It's been far too long since I've checked in with a blog. So much has been happening it's hard to know where to start! I suppose you've noticed that the website has changed. We are working on many new features on the site in order to be able to routinely post new audio and video content. We are also creating a dedicated store for exclusive Dweezil Zappa audio downloads.
Beyond that, there have been a few other changes... Mainly name changes. As you may or may not know I now tour under my own name, Dweezil Zappa, instead of Zappa Plays Zappa because my brother Ahmet and my sister Diva who run the Zappa Family Trust (ZFT) claimed ownership of the name Zappa Plays Zappa which my mother trademarked in 2007. The heavily tweezed language appropriating that trademark was designed by my mother to distinguish between the 2 uses of Zappa. One indicating Frank Zappa and the other indicating any other Zappa "family member" who wishes to use the name to publicly tour and play the music. This of course is silly considering no other family member is capable of playing Frank Zappa's music nor have they shown any intent to go out and do so in the past 11 years. Curiously, the one that is capable and has been devoted to doing so for the past 11 years, is no longer allowed to use that name because of a cease and desist order fired off by the ZFT legal department.
There are more layers that continue to unfold around the conflict within the family. The ZFT has recently set their sites on trademarking the surname Zappa which will create a host of other issues that I will have to oppose but this is not the purpose of this particular blog! More on that and my crowdfunding campaign to oppose the Zappa trademark in a soon to be published blog!
What I am really inspired to write about is the remarkable boost of energy and excitement we are experiencing as a band. On every tour I always endeavor to make improvements. I decided it was time to elevate things to a whole new level. I replaced Ben Thomas and the band that has emerged is ready to tackle more than ever before! We are revved up and the new members are really bringing something special to the sound and feel of the band. The audiences are reflecting that energy back at us and it's been a great tour so far!
I'm happy to welcome new members David Luther on baritone lead vocals, baritone sax, keyboards and rhythm guitar.
I'd also like to welcome Cian Coey on raspy female lead vocals, and stage excitement.
The tour is called Dweezil Zappa Plays Whatever The F@%K He Wants: The Cease And Desist Tour. I am on an unstoppable mission to continue to play my father's music as well as my own and anything else that seems fun.
If you're interested in an overview of the show we are performing on this tour, here's a rundown. The first half is devoted to early Mothers Of Invention tunes, especially those found on Freak Out! It's amazing when you put those tracks into perspective compared to the popular music of 1966! Freak Out really lived up to its name 50 years ago because it is filled with advanced conceptual music and timbres and textures arc welded together by my dad, who pushed primitive studio gear beyond the limits of their design and function.
The setlist showcases the most comprehensive collection of 60's era material that I have ever played. Of course we have many fan favorites from the 70's and 80's to balance it all out. There's so much diversity from song to song and era to era.
Another unique thing about the show is that we are playing many songs from Joe's Garage in the original album sequence culminating in the emotionally charged classic "Watermelon In Easter Hay." The show truly highlights the broad appeal my father's music can have when the audience can participate in it on a live guided tour. It's not nostalgia music, it's modern music. In my opinion it's in a category alone by itself and nothing is comparable to it. Hearing it live is the ultimate way to experience it.
Over the years my father maintained his prowess in the exploration of new frontiers in music. He did so with a frenetic pace, pushing the envelope musically, politically and satirically. If you are new to my dad's music the Dweezil Zappa Plays Whatever The F@%k He Wants: Cease And Desist Tour 2016 is a great way to dive in head first. If you are a lifer, this is a great chance to get your fill of diversity as well! We hope to see you on the tour at a stop in your city!
I'll be following this blog up with another one that features an audio "snippet" trailer of live tracks from this tour. I'm almost done editing it! It's culled from our October 12th Chicago show that featured our special guest Ike Willis! Incidentally Ike will be joining us once again in a few weeks at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, on October 30th. Don't miss it!
Thank you for all your support everyone! See you out there soon!