Frank Zappa alum Ike Willis (singer/guitarist) is facing extreme financial strain during this Pandemic. He has zero income and I am helping him by promoting his Go Fund Me for campaign. Ike worked with Frank Zappa from 1978 to 1988 and is a favorite amongst Zappa fans. He is a dear friend of mine, I LOVE Ike and his wife Denise.
Yes we are all going through hard times but if you CAN help, please do. All donations go directly to Ike and I know for a fact he personally sends Thank you emails to everyone who donates. Here is the link: https://gf.me/u/x3whjk
For me the Zappanale fest already started in Berlin with Project Object playing at the DOT CLUB on August 13th. It was so awesome and my buddy Joe Jackson came and stood in the audience the whole time and watched. He said he enjoyed the show, the band was good but he said, as I said, the sound could have been better. The club is HOT as FUCK and smokey too- with bad sound. NOT good. But Project Object, of course, did the best they could do and nailed it.
My good friends Dirk and Bully came to the show too and refused to accept free tix, they wanted to support the band! Snarky, a myspace Zappa group friend of mine came all the way from Virginia to see the show (and the Zappanale too)
Dirk, Bully, Snarky McBullhorn ^
Dot at the Dot Club. I felt at home here apart from the cig smoke, cough cough, I am NO fun, innit!? I LOVE the shirt I am wearing, my friend Robin Gelberg gave it to me, I treasure it.
Oliver (in the middle) owns a bar called the Jansen Bar in Berlin and they have Frank Zappa night the first Tuesday of each month. Ike was happy to pose with Oliver and the Jansen bar bar-tender who swears he isn’t gay (inside joke). Check it out: http://www.jansenbar.de/
Rather bad quality but here is a video of one ^ of my performances at the Dot Club in Berlin
Not much time to write, just posting a few pics I took last night. The Zappanale gets better each time I come, I LOVE it (“it’s a way of life” 😉
To see the blog I wrote about the last Zappanale I went to two years ago, go to:
All of Jimmy Carl Black’s kids are here. Met them all and his widow is here too, will post pics asap.
Project Object from behind 😉
CREW SLUT at the Zappanale ^ (I knew a better quality version would turn up 🙂
And I FINALLY met the famous Paul Green. We run in the same circle, never had the pleasure until tonight- wicked fun guy..
And it felt like MAGIC to be in between these two legends, Don Preston and Robert Martin (they just met for the first time tonight!)
Haven’t seen Don for two years, it is always a pleasure. Haven’t seen Robert since 1988! We had a LOT of catching up to do and he gave me 2 hours of fitness and advice about what to eat and what not to eat (he is a strict Vegan). He is 61 and is still ripped, you should see his abs. Check out his web site, you can see videos of him doing one legged squats, he is amazing!! http://www.lookgreatnakedatanyage.com/
Robert’s shoes fascinated me to no end ^ I told him if they made them for women, they could paint the toe nail part red to make them sexier. ha.
Eric Svalgard ^ and Eric Slick of Project Object
Eric Slick and Robbie “Seahag” ^ (Guitar for Project Object)
Project Object fucking RULED!! I performed as “Mary” for them during Crew Slut and Wet t-shirt night. Always an honor. Ike Willis is in top form, Don kicks ass, Andre’ gets better all the time, Eric Slick on drums, wow! Robbie Seahag on bass, Eric Svalgard the crazy blond on other keyboards and Robert Martin came out and did a few numbers like Whipping Post and NAILED IT!!! Gregg Allman would approve.
Gotta sleep, ttyl
ps. Here is me below as “Mary” for the Crew Slut song/performance (would love to see a video of that, it was hilarious!)
Thursday night at the Dot club and Friday night at the Zappanale I played MARY in the songs Crew Slut and Fembot in a Wet Shirt (still waiting for someone to send me some pics of that)
I was slinking around each Project Object band member during the song and in this shot ^ back to back with Robert Martin
Robert Martin again ^ and I
“Hey hey hey all you girls in these
I know youre probly gettin tired
Of all the local clowns
They never give you no respect
They never treat you nice
So perhaps you oughta try
A little friendly advice
And be a crew slut
Hey, youll love it
Be a crew slut
Its a way of life
Be a crew slut
See the world
Dont make a fuss, just get on the bus
Add water makes its own sauce
Be a crew slut
So you dont forget, call before midnite tonite
The boys in the crew
Are just waiting for you
You never to get move around
You never go nowhere
I know yer probly gettin tired
Of all the guys out there
You always wondered what its like
To go from place to place
So, darlin, take a little ride
On the mixers face
Be a crew slut
Just follow the magic footprints
Be a crew slut
Hey, youll love it!
Be a crew slut
Its a way of life
I aint gonna squash it
And you dont need to wash it!” FRANK ZAPPA
Back again with more pics from Saturday night at the Zappanale:
Project Object leader ^ and his lovely lady
OMFG, Roberts hands are AMAZING!! Wish he would do my feet 🙂
It is really hard to get good in concert shots. But I get some good in person pics. You can’t capture their music in pics anyways and my camera is too crap to make any decent videos of the shows
Eric Slick (drummer genius) on stage after his performance with Project Object ^
SUNDAY (last night of the Zappanale) below:
Was fun hanging out with Bruce again. He told many private things about himself, it was awesome to get close to such a genius mind. He is so kind and gentle; makes you want to protect him.
Ike and I have known each other for 21 years. His mind is still sharp as a whip and his sense of humor is as amazing as his voice. LOVE HIM!
Ah, to be a fly on the wall- wait, I was there. Super Fly. ha.
The Zappanale is 4 days/nights of Zappa fun, but everyone is SUPER tired by Sunday night. Terry looked so fucking fit, wow. He claims he is “getting fat” but I didn’t see any on him.
Zappa alumni Sandwich part 2 (or 3?) keep em coming..
Wolfhard is the founder of the Zappanale, started it 20 years ago. Super nice guy and he is a MASSIVE Zappa freak, he doesn’t do this festival for anything else but the love he has for Frank Zappa’s music. Thomas is the president of the Arf Society (google it, I’m too tired to write about it 😉
Wolfhard is rather shy and keeps to himself, not one to ask for pics or autographs, but he did want one with Bruce. They are both amazing people.
When I left the festival I noticed a rowdy bar still open in Bad Doberan and went in and it was PACKED with hard core Zappa fans (Zappateers). One of them, from the UK, had this hair cut goin’ on. Ha.
Will TRY to ad more text and pics soon.
Haven’t really wrote much about the music. Not much to say apart from you can never get enough Frank Zappa music. Some were bored with Terry Bozzio’s 90 min drum solo set but hey, he IS Terry Bozzio and well, RESPECT! One thing that REALLY gets on my tits about the Zappanale is you have to listen to the same fucking songs over and over and OVER again because it seems to be impossible to controll what each band plays so they ALL play Frank’s top ten hits (I am the slime, dirty love, etc etc.) Project Object did the BEST version EVER of Whipping Post with Bobby Martin and hello? Some Austrian Band (Sex without Nails) did it the very next night. Jesus, have some fucking respect will ya? Give it up. I hate that. I think all bands should pick their songs from a Zappanale lottery 6 months before the festival and NO ONE should be allowed to repeat a song!!
What about Truck Driver Divorce? Or Lucille has messed my Mind up? There are HUNDREDS of songs to choose from yet we have to endure the same fucking songs repeatedly (which is ok if you are drunk and stoned out of your Zappa loving mind) but I am NOT so it bothers me and the other few sober cunts there. FOR FUCK SAKE!!! I asked the powers that be (Thomas and Wolfhard) about this and they said they DO try to control it BUT the bands “do what they want once they get up on the stage”. How can they play repeats? Are they retarded? Don’t they know how many SONGS Frank Zappa actually has? pfft.
If you want a different view of the Zappanale, keep your eye out for Andrew Greenaways web site, he will surely cover it once he is back in the UK and sober: www.idiotbastard.com
Jimmy Carl Black’s lovely but very sad, widow “Moni”
Napi and the rest quit after an insulting offer of getting half of what they were being paid for on their 2nd tour, so they left and I guess that is what is happening again? The Zappa Family Trust simply must learn, you can not fight all the fans, alumni and Zappa tribute bands/ festivals and do well. Like they say “if you can't beat em, join em”. Why not have Zappa Plays Zappa headline a touring Zappa festival in which all Frank Zappa
It's the official live debut of what many music fans suspect could be the most exciting power trio in years– Keneally • Minnemann • Beller.
What if the word "supergroup" wasn't defined by the fame and egos of its members, but by the quality of the music they make? While Mike Keneally, Marco Minnemann and Bryan Beller dare to redefine that misused cliché, they're also happily retooling the expectations of their audience.
Mike Keneally (guitar, keyboard, vocals), Marco Minnemann (drums) and Bryan Beller (bass) may not be household names, but they need no introduction among the tens of thousands who relish intense, exploratory live performances and musicianship so advanced it that seems somehow irrelevant in the face of their near-telepathic cohesion.
The three share an addiction to musical adventure, otherworldly chops and talent (tempered by refreshing humility), and a sly sense of humor. Now it's time to tour, they've decided, because playing together is always challenging, fun and unpredictable for them– no two performances are ever alike.
Keneally • Minnemann • Beller Sunday July 20 2008 Channel Twelve 25 172 East Main Street El Cajon, CA 92020 Showtime: 7:00 p.m. Tickets: $15.00 All ages welcome!
KMB will be shooting a live concert video at the show to promote their planned European tour in 2009!
Mike, Marco and Bryan will also be playing concerts and clinics in and around Austria's Outreach Festival in late July and early August:
Friday, July 25 Heavy Metal Miles Franz Hackl (trumpet), Adam Holzman (keyboards), Mike Keneally (guitar), Bryan Beller (bass), Marco Minnemann (drums) Cafe Museum Bräugasse 17 94032 Passau, Germany Showtime 8:00 p.m. Admission Free! Info: 49 (0) 851 966 68 88
Sunday, July 27 Clinics with Mike, Marco and Bryan Outreach Festival Tennishalle Schwaz 6130 Schwaz, Austria 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Info: 43 (0) 664 330 31 81
Friday, August 1 Raul de Souza Quartet Mike Keneally (guitar), Marco Minnemann (drums), Bryan Beller (bass), Raoul de Souza (trombone) Cafe Museum Bräugasse 17 94032 Passau, Germany Showtime 8:00 p.m. Admission Free! Info: 49 (0) 851 966 68 88
Saturday, August 2 Raul de Souza Quartet Mike Keneally (guitar), Marco Minnemann (drums), Bryan Beller (bass), Raoul de Souza (trombone) Outreach Festival Tennishalle Schwaz 6130 Schwaz, Austria Showtime 9:45 p.m. Info: 43 (0) 664 330 31 81
Sunday, August 3 Outreach Orchestra Franz Hackl und Lew Soloff (trumpet), Mike Keneally (guitar), Thomas Kugi (saxophone), John Clark (French horn), Gene Pritsker (guitar/rap), Dave Taylor (bass trombone), Bryan Beller (bass), John Sass (tuba), Marco Minnemann (drums), Adam Holzmann (keyboards) Outreach Festival Tennishalle Schwaz 6130 Schwaz, Austria Showtime 9:00 p.m. Info: 43 (0) 664 330 31 81
I have been ill since Halloween with Pneumonia but I finally got well enough to work again. My friend Nathan East, who plays bass (for many big names like Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Bon Jovi, Quincy Jones and loads more) suggested that I come to his gig in Berlin, as he is touring with Herbie Hancock now.
^Herbie is a wonderful person
The last time I saw Nathan was about 8 years ago when he was on tour with Eric Clapton. I massaged them all back then and was amazed that Nathan insisted on riding his mountain bike from the Hotel to the concert hall, which was MILES away and in East Berlin. It was already (it gets dark early in the winter).. but he was confident that he could find it and he did. He is soooo outgoing and fun. Nathan is a perfectionist and you can hear that in his music. That's why he only works with the best musicians around. He has been called one of the best bassist in the world…You can read all about him by clicking HERE
After I massaged Nathan, we all met in the lobby to go to the gig which was at the UdK (university of Art) here in Berlin. I met their tour manager Phil and was told he is also Paul McCartney's tour manager, so we chatted about Paul a bit *sigh* I LOVE PAUL! Anyhow, next time Sir Paul tours, I may be able to massage him..yay!
Nathan introduced me to Herbie outside the hotel, he was super friendly and has a warm, contagious smile. He was driven to the gig in a sleek black Mercedes and the band and I went in a van. VInnie was so tired that he was delirious and hence, FUN. Vinnie sort of reminds me of Dee Dee Ramone; he is funny even when he isn't trying to be.
Vinnie Colaiuta is on tour with Herbie too, playing drums of course. Vinnie has slept through his wake up call (he was napping) and was a bit tired, but perked up when he saw me and gave me a big hug. Last time I saw Vinnie was this past summer when he toured with Jeff Beck. Poor Vinnie, he hasn't been getting much sleep on tour, I feel really bad for touring musicians, no matter HOW cushy the tour, no matter how rich they are, it's still hard on the body. You hardly ever get a good night's sleep and the constant sitting (in the tour bus, on the plane, on the train, backstage) and irregular meals and meeting new people every day can be exhausting. If I could give them a gift of 8 hours sleep, I would. Massage does help, but nothing beats a good sleep.
Backstage, before sound check, Herbie asked me if I would like to join him chanting later. He is a Buddist and has been for the last 25 years. I told him I was open minded and would love to try. I was thinking, maybe this could be the answer to my nasty sleep disorder.
During the sound check I got to stand on the stage and watch the geniuses in action. Vinnie is so exciting to to watch, no wonder he gets so many hits on youtube.The last time I saw Vinnie was n the summer when he was drumming for Jeff Beck. He said he was actually planning on a long break but "when Herbie called, well, that was a no brainer, of course I said yes, he is one of my hero's."
Nathan had me film him while he sang "I just called" (Stevie Wonder) with his high tech camera during the sound check. I am almost certain if he wasn't busy being on of the best bassist on earth, he would be a full time photographer. He takes more pics than I do and he always makes sure the background, angle and lighting are right. Nathan is also madly in love with his wife and super proud of his twins. He shows off pics of them so proudly. It's nice and refreshing to meet a man in the music business that tours so often to still be so dedicated and in love with their wife. In fact, I rarely meet anyone anymore that is so in love with their spouse. People usually moan about how they wish things were like they used to be, in the beginning of the relationship, or the complain about "the ol'ball and chain". My Father and Step Mom are madly in love STILL after 25 years and they were the only couple I knew that were like that until I met Nathan. I thought to myself "all women would love a man like that". Nathan is such a positive person and he radiates that. This man truly loves life. I love being around people like him, it recharges your battery, takes away any jaded edges you have lurking around (well, at least for a while). To top that all off, he can sing his ass off too. Herbie chose the best musicians for his quartette.
I was really surprised when Herbie told me he had never collaborated with Zappa. He said they had spoken a few times about doing so, but things always seem to get in the way. I could tell he regrets that deeply, as he speaks so highly of Frank, which just confirms how cool Heribe is.
Herbie during sound check ^
My friend Shai ^ arrived during the sound check. Herbie was standing on stage with a mic in his hand and I introduced her to him. He spoke into the mic for all to hear "Shai? How do you spell that?" Shai spelled it for him. "Oh, nice! Great name!" Herbie is so friendly! After the sound check, Herbie invited us into his dressing room. I gave him a quick back massage and they he asked us if we wanted to chant.
He set it all up, and everyone came in to join us, except Vinnie, I think he was too tired. Herbie handed us a booklet with all of the verses he was going to say and we were to follow. He has been doing this every day for the last 25 years, so he doesn't even need to look at the book. It sounds Japanese to me, and he speaks very fast, we got lost at one point and Herbie turned around, found our spot were we should have been and never even missed a beat with his chanting. We were gob smacked.Amazed. He gave us a card with the web site and info we need to chant. Almost every city has a Buddha center. It was so relaxing and calming, I find myself chanting now, when I get stressed. You can read up about it online..Apparently Herbie is really famous for his participation as I have been approached online by people who say they are also Buddhist and they have chanted with Herbie too.Wtf? Small world.
The show was long, well over 2 hours. It was amazing, sounded perfect.Herbie is really charming on stage, he talks sometimes in between songs, and the people love it. He makes them all laugh. He needed help translating something; he needed the German words for his song "Watermelon man" and I shouted it out in German for him (note: I am NOT German, no German blood, I just have a flat here and speak the lingo). Anyways, Herbie repeated it in German and it was super cute. If Herbie is to play anywhere near you, do check out the show, the band is TIGHT!!!!!!!!!!! After the show, my daughter Jasmine and her "friend" Julian, who is from Italy, came backstage to say Hi to Herbie, Nathan, Vinnie and Lionel. Nathan entertained us with a few magic tricks, he is a magician too (jack of all trades!). I am glad Jasmine gets to meet such musical legends, they are rare and should be treasured. I was going to go to Italy and massage Herbie and co. at a few Italian shows but as I said before, the first show was canceled and it just didn't work out. Looking very forward to seeing the lads again..
My massage assistant in Italy, Melissa, got to massage them in Milan for a few days. She also chanted and went to see the Buddha center with Herbie. Mad cool.