First of all thanks to all of the fans who came to the shows in the UK and Europe. On so many levels it's a challenge to keep this project moving forward but it could not exist without support from the fans of the music. THANK YOU. We all appreciate you coming to the shows and helping to carry the music forward.
When we are out here playing the music away from our families we often have the chance to meet people who share their stories of what this music means to them and how they discovered it, either on their own or through a family member. Many time the stories are quite moving.
On this tour I heard many new stories that were inspiring. I also had the pleasure to help transform some ephemeral cogitations into reality for a few individuals who have shown remarkable enthusiasm for the music. I find it quite interesting that there are some very serious young musicians in Scandinavia who have really been putting the time into learning my father's music. I wonder why this region produces this?
My dad had a chance to witness that for himself as well. It seems that there is a tradition that is continuing... Haakon, Karoline and Filip did very well joining us on stage and we enjoyed having them. They reminded me of when my dad first met Mats and Morgan in Stockholm.
On another topic, I also see a lot of people with Frank Zappa tattoos which can also be pretty fascinating. They usually have a good story that goes with them.
To me it's particularly intriguing to find out why women get these kinds of tattoos. My father's music is not necessarily always appreciated by women. It sometimes takes a "special" kind of woman to really get it.
There was a girl in Utrecht who couldn't have been more than 20, I think her name was Esther and she had the FZ moustache logo on her forearm. A woman her age resonating with the music so much that she gets a tattoo is quite surprising. When I met the rest of her family and saw how much they all were into the music it made more sense. There was a guy in Copenhagen who had the "Music Is The Best" monologue on his back and was visibly overjoyed when we played Packard Goose. After the show he showed his tattoo and said to Scheila, "You said the words on my back."
My point is that, when I see the kind commitment to have tattoos, sometimes even multiple tattoos, I know that the music really means something to them and it is life changing, just like a tattoo is life changing. For me growing up around the music it was life changing. My view of music was forever filtered by what I grew up hearing. When I heard other music, even if I liked it I still thought to myself, "Where is the rest of it?" I had grown so accustomed to hearing all of the different timbres, textures, rhythms and styles.
One thing I am happy about is that we are seeing more and more younger people at the shows. I am seeing proud parents sharing an evening of music together with their kids and both generations being really enthusiastic about it. It has me thinking that in the future I would like to do some special offers, maybe father and son ticket pairing or father daughter... Some type of opportunity to make a family evening even more possible for people.
In any case, I am off to Sicily tomorrow to take place in a special event/documentary. There will be a street named after my dad in the hometown Partinico, where his family emigrated from. I am looking forward to returning there and attending the event as well as spending time with my wife in such a lovely country.
After that the band and I begin trudging across the tundra in the US for more shows.
I hope to meet a lot more new folks on this this next tour. We are certainly headed to some new places...