ZPZ: Afraid Of Europeans?

Just had a look at ZPZ’s 2008 tourdates. While there’s loads of US gigs, the European chapter of the tour has been limited to this:

  • Jul 13, ’08 – Rotterdam, NETHERLANDS — North Sea Jazz Festival
  • Jul 15, ’08 – Milan, ITALY — Villa Arconati
  • Jul 16, ’08 – Madrid, SPAIN — Veranos de la Villa
  • Jul 18, ’08 – Barcelona, SPAIN — Palua de la Musica
  • Jul 19, ’08 – Berne, SWITZERLAND — Gurtenfestival

Not only is it obvious that ZPZ are blissfully steering clear of Frank’s traditional European fanbase (Germany, France, the UK, Scandinavia, Belgium, the Baltics – Holland being the exception to the rule), on top of that ZPZ have chosen the safe route by playing festivals.

What’s the matter Dweez? Us Euro’s scaring you now? I wonder why.

Post Scriptum: you gotta love the way us Euro fans were basically used as guinea pigs when the first ZPZ tour was put on the rails.

– PR Guy: “Let’s see if it sticks with them Ol’ Country folk first. Like it or not: yer dad always had more of a following there, so it’s the sensible thing to do. If it sticks, we take this tour back to the US”
– Dweez: “Ya think?”
– PR Guy: “Trust me. Been there, done that. With a bit of luck, them Euro’s are gonna rave about you guys all over the internet. Then we hit the US. Money in the pocket.”
(cue appreciative GS nodding)
– Dweez: “Mom, whadda you think?”

… and the rest, as they say, is history.

42 Responses to “ZPZ: Afraid Of Europeans?”

  1. Birdman! says:

    Don’t take it personally. It’s probably a money thing, and at festivals, they’ll play for a totally different non-Zappa initiiated audience, which is a part of their stated plan.

  2. urbangraffito says:

    Where is Project/Object when you need ’em, Barry? Or The Muffin Men? Or Viva Zappa? Or have all these bands gone into hiding or on hiatus? Or do they just perform one gig a year: Zappanale? Huh?

  3. Jim says:

    Now, that’s not really fair. They’re also skipping the entire left coast out here in new world.

  4. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    Birdman: I’m not taking it personally — I’m actually finding it funny.

    Last year, and the year before that, ZPZ did not do festivals in Europe (correct me if I’m wrong) — they owned their own gigs instead. My entirely uneducated guess is: the Dweez (and by extension ZPZ) are painfully aware of the whole ZFT vs Zappanale débacle (not to mention the whole KUR C & D affair), and so they’re chickening out. A money thing indeed: it’s not profitable to play around these parts right now — they’d probably be boo’ed off the stage from all I can tell. Solution? Play festivals, attended by people who are not at all aware of the ZFT’s moves, ZPZ, or what’s going on behind the curtains at Gail Towers.

  5. Birdman! says:

    I’m guessing that the ZFT is oblivious to the idea that C&D letters would cost them fans and are instead looking purely at the bottom line. As a thought experiment, forget for a moment that we are talking about the ZFT and ponder the inscrutable economics of owning (and having to organize) their own gigs, fly themselves and gear across the Atlantic vs. piggybacking on festivals and “reaching a new audience” and sell ZPZ DVDs. I’m no economist, but the former option seems more profitable, and they’ll probably do a European tour after generating cash from merch sales at festivals.
    It’s interesting to hear that they’d get boo’ed off the stage in Europe. I definitely don’t get the feeling that would happen in the states (where I live).

    Footnote – I’ve never seen ZPZ play.

  6. Birdman! says:

    D’oh!!! I meant the latter, festival option seems more profitable.

  7. Sharleena says:

    [quote comment=”1104″]
    It’s interesting to hear that they’d get boo’ed off the stage in Europe. I definitely don’t get the feeling that would happen in the states (where I live).
    [/quote]

    There is a chance that that could happen, but nobody can say. Certainly they managed to piss off a good part of the fans, but not everyone.
    Me, i wouldn’t “boo” them, but i’ve lost all the motivation to listen to them…

  8. urbangraffito says:

    No guests (besides Ray White). No Zappa alumni. No Thanks.

  9. Hans says:

    [quote comment=”1108″]No guests (besides Ray White). No Zappa alumni. No Thanks.[/quote]

    ZPZ at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam? That, my dear virtual Zappa friends, is a BIG mistake. It is a festival where the performers perform old tricks for an audience who are there to talk about mortgages and insurance policies.

  10. Dave says:

    We’re pretty psyched to have ZPZ at the Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport. WPKN is broadcasting the festival again this year, and it will be interesting to see if Dweezil signs the broadcast agreement so we can carry his set.

  11. urbangraffito says:

    [quote comment=”1110″][quote comment=”1108″]No guests (besides Ray White). No Zappa alumni. No Thanks.[/quote]

    ZPZ at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam? That, my dear virtual Zappa friends, is a BIG mistake. It is a festival where the performers perform old tricks for an audience who are there to talk about mortgages and insurance policies.[/quote]

    I saw ZPZ last November with very much the same line up. Expensive. Sloppy. Why would I pay for such an overpriced, under-rehearsed show again?

  12. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    [quote comment=”1104″]ponder the inscrutable economics of owning (and having to organize) their own gigs, fly themselves and gear across the Atlantic vs. piggybacking on festivals and “reaching a new audience” and sell ZPZ DVDs. I’m no economist, but the former option seems more profitable[/quote]
    They’ve been playing “their own gigs” for the last two years. They’re still doing it in the US — it’s Europe that’s been thrown out of the equation all of a sudden this year — shortly after GS has managed to upset just about any Zappa fan with her C&D crap. Unprofitability you say? Well yes, I guess that is the “netto” consequence…

  13. peter says:

    This entry comes off as terribly petty. Didn’t I read somewhere that European dates are to be scheduled later in the year? And why do you care? Would you actually attend a ZPZ show?

  14. Reuben F. Tourettes says:

    Are there any Birtish tour dates?
    Ruby
    XoX

  15. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    [quote comment=”1117″]Didn’t I read somewhere that European dates are to be scheduled later in the year?[/quote]
    Is that a question or a statement?
    [quote comment=”1117″]And why do you care? Would you actually attend a ZPZ show?[/quote]
    I have in 2006 and 2007. Whether I will in 2008, well: good question indeed.

  16. jeroen says:

    I’ve seen ZPZ in Holland twice and loved it both times.
    But no: not the North Sea Jazz Festival. It’s soo frooking expensive. I was there once for Mike Keneally. Close to €60 for an hour of music. I just don’t like the main stream jazz they have there and I get all kinds of horrible rashes due to the mainstream jazz lovers. Not my crowd. So we came in at 17.30, Mike started at 18.00 and at 19.30 we were on our way home. I only do that for Mike (right, and for FZ were he to reappear).

    Bummer! I hope this was a simple mistake.

    And speaking of Mike and ZPZ, dit you read this:

    SS: Coincidentally, both Dweezil and Steve are involved in the Zappa Plays Zappa shows that have been taking place for the last couple of years. I’ve yet to see it, but from all accounts it makes for a great show and a faithful tribute to Frank’s music. Were you approached about being involved? Have you managed to catch a show?

    MK: I was involved in the early stages, helping Dweezil to learn several of the more complicated pieces in the repertoire.

    The interview is at http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/artist-reviews-interviews/55975-sevenstring-org-interview-mike-keneally.html

  17. urbangraffito says:

    Quite frankly, when ZPZ first emerged, like a lot of other fans of FZ’s music, I was excited. Their line-up of special guests was spectacular: Terry Bozzio, Steve Vai, etc. Their set list was equally fantastic. Now? Whatever excitement there was for me is long gone, replaced by this uneasy feeling that I’ve been both fleeced and chumped with a substandard product when the expectation was for a much better one. I would much rather lay down the sort of cash their asking for the likes of Banned from Utopia (who have spent their career playing FZ’s music) instead of recent music school graduates.

  18. xorg says:

    I couldn’t care less what ZPZ does or doesn’t do.

  19. brett says:

    [quote comment=”1115″][quote comment=”1110″][quote comment=”1108″]No guests (besides Ray White). No Zappa alumni. No Thanks.[/quote]

    ZPZ at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam? That, my dear virtual Zappa friends, is a BIG mistake. It is a festival where the performers perform old tricks for an audience who are there to talk about mortgages and insurance policies.[/quote]

    I saw ZPZ last November with very much the same line up. Expensive. Sloppy. Why would I pay for such an overpriced, under-rehearsed show again?[/quote]

    Far be it from me to defend the ZFT, but how can you call ZPZ “sloppy”? That is the last thing they are. My definition of sloppy: Project/Object. I think you’re letting your hatred of the ZFT cloud your ears.

  20. urbangraffito says:

    Hatred of the ZFT clouding my ears? Far from it. My expectations are just a little higher than your ordinary concert goer, brett. I don’t know what your ZPZ concert experience was like, but the one I attended was full of technical fuck ups, miscues, and the performers themselves appeared bored playing the material. Project/Object may not be note for note perfect in their renderings, but night in, night out, they are genuinely enthusiastic performers of FZ material (combine that with the relative inexpensive cost of seeing them, I’m far more willing to overlook their sloppiness).

  21. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    [quote comment=”1123″]Far be it from me to defend the ZFT, but how can you call ZPZ “sloppy”? That is the last thing they are. My definition of sloppy: Project/Object.[/quote]
    ZPZ are no doubt superior on a technical level. While that is a great achievement and I sincerely commend them for it, ZPZ’s (increasingly showing) weakness is a lack of heart and soul. Specifically, during the ’07 tour, they struck me as proverbial rabbits caught in proverbial headlights: anxiously coloring within the lines, avoiding risk at all cost. All neat and perfect, achieving what they set out to do brilliantly (to replicate FZ to the point of perfection) — thereby paradoxically becoming a bit of a bore. I want to hear a perfect replica of the album version? I’ll listen to the album, thank you very much.

    It’s all about the eyebrows… and I’ve come to realize that, sadly, ZPZ just simply does not cut it in that department.

  22. Rob says:

    True, its all in the eyebrows. I’m surprised she hasn’t trademarked them, too!

  23. brett says:

    [quote comment=”1127″][quote comment=”1123″]Far be it from me to defend the ZFT, but how can you call ZPZ “sloppy”? That is the last thing they are. My definition of sloppy: Project/Object.[/quote]
    ZPZ are no doubt superior on a technical level. While that is a great achievement and I sincerely commend them for it, ZPZ’s (increasingly showing) weakness is a lack of heart and soul. Specifically, during the ’07 tour, they struck me as proverbial rabbits caught in proverbial headlights: anxiously coloring within the lines, avoiding risk at all cost. All neat and perfect, achieving what they set out to do brilliantly (to replicate FZ to the point of perfection) — thereby paradoxically becoming a bit of a bore. I want to hear a perfect replica of the album version? I’ll listen to the album, thank you very much.

    It’s all about the eyebrows… and I’ve come to realize that, sadly, ZPZ just simply does not cut it in that department.[/quote]

    I agree with you. This is the weakness of ZPZ: they stick too closely to the album renditions (something that is, in my opinion, completely contrary to how Zappa approached live performance.) But from a technical standpoint, ZPZ is right on.

  24. urbangraffito says:

    Let’s be serious. ZPZ exists for one reason: to make as much money as possible for the ZFT. No matter how one colors it (within the lines, or out), it’s about creating a new product out of old material, repackaged and targeted at a younger demographic (who can then be sold the entire FZ catalogue piecemeal). Why else all the legal wrangling? All the C & D letters? The Trust (and that includes Dweezil) is positioning itself as the sole distributor and information center for everything Zappa for the next generation. Other adult children of famous musicians, who are also musicians (like Tricia Whitley and Jordon Zevon, for instance who have their own musical careers) don’t hit the road for years touring their parent’s music like Dweezil does. One tour? Okay. Two? Fine. Three or more? Isn’t that starting to become something of an industry?

  25. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    [quote comment=”1131″]it’s about creating a new product out of old material, repackaged and targeted at a younger demographic (who can then be sold the entire FZ catalogue piecemeal).[/quote]
    Well obviously… yes — there’s nothing wrong with that though is there? I mean your description sounds like a definition of YCDTOSA to me.

    It’s the execution we’re talking about here, as well as the behind-the-scenes shenanigans…

    [quote comment=”1131″]Why else all the legal wrangling? All the C & D letters? The Trust (and that includes Dweezil) is positioning itself as the sole distributor and information center for everything Zappa for the next generation.[/quote]
    Agreed, and that I do take offense to. There’s this old tale that basically says: you can make your hand a fist, one that tries to hold on to the sand. The sand will fall. You can also turn your fist upward, open up the palm of your hand, and the sand in your palm — it will stay there, for all to see.

  26. brett says:

    [quote comment=”1131″]Let’s be serious. ZPZ exists for one reason: to make as much money as possible for the ZFT. No matter how one colors it (within the lines, or out), it’s about creating a new product out of old material, repackaged and targeted at a younger demographic (who can then be sold the entire FZ catalogue piecemeal). Why else all the legal wrangling? All the C & D letters? The Trust (and that includes Dweezil) is positioning itself as the sole distributor and information center for everything Zappa for the next generation. Other adult children of famous musicians, who are also musicians (like Tricia Whitley and Jordon Zevon, for instance who have their own musical careers) don’t hit the road for years touring their parent’s music like Dweezil does. One tour? Okay. Two? Fine. Three or more? Isn’t that starting to become something of an industry?[/quote]

    Okay, but keep in mind how much work goes into learning Zappa’s material (particularly on the guitar). There are certainly easier things for Dweezil to do. He probably wouldn’t want to do only one tour, especially since there are more pieces to learn and include in future tours. All in all, I think ZPZ is a great thing, it’s only unfortunate that the ZFT has ruined it by their activities relating to cover bands and fan websites.

  27. Rob says:

    Sure, Dweezil’s a great guitar player, but I don’t know of any famous musician’s offspring that play nothing but their parent’s tunes. I know he’s written his own stuff, but I’ve never heard anything moe than 30 second sound bites.
    As it is, ZPZ is still nothing more than an up-scale tribute band, and if I’m gonna spend that kind of money for a concert, I want to hear and see something other than note-for-note covers, no matter how well executed.

  28. Carlin says:

    This site is turning into a hate site. A handful of persons who feel ripped off and vent their disgust at anything Zappa. Please, editor, take a deep breath and quit this private vendetta. Go get upset about the real world for while. Sure, the C&D letter was idiotic but GZ will clamp down on anyone with a zappa song to download, but that’s not equal to humiliating your mother or WW3. Sit tight, relax and blow your harmonica and look forward to the new releases that will blow you away jes like Buffalo and Wazoo just did.

  29. panda joe says:

    A hate site?

    Really?

    Really?

  30. Rob says:

    I, for one, don’t hate anybody directly involved in the Z world! Why waste time?
    Yet, as an admirer of the man for over 40 years (and a paying consumer of most of his products from the 1st vinyl LPs to the the CDs & DVDa’s pre-ordered through B-S), I resent the trust’s lack of open communication with those of us who are/were just in it for the music, and just want to learn & share knowledge of the finest in alternative entertainment.
    Frank was never one to shy away from giving info about future projects; even it they didn’t actually see the light of day…

  31. urbangraffito says:

    Strange how some quarters cannot take a little honest criticism without declaring KUR a hate site. By the way, Carlin, watch your use of that word: hate. It may come back and bite you.

  32. Hugh says:

    If you want a “hate site” go check out the nonsense on the zappa foum.
    As far as my opinion on ZPZ, I’ve seen them 4 times (2 in ’06 & 2 in ’07). The 2006 tour was great, especially the special guest. In 2007 the first show i saw really blew. I felt the lack of Nappy, Terry & Steve really effected the energy level. The 2nd show was HAlloween night @ the Beacon. A little bit better but again w/o Nappy and the boys (sorry RAy I still love your singing though) it just felt kind of flat.
    I’ll wait for some reviews before I invest in another lackluster performance. I will not pay those high prices for a repeat of last year.

  33. chiggen says:

    so many dumb people condensed to one site 🙂
    5000 at the concert a few dont agree that is pretty good 🙂
    this site seems to keep all those zappa people contained which have some sort a problem since GZ and DZ want do there WILL .
    SHAME ON YOU GAIL ZAPPA !
    If i would have known how to manipulate people with my ugly opinions
    earlier in this life time i would have made it much further—
    this all i can handle from KUR — SEE YOU LATER
    before this rubs of —

  34. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    [quote comment=”1683″]before this rubs of —[/quote]
    I guess the door linguistically bumped him on his way out.

  35. Joe ntj says:

    how did I miss THIS thread?

  36. urbangraffito says:

    [quote comment=”1690″]how did I miss THIS thread?[/quote]

    Where have you been Joe ntj? If a tree falls in the forest, do you hear it? If a thread is written, do you hear the scribble of the quill? Where would KUR be without your cute little quips?

  37. Scarecrow says:

    [quote comment=”1683″]…zappa people contained…[/quote]

    …a zappa people concentration camp. I wish I’d thought of that!

  38. geir says:

    [comment deleted at the request of its author]

  39. James says:

    Just FYI, ZPZ will never be boo’d for the music. This band is PHENOMENAL. If you hear anything else, it is sour grapes. I’ve seen them 9 times now, and it just gets better. Dweezil is as good as Dad(I hate to say it). I doubt this band fears being boo’d by anybody!!

    But I agree, shame on the family. We are the people who are suffering(only other FZ fans can understand suffering from a lack of FZ live music).

  40. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    [quote comment=”2059″]Just FYI, ZPZ will never be boo’d for the music.[/quote]
    You’re right. Nobody would pay $115 just to boo a band — those who disagree with ZFT tactics just simply wouldn’t show up…

    [quote comment=”2059″]This band is PHENOMENAL.[/quote]
    From a technical point of view they’re outstanding, as I’ve said before. The eyebrows are sorely missing though…

  41. ton says:

    [quote post=”113″]Carlin says:
    May 12th, 2008 at 11:31 pm » Quote
    This site is turning into a hate site. A handful of persons who feel ripped off and vent their disgust at anything Zappa. Please, editor, take a deep breath and quit this private vendetta. Go get upset about the real world for while. Sure, the C&D letter was idiotic but GZ will clamp down on anyone with a zappa song to download, but that’s not equal to humiliating your mother or WW3. Sit tight, relax and blow your harmonica and look forward to the new releases that will blow you away jes like Buffalo and Wazoo just did.[/quote]

    FINALLY a sensible person here. My God, such negativism.
    You might now agree with whatever Gail and Dweezil do, you may not like any of it. But some remarks here are beyond the rediculous. If the only objective would be MAKING A LOT OF MONEY surely DZ wouldn’t have spent two years of his life learning to play the guitar in such a way that he can cope with the difficult music of FZ. They would just release another bunch of BEAT THE BOOTS sets, which would definitely sell, without any kind of work having to be done.

    GZ gets all kinds of hatefull remarks for not releasing what the peope want, like the Roxy DVD’s. How is it then that nobody cursed Frank for not releasing that material???

    Come on, grow up and get a life.
    If some of the people here are examplary for claiming to know everything about Zappa and, more so, claiming Zappa himself I can understand a lot more of the clamping up of Gail. Who would want their deceased spouce fall into the hands of such cretins??

    For me this would be enough to just quit and never release anything again anymore.

  42. terje says:

    resurrecting a thread without a post since august and quoting someone from last may?

    you should have waited until november 2021 to respond when this debate will really be jumping!

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