Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Zappadan update

mikeb302000 has cough drops, bildungblog has Kung Foo masters, Contingencies has 'Bolero' (missed earlier), like dancing about architecture has the 1988 tour, Outside the InterZone has 'Happy Together; 3C Patent Law has a few words that might help explain why is still barren, and Ketchup is a Vegetable has all 46 minutes of the A&E Zappa biography.

iranianredneck does a real fine job with an Oral Roberts memoir capped off with 'Dumb All Over' (ZPZ).
Zappadan Facebook and Zappadan Twitter.

The Greggary Peccary Suite (Connecticut, 1973)


  1. I was wondering about the Zappadan site, and the 3c patent link explains a bit.

    Bill Griffith, cartoonist of Zippy the pinhead, originated the phrase "Are we having fun yet?" Every cartoon from Garfield to Ziggy cashed in on the phrase in their merchandising. Bill fought for years to get compensation for them using his copyrighted words, but it dragged on for years, and finally he gave up. Even though his words were copyrighted, they weren't trademarked, or so the Garfield/Ziggy defense went.

    I don't know all the intricacies of trademark vs. copyright with regard to live and recorded music, but I do know that if the Zappa Family Trust ever came after me for drawing a picture of Zappa in one of my comix strips, you can be sure I will laugh in their face. Satire and parody are protected forms of free speech, last upheld, to my knowledge, by the Supreme Court in the 2 Live Crew vs. The copyright holders of Roy Orbison's Pretty Woman case.

    To me, Zappadan is not only a celebration ,it's a parody of religious celebrations. Zappa is the vehicle for the parody of Holy Observance. The actual word "Zappadan" is a parody of Ramadan. I don't think The Zappa Family Trust can successfully suppress a parody in court.

  2. And over at the Like Dancing about Architecture link, there's this

    "The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life 1991 is a real crowd-pleaser, with Zappa doing many covers, often with hilarious results. Purple Haze, Ring Of Fire, Sunshine Of Your Love, and a totally amazing Stairway To Heaven are all great."

    So, it's ok for Zappa to play cover songs, but Gail Zappa claims it's not ok for people to do covers of Frank's songs? That's pretty pathetic.

  3. 'So, it's ok for Zappa to play cover songs, but Gail Zappa claims it's not ok for people to do covers of Frank's songs?'

    I'm not sure if that's the crux of the biscuit, so to speak.

    An underlying theme begins to appear when perusing The Real Frank Zappa Book and other interview sources...FZ's dissatisfaction with the rendering of his works in performance, whether through perceived musical/financial shortcomings on the part of the performing surrogates, or for less succinct reasons.

    Only when live performance was no longer deemed feasible (thus ending the need to maintain a high caliber ensemble specializing in highly idiosyncratic 'performance norms'), and Synclavier composition/editing/playback becoming the desired method of expression did FZ appear to become content with the process. Possibly, what Gail Zappa and the ZFT are doing is attempting to maintain the chain of 'quality control' over the compositions, albeit in a highly personalized fashion.

    Of course this is just my interpretation, but the safeguarding of legacy works takes on many outward appearances.

  4. Wow.


    Note new Beefheart clearspot youtube material. whoa.

    sleepin' on an ol' rotten cot. pure beat-loozer vision...

  5. Well, DB, I can understand the need to maintain control over the recordings from a legacy point of view, but I'm not buying it from a performance point of view. There was a video on Youtube of a gal doing a bluesy version of Suicide Chump. I'm not sure if it is still there, but I believe any musician has a right to interpret the work of other musicians in a performance setting. I find it absurd to suggest that someone needs to go ask Gail Zappa if it's alright if they play Suicide Chump down at the Monday Night Blues Jam at your local bar.

  6. All I can say is that I really hate seeing so many of the classic FZ videos being supplanted by the approved Zappa Plays Zappa versions.