Dressing room at Colston Hall, Bristol UK
I felt like writing a little note about my experience on this UK tour and the UK in general. Despite my father's turbulent past here in Britain my own experiences here have been rather pleasant. In my life I've been to the UK many times and to many cities. When I think back on it I've had some major accomplishments that took place here.
For example when I first visited, Frank was making 200 Motels and I was very little. I took my first steps in a hotel room in London. Pretty big achievement in anyone's life! While I don't recall much about that actual moment I do recall having a fondness for the look of the buildings and parks.
As I got older I had the chance to visit a few more times and see more stuff that made a big impression. I love seeing castles and I loved visiting Stonehenge. All of that was so exciting to me and it still is. I look forward to seeing it again through my children's eyes when they get a chance to visit.
In 1982 I came here for to visit Frank while he was on tour and he invitied me to make my performing debut at the London Hammersmith Odeon. I didn't know that was going to happen. I was terrified but excited to be asked. I did the best I could with the 9 months of skills I had acquired. I should probably find that performance in the vault and see if we can release it somehow... note to self...
Anyway, since then I've been back to watch Frank with the LSO and later with my own music in Z. I've had great opportunities to do interesting things like, going to a costume ball thrown by Jeff Beck. I went as Sir Lancelot wearing real chainmail ( that stuff is heavy) and was knighted by Jeff ( dressed as King Arthur) when I arrived. I also met Prince Charles at a formal gathering in Scotland where I had to dress in formal kilt. Yes Scottish style...
I had the good fortune to play golf at St. Andrews and visit and dine in the club house with the assistance of family friends and Prince Andrew. Those are fond and funny memories that blur the lines of fantasy and reality.
Over the years I've continued to make friends here, do some music projects like recording Brian May at Metropolis stuidos for "What The H**l Was I Thinking" of course now touring with Zappa Plays Zappa.
The charm of the architecture here is quite appealing and I noticed it even more while having the day off in London with my girlfriend Megan. Together we've made some great friends in the UK and have the sense that we would like to visit more often.
The connection the band has made with the growing pool of supporters for our mission with the music is another fantastic reason to come back. There has been something about this UK tour in particular that has been hard to pinpoint. I was talking about it with friends and a few people behind the scenes like the promoter and we came to the conclusion that there seems to be a palpable sense that the appreciation for Frank's contributions to music and our role in creating opportunities to hear it respectfully performed live is growing. While the increases in numbers may not be extreme we are proud to see the ground swell of growth.
Our sold out show in London was a great example of this. There were a lot of people attracted to this show who came to it as "Zappa Virgins." I heard from many of them after the show. They were quite effusive about their new appreciation and perspective of what is possible in music through this exposure to Frank's music. A common phrase I heard was, "I didn't know I was missing out on all of this until now."
Thanks to everyone in the UK who helped make this tour possible. I look forward to making the UK home to some special Zappa Plays Zappa events in the future. Let's kick it off in 2012!