ZPZ Wins At The Grammys

Dweezil Zappa’s ZPZ band has won this year’s Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance:

“Did you feel it? The world actually fell off its axis,” said Dweezil Zappa, accepting the award for best rock instrumental performance for “Peaches en Regalia,” fighting back tears as he thought of his late father, Frank. “He dedicated this song to me when I was born and I’m dedicating it right back.”

All bickering aside, I think this is a well-deserved award for a band that is outstanding in what they originally set out to do. Kudos to Dweez and the ZPZ players.

Update 13/02: Here’s what Zappa had to say about the Grammys and award shows in general (taken from a BBC1 Zappa Special radio interview):
(Thx Rick Wood)

Persona Non Grata — Ottawa Edition

André Cholmondeley, whom you probably know for his excellent work with Project/Object, is currently working as tour manager/guitar tech for the Adrian Belew Power Trio. The crew were to open for ZPZ at Ottawa Bluesfest last Saturday. André had wanted to watch ZPZ from the side-stage afterwards, simply to enjoy the music. In an email which I’ve condensed somewhat below, he describes how things then turned kind of ugly:

After a meeting on the bus Dweezil demanded from the Festival stage manager (ONE HOUR before their show!!) that I would NOT BE SEEN by him (Dweezil)…!! he asked that he NOT SEE ME AT ALL, EVER, throughout the night.

… and so a guy called Dave, ZPZ’s soundguy, resorted to this:

He literally almost pushed me off the stage and down some steps. It was scary shit. I can’t emphazise that enough. I am shaking still, almost 12 hrs later as i type this after 4 hrs sleep.

He continues:

It was unreal. Surreal. The best part is — before ZPZ played – BELEW played— and I had met this very same guy – Dave – monitor guy — and he was COOL!! We were rapping, talking gear, he showed me a pic on his computer of his guitar-rig which featured the same amp that Adrian uses (Johnson JM 150), like good nerds we chuckled about that as well as his computer gadget his laptop sat on…some device with 2 fans to cool it off, blah blah blah. We talked about him being new on the crew, after I said “Napoleon says hi” –“oh no — that was the old guy, I am new since last year, etc etc”…

André concludes:

Imagine being so unprofessional — and self-important — to think that a HUGE festival, should do your bidding and ban people from public areas. I know – Unreal. But par for the course in Post-Mortem Zappa-land. No surprise. Bullying at every turn.

Worth mentioning: Ottawa Bluesfest features about 230 bands, and takes place over the course of 11 days.

Update #1 9/07: Dweezil Zappa responds.
Update #2 9/07: André responds to DZ’s response (we have a copy, in case it were to mysteriously vanish from the z forums)

On The Bus

ZPZ on the road again – a few words from DZ:

It’s true we’re back on the road. We’re headed to Minneapolis to start the 08 tour with a bunch of new material. The same core band is with me along with our good friend and special guest Ray White.

A lot has transpired since the Japanese tour ended back in January. We’ve released the 06 DVD in wide distribution, I’ve started some preliminary work on the the Austin DVD, I’ve mixed about a dozen songs for a live ZPZ 07 record (Due out later this year) and I have completely rebuilt my guitar rig from the ground up in order to more accurately reproduce some of Frank’s signature guitar tones. And on a personal note, 2 weeks ago my wife and I welcomed our second child into the outside world. Her name is Ceylon and her big sister Zola is very fond of her already.

There’s a tiny mp3 there of DZ’s guitar-work.

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.

One Shot Deal

Dweezil Zappa just hit the “Post” button on the latest Z-newsletter. In case you’re not subscribed, some choice quotes:

The [ZPZ] DVD is available at last in stores now and will be available as a 2 disc set and as a special fan pack that includes both DVD discs plus audio (3) CDs of the same material. A single compilation audio CD will also be available separately.

Wonderful, but I think I’ll just stick with the double DVD…

Public television affiliates will be airing a special One Hour show from the ZPZ DVD as one of their highly acclaimed pledge shows in dozens of markets across the US. The first market to take the leap will be Southern California.

An effort to support public TV, well that’s kinda cool…

[…] an exciting opportunity to pledge your best support of your local public station in exchange for the deluxe version that includes Trance-Fusion (FZ’s final Guitar Recording) as well as “One Shot Deal”, the Exciting and New (and Official #83) Frank Zappa release available on CD

Emphasis mine. “One Shot Deal” is said to become available on the ZPZ Tour de Frank and eventually online at Barfko-Swill…

UMV Playing FZ – and Vault News

The University of Vermont Jazz Ensemble will present the music of Frank Zappa at a concert on March 25 at 7:30 in the Grand Maple Ballroom of the Dudley H. Davis Center. Alexander Stewart, director of UVM’s Jazz Studies program, will lead the ensemble.

Live music for our American friends – for free, with tunes like Montana, the Idiot Bastard Son, King Kong, Peaches en Regalia, the Grand Wazoo, and Uncle Remus. The quality of the music lies in the fact that the orchestration was made by none other that Ep Palermo! Hey, a recording would be fine…

Some Other FZ News:

A 1966 concert from MOI is up at Wolfgang’s vault thanks, hipbone!

Some Other Maybe Related DZ News:

New ZPZ releases are to be available: 1, 2, 3. Details? Noooo. Setlists? Noooo. Infos on the Official homepage? Noooo! Infos on the ZPZ homepage? Hey, forget it…