Napoleon (aka Napi) called me last night from Amsterdam, told me he is there recording with Zappa alum George Duke. Asked me to come over if I was in Berlin, but I am not I am in NYC, so I can't massage those guys even though I would love to be there. Can't be everywhere at once, innit? He also mentioned doing press for the upcoming release of his cd:
An historical CD will be released in December 2009 entitled “This is What Frank Zappa Heard – Just in Case You Were Wondering – Live at the Red Noodle in Waikiki, Hawaii”.
On August 8th, 1973, Frank Zappa was alerted by his road manager, Marty Perellis, that an incredible band with an extraordinary lead singer was performing downtown to a
standing room only audience … and that it might be wise that he come and see this for himself.
When Zappa went to the club and watched the show, he saw a young talent sing, dance, play sax, flute and keyboards, in a manner that clearly made it appear that he was having
more fun than even the other patrons in the club.
After two hours of observing and listening to this young man and his very disciplined band of musicians, he introduced himself as Frank Zappa, and the young man introduced
himself as Napoleon Murphy Brock. The next words out of Zappa’s mouth were, “You are my new lead vocalist.” (Check napol
eonmbrock.com – INTERVIEWS – for more details of these conversations.)
The rest is history, as these releases attest to:
APOSTROPHE ROXY & ELSEWHERE ONE SIZE FITS ALL BONGO FURY
YOU CAN’T DO THAT ON STAGE ANYMORE – LIVE IN HELSINKI FINLAND
THE DUB ROOM SPECIAL (DVD) A TOKEN OF HIS EXTREME (DVD)
SHEIK YERBOUTI (All Background Parts) THE EVIL PRINCE (From “THINGFISH)
Grammy Award Winning Performance ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA (DVD-2006)
PLEDGE FORM FOR PRE-ORDERING “THIS IS WHAT FRANK ZAPPA HEARD – JUST IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING”
PLEASE SEND NO MONEY:
This is a form for pre-ordering this historic CD. IF YOU PRE-ORDER, THERE WILL BE NO SHIPPING CHARGE.
(The CD will be autographed upon request.)
This was taped on TEAC 4 Track Reel to Reel on August 8th, 1973 and will be released in December 2009. This CD performance has been digitally enhanced will put you at the next table to where Frank was sitting, and you will experience what Frank Zappa experienced and what later was described as “the audition of a lifetime”.
Just fill out the form below, and mail – or e-mail it – to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org or napoleonmbrock.com
Napoleon Murphy Brock
P.O. Box 817
San Jose, California 90187
Number of CDs @ 15 Euros each ________
STREET ADDRESS / CITY/STATE or COUNTRY E-MAIL ADDRESS
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:
Bruce Bickford is here at the festival, if you don’t know who he is, you must not know the Frank Zappa film “Baby Snakes”. Google him, he is a legend- or just click link below:
Super cool dude ^
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”
Gong TORE UP the stage. They ROCK!
Update on my last blog titled "Gail Zappa loses in court today"
Firstly, the ZFT has finally lost its battle to curb Arf-Society
activities in organising the annual Zappa music and more festival in Bad
Doberan. Basically, it could not prove that it owned any rights to the name
‘Zappanale’. Therefore, the 20th festival will go ahead as planned (see
updated details here). This has not deterred the ZFT from issuing another
‘cease and desist’ letter, this time regarding the ‘Napoleon Murphy Brock
performs Zappa with the Paul Green School Of Rock All-Stars’ tour. The letter
states that “none of you possess any license, permission or authority to
publicly perform the songs of Frank Zappa”. Over 3,000 fans have now signed
the petition to try and stop this sort of nonsense – are you one of them?
I thought The Zappa's wanted to reach the younger generation with Frank's music?
Click HERE to download the Grande Mothers interview
Just a preview of one of the upcoming massive blogs. I was at the unveiling of the one and only Frank Zappa street tonight (well, last night in Berlin). Sheil Yerbouti, a Zappa tribute band headlined and the very famous and talented Zappa alumni, Napi (above ^) joined the band. He plays with many Zappa tribute bands and he always steals the show 😉
I read an open letter from Bobby Zappa to the fans which gave his blessings for the Zappa street ceremony. I also joined Sheik Yerbouti and sang "I am the slime" with them. Much fun. I will finish this blog in a few days, I still have to do my Dublin blog. I have loads of pics to crop and upload and all that writing too.. and I have to get ready and pack for the upcoming, 18th annual Frank Zappa fest called Zappanale. Battling a lung infection again, wondering if Steve Vai passed that flu onto me accidentally in Dublin, if so, I would have to say I have the Steve Vai-rus. heh heh.
Pic I took of Frank and his son Ahmet during sound check in Long Island 1988 ^
(note: Ahmet is sadly not on the tour)
Monday ( May 22nd) was one of the best days I have had in years. I saw the ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA show . You must know by now that I am pretty much obsessed with Frank Zappa’s music, so seeing Frank’s son, Dweezil, play his fathers music with perfection was pretty much heaven on earth. My obsession started LONG ago when I was a child. My Father (well, he adopted me when I was 1 year old, so he is my Father) is to this day a huge Zappa fan. Chet raised me on Zappa music, and my Mom constantly played the Beatles when he was out. My hippie aunts (both really young, in fact, my Mom was 16 when she was preggy with me and my Dad was 17 when he adopted me) always played Janis Joplin and Zeppelin when I was around. The house was pretty much a hippie flop house ( “every town must have a place where phony hippies meet, psychedelic dungeons popping up on every street” Frank Zappa). So, out of all that music, I really hung onto the Zappa and Beatles the most, as you can see.
Zappa was not only the best musician I know of, but his lyrics are so funny, they make me literally roll on the floor with laughter when I hear them. What a great combo, what a RARE combo. My Dad brought me to several Zappa concerts when I was a young whipper snapper, and I am grateful for this, thank you Dad! At one of the shows he got me a Zappa t-shirt that said ” Tittie’s and Beer”, which is the name of one of his songs. I wore it to school the next day (I was in the 7th grade) and the teachers were “not amused” and I was sent home. Frank has never been mainstream. I mean, how many times have YOU heard Frank on the radio? Seen him on TV? Not often. People who are into Frank were usually turned onto him by someone who cares. It’s mostly through word of mouth that you hear of Frank, that’s why I spend so much time preaching him, I want to turn as many folks onto Zappa’s music as possible, it’s that amazing.
In 1988, I went on Zappa’s “Broadway the Hardway” tour and never asked for a penny for massaging Frank and the rest of his giant band. I made it clear, I wasn’t “only in it for the money”. I told Frank and co. that I would massage them for free and my payment would be the honor to see every sound check and show for free. Sooo , I got to see their sometimes 3 hour long sound checks and shows every night, it was PARADISE. Yes, I was missing classes and pissing off parental units but I didn’t give a fuck. This was much more important. Hey, I even got to eat their catering, so it was all good. Frank was very fun to be around, I was in awe the whole time, but tried my best to hide it. Me and about 4 other Zappa freaks got to sit in the empty hall during sound check and during their Portland Maine sound check, I accidentally let out one of my MONSTER BURPS. When I drink Diet Coke, all hell breaks loose. AnyWHO, I let one rip and Frank (who had his back to the empty venue while he was conducting his band) turned around, leered at us, and said “which one of you did that?”. Naturally the other Zappa fans who were somehow connected and lucky enough to be watching the masters sound check turned on me and all pointed at me. I turned NEON RED and raised my hand sheepishly and said with a , squeaky, cracking voice “it was me”.
Frank motioned to me and said “come here, come up here” and pointed to the stairs on the side of the stage. I reluctantly went to him, like I was going to lay my neck down on a wooden block, waiting for the blade. The whole band was watching impatiently and Frank had me come right up to him and said “could you do that again into the sampler?”. I exhaled so strongly I almost fainted. I thought for sure I was about to get my face ripped off and expelled from the Zappa sphere. But no, it was time to perform. I said “I need another Diet Coke though”. Frank said to a stage hand “get her a Coke!”. I said, “um, it has to be Diet Coke, more bubbles”. “Ok, he said, get her a DIET Coke, and make it snappy”. So finally my burps were recorded into a sampler and they used it for the rest of the tour to make fun of the TV Evangelists at the time, and now you can hear it on the Zappa live Album called “the Best band you’ve NEVER heard in your life”.. or simply click on the banner below..
The tour was amazing and I got to meet Dweezil and Ahmet, Frank’s sons and Frank affectionately crowned me “Dr. Dot”. I was just DOT before, as Dot is short for Dorothy. My Granny was named Dorothy and most called her Dot. I was named after her and so most called me Dot. Frank would say “go get the Doctor” or “hi Doctor Dot” and so it stuck. I am honored. When Frank died of prostrate cancer in 1993, I was in tears for days. I have never gotten over it and preaching his music is my way of thanking him for his music and allowing me to see his sound checks and shows. I was estatic to hear that Dweezil is touring with an amazing band, playing his Father’s music. Even though I knew I would probably get in for free and end up massaging them all, I still bought a ticket, just in case.
Napoleon Murphy Brock (< click on link to read about him) and I have been buddies for years. < Napi and I
He has been touring with a Frank Zappa tribute band called Project Object, keeping the faith. Now he is on tour with Zappa plays Zappa. He does most of the vocals in the show. He usually steals the show, he is so talented; sings and dances like no other. He knows Frank’s music inside and out as he played with Frank for YEARS. Anyways, Napoleon and I have kept in touch and he called me from the Zappa plays Zappa Norwegian show, telling me the whole band is excited about getting the Dr. Dot rub down on Monday in Berlin. I was so excited, I think I didn’t sleep for a few days after that. Monday finally came and I arrived with my guitar player (for my band Bitchfest) Eno, who is one of the biggest Zappa fans I know. Napoleon, or Napi as everyone calls him, was outside to greet me personally. He gave me a giant bear hug and then shook Eno’s hand. Eno handed him 10 Finish marks (on one live Zappa recording, it was said, if one handed Frank 10 Finish marks, they would play whatever they were asked to play). Sadly, it didn’t work heh heh.
Napi proudly introduced me to the band. I already knew Steve Vai, but never met Terri Bozzio before, so I was star struck, yes, even I get star struck! I got to watch the sound check *sigh*
<Dweezil at sound check
Sheila,Terri, Jamie, Joe , Aaron (part of the Zappa plays Zappa band) ^
Terri Bozzio warming up before his AMAZING performance ^
(how my camera SUCKS!! Note to self, get a fucking new camera!!!)
I first massaged Sheila Gonzalez (sax, keyboards, vocals). She loved it and did good PR for me which made everyone else in the band fight over who was next. YAY! Next on the slab was Steve Vai (one of the best guitarist in the world)
Sorry Ladies, Steve has been happily married for 28 years to his college sweet heart.
Steve is so polite and friendly, I have been massaging him over the years and have yet to see him in a bad mood. He said this tour was like a tiny vacation for him as he didn’t have to play during the whole show. He just showed up for the last 30 minutes or so and kicked ASS! He was busy in his dressing room writing/composing the whole time. The papers he was writing on were so big, they covered all the tables, like plans for a house, but covered in musical notes that would confuse Beethoven . I introduced him to my daughter, Jasmine (who also plays guitar) and he was super nice, Jasmine kept saying to me”as a guitar player, I have to say, I’m not worthy”.
One of the funniest parts of the night for me was when Steve Vai picked up one of my BITCHFEST flyers, which were laying around all over the backstage area and he read the GROUPIE APPLICATION out loud to everyone, he LOVED our Bitchfest flyer. He then asked me to explain the whole thing to him and was laughing his ass off.
Jasmine and Steve Vai (my little cutie turned Red upon first meeting the guitar hero) ^
The show was amazing, but the venue had shitty acoustics. I stood next to the sound man most of the show. I asked him about the sound and he was furious. He was cursing the venue the whole show. He couldn’t turn it up louder as the shape of the Tempodrom was so strange, the sound merely got fuzzy when he turned it up. They played wonderfully, words escape me, but I like it loud and this joint couldn’t accommodate. Keep that in mind if you are ever touring you are about to play the Tempodrom in Berlin. Tell the booking agent/promoters, NO THANKS!
During the encore , some Frank Zappa fans held up a BIG yellow banner that read “You may have the genes, but we keep the spirit alive: ZAPPANALE 2006!”. This was like a big FUCK YOU to Dweezil. He told me how much it pissed him off and why during his 90 minute massage. Zappanale (please click the link to read all about it). It’s an unofficial, annual festival that celebrates Frank Zappa. There are two sides to the Zappa story. Well, you see, there are millions of Zappa fans that are starving to hear someone play live Zappa music and to hear unreleased Zappa tunes, and they satisfy their desire by seeing Zappa tribute bands and going to the Zappanale etc. But the Zappa family frowns upon such things because they want his music done EXACTLY how Frank made it, and preferably by his sons, Dweezil and Ahmet. So some Zappa fans resent the Zappa family because they know the Zappa family doesn’t support these festivals etc. Frank’s sister, Candy Zappa makes special appearances at the Zappanale and Frank wasn’t even close to her at all. Kind of like what Pete Best does at Beatles conventions. This pisses off the Zappa family, so it’s complicated. I think it was fucking RUDE of those idiots to hold up that bitter banner right in front of Dweezil, he is trying his best to play his father’s music exactly how it is meant to be played and has hired incredible musicians to help spread the music around the world. Dweezil says he really hopes more young people get into Zappa music and was happy to see my daughter wearing an official Zappa t-shirt at the gig. Dweezil said so far the best audience was in Sweden. He was amazed to see what appeared to be three 15 year old GIRLS in the front row singing to every song, he said they knew every single word to every song and was very impressed.
I told him that people write to me every day and ask me what is a good starter kit to get into Zappa, as in, what albums should one buy to get into Frank. I usually tell them Joe’s Garage; We’re only in it for the Money and Tinseltown Rebellion. Dweezil said “really? I always suggest Apostrophe and Overnite sensation as a starter kit”. I usually don’t speak during a massage, but Dweezil was very chatty and hello, I wanted him to be chatty, I couldn’t get enough of his insight and comments about his father and the music. Dweezil is so relaxed and cool, so down to earth and friendly. I mentioned is amazing blue eyes and he said he is the only one in the whole family with blues eyes. I also asked him why doesn’t he sport his dad’s signature stash and tiny beard. He said he grew it once but it looked ridiculous on him and shaved it off.
This man is extremely talented, his guitar playing rivals his Dad’s, but yet it’s different. If you are on your way to see a Zappa plays Zappa show, please, show the band how much you LOVE the music, give big time applause, show the love, make Dweezil understand how grateful we are that he is taking this show on the road and let him know we support him 100%.