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
I have heard about ZAPPAWEEN the last couple years and never knew what it was exactly. I thought it was similar to the Zappanale but new. I skipped this past Zappanale (Frank Zappa tribute festival held every year for the past 19 years in Germany) due to a certain someone causing havoc for me. So I was itching to be around other Zappa fans and celebrate Frank and his music. I booked a flight and room and headed down to St. Petersburg, where ZAPPAWEEN is held. Robin and John (also avid Zappa freaks) met me there. I arrived a day early as they drove all the way from Atlanta (John flew to Atlanta from Chicago). I am NOT into road trips anymore (did enough of those following the Grateful Dead around for a few years back in the 80's ).
I stayed at the Days Inn which I found online, not having a CLUE as to how that area is set up. I just wanted something close to the venue where ZAPPAWEEN takes place. Now you would think, having such an event, that happens once a year, that it would be bigger, you know, with a few Zappa tribute bands and perhaps tips on Bogus Pomps web site (they are the band that puts on ZAPPAWEEN every year) for Zappa fans who come to the area just for this event. But no. In fact, even up to show day (Nov 1st) their web site still didn't even have info on THIS YEARS Zappaween on it (I guess they are so busy they didn't get to it). I thought this event was a couple years old. But NO, it has been going on for FOURTEEN YEARS already. This surprised me as Robin, John and I were there a couple days early, HOPING to meet other Zappa fans and hang out with them, you know? BUT NO. NOTHING.
I called a Zappa fan I know from Tampa which is rather close. I don't know him well, just an online Zappa buddy. I asked him "where do the Zappa fans meet down here?". He snapped at me "This is NOT ZAPPANALE DOT! This is ZAPPAWEEN and we don't meet up, it's just that one show and that is it!!". He was so snippy about it, Robin, John and I sat there in the cheesiest fucking bar ever with our jaws dropped at his response. Not just the tone (he continued to say "You should all be in bed, like I am, FUCKING!"). Oh, ok, whatever. So, let me get this straight. Zappa fans come from all over the world (one girl came all the way from Germany but we didn't meet her until the show started), yet no one organised a meeting point or pre-Zappaween party? Why? What the fuck.
Let me try to explain to you how incredibly BORING St. Petersburg and Treasure Island (the actual beach area) IS. There are only THREE BARS on Treasure Island (all SUPER SMOKY) and walking into them is like walking back in time, and not a good time either. After hearing a few stories from "locals" we found out time seems to STOP when you escape to this area. No one was FROM that area, they are all from NJ, Chicago, Boston, etc, people who seemed to have ran away from the cold and their mundane busy lives. One waitress, who felt the need to tell us about all of her past husbands and addictions, was from NJ and has been there for 15 years. Her hair, clothes, make up and lingo that spat out of her pie hole were all set in that time, styled like life was 15 years ago. It reminded me of watching the Berlin wall come down November 9th, 1989 in Berlin. I watched the people come through the wall, dressed so old fashioned, as they didn't know any better. This was the same vibe. The music, hair, clothes, everything. It was so strange! We were all gob smacked. We just could NOT get over this time warp. Fucking BIZARRE.
Anyways, I still can't get over the fact, that after 14 years, there is no "where to go before and after Zappaween to meet other Zappa fans in St. Petersburg" web site or at least a tiny section on the Bogus Pomp web site "Zappaween Tips/stuff to do before/after". I guess I just am the type to see potential in things and wonder why no one else does. What harm could it do to have a pre-Zappaween party to get all excited for the show? Also, there is only ONE band at the Zappaween. One band, one show. So the whole Zappaween lasts about three hours. This would be worth the trip if you lived in the area.
Anyways, the hotel I stayed in was frowned upon by the rental car dealer. They asked me where I was staying, I told them and they all stopped talking. They told me NOT to go out a lone at night and "it's very dangerous" in that area. DAM, you can never tell when booking online. Apart from the pubic hairs on my sheets left from last guest and half full can of coke left in fridge, it was ok. Vama, the manager (in the pictures above and below) treated me like a queen when she found out I do massages. I massaged her for free and she let me get away with everything. Front row parking, etc. The room only cost $50 a night, so I guess you can deal with some random short and curlies in your sheets ( I slept with jogging pants and long sleeved shirt on to avoid touching sheets). She even upgraded me after the first night to a suite and that was nicer. The maid was the problem. She weighed about 400 pounds, always had a cigarette in one hand and did NOT want to work.
Vama ^ and I bonding
I was so fucking shattered when I landed in St. Petersburg as I literally had TWO hours of sleep the "night" before. I was up until ten am, slept til noon (two full power hours) and then had to rush to airport. Rented a car and could barely drive I was so tired. On my way to hotel, I saw a Thai restaurant and stopped in to eat. It was PERFECT. "Thai Orchid" is the place to eat in St. Petersburg if you like Thai. I even brought Robin and John there the next night (I'm a creature of habit). After dinner, I was so tired I could barely see, but instead of crashing when I got into the seedy room, I went out for a walk in the danger zone.I tucked my hair up under my hat and wore unattractive baggy clothes and headed out to stretch my legs. I was saddened to witness the poverty around me. I thought THIS is America? Sidewalks and streets haven't been repaired in years, in fact, bushes and weeds were growing out of all the cracks.
Shop after shop, fast food joint after fast food joint were closed down, overgrown with bushes and trees. You could smell how desperate people have become in this area. The nasty hotels all along the road were housing for many family's. I could tell the people lived there, that they were not just passing through. Some places boasted "$33 per night or $150 per week" and of course they all offered an hourly rate (lots of ratty looking hookers lurking about outside of each hotel). HOWEVER, every few blocks was a brand spanking new, sparkling clean CVS or Walgreens. Oh LORD they are doing so well. Why? Because Pharmacy's will always do well, because the Government wants us all hooked on prescription drugs. The commercials never stop. I went into several of these CVS's and Walgreens on my nightly walks, mainly to buy Reese's peanut butter cups , but also because they are open 24/7 and safe. What a massive contrast: CVS every few blocks, obviously thriving, with a Walgreens directly across the street from each one, surrounded by obvious poverty. Tsk tsk. It makes me ill.
One night after our boring fucking trek into the local bars (which turned UP the crappy music on the juke box and turned the Zappa and Hendrix we picked out down super low), Robin, John and I walked together to CVS (I think the peace pipe made us extra giddy) and we had a fucking blast in CVS. The woman behind the counter got to know me by now and I loved making her laugh out loud every night. This night, I told her I would give her $100 – or any other store employee if they could tell me the MEANING of what "CVS" actually stands for. No one in the whole freakin place knew what it meant. ROBIN DOES! How fucking random is that!! Robin KNEW!! It means "chorionic villi sampling" omfg. It's a test that is done that is done to check for birth defects. WOT???? Robin works in a woman's help center. LMFAO!!!!!! So, if you want to fuck with CVS employees, go and ask them what CVS stands for.
One advantage of me arriving so tired, is I went to bed at midnight and got up at TEN AM. I had time audition a new Dot Bot. Alison came to my hotel and massaged me by the pool side. On her massage table, out in the sun. It was lovely. I hired her, she is amazing. You will see her online very soon. She just massaged Jason Mraz for us yesterday.
I did manage to get to the beach during daylight hours (beach was ten minute drive from hotel). I jogged along the beach and watched the sun set. It was breath taking. Made me want to move there, but then again, those bars, those freaky locals and that time warp effect woke me right up. If I ever go there again, I will surely stay RIGHT on the beach, which costs twice as much but the hell, you only live once. If you're gonna do it, do it right.
ZAPPAWEEN has an annual costume contest and ^ John dressed as Vito Paulekas (freak?) posing here with Robin in front of the State Theater.
|I just dressed as Mary, the crew slut (or did I?) I love my Jetson Boots.||Robin and I lovin' life.|
Jerry Outlaw's girlfriend, Deborah, did
a great job dressing up as Amy Winehouse
Zappa fan Dave Black dressed "Potato headed Bobby" , posed with his cutie pie girl friend and Robin.
Ike was the star of the show for sure. Everyone was scared he wouldn't show or whatever, like with the Zappanale (he missed the plane) but he was there, in full force and nailed it. He is a jolly soul. Smart as whip too, don't let that goofy grin fool ya.
"Not by the hairs of my chinny-chin-chin"
Dan Campbell , violinist, fiddler and guitarist, was one of my favorite
parts of the show. At one point he was fiddling so fast, I swear I saw
smoke. I couldn't help but imagining him wanking; thinking how good he
must be at it. I asked him after and he assured me he is a pro.
The Bassist looks like an older version of one of my ex-boyfriends, also
a bassist. He was on fire. Seriously.
Jerry O. and Shane Blank bending those strings ^
A view from side stage ^
Byron Hogan, Cello player and Pat Buffo ^ (even though Pat is sporting
pig tails and a dress, he is so lumber-jack manly, he can pull it off and
still make the ladies, including me, swoon.
|Shane Blank , guitar prodigy, age 14, jammed with Bogus Pomp and jaws hit the floor.|
Mr. Zappaween himself, Jerry Outlaw, founder of Bogus Pomp. When I got into the gig, Jerry was on stage, changing guitar strings on his guitar. The audience was just chilling to the house music (led zeppelin, janis joplin and many other classics) while Jerry was sweating his balls off to get done in time. You can tell he has his plate full but works all year long to pull off Zappaween. To say the band was TIGHT would be a severe understatement. In fact, between Bogus Pomp and Project Object, ZPZ hasn't a snow ball's chance in hell at recreating Frank Zappa's music the way it is supposed to be played, like these two bands; with passion. REAL passion. Not just "I need to do this to pay my bills cause my own band doesn't cut the mustard" – passion.
Dressed as the "Spider of Destiny" (google it) won the contest and won the guitar.
Billy the Mountain came in second place I think… I found it strange they
didn't invite the costumed freaks on stage for voting. They were just called
to the front row; which was lame as no one but the band could see and judge
| This Tomb Raider babe had the men in a "petulant frenzy"
Guest vocalist, Pat Buffo ^ impressed me greatly. His rendition of 50/50 and Zombie Wolf gave me goose bumps. The mother fucker can SING. He has his own band called Rebel Pride .
Acting out "Dirty Love" (the way your mama makes that nasty poodle chew) -see the white poodle near my rump?
Ok, during the show, I received an email on my crackberry from Jerry Ford one of Jimmy (rip) Carl Black's best friends. The email came around 11pm and it said that Jimmy Carl Black had just passed away in his sleep. My reaction was LOUD, shocking and undeniable. In other words, I couldn't have hidden this emotion. Robin and John simotaneously went "WHAT? What's going on!??" The music was so loud, I couldn't hear them nor then me, so I just passed my crackberry to them to read. We all flipped out with watery eyes. What a downer. We were in between heaven (amazing Zappa tribute band) and hell (hearing of Jimmy, original Mother of Invention) passing.
Matt Koegler , fellow Zappa freak suggested keeping that news to myself, as not to bring everyone down, but I just had to tell Ike. I mean, wouldn't all the Zappa fans want to know as soon as possible so we could all send him loving thoughts? I waited until Ike had a break and went back stage and brought him out side to tell him and show him the email. The above picture was taken a few minutes after, when Robin came outside to help console him. Perhaps the tears in my eyes prevented me from focusing my camera properly or perhaps my camera has just gone to shit. Not sure.
|Holy FUCK! Some people have a lot of free time. Looks amazing doesn't it???|
So Ike decided he would announce Jimmy's passing when he got back on stage. He went on stage, whispered it into Jerry's ear and then Jerry broke the bad news. But instead of bringing everyone down, Jerry said it in such a way and dedicated the rest of the show to Jimmy, that everyone celebrated his life, rather than being bummed out about death. At least Jimmy wasn't suffering from the torture of the cancer any longer. RIP Jimmy, my friend. At least no one can sue him any more for playing Frank Zappa's music. Pffft!
Can you BELIEVE how amazing these pumpkins are? The carving must have taken HOURS. There were two of them at the show and they looked even better when the lights were out. They glowed. They seemed surreal.
I am dam proud of that picture. Great colors, mood, yes!
The two love birds were alone on stage after the show, showing love and I just asked them to pose. So sweet. Poor Jerry must need a whole year to recover from all the stress and energy it takes to put on Zappaween. I think some of his friends should help out a bit more, like with the web site, and lugging the equipment in and out as I saw him doing most of the work, but maybe he likes it that way.
Although the actual Zappaween/Bogus Pomp SHOW was fun, I have to admit I prefer Zappanale. There are 4 days of Zappa-packed fun, with Zappa fans from all over the world (total sausage fest) and the scenery is gorgeous too. Zappaween is three hours of fun. No comparison. Fourteen years of Zappaween and still no place to hang out before the show? wtf? You know I love comparisons. So lets just say, you have two amazing lovers. Both well equipped. Both can make you cum. But one fucks you for four days, a four day fuck fest, you know the kind, were you stink of sex for days in a row. The other, comes in, makes you cum really fast and leaves. Zappaween is the quickie; Zappanale will make you sore for a few days. Both are fun. It's a matter of taste and time I guess.
Ike and John after the show. The mood was somber again after the smoke cleared and Jimmy's name came up again. There was mad love for Jimmy at the show that night. He will never be forgotten. Such a talented sweet heart. Missed by many many fans, friends and loved ones.
Comment from Robin:
Dec 6, 2008 9:55 PM
great florida/zappaween blog…will add a story or two soon…like how i had NO VOICE…and that DINER we went to at 3am…what a trip that was!! omg…our dr. dot massages at the pubic hair motel…with the highest *mildew* rating!!LOL! although blurry, i like the shot of ike and me sitting outside after learning that JCB had died 🙁 your previous poster is right, for such heavy news it was great to be with you and john and ike and all the fans…RIP jimmy…RIP frank… peace and music…robin
I am hanging my head in shame here as I have not blogged properly in so long. So much going on, I don't even know where to start. I am in Berlin, it's fucking freezing and everyone here still hates Americans and lets me know about it on a daily basis. I am getting pretty fucking tired of defending myself every time I leave the house. It's bad enough the Germans LOATHE American's entirely, but to hear it from the English here as well is sometimes too much to handle.
I was in an Irish pub the other night, showing a friend around and there were some English guys (from Yorkshire) at the bar and as soon as they heard my American accent they all started in on me. Asking me, as if I was a dumb American (aren't we all?) "So, where in Canada is NYC exactly?" and "I would rather fucking DIE than go to America. They're all cunts!". Yeah yeah yeah, we fucking suck, now get over it.
I am a walking whipping post here. 99.9% of the people here HATE AMERICANS and when they meet one (me for example) they spit their verbal venom at me (I try to imagine this is aimed at George Bush and let it go in one ear and out the other) but after 18 years of this shit, I am ready to fucking snap. I am not a Patriotic Yank. I don't wear the American flag on my body or brag about being from the USA, but when people ask me where I am from, am I supposed to fucking lie? I should maybe tell them I am from Canada so they get off my ass. AND if they happen to be apathetic about where I am from, they have a go at me when I answer their next question (it's like a fucking interview every time I leave the house) "so what do you do for a living?" MASSAGE (insert lame joke here) "oh, with happy endings?". Just fucking bite me. From now on, I'm from Toronto and I am a waitress. End of story. Hostile? Yeah, I am, but you would be too if you got as much shit throw your way as I do being an (GOD FORBID) American. Thanks Mr. Bush, everyone hates us now, hope you're happy. I didn't vote for the cunt, nor did anyone I know.
Something about being a foreigner, hard to put my finger on it, lets see, it SUCKS. You have to walk on eggshells. Your accent gives you away. So just keep your mouth shut and you'll be fine. But what about in shops? Restaurants? Bars? You have to speak. I feel SO confident in NYC. Like a fish in water. The ambition, the energy, the anything-goes vibe is a constant turn on. Plus, I am from there (well, born 2 hours drive North) so NO ONE gives me shit about being American on my own turf. HUGE chip on my shoulder right now. One more person gives me hell about being a Yank, I'm gonna snap. Go postal. Can you or anyone you know relate? The song CREEP from Radio Head comes to mind.
That and the miserable weather (FREEZING, rain, gray skies) and the fact that Jasmine left on a tour all around Europe again for the next 5 months or so, makes me want to get on the next plane back to NYC. Having lived in Europe since 1989 though, makes me also feel a tad out of place there too (I've turned into a bread snob). Going mad. Turning into an eccentric freak. The more success you have in your career the less you fit in. Losers at bars who have no or little money seem to have a million friends and lots of time to spend with them. If you work and love your work and speak about it (when asked) you get glared at as if you just told them you shit tooth paste. "EH? You like to work? I avoid those kind, as it may be contagious!".
Friends my age are all married and/or are just having kids and have NO time. Single friends are either super rich and have no time or super poor and have NO money but lots of time. Good thing I don't mind being alone. Lately I have been really busy- had a tiny operation, no big deal.. and then helping Jasmine get ready for her trip and showing a lovely friend-
– around Berlin has all taken up so much of my time I haven't even began to answer all of the piled up emails. Another thing, if you are straight (not fucked up) in Berlin and are a foreigner, it's hard to deal with. I go into the Irish pubs of Berlin from time to time for some karaoke and see the English speaking crowds, some of which have been here as long, if not longer than myself and most of they are high and/or drunk as fuck every time I see them. Some of them have actually gone crazy. I know a couple Americans here that have turned into massive alcoholics and put heads; you can barely understand them anymore. You ask them "why?". They say it's cold here, the people are cold here. You wonder "why not go back to your country?" but many have been here so long, they would have to start all over again back "home".
Really odd situation. Not looking to start a pity party, just telling the truth. One American man here wrote a book called the Zoo station years ago. Directly after it's release, he killed himself. The Spring and Summer are better; people smile. Winter is hell on earth here. They will simply NOT obey the smoking ban yet. Most places are still extremely smoky and the one's that do enforce the smoking ban, allow smoking after 11pm anyways. So I stay at home most of the time organizing massages for touring rock bands. Super fucking exciting. Party On Garth.
On a lighter note, I am off to France early April to perform a Hot Chocolate massage on a certain someone (can't reveal their name yet). Then I will take a train over to Italy and meet Jasmine for a week of fun in the sun. Then later in April, back to NYC. I do LOVE my flat in Berlin, as it's all mine and I can do whatever the fuck I want in it whenever the fuck I want….but big deal, the folks here in Europe have already made up their minds to hate Americans, so why stay here? So much hate here, it's insane. Lighten up people will ya?
"I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character!" – Theodore Roosevelt
Zappa Plays Zappa tour dates ^
Yes I support Zappa tribute bands and Zappa alumni and the Zappanale, but just to show Gail and Dweezil that I am mutual, here are their dates. All things involving Zappa music are good things.
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%.