Frank Zappa Back On The Road project

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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:04 pm

Out of curiosity because I have yet to see anything official from the camps of any of the Zappa alumni. Is this something that has formally been endorsed by Steve? If so, does he really wish to degrade the legacy of his friend and mentor in such a way? For those who aren't aware, the Zappa Family Trust yesterday announced the Frank Zappa Back on the Road project which will start up in 2018, with preparations starting in the latter half of this year. The project aims to recreate the likeness of the late Frank Zappa using a hologram.

Suffice to say if you read the post on the Frank Zappa Facebook page, the majority of fans are downright outraged (don't blame them) that Frank's talent-less children Ahmet and Diva would commission such a project to spite their brother Dweezil, who was from 2006 until 2016, touring under the Zappa Plays Zappa name. With the death of their mother in 2015, Ahmet and Diva were given 30% control of the Zappa Trust each, while Dweezil and Moon got 20% each, giving the former pair majority control over all of Frank's music, merchandising etc. As of 2016 the Zappa Family Trust is millions of dollars in debt, primarily due to the mismanagement of the ZFT by Gail following Frank's death. Dweezil's current tour is called "50 Years of Frank: Dweezil Zappa Plays Whatever the F**k He Wants - The Cease and Desist Tour", celebrating the 50th anniversary of Freak Out! and naming the tour out of spite for his brother.

Frank was never one to play the same show twice, or even the same guitar solo for that matter, so as to how anyone would willingly associate themselves with such an insulting method of trying to "preserve the legacy of Frank Zappa" and attempt to bring his music to new audiences? Dweezil has been doing it just fine for the last decade, and having seen Steve on the ZPZ tour, I honestly don't see why he would get involved in this fiasco.

I apologize if this post seems a bit long winded, figured I give the back story in case anyone wasn't aware of it. As a huge Zappa and Vai fan, the whole idea behind this project disgusts me. I'd rather see Dweezil play his father's music under the Zappa name than a bloody pre-recorded hologram that will play unreleased tracks along with a band.
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Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:40 am

I just registered to address this matter. I'm glad to see someone has already spoken out against it.

Frank Zappa was against plasticity and fakeness. Anyone with any exposure to Frank Zappa over the years should know this. How could Steve Vai do this to Frank's memory? It is demeaning to his memory!

I will be greatly disappointed if Steve Vai participates with this plastic (hologram) tour. Back out, Steve. Say you won't do it.

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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 12:33 pm

Sounds like he's doing it...

Steve Vai
26 September at 09:02 ·
A day doesn’t pass that I don’t think about Frank. Nothing could, or ever will take his place in the hearts of the fans, his family and the musicians that have toured with him and loved him... Nothing, and we all know that.
When I was invited to contribute to 3-4 shows of a potential Zappa hologram tour I thought… this could be odd, but another part of me felt this could also be pretty special too. To be on the stage playing his music again for the fans with some of his alumni, (many dear friends of mine) and to have his ghostly image residing over the proceedings was interesting and alluring enough for me to commit to helping kick off the tour.
Of course it’s not Frank, and I’m not 20 years old anymore, but I am very happy, and honored that I was invited to contribute to bringing the spirit of Frank and his eternal music, with this new technology, to those fans who connected so deeply with him. I felt the same way when I contributed to the ZPZ tour, and that was a fantastic experience.
I believe that the fans understand it’s just an image and that holographic technology has its limitations, but it is an evolution in technology and with an open mind it could be embraced for a worthwhile experience. I would want to attend this show if I heard about it. If a person can attend the show with their spirit of the love of Frank’s music at the forefront I believe it could be a very touching event for all involved.
It’s an opportunity to engage in a massive “nostalgic hernia” because for many of us, Frank’s “music is the best”.
Steve Vai
Los Angeles CA
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