I have read the goings-on every now and then over the years and unless I'm missing something it seems to go something like this:
For some bizarre reason Gail done everything in her power to obliterate the Zappa name from the face of the earth. Then sadly she passed away and I thought that for every negative there will be a positive, like more cover band gigs to help promote the Zappa name etc.
As I have often said, if a band were to form a "cover band" to make money alone, they would not choose Zappa, but I digress...It would now seem Ahmet has taken over from Gail, so whilst yourself and your brilliant band bust a gut to promote Zappa music, Ahmet is doing the opposite...it doesn't make sense?
Anyway, enough of this - History is repeating itself just 48 years after Frank played at Birmingham Town Hall a few months before you were born! We will be there - are you going?
Yeah, this whole thing looks completely stupid! I'm really sorry to see so much internal struggle over such a beautiful thing as your dad's compositions. I wrote a letter to Ahmet and the ZFT, please correct me if there are any inaccuracies! Also, feel free to pass it along if you so choose!
Dear Ahmet Zappa and the Zappa Family Trust,
I am writing to you both as a life-long fan of Frank Zappa’s music and a working musician. Recent times have shown many startling changes in the dynamics of live music, some for good, some for bad, and, as Saturday Night Live’s recent musician spotlights, South Park’s satiric commentary on Lorde, and scores of hours of godawful pop songs will show, we now live in an era where any talentless hack can make an immensely lucrative performing career for him or herself simply by looking good and having enough money for a stage crew and convincing lip-synch track. With all that and the recent massacre in Las Vegas, live music as honest, hard-working people know it is in danger of total extinction under the monopoly of fake corporate “music” and it is this that shows the vital role of such figures as Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention and their vision in keeping any notion of honest performance by talented musicians alive.
It has come to my attention that the ZFT has recently put in motion a tour for some of the original members of the Mothers accompanied by the ghostly hologram of Frank Zappa, and it lifts my spirit to know Napoleon Murphy Brock or Ruth Underwood could be on tour again, playing Frank’s music. However, this is only coming to me after what looks to be a years-long struggle between the ZFT and Dweezil Zappa over the right to perform or use the name Zappa in his performances. I never knew Frank and only met Dweezil a couple of times, but I can say, through having listened to Zappa Sr.’s recordings since I was seven years old, that he dedicated his entire life to bringing to the public a real, honest production of amazingly talented musicians beyond any compromise, and the triumph of the human spirit against bean-counting conservatives and corner-cutting industrialists. Bearing the name Zappa, you must also have that commitment, otherwise, why sue a working musician over the right to bear it? What exactly does it mean to you?
My plea is twofold: One, for simple musical integrity; I want the absolute assurance that, on this upcoming tour, the only pre-recorded material will be that of Frank himself and not the remainder of the band. The other half is that, while I cannot know the true facts of the internal, domestic struggle between Dweezil and the rest of the family, y’all have to start playing on the same team. You ARE on the same team, and petty squabbles over recognition or rights to legal names or “piece of the pie” ownership have to stop. This is about the right of a working, honest musician to make living pay, and for the right for intelligent composers to be able to make their own music, however weird or unorthodox it is, without buckling down to industry standards and inane pop-music formulae. You are on the front lines of a battle between great composers and insipid, greedy, glorified strippers who pose as musicians and it is my hope that the Zappa name can continue to survive through it, even if it means swallowing of pride. Frank Zappa’s music is what keeps me alive today, and the same is probably true of most of the people who would pay to see his hologram on stage. I beg you, please let the musicians who are still alive continue to work.
P.S. If you meet Lana Del Rey at some point, tell her to get “bURnt.”
If anyone can name ONE THING that Ahmet Zappa has done since the passing of his father to "promote his legacy and introduce his music to new generations and scores of music lovers who only know one or two from Frank's extensive library, please tell me. Better yet, let him tell Frank's fans! So far, the only "contributions" he's made are the following: 1) Following in Gail's footsteps by agreeing to produce yet another documentary about Frank which will likely never get produced. 2) Attempting to sell his parents house on eBay. (A joke) 3) Auctioning off numerous belongings of Frank including guitars. 4) Attempting to disrupt the ONLY musician in family to play Franks music the way Frank would want it to be played. 5) Attempting to trademark the ZAPPA name for the purpose of selling beer, wine, yoga pants and maybe someday condoms. 6) Attempting to trademark the name "Dweezil" ( a trademark on the name "Ahmet" would not have the same "desired effect") 7) Blocking the personal email account and looking into its contents. (A criminal violation of privacy laws by the way) 8) The organizing of a "Frank Zappa Hologram Tour" (stupid and insulting) I am sure I left plenty of his awesome "contributions" out. As a long-time fan of Frank Zappa and one who contributed to putting food on his table and helping to pay for his education (which apparently was a waste of money) I personally find offensive that he actually believes that his fathers fans are that stupid and put his father in class with Pee Wee Herman! It's so f*****g condescending! Sorry for the diatribe but it needed to be said. Fourty plus years of support for FZ have earned me that right!
Invite Ahmet and his attorney along with your attorney to a concert and do it on stage for all to see- bring a notary just in case it gets on paper so that he can not change his mind or backtrack!
Can't understand what Ahmet wants, you can't not exist. Can't wait to see you in Gateshead tomorrow night. Good luck.
This is my first time on your site. Thank you for all of your hard work at becoming one of the best musician in the business today. I have been going to live shows since I was 5 years old and have seen some of the best. My first show was Buck Owens and The Buckaroos in 1969 at the Circle Star theater in SJ CA .You have come so far as a musician and you play your dads music with such love and perfection. I have seen Zappa Plays Zappa 2 times in Seattle, both shows were truly awesome. I had the privilege and money at the time to see your dad at the Greek Theater in Berkley. He brought out the Mammy Nun it was great. I also seen him at the Circle Star Theater, He had Chad on Drums it was also awesome. Thanks again and keep up the fight we are on your side.
Life Time Fan
Not sure if this concept has been shared... But how about coming up with a really neat symbol/logo type thing and become know as: Artist Formally Known As Dweezil!
It worked for that other artist. Everyone knew who it was and I knew how to find his music and concerts!
So sorry your going through this!
Having listened to your rendition of your dad's music, I have the utmost respect for you.
Lawyers can be a big problem, especially when some sort of financial benefit is involved. What about a physical visit to your brother to try to resolve issues face to face?
really wish ZFT would come to the conclusion that by freeing you profits them since they are only in it for the money
DZ, my sister stopped talking to me 12 years ago, and I still am not sure why. I think once these things start, the sibling(s) might possibly realize they were wrong, but don't want to say so. So the conflict continues. I, too, have reached out multiple times and received either a letter from an attorney, or no response.
It's very sad when family's break apart. Hang in there. We've got your back.
I wanna lock the both of you in a rubber room and let you beat the snot out of each other. Get it out of your system, the sibling rivalry, jealosy, whatever hurt you guys are holding on to.
Please do so quickly because all of this drama is taking the joy out of listening to your dad's music.
Just the other day I put on YCDTOSA vol. 3, Frank proudly introduces his son, Dweezil (The Dweez!!) who will play the guitar solo on Sharleena. The whole time I was thinking about this prolonged BS and the rivalry between all of Frank's children; how proud he was to have you play with him contrasted by how ashamed he'd be of the behavior of his family in his absence.
I had always heard that his final wish was for your mom to sell everything and to get out of the music business. If this is true, it would have been better than this.
I sincerely love and admire your talent and what you have done to keep the music, which has been such an important part of my life, fresh and relevant for the ages. But please, even if you have to swallow some pride (and no, that's not a veiled attempt at anything) please reconcile. Your fans don't want to have to give up listening to the music because it is too tedious to trudge through the BS of the Zappa Family Drama.
A shame Gail passed on her dominant genetic traits to your brother.
It must take a lot of effort to navigate through your day with the crap he throws at you.
Know that those of us who feel as you do about your father are firmly on your side and hope sanity prevails.
Not much of that going around these days.
Your dad had it and you seem to have it too.
Grape (fan since 1966 - veteran of 40 FZ shows from 1967-1980)
Thanks for the great music. Never EVER stop.
ahmet...there is so much s**t going down in the world right now...to see zappa siblings not being able to get along...is really f****d up...i 1st saw your dad in 1975...as dz knows...i'm a lifer...end this b******t...dd
Hang in there Dweezil, everyone will realize you were in the right soon enough. It's really a shame that this situation has to even occur in the first place. You should be able to keep jammin your dads music until there is no tomorrow, with the name he gave you. Plain and simple. Peace and Love from a loyal Zappa fan, you rule bro.
Seems like they love running you around, I can't imagine your frustration. It's definitely as though they want all of your time taken up by this, and the amount of just plain out low blows from them is staggering and completely not necessary, especially from family. I wish for a day they can really see the error of what they are doing, and to you of all people. I will never wrap my head around any of this. They can try, but they'll never take Zappa from you, it's who you are.