Ray White Leaves Zappa Plays Zappa

… and not a lot of ink was spilled over it either, apparently — Dweezil Z:

He doesn’t answer any of his phones and they all say they are disconnected. Is he suddenly in the witness protection program? What has happened? We decide to look at our e-mails. I had one in my in box from Ray.

Ready for the hilarious punchline? Ray quit via e-mail with no advance “romance” notice whatsoever.

The band will be performing as 6 piece band – “until we find a few musical compatriots that will complement our line up“. The days of Zappa alumni joining ZPZ on stage are gone, or so it seems.

62 Responses to “Ray White Leaves Zappa Plays Zappa”

  1. LRonHoover says:

    i bet a hundred bucks ray had a good reason.

  2. Jamez says:

    Didn’t Ray suddenly vanish from the ’88 tour rehearsals too? What’s the story behind the ‘mysterious phone call’ back then, and what are his reasons for quitting ZPZ now? Anybody know?

  3. evaristo says:

    A quote from evaristo:

    We decide to look at our e-mails.

    By the way he phrases it, it sounds like e-mail is seen as an outlandish and still rather surprising invention over at ZFT Central. Which sort of explains quite a lot.

  4. Bálint says:

    Yes, it sort of reminds me the rumors about the 88 tour. Strange.

    *

    Heyy – how about Mr. Ahmet Zappa?… . I’m just asking.

  5. epistrophy says:

    Bang goes the only reason I wanted to see ZPZ for a 2nd time.
    I saw them with Napi, missed my chance to see Ray, damn.

  6. Sterbus says:

    …it would be so fun to see Ricky Lancellotti on board, I guess his arm is ok now :)

  7. peter says:

    Dweezil is incredibly annoying. He whines ever so cutely and then goes onto say: well, we always planned to ditch the schmuck, so who gives a shit? He’s lucky Ray even e-mailed him.

  8. Harry Barris says:

    Pretty sure Ricky Lancellotti “isn’t with us anymore”.

    Time to make that call to IKE!!

  9. Kevin Hoover says:

    “Didn’t Ray suddenly vanish from the ‘88 tour rehearsals too? “

    When Ray played Arcata one time I asked him about that – Frank’s story that Ray had to hurry back to Oakland because his house had been burglarized. He professed no knowledge of that incident.

    So ZPZ needs a keyboard and guitar player who knows Frank music inside out? Two words:

    Mike Keneally.

    I guess it will never happen, but obviously not because Mike couldn’t handle the role. Also, it would be rather supremely cool, in that Ray’s ’88 dropout was what got Mike into Frank’s band back then too.

  10. abe says:

    the post was on april fools day. but i doubt it was a joke. maybe ZPZ just needs to take a break.

  11. Kevin Hoover says:

    I guess I should read up on stuff before I spew.

    Let me write that down… let’s see… read, THEN spew… got it.

    Dweezil’s plan to proceed as a core band sounds like a good one. I bet it will make them work harder and continue to grow, rather than being able to luxuriate in the full regalia of the mini-orchestra.

    And yet one can still ponder dream lineups, can’t one?

  12. Boy from Town says:

    Time to give ZPZ a break so they can focus on getting out Frank Zappa releases more often. They need at least 1 good singer, so I don’t think they will be very interesting as a 6 piece.

  13. Alex says:

    A quote from Harry Barris:

    Pretty sure Ricky Lancellotti “isn’t with us anymore”.

    Time to make that call to IKE!!

    HA! Funniest thing I’ve read all day…

    No, but seriously. This is good news.

  14. Alex says:

    By the way, that was me. I put the wrong email for Gravatar.

  15. Alex says:

    What the Hell? No avatar…hmm..

  16. Hugh says:

    It’s seems much too dark for a spring afternoon. The clouds bulge
    with moisture on this overcast day in the park. As the first drops
    of rain come pelting down from the sky, we hear a mother
    confront her child . . .
    “. . . give the ball to your brother. Now!”
    “No! It’s mine!”
    “Dweezil, nobody wants to play with you anymore,
    so it’s time to give Ahmet a turn!”
    “Waaaaaaa!”
    “Here Ahmet, you play with the ZPZ ball, but don’t break it!
    I don’t have money for another one.”
    “Thanks mom. I’ll be careful. Hmm . . . how would Tom Jones
    play with this ball (insert bubble over head)?
    “Mom? When do we get our turn?”
    “Have patience girls. This is a family business.
    Everyone gets a try.”

  17. Paul Sempschi says:

    Reminds me of how Zappa dropped the 69 line up of the Mothers…

    Though if Ray dropped out the way he dropped out, it was very classy of Dweez to make that public. I’m surprised he didnt present the email in his blog.

    Re: dropping the alumni from the ZPZ… I certainly HOPE it’s an April Fool’s slip… though I’ve always considered the ZPZ project to be secondary to the release of unheard Zappa recordings. The fact that their touring takes away from the production of new releases has always been a source of frustration (for me, at least).

  18. omydognes says:

    Oh my SHIT!!!
    Ray White isn’t singing with ZPZ?

    Whatever shall we DOOO???
    Why ever should we CARE???

    Hey! Lindsay Lohan isn’t singing with
    ZPZ either, and she’s much awesomer
    than Ray White.

  19. urbangraffito says:

    Everyday, and in every way, I’m loving the Grande Mothers more and more. Classy, classy, classy. Full of class.

  20. peter says:

    A quote from omydognes:

    Oh my SHIT!!!
    Ray White isn’t singing with ZPZ?

    Whatever shall we DOOO???
    Why ever should we CARE???

    Hey! Lindsay Lohan isn’t singing with
    ZPZ either, and she’s much awesomer
    than Ray White.

    This sounds like Dweezil in the bathroom, not the fans.

  21. SOFA - Philostopher/Chef says:

    A quote from Kevin Hoover:

    “Didn’t Ray suddenly vanish from the ‘88 tour rehearsals too? “

    When Ray played Arcata one time I asked him about that – Frank’s story that Ray had to hurry back to Oakland because his house had been burglarized. He professed no knowledge of that incident.

    I asked Ray the same question at the Zappafest in 2000. He said that he had gotten a call that the cops had “planted” some coke at his place, and were staking out the place for his return. Apparently, he arranged for some associates to clean up before he physically returned…
    He then went on about his son who’s 6′ 6″ (or something) with a size 16 shoe, who’d rather read than play basketball.
    It was an odd conversation.

  22. metafunj says:

    so basically he was busted for coke back then.

  23. profusion says:

    I’m really glad I got to see Ray White perform with ZPZ, since I never got to see him sing with Frank back in the day. As for why he left, I’m sure he has his reasons. No need for me to speculate.

    Prediction–LOTS of guitar solos on the upcoming tour of Asia.

  24. SOFA - Philostopher/Chef says:

    A quote from metafunj:

    so basically he was busted for coke back then.

    What? Dude! I didn’t even imply any such thing…
    Ray said he was being set-up, and he handled it without altercation.
    Whatever the real story, I took his commentary to mean that he left without a warning because, had the drug “thing” actually occurred, he would have been fired anyway. A way of saving face, perhaps?
    Frankly, the best part of our talk was about his boy – he was visually proud…
    Oh yeah, Ray’s set that afternoon ROCKED!

  25. hippo chick says:

    iam sure he be back……………

  26. Central S says:

    May Ray have free time next summer and spend some time with us at Zappanale #20 !

  27. Andre/Project Object says:

    Yeah… another chapter.

    Folks — it;s pretty simple, IMHO.

    1. OF COURSE the ZPZ band will be more than capable, will play the hell outta those tunes, they are killer musicians, I envy their setup – they can rehearse 8 hr days for WEEKS on end, and it shows.

    2. OF COURSE DZ will now say “We don’t need alumni”..AFTER having them help him build the new brand….and sell tickets. That’s cool. I just wish the Kool-aid drinkin’ fans could see that as clearly as it is.

    The key is — why can’t some people have BOTH concepts in their little minds AT THE SAME TIME???- that ZPZ may be a great band etc ..and ALSO that DZ/GZ are abusive and duplicitous to the Nth degree. Both could be true — and in fact ARE.

    Bottom line– there are a couple artists — Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, Frank Zappa —whose sidemen transcended mere sidemen. They almost ALL went on to be absolute paradigm-shifters on their instruments. And that is why GZDZ is so, so , very wrong when they hurl invective and snide, hateful remarks abt and at the alumni…THESE GUYS (AND A COUPLE GALS) HELPED MAKE THE MUSIC WHAT IT WAS …period!! Frank even integrated many of their ideas, from the Mothers days all the way to 1988, as any good band leader ends up doing.

    The ALUMNI ARE CRUCIAL to understanding the magic of Zappa — no one will ever change my mind, or the minds of 1000s of fans – on that clear point. These people brought their individual skills to the music…and still do when they perform with my band or countless others like Bogus Pomp, Ed Palermo, School of Rock, URR, Sex w/out Nails, Sheik Yerbouti, Muffin Men, Les Polissons, Central Scrutinizer, etc etc…

    So– go see ZPZ, as i have ALWAYS SUGGESTED. It’s live Zappa music by a good cover band, that happens to have a guy with Frank’s DNA, and that of some groupie (fact). Go support anyone doing FZ music, despite GZDZ’s attacks on everyone. But don’t buy into the nonsense. Take a look at the VERY LONG LIST at this point of fucked up stuff GZDZ has done – the lame lawsuits, the name calling, trying to stop statues and street-namings, encouraging violent staff members, you name it.

    I’m amazed there are people who just parrot endlessly that we should give GZDZ the benefit of the doubt..go back and study the history of ZPZ…the fucked up Flo & Eddie misinformation for the first tour, the messy stuff when they parted ways with Napi (and said the same kind of “well he wasn’t integral anyway, after featuring him in a DVD they sell..)…go look it up folks — and ask yourself why at least THREE key people have all left or been terminated in a 10 day period.

    You’d be nuts to keep saying “Well GZDZ must have good reason”

    Support the alumni, they are our living connection to some of the most amazing music of the 20th century. See them when you can, it’s living history. And be suspect of someone who GLADLY used their names to SELL TICKETS and then DISSES THEM HARD (even when they weren’t even in the band, a la Flo & Eddie).

    Be suspect of people who rail against “disrespecting the intent of the composer” while doing the music of a guy (FZ) who routinely (and wonderfully) quoted, re-shaped and re-formatted WITHOUT PERMISSION the music of the Beatles, Hendrix, Cream , Holst, Stravinsky, Yes, Santana, Richard Berry, Devo, Scorpions, Micheal Jackson, Henry Mancini, Herbie Hancock, The Seeds, The Doors, and ON AND ON.

  28. metafunj says:

    Yeh I totally agree Andre. Frank not only did these covers, quotes and rearrangements, but he had a record collection containing ::gasp:: stolen R&B singles and yet somehow he managed to hate bootleggers. Who are the brain police?

    BTW I saw you guys in Boston in 2003, twas a fun time. The opener “sinister footwear” solo was nasty!

  29. Roland says:

    Andre´s opinion sounds reasonable to me. Don´t you be terrified, it´s just a token of their extreme …

  30. Andre/Project Object says:

    Thanks for understanding. I try to come from a place that acknowledges the facts that have gone on, and the behavior displayed by GZDZ.

    BTW: I propose referring to either of them that way , since they have become one big negative-decision-making lawyer-enriching entity.

    He can’t make a move without her — and she can’t get new revenue without him. They both line up on the same page to attack, debase, insult, harass and lie about alumni, and bands who legally do the music of frank zappa. Etc etc.

    But in my haste above— I forgot to say THE OBVIOUS and feel I must say it here, since GZDZ will possibly misquote me AGAIN at some point. And we KNOW they and their moles read this blog, as well as zappateers, Dr dot, and all the other blogs. They are paranoid to the Nth degree about what people think of them, which you usually become when you are hell-bent on spewing out negative energy.

    So let me say — even tho’ logic and the truth support the fact taht Frank indeed grabbed an idea here and there from his alumni—and CLEARLY took his writing in new directions when he had “funky singers” or “stunt guitarists” or etc etc..FRANK WAS A GENIUS, and wrote some amazing music, tons of it. He had the mind that COMBINED these ideas, his and those integrated in from the excellent band members..

    Frank –always should get that credit, but remember he was also influenced and soaked up ideas and concepts around him. But Frank of course wrote brilliant, amazing melodies and pieces. I wanted to make clear that of course I know that.

    But my CENTRAL THEME always – is to point out that Frank USED OTHER PEOPLE’s RELEASED/COPYWRITTEN MUSICAL THEMES all the time..and most of the time did not even CREDIT it….nor is their evidence he asked permission.

    At least all of us musicians doing HIS music — clearly say it is HIS MUSIC. Then there is the whole ‘sargeant pepper album cover parody’ mess..where the beatles were NOT happy with the WOIIFTM cover…..hence the parody ended up on the INSIDE rather than the COVER as FZ wanted.

    So– GZDZ live(d) in a house BOUGHT AND PAID for by money gotten in part from…playing other people’s music with impunity, no credit and no record of payments being made.

    BTW_- if you haven’t seen it – check youtube for THE SEEDS :pushing too hard” — you’ll hear where the robot lines come from in SY BORG

  31. Sterbus says:

    So now I’ve my own connection with FZ, having once jammed with Sky Saxon of The Seeds !!!

  32. Plooker says:

    Wow, it sounds like GZDZ spend most of their time at Super Weenie Hut Junior’s. (I hope Spongebob does not sue me). Also Andre’s band kicked it out with Ike, Ed and Don a couple months ago. Seahag was killer on bass, come again soon.

    BTW, Boy From Town, I am pretty sure that Sheila can sing (and play) cirlces around just about anyone.

  33. andre the hippo chick says:

    andre if i just could have been franks son :) weeeeeeeeeeeee
    how ever it happened and happens that people leave a band i just never seen anyone like you who exploids the happenings at zappa the way you do …………you should have stayed in connection with zappa when you had the chance now you run them down in front of a whole 32 people from whom 20 dont care 8 agree whit your till tomorrow 4 disagree in the mean time i used that tie to write my own music …………i tell diva not to ditch dates anymore………………so you want have to be angry ……at them the rift with you and zappas my never be fixable ……. so think love is the best then sheetrock ahhh ya music lol

  34. andre the hippo chick says:

    time

  35. Andre/Project Object says:

    In the fact check department:

    - I called Ray White today to wish him well – nothing more , and all his phones rang. He didn’t answer — and no machine picked up–but He returned my call from two of them. So– this misinformation that “Ray’s phones are off” is complete nonsense, but not a surprise. Now — we have all had a phone be off for a day or two, but ALL THREE NUMBERS??

    OK.

  36. Chris Marsh says:

    I love what Andre/Project Object wrote. I know nothing of the Dweez as a person (though I dislike a lot of what I’ve read) but my first hand dealings with Gail were rather less than happy. Because of Gail and her behaviour I (a Zappa fan for over 30 years) am happy to buy ANY Zappa music that comes from anywhere other than the ZFT. I will make sure that not another penny of my money goes to that bunch.

  37. pet a llama says:

    A quote from Chris Marsh:

    …happy to buy ANY Zappa music that comes from anywhere other than the ZFT…

    wanna buy a beer?

  38. Andre/Project Object says:

    A quote from andre the hippo chick:

    andre if i just could have been franks son :) weeeeeeeeeeeee
    how ever it happened and happens that people leave a band i just never seen anyone like you who exploids the happenings at zappa the way you do …………you should have stayed in connection with zappa when you had the chance now you run them down in front of a whole 32 people from whom 20 dont care 8 agree whit your till tomorrow 4 disagree in the mean time i used that tie to write my own music …………i tell diva not to ditch dates anymore………………so you want have to be angry ……at them the rift with you and zappas my never be fixable ……. so think love is the best then sheetrock ahhh ya music lol

    let me try to address this (kind of hard to read, with all due respect) post.

    1. I love when people try to characterize the behavior of these people by stating that part by part, ‘this stuff happens’ in the real world. Well — in a vacuum, yes. But to say that ignores the COUNTLESS other stuff of just the last 10 years or so. You have to tie it all together. There;’s a major, clear, abusive pattern here. I have been a major target of them for too many fuckin’ years, so for me the years of fucked up behavior just all fits into one big picture.

    2. “Stayed in connection with zappa when you had the chance” . I have NO CLUE what you mean by this. Anyone can connect with any artist by simply deeply getting into all aspects of their music. I’ve done that for decades. As have many of the people reading this. I have had, nor do I need, nor ever, ever, ever want – any kind of connection with that part of the family. Not with the shitstorm history of stuff that they have done, and keep doing to people, Check the facts, my friend. I’m just on the sidelines, doing my tiny part to shine a light on lies.

    3. I’m not “running anyone down” , just stating the facts. Challenge them. Here or in a court of law. I dare anyone. I only state stuff I have experienced or have fact-checked. Beside the fact that the number of people who POST has NOTHING to do with the number who BROWSE and read those posts -I also don’t care if…1, 2 , or 3 people read this!! I like to write sometimes, and once or twice a year when their shenanigans need exposing, I jump in with perspective and facts since I’m privy to so many angles of their tactics, and have been personally the subject of so many of their attacks that I know their definition of ‘truth’.

    4. “… the rift with you and zappas my never be fixable..” see #2, who cares??? This is no ‘rift’ my friend. They HATE ME…..since i have championed alumni for so many years, gotten many of them out of retirement, and also since I have always performed Frank Zappa’s music LEGALLY and will continue to , and to encourage others to do so. They HATE ME…..because I have always unconditionally supported and hired Ike Willis, a close friend and brother for almost 25 yrs now. They HATE HIM……and generate all kinds of spin about the guy –

    It’s funny – the universal attack on Ike , and you can see DZGZ and the kool-aid drinkers who post at zappa.com already hinting at Ray’s “drug problems”… Now I can;t speak to the drug use of either of those guys here and now – but Ask yourself this– don’t all these cunts consider Keith Richards and Slash etc charming and oh-so rock n roll ..for doing truckloads of drugs?? Somehow that is relevant in 2009?? Assholes.

    Anyway – as far as doing the music live –The laws of the USA stand strong in our favor, and in the favor of EVERY band that covers ac/dc, beatles, stones, gun n roses, Abba, mozart, the who, coltrane, zeppelin, you name it. There’s nothing to fix.

    -I don’t break the law re: Zappa music
    -I have NEVER downloaded an illegal Zappa track, but I don’t see why people shouldn’t, in 2009. Sure – back in the day I bought bootlegs, but then I bought all the albums and the beat-the boots.
    -My band has always celebrated the PEOPLE WHO MADE THE ALBUMS and DID THE TOURS. I’m sorry, that’s just what we do. It’s not for everyone!! and I respect that. But for those of you who it is FOR — well then this the band to support.

    You wanna see that guy who kicked your ass onstage at the Zappa show in 1979?? Come see us.
    You want the guy who played on that fave Zappa/Mothers album from 1975?? Come see us.
    You want the guy on the cover of your fave Mothers album?? Come see us. etc.

    Now — it’s totally cool that some bands want to have NO ALUMNI AT ALL, and now walk around pretending ludicrously “THAT’s WHAT WE ALWAYS WANTED – NO ALUMNI”, after selling a mountain of tickets on the basis of …you would see THE ALUMNI. Are they seriously so confused abt the biz that they see no correlation between the low ticket sales of the last two years — and the abscence of giants like Napoleon Murphy Brock, Steve Vai, and Terry Bozzio??

    If people want to see them without any alumni – totally cool!! It’s all different takes on Zappa’s great music, which is great. They sound awesome, and I mean that. I have met all the players in the band – cool people!! they nail it!! And sometimes WE play without any Zappa alumni, and it;s cool. Everyone relax!! But it’s fucked to get out and debase and insult and downgrade the importance of the alumni of the Frank Zappa bands. Unrealistic.

    - I support the alumni and their place in Zappa-history unconditionally. Why? They are the living embodiment of his STELLAR EARS and his CRITICAL DISCERNMENT skills. FRANK wrote the music, but he was also excellent at getting everything ‘individual’ that the players had to offer, and knew how to push them to get it into the music.

    Frank had some way of sensing not only the skill level in these people – but the “7th dimension” or whatever you want to call it – that so many of his alumni had. Somehow he could pick out something very special in a player he heard in a loud, smoky club, or in a few minutes in an audition packed with insane sight-readers. Other than Miles Davis — I can’t think of a composer/artist who had the capability to pick people — many times in their teens (Tony Williams, Joey DeFrancesco) who went on to be legends. FRANK could do that with uncanny regularity. Go down the list. And then look up the moment when Frank picked them out — most of them were total beginners. Yes he hired vets too!! But so many times it was this crazy psychic ability to identify that special something.

  39. urbangraffito says:

    Andre, as usual, you add a unique perspective to discussions here at KUR, and I personally thank you for it. You challenge fans to dig a little deeper into Zappa-related issues, and not just take what they hear at face value (a worthwhile suggestion at any time).

    I agree, The ALUMNI ARE CRUCIAL to understanding the magic of Zappa, from the original Mothers to the 1988 band. To buy into the revisionist history that the ZFT endeavours to perpetuate, that Frank Zappa alone made all his wonderful music, and that alumni were only just employees, is simply absurd. For business and for copyright reasons one can understand why Frank took and perpetuated that position, but to continually and consistently DISS their obvious contribution to the Zappa magic is just plain wrong.

    Without exception, all of the alumni stand out as accomplished musicians in their own right. Speaking of which, I just picked up Don Preston’s Retrospective. Some rare and excellent recordings from a real Mother’s distinguished career (with appearances from many special friends and former alumni, too). I only wish that more alumni would release more music. Wouldn’t a CD of Ruth Underwood’s percussion sound delicious, or a CD of Tommy Mars’ keyboard solos and scat?

    I do suppose the danger, Andre, of responding to each and every troll who disses you (here or at zappa.com), whether they are right or wrong, is one quickly acquires a reputation for being “negative” or “bitchy” or god-forbid, “anti-Zappa” (of this, I know quite well). That said, you’ll never change any troll’s mind, and those, like me, who appreciate your input here at KUR will continue to do so regardless of those mindless minions who dare not think for themselves.

  40. Plooker says:

    I like Bruce Fowler!

  41. Roland says:

    Although I don´t know you, Andre or any of GZDZ (etc.), I can follow your comments. I don´t know the whole history of it all, but you´re right, there are many contradiction since FZ left us and the ZFT took over the business.

    Pretty obvious is the re-shaping and re-formatting with or without permission (I don´t know) of the music from The Beatles, Hendrix, Cream, Holst, Stravinsky, Yes … I do remember that FZ had to take Ravel´s “Bolero” off the CD first release of “The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life” because of legal problems with the heirs of Ravel?

    Or the involvement of FZ´s musicians without getting writing credits. This was a running gag within the band even as early as the film “200 Motels” was released. And I agree, FZ did soak up ideas and concepts around him, all the time. He filtered it, he used it with or without permission.

    That a core of key members of the ZPZ band left it, is worth to get more information of. This kind of fluctuation within 10 days makes me really wonder. Money reasons, i.e. payroll? Or musical differences? Would be very interesting to know more about it.

    Anyway, although I am not a huge fan of cover bands (I just saw the “Muffin Man” with Ike Willis once here in my hometown, I agree due to my state of information, that there is some sort of a war of the cover bands here. Would be a nice cover art, à la “The Grand Wazoo”.
    The ZFT pressurizes everyone and everything, which is not authorized by them from a certain point in time onwards. And if it´s really like you say Andre, that they hate you, it´s even more silly of them.

    All this – I call it – “Bad Doberan business”, the busts, the cover bands, the ignoring of late J.C. Black on their “In consequence” section of their homepage, all these legal businesses against everything and everyone makes me sad in a way, because it throws a deep shadow over the legacy and the music of FZ.

    A friend of mine passed the double DVD “ZPZ” and I watched it recently. And you know what? Since I saw it, I wonder if Dweezil Zappa cries at every concert at the same point of the show. These are crocodile tears.

  42. duh! says:

    A quote from duh!:

    That a core of key members of the ZPZ band left it, is worth to get more information of. This kind of fluctuation within 10 days makes me really wonder. Money reasons, i.e. payroll? Or musical differences? Would be very interesting to know more about it.

    $ money $ money $ money
    money $ money $ money $
    $ money $ money $ money
    money $ money $ money $
    $ money $ money $ money
    money $ money $ money $
    $ money $ money $ money
    money $ money $ money $
    $ money $ money $ money
    money $ money $ money $
    $ money $ money $ money
    money $ money $ money $
    money $ money $ money $
    $ money $ money $ money
    money $ money $ money $
    $ money $ money $ money
    money $ money $ money $
    $ money $ money $ money
    money $ money $ money $
    $ money $ money $ money
    money $ money $ money $
    $ money $ money $ money
    money $ money $ money $

    (should I keep going?)

  43. Roland says:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    I do suppose the danger, Andre, of responding to each and every troll who disses you (here or at zappa.com), whether they are right or wrong, is one quickly acquires a reputation for being “negative” or “bitchy” or god-forbid, “anti-Zappa” (of this, I know quite well). That said, you’ll never change any troll’s mind, and those, like me, who appreciate your input here at KUR will continue to do so regardless of those mindless minions who dare not think for themselves.

    Me was one of those who didn´t go with urbangraffito´s nihilism due to the ZFT, but I must confess, that from any step to the next step the ZFT takes, I learn (I have to learn!), that he (i.e. UG) is not so far from it, as I thought. Hope you (i.e. UG) can take the picture! The more information we get here through this platform called KUR, the better the whoe picture gets. Go on and on and on …

  44. the indian andrew says:

    Denial thats it ……………oh you have rays phone number thats special i got ike email address lol :)

  45. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Roland:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    I do suppose the danger, Andre, of responding to each and every troll who disses you (here or at zappa.com), whether they are right or wrong, is one quickly acquires a reputation for being “negative” or “bitchy” or god-forbid, “anti-Zappa” (of this, I know quite well). That said, you’ll never change any troll’s mind, and those, like me, who appreciate your input here at KUR will continue to do so regardless of those mindless minions who dare not think for themselves.

    Me was one of those who didn´t go with urbangraffito´s nihilism due to the ZFT, but I must confess, that from any step to the next step the ZFT takes, I learn (I have to learn!), that he (i.e. UG) is not so far from it, as I thought. Hope you (i.e. UG) can take the picture! The more information we get here through this platform called KUR, the better the whoe picture gets. Go on and on and on …

    Roland, one should be careful throwing that word “nihilism” (the belief that life is meaningless) about, a much lesser man might get upset. What brings us all here, of course, is our common love of Zappa’s music. We all know how Andre was dissed, yes? So he’s speaking to the choir here at KUR. There’s nothing that he, I, or Roland can do to change how the ZFT do their thing, so I figure it’s best to just give them a wide birth, and celebrate what I love about Zappa, instead of bitching about what his heirs do from day to day…

    Get the picture?

  46. the indian andrew says:

    well the idea is this……..andre isnt changing the ztf people or gz or dz and or their doing…..so it dosent matter what you do on here or andre.
    andre s exposing their doing or their not doing is point less to me …..if you may call them trolls or minions dont matter and the time waisted could be used for generating your own musical ideas or interesting ideas
    who cares what they say or not………..who cares who sings as long as it is good to listen too………andre i would long started to use the inspiration of fz to do my own stuff and honor fz creation…………and i assume he would love that more than anything ……………..so who cares and where can i buy your cd with your works andre ……………… j

  47. the indian andrew says:

    get the cd ?

  48. Andre/Project Object says:

    FACT: I don’t set out to change ANYONE..one can only change themselves and fight for what they wanna fight for. In this instance I am fighting to get a different perspective into the discussion.

    I’m just confused that some people see it as “day to day bitching” I chuckle at that, frankly. I post about this stuff – what — a total of about one week out of the year??!!

    Check the facts — I live my very busy life, and really don’t think about this stuff UNLESS THESE PEOPLE CREATE THE NEXT KARMA-TSUNAMI, and there are another round of lies to try to provide balance for. I know– who appointed me, right??

    Check the facts – since the LAST protracted bit of bullying and nonsense (summer 2008), have you heard from me..?? I have been booking shows for various artists, touring & playing locally with my rock band Delicious, tour managing for Adrian Belew and Derek Trucks, doing live production for Eddie Jobson/UKZ, touring with Project Object & Ike Willis/Ed Mann/Don Preston, or working for Moog Music….I’m busy!!

    It’s simple — I check into these blogs once inna blue moon to keep up with the live zappa stuff worldwide..the cool new releases…the news about alumni,, etc. When and if there are new piles of crap that are being fed to the fans by GZDZ and it is relevant to people I know or situations I have facts on — I make sure the curious fans are EQUIPPED to tie it into the scary last decade of bullshit. To see the very clear thread of damaged, anti-social behavior at hand.

    They are very, very VERY good at obfuscating, deflecting, and dirty pool to move their little agenda along, but everyone that is OBJECTIVE is onto this– anyone paying attention will say “Wait a minute – can ALL these alumni be crazy?? Can ALL these bands being sued really be at fault?? Can all these ex-Zappa tech and studio employees with stories about GZDZ be, bitter, making stuff up..??

    Whatever. Think what you want about me. My conscience is clean. I’ve been consistent — Go ahead – SUPPORT ZPZ, i mean that sincerely — go see the music — keep great musicians, DZ, working. I mean that — they are all killer- I have said that from day one and 100 taped shows prove it. Anyone who comes to see my band knows – for YEARS I have included in my stage banter – plugs for whatever new CD, DVD, or tour is out that year — even if GZDZ had been trying earlier that day to stop the show, with their illegal harrassment.

    I just know that it’ s possible to hold that view – while still being clear-eyed and honest about the way they have dealt with so many people, including many alumni, in an incredibly disrespectful and hate-filled way. I put the ommission of EVEN ONE FUCKING WORD about the death of Jimmy Carl Black at the top of that list.

  49. urbangraffito says:

    Andre, I flatly agree with everything you’ve said thus far. And please, don’t feel as though I’m accusing you of “day to day bitching” which you obviously are not doing (perhaps this is only an example of the strange behavior of time in cyberspace).

    There is nothing at all wrong with endeavoring to “get a different perspective into the discussion”, since discussion is what we do best here, right, Barry?

    As you state, and which I totally agree, “I don’t set out to change ANYONE..one can only change themselves and fight for what they wanna fight for.” Has anyone else noticed that whenever a DZ or ZPZ or related Alumni topic is brought up, at least in my observation, that the discussion quickly divides into two hostile camps? And positions taken are just as swiftly taken personally?

    Whoever caused this toxic atmosphere, to me, is really irrelevant.

    It’s much better for the discussion, as a whole, to celebrate these Alumni and musicians – such as yourself, Andre & Project Object & Ike Willis/Ed Mann/Don Preston just to name a few – than to banter back and forth regarding “the scary last decade of bullshit”.

    I think we can agree that spewers of bullshit will eventually be buried by their own BS, yes?

    So, continue your excellent work, Andre. Btw, I loved your collaborations with Don Preston. Fantastic.

  50. Roland says:

    Discussion is the best !

  51. Roland says:

    There’s nothing that we can do to change how the ZFT do their thing? Well why not boycott the ZPZ concerts, like a french fan club proposed recently for the french leg of the tour? Or not buying their products? There are many ways, the future isn´t set!

    And a slight misunderstanding: I didn´t mean that life is meaningless, urbangraffitto, that was never my intention by picking this vocabulary. I meant the philosophical position that values do not exist and the lack of all positive approaches.

    Jeff Simmons left the band, the rejected Mexican Pope left the stage and language is a virus.

  52. Andre/Project Object says:

    Thanks UG,

    and , no, I did not feel you were saying I was bitching, but I know in general my rants can seem that way to others who haven;t been aware of the long history.

    Remember– GZDZ has ERASED 100s of posts that made them look very very bad- the recent, embarrasing Flo & Eddie saga included (when they were out there having tickets SOLD and posters made in EU, with F&E listed as guests…. and Flo himself had to jump in the forum and say “we’ve made no such deal !!”

    I’m saying…study the history. Ok, I sound like a broken record now. And speaking of records — you can get my recent ‘album’ “Enigma With Attitude” at itunes, or as a physical CD at http://www.itsaboutmusic.com.

    It’s all instrumental — trippy guitar and synth stuff, some live trio stuff, and one of my solos from a Don Preston tour. Also- there’s a fun piece on there “Fire & Air” that samples (with permission) the first note of Don Preston’s solo at the Montreux concert — did you know — the cries of FIRE!! FIRE!!! started RIGHT as Don was playing the FIRST NOTE of his solo on King Kong!?!? so bizarre. So–it’s Don vs my Air Synth on that one.

    I am always doing music, thanks to that other person for asking. Believe me, and people just have to take my word on this — 99% of my energy goes into being creative, playing music, and my work in music biz, and seeing shows. I repeat — I only jump into the DZGZ cesspool when I see Truth waving it’s hands in despair as it is about to drown at their hands again.

  53. urbangraffito says:

    Quite right, Roland, there’s nothing anyone can do to change how the ZFT do their thing. Boycotts are pointless. The Dweez and ZPZ are still (as Andre says) killer musicians requiring our support. And like it or not, they (the ZFT) are the sole legal holders any new forthcoming releases by FZ. I’ve certainly had to learn to separate my disdain for their behavior (which Andre had outlined so well in his comments that I won’t have to go into any of it here), from my love of the music and the FZ legacy as a whole.

    Sociologically speaking, it will be interesting how this period ultimately plays itself out when some future academic like Watson takes an objective look. Given that, as Andre says, “100s of posts have been erased” at the zappa.com forum, where exactly will these future musicologist’s go to for the facts? Where did Andre go to?

    Indeed, a record should be kept. But never should we appoint ourselves as judges either.

    When GZDZ and the ZFT release the next morsels from the vault, believe me, I’ll buy it from them. It’s in my musical best interest to keep them in business, regardless of my feelings.

    Andre, thanks for the heads up on the “Enigma With Attitude” CD. Another sweet addition to my Alumni and related collection.

  54. Roland says:

    These are fine bottom lines urbangraffito and Andre wrote. Nothing to add, you´re right, business and feelings should kept apart.

  55. Nappy says:

    hoooh! I read it all the way through.
    I just wanted to my share first thought with you guys the minute i finished reading all this:

    “We will NEVER see Roxy DVD”.

    Thanks GZDZ, how about remastering Hot Rats again? we can’t wait!

  56. potatohead Peccary says:

    A quote from Andre/Project Object:

    Yeah… another chapter.

    Folks — it;s pretty simple, IMHO.

    1. OF COURSE the ZPZ band will be more than capable, will play the hell outta those tunes, they are killer musicians, I envy their setup – they can rehearse 8 hr days for WEEKS on end, and it shows.

    2. OF COURSE DZ will now say “We don’t need alumni”..AFTER having them help him build the new brand….and sell tickets. That’s cool. I just wish the Kool-aid drinkin’ fans could see that as clearly as it is.

    The key is — why can’t some people have BOTH concepts in their little minds AT THE SAME TIME???- that ZPZ may be a great band etc ..and ALSO that DZ/GZ are abusive and duplicitous to the Nth degree. Both could be true — and in fact ARE.

    Bottom line– there are a couple artists — Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, Frank Zappa —whose sidemen transcended mere sidemen. They almost ALL went on to be absolute paradigm-shifters on their instruments. And that is why GZDZ is so, so , very wrong when they hurl invective and snide, hateful remarks abt and at the alumni…THESE GUYS (AND A COUPLE GALS) HELPED MAKE THE MUSIC WHAT IT WAS …period!! Frank even integrated many of their ideas, from the Mothers days all the way to 1988, as any good band leader ends up doing.

    The ALUMNI ARE CRUCIAL to understanding the magic of Zappa — no one will ever change my mind, or the minds of 1000s of fans – on that clear point. These people brought their individual skills to the music…and still do when they perform with my band or countless others like Bogus Pomp, Ed Palermo, School of Rock, URR, Sex w/out Nails, Sheik Yerbouti, Muffin Men, Les Polissons, Central Scrutinizer, etc etc…

    So– go see ZPZ, as i have ALWAYS SUGGESTED. It’s live Zappa music by a good cover band, that happens to have a guy with Frank’s DNA, and that of some groupie (fact). Go support anyone doing FZ music, despite GZDZ’s attacks on everyone. But don’t buy into the nonsense. Take a look at the VERY LONG LIST at this point of fucked up stuff GZDZ has done – the lame lawsuits, the name calling, trying to stop statues and street-namings, encouraging violent staff members, you name it.

    I’m amazed there are people who just parrot endlessly that we should give GZDZ the benefit of the doubt..go back and study the history of ZPZ…the fucked up Flo & Eddie misinformation for the first tour, the messy stuff when they parted ways with Napi (and said the same kind of “well he wasn’t integral anyway, after featuring him in a DVD they sell..)…go look it up folks — and ask yourself why at least THREE key people have all left or been terminated in a 10 day period.

    You’d be nuts to keep saying “Well GZDZ must have good reason”

    Support the alumni, they are our living connection to some of the most amazing music of the 20th century. See them when you can, it’s living history. And be suspect of someone who GLADLY used their names to SELL TICKETS and then DISSES THEM HARD (even when they weren’t even in the band, a la Flo & Eddie).

    Be suspect of people who rail against “disrespecting the intent of the composer” while doing the music of a guy (FZ) who routinely (and wonderfully) quoted, re-shaped and re-formatted WITHOUT PERMISSION the music of the Beatles, Hendrix, Cream , Holst, Stravinsky, Yes, Santana, Richard Berry, Devo, Scorpions, Micheal Jackson, Henry Mancini, Herbie Hancock, The Seeds, The Doors, and ON AND ON.

    Hey Man. I back you up 100%. I saw project /object back in 2004 at the 8 X 10 Club in Baltimore. remember that place?. anyway you guys where so great on so many levels. but the most important was the Spirit , soul, and humor you guys poured onto the crowd. This is something only the Alums can bring.

  57. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Andre/Project Object:

    Bottom line– there are a couple artists — Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, Frank Zappa —whose sidemen transcended mere sidemen. They almost ALL went on to be absolute paradigm-shifters on their instruments. And that is why GZDZ is so, so , very wrong when they hurl invective and snide, hateful remarks abt and at the alumni…THESE GUYS (AND A COUPLE GALS) HELPED MAKE THE MUSIC WHAT IT WAS …period!! Frank even integrated many of their ideas, from the Mothers days all the way to 1988, as any good band leader ends up doing.

    The ALUMNI ARE CRUCIAL to understanding the magic of Zappa — no one will ever change my mind, or the minds of 1000s of fans – on that clear point. These people brought their individual skills to the music…and still do when they perform with my band or countless others like Bogus Pomp, Ed Palermo, School of Rock, URR, Sex w/out Nails, Sheik Yerbouti, Muffin Men, Les Polissons, Central Scrutinizer, etc etc…

    A quote from potatohead Peccary:

    Hey Man. I back you up 100%. I saw project /object back in 2004 at the 8 X 10 Club in Baltimore. remember that place?. anyway you guys where so great on so many levels. but the most important was the Spirit , soul, and humor you guys poured onto the crowd. This is something only the Alums can bring.

    I really could not agree more. Anyone who would take even just a passing glance at my music library will see with what high regard I hold Zappa alumni. These are very unique musicians in their own right. They also possess that special something (gestalt, if you wish) that made them such integral parts of Zappa’s bands, as well as the Mothers. Indeed, their CDs are not always the easiest to track down and purchase (some alumni, like Tommy Mars, can only be heard on other artist’s CDs: Strange News from Mars, and The Jimmy Carl Black Story, both from Jon Larsen, just to name two examples — I wish Mars would release a solo CD), yet are certainly worthwhile when you do. They complete the essential living history of The Mothers, and in many cases, supply many missing pieces which complete the Zappa puzzle. Essentially, without the alumni, and their musical contribution, the picture we’d have would be of lines without any color.

  58. Plooker says:

    UG, have you written any books I can buy?

  59. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Plooker:

    UG, have you written any books I can buy?

    You can certainly try to track down and purchase some of my published works (almost as easy as finding the work of some alumni). That said, I do have a manuscript en route to a publisher at the moment. While the fate of that collection is pondered, you can order my latest, Sick Lazy Fuck, from Black Bile Press:

    http://www.ardentdreams.com/bbp/One-OffChapbooksSeries2.html

    or read my online collection, Collateral Damage, from Coracle Press:

    http://www.coraclepress.com/chapbooks/mccawley/collateral-damage.html

    Remember, you asked.

  60. Lou says:

    Saw ZPZ a couple of times and really enjoyed it. After the sold out Berkeley show, Dweezil came out and talked to fans for quite some time.
    Ray White was on board in Santa Cruz last time, great show!
    Saw Andre one time in SF, Ike Willis sang. It was good for a while (not nearly as good as ZPZ), but Andre is such a fucking annoying whiner.
    After he ranted about current politics for the third time, I just walked out. NO humor, just self important drivel.
    Just like what he writes here, nothing original, just a guy who steals other people’s ideas. Never again, dude – go create something!

  61. Dan says:

    I know I’m a year late on the bulk of this discussion… But I would like to point out something I found shockingly missing from the above comments.

    I know that there are many who feel that Dweezil and Gail’s business practices have been unfair. I’m not on the inside, so I don’t really know about all that. But the venomous insults by those both on the outside and on the inside surprise me.

    Whatever else can be said about Gail and Dweezil (or the other Zappas for that matter), these are people Frank loved. They are people who lived with him, were there when he died, knew his heart, and were his FAMILY. They weren’t band-mates. They weren’t fans. Many of you can call Frank “Hero.” Some were lucky enough to call him “Friend.” Some can even have called him “Boss.” But Dweezil called him “Daddy” at one point. These people were his family, who loved him deeply and whom he loved deeply.

    I just wonder–business practices aside–how Frank would feel if he read the things some of you should know better than to say at your age–and so PUBLICALLY…

    …and I just thought someone should mention it.

  62. Dan says:

    Oh my… I hadn’t studied up on Project/Object until after I’d written the above. I thought we were talking to/about Andre LEWIS. But I’ve read deeper in the past day and found out that we’re actually talking to/about someone who never actually worked with Zappa, appeared on none of the records, has no real claim to the legecy, etc etc…

    …and I feel the need now to write this with my apologies to Andre LEWIS, for the negative thoughts I’ve had of HIM over the past week or so. I knew not what I was thinking.

    I know absolutely nothing about the above Andre–he might be a good guy and I’m sure is an excellent musician if he’s tackling the Zappa catalog…but I felt the need to distance my opinion of him from my opinion of a musician that I do know about and respect. Thanks for indulging me.

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