Directed by Frank Scheffer, “Frank Zappa–Pioneer Of Future Music” (2007) is a two part documentary which combined and re-edited footage and interviews from “Frank Zappa: The Present Day Composer Refuses to Die” (2000) and “Frank Zappa: Phaze II, The Big Note” (2002).
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With a ZPZ concert imminent in the town of Vilnius, Lithuania, Dweezil, Diva and Gail reckoned it would be a nice opportunity to pay an emo-sho-null tribute to the iconic FZ statue present there. Check out the TV coverage.
‘t Would appear then that not all Zappa statues are created equal…
Via Uni-Muta, where you’ll find more footage from ZPZ’s Vilnius gig.
An exceptional interview with Jimmy Carl Black by Calvin Krogh recorded at the Grand Café in Oslo in January, 2007, as well as a second interview in another hotel in Oslo later that August – and broadcast on Krogh’s new website. Now you can both play the interviews on site or download the edited sections (12 in total).
On the eve of his 69th Birthday (February 1st), having just been diagnosed with leukemia, Black was extremely open and vivid with his reminiscences. For instance, we learn how Black first becomes acquainted with Jon Larsen, his opinion of Zappa cover bands, Zappa Plays Zappa, playing with Captain Beefheart, Zappanale, Mike Keneally, and, of course, the source of his bitterness towards the ZFT:
JCB: And you know, I appreciated that out of Frank. I… to tell you the truth, man, I always loved Frank Zappa, man. Even with the lawsuits and all the fucking trouble and with all the shit and all that, it doesn’t even fucking matter, man. I still tried to get hold of him before he… you know, when I was getting ready to move over to Europe. 1992. I called Motorhead, and I said “Motor, would you do me a favour. Would you call Frank, or call Gail, and find out if it’s at all possible that I can call Frank.” I’d like to… you know, wish him good luck with his problems, and, you know. Basically, what it would have been at that time, was just “Hey, man. It’s been a pleasure knowing you. You taught me a lot.” And he did, man! I learned a lot of different things about music that I didn’t know.
CK: Hm… But what happened?
JCB: No… she said no. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t want to have anything to do with her. And the kids… the kids only know one side of the story. They don’t know our side of the story. You know, they only know her side… what she says. How bad we are. What could we have possibly done to them? We didn’t take any money from them! We didn’t steal anything from them! What could we possibly do to them? Say things? Say the truth? You mean you’re not allowed to say the truth? Fuck you, man! I will say the truth! I’ll tell you what happened! I mean, I’ll tell you the way I saw it happen! The way it happened to me.
These interviews are a rich source of oral history for any Mothers fan, in general, and Jimmy Carl Black in particular. A must listen.
Interviews are also available in transcribed text.
… is a chap by the name of Ben Thomas. Of all those who auditioned, he was apparently the only one who was able to carry the entire vocal of Inca Roads right to the end.
News from The Idiot Bastard: 1.) New ZPZ DVD sometimes: Son Of Roxy; 2.) new singer soon to be announced (ohh-ohh – might it be Ahmet?…), 3.) new post on the ZPZ blog, not really mentioning the above (yet?); and with some solo-samples.
The DVD above was recorded on the 12th of december – see the setlist here. I think I’ll buy it – along with One Shot Deal.
Yesterday, an eight minute feature aired on NPR entitled Frank Zappa: A ‘Lumpy’ Legacy’. From the intro:
Gail Zappa is going after cover bands she accuses of “identity theft.” Her lawyers have sent scores of cease-and-desist letters. But many of the people who continue to perform Frank Zappa’s music say they don’t need permission.
The mini-docu contains quotes from Andre Cholmondeley, Ike Willis, David Fricke, and of course: Gail Zappa… Happy listening! 😉
(thx John W. & Rick W.)
Update 04/11: From the NPR page: “After our story aired, NPR was asked to take down the two Frank Zappa pieces we had been given permission to stream.” Part of the ZFT marketing department’s effort to further promote Zappa’s music, I reckon?
… 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.
Scott Thunes on his guest-appearence with ZPZ:
All in all, I had a wonderful time and I would do it again. In fact, if they come back, I’ve already asked Dweezil if I can play Echidna’s Arf with them to make up for fucking it up on Zappa’s Universe. He said that if they had it ready (in their repertoire) I’m welcome to try my hand at it.
Thank you for reading this.
Dweezil about some recent changes in the lineup:
In other news we have encountered a glitch in the matrix! ZPZ has suffered the departure of Aaron Arntz. Obviously that changes the material we can readily perform and requires some shifting of duties within the band.
And now for something completely different:
– The Filthy Habits Ensemble – three FZ tunes, check them out. Good.
All of the above from the Idiot Bastard. Thanks!