A recap of choice panels and performances, plus exclusive photos and interviews from the annual festival/conference in Austin, Texas
Originally filmed for MTV on Halloween 1981 this immensely entertaining gig now gets a wider release and finds Frank Zappa at the height of one of his more accessible, song-oriented periods.
Zappa was a pioneering artist in many ways, including the use of 16-track technology before The Beatles.
News of the week, covering everything from Lilith and Ozzfest to Stuart Moxham of the Young Marble Giants.
In case you were wondering, here’s what Goldmine writer Martin Popoff and his voting army came up with as the greatest non-metal guitar solos of all time (Can you guess which two Martin snuck in there? Here’s a clue: ZZ T_p and F_ank Za_pa).
This release documents the last performance by Frank Zappa’s “alternative orchestra” — referred to by Frank as The Mothers Of Invention/Hot Rats/Grand Wazoo — on Sept. 24, 1972, at Boston Music Hall. It’s a fascinating performance that demonstrates once again what a renaissance artist Zappa was, fearless at exploring different musical genres.
Running the risk of sounding profoundly foolish, somewhat ghoulish and altogether politically incorrect, Frank Zappa, who died in 1993, might be the only rocker/composer/producer in history impervious to the natural laws of the planet.
What occupies most of the Trust’s time are CD and DVD releases on the labels Zappa (largely for material Zappa himself produced), Vaulternative (devoted to recently discovered or rediscovered gems from the Vault) and Honker Home Video.
Despite what has already been unearthed from the Vault, some fans have been waiting with bated breath for certain Holy Grail items to emerge (ie. concert film footage of the 1973 Roxy and elsewhere shows, immortalized by the appropriately titled 1974 live record Roxy & Elsewhere). But pleasing rabid fans isn’t always easy. Travers says that the Roxy project, in particular, has been delayed due to the quality of the footage and the cost and time involved in getting it street ready.
The Zappa Family Trust has certainly positioned itself as the best entity to identify, propagate and ultimately distribute Zappa material throughout the world. In 2008, it turned its sights on some of the most important and impressive work Zappa ever created, recognizing some milestones.