Wednesday, July 09, 2008

More Zappa drama

Okay, it seems that Dweezil himself has responded to Andre's blog of the other day.
I only know this because their are some fans of Frank that for some inconceivable reason have shown the same allegiance to the surviving Zappa family as they do to Frank.
Isn't that somewhat hypocritical?
One of Frank's dying requests was to "tell people to play my music," yet Gail and co. have gone out of their way to prevent anyone not named Zappa from doing just that! I've met Andre, and he is one of the nicest guys I've ever met. On the other hand, I've had dealings with Gail, and she has been nothing but an arrogant, condescending bitch in my experience, and the "tone" in Dweezil's blog (below) indicates, as I have been saying for several years now, that he is his mother's son.
Even on a documentary DVD (the Apostrophe/Overnight Sensation DVD I believe), Moon makes comments that seem to emote a certain disdain for Frank (probably because he fucked what?). Funny that I never heard those comments while he was still alive. In my opinion, that family has turned against Frank and everything he stood for, and now only markets (and fervently tries to protect) his product for no other reason than to keep a roof over their head and food in their mouths. It has nothing to do with the music.
Sure, Dweezil has worked very hard to faithfully recreate Frank's music, but that's because it gives him a built in audience. He couldn't make a living as Dweezil Zappa, or Z, or AZDZ, or whatever. He's a great musician, but he's not Frank.
Unfortunately, my desire for Frank's music will keep me buying FZ output, but I will never patronize a ZPZ show again (I saw them 4 or 5 times before fully realizing the evil behind the family).
In my opinion, some of the words and phrases Dweezil uses in his blog tells me that Andre's blog was quite accurate. Also, it was totally unprofessional of Dweezil to publish those private emails without getting Belew's permission first. This could have waited another day or so. It just further shows the Zappa family's elitist attitude.

So to those "fans" of the Zappa family, as one (Frank) Zappa fan to another, I implore you to rethink where your allegiance lies, because Gail's and Dweezil's does not lie with Frank, but only with themselves.
And I can assure you that it most certainly does not lie with you.

Anyway, here's Dweezil's blog, with some comments from me in brackets:
Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Soap Opera: AKA Lengthy Blog about stupid stuff...

Hello Friends,
I recently read an amusing tale [condascension right out of the gate] about an incident that supposedly took place stage side during one of our shows. The author of this highly exaggerated tale is André Cholmondeley. He would like you to believe he was physically attacked. More on that later...

Perhaps it is his dream come true that I would take a moment of my time to write a few sentences that publicly address him. It's a one shot deal - You're welcome.
[more elitist bullshit...what an asshole DZ is]

Here you go...

Dateline - Los Angeles California:

The following are actual private e-mails between me and Adrian Belew. (I apologize to Adrian in advance if this causes him any aggravation.) [apologize, but do it anyway?]

I would not normally be inclined to use private information in this way [I've no doubt that the Zappa lawyers would be involved if the shoe was on the other foot] but it perfectly illustrates the details of the "non event" that follows.

Dweezil Zappa writes to Adrian Belew - (e-mail addresses have been removed. [what a sport])

On June 20, 2008, at 1:42 am, dweezil wrote:

Hello Adrian,
I hope this e-mail finds you doing well. I have noticed that you will be playing before us at 2 upcoming shows. I would like to extend an invitation to you to sit in with us if you like during our set. We are playing "Tiny Lites" and "Flakes" either of those 2 songs could make for a good surprise cameo.

Please let me know if you would be interested.

Regards, DZ

On June 30, 2008 12:04 pm, Adrian wrote:

please excuse my late reply.

I've always had a secret desire to show up for a concert with no guitar and no cases full of gear, just a harmonica in my back pocket.

my idea of a cool cameo would be to come out in the middle of flakes harmonica in hand, sing the sad bob dylan part, and exit stage right, hopefully to applause.

what do you think?


ps: I greatly admire and respect what you are doing for your father's legacy.

no one deserves it more than he and I've heard you do it exceptionally well.

After this first electronic exchange I was informed that Adrian was employing André Cholmondeley as his guitar tech. André's propensity for spreading misinformation and negativity has earned him a reputation. A reputation for being obnoxious and creating conflicts. [translation...Andre plays Frank's music and GZ and DZ don't like it]

Since those personality traits hold no appeal for me I decided to write back to Adrian with a request.

On June 30, 2008, at 11:43 pm, dweezil wrote:

Hello Adrian,
Nice to hear from you. Your idea sounds fun and easy.

I think people will appreciate it. They may even decide to clap a little bit... It happens sometimes.

We usually play Flakes midway through the show. I can say, "Take it away Bob or Adrian" whichever you prefer and you can enter to Ray's microphone.

Just let us know day of show if you're up for it and we'll do it.

On a different topic - perhaps an awkward one - I have been informed that you are working with Andre from Project Object. He is likely your friend as well as your employee so you may not enjoy what is to follow.

Whether you are aware of it or not he has instigated a lot of unpleasant things on our website forum and has made many transgressions musical and otherwise regarding Frank over the years. It would be my preference that he politely remove himself from my view before, during and after our set.

For me
the phrase persona non grata is applicable in this case. [so far, this supports Andre's blog]

I can understand if you feel awkward relaying this and I can even understand if you choose not to accept my invitation to join us on stage as a result.

The fact of the matter is he knows what he has done and it should come as no surprise that I wouldn't appreciate him being anywhere near me now or in the future. [this is an adult?]

I apologize for having to bring this to your attention. [do ya?!]

I thank both of you for your consideration and cooperation on this matter in advance.

Regards, DZ
A politely worded simple request. Here's Adrian's response.
[Take note of this line, it is a set up for diatribe]

On July 1, 2008, at 9:05 am, Adrian wrote:

please introduce me any way you like.

what key is flakes?
I'll bring the appropriate harmonica.

it's true andre works for me now.

I will make certain he is persona non grata as best I can.

as I told gail, I try always to honor frank, his memory, and his music. he remains a towering inspiration to me. I loved him too, and I could never repay him for what he did for me.

I take responsibility for my own actions, never for the actions of others.

I've have heard bits of the rhetoric surrounding project object (after the fact) but remain apart from it all. [note that he said the rhetoric "surrounding"...he didn't say where it came from...brilliant on Adrian's part to stay impartial]

should you or your family have any problem with anything I might ever do, please let me know.

see you onstage.

That was July 1st. Whether or not Adrian decided to convey my request to Andre I do not know for sure. But it is safe to assume by his e-mail that he had every intention of doing so.
[my guess...this childishness was not at the top of his to do list, and it slipped his mind because he figured there wouldn't be a problem and Andre wouldn't be close enough to DZ to matter]

It is also clear by his e-mail that he is aware of the existing circumstances that could warrant such a request. [he didn't say that exactly]

Dateline - Ottawa July 5th:

Showtime for Zappa Plays Zappa. Dave Tobias is mixing our in ear monitor mix and is dealing with a keyboard that has lost phantom power. Andre saunters up and tries to make himself at home in Dave's work area. [knowing Andre, he was probably trying to offer help] Why would he attempt to do this? Surely he has been told that it would be polite to stay away by his friend and employer Adrian Belew. [notice how he just made Adrian look stupid if he did indeed forget to inform Andre of DZ's wishes?] One must ask, "Why not go enjoy the show from the audience or anywhere else... just be polite and respect a simple request?" Besides, who willingly wants to be in a place where they know they are not welcome?

Dave stops Andre and relays the message that he is not supposed to be there. [so DZ made it a point to tell his whole crew about Andre? More support of Andre's blog] No touching, pushing or spitting occurred. Loud talking happened, that's it. [So DZ watched the entire episode while he was performing a concert? Right.] There was a concert going on and Dave had in ear monitors in his ears. At no point was anyone instructed to be rude to Andre in fact just the opposite is true. Andre even mentioned in his own blog about how nice everyone was earlier in the day. He even mentioned Dave Tobias. [And...?] Everyone believed that Andre knew about the request and was willing to co-operate and watch the show from a different vantage point later on.

Apparently Adrian must not have made it clear to him that he was not welcome in the stage area. [Sounds like the Zappas just made another enemy...collateral damage some would call it] Or maybe he did and Andre decided to ignore the request? In any case, Dave Tobias was a little surprised to see Andre in his work area given all of the back story. He most likely assumed Andre was informed of the request to politely be elsewhere and that he was just trying to be obnoxious again - which is why I originally requested he politely remove himself in the first place.

That's end of the story. Probable miscommunication from Employer to employee. [Blaming Adrian once again] End result stupid drama.

The show the next night had no incident whatsoever. Andre still temerariously snuck himself to the side of the stage though. It's just his way. He can't help himself.

Contrary to his report where claims he locked eyes with me at some point during the show, I'm here to tell you that it never took place. He'd know if I locked eyes with him.

"What an imagination"

Here's a paragraph dedicated solely to Andre. To me, if you really have respect for my Father and his music you have an asinine way of showing it. By repeatedly insulting Frank's family and ignoring copyright laws related to his music you have proven the exact opposite of respect. [What copyright laws? A band can play anything they want live, as long as they do not record and sell least that's how I understand it] Your obsequious fawning [um, don't obsequious and fawning mean the exact same thing? A Thesaurus can be dangerous Dweezil] over "alumni" and your precious associations you have with them are embarrassingly shallow. Your attempts to draw attention to yourself as some sort of soldier fighting the good fight for Frank's music reveal what you really are - a depressing epigone starving for recognition. [LOL! "epigone"? Do you know what that word means Dweezil? That's precisely what you are with ZPZ!]

One last thing, for me to care at all about what you say or do would mean that I have some sort of respect for you or your opinion.

Sadly, I have neither. [Yet you took the time to write this lengthy blog...hmm...curious, isn't it?]

End of 15 minutes...

Regards, DZ
So there you have it.
As far as I'm concerned, this is nothing more than a desperate attempt to "make good" by Dweezil, who is well aware that most FZ fans have become alienated from the ZFT, and are ashamed and embarassed over what Frank's legacy has become. Unfortunately, it only makes the Zappa arrogance more prevalent.

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