) will be issued on CD by Floating World records in June (along with a re-release of Joseph’s Yellow Mind:Blue Mind, that also featured Mr Mann). Both can currently be obtained as digital downloads from: http://app.artists-first.net/J21/shop.action and http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/yellow-mind-blue-mind/id288674793 ...suddenly available: Napoleon Murphy Brock’s This Is What Frank Zappa Heard: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/napoleonmurphybrock ...Gibson has put together a list of songs that feature mistakes that have been incorporated into their iconic sound. Amongst the list is Frankie boy’s We’re Turning Again. You can read the full list here: http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/bloopers-0412-2011/ ...Grand Funk’s Mark Farner tells an interesting story 'bout gun-toting Frankie here: http://www.southbendtribune.com/entertainment/inthebend/sbt-farner-still-plays-energy-music-20110403,0,7526839.story ...on 14 March 2010, the Alice Cooper Group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Rob Zombie, and reunited to perform live on stage. Zombie gave FZ a big plug for his part in Alice’s rise to fame. On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on 18 March, Alice performed School’s Out with Dweezil on guitar - check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQWPrwTkd80 ...first the bassist from Metallica covered The Torture Never Stops, now former Megadeth lead guitarist, Glen Drover, has taken a stab at The Purple Lagoon and Filthy Habits (and some Jean-Luc Ponty and Al Di Meola too) - check it out: http://www.magnacarta.net/glendrover/ ...the Ed Palermo Big Band is about to record a new album - likely to be a two-disc project: one of FZ music (featuring Napoleon Murphy Brock); t'other, all original material. Bring it on, I say…I interviewed head Muffin Man Roddie Gilliard about the band’s new album – check it out: http://www.idiotbastard.com/reviews.htm#L4 ...interesting find over at Zappateers: an interview with supposed ex-Zappa drummer, Anthony White: http://www.duckinalightbulb.com/podcast_005. This reminds me, anyone know what/when Wham! bassist Deon Estus played with Frank?...here’s three things of interest on YouTube: a new snippet from Zappa At The Roundhouse; some rare Beefheart; and how ZPZ might’ve sounded had Gary Moore joined them. RIP Gary…new Reviews up of Diva’s art show launch party and the new MufFinZ CD…Lucy Landymore, who won the percussion class of the 2010 BBC Young Musician of the Year competition playing The Black Page, returned to her home city of Cambridge to performs as part of Anglia Ruskin University’s Lunchtime Concert Series on 25 February. She performed works by Eric Sammut and FZ in the free concert at Anglia Ruskin’s Mumford Theatre…I dunno - you sit writing a Zappa book of your own, then a bus-load come along: the very lovely Dr Paul Carr is compiling one for publication in late 2012, titled Zappa And The And: A Contextual Analysis Of His Legacy. Read more at http://paulcarrmusings.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/new-frank-zappa-book/ And one Mick Ekers is writing an apparently ZFT-approved tome on FZ’s guitars and effects pedals (Zappa’s Gear - The Guitars, Amplifiers, Effects Pedals And Studio Equipment Of Frank Zappa). This too should hopefully be out by the year’s end...Scott Thunes is featured on November by the San Francisco Free Jazz Collective (http://freejazzcollective.bandcamp.com/album/november), and Vinnie Colaiuta plays on Lágrimas Mexicanas, the new album by Vinicius Cantuária & Bill Frisell…drummer Mike Portnoy (the estranged co-founder of Dream Theater) has previously played tribute gigs to that well-known firm of solicitors Moon, Starkey, Peart & Bonham. He now tells Rhythm magazine, “There's a few other tributes I'd like to do and now I have some time, who knows. One of my biggest heroes is Frank Zappa and I'd love to do something, but I think the problem is it would be so unbelievably musically intense, I don't know how much fun it would be! The Zeppelin, Who and Beatles tributes were light and fun. A Zappa tribute would make my head explode. I don't know if it would be as fun as it would be a serious challenge.”…ooh look – I’ve been chewing the fat with André Cholmondeley: http://idiotbastard.com/Interviews/AndreCholmondeley.htm ...‘Ere’s something for ya: Whitesnake's new album, Forevermore, will initially be issued as part of a Classic Rock magazine ‘Fan Pack’ that adds two bonus tracks: Slide It In and Cheap An’ Nasty, recorded live at the Castle Donington Monsters Of Rock festival in 1990 - when little Stevie Vai was in the band. But wait…according to the Deep Purple Appreciation Society, the entire Donington concert is to be issued on DVD, and as a double CD, in the Summer. Criminy!...Jon Larsen’s surrealistic audiobook, Willie Nickerson’s Egg, is now available to download (check http://www.hotclub.musiconline.no/shop/displayAlbum.asp?id=40796). A modern fairytale narrated by Tommy Mars, who composed and performs the music. Arthur Barrow also appears…Eddie Jobson’s Ultimate Zero Tour: Live album is now out…in Japan. But you can pick up copies via the Zealots Lounge, Amazon and DGM Live. A bit pricey, but looks pretty darn good…in the February 2011 issue of The Wire, Richard Henderson, Brian Morton, Savage Pencil, Gary Lucas, Mike Barnes and Byron Coley pay strictly personal tributes to the departed Don Van Vliet…the Grammy Museum presents S’Talking Zappa with GZ, Todd Yvega and Joe Travers, on Thursday 27 January: http://www.shorefire.com/index.php?a=pressrelease&o=4611 ...“During 2010, Crossfire rolled out 35 download volumes (a total of 417 tracks) from Paul Buff's archives of Pal and Original Sound recordings. Many of you wanted lossless files rather than MP3s, so we've gone and done it! After more than four years of meticulous work, we are proud to present Paul Buff Presents The Pal And Original Sound Studio Archives: The Collection. We're offering the entire 35-volume set of recordings as WAV files along with a large, 138-page PDF featuring Greg Russo and Paul Buff's historical liner notes, photos and credits. Of course, all of the tracks that feature Frank Zappa as a performer, writer, producer or engineer are part of this set. Not only that, you also get 56 bonus tracks (two featuring Zappa) that were not part of the series. All of these bonus tracks were discovered and/or remastered after the series was completed, and you have to buy the entire set to get them. The price for Paul Buff Presents The Pal And Original Sound Studio Archives: The Collection (a total of 473 tracks) is $350 US (for a flash drive, including shipping to any location).” For the records, the two FZ bonus tracks are: Why Don't You Do Me Right (Alternate Demo) (the one with Floyd, but without the background noise); and High Steppin’ (the piece on Lumpy Gravy played at double speed, now in real time).To order your copy, visit http://www.crossfirepublications.com/purchase.php. For more details about what the set comprises, look here and here…trombonist Uwe Dierksen, who appears on The Yellow Shark, Civilization Phaze III and EIHN, has a solo ‘Ensemble Modern Media portrait CD’ out called ROOR. It features his rendition of Revised Music For Low Budget Orchestra. See/hear: http://www.ensemble-modern.com/en/em_media/new_releases/91 ...the next physical FZ CD from Chrome Dreams (following its fab and groovy Frank Zappa’s Jukebox) will be Frank Zappa’s Classical Selection - see here: http://www.idiotbastard.com/News/PressRelease1.htm. Also in the pipeline, from the same label, is a Beefheart/Trout Mask documenta’y…check out this great rendition of Reagan at Bitburg by Ascolta: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE7iTTDZeF4. If there is a Roundhouse 2, lets hope they get to play it and that the ZFT finally releases the long-awaited Ascolta Plays Zappa CD featuring some of Frank’s unpublished Synclavier works, recorded in July 2007…Todd Grubbs' new CD, Return Of The Worm, is out very soon. It features special guests Jerry Outlaw, Blues Saraceno and Mike Keneally (for more, see http://www.idiotbastard.com/News/PressRelease2.htm) and you can hear the latter’s guest solo right now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JquJTT9NLvA&feature=recentu ...there’s a very interesting interview with a fired-up Scott Thunes in the January 2011 issue of Bass Guitar Magazine. Catch it if you can…Frank’s house mixer, Harry Andronis, sadly passed away on Monday 27 December 2010. Says Dweezil: “He came to our LA show recently and really enjoyed it. It was great to see him enjoying something in his challenging times.” I corresponded with Harry several times while researching my Hard Way book, and knew he was suffering from ALS (‘Lou Gehrig's disease’), which meant he found it hard to type. A very nice man who would’ve helped me more if he could. Sad loss. My sincere condolences to his family and friends…Ahmet has just become the proud daddy of little Halo Violetta Zappa - all together now: “Ahhh!”…J-Roc sent me this link a while back: it’s a brilliantly edited together version of various official versions of Strictly Genteel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf1nO5JMZkQ ...as predicted, a 70th Birthday Bundle was unleashed; no Lucy Lawless, and a truly awful version of Willie The Pimp (as Hoops over at Zappateers rightly points out, just the thing that DZ spoke out against in the Sky Arts At The Roundhouse programme). The rest is pretty neat, though – especially Treacherous Cretins. And you can listen to the alternate version of City Of Tiny Lites (from the Hammersmith Odeon in January 1978) here: http://www1.rollingstone.com/hearitnow/player/frank.html ...RIP, Don. See tributes at Zappa.com and Beefheart.com…the 25th anniversary remaster of Steve Vai’s Flex-Able seemingly snuck out in June as a download only release – see http://www.amazon.com/Flex-able-25th-Anniversary-Re-master/dp/B0040I7WZY And here’s another download that seems to have completely by-passed me...until now: the Mike Keneally Band Live at Schubas, 6 July 2005...eat this, in remembrance of Frank - a short instrumental track, Letter To Frank, composed and performed by Hans Annellsson: http://soundcloud.com/annellsson/letter-to-frank ...the ‘Zappa At The Roundhouse’ behind-the-scenes documentary premiered on Sky Arts 1 on Saturday 4 December 2010. Throughout, we saw GZ, DZ (and, later, the ‘Vaultmiser’) yakking in the green room to whispering Bob Harris, with Dweezil again airing the possibility of the ZPZ band playing their own (or his own) compositions at some point. Gail stated her hope that this could become an annual festival (she “couldn’t imagine it happening anywhere else”), where they could premiere things like Sinister Footwear and the full score from 200 Motels. Harris, in his role as narrator, described The Adventures Of Greggery Peccary as one of Frank’s most popular classical pieces, and the Scott/Jeff Q&A session (more accurately) as “riotous”. There were very brief clips of the London Contemporary Orchestra (playing Dog Breath and Ruth Is Sleeping), the Mighty Boosh Band (playing Willy (sic) The Pimp), ZPZ (playing Cosmik Debris with FZ, Pick Me, I’m Clean with Thunes, Wino Man with Simmons, and Valley Girl with Moon). There were other brief interviews conducted in the corridors of the Roundhouse with Ali N. Askin, Todd Yvega, Frank Filipetti, Scott, Frank’s daughters, and a few fans. It was all very interesting to watch, and a nice reminder of just what a great weekend it was. I would though have preferred some more complete music clips. Also, the whole thing was slightly vignetted, for some odd reason. Here’s hoping the ZFT have an expanded DVD version in the pipeline. Meantime, it will be repeated on 12 & 14 December and, for those who are unable, you can watch an eight-minute excerpt right now at http://www.skyarts.co.uk/video/video-sky-arts-at-the-roundhouse-zappa-festival/ …Tuesday (30 November 2010) was our dear friend Gamma’s funeral. Many Zappa fans will know of this gentle giant, whose departure earlier this month left a huge void. An incredibly sweet and funny guy, I’ll never forget the time when, at the end of an international coffeehouse chain-sponsored free gig by the Zappatistas in Trafalgar Square, he turned to me and asked, “When did the band change their name to Starbucks?” Anyway, a very nice service took place in North London, with only those who knew him speaking - including his three sons, his ex (Elaine) and, of course, Mr Ben Watson (who’d written a po-em, but left it at ho-em). Gamma’s wicker coffin was carried in by his boys to the sound of Valarie, which set me off straightaway. His eldest boy, Leon, acted as MC. Elaine told us that within a few weeks of their meeting, Gamma had insisted that Winos Do Not March be played at his funeral - which it duly was. We learned that Gamma believed that Jake (his beloved pet poodle, who also died this year) had gone ahead to look for traps. A Crowley-inspired song - Gamma Delta 9 - was performed by old friend, Johnny, and Ben spoke eloquently about their friendship and suggested holding an annual Memorial Barbecue - which is a very nice idea, though naturally many of us will remember Gamma a lot more than once a year. Watermelon In Easter Hay brought the service to a thrilling conclusion, as we repaired to a bit of a do in Kentish Town. Les Fils De l’Invention joined us there, as did Simon Prentis. I sadly had to leave early, but not before raising a pint of the black stuff to my dear friend. Now you can rest your poor old feet, Gamma. (Here’s a nice obit: http://david-hodson.blogspot.com/2010/11/its-pink-rays-from-sirius-man-memories.html. And here’s an apt reminder of the man: http://www.idiotbastard.com/Music/Valarie.mp3)...Dweezil was nominated for a Grammy, in the category of ‘Best Rock Instrumental Performance’, for his wondrous rendition of The Deathless Horsie on the Return Of The Son Of… album…the second Yellow Snow Festival takes place in Norway on 4-5 February 2011. Scheduled to perform are Caballero Reynaldo, Bongo Fury, Dead Dino Storage and Jon Larsen - sounds pretty amazing. More details at http://www.musikkensvennerlarvik.com/yellow-snow-festival-2011.html ...in celebration of Don Van Vliet’s 70th birthday, Gary Lucas will present a two hour Captain Beefheart Symposium at The Echoplex in LA on 13 January 2011, with special guests TBA. More here: http://garylucas.com/www/capt/...Joe Coleman’s painting of Captain Beefheart is currently on display at ‘Dickinson Of New York’. It features a mini portrait of FZ, as you can see here: http://images.artnet.com/artwork_images_145714_611774_joe-coleman.asp ...here’s a preview of Emil Richards recalling the first Lumpy Gravy sessions in new film, The Wrecking Crew, coming soon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB7dGnC46gE …several months back, I told y’all ‘bout a track one Thierry Deruelle had worked on with Dweezil. Well, since then, a three track EP has slipped out featuring various members of ZPZ, called Asynchronous. And it’s pretty nifty…the 52-minute Keneally/Minnemann improvisation on the DVD that came with the Evidence of Humanity CD, Elements of a Manatee, is now available as a very reasonably priced audio download (http://store.moosemart.com/servlet/Detail?no=56)...my Zappa At The Roundhouse diary is here: http://idiotbastard.com/Reviews/Roundhouse.htm ...two new FZ books to tell you about: Frank Zappa by Ingo Meyer is in German (see here: http://www.reclam.de/detail/978-3-15-018811-8?query=zappa - the blurb describes Frank as “undoubtedly one of the most irritating figures in pop music”, according to Babel Fish); and The Hook: The Recordings Of Frank Zappa Volume 4 1973-1974 by Scott Parker, which is in American and is now available for pre-order at http://spbpublishing.webs.com/. Says Scott of this latest little beauty, “the book chronicles the Roxy period from Fall 1973 through to the Tenth Anniversary Tour of Spring 1974. It's 247 pages, and thanks to the dilligent work of diligent artist/proofreader par excellence Rob Ross, it's the best one to date technically. It's also the first 100% professionally-printed book and looks, well, great!” I believe him…two new albums featuring Mike Keneally to tell you about: first up is Chris Opperman’s The Lionheart. Chris, you’ll recall, helped orchestrate Steve Vai’s Sound Theories and Mike’s The Universe Will Provide. This, his fifth solo album, features ten new compositions, including The Porpentine, “an epic 15-minute 12-movement piece for orchestra plus rhythm section. Most of the album was recorded at Steve’s Mothership Studios with Grammy award-winning engineer Neil Citron. It also boasts a double guitar solo by Mike on the song White Willow and artwork by award winning comic book artist Mark Buckingham”. More info at http://www.chrisopperman.net/lionheart.html And next is Todd Grubb’s Return Of The Worm. Todd, of course, contributed tracks to my two Zappa albums for Cordelia Records (and hopefully the next), and his last album featured Don Preston. As well as Mr K, this new one has a guest appearance by Bogus Pomp’s Jerry Outlaw. More info here…Australian actor Joel Edgerton will star opposite Jennifer Garner in a fantasy based on a story by Ahmet. The Odd Life Of Timothy Green follows a childless couple who bury all their wishes for a baby in a box in their backyard. One day they wake up to find that a child is born, but the child is not all that it appears...Napoleon Murphy Brock is quoted online as saying that in March 2011 he “will be touring with The Absolute Ensemble, a 20-piece ensemble that will be playing compositions by Frank Zappa in a classical style. I will be doing the vocals and Mike Keneally will be handling the guitar.” In fact, this may actually be happening in 2012. In the same interview, Napi complains that Dweezil cut out most of his terpsichorean exploits from the first ZPZ DVD. Meanwhile, in Guitar Player magazine, Dweezil mentions that, when editing the Son Of Roxy DVD, he focussed on the band taking solos rather than letting the camera wander off onto people dancing around on stage. Some coincidence, eh kids?!...new book, 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die, features an entry on Frank’s Valley Girl, written by me! Read more at http://www.octopusbooks.co.uk/books/popular-culture/9781844036844/1001-songs/ (I wrote four other entries, too.)…The Torture Never Stops DVD has been released by Eagle Vision in the UK: http://www.eagle-rock.com/product/EREDV826/The+Torture+Never+Stops …FZ’s long out of print book, Them Or Us, has been published by Pinter & Martin for his 70th birthday. Check here: http://www.pinterandmartin.com/product/Them_or_Us_978-1-905177-56-1 How blessed we are to have had two great Zappa books come out of the UK this year!...did FZ try his hand at beat poetry? Deepinder Cheema (he of Milanese fly swattage fame) has unearthed evidence of one Vincent Beldon penning a couplet called LA Night Piece, which is said to be the work of the teenage Zappa. See the various z-Fora for more-a…John Tabacco has a new CD out, Patience, My Boy, which can be purchased from iTunes, CDBaby, etc. Among other great pieces (including duets with his girlfriend, Susan DeVita), it contains one track that incorporates some of John’s Burnt Weenie Sandwich Remnants, onto which he’s sprinkled some lyrics: a perfect marriage, indeed! Talking of alternate versions of tracks from the excellent 21 Burnt Weeny Sandwiches CD (and I can say ‘excellent’: I only commissioned/compiled the thing - it’s the artists that made it great), Caballero Reynaldo's new Kazoo's Revenge features Aybe Sea with additional Marieta Tamarit content. Bonza!...free to download, from State Of Shock Studios: an FZ paper toy! Go here: http://stateofshockstudios.com/paper_toys.html ...Art Jarvinen, who worked with both FZ (most infamously as leader of the California E.A.R. Unit, who ‘performed’ While You Were Art) and Don Preston, has sadly passed away. Nice tribute over at KUR…new Zappa book alert: http://www.schwarzkopf-verlag.de/vorschau/herbst-2010/grand-zappa.php ...a new site for you to check: http://www.zappafrenzy.com/ - it’s “a webpage for collectors and those who are interested in Zappa/Mothers and related singles.”…here’s an interview with Gail Zappa on copyright, creativity, covers, and more: http://mikeking.berkleemusicblogs.com/2010/09/15/interview-with-gail-zappa-copyright-creativity-covers-and-more/...Some Time In New York City (complete with Well (Baby Please Don't Go), Jamrag, Scumbag and Au) is one of eight John Lennon albums to have been digitally remastered from his original mixes by Yoko Ono and a team of engineers. All of the remastered titles will be packaged in digisleeves with replicated original album art and booklets with photos and new liner notes for a global catalogue initiative commemorating the music legend’s 70th birthday on 9 October…Joseph Diaz, aka ace guitarist J21, is near the completion of his second album. Like his debut, it features Ed Mann. But this time around, he’s managed to add Robert Martin, Don Preston and Scott Thunes. And guess what? Ed and Scott have collaborated on one track, their first time working together since 1988. J21 has written all about it here…following his interview with Gail for Record Collector last year, Alan Clayson has been asked to write the official biography of Frank - provisionally titled Project X. On his website, Mr Clayson (who has penned a number of excellent bios, including on the Fabs, the Stones, the mighty Zep & Varèse) writes: “on a second ever trip to the capital not under adult supervision, my fifteen-year-old self had been taken aback that an entire window of Oxford Street’s vast HMV store bloomed with the splendour of the macabre sleeve of The Mothers Of Invention's maiden LP, 1966’s Freak Out!. From listening to it in one of those isolation booths that such outlets had in those days, the impact of Zappa and his Mothers was to ripple across the next seven years of my life - and Project X might be the biography that I have been destined to write.” Alan will mediate the Thunes/Simmons Q&A session at the Roundhouse in November…now that my Zappa The Hard Way book is out, I have posted the full transcript of my interview with Ike Willis on the 88 tour on my Interviews page…Ahmet Zappa has sold another script to Disney; his screenplay, co-written with Michael Wilson, is titled Monster Witness Relocation Program…the Asphalt Orchestra play a great marching band version of Zomby Woof on their debut album. You can download it here: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2010/08/download_asphal.php ...Julie Slick has recently been jamming with Marco Minnemann and (gasp) Mike Keneally in California: “They have six songs in the can already...they are mind blowing, and the three of them are definitely going to work on a future project, tentatively called Artificial Canadian Bear,” says Julie’s mum, Robin…for those of you who, like me, were astonished by the wondrousness that is Evil Dick on my two Cordelia CDs, check out his new album: “Odds/Sods/Bits/Bobs features Evil Dick and the Banned Members’ punky-DIY-jazzish-pysch-avant poo performances and a few songs with words. It features lots of bassoon soloing thanks to Brett Richardson (who is a marvel and who would be asked to play guitar in the new EDBM band if only he wasn't busy doing other things all the time). There's also a psuedo-random encryption of a Beatles melody - not that you’d ever know by listening to it. CRAZZZY. You can download the tracks or buy a hard copy CD with a booklet 'n' shit at http://www.reverbnation.com/store/index/artist_889850“ ...I would imagine some of this is likely to appear on a future AAAFRNAA Birthday Bundle: http://www.zappa.com/messageboard/viewtopic.php?p=466215#p466215 But I could be wrong…how ‘bout this for a nice tribute to Jimmy Carl Black from the Muffin Men? http://www.idiotbastard.com/Music/Jimmywop.mp3 ...on 16 July, Dweezil “played Naples, Italy. I was there and he invited me on stage to sing Tengo Na Minchia Tanta. I did it. 28 years later with his fantastic son, it was extreme, really too much for me. Thanks Dweezil, to be you, to be such a great artist, to be such a great guitarist, to be such a great son! I love you.” So writeth Massimo Bassoli…you can find some amazing stuff on Twitter, like…Ahmet’s new wife is pregnant…GZ is a huge fan of Miley Cyrus…Mike Keneally has now finished work on Satriani’s new album…so I’ve created an account…George Duke has a new album, Déjà Vu, which looks back to his earlier albums (like Brazilian Love Affair) and features flautist Hubert Laws…Michel Delville has alerted me to the fact that he new PaNoPTiCoN album is available for free online (at http://enterpanopticon.blogspot.com/2010/04/panopticon-welcomes-you.html - “click on the May 28th – ‘Summer Madness’ link and the tracks will appear”). The music is 100% improvised, but Dark Pumpkins may sound a little familiar…available right now: 21 Burnt Weeny Sandwiches (by Various Friends) from www.cordeliarecords.co.uk. To celebrate its launch, here’s a bonus track that Buzzo Landi put together utilizing Gamma’s input: Valarie. Enjoy!...you may recall I mentioned the premiere of a musical homage to the life and work of FZ that took place in Australia at the start of the year. Well, now comes the album: composed and performed by Michael Kieran Harvey, complemented by Lingua Franka with concrete poetry by Arjun von Caemmerer, 48 Fugues For Frank is now available to order from Move Records. It will be formally launched (with the music performed live) at the Australian National Academy of Music on 7 July 2010. Read all about it here http://www.move.com.au/disc.cfm/3339...a DVD, Live In Germany by the Adrian Belew Power Trio, is out there somewhere…read this new ‘interview’ with Lisa Popeil: http://idiotbastard.com/Interviews/LisaPopeil.htm ...Ahmet married Shana Muldoon in Malibu…Diva finished filming The Bloody Indulgent…Dweezil has a new album…Verso Books has just published The Wire Primers: A Guide to Modern Music, a compilation of quick-study guides to 22 non-mainstream artists - including Sun Ra, Stockhausen, Xenakis, The Fall, Captain Beefheart (written by Mike Barnes) and FZ & the MOI (by Edwin Pouncey, aka Savage)…for some ODD reason, the ZFT is now offering downloads of Buffalo, EIHN, Imaginary Diseases and FZ:OZ - at less than extortionate prices?...Frank’s ‘buxom red-haired companion’, Lorraine Belcher, has written a review of Nigey Lennon’s book, Being Frank. And I have just interviewed her for this here website. Great lady…new ZPZ keyboardist (and little violinist), Chris Norton - http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/videos/216 ...“I am Neil Carlill, Esquire!” “And I'm Warren ‘Bruce’ Cuccurullo.” “Together, we are…CHICANERY!” Read album review! Read this interview!...watch the Theoretical 5 in action: www.theoretical5.com. As well as the imminent release of Chicanery’s debut, Warren Cuccurullo is also working with The Composers (featuring Anthony J. Resta, Eric Alexandrakis and Steve Ferrone). Busy boy…Steve Vai appears on two tracks on Meat Loaf's latest album, Hang Cool Teddy Bear (on the tracks Love Is Not Real/Next Time You Stab Me in the Back, which also features Brian May, and Song Of Madness)…read about Julie Slick’s debut CD (featuring brother Eric, André Cholmondeley, Marco Minnemann, Pat Mastelotto and one Robert Fripp) here: http://julieslick.com/preorder/. Julie (and Eric)’s mum, Robin, tells me “When Julie got the idea to record this CD, she really loved the idea of inviting special guests to play with her. She was debating who to ask, and I said to her 'Who are your favourite musicians?' Right off the bat she reeled off the names of King Crimson members and three excellent guitarists very special to her - André, Alex, and Jordan. 'But I can't write to them and expect them to say yes.' Naturally I said, 'Why not? You have nothing to lose!' So with her heart in her mouth, she wrote to Robert and Pat, etc. Robert responded graciously within a few hours that while his schedule is packed, Julie was welcome to sample any of his Soundscapes that she would like. To say that Julie whooped for joy when she received his (lovely) email is putting it mildly. I know I'm prejudiced but Julie's bass playing combined with the Soundscapes gives me the chills. Pat Mastelotto wrote from the road that he would be thrilled and would record his drum parts with her as soon as he got back to the States and he was so amazing - he even assisted with production. Marco Minnemann also replied within a couple of hours. Michael Bernier heard from Pat that he was contributing to Julie's CD and he immediately wrote to Julie and said 'I want in!' Can you imagine how thrilling this was for her?”…have a listen to Ben Watson’s opened lettuce to the Arf Society (in English or German)…ou can see a short clip of The Sancho Plan’s The Black Page performed live in Newcastle, September 2009 here: http://vimeo.com/8281006 ...February 2010 saw the world premiere of FZ's Revised Music For Marimba And Orchestra, performed by Simon Boyar and the NYU Zappa Pickup Orchestra, conducted by Jonathan Haas. Marimbist Boyar had to meet with Zappa's second wife to get the rights to the piece, it says here. You can see clips from the concert and rehearsals on YouTube…Robert Martin is a part of the World Rock Symphony Orchestra, whose show ('Britain Rocks’) played in theatres across Canada in summer 2010…Nigey Lennon has written this interesting article about FZ and her former husband, Lionel Rolfe: http://boryanabooks.com/?p=2159 …Herb Cohen has taken his final vacation: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118016565.html?categoryid=16&cs=1. RIP…Warren Cuccurullo tells me: “Me, Arthur and Tommy have hooked up again over the last few months...been filming and recording jams every couple of weeks...Andy Kravitz is on drums and Larry Klimas on tenor...it's sounding really great...we should be getting some clips up on YouTube soon...Arthur wants to call it the Venice Chamber Orchestra or the Theoretical Five...also, my Chicanery project got signed to dPulse/Universal...out in April...” Exciting or what?...heard The Artisan Acetate yet?...Crossfire Publications has revised some of its downloads (because the licensing period for some of the tracks was coming to an end): so check out the new versions of Welcome Back Geronimo Black, Where’s My Waitress? and It’s All Bunk! One of Jimmy Carl Black’s final recordings (I believe his very last was the vocal for his duet with Candy Zappa on Stolen Cadillac, recorded in July 2008 and premiered at A Concert For Jimmy the week after his death) can now be purchased as part of artist Peregrine Honig’s Widow project – see below and here for more.
…suddenly available from Cordelia Records…