Peek inside Frank Zappa’s vaults, parts 1-4

One Shot Deal (which numbers 83 of all official Zappa releases, in case you’re counting), largely pulls largely from Zappa’s mid-’70s live material, which has never appeared on CD. “One Shot Deal was literally that,” says Gail. “It was like, ‘Come on, Joe. How fast can we make a record?’ I think we put that together in a week. … I heard the [guitar] solo [in ‘Occam’s Razor’], and I said, I have to put this out.’”

Long article in Goldmine (source: Unica)
Parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

“There’s a lot of stuff I’d like to release,” says Gail. “We’re going to try to release, minimum five, but possibly eight to 10 projects a year.”

As The ZFT vs Zappanale Soap Continues

I received Zappanale‘s 19th newsletter yesterday, which talks mainly about the ZFT vs Zappanale trial. Remember that one? Back in August, there was talk of an out-of-court settlement:

The Zappa Family Trust may be willing to compromise. ZFT lawyers now say that the Zappanale can use the Zappa name if they brand the festival as “Zappa music and more.”

Now, my German is as rusty as an early 90s Russian submarine but as I understand it, here’s how things appear to have evolved since then from the ZFT claim’s perspective: if the festival’s organizers wish to keep the festival going, they are to report — at the earliest occasion — name and location of any artists playing, as well as any (FZ) tunes on their playlist.

It would then be GZ’s deity-given, exclusive prerogative to veto any artists she feels “violate the integrity and intentions” of FZ, from playing at Zappanale.

A hostile take-over, if you will.
Nennt man solch eine Forderung vielleicht Zensur? Ist das nicht unheimlich? (Yes Bob Again, I’m way ahead of you!)

The Zappanale guys beg to differ, and so yet another court meeting is scheduled at the Düsseldorf Landgericht where, as Thomas Dippel puts it, “things are in good hands”.

On a completely off-topic note: yes, I’ve been out of the loop lately and yes, there’s a very good reason for this.

“Oh, do tell Barry!”

Any day now, any day now…

GZ: “No matter what I do/release you hate it.”

Last Saturday, in a topic related to Joe’s Menage, Gail Zappa posted the following in this forum thread:

Ok. So the simple truth is that I have been trying to figure out how to respond to the meanies that infest this Forum. But I am at a loss. No matter what I do/release you hate it. Go hate somewhere else please. And kindly do it usefully – without messing up your neighbor’s thrill. The way you “use” your brains is just another fine example of the reason why democracy is being stifled by things called choices like Sarah Palin. Ahhh, but yes, there is something I do want to say: 1. I will NEVER make a Frank Zappa record. You will not see any continuation of YCDTOSA or anything approximating any other Master Recording by FZ – as though it is something he would have made – as if you have any right to think I would respect you for being anywhere near having that opinion. I do not dream through the night of holding anything near you near me. 2. To suggest you read liner notes is redundant. 3. Much as I might – no, nevermind – FZ told me long ago to NOT waste any energy on people who don’t get it so, you don’t get to know anything more about what I might want to say here. I love my tongue so much I am going to be the only one who gets to hold it.

Well I for one never said I hated everything she’s released in the last years. There’s no Zappa music one can “hate” as far as I’m concerned. There are merely variable degrees of “excellent” to “good” to “not so good” — which are relative terms to begin with, when speaking about Zappa music.

As for the overall tone of the above comment, I dunno: is she saying that to criticize an FZ release is proof that one is prone to voting for Sarah Palin?

What say ye?

Looking for a Virgin with Nice Breath.

Releases from the Zappa Family Trust:

In a previous post, I made the comment, rather flippantly, that “In the final analysis, it’s not what Gail (Zappa) says that is of any real importance, it’s her actions that speak volumes.” In this post, I’ve decided to put those smug words to the test.

First, I went to my Frank Zappa collection and identified all those posthumous releases (limited, of course, to those titles actually released by Gail Zappa and the Zappa Family Trust — thus, the list above).

Of these sixteen individual releases, I asked myself, which of them are the strongest, most worthwhile recordings, whether CD or DVD? Easy choice. Live recordings, particularly the full-length, or near full-length shows: FZ:OZ, Halloween, Imaginary Diseases, Buffalo, Wazoo, and The Torture Never Stops.

Next are those long awaited releases, and the archival type releases of interest to any diehard Zappa freak: QuAUDIOPHILIAc, Trance-Fusion, The MOFO Project/Object (the 4 CD version) and Classic Albums: Apostrophe(‘)/Over-Nite Sensation.

What’s left is a series of compilation CDs: Joe’s Corsage, Joe’s Domage, Joe’s XMASage, The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAA Birthday Bundle, The Dub Room Special! (the 2007 CD compilation of the 1982 video) and One Shot Deal. All of which seemingly lack Frank Zappa’s genius for conceptual continuity and compiled in such a hodgepodge of styles of musical eras as to be distracting to listen to overall.

By my simple math (okay, not my best subject), the ZFT released ten winners out of a possible sixteen since they first began. That works out to be 62.5%. Okay. Room for improvement, sure. But not that bad.

Not that bad at all.