I am an extreme Frank Zappa fan; you can ask anyone who knows me and I'm sure many of them will roll their eyes, but they will agree. I found Frank Zappa my senior year of college and everything changed. It was as though, a dam burst and flooded all of my musical knowledge/experience and only the genuine, real music floated to the surface, while everything else drowned like a witch.
Zappa's music is genius, obscure and controversial. Now, added to the controversy of the music itself, we must include the ongoing lawsuits and legal battle between Dweezil Zappa and the Zappa Family Trust, run by Ahmet and Diva Muffin Zappa, to this controversy. I have included links to Dweezil's statements, as well as, the ZFT and you can check out some more detailed information about the lawsuit here:
Recently, this sibling drama has unfolded further but this time with hordes of angry Zappa fans coming out of the woodwork, declaring their disdain for the Hologram Frank Zappa tour scheduled in 2019. As much as I dislike the idea of this hologram, where exactly were all these Zappa fans when Dweezil was touring? Heck, I didn't even know there were this many Zappa fans left out there!
Anyway, with resounding negative comments regarding ZFT's recent hologram tour announcement, l have seen arguments between fans and even fans belittling and attacking many of the musicians involved. The rift between Zappa fans grows even further and the ongoing battle between Dweezil and ZFT has leaked over into the public’s reaction and perception of things to come. Most fans seem to be in the Dweezil camp but there are others that support this holographic move; many are interested in the lineup of the backing band, which could include original Zappa band members. ZFT has reached out to former members of Franks band and asked if they would like to be involved. Many of these musicians have confirmed that they that did in fact talk with Ahmet and have allowed him to use their names. Dweezil was also name-dropped but it was obvious that he would have no part in this upcoming tour.
Comments from musicians:
I reached out to Dweezil a few days ago and I am still hoping to hear back from him regarding this subject. Many of the other musicians said to be involved, have released statements such as, Steve Vai, Arthur Barrow and Adrian Belew. While I am unequivocally with Dweezil on this, there does seem to be an even larger problem between Dweezil and many of Frank Zappa's ex-band members. It seems that Dweezil does not get along with some of the former band members and his list of performers that he would work with is "short." (Note: Since publishing this, Dweezil has reached out and claimed these accusations are false. More to come.) I see Dweezil Zappa/ Zappa Plays Zappa/ Dweezil Zappa Plays Whatever The F$%# He Wants, whenever I can and even took the pilgrimage last year to Red Rocks to see him perform an amazing rendition of "Inca Roads." I have personally met Dweezil on several occasions and can attest to his sincerity and graciousness with his Dads fans and by proxy, his own.
I will admit, I was taken aback and appalled by the holographic announcement but I have since warmed up to the idea after thinking about seeing some original members performing Zappa music; beyond the hologram, just the musical aspect. I have seen hundreds of arguments for and against this tour but after seeing a patent that Frank Zappa himself designed using some sort of optical illusion on stage, I'm willing to give it a shot and if the old band members are in then why not? I will go check it out once and I will give my honest opinion. I will be the first to tell you like it is, if this tour is an abomination, I promise, I will tell you. If I am blown away, I will also tell you. I hold Frank Zappa’s music up to the highest integrity and so I would cover this event with the upmost honesty and truthfulness.
My closing statement is short and sweet. Go see Dweezil Zappa live whenever you can. Go see Frank Zappa’s music live whenever and however you can. Experience Frank Zappa music whenever and however you can. We need to keep this Zappa musical legacy alive not bastardized with lawsuits and bullshit. I know everyone likes to speculate what Frank would or wouldn’t do; "WWFD?" but he is dead and doesn't care what we do, that I know for sure. Here he tells us that: https://youtu.be/GBfoTUG41i4?t=529 Spinning Sheik Yerbouti today on vinyl…
More Trouble Everyday,
Jam Band Purist
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Editor: Robert (R.A.) Fadley
Freelance Writer, Musicologist, Music Journalist, Music Critic, Music Writer, Author, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Guitarist.