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.
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”…
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)