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Zappa family feud intensifies over proposed ‘hologram tour’

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“It isn't necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice - there are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia.” – Frank Zappa, as written in “The Real Frank Zappa Book.”

The Zappa Family Trust – established in 2002 by Gail Zappa, widow of legendary rock, jazz and orchestral composer, Frank Zappa - last week announced a partnership with Eyellusion, an organization billed as “live music’s premier hologram production company.”

The concept behind the partnership is to create digital hologram images of Frank Zappa, synchronized with his music, and then send the package out on the road, allegedly with some of the musicians who originally recorded and performed the music with Frank.

Ahmet Zappa, executor of the family trust and younger son of Frank and Gail, announced in a press release that he is “thrilled that Frank Zappa will finally be going out on tour, playing his most well-known music, as well as some rare and unheard material.”

The Zappa family has been divided on a number of issues in recent years, including elder son Dweezil’s use of the name “Zappa Plays Zappa,” a series of ongoing shows where the musician pays tribute to his father’s music. Dweezil insists that the Zappa Family Trust is trying to prevent him from performing under his own name.

In response, Dweezil altered the name of his show to “Dweezil Zappa Plays Whatever The [email protected]%K He Wants” as part of the “Cease and Desist Tour.”

Of the proposed Zappa hologram tour, Dweezil has stated that he is “not interested in participating in anything with an artificial version of my father on stage.”

Referring to the concept as “fake Frank,” Dweezil continued. “Let’s be realistic. It’s not actually Frank Zappa that will be on the stage.

“Many holographic projects have been attempted and failed,” he wrote on his website. “For example, Whitney Houston’s family sidelined a holographic version of her because they weren’t convinced that the quality was good enough. With all due respect, there must be a disturbing combination of emotions people feel when seeing something of poor quality, especially when it’s a three-dimensional representation of their own deceased loved one.”

Adding insult to injury, Dweezil says that he first heard about the proposed Frank Zappa hologram tour through social media and has not heard directly from the family trust about the tour or the trust’s use of his name in promoting the concept in its press release.

“How radical would it be to see Moon (Zappa – Dweezil and Ahmet’s sister) singing ‘Valley Girl’ onstage with Frank?” the Zappa Family Trust press release asked. “Or to see Dweezil side by side with our father playing dueling guitar solos?”

Digitally created holograms of deceased stars are not a new concept. The 2012 Coachella Festival presented a computer-generated image of late rapper Tupac Shakur to an audience who appeared largely unsettled at the sight.

Last year, The Notorious B.I.G. appeared in hologram form at two Bad Boy reunion shows with a real-life Diddy. And in 2014, Michael Jackson’s image startled viewers and attendees of the Billboard Music Awards when it appeared to moonwalk across the stage, accompanied by a live, five-piece band and 16 dancers.

“Regarding my Dad,” Dweezil wrote at www.DweezilZappa.com, “his fans have been outspoken that they do not favor the idea. It would be very difficult to make the leap to say that my Dad would favor the idea himself, given his propensity for exalting music as the very highest art form, and live music in general as being the most exhilarating experience in which to display the art.”

In other Frank Zappa news, six historic late October 1977 concerts - performed by Zappa and his band at New York City’s 3,000 seat Palladium - are due to be released for the first time in their entirety on Oct. 20 via Zappa Records/UMe.

Completely remixed from the vault masters, “Halloween ‘77” will contain 158 tracks in 24-bit WAV audio and will be delivered as a candy bar-shaped USB drive. A 3-CD version containing the October 31show (with select tracks from Oct. 30, 1977) will also be available.  

9 comments

  • Comment Link Marcell Lazzeri Monday, 16 October 2017 13:50 posted by Marcell Lazzeri

    Hi there, just wanted to let you know that we had a great vacation at Marina de Bolnuevo in August of this year (http://www.marinadebolnuevo.co.uk/about-bolnuevo). We flew into Alicante and hired a car from the airport for the short drive to Bolnuevo. The beaches are sublime, most of them awarded the Blue Flag. The cafes were great, with paella on the beach a must and managed a trip to the nudist beach there. Very liberating. We also visited the Big Guns, The Roman Mines and the Sand sculptures. Will be returning there again in 2018. Look forward to seeing you at Marina de Bolnuevo in the next few months. Thanks for reading Alicia.

  • Comment Link Milo Zodrow Monday, 09 October 2017 06:47 posted by Milo Zodrow

    Hello, just wanted to let you know that we had a great holiday at Marina de Bolnuevo in June of this year. We flew into Alicante and hired a car from the airport for the short drive to Bolnuevo. The beaches are fantastic, most of them awarded the Blue Flag. The cafes were great, with paella on the beach a delight and managed a trip to the nudist beach there. Very liberating. We also visited the Big Guns, The Roman Mines and the Sand sculptures. Will be returning there again next year. Thanks for reading Nikki.

  • Comment Link Reuben Winkles Monday, 09 October 2017 03:33 posted by Reuben Winkles

    Hello, just wanted to share with you that we had a great holiday at Marina de Bolnuevo in September of this year. We flew into Alicante and hired a car from the airport for the short drive to Bolnuevo. The beaches are sublime, most of them awarded the Blue Flag. The cafes were great, with paella on the beach a highlight and managed a day on the nudist beach there. Very liberating. We also visited the Big Guns, The Roman Mines and the Sand sculptures. Will be returning there again in 2018. Thanks for reading Nikki.

  • Comment Link Scott Thursday, 05 October 2017 07:53 posted by Scott

    Zappa family trust = NO TRUST and we're only I it for the money...old mom was a book keeper n a greedy person.dweezil n moon I feel for you.seems your lil bro sis,got bit by the GREED bug too...sadkee o rcki dweezil.your dad's o your side!!!!!I'm sure of it...d.spook

  • Comment Link Steve whylong Thursday, 05 October 2017 06:52 posted by Steve whylong

    And my puncuation

  • Comment Link Steve whylong Thursday, 05 October 2017 06:49 posted by Steve whylong

    1. Forget the hologram idea. And some commenters should go back to elementary school and learn how to make a friggin' sentence Frank would be ashamed of your grammar syntax and word choice.

  • Comment Link Sneuzer9 Thursday, 05 October 2017 06:05 posted by Sneuzer9

    I'm with the Dweezil Zappa. It's not only in poor quality it's in poor taste, morbid to say the very least. Zappa is the last name of Dweezil and Frank. Zappa Plays Zappa should be allowed, is Frank was his father first if you want to split hairs. This hologram thing grotesquely morbid

  • Comment Link Sneuzer9 Thursday, 05 October 2017 06:00 posted by Sneuzer9

    I'm with the Dweezil Zappa. It's not only important quality it's in poor taste, morbid to say the very least. Zappa is the last name of Dweezil and Frank. Zappa Plays Zappa should be allowed, is Frank was his father first if you want to split hairs. This hologram thing grotesquely morbid.

  • Comment Link M bey Thursday, 05 October 2017 00:54 posted by M bey

    Let's get real even when valley girls came out no true kappa fan of her father's music career to see it done live. Show of hands? How many kappa heads listen to it on the album it's the skip tune made easy by Cd's and digital music. Having seen Frank live I don't want to spend money to see a 3d video of him. I do appreciate dweezil bringing his father's music to a new generation of kids who would not otherwise have the experience of listen to a musical genius. So Ahmet and moon the pursuit of financial gain is understandable but it's not exactly what your father's music is about he sort to be original at all times musically. This idea is not original

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