I am so sorry for what you have been through and will continue to have to deal with. Not to mention how this must have effected your grieving process, if in fact you have been free to grieve. You never really know someone until somebody dies. My heart goes out to you. Frank wouldn't have wanted this.
Maybe you should market yourself as "Ahmet & Divas Brother"
Dweezil....Hope you prevail ! My last name is ZAPPA as well, and I think I may just start a band and go on tour.....Maybe call the band....
Joe Zappa and The Cousins of Intervention ..
Hope to see you back in Argentina, Dweezil. Sold out shows for sure. That's the best we can do round here nowadays to support you in this fight.
Hang in there, Dweezil. You will come out on top of all this.
What I don't get is there are other artists - musicians at that, with the surname Zappa. Franks sister Candy comes to mind, as does the Italian artist, Riccardo Zappa. How on earth can anybody trademark a surname? This doesn't make sense to me. What are these artists supposed to do, change their names? This is an intercontinental absurdity.
When the composer John Adams realized he would be confused with the other John Adams, he became John Luther Adams - he didn't try to trademark the name Adams. This whole thing reeks of lawyer manipulation of the weak minded.
>The conflict which primarily revolves around trademark issues, threatens to sour the musical legacy created by my Dad.
You got that right!
Years ago I read a quote by Gail or someone from the Zappa family trust saying they won't allow other artists to record cover versions of Frank's songs because "only he understood how his music should be interpreted", and realized how bogus the whole thing was. Really, not allowing artists to *interpret* a composer's music? Really?
With this fundamentalist approach to Frank's music they're locking down his creative legacy, and turning it into a stagnant nostalgia trip. They're basically doing to FZ what a certain church did to a certain prophet.
It's all so bitter and petty and sad. I thought the focus was music, creativity, humor, critical thinking and family. FZ would be appalled with this tomfoolery!
And the hologram tour? Well, it's not like the Dweez didn't perform alongside a film of his dad. But a digital avatar performed by an actor? THAT, FZ would certainly be rolling in his grave over. It would be one thing to take real film footage of the man and have a computer turn it into 3-D, but the whole actor thing just smacks of crass commerciality. Wouldn't FZ be horrified to know that his persona was being hijacked for a rock nostalgia version of Disney's "carousel of progress"?
Lastly, I appreciate and understand Deeezil's wanting to keep his dad's music alive by touring with it, but it has to he said that a huge part of FZ's legacy was that he was an *original composer*. If anything, I'd like to see (hear) DZ really get into composing his own original music and take FZ's vision of evolving ideas and conceptual continuity into the 21st century.
All power to you.
I'm with you Dweezil. For what it's worth, I was horrified when I heard about the hologram nonsense. Stay strong and remember, it is not those who can inflict the most but those who can endure the most that will win.
I was fortunate to see Frank (not Fake Frank) a few times while he was with us. Rock n Roll has too many on the other side and finding ways to see the music you love performed live is challenging. Seeing Dweezil (4-5 times by now) is the best and closest you can come to it. To hear of the restriction and BS that ZFT has put on him is shameful. It is sad that it comes from the same name. Poor Frank must be turning in his grave. I will go see Dweezil and whatever the F#&@ he is playing anytime he comes around. Keep it DweeZy, and hopefully one day it is easy....again, so sorry for what your immediate family is doing, your family of fans have you back and will honor you and your dad's music anytime you play.
Best of wishes
For an artist that was so clearly outspoken about his disdain for "phonys" and the music industry parasites who leech off the talent and creative work of others, it's painfully obvious that a hologram tour is COMPLETELY antithetical to Frank's beliefs. The fact that Steve Vai said he would go along with this embarrassment is disappointing. Dweezil is one of the only people in the Zappa family who has been creating anything. He's the one who has been bringing his father's music into the 21st century. I remember the first time I saw Zappa Plays Zappa, it was an amazing experience that showed just how rich and alive Zappa's music still is when put in the right hands. I know people who have worked with Dweezil and they have nothing but nice things to say about him. He's made a reputation for himself as a hard-working, creative, and dynamic musician in his own right, and the fact that his family is trying to take that away from him shows just how entitled and lazy they actually are. I hope Dweezil comes out on top and can tour as some incarnation of Zappa Plays Zappa, I promise next time he does I'll be in the front row!
There are only three sides to this triangle -- assuming it's not a hologram -- and I am on all three: Dweezil's Moon's, and Uncle Bobby's.
Possible new name for band not leaving anyone out........Avidmeth
Maybe we should ask John Fogerty about this mess, he could probably write a book for us all.
Also: I wish you and/or Moon would write a book about all this stuff.
The whole Gail Sloatman / ZFT madness that's been going on for at least 16 years reminds me of cults. It's actually kind of inspiring (when it's not totally infuriating), because it makes me want to read about cults, sects, (self) destructive behavior, the consequences that a warped sense of Authority (I mean AUTHORITAH) can have etc. I had a sense that Gail was not exactly in sync with reality, with her nonsensical and totally stupid "I represent the intent of the composer" mantra, as if anyone could know in - say 2004 - what Frank Zappa's intent would be. Looking back at how he changed direction in his career, I doubt that even Frank himself could have known in 1993 what his intent would be in 2004. But somehow Gail managed to convince herself that she had that ability. In addition, the way she answered fans' emails on zappa.com, was often rude, arrogant, even hostile. I could go on about the many weird and stupid things that rubbed me - "as a fan" - the wrong way over the years. (That she should be "business savvy" or have any skills in marketing or art seems 100 percent preposterous to me... etc.) But I don't think that many people outside of her closest circle could have known just how out-of-control she was. Or the degree to which her way of managing "the Legacy" of Frank Zappa differed from the values that most Frank Zappa respected in him as a person and an artist. The values that she represented, and that Ahmet and Diva continue to represent, can (in my opinion) only be described as Anti-Zappaesque. It's not just different from what Frank Zappa seemed to stand for, it's a totally inverted version. (Not a polar opposite, because that would just be a matter of Eskimos vs. Penguins - it's more sinister than that). What Frank Zappa would have said to all this, we can only speculate. Maybe it would be difficult for him to say anything, since it's a family matter. But if he observed this behavior in some other context, I dare to speculate that terms like "bad mental health", "not based on statistical data", "exploitation type stuff", "assholes" and "stupidity" would be utilized. I also speculate that he would be confident in saying that Dweezil (or his equivalent if this was not a family matter) would win because he has "common sense on his side". There are times (a few seconds here and there) that I feel sorry for Ahmet and Diva. How will they react if they ever realize what they've been doing? It seems like they have been f@%ked over by their mother and continues to be f@%ked over by her "Legacy", represented by the ZFT team of lawyers (who must be laughing so hard every day!). Thinking about this - the psychological backstory (as I imagine it in my secret room) and the stupid actions that just accumulate and makes it more and more difficult to break loose - makes me want to go to Amazon right now and buy a stack of books on the topics I mentioned at the beginning of this comment, as well as books on trauma psychology, on breaking out of Scientology of Jehova's Witnesses or whatever. Fascinating stuff... I don't know it there is any discernible point to this rant. But I hope the ZFT is stopped in its tracks, that common sense wins, and that - even though it's not realistic when someone has invested so much in a destructive secterian complex - your younger siblings come to THEIR senses and helps turn the ZFT (or whatever legal entity will own STUFF in the future) into something Zappaesque rather than the Anti-Zappa-matter it is now.
Dweezil- When I saw this HOLO-FRANK announcement my first thought was, " WOW that is creepy as F*!k seeing that it is 2 of his own children are planning this tour." I certainly would not want to see one of my parents, uncles, aunts,etc, re-animated in some sort of 3-D Promethean Creepshow. I'd rather see claymation if they were to do anything creative with their father's image like the old Mr. Bickford videos. My second thought was ( and after following you and you music, meeting you several times after gigs and all of that) there could be NO F' ING way Dweezil would be into this at all. No F 'Ing way!!! I am sorry about your name battle. I am sorry that your family has been split in 2 and I am sorry you have to go through all of this b******t. Keep fighting the good fight and eventually the tide will be in your favor and they will lose, not only legally but face. You will leave with your dignity and your pride and of course you talent,(the things you came in with) something they sadly lack in the musical sphere and if you are lucky maye even a few $$ that they owe you. Never give up, you have fans like me who will always love what you do. Get back out there and keep playing WHATEVER THE F**K YOU WANT TO.- Chris from N.H.
Just finished reading Diva's " response " via Twitter. I hate seeing this stuff. But it's not hard to read between the lines when it comes to the ZFT. Sticking with DZ and his team.
Also, this sounds remarkably like what Flo and Eddie went through when the Turtles broke up -- they couldn't use their own names to promote their music. Sad...
My dog's name is Dweezil. I thought about charging him a dollar a year to allow me to call him that, but he just looks at me like I'm nuts. Kinda like your brother is nuts putting you through this.
You're the best, man!