Archive for the ‘Frank Zappa’ Category

Cease & Desist: YouTube Edition

This just in via The Idiot Bastard: guy posts little clips taken at a live ZPZ show on YouTube, receives The ZFT Treatment ™ we’ve all come to know so well:

(…) come on, my vids of the show were far from professional and none of them were even full songs… I was just excited to share another great Zappa experience with other music-lovers. Gail Z taught me a lesson and I will be sure to never to help promote another Zappa Plays Zappa tour again! You win, Gail.

Isn’t it good to know GZ’s crusade against the well-intentioned fan outthere continues undaunted, while those who sell bootlegs or put up official releases for download, remain untouched.

Better get used to it: it’s a way of life…

Homage to a Freak

I first met Royce in the summer of 1977 at a second-hand record shop. Greg, the gray haired, pony-tailed, slightly obese proprietor had just gotten a mint vinyl copy of Mothermania, and had absent-mindedly promised it to both of us. His solution: to the highest bidder would go the spoils. Being that I was still in my teens, and Royce was about 12 or so years older and far more gainfully employed, he quickly outbid me and paid for the album. Dejected, I was just about to leave when he suddenly invited me over to his place to listen to the album while he taped it. “Sure,” I said.

By taping, I figured Royce had meant cassette tapes. But when we arrived at the house he rented with his girlfriend, Keri, I found out by taping he meant reel-to-reel tapes. Royce taped every LP record and 45 he had ever bought onto reel-to-reel tapes. I’d later find out why. His stereo was an elaborate mixture of different components, some German, some Japanese, some American. The sound it produced made me ashamed of my own little dinky stereo. I heard things on his stereo I never heard on mine. By the time we finished listening to Mothermania, I was almost glad that he had outbid me. Almost.

Given that I’d first discovered the music of Frank Zappa and The Mothers as an eight year old on my cousin’s turntable, I was a pretty cocky teen when it came to the music of FZ, and I was rather proud of my ever growing collection. Royce soon put me in my place, though, when he revealed his own private vault. On the main floor of the house his rented (and any other subsequent house he rented) was a room whose sole purpose was to store and protect of all the albums he collected over the years. Beyond a door secured with two deadbolt locks, and behind windows which had been blackened and insulated, was a room that was filled with at least five or six thousand albums (I never had the chance to actually count them). Among them were more Frank Zappa and Mothers of Invention albums than I even knew existed. All in mint condition. Official releases. Bootlegs. Royce was more than just a collector. He was a completist.

Over the rest of that summer and into the winter, Royce and Keri became not just fellow freaks, but good friends, too. I received my education in all things Zappa and the Mothers listening to their reel-to-reel tapes, and their sordid stories about the times they saw them live at the Kinsmen Field House here in Edmonton in 1970 and 1971. Or the years they saw Zappa live in Vancouver at the Agrodome and again at the War Memorial Gymnasium. “It was like Christmas whenever we got back,” Royce would say. “We’d always come home with brand new boots to tape.”

It was through Royce’s vault that I first discovered the works of various Mother’s alumni like Lowell George in Little Feat, Henry Vestine in Canned Heat, Jean-Luc Ponty, George Duke, Flo & Eddie, and Captain Beefheart.

Two years later, in 1979, when Royce and Keri got married, I had an old Serbian painter I knew paint a 4:1 scale copy of the cover of Shiek Yerbouti in oil on canvas as their wedding present. It cost a pretty penny, but it was worth every cent.

Zappa Legacy

With all the verbose verbiage over the Zappa legacy lately, I found the posting “on pop 13: mike keneally & the zappa legacy” over at Eugene Baak’s weblog, Another Beautiful Day, quite insightful.

Skip.

google.com/search?q=zappa+wazoo:

zappa-wazoo-google.jpg

I rest my case.

To be perfectly clear: I think the Zappa/Wazoo release is fantastic. However this is how the “official” page shows up in Google (and other search engine) results — “skip”, the link that allows you to bypass the introductory flash animation, being the only one single word that gets to be picked up, and therefor shows up in search results. Is it any wonder that people end up clicking on other search results?

Howard Kaylan Interview

When Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman joined the Mothers, they were used to being judged by the last record they made. “That’s bullshit!” Frank said. “Your life is your artistic canvas…” Hear more about this, as well as more on the history of The Turtles, The Mothers, Flo & Eddie, and his solo project on the 4-part Podcast interview with Howard Kaylan: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four.

The Year Of The Freak Is Imminent

Oh yes it is. Let’s see which sites, bands and organisations have had legal action taken against them by the ZFT in recent weeks, shall we?

Quoth The Idiot Bastard:

Apparently Gail has even threatened to remove and destroy the likeness of FZ that is in Bad Doberan – “Yes, we would definitely consider having it replaced with something we do approve,” she said.

I know you’re getting sick and tired of this dear reader — so am I.

That’s the point.

Spread the word if you can, by any means.

A permanent page, objectively documenting the progression of any of these Law Suits is in the works, and will be published as more information becomes publicly available.

Update: had to add tribute band Ugly Radio Rebellion to the list as they too are now being sued by the ZFT for alleged copyright infringement.

A Message From United Mutations

Peter of United Mutations weighs in. Quick link and quote, in case the post were to be deleted (though it can’t happen there, can it?!):

Come on, ZFT, isn’t it possible to make your point of view clear without sending lawyers? Shouldn’t we be able to communicate in a friendly way? Don’t we have a common interest somewhere?
-
Dear ZFT, I do not like the way you’re handling this, and I think I’m not alone.

These Boots Were Made For Talkin’

This post is about how legal, or illegal, it is to offer up a non-officially recorded and/or released live show for download.

Let us examine who is likely to download one of these shows in the first place. No, let us first examine the audio quality of the show in question. More often than not, it will suck. B+, A-, they are euphemisms for “bad quality audio”.

Next, on to the profile of the “Potential Downloader”. Debby from around the corner, who is into Beyonce sure doesn’t fit that profile (the poor girl’s in for a big surprise if she downloads any of this “depraved music”). This leaves us with two main categories: (1) the Curious Neophite Zappa fan — a potential customer, and (2) the Completist — a registered customer, one who has bought pretty much all of the official releases, interested in hearing any one single note difference between show A (say, November 15, 1973) and B (November 16, 1973, Late Show).

These are our demographics — agreed?

Explain to me then, how it is deemed a crime to make these live shows freely available for download online. The Curious Neophite, at best, will end up buying official releases, that have much better quality. The Completist will gently nod his head while puffing his pipe, dreaming of the next official release. Moreover, if these shows are not presented freely, some asshole on eBay will be making a profit off of selling them — regardless of how much the audio quality sucks.

A closing quote, if I may. It comes straight from the liner notes of FZ:OZ, as written by GZ:

Bill Lantz, thanks (you bastard) for (not saying by what means you came by) this tape and cooperating (anyway).

These unofficial live shows, in circulation right this minute in so many places, even if we at KUR no longer publish them, serve as food for thought and conversation. They are an essential part of keeping alive the musical legacy of Eff Zee. They provoke discussion among the Completists, lure the Curious Neophite into buying official releases; and as such, should not be banned from the net in my opinion.

Your thoughts?

Conceptual Continuity Circle

The last few days I’ve been listenning the wonderful CD of the Banned From Utopia (the best ever versions of some tunes!), and that led me to create this continuity-chain (or circle):

Chad Wackerman plays beautifully on drums -> surprise: his brother, Brooks Wackerman (a drummer, also!) plays on the new KoRn album -> the KoRn album also features Terry Bozzio (see the video) -> yes, he (TB) was the guest of the ZPZ tour -> but if you check the page of that tour, you’ll se only ONE update (=1) from 2007: one single picture of Ray White – of whom answers.com says that also played in the Banned From Utopia – sang in Jailbait Babysitter (thanks for The Idiot for the info!).

Otherwise Dweezil says:

Speaking of new material, I plan to release a live ZPZ album from the 07 tour early next year. I am also in the process of reviewing footage that was shot by my good friend Charlie Boswell in Austin Texas for another ZPZ DVD. We filmed 30 new songs – different from the last ZPZ DVD.

David Ocker About 100% Zappa

I really like it when someone speaks about something that is really close to him. And I’m also glad when it has something to do with a fine concert that I saw.

…the results were as good or better than the studio LSO recordings which Frank edited repeatedly. But these live unedited recordings were light years beyond what the LSO produced at the Barbican in 1984. Very encouraging.

David Ocker about the 100% Zappa concert. Nice text. Thank you!

New FZ @ Wolfgang’s Vault

The Friday Boots may be history, but Wolfgang’s Vault still has concerts and interviews aplenty.

tip of the hat to hipbone

We Dub Thee: Swedish KUR

Damn it’s cold over here.

gloves.jpg

Behold the new, snowy white 1024x768px-compliant lay-out for KUR, dubbed “Fronk Zippo version 1.0″. It’s still very much a work in progress, and you won’t be seeing it at the discography or the Gig List for the time being — we’re working on that. There will be more features available soon. Oh and by the way, we didn’t move our stuff to Sweden, though we are sure it’s a wonderfully liberal country! :)

As we’re still hunting down browser bugs, please do let us know if anything looks whacky. Thanks!

Let’s Move To Sweden

So, um, guys… what’s your screen resolution? At least 1024×768, I hope? Men at work, and all that jazz you know.

Shit & Fan: Make A Sentence

On December 11, at 11 pm Belgian time, we were sent an email from the Berger Kahn Law Corporation, carbon copied to one Gail Zappa. The subject line read:

Cease and Desist Infringements Re: Zappa Family Trust

Attached was a three page pdf document, outlining in fuzzy lawyer-speak how we are blatantly violating ZFT copyrights across the board here at KUR. You can view all three pages here: page one, page two, page three.

You can imagine our excitement — to get noticed by the ZFT!
The Honor! The Honor!

You know what: The Suits are right on all accounts.

To have transcriptions on our website of long-out-of-print magazine interviews with FZ, which took me many late hours to type out and at times translate? Dude!

To present snippets of FZ lyrics on our website which showcase his incredible sense for Conceptual Continuity? What were we thinking!

To have artwork of FZ releases up on our discography section, so that readers would know what their next purchase at Barfko Swill could be? Not done, period!

All kidding aside: we believe the material posted on this website would fall well within the definitions of “fair use” in the event of a lawsuit. However, we simply lack the financial means to fund such a lawsuit.

Can’t afford no shoes. Sigh.

Therefor: behold the new lay-out! It is, we hope, in compliance with the Cease & Desist letter so graciously sent to us by the ZFT.

It is also temporary. We have new plans for KUR. This is not the end, rather it is a new beginning.

Will you be joining us?

Santa Monica, December 1981

Missed it in 2003? Here it is again, from Burkhard! With some additional stories here.
Great show, atomic solos, fun moments, amazing special guests – should be released!