Touring Can Make You Crazy

Adrian Belew continues to publish amazing anecdotes on his Elephant Blog. Take anecdote #37 which he dubs The Fourth Day Of My Professional Touring Life. In it, he tells the tale of FZ’s “then-new” tour manager Ron Nehoda:

the morning after our show at the Aladdin Pancho came around 9 AM to pick up the bags. when he got to Ron’s room there was no answer. eventually he had a security person open the door. Ron was sitting quietly in a bathtub full of water and blood. he had slit his wrists. evidently Ron had a serious gambling addiction as well as a taste for coke. he had gotten himself so coked up the night before he had gambled away frank’s earnings from the concert (reportedly about $15,000.00). as they took him from the tub he was still alive. he said to poor Pancho. “I’ll tell you about it later”.

Not so much as an oblique reference to this incident to be found in any of the FZ-books I’ve read. Weird.

6 thoughts on “Touring Can Make You Crazy”

  1. My wife was working with a fella who was a limo driver here in Vegas when that incident happened. He saw Frank, and gave the typical, “I’m a big fan. Hey, you gonna play a little before you leave.” and, he told us that Frank, with the most solem face he ever saw on Frank, said, “Gambling’s for chumps!”.

  2. when bozzio says in baby snakes ”the road manager committed suicide!” i thought he was just taking the piss….. damn !!!

  3. phil kaufman’s book ‘road mangler deluxe’ covers this particular cocaine decision in great detail, since that’s how he got the job working for zappa in the first place. it’s a great little book, with a bona-fide foreword from zappa himself. all serious f.z./classic rock fans should check it out:

  4. “Not so much as an oblique reference to be found in any of the of the FZ books I’ve read.” True – but Frank did write a “song” about it: “What Ever happened to all the fun in the world” on Sheik Yerbouti (“Larry’s not with us anymore.”). Back in 1982 I asked Steve Vai what that tune was about, and he told me the story about the tour manager.

  5. Yea, but did Frank ever get back the $15,000?
    That’s one of those “you better die or I am going to kill you” moments.

  6. I suppose Frank was so used to getting ripped off by record companies by that time that this guy didn’t even rate a mention…

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