Oh yes it is. Let’s see which sites, bands and organisations have had legal action taken against them by the ZFT in recent weeks, shall we?
- Us here at KUR (fan site)
- Ugly Radio Rebellion (tribute band)
- Project/Object (tribute band)
- Bogus Pomp (tribute band)
- Sheik Yerbouti (tribute band)
- Zappanale Festival (Zpp festival)
- Arf Society (fan site)
Quoth The Idiot Bastard:
Apparently Gail has even threatened to remove and destroy the likeness of FZ that is in Bad Doberan â€“ â€œYes, we would definitely consider having it replaced with something we do approve,â€ she said.
I know you’re getting sick and tired of this dear reader — so am I.
That’s the point.
Spread the word if you can, by any means.
A permanent page, objectively documenting the progression of any of these Law Suits is in the works, and will be published as more information becomes publicly available.
Update: had to add tribute band Ugly Radio Rebellion to the list as they too are now being sued by the ZFT for alleged copyright infringement.
90 thoughts on “The Year Of The Freak Is Imminent”
It’s very simple. Let’s broaden our minds.
It’s about the discussion on copyrights & patents. The mirror image of that discussion is now ( since many years) developing within the scientific world.
Question is : do patents & the like help or hurt progress?
My idea is: OK, there’s something like patents .
Finally they block progress.
– let them be limited in time ( in order to allow some financial profit for the inventors).
– most of all: let’s proceed.
Just how much new-old Zappa do “we” need?
Yes, yes, there is “new” material waiting to be released and yes, yes, we will all have a good cry when it comes out–but we’ll most likely be at the two-decades-after-FZ’s-death point before the as-of-yet-unheard material makes it to market. Two decades after the original “social conditions” compelled the man to make the work in the first place. Great. Really great work ZFT, because really, we all know how putting out a record is soooo hard…
Here’s a fun thought: what about total economic and social isolation for the ZFT?
What if “we” kept “it” to those things released during Frank Zappa’s time here on earth. That’s still a pretty significant body of work, no? Shouldn’t that body of work, plus those evil “bootlegs” (which will always around and easy to get forever and ever) keep us satisfied? How much “new-old” material do we need?
How about a 20 year moratorium on the purchase of all ZFT related products, including ZPZ performances/tote bags/big gulp mugs. How about a 20 year moratorium on visits to Zappa.com and their forum?
How about whenever “we” hear of someone, like those much sought after “young people” getting into the music of FZ, “we” ask “them” for a spindle of 50 CD-R’s at which point “we” make copies of the albums for “them.” You know, real hard core criminal activity, like back in the Iron Curtain days.
How about that? Really now, if the ZFT is crying bloody murder *now* what would happen if “everyone” in the “community” really really got their “fuck’em” on? What would happen if the ZFT had to actually get jobs, and by get jobs I mean no longer profit off of a dead man’s labor and intellectual capital, but instead had send checks to the golf club and various Democrat stooges out of the profits from “Go With What You Know” and Food Network appearances.
A fate worse than death, or business as usual for the other 99.9999% of the world?
On the other side of that coin, what would happen if the ZFT adopted a Grateful Dead (inc) type approach to taping and “use” of the material? What if the ZFT said on their answering machine “we’ll sell the recordings that FRANK ZAPPA made during his life time and in the mean time, you kids have fun making your websites and playing in your tribute bands!”
Would the ZFT starve? Would they have to move out of their home of 30 some odd years? Or would that stimulate revenue?
* Us here at KUR (non-profit fan site)
* Project/Object (non-profit tribute band)
* Bogus Pomp (non-profit tribute band)
* Sheik Yerbouti (non-profit tribute band)
* Zappanale Festival (non-profit Zpp festival)
* Arf Society (non-profit fan site)
have actually contributed to the ZFT’s *gross* national product and BRAND AWARENESS? What then?
Hard question, no?
Another hard question: Can the ZFT *prove* that the existence and activities of the above axis-of-zappa-evil have cut into their business?
What if the answer is no? What if they *can’t* prove it? What if this really is all about a horrible, as of yet un-medicated personality disorder that expresses itself through litigation? Could all this nonsense be rooted in (aberrant) psychology and (diseased) biology?
What if someone could prove that the above evil doers actually *contributed* to gross revenue?
Is there any way to count just how many people have visited KUR and, from there, gone to Zappa.com? Is that what you call a “cookie?” Can’t those be quantified?
If that were true, how much longer do you think we would be hearing all this cloying and transparent jibba-jabba about “intent” and “artists rights” and all that other sanctimonious crap the ZFT just loves to sling? (It’s always so rich when Gail talks about The Constitution Of The United States.)
Do you think we would ever again hear a peep about all that? Or would the ZFT eat their cheese sandwiches from Meals-On-Wheels saying “We may now be poor and disenfranchised and humiliated and having to make a living on our own, but at least FZ’s artistic rights are being defended from those people who love him and want to celebrate him and perpetuate his memory into history?”
In that instance, the question then becomes
“What does the ZFT love more, RULES (and PUNISHMENT) or MONEY?”
Hey Barry, maybe that could be a “poll” question…
I say: “Amen.”
(Anyone got a clue why it’s not ‘AAAFNRAAÂ©’ or ‘AAAFNRAAÂ®’ ?????)
P.S.: I might have a different view when ‘Really New New’ or ‘Really New Old’ Material would be culled out the Vault, and brought to ‘A Store Near You (and Me)’
Just a few thoughts…
The Grateful Dead were/are a “hippy” collective of musicians and artists. Frank Zappa was a radical individualist who seemed to despise the hippies’ philosophy and lifestyle. He was also a control freak. THE TRUST also seems to be control freaks.The GD were/are part of a larger community with a similar outlook on life. They came out of a folk tradition wherein the music was a communal expression to be shared by all. “We all gotta eat” as the saying goes and they found a way to prosper in a capitalist world from their art without ripping off their fans. Efze was an independant producer in the entertainment business. THE TRUST seems to have adopted some of the more heinious legal practices of the sleazier side of the entertainment industry in their administration of Efze the Artist’s legacy.
Project/Object is not “non-profit.”
“Non-profit” refers to a specific legal entity.
I’m not a lawyer so I can’t define in any detail
what that means in the legal sense, but we all
sort-of get the meaning. In these cases however, since
no company was set up (to my knowledge) to adhere to the legal
principles of a ‘non-profit’, it’s all up in the air.
Digital music via the internet has changed the
entire paradigm of what music is (as it relates to
the quality and availability of music) and those who
resist and those who rely on the recently antiquated
delivery systems are making a HUGE mistake.
And they are showing a lack of creative thinking, IMO.
There is an opportunity here for something wonderful,
as long as those involved can wind up on the same page.
This situation could be worked out.
Everyone (especially Gail Zappa) needs to be
willing to make small compromises for the big picture.
I am pretty certain that Zappa’s music is (overall) in the hands
of some really cool people.
I’ll tell you what’s “for-profit”: ZPZ — not that there’s anything wrong with that mind you. The boys ‘n girls at ZPZ have a day job playing Zpp’s music, and they do so admirably as I have said many times before.
The guys of P/O play Zpp’s music after hours, for the sheer thrill of it. If your idea of “not non-profit” Jeff, is to be handed a tuna sandwich along with a Kill Ugly Radio Beer at a hole-in-the-wall type establishment such as Winchester, Cleveland, Ohio, after you’ve been playing your guts out for some two hours, well then you are probably right, my good Sir. Good on ya.
Maybe the ZFT is realising they aren’t that necessary. Realistically they could do one “Buffalo” type release from each tour at most from tours that haven’t already been well represented (ie unlike the Flo end Eddie, 74, 84, 88 have), but even that would be stretching things. Then there are the videos Token, Halloween 81 and Roxy which would be popular. After that they are left with Dance Me This and other Synclavier stuff which are not going to be polular releases.
So at maximum that really is only maybe 12 Cds and three DVDs and the CDs won’t be big major releases but only vaulternative. Not big money spinners at all. Any new Joe’s type releases are pocket money at best too. Especially seeing our FZ entertainment can be got from elsewhere by fan sites, audience recordings etc and has been supplying us quite well for the last 10 years. So basically the “vault” isn’t worth much in a conventional release structure model.
Quite frankly some of the best unreleased material I have heard over the last 10 years have been the stuff floating around freely.
Hence I guess this is the reason why any non ZFT resource for FZ is such a threat to them. They realise they need to support themselves off this stuff with their current lifestyle and turning what they have into cash to do this isn’t as easy as they probably think. From that perspective, their actions sadly make sense.
Lets hope they modernise their thinking….
I agree with Barry mostly.
But to say that P/O plays Zappa music “for the sheer thrill of it”
is not entirely true. I suppose that they feed themselves and pay their rent playing the music (unlike Barry@KUR) , so it’s not completely an altruistic venture. They are not involved in a selfless self-sacrificial endeavor. In some ways their efforts
exemplify a sheer love of Frank’s music, but they promote themselves and expect to make some kind of a living playing Frank’s music.
Gail needs to get her shit together and take advantage of the promotional possibilities these websites provide. Or not.
She can be adversarial and difficult OR she can WISE THE FUCK UP.
I don’t think the “non-profit” concept is appropriate when applied to a cover band, that’s all. I’m sure P/O is doing it for the love of it, but I imagine (or I hope) they are making a living off of it. This post is going a little too far to tug at our heart strings by calling these cover band “non-profit.” It kind of insults our intelligence, and it isn’t necessary to make the essential underlying point. I agree that the ZFT is in the wrong by going after these bands. As long as they pay the statutory performance fees to the ZFT, they should be left alone.
Fan-sites and “for free” tape trading is truly “not for profit.” The ZFT’s attack on this practice is just plain stupidity.
I posted this in another thread, but…
Why doesnâ€™t the ZFT just offer all of these concert recordings via their own music download website? The band Phish for instance, has their own site (livephish.com) where fans can register and search a database of soundboard-recorded shows throughout the bandâ€™s career, hear small samples, then pay a fee to download individual tracks or full concerts (They can also purchase CDs of same).
This could be a win for everyone: Fans would have access to the best sounding recordings of shows while the ZFT would be able to digitally archive the vault for posterity while turning a profit from it, AND beat the boots in the process.
Has Gail ever been approached about something like that? Hell, even without mixing or mastering, theyâ€™d still sound better than any boot tapes out there. I think most fans would be more than willing to pay for the quality.
Didn’t mean to insult your intelligence Jeff, and I’m glad the essential underlying point came across. I’m quite willing to discuss the in’s and out’s of “for profit” versus “non profit”. Remember this though: at least we can discuss such a subject here. There are places where you get banned for attempting to do just that.
(1) you’re dead on target and (2) as for why they haven’t already I can only assume that the ZFT is in desperate need of entering the 21st century. They are so out of tune with present day reality, it almost makes me feel sorry for them. Almost.
For a musical family they certainly are tone deaf.
Over my years of doing radio and playing FZ™, I have made a lot of recommendations to Zappa™ fans, always pointing them to official releases.
John Cleese speaks to this issue rather obliquely after a comedy preamble. Very smart, very funny.
I agree with weenie on the fire, a boycott would get them to act kinder to fans or else handover their archive to a corporation that is far more competitent than the ZFT-or else she’s such a nutbar she would hold the tapes hostage under some bogus bankrupcy claim, “we can no longer afford upkeep of the vault… we’ve already lost countless tapes… we need your donations to keep the UMRK going or else the whole thing will be junked…”
“Well then just sell the tapes!”
“Yeah, well, we need your donation-”
“Just sell the tapes!”
“Oops there goes two of the Roxy reels, make your checks out to…”
Sure, it’s a paranoid fantasy but we’re dealing with paranoid people here.
OK. Andre here, founder of PROJECT/OBJECT
– We are not non-profit
-We also don’t “pay the rent” or make a living playing Zappa music
I have written Barry and asked him to update this page a bit….here is exactly what I wrote to him…..
“….ALSO__ Please– change the website and clarify– my band PROJECT/OBJECT IS NOT a “non-profit”– this is a very specific legal term here in the USA and we have never applied for it, but you got me thinkin’ now!
I will also post this on KillUgly Radio since I just saw that people are discussing it.
If I were you, I would also check to see that the other artists are truly, legally non-profit, just so we can stick with the facts and be legally and factually consistent, unlike you know who.
I know that you meant “we don’t make much money” and that’s true — but we ARE NOT a non-profit entity and should not be characterized as such. I’m also going to post this explanation simply because that’s a very important distinction, and a chance for bands to make that clear. Scott and URR has lost tons of money. Wolfhard, Thomas and The Zappanale has lost tons of money. Ed Palermo has lost tons of money. Jerry and Bogus Pomp has lost tons of money.
This is sooo not about the money! WE LOVE TO PLAY and CELEBRATE THIS MUSIC AND WILL TAKE A FINANCIAL BEATING SOMETIMES TO DO IT.
I’m not ashamed to say that on many tours I have lost money. Not life savings by a long shot, but a couple thou’. And other tours have broken even. In the last few years, we have finally been able to make anywhere from $75-110 per day, per band member (about $9-12 per hour), and stay in low end hotels for $29-59 per night. Try to calculate that kind of compensation — when you factor in UNPAID REHEARSALS and travel costs and times to rehearsal and to tour departure locations. Try to calculate the HOURS of lead work with clubs, promoters, management, publicists, press, sound guys, hotel bookings, flight bookings. Add in the countless HOURS working on the show itself — the tour concept, the setlists, the itineraries, the budget. What hourly rate do you come up with?
I do all or most of that in house – can you do the math on that?? It’s basically WORKING FOR FREE. But — no complaints here — I just want people to know the sides in this battle. We and other have been accused by Gail of “making a living on Frank’s music” and similar nonsense.
We drive in vans and rental trucks, saving every penny we can searching for the best price we can get. We have an amazing time, playing this challenging stuff and meeting the most amazing music fans in the world. Let that be clear – I’M NOT COMPLAINING — I just want clarity.
Hopefully that gives you a picture of the bread that’s involved. It’s a joke. Who cares, I have nothing to hide. I love Frank Zappa’s music and the universe of sound it has helped me discover and that is enough fuel to do this forever, as PART of my musical life.
Thanks – Andre’ ”
So – hopefully that clarifies things.
And ditto on the examples of Phish and The Dead– who prove that not only will freely allowing taping/trading HELP your bottom line by publicizing the music, but the ‘true freaks’ will buy everything you put out. Both bands — and others like Pearl Jam, Peter Gabriel and The Who – have shown that there is a great market for selling your live music in low cost, excellent-sound CD packages or downloads — WITH LOW OVERHEAD — just make a fucking site, and publicize your site at every show, every emailing, on your main site — etc. Take out an ad once in a while in Relix etc, and EVERY fan or potential fan will know they can get the ‘real deal’ from you . And it works.
But Gail doesn’t want it to work, unless it’s 100% the way SHE stubbornly envisions it, as anachronistic as that may be.
yes, this is the same post from ‘the unmoderated’ and dr. dot’s zappa group on myspace…
it still says just what i feel, i am sure not ALL of us are perusing ALL the sites!
i wanted to say something here too, the same words actually…it may have been more interesting if andre’s post received a point of view different than his own…
no inclination here to debate, we’re talking about facts…well known by many, facts about way the ZFT operates…
i posted this a coupla’ days ago in the alleged “unmoderated” forum which used to be a fun place to go too…there has certainly been a shift in the zappa fan world…
andre’ does walk the walk and his words, every one of them, are valid…he’s not even going into the depth of the hard-to-follow-lack-of-logic-angry-threatening-bridge-burning-disrespect to not only alumni and fans but also frank…
“if you’re a musician, play my music…if you’re not, play my music”
a quote from either moon via gail or via frank himself…someone in the zft expressed this sentiment…
we are still playing and listening frank…
andre’ started this out of pure love and respect for the man and the music…one can only hope that this doesn’t dampen his desire to keep p/o alive…look at them!
how many of you saw them last year, or any year??
they stay at motel 6’s, bunk up together to save money, drive hours in 2 vans from gig to gig, load in and out their own shit…scramble around new towns for a decent meal which is hard to do unless you know someone who is nice enough to bring food to the show
they stay long after the show to talk to fans and sign autographs…
you cannot knock this band or any one member for the passion they bring to the music and the stage and the fans!!
promoting zappa.com all the while…
today is a sad day…
not because the forum, the frank zappa forum…not gail’s forum…is down…but because the censorship is sooo over the top about what people on the fucking internet say…seriously???
GO TO YOUTUBE RIGHT NOW AND WATCH FRANK ON CROSSFIRE, BOTH INTERVIEWS…just watch his face as he remains poised and answers with concise, short answers about just this issue…surprised gail didn’t pick up some of this grace instead of her looney antics and screaming threats and now shutting down the forum…suspiciously the day after andre’ voiced his viewpoint…he’s allowed to be mad…being mad is ok…being outraged and dismayed is normal in light of her actions that affect him personally, financially and possibly the future of all the wonderful bands and festivals that exist for one reason…to honor this composer we all adore…i don’t understand why the people who say hey andre’s being too rude or tough on gail don’t look at the whole story and fire back the same outrage…
are we content to only have what currently is available, “official” releases that are rationed out by who knows what sort of timing…or put up with cancellations or delays in shipments after you paid your money…has anyone forgotten the multi-delayed shipment of MOFO???
is that all ok now and we’re ready to pay and wait until gail, one person with a brain that seems to be off kilter, to give the green light??
c’mon people, pay attention…don’t let frank die again…
I suspect GZ is secretly getting off on all this attention.
Negative press is an oxymoron when it comes to rock-music, unless you’re Milli Vanilli.
The best thing at this point seems to be what “weenie on the fire” suggested: cut her off, cold – & let her know exactly why. Tell her straight out – pick up your knuckles & play nice, or no more $$$ for you, from us, EVER AGAIN, & we’ll see to it that the folks who want to listen to them get to rock out to OUR copies of FZ albums, not pay for yours, & let’s see how your lawyers like being paid in T-Shirts & mouse-pads … think about it: given the nature of her public statements & recent behaviour, would YOU hire her?
I’ve been around truly insane people, & you’d be amazed how lucid many of them suddenly become when the topic shifts to their own wallet. The growling of an empty stomach is the hardest sound in the world to ignore, believe me … THAT’s a tune you’ve no choice but to dance to.
But a moratorium won’t work without a hardcore commitment to stick to it, even if she puts out a ROXY disc or a mysterious new unreleased album – otherwise, all the folks trying to keep interest in FZ alive wind up losing, & her lawyers get to keep having fun at our expense (while using our $$$ to do it).
How many of us are willing to do without new FZ goodies from the mystical Vault, & for how long? That’s the crux of the biscuit.
To reiterate: Barry deserves an apology, as do many others similarly threatened … just like Jimmy Carl Black deserves to finally get his bloody paycheck.
AndrÃ©: I’ve updated the post as you requested. Bad choice of words from my point, I admit. My thinking was that between what you guys make moneywise, and what you have to spend to keep touring (hotels, food, travel, …) I can’t see these tribute bands making much, if any, profit.
Given that there seems to have been a flurry of lawyers’ letters to tribute bands, fan-sites and so forth, perhaps this indicates that Ga*l’s law firm have recently recruited some new whizz kid who’s eager to make an impression and he/she/it is overdoing it?
Ga*l, Dwozzil, Ahmot, Muon and Divo and maybe even Joe Travuzz himself can’t have failed to notice the stink this has caused. Surely there’s a chance they’ll start to act reasonably?
And I wonder what the ‘favoured’ alumni such as Steve Vai and Terry Bozzio make of it all? I bet Steve played Fronk’s compositions before he ever met him- did he get permission?
As a musician myself (sadly not skilled enough to play Frunk’s stuff), I like to get paid but often don’t and hardly ever make any money out of it. I do it because I enjoy it, which is why most musicians start to play in the first place. If you’re good enough and/or lucky, you get to make a living!
I’ve just caught up with all this. Unreal. Has it ocurred to ZFT that they will actually end up losing business (as well as kudos) through such short-sighted and counter-productive activity?
Zulu Foxtrot Tango suck. As ever one is left wondering what Eff Zee would have done if he were still around.
I donâ€™t think the point about “Ugly Radio Rebellion”in the cease and desist letter to said equipe has a legaleg to stand on. You surely can’t claim copyright on two words together in the English language, just because your husband happen to have used them once, decades ago, replete with a third word (“kill”) which does NOT appear in the band’s title. If you can, when is GZee gonna claim back royalties on the expression “freak out”, or indeed the album “In It For The Money” by Supergrass?
I have to admit that I care less and less about what the ZFT does. Let’s stick to what HE released during HIS lifetime. That’s enough for me. I can live without FZ:OZ, Halloween, Quadrâ€¦whatever, Buffalo, Imaginary Diseases, Zappa Wazoo, Joe’sâ€¦whatever, MOFO, Transfusion, ZpZ, etc.
I’d just like to make a point about quality. If Gail’s attitude was more of a musical one, I could understand that. I wouldn’t want (in her position) people to be doing botch-jobs of Frank’s music, then spreading it all over the internet – FZ himself was very strict as we all know on the quality of playing of his music, so out of respect for him, it should be done well.
However, I’ve always been of the opinion that in order to even want to learn his music, you have to be of a decent standard on your instrument. What I’m trying to say is, your average punk guitarist isn’t going to end up destroying Echidna’s Arf or something. I’ve found in my experience that musicians usually go to Zappa after mastering pretty much everything else! And are therefore good players anyway.
The bands I’ve heard who actively tour and stuff (P/O, Bogus Pomp etc) are all a good standard. They aren’t up to the level of the man’s bands themselves, but for that point neither is ZPZ.
And lastly, you cannot claim anything to do with quality control of the output when you’ve given a single riff to somebody to sample and build a track around. This is an act the ZFT should have been picked up on far more – I will not hear any amount of “getting the music out to younger people” – this is certainly not the way to do it. To take someone’s music, someone who spent nearly their whole life working on it and chepaen it in this way disgusts me.
Herein lies the double standards – if someone had anonymously done this – built a track around the riff from Wind Up Workin In A Gas Station, and Gail found out, they’d be quite rightly in trouble. It shuld not happen. Neither should anybody be replacing riffs from Peaches En Regalia and playing them on guitar rather than their original instrument, creating a “new” version. I don’t think this is really working hard enough to claim a “re-interpretation” of a piece. But hang on, I swear somebody has done that… Go get them Gail.
I just thought I’d do a few sums here. Many of the releases since Zippo’s death I haven’t bought (in some cases on account of hearing them first!), so here is a list of all the posthumous releases which I will not be buying ever because of my personal boycott:
(time passes, screens take ages to load, bad links, illogical links, irritation at site which looks like it was designed by a 4 year old becomes too much to bear etc – guess where I’ve been surfing?)
Well, it would be if the website weren’t so badly designed that in many cases it is not even possible to find the cost of the fucking things! Anyway…
Dub room cd
That is, I guess (with postage) a couple of hundred dollars in lost sales… from just one person. Sorry I couldn’t find the exact figures.
Amazing how quickly the lost income could add up, if many were to take this approach…
Being a father of 5 ( now adult) children ( they still cost me a lot of money) and being – most of all- a music lover, I would say to Gail:
– try to keep getting some money out of the Z legacy. That’s not a shame. Focus on those who abuse his legacy in a greedy way. That should be the starting point of this reasoning. Not the people who really care about his musical legacy.
– think about creating something like the AACM, Chicago, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. It’s a non – profit org which had a remarkable influence on US music: Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians
You will be remembered as somebody who cared.
I am doing whatever I can to pass on the message to the freaks I know. Although I sure can’t beat the job you guys are doing. But the more places the news show up, the more informed we are and the more it will be discussed then those who have honored and kept Frank’s music alive will feel our support and will not give up. Power to the Freaks!
Many thanks DebK! (and all of you out there…)
For those who are curious to know how many people are reading this, you can have a look at the following graph, the vertical axis being the amount of visitors per day. The day it went down to zero is the day of the new lay-out (counter didn’t work). I’ve got this from a trustful source that shall remain nameless :-)
Oh no! I just remembered…my name is on the OZ & MOFO cds. Does Gail now hold the rights to my name, too?
Until the rights to you are sold, Rob…
D’weasel & Co also sued my friend in Austin last year for putting on a Zappa Hoot Night – a yearly fundraiser and crucial meeting place for FZ heads, which all proceeds went to the American Cancer Foundation…
even worse- the show organizer is a close family friend of the Bozzio’s…
also turns out Bozzio himself got axed from this latest ZdoesZ tour and he had a big falling out w/ the ZF…talk about burning bridges!
2 words: creative commons
rather than a strict boycott of the music, just boycott Barko as well as cd stores that sell it new, this will have the effect of cutting off the money source. If you buy the disc used (Eg. ebay), then you can still enjoy the music as well as the increasingly shoddy artwerk (Civ,FZpFZ and EIHN excluded).
If you have no quarrels with stealing and arent concerned with linear note fetishment- as I dont, just download them off, ideas are free, the composer’s dead, anyone else can go to Hell IMHO. Though the only concession I would make is for Roxy on DVD, if I saw that in a store, I’m sorry, I would have to buy it but anyone else who wants a copy could just send me some DVD discs and I’ll even scan the artwork for them-
Freaks of the World, Unite!
Hell, nothing could make me boycott the MUSIC. Just the damn fools making a right ballsup of selling it…
Interesting quote from a 1967 interview with Fronk.
“FZ: Uh, they do know that we exist in Europe. The album sells well in Sweden and, um, in Holland. Not, it doesn’t sell as well in, uh, England, but that’s mainly the fault of the record company, because when they released it there, they just pressed it and put it on the stand without any concurrent publicity, and you have to have a certain amount of, uh, machinery to get the ball rolling. But it has been what you might call an underground success because, um, my sources inform me that most of the groups over there have a copy and listen to it regularly, faithfully. Eric Burdon from the Animals liked it very well, he performs, uh, several of the songs from the first album with his group. And The Who were interested in “Who Are the Brain Police?” for a single, I was told.”
I stumbled across this on the zappa.com forum ‘Wish List’ topic, posted by somebody calling himself ‘Lumpy Gravy’.
If the quote is genuine, it would seem to indicate that Frink regretted a lack of adequate publicity by his record company and didn’t mind other musicians doing cover versions! Can you hear this Ga*l Zipper?
Duh! It’s track 12 of CD4 of MOFO ‘Machinery’, Interview with Matty Biberfeld, WRVR, New York City, NY, Summer, 1967
May be Gai*, the ZFT and their lawyers forgot about it too!
I do not see what is illegal with cover bands…. jazz musicians have been covering standards for years…
In fact, it is allowed to cover any copyrighted tune as long as the venue or the band pays its dues to the local organization that takes care of the performance rights (SOCAN in Canada, SACEM in France, BMI and ASCAP in the USofA, and so on… see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Performance_rights_organisation for more)
Same for distributing a covered tune on CD as long as you pay mechanical rights to the corresponding agency (Harry Fox Agency or CMRRA in the US, SODRAC in Canada, etc…). The fact that CD are on the decline doesn’t change anything. It’s just a format…
Radio airplay is also covered by the same kind of mechanisms (though as far as I know there is a gray area concerning podcasts…)
Maybe ZFT has simply a problem with musicians that do not pay their rights… simple as that….
btw, a fellow wrote to a Beefheart list I am on and said he spoke to Flo (or was it Eddie?) at a recent gig, and he was told that the ZFT will not allow them to play Zappa tunes.
As far as I know, the musicians whom the Z*T are targeting do pay their rights, assuming the venues they play hold the appropriate ASCAP (or equivalent) licence. I suspect the ZF* want to stop tribute bands altogether – apart from ZP* – and they and their lawyers are working hard to make this copyright business stick by claiming that Frunk’s music is inherently ‘dramatic’ and thus not covered by the ASCAP licence. (See the letter from the *FT lawyers at the Ug*y Ra*io Rebel*lion website).
Seems Dweezoil doesn’t want any competition.
Drama is the best?
I just did:
I’ve just red the letter writen to Ugly Radio Rebellion. Well, I don’t think them to be a really good band, but that letter… its totally ridiculous. What is happening? Where are we? Whats next???
Balint says: “Whats next???”
Well, just hop on over to Zippo’s homepage –
Is that just a simple (and cheesy) holiday message, or, a sardonic response to what is going on? Peace signs?!
Knowing what we all know about Fronk’s views of hippies, the peace movement, and the like, my guess is it’s the latter!
i just heard ugly radio rebellion on their website
I think gail should reconsider the civil action of copyright infringement
and add to it criminal charges for desecration of a corpse
cause what URR did to the music is a crime.
is there anything good inside of you? ouch!!!
Please don’t tell me that ZFT is actually the acronym for
Zappa Family Tards . . .
Help, I’m A Rock!
Hi hipbone, the peace flash message pops up each year around the same period.
The Zulu Family Trust is about to make me sick…I’ve been listening to the reports…of writs and legal papers..passing around…and of the markets of love for Eff Zee burning down…and to say that everyday, we’re just a rotten group?? Those who made the Eff Zee Family life style possible are trying to destroy Eff Zee???
Oh, I know! F*ck the Zulu Fam Trust!! I’ll continue to buy Eff Zee cds second hand and I’ll continue to get dvds from Netflix and see that no moulah goes into the gutter of overzealous grand wazoos in Hollyweird, home of the Zulu Fam Trust. Their litiginous ways will bite them in the arse sooner than they think.
But, it makes me sick to write this since I had an epiphanie at the ZP* show in VA a while back and bought a tour shirt, even though I needed to save my $$…Dweeeeezy, please cease and desist the hate and the lawyers….we all love Eff Zee…no one is taking $$ away from your mom, we’ll all buy Rozy when it is out, altough I will get it 2nd hand. ;-)
the zft seem to have inherited their patriarch’s cynicism whilst throwing the ‘sense of humor’ baby out with the proverbial bathwater.
fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.
and that’s what this whole charade is – a JOKE.
What means Official – Ga*l Z*pp*’s announcement about the Z*Z shows, using the keywords â€žnon-dramatic contextâ€, â€žcopyrights-holderâ€, â€žintegrity of worksâ€, â€žunder an umbrella called grand rightsâ€. I did not notice that earlier.
Should be added to that permanent page – unless it’s against some copyrights…
Gail Zappa and her henchmen (lawyers) are really stretching it when they attempt to define FZ’s music as “dramatic works” (in their cease and desist order to URR). There is a very big difference between a song and a play, no matter how hard they try to rationalize it. Their intent is obvious. Next thing we’ll know, the ZFT will be copyrighting the phrase “Good Morning” because FZ said it once a day. If anyone is making FZ look bad: it’s not the fans, the fansites, or the tribute bands…they’ve done their part faithfully since Freak Out was first released…
From The Idiot’s site:
“Let us, at this time, remind ourselves of the following exchange which took place when the editors of the US fanzine, Society Pages, met with Frank in January 1991 â€“ and they discussed Matthew Galaherâ€™s attendance at Zappanale #2:
SP: There is this group called the East German Arf Societyâ€¦
SP: â€¦and they have gotten together for a couple of annual meetings.
FZ: Thatâ€™s great!
SP: Actually, one of our friends took a trip to Europe, met with these people, went to one of their little meetings, and was really taken with the whole experience of it.
FZ: Thatâ€™s amazing!”
While not exactly a tacit endorsement of the Zappanale festival, neither did FZ appear to be threatened by the idea of an annual festival in his honour in any way, perhaps even surprised a little bit.
There is possibly one down side to procuring Zippo’s music through second-hand channels. Do the performers on the recordings still get residuals from sales, or did they sign on the line for seven long years with a guy from a company we can’t name? I don’t want to deny George, Ruth, Vinnie, Chad et al what they should be getting.
I’m pretty certain that royalties and residuals from sales go to those songwriters and composers of the works in question. For example, “Uncle Remus” and “Echidnaâ€™s Arf (Of You)” were co-written with George Duke, so he would lose money if you bought Apostrophe(‘) or Roxy & Elsewhere second-hand (how much, I’m not certain — but if you really feel guilty, why not pick up his early and mid-70s albums as compensation — I’m sure both tunes are to be found). As for the rest of the musicians you mentioned, they were “hired employees” and as such, get nothing except the credit that they played on the tracks, as well as their initial payment.
I think it’s about time we heard from Gai*, or Dwozzil or somebody from the ZFFT. They must have noticed the stink gathering around them, not only here but also over at the zappa.com forum.
Time for a re-think, Ga*l?
Tom said: “However, Iâ€™ve always been of the opinion that in order to even want to learn his music, you have to be of a decent standard on your instrument. What Iâ€™m trying to say is, your average punk guitarist isnâ€™t going to end up destroying Echidnaâ€™s Arf or something. Iâ€™ve found in my experience that musicians usually go to Zappa after mastering pretty much everything else! And are therefore good players anyway.”
You have a point, Tom, but on the other hand, “Help I’m a Rock” was the first thing I ever learned how to play on a guitar.
PS: the Who were considering doing “Who Are the Brain Police” as a single? Holy shit, this is up there with the Moroder-ized Dylan album and the 1992 presidential run on my list of Frank Zappa Events That Really Should Have Happened. Especially since 1967 was the year that Roger Daltrey’s hairstyle reached perfection.
From the instant I heard “Sofa #1” on One Size Fits All, then later on Zappa In New York, I always wanted to play it on my saxophone (but getting FZ sheet music for alto and tenor sax, I have found, is impossible to get), so I learned to transcribe it myself by ear over the course of many many repeated hearings. I’m sure it’s not perfect, but until the ZFT enters the 21st century and starts to service the fan base instead of just fleecing it again and again and again…it’ll have to do.
Gail has always struck me as someone FZ ridiculed in his lyrics.
And this sort of proves it. She was all gung ho for Gore in 2000, FZ would have seen Gore as a lying sack of shit, which is what he was/is.
Yet she didn’t care and went out and stumped for the guy.
That really irritated me. How could she ally herself, and the Zappa name, with that guy boggles the mind, even with the alternative being GWB.
Ludicrous thy name is Gail Zappa.
You hit the proverbial nail on the head, E. Buzz Miller.
Gore is/was a lying sack of shit. Is it so long ago that people forget that he and Bill Clinton threw tens of thousands of poor families off welfare in the name of “welfare reform”? And now he wins the nobel peace prize for repeating the obvious? Yes, it does boggle the mind, don’t it though? Especially with Tupper playing drums on their iTunes special (did anyone really buy that…).
It’s like a musical version of Dr. Strangelove.
Just a few more thoughts…
It really didn’t surprise me when THE TRUST got bent out of shape about making boots available for download, even for free. Even the ever fan friendly Dead made archive sights remove high quality (and lesser quality) soundboard tapes, because they felt that could hurt their revenue stream from their plans to make those archives available on their own sight, for a fee (although some are free.). This hostility towards cover and tribute bands is what puzzles me. The Dead seem to actively encourage such bands and various former members often participate at festivals. But then this is how they make their living (although the festival are often more life style celebrations than band tributes). The Dead were a Group in the truest sense and a collective. Efze was a composer who hired musicians to play in bands performing his compositions, of which her was the bandleader/boss. In the sixties and earlier seventies those bands may have been more collabortive in performance than later bands. While Jerry Garcia was the heart, soul and guiding spirit of the Grateful Dead, they were a group in a way Efze’s bands never were (even the original Mothers). If THE TRUST wants to keep the composer’s music alive, it would seem logicial to allow musicians who love and are challenged by his musicial compositions to present their interpertations of those works.Even working from the European classical tradition as opposed to a traditional folk music approach. Sure some bands will suck, but then the R&b cvers Efze sometimes did were often more accurate in spirit than in note for note reproduction, and I always though that meant more in appreciating music.
The jam festivals are as much about new bands and music as anything else, even though several festies have Dead alumni as headliners. ZPZ played 10,000 Lakes last summer, and during the show D’Weasel said it was the youngest crowd they’d ever played for. Hello? Does that tell you something?
Take a quick look at these band names, then scoot over to the internet archive and be surprised by how many of them post their shows there for their fans to download and share. Dâ€™Weasel may have said it was the youngest crowd theyâ€™d ever played for, but obviously that’s about all he took away from the festival. Those bands are truly cutting edge, both musically and how they promote themselves in the 21st Century.
I think that was sort of my point, if Dweez and THE TRUST don’t want Efze’s music to become just some old dead guy’s doodles, they need to encourage new younger bands showing a interest in keeping it a living, growing thing.The young jam bands of today continue the spirit of what the Dead did and were a part of in the beginning, who is really doing that for Efze’s legacy. THE TRUST apparently doesn’t comprehend this and in consumed by the obsession of protecting certian imaginary properties.
Completely agree with you, kzdarwin. These young jam bands are reviving the progressive spirit again in music, and using the new technology to do it, too. They are making it exciting to go to festivals again. If THE TRUST are successful, however, Efze will be a museum piece, and young folks will go, “Frank who?”
Note that none of those bands are Grateful Dead Tribute bands. They take the jam band spirit of the Dead and put out their own original tunes (with maybe the occasional cover). Maybe it’s time for our FZ tribute bands to do the same…
Rats, no Ivan Neville on the Archive. I was looking forward to hearing some of that band.
I wasn’t saying those were Dead tribute bands. That would be someone like The Dark Star Orchestra, who recreate Grateful Dead setlists from historic shows. The point I was making that former members of the Dead , although they wrote the songs, aren’t uptight about who plays them.
Barry–Lay low, get better & have a happy new year!…and the same to all fellow KUR freaks (and especially to THE TRUST)!! After all, music is the best, right?
Ever since he died
he has not been
so much fun anymore.
he has not been, period.
p.s. Everyone has the right to be whatever they want to be.
I hope D’Weasel learned something from playing 10KLF. Some of these young bands have serious chops, and Umphrey’s definitely sounds Zpp-influenced. A band like U-Melt could probably handle a few compositions.
He’s just as fun for me, right this moment, as he was when I first discovered him on my cousin’s turntable 35 years ago. His music IS the best. The man may be gone. The music lives.
You certainly have a point, gnarlyartly. Groups like Frogg Cafe and Umphreyâ€™s McGee combine the two successfully (original tunes and the occasional cover). The very same points you make can, and should, be applied to Dâ€™Weasel too. Sooner or later, every musician has to find his own unique voice. Still, isn’t there room for both? Without festivals like Zappanale, dedicated to the music of FZ, won’t the music itself just disappear? If it’s not played, it only exists as little black dots in a drawer somewhere…
On the other side of that coin, what would happen if the ZFT adopted a Grateful Dead (inc) type approach to taping and â€œuseâ€ of the material? What if the ZFT said on their answering machine â€œweâ€™ll sell the recordings that FRANK ZAPPA made during his life time and in the mean time, you kids have fun making your websites and playing in your tribute bands!â€
Yeah. Gail Z. sounds even more anal now than she did back in the day (typical of many aging democrats). But the Z kids probably in it as well. On the other hand, tribute bands are generally dismissable. But does say a pianist have to get permission from ZFT if he plays Peaches in Regalia at a nightclub (PNR now in many fake books)? Odd. How about using UncleMeat as a temporary s-name? Sorry Mrs. Z, but you don’t own the language, or musick, or the Net.
Gail needs a good fucking, and the problem is she hasn’t earned it.
urbangraffito – zappa’s music was documented on master tapes. it WAS played, in it’s definitive form, while zappa was alive. the ‘little black dots’ were just one of the means to the end. i even feel that way about the yellow shark stuff. if zappa just handed them pages of ‘little black dots’ instead of working with them intesively over a long period of time, that project would have sounded completely different.
this is why i don’t believe treating zappa’s music canonically makes much sense. i wanna hear zpz like i wanna hear some random douchebag guitar wanker play a note-perfect set of hendrix covers – that is to say, NOT AT ALL.
jane23 – is that a haiku? either way, it’s devastating. the space between phrases is like, the void of death or something. totally.
one small quibble, though – the last time i watched ‘baby snakes’, it was kinda fun. call me crazy.
Freon P. Sandoz, let’s keep the discussion on a civil level, all right?
You are right, mcnastie, treating Zappaâ€™s music canonically makes no sense to me either. When I listen to a tribute band, or any band for that matter, play Zappa’s music, I am mostly interested in their interpretation of the music. I’ve already heard the standard, note-for-note, definitive versions Zappa documented while he was alive. Zappa’s music isn’t an aberration which exists outside of musical and popular culture, but within the context of that culture — just as it will continue to exist as part of a future musical culture hitherto unknown to any of us…
right-o, urbangraffit-o. you agree with me, so that means you must be smart.
i find it ironic that zappa used to joke about how his spawn’s last name was the thing that was gonna get them in trouble. seems to me that if not for their last name dweezil, ahmet, and moon unit would all be working at wal-mart or del taco or some shit.
they deserve all the flak they get from the hardcores. entitlement’s a bitch. and as far as the crime of feeding off their patriarch’s corpse is concerned, they’re the worst offenders by far.
Help, I’m Iraq!!
These sites, which are so-o-o-o offensive to the likes of the tiny minds at ZFT, have been the only thing keeping my interest in all things Frank alive – that is, besides the m-u-s-i-c, of course.
We all know what the F in ZFT stands for. Give me an F!!!
Aw, go F yourself!!!
(thank you, i will)
December 29th, 2007 at 8:54 am
right-o, urbangraffit-o. you agree with me, so that means you must be smart.
i find it ironic that zappa used to joke about how his spawnâ€™s last name was the thing that was gonna get them in trouble. seems to me that if not for their last name dweezil, ahmet, and moon unit would all be working at wal-mart or del taco or some shit.
they deserve all the flak they get from the hardcores. entitlementâ€™s a bitch. and as far as the crime of feeding off their patriarchâ€™s corpse is concerned, theyâ€™re the worst offenders by far.
amen to that mcnastie!
———>at least ahmet is doing something original but i have to wonder if he would be as successful as he is without the zappa name? probably not, eh?
this is a quote from his web site. “Iâ€™m the third of four children born to the late rock musician/ composer, Frank Zappa, and a super-powered psychic witch businesswoman named Gail.”
This is a blurb about his book, The Monstrous Memoirs of Mighty McFearless.
Prior to my manuscriptâ€™s publication, and only a few days after I actually finished it, a copy was leaked and caused quite a frenzy among the studios. In the end Iâ€™m proud to say that Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer films won a bidding war between two other studios and purchased the film rights to my book for $1.5 million, which Iâ€™ve been told is an unprecedented deal for a first time childrenâ€™s book author! All I know is that I can buy a lot of doughnuts with that kind of money and I have the belly to prove it.
The Monstrous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless was published in the U.S. by Random House in July 2006 and has received glowing reviews. Disney is now in pre-production on the film version and I canâ€™t wait to see what my monsters will look like when brought to life on the big screen.
In other mind-blowingly good news, in October of 2006 I was tapped by The Jim Henson Company to executive produce and write a treatment for a full-length feature version of the 1980â€™s television classic, Fraggle Rock.
Doesn’t sound to me like the Zappa family is hurting for money now does it?
I respect all the Zappas (even Diva!) but sometimes Gail can be ‘overzealous’ with her litigation. I can see why she’s so protective of Frank’s work, after all he was the greatest musical genius of the 20th century ..and her late husband, but anything that keeps FZ’s work alive, if publishing etc. is paid for, should be a good thing, shouldn’t it?
check us out!!
All the bands/non-download-websites being sued by the ZFT should get together and use any spare cash they have setting up a charitable foundation to raise money by donations from members of the public to fund their case against the ZFT. I’m sure a case can be constructed that what the ZFT is doing is in fact ILLEGAL because it is undemocratic.
Using legislation pertaining to “dramatic performances” to shut down a non-theatrical musical event is a bit of an iffy proposition, to start with.
Even if a person’s name doubles as a company trademark – the assumption that the use of that person’s name, in some context which DOES NOT involve an actual corporate logo, constitutes fraud is also a bit ridiculous.
Even if Zappa’s body of compositions do not belong to ASCAP, no judge should need an explanation of how it’s just plain unfair to demand that – for example – members of some two-bit bar band should apply for special permission and a license just so they can play “Watermelon In Easter Hay” one evening at a gig that no one would think to record and distribute.
This is a fight that we could win. The bootleg issue will take longer.
In case I garbled the first part of that statement – I meant they should unite to launch a counter-suit against the ZFT for its undemocratic/anti-competitive actions.
This isn’t about Zappa’s so called legacy. That is secure. What all this litigation is about is an attempt on behalf of the ZFT (and other like-minded copyright holders) to gain a precedent whereby they can gain even more rights than they already presently possess. Sooner or later someone with enough financial wherewithal will fight them in court. That is exactly what they want. Either way, the ordinary fan will be the *big* loser. Because whatever rights *they* gain, are rights that *we* lose (i.e. fair use). Doesn’t anyone else see what is going on? This isn’t just about one weblog, or a handful of tribute bands — it’s an outright attack on personal freedom itself…
What we need is a whole lot of dummy targets so the ZFT waste a lot of time chasing them. Heck I am in a very very very very ocassional Zappa covers band… one gig, four rehearsals in five years…. be kinda nice to actually get a C&D letter…
Just to add to the stew…the Grateful Dead actually only tolerated taping until around ’83 or ’84. Garcia didn’t care, and said, “when we are done with it the fans can do what they want with it.” But, they didn’t get rich from their music until the fluke hit single in ’87. Real bootlegs, sold in stores and record shows, were something they despised as much as Eff Zee. They would usually confiscate tapes from tapers if they caught them in the 70s and early 80s, but the amount of people who went to incredible amounts of trouble to document the shows was too much for the crew to stop. By ’94 store sold boots became a massive problem, a sounman got canned and the band decided it was time to listen to the fans and release their vault tapes and make some money off of that market, which was a very wise move, that has been followed by many, many bands since.
The thing with the zft seems to be a personal thing gone to a horrible extreme since the business model of communicating with the fan base, selling live downloads or cds of shows, etc, has been proven to be a viable one. I can’t claim to know what Eff Zee would think of it, but we all know he was wickedly smart, so…who knows.
Just to add to the stew…the Grateful Dead actually only tolerated taping until around ’83 or ’84. Garcia didn’t care, and said, “when we are done with it the fans can do what they want with it.” But, they didn’t get rich from their music until the fluke hit single in ’87. Real bootlegs, sold in stores and record shows, were something they despised as much as Eff Zee. They would usually confiscate tapes from tapers if they caught them in the 70s and early 80s, but the amount of people who went to incredible amounts of trouble to document the shows was too much for the crew to stop.
So, around ’84 they started the taping section and sanctioned taping officially.
By ’94 store sold boots became a massive problem, a sounman got canned and the band decided it was time to listen to the fans and release their vault tapes and make some money off of that market, which was a very wise move, that has been followed by many, many bands since.
The thing with the zft seems to be a personal thing gone to a horrible extreme since the business model of communicating with the fan base, selling live downloads or cds of shows, etc, has been proven to be a viable one. I can’t claim to know what Eff Zee would think of it, but we all know he was wickedly smart, so…who knows.
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