Posts Tagged ‘tribute bands’

Throttling The Mother

In today’s Guardian Online Arts edition: Throttling the Mother of Invention, wherein columnist Owen Adams writes about GZ’s “lengthy campaign against those who ride on his [FZ's - ed.] memory”:

Her recent ire was directed against a laughably bad fans’ monument in the east of Germany.

I wonder what’s more laughably bad:

  • A statue of FZ, financed by FZ fans in his memory
  • A petition opposing the agressive legal actions by the ZFT — signed by some 2070 fans at this point of writing
  • The ZFT prohibiting us from using 100x100px artwork thumbs in our discography
  • A ZFT endorsed Kill Ugly Radio beer
  • A ZFT endorsed Freak Out Ale
  • An official FZ site where valuable information is deemed secondary to flashy, incomprehensible, impenetrable animation
  • ZFT Newsletters that prefer to cast aside factual clarity in favor of poorly written pseudo FZ speak (“the frost is on the pumpkins!”)

I’ll just leave that choice up to you. Moving on:

What would Frank think of this barrage of lawsuits against people who just want to keep his memory alive, enraged fans wonder? My guess is he’d approve. He was a self-proclaimed capitalist-libertarian like Ron Paul with a history of lawsuits to regain control of his music.

My guess is FZ would recognize the efforts of these tribute bands/fan sites and value them for what they attempt to achieve: to keep his music alive. Sure, he was adamant about keeping control over his own music, and rightly so — but in this case we’re talking about FZ vs Big Record Companies™ and unscrupulous bootleggers looking to make a fast buck. Project/Object, Zappanale et all can hardly be categorized as such.

Surely you can’t accuse a band playing such obtuse music as Zappa’s of being only in it for the money?

To ask such a question is to answer it.

Myself, I’d much rather hear a Zappa-informed act like the Spinto Band than a huddle of Zappa acolytes recalling Brown Shoes Don’t Make It and Why Does It Hurt When I Pee. Somehow, the Mother of Invention is the only one capable of making profane songs sacred.

The issue at hand is not about what any given Zappa fan would like to hear — it is about the alleged illegality of grassroots fan sites and small time tribute bands. It is about whether such litigation, should it ever come to court, would even hold ground.

In all: a poorly informed mish mash of an article, Mr Adams, if you don’t mind my saying so. You, Sir, are terminally clueless. Admit that, at the very least. I know: takes balls though, does it not?