^ Napi primping for his performance
Finally, a street named after Frank Zappa. I asked myself, “why, why Marzahn?” In case you didn’t know, Marzahn is a part of Berlin that is a tad dangerous if you are a foreigner. There are some neo-nazi’s lurking about still, if you know what I mean. It’s on the outskirts of Berlin and well, I would normally never, ever, go there. I found out though, why Frank Zappa street was born in Marzahn.
The Orwo Haus is the reason. The Orwo Haus is the biggest recording studio in Europe and (some are sure) the whole world. 150 bands at a time can (and do) rehearse there daily. From the out side, it doesn’t look like much, no one would imagine what is going on inside. Well, you can read more about it HERE if you want. Blah blah blah.
Napoleon (Napi) steals the show wherever he is. You gotta love Napi.
Around 3,000 people came from all over the place, on July 28th ( I know, this blog is long over due) to celebrate the unveiling of Frank Zappa street. Many bands played and headlining was Germany’s best Frank Zappa tribute band “Sheik Yerbouti” . Napoleon Murphy Brock joined them as their special guest. Nappi gets around 🙂
You can see many more pics from that event if you click HERE
I was asked to join them for their Encore, a hot version of “I am the slime”. I was freezing my tits off. When I left my flat, it was steaming hot, so I wore open toed shoes, a skirt and t-shirt and even after 18 fucking years living in Berlin, you would think I would KNOW by now you have to literally drag a bag of clothes around with you as you never know how the weather will be/change. Me= dumb-ass.
I was literally shaking from being so cold that by the time I was asked to come on stage and read a letter from From Frank Zappa’s brother, Bobby to the crowd, my lips were purple. But, like a trooper, nothing keeps me from spreading the love and music of Frank Zappa. Nothing.
^ Robyn & Dot
Another HUGE Frank Zappa fan ^ (I don’t mean she is huge, I mean, she is a big fan, well, you know what the hell I mean).
She flew all the way from the USA along with a tour run by a man named Scott.
They all came together for the street naming and the Zappanale.
Like I was saying, NOTHING prevents me from preaching Zappa music. In Germany I am often invited onto talk shows and written about, as they find my career fascinating (so do I ). And every single interview I have ever done, since 1997, I have mentioned Frank Zappa. He crowned me “Dr. Dot” long ago, so that is usually how his name is mentioned “How did you come up with that name?” they ask. Then I tell them about Frank, how my Dad is a massive Zappa fan and how much his music means to me. His music is the BEST (well, I am also insanely into the Beatles, so it’s a tie).
This is my new Zappa shirt ^ My pal Mark drew it and made it for me. I won’t mention were you can find him online as I have a suspicion a certain family may not like Franks face being sold on anything without their approval. Sorry.
That man ^ in the above picture with me, is Thomas, the President of the Arf Society. What is the Arf Society you ask?
“Founded on the 20 March 1993, the Arf-Society is a
Frank Zappa fan club based in Northern Germany
with an international membership.”
It’s best you just click HERE to read all about them.
Wolfhard K. actually founded the Arf Society but Thomas is the pres. since a few years (Wolfhard is a busy man). Wolfhard and Thomas are extreme Zappa fans and have been putting on the annual Frank Zappa music fest which they call the Zappanale. This year was the 18th annual Zappanale and they invited me to help out a bit and to join Project Object on stage for some fun. So I accepted and I will try to find the words to explain how happy I am that I went.
Project Object (my favorite Zappa tribute band) ^
What’s missing from this picture? Ike fucking WILLIS, that’s what. Where was Ike? His name was on the posters, the tickets, the press releases. A driver was sent to pick him up in Berlin, all the way from Bad Doberan, which is a 3 hour drive. He did not get off the plane as planned. In fact, he never even bothered to get in touch to tell them he missed his plane.
Why would Ike miss his plane? Because he is having an unfortunate struggle with cocaine addiction. I am not leaking any private information here. Everyone who is hip to the scene knows this. In fact, just about everyone who has met Ike in the last few years, has lent him $50. Ike owes EVERYONE $50. It’s rather ironic that Ike, who was Frank’s right hand man for YEARS and his best friend, ends up a crack addict. Frank was shrewdly against drugs (well, cigarettes are indeed a drug too, but anyways..).
In my opinion, drugs suck. I have never tried cocaine and can’t stand being around people who take it or even talk about it. BUT I can imagine why Ike does this drug. Not making excuses for him, but imagine your best friend dying, how horrible that must be and then on top of it, having to sing his songs almost daily to a crowd of his fans. Frank’s shoes are impossible to fill, and being on the front line, almost daily (well, nightly) singing the lyrics your best mate wrote must do your head in. It must be hell. Hell in paradise.
Making a living doing something you love is paradise, but in such a circumstance, it can be difficult. If you are sensitive (most artist are overly sensitive) then falling into such a trap, is understandable. Not good by all means, but I can see why it happens.
Fame, drugs, money, (or was it the music? ) heh heh. I just hope Ike gets help and fast. He could end up dying, like other artists have done, thanks to that pesky, overwhelming, addiction People should plan a huge intervention and toss him into Rehab. SO MANY famous artist are having trouble now a days. Amy Winehouse is throwing her fucking career in the toilet too, just like Ike is. It’s so sad.
But anyways, with or without Ike, the Zappanale party went on.
The first night ( Thursday) everyone meets and greets in preparation for the Zappanale party following the next day.
I LOVE that sweatshirt I have on. I got it in 1988 in Boston. It’s held up pretty well. It says “Broadway the Hard way” on the sleeve.
So this was night 1. I was a tad tired, but knew I could handle the up coming 3 nights of partying. It was so fun to meet some of the Zappa-teers (huge Zappa fan organization) and see Nappi, Andre’ and the guys again..
Andre’, guitarist/vocalist and founder of Project Object with his sweet heart, Cheri. ^
Andre’ preaches Frank big time. He doesn’t earn jack shit touring with his band, he does it for the love of Frank’s music.
This is the list of all the bands that played at the Zappanale ^
My hotel ^ it is really strange. There is no one at the desk all night, you could have a massive party in the living room they have off to the side of the lobby and you could drag that party into your fucking hotel room and no one would care; completely the opposite of the uptight rules they have in Dublin where you can’t even have someone come up to your room to help you with your bags. You have to give it to the Germans, they are liberal Fother Muckers.
The Park across from my hotel. I heard this is where the first ever Zappanale took place. But it got too big for it’s britches and moved to a huge field..
The town of Bad Doberan is clean, quaint, gorgeous and very tolerant of the annual Zappa festival.
< Dressed for my “Mary” skit
I finally got to meet my pen pal. Andrew ^ and I have been corresponding online for years. He runs a UK Zappa news/fan web site called “Idiot Bastard Son”. He has intervied many of Zappa’s alumni and I did one for him too a while ago. He was as funny in person as he is online. But then again, most Zappa fans are intelligent, special and funny, just like Frank’s music.
< Bass extraordinaire
Project Object were one guitarist and vocalist short ( Ike) but you would have never known it! They were fantastic!
Don Preston , the man in the purple velvet jacket on key boards, was one of the high lights of the whole Zappanale. He plays with Project Object on tour most of the time, but is busy with many solo projects. I am sure he is over 70 as he is one of the original members of the Mothers of Invention.
Project Object doing their thing ^
One of the few females at the festival was serving beer. I brought that plastic urinal with me, thinking they may not have anything to throw water on me when I play Mary. I got this urinal in a bar in Berlin called Cafe’ Klo (Klo is a nick name for Toilet in German). Everyone drinks out of these urinals in that bar and you can buy them as well. I don’t drink beer, but they do hold a lot of beer, so I made good use of it and kept my pals well watered with all of those unwanted beer tickets I was given..
This is Andrew’s pal Ian ^ Andrew wore this ^ shirt, thinking Ike would be there.
Andre’ is a master on guitar ^
This is not the first time I have played “Mary” on stage with Project Object. I like participating anyway I can. I asked them to learn “Valley Girl” so I can sing that with them next time our paths cross.
Here are the lyrics to the song “Fembot in a Wet T-shirt” in case you are one of those people who don’t know the album Joe’s Garage by Frank Zappa..
THE WET T-SHIRT CONTEST
After a few weeks on the bus, being porked by
Toad-O’s road crew, and being too exhausted to do
their laundry on a regular basis, MARY is dumped in Miami.
With no money (and no other famous rock groups due into
the area for at least three weeks), she tries to pick up a few bucks
by entering the Wet T-Shirt contest at The Brasserie…
Looks to me like something funny
Is going on around here
People laughin’ ‘n’ dancin’ ‘n’ payin’
Entirely too much for their beer
And they all think they are
And they’re ready to party
“Cause the sign outside says it’s WET T-SHIRT NITE
‘N’ they all crave some Hot delight
Well the girls are excited
Because in a minute
They’re gonna get wet
‘N’ the boys are delighted
Because all the titties
Will get ’em upset
‘N’ they all think they are Reety-awright
‘N’ they’re ready to boogie
‘Cause the sign outside says it’s WET T-SHIRT NITE
‘N’ they all crave some Pink delight
When the water gets on’em
Their ninnies get rigid
‘N’ look pretty bold
It’s a common reaction
That makes an attraction
Whenever it’s cold
‘N’all of the fellas
They wish they could bite
On the cute little nuggets
The local girls are showin’ off tonite
You know I think it serves ’em right
You know I think it serves ’em right
You know I think it serves ’em right
You know I think it serves ’em right
And it’s WET T-SHIRT TIME AGAIN
I know you want someone to show you some tit!
BIG ONES! WET ONES! BIG WET ONES!
At this point, FATHER RILEY (who had been recently de-frocked
for not meeting his quota, and has grown his hair out and
bought a groovy sport coot and moved to Miami and changed
his name to BUDDY JONES) steps onto the crowded bandstand
in his exciting new role as a WET T-SHIRT CONTEST EMCEE…
Ah, thanks, IKE…
Yes, it’s WET T-SHIRT TIME AGAIN
Here at The Brasserie… Home of THE TITS… huh huh…
And it’s the charming Mary from Canoga Park
Up next in her bid for the semi-finals…
Having been fucked senseless by the boys in the crew, MARY does
not recognize the former religious personage from her nights in the
rectory basement during which she acquired her basic manual skills…
confounded by his sport coat, she replies…
Realizing that she no longer recognizes him… or even appreciates
the patient religious training he had given her in the past, BUDDY JONES,
like a true WET T-SHIRT EMCEE type person, proceeds to say various
stupid things to waste time, making the contest itself take longer, thereby
giving the mongoloids squatting on the dance floor an opportunity to buy
more exciting beverages. . . liquid products that will expand their
consciousnesses to the point whereby they might more fully enjoy the ambiance
of Miami By Night…
Where ya from?
Ah, the bus…
You know…the last tour…
Oh.. .you were the girl that was stuck to seat 38 on Phydeaux III…
why don’t you get in position now and take a deep breath, because
this water is very, very cold, but it’s goin’ to be so stimulating. And
Mary’s the kind of Red-Blooded American Girl who’ll do anything…
I said anything… for fifty bucks
I really need the fifty bucks you know I gotta get home!
Yeh, I know, your father is waiting for you in the tool shed… that’s right,you
heard right… our big prize tonite is fifty American Dollars to the girl with
the most exciting mammalian protruberances…
MARY: Here I am!
BUDDY JONES: …
as viewed through a thoroughly soaked, stupid looking white sort of male
person’s conservative kind of middle-of-the-road COTTON UNDER-GARMENT!
Whoopee! And here comes THE WATER!
No, you’d squeak more if the water got on you …sounds like you just got an
ice pick in the forehead… AND HERE COMES THE ICE PICK IN THE FOREHEAD…
a million laughs, Mary! Anyway; good golly, what a mess…she’s totally soaked..
totally committed to the fifty bucks.. .That’s it just step into the spotlight.. let the guys
get a good look at ya honey!
Here I am!
Whaddya say, fellas?
Nice setta jugs?
Now Mary, how’s about shakin’ it around a little…
Oh my goodness, look at her go!
Oooh! I’m dancing!
Ain’t this what living is really all about!
Here’s your fifty bucks, Mary…
Oh great! Now I can go home!
Home is where the heart is.
MARY: “On the bus!”
That water was fucking freezing, so the look of shock/horror is authentic. heh heh.
< “ Oh great! Now I can go home!”< “with leather?”
The headliners of the whole Zappanale ^.
I haven’t seen Chad since 1988!! He is so shy, so soft spoken. SO SWEET!!! His whole band is sweet in fact. I loved hanging out with these guys. They played an all instrumental set. No Zappa tunes at all, although at certain points you could hear a tad of a Zappa riff, like they were teasing us. They were brilliant. I suppose everyone was expecting them to whip out at least one Zappa tune, but they didn’t.
Perhaps Chat wants to stay on Dweezil and Gail’s good side. At least now they can’t bitch at them for playing any Zappa music!
Oooh they sounded like butter. Lovely! x
^ you can see from his smile how sweet and genuine he is
Eric Slick ^ plays drums with Project Object. He is a genius (started playing drums at age 2 🙂
His Mom, Robin Slick, is a famous writer. Check out her blog HERE
The English band, Monty and the Butchers ^ were soooooo fun to hang out with. A million laughs indeed.
Jorg, the film director, who happens to be holding the mic, films each Zappanale. They make a dvd of each Zappanale. They interviewed me for the dvd. I was obnoxious as usual.
I was lacking sleep, which I really really need right now, as I am literally running on fumes. My tonsils are beyond infected and I was told a year ago they have to be removed but I never find the time, so I have been living on antibiotics and feeling like shit for about two years. I know, it’s stupid. A vicious cycle, but I just never find the time. So if I get less than like 7 hours of sleep, I feel dizzy, sore throat, all that wimpy shit. I was devastated when I was told I had to be up and ready for an interview on stage Saturday at noon. I know this sounds like a diva talking but it’s not. I am just a night person and seldom fall asleep before 7am. Hard habit to break at such short notice 🙂
Jim Cohen, who has been the host for a few years at the Zappanale, was to interview me Saturday at noon. He does a representation each year on the Saturday of the Zappanale (the Zappanale always takes place in the first week of every August fyi) . He interviews guests and talks in great detail about Frank Zappa. He is a walking encyclopedia of Frank Zappa trivia/facts/info.
I was there, on time, and went through with the interview. I did most of it in German as it takes place in Germany, but said somethings in English too for the English speaking audience. What I am getting at, is this weekend is a marathon. You won’t be resting, you will be ON the whole time, partying, talking, laughing, dancing and by the end of the weekend, you won’t have a voice anymore. I swear I am still hoarse from the festival and it was a few weeks ago. Found that out the hard way last night at karaoke.
Eric Svalgård ^
The other Eric of Project Object and I signing the symbol for the Arf Society.
Monty and the Butchers hamin’ it up during the grand finale’ ^
The crowd (above) and the sound men ( are nice guys, but have to work while everyone else is raising hell, hence the glum faces)
Chad and Andre’ ^
Don and I discussing his amazing threads his wife sews for him. What a sweet heart! ^
Christian ^ was my driver for the whole festival. The Arf Society was obviously trying extra hard to please me 🙂
Musician soup ^ …………. backstage at the Zappanale was heaven on earth
Hasi ^ a Zappateers member, from Austria and I in the Zappateer tent. This tent is out in the camping area at the Zappanale festival. Everyone in the camping area pretty much parties straight through, with no sleep, from Thursday to Monday morning. It is a non-stop Zappa themed party. The Zappateers tent is the center of it all. I was welcomed with open arms and even knew a few of the people hanging out in the tent.. It was super fun, but I had to hang backstage most of the time, as they had tiny tasks for me to do.
What are the Zappateers? ” The Zappateers are dedicated collectors of Zappa live shows.”
It’s best to click HERE to read more about the Zappateers..
These two lovely gals ^ know every word to every Zappa song and I love them. They were a fixture in the Zappateers tent and later on stage for the Grand finale too. They are seriously dedicated Zappa fans. They are also big Project Object fans… YES! x
Sunday when I woke up, I thought, “FUCK THIS!” I am too tired to go to the Zappanale grounds again. I thought I would just sleep all day and hide until my ride took me back to Berlin. WRONG ANSWER. Thomas, the president of the Arf Society called and said “where are you hiding!?? We need you on stage at 9pm!” Eh? I thought my work was done. Guess not. So I dragged my ass out of bed, well, off the floor as I always sleep on the floor in hotels, as I am a walking sleeping disorder.
Painted my face a bit and tried to get motivated for yet another night of partying. I am only used to going out like once a week, sometimes once a month. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t go out much at all. I am a hermit. It looks like I go out a lot because I blog about it every time I go out. I can only handle two drinks and hate smoking so I am a light weight and need a day to recover when I party (I have always been that way, so don’t laugh to yourself as you say “it’s called getting old” under your breath). I have always been a light weight. sigh. ANYHOW, where the hell was I?
Oh yes, my lovely driver came and basically had to pry me out of my room as I was really dragging my ass by Sunday. But like magic, once I set foot on the Zappanale grounds, I woke up like a freshly watered flower.
So, I was wondering, what was my chore of the day? Why was I needed on stage at 9pm? Another Wet T-shirt thingy? A massage for Chad? Was I entered into the Zappa trivia game without my knowledge?
Um, I know he works for the Zappanale, I think he is the director of transportation but don’t quote me on that, but at any rate, that is Napi posing with a man I think may be Hendrik. (Lets play “name that German!”)
Chad & Andre’ ^
Kurz, Italian Frank Zappa fan and musician (he let me draw that stache on his face 🙂
I was attacked by a sharpie pen ^
Naturally after 3 nights of camping, the Zappanale guests, artist, campers and workers started to smell a bit. I mean, it is hot, humid, dusty.. everyone is sweating and drinking.. you get the picture. I had a close wiff of Matthews (bassist/vocalist/founder of Monty and the Butchers) underarm. Me likey. I LOVE the smell of a man’s sweat. Fuck deo and perfume and show gels. I want to smell the MAN, not the fucking brand. Nothing I hate more than a man wearing perfume, cologne, aftershave, deo etc. I want to smell the truth baby!
Well, it’s only fair… ^
Sunday night, we were ALL TOAST. I couldn’t believe that Monty and the Butchers hadn’t seen the Zappa statue of Bad Doberan yet!
The drivers brought us there and we had a little photo shoot. The one with the glasses (passed out) is Joe. he plays horns some times for Project Object. What a laugh that night was!
Me posing with the Zappa statue. There was a LOT of controversy surrounding the statue. Gail Zappa didn’t approve it and is still not happy about it. The Arf Society had to fight tooth and nail to convince the town of bad Doberan to even allow the statue to be erected there. All the drama!! It’s so sad how everyone behaves after an icon dies (James Brown, Zappa, Elvis, John Lennon, etc).I hope to fuck the dead idols are looking down, watching the behavior, keeping tabs….
I want to close this now and mention once more, how AMAZING the Zappanale was. I will be there for sure next year. This festival has been going on 18 years, and I hope it keeps going on for many more years. It has a special vibe to it, so much love for Frank, so many cool people, so much fun!!!!!!!!!!! The area is amazing too, it’s magical, in fact I couldn’t think of a better place to have such a wonderful meeting of minds. Thank you Arf Society for the lovely time, I will never forget it.
ps. If you haven’t seen them yet, I made 3 videos (well, one long one, broken up into 3 bits) of my Zappanale experience.
Click the links to see the videos:
I am still at the birth place of the Zappanale.. Bad Doberan, Germany (formerly East Germany) being spoiled by the founder of the Zappanale himself and his lovely family. They are showing me around the whole area, it is amazing. Will blog about Dublin and the Zappanale as soon as I get back to Berlin.