After a successful inaugural run on the road in 2006, Dweezil Zappa hopes that this year establishes his Zappa Plays Zappa tribute to his late father, Frank Zappa, as a going and potent concern.
“What I’ve been hearing from people who saw the original tour was just an overwhelming sense of thankfulness — just, ‘Thank you for doing this,’ ” says the younger Zappa, 37. “We’ve put so much time into this, and attention to details. It sounds authentic, the way it’s supposed to sound.”
This year’s Zappa Plays Zappa tour continues last year’s model of abetting the core Zappa Family Trust Band with guests from Zappa’s past — this year featuring vocalist Ray White. It may not have some of star power of last year’s lineup, which featured guitarist Steve Vai, drummer Terry Bozzio and singer Napoleon Murphy Brock, but Zappa says that’s part of an “educational process” that the music and not the players are the star of the show.
“I’ve always said from the beginning that giving the alumni members more importance than Frank’s music is the wrong way to perceive this,” explains Dweezil, who plans to release a DVD filmed at December shows in Portland and Seattle. “I think it’s easy for people to think, ‘Oh, wouldn’t it be great if they got all these people,’ and it’s like a circus atmosphere where you bring out the next special guest.
“But that’s not what makes Frank’s music Frank’s music. It’s not because of them that the music is what it is. Frank wrote this stuff down on paper ... and other people were taught how to play it. The music is the only reason we’re doing this.”
Zappa Plays Zappa performs at 8 p.m. Friday (July 27th) at Meadow Brook Music Festival, on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills. Tickets are $45 pavilion, $20 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
Send your thoughts and comments to