the big nOte files - 2003/08/10

in short:
- the orchestra imaginaire is to perform frank zappa in metz, france: "the frank zappa memorial barbecue" ;
- nigey lennon website - weblog and journal;
- setlist of two john trubee concerts;
bogus pomp update: concert scheduled with the florida orchestra;
- info on bret hart;
- a new skip heller album;
- the zappanale experience: jazzprojekt hundehagen, zappanoia, octafish, eugene chadbourne & jimmy carl black, the muffin men, prawns with horns, alternative tv, sheik yerbouti, doctor dark, sex without nails bros., ike willis & stu grimshaw, napoleon murphy brock, the paul green school of music, the mike keneally band, ...
- andrew jones' zappanale (straight from affz)
- zappa painting for sale !! - reduced price !!
- a pleasant discovery: b'wana dik and the excentrifugal force
- new releases: the magic band album
- news: zappa sampled, zappa performed in concert, 
- new frank zappa triple bootleg album: "the lost solos"
- zappa on digital versatile disc: video dvd bootlegs




the orchestra imaginaire performs "the frank zappa memorial barbecue

in the previous issue, i mentioned that the orchestra imaginaire will perform a zappa concert in metz, france.
special guest on this occasion is morgan ågren.  contrary to earlier communication, ruth underwood will not be present.


Just wanted to let you know that is not online at present. It will be returning soon, but in the meanwhile I've started an online weblog and journal which will be updated at least once a week and will provide info on my nefarious doings (including gigs, appearances, publications, recordings, arrests, various public embarrassments, etc.). Just point your browser to

JOHN TRUBEE - setlist * JOHN TRUBEE - setlist * JOHN TRUBEE - setlist

Some of you may have heard these fabulous two concerts by John Trubee and the Ugly Janitors of America.  Both have been around on tape for a while, but a couple of months ago, both were transferred to cdr by mister Trubee himself.
  • 1988/02/24    concert 'the music machine', west l.a., ca, usa
    • john trubee: guitar, vocals * mark langton: vocals * toby holmes: trombone * jonathan mako sharkey: keyboards * bruce duff: bass * michael rosen: drums
    • the strongest man alive * gonne be a hard rain * introduction * why does love got to be so sad? * babylone * introduction * minstrel and queen * introduction * guru swami voodoo ind control * introduction * can you hear me * introduction * lesbian love affair * summer sun * the strongest man alive (reprise)
  • 1988/12/06    concert 'stage west', granada hills, ca, usa
    • john trubee: guitar, vocals * mark langton: vocals * jim rohrig: sax & bassoon * mat gurman: guitar * jonathan mako sharkey: keyboards * robin lorenz: violin * danny buchanan: bass * art jarvinen: drums
    • the strongest man alive * why does love got to be so bad? * introduction * damn their souls * now i step over your world * holy man in an unholy land * cast me off in the shadow * introduction * human mating call * introduction * can you hear me? * they call me mister ugly



fred hemmer says:
Good evening Bogus Pomp fans!

Just in case you were on vacation or had your computer crash or just plain checked out for a while, I want to remind you of the Bogus Pomp show coming up this August 21 at the fabulous Tampa Theatre This is not you normal concert. This a special event whose cost has been underwritten by a handful of loyal supporters and will feature the regular Bogus Pomp ensemble plus approximately 15 members of the Florida Orchestra. As many of you already know, Bogus Pomp and The Florida Orchestra played two sold out shows in 1999 and 2000 and received critical acclaim from many throughout the music industry. People from all over the USA and several other countries attended the events. Both of those events featured a performance by the full 88 member Florida Orchestra followed by a two hour set by Bogus Pomp with Napoleon Murphy Brock in 2000 and Ike Willis in 1999.

The August 21 show will be somewhat different. It will be a joint show with the full Bogus Pomp ensemble and approximately 15 members of the Florida Orchestra performing together for the full two hour show. The music scores for all musicians have been written just for this show by Tom Trapp who will also conduct the show. We are very lucky to have an opportunity to see a concert of this caliber right here in the Tampa Bay area. And if you are reading this from out of town, it is worth the travel! The following is the set list:

set one: peaches en regalia * holiday in berlin (overture) * zoot allures * big swifty * little umbrellas * who are the brain police? * approximate * sleep dirt * king kong * black napkins * wild love * the black page * t’mershi duween * dupree’s paradise
set two: dog breath variations / uncle meat * let’s move to cleveland * blessed relief * amnerika * cleetus awreetus awrightus * the idiot bastard son * mom and dad * holiday in berlin (full blown) * twenty small cigars * sofa * watermelon in easter hay * g-spot tornado * strictly genteel


I got an e-mail from Bret Hart.
Now, who, i hear you say, is Bret Hart.  Well, he did add a couple of nice links to explain what he does (and that's why he is in this news-section).

For those of you with excellent memories and a fine record collection, Bret Hart also contributed (with El Freezepops) to "fester", the residents tribute album.  They redid 'simple song':

Amongst Bret's other projects are his improvisational releases, two of which he made with Don Campau, a name that should ring a bell as well, and another one that he did with Ben Horrendous, of Fourfathers fame.

More info on Bret Hart:     and     Free-Improv Case Studies


Remember Skip Heller?  I have only heard one of his albums, and I have to add that I really liked that one.
Well, Skip Heller has a new album out.  It's called "career suicide" and it's out on Dionysus Records.


also check out andrew's excellent report (including pictures !!) at:
thursday 2003/07/24
  • steffen modrow: mono sapiens music
    • it's a pity that we (inge and i) did not get to see steffen modrow's performance.  i am very impressed with what i have heard of him and of his band behind the mirror, but we just couldn't make it to bad doberan on thursday.
friday 2003/07/25
  • ben watson & jim cohen: the phenomenology of one size fits all: georg wilhelm friedrich hegel and frank zappa
  • jazzprojekt hundehagen
    • we had arrived too late to catch the watson / cohen tandem, but we were in time for jazzprojekt hundehagen.  my only experience with jazzproject hundehagen was their zappanale performance in 2002 (a couple of tracks can be found on the zappanale 13 albums).  they did a good job.  opening a festival is never easy, but they turned heads and that's what opening a festival is all about.
  • zappanoia
    • zappanoia has been around for seven years already.  they are from portugal.  i had heard a couple of mp3s that they had posted on their web-site, but i was very glad to see them perform live.  and yes, they brought their doll with them.
      and if their international adventure wasn't enough, the band also released their first album:

  • octafish feat. mike keneally
    • now this was great.
      octafish makes industrial fake jazz, as they call it.
      their two albums "land unter" and "hai girls" showcase their talent and made me quite curious as to what to expect.
      i wasn't dissapointed to say the least.  the first part of their set were all own compositions (as far as i can tell) and the second part was zappa material, featuring mike keneally on superb guitar work.
      the highlight of day one.
  • eugene chadbourne & jimmy carl black: the jack and jim show
    • i have seen these guys a couple of times already.  mostly in pubs or in smaller venues. and i think that that is where they are at their best. to be quite honest, they did not really get a fair chance at zappanale: their concert was interrupted by wolfhard's 'vocal group'.  but i like what they do.

      jimmy carl black had brought a lot of new releases:
  • m.b.o.b.: live in sardinia, february 1995
        (2003, cdr, ger, inkanish)
    • february 1995, both the grandmothers and the banned from utopia played a gig in sardinia, italy.  with two hours of rehearsal, some grandmothers (sandro oliva, ener bladezipper and jimmy carl black) and a member of the banned from utopia (tommy mars) played a one-time gig.
      all zappa material.
      an essential recording.  i'm glad jimmy carl black made this available.

  • eugene chadbourne & jimmy carl black:
    the jack and jim show: live ceder cultural center

        (2003, cdr, ger, inkanish records)
    • more maddness from jack and jim.  this concert was recorded 1995/05/08 in minneapolis, mn, usa, on the first american jack and jim tour.
      in the liner notes, jimmy carl black says: 
      "... We did two shows at the Ceder that night... We didn't have time to talk to the fans after the show because we had to pack up and move over to another club for a third show that night...
      if you're into j & j, this is something for you.

apart from the above mentioned titles, inkanish (jimmy carl black's own record label) also presented a couple of new samplers.
at least, i think these are samplers and that they present music that is already released on other inkanish releases.
if not so, sorry & please correct me.

  • jimmy carl black: jimmy carl black plays the music of frank zappa
        (2003, cdr, ger, inkanish)
  • eugene chadbourne and jimmy carl black: the jack and jim show: jack and jim play the music of frank zappa
        (2003, cdr, ger, inkanish)
  • eugene chadbourne and jimmy carl black: the jack and jim show: jack and jim play the music of captain beefheart
        (2003, cdr, ger, inkanish)
  • jimmy carl black: clearly classic
        (2003, cdr, ger, inkanish) - limited edition of 100 copies
  • the muffin men feat. ike willis and napoleon murphy brock
    • it's always a pleasure to see the muffin men.  for one reason or another they skip belgium when touring the yurripean mainland, but i do try to catch them at least once every tour.
      and here they were. very energetic and powerful as always. mister willis and mister brock supplied very fine vocal / guitar / sax parts and made this a very fine concert..
  • the muffin men: baker's dozen
        (2003, cd, uk, private release mmcd 13/2)
    • to celebrate their 13 years of existance, the muffin men are releasing a couple of limited edition album.  the first one was called "live@thecavern" and the second one is called "baker's dozen".  this latter one has some great muffin moments (1994 - 2001) and features jimmy carl black and ike willis on various tracks.
      i like it.

  • prawns with horns
    • australian band prawns with horns finished day one at the zappanale festival.  we didn't stay as we had been awake for about 20 hours and still had a couple of days before us.  the next day we were told that ike willis had performed a couple of zappa tunes with them.

saturday 2003/07/26

  • alternative tv
    • another great opener for festival.  alternative tv played a nice set and included 'why don't you do me right' and 'plastic people'.  it sounded good, even at 14:00 h in the afternoon.
  • the muffin men feat. jimmy carl black & eugene chadbourne
    • i like the muffin men. i like jimmy carl black.  i like eugene chadbourne.
      need is say more?
  • sheik yerbouti feat. mike keneally
    • sheik yerbouti have already proven to be a very good and very tight band. just listen to one of their albums. they played a nice set and were joined my mike keneally on a bunch of songs.  i liked it.
  • doctor dark feat. jimmy carl black
    • highlight of day two: doctor dark in concert.
      i was one of the lucky people to have heard doctor dark before they played zappanale and i was very anxious to see / hear them.  and at this very moment, almost two weeks after i saw them, when i close my eyes, i can still see them.
      of course, their timing was perfect.  most bands play strictly zappa, and after two days, the mind needs something else. but they did a great job. i never saw beefheart perform live and i had to skip the magic band in london earlier this year, but i'm very glad that i saw doctor dark. i loved it. and the crowd went wild.
      thank you, guys.
      for the record, jimmy carl black also sang a song with them.  it wasn't necessary, but i had the impression that jimmy liked it, and that's a good cause as well.
  • doctor dark: live at toad's place
        (2003, cdr, usa, private release) 
    • if you want to catch a glimpse of doctor dark, and you don't live in the neighbourhood, you can always try this fine little album.  bill saunders (vocals), joe nolan (guitar), travis moody (guitar), bob demarchi (bass) and steve chillemi (percussion) show where it's at.
      all compositions by don van vliet.



  • and i thought that it would be a concert where they would play the entire "joe's garage" set.  boy, was i wrong. it was a play. well, actually, it was a musical.
    or a muzzical as they say.
    this was absolutely great and there's a good chance that this will make a zappanale dvd. fingers crossed.

    the sex without nails bros. will be touring in november, performing "joe's garage" throughout germany.
    try to catch it.
  • 2003/09/09 performance ‘orpheum’, wien, austria
  • 2003/09/10 performance ‘orpheum’, wien, austria
  • 2003/09/11 performance ‘orpheum’, wien, austria
  • 2003/09/12 performance ‘orpheum’, wien, austria
  • 2003/09/13 performance ‘orpheum’, wien, austria
  • 2003/11/07 performance ‘circus crone’, münchen, germany
  • 2003/11/08 performance ‘löwensaal’, nürnberg, germany
  • 2003/11/09 performance ‘steintorvariete’, halle, germany
  • 2003/11/10 performance ‘bka’, berlin, germany
  • 2003/11/11 performance ‘bka’, berlin, germany
  • 2003/11/12 performance ‘bka’, berlin, germany
  • 2003/11/13 performance ‘bka’, berlin, germany
  • 2003/11/14 performance ‘alter schlachthof’, dresden, germany
  • 2003/11/15 performance ‘millenium’, braunschweig, germany
  • 2003/11/16 performance ‘delphi’, hamburg, germany
  • 2003/11/17 performance ‘delphi’, hamburg, germany
  • 2003/11/18 performance ‘delphi’, hamburg, germany
  • 2003/11/19 performance ‘brückenforum’, bonn, germany
  • 2003/11/20 performance ‘stadthalle’, gersthofen, germany
  • 2003/11/21 performance ‘congressforum’, frankenthal, germany
  • 2003/11/22 performance ‘forum am schloßgarten’, ludwigsburg, germany
  • 2003/11/24 performance ‘hugenotten-halle’, neu-isenburg, germany


  • nina hagen & band
    • nina didn't show up. last minute call. pity. i don't remember who replaced her.

sunday 2003/07/27

  • the lizard kings
    • another beautiful day, and the lizard kings played the doors.
  • ike willis & stu grimshaw: "der fremde"
    • stu grimshaw had composed a piece called "der fremde" and ike willis took part in the performance. i love ike's voice, but i wasn't too impressed by the music.
  • the paul green school of rock music
    (the music of frank zappa as played by 12 - 17 year olds)
    • prior to the zappanale festival, someone had told me about the paul green school of rock music.  the same source even sent me a cdr with a concert they did. i hadn't taken the time to listen to this disc, so i didn't really know what to expect. sure, the thing was subtitled "played by 12 to 17 year olds", but that didn't give away too much.
      when the concert was about to start, some 6 or 7 kids had taken the stage.  paul green counted and boom, you had a rock band playing zappa. stuff like 'montana', 'dirty love' and more.  vocals and all. each song, new kids took the stage, or some kids switched instruments.
      now, i'm not going to say that it sounded perferct, but purely from an emotional standpoint, this was superb.  young kids, playing zappa's music (doing a great job! especially considering their age) and having fun.
      hey, i have kids myself...
  • sex without nails bros. feat. napoleon murphy brock:
    "roxy and elsewhere"
    • after their fabulous performance, the night before, everyone's expectations were rather high for the sex without nails bros, featuring napoleon murphy brock doing "roxy and elsewhere".
      to be quite honest, the first couple of songs had the bros. looking for the right angle, playing various zappa tunes and having all their actors / singers on the stage and all. but they soon found their equilibrium. and when nappy took the stage - wow - and nappy doing some songs with them from the "roxy" album - wow -. i really enjoyed this show as well.
  • mike keneally band
    • highlight of day three, and maybe even of the entire festival: the mike keneally band.
      i guess i don't have to comment on this too much.  keneally rules. he played some superb songs, including a very fine zappa medley as well.  look at andrew jones story a bit further for some extra comments.
  • the mistakes: the mistakes
        (1995, cd, usa, immune records imm-1009)
    • mike's excellent concert made me replay a bunch of his albums the last week. one that i really liked, and that i hadn't put in this site yet, is his collaboration with henry kaiser (and also with prairie prince and andy west). so here it is.
      the album is a couple of years old, already, but it's worth to look out for. it's a very funny, very diverse album. typical keneally songs, but also weird kaiser improvisations with a beefheart twitch.
      "you'll love it".

Andrew Jones wrote the following to the affz newsgroup:

If you can¹t be bothered to read this long a post, you may find the following synopsis is all you need:

Why?: To experience 5 days of Frank Zappa music with friends

Where: Bad Doberan, Eastern Germany close to the Baltic coast

Number of CDs bought: 6

Units of alcohol consumed: I wasn¹t paying attention.

Highlight of festival/ weekend: far too many to recount

Low point of festival: scheduling of bands on the last day, sound quality all weekend

Oddest comment of the weekend: Finns telling me that Welsh looked and sounded strange. Ever seen/ heard Finnish?

People I missed the most over the weekend: Claude, Alex, Antal and Penny

Biggest improvement over last year¹s Zappanale: a comfy double bed

Danke: Wolfhard and family, and the Arf Society


Now on with the story......

Thursday 24th July 5 am- a stupidly early time to start the day, but then I had a made a stupid mistake and booked a late morning flight from Stansted Airport (located on the wrong side of the London for those of us living in Cardiff) instead of an early evening flight. This piece of stupidity was obviously destiny as a few days after booking, Schroeder told me that rehearsals began at 8pm, Thursday long before my planned flight would depart for Lubeck. So hurray for stupidity.

The journey by rail, tube and rail again to Stansted was tedious but smooth, Stansted Airport was the model of inefficiency, but hey, the flight was cheaper than my rail fare to get there. The flight to Germany was enlightened by Ashley Khan¹s book on the making of Miles Davis¹ Kind of Blue and the passionate antics of the couple next to me- nice thong......

The flight was followed another train journey from Lubeck to Bad Doberan, home of the Zappanale. At the Bad Doberan station I rang Jaan in an attempt to find out where I was going to be staying that night- you read right, I had travelled 12 and a half hours without accommodation firmly nailed down. Jaan was somewhat vague when I spoke to him, suggesting I got something to eat and meet them at the Kamp Theatre at 8pm , which was 'easy to find', but somehow impossible to
give directions to...

One meal and half an hour of getting hopelessly lost later, I arrived in a park at 7.55 to be greeted by Schroeder who remarked he'd thought "You wouldn¹t miss the rehearsal" but......, I was, of course the last to arrive but it damn good to see Mike, Jaan, Jenny, Carsten and  Jimmy Carl Black.

Rehearsals were in the Arf Society¹s offices- Jaan and Mike plugged their guitars into a metallic sounding PA, as all the amps were already at the Festival site. There were Zappanale posters all around including the poster with "Mike Keneally and Band" (not Mike Keneally and Friends-sigh) in typeset three times the size of the other bands. This meant that Mike, Jaan and Schroeder were very much the headliners and this was reflected in the seriousness of their work. As this was Zappanale, suggestions had gone back and forth between the band for Zappa songs, concentrating on songs in the main that were rarely performed at Zappanale. The aim was to get a set that was roughly 60% MK, 40% FZ.

There were lots of great moments in the rehearsal from the teenagers applauding widely from their listening point at the open window, to Carlo , the guitarist from Scouse Zappa-band the Muffin Men doing the same later on in the evening, Jenny falling asleep, to be woken by an impromptu version of  Lennon¹s 'I¹m tired' by the band. Four hours passed quickly and it was then back to the bistro to hear Jaan sing the correct  lyrics of the Finnish tango from the Helsinki Tapes 'Satumaa' to Napoleon Murphy Brock.

Jaan offered me (and Jenny) use of his hotel room to crash in for the festival (which was easier than the 5 in a room and 3 in the bed arrangements for Amsterdam). However when he  was informed that he would be staying at the promoters he wasn¹t certain if we could crash. We needn¹t have worried. Wolfhard(the promoter) and all associated with the festival are extremely generous people and his house had a separate annex where normally his teenage daughters lived and where a number of the guests were housed for the festival. So instead of crashing in Jaan¹s room I ended up in a double bed of my own over a lounge fully equipped with a tv, hi-fi, vcd, dvd and comfy sofa. Bliss. I slept long and deep that night.

The following morning was spent breakfasting with Jimmy Carl Black and wife (as you do) and generally relaxing in the back garden making friends with the family dogs. chatting with the bi-lingual compare Jim Cohen, listening to the chorus of crickets and  looking at the horses. 
The band also rehearsed (without amps or drum kit) some more  keen to do the material and themselves justice, furthering refining their arrangements and starting to consider a set list.

As Zappanale proper began Friday afternoon, we travelled down to the Festival site. Mike was sitting in with German band Octafish and went immediately over with band to sort out their arrangements for the songs he was sitting in with, there was no actual rehearsal as such.

We had met Octafish backstage at the Karlsrule gig in March  and some of us had formed very definite opinions about the band. Nice people, but they gave off a ³student band² vibe. Some of us had used the phrase "well, they had better start rehearsing."  Expectations were not that high, in all honesty.

Well, how wrong can you be?

Very wrong.

(Except the part about them being amazingly nice)

Octafish are an amazingly tight jazz-funk outfit, playing with commitment, passion and ability. Most of their set was originals, but they did an incredibly tight Zappa medley with Mike which they had broken down into how many bars they were to play for each song. They also did a very good version of "Bulleys (sic)"

And then they persuaded Mike to play with them on their well deserved encore- their take on "Barbie Girl" at double speed ska.

They had earned their applause.

Next came up The Jack and Jim Show featuring Eugene Chadbourne (who arrived 6 hours later than planned) and Jimmy Carl Black. It took me a while to warm up to the set- one of the perils of being in the backstage bar with free drink and food- although the banjo version of Hot Rats was truly insane. Mike jammed with the band- Jimmy Carl Black was keen that this should happen and then it all came together with a song (loosely titled) "I Support The Troops, I Love My Mom and Dad (and now I want a refund)" which really struck home with lyrics like "I support the troops through my taxes (and now I want a refund) or least be allowed to decide who they invade".


Jaan, Jenny and I went out front for the Muffin Men¹s set with Ike Willis and Napoleon Murphy Brock. There were some disadvantages to this. 
One was the back stage sound fed from the on- stage sound was much better than the frequently harsh PA sound, secondly Jaan and Schroeder were recognised by many lovely people that either we had met on tour or they had seen the band earlier in the year. The only problem was these lovely people did have a tendency to go on and on when the music was
playing. Of course, it was great that Schroeder and Jaan were getting their due props.

You could tell the Muffins were a little nervous- they weren¹t playing their normal set (that was to come the next day with JCB) but Carlo was playing some amazing guitar and the Muffins are a band who know their strengths and weaknesses and play to their strengths superbly. Great fun.

The evening was rounded off by Australian "party band" Prawns with Horns who sent the crowd off to bed in a damn fine mood. They were what the festival needed at that point. We all eventually got to bed late, some in better condition that others and slept the sleep of the blessed.

The musicians staying at Wolfhard¹s were all asked to be ready for breakfast at eleven to be held at the garden table for the benefit of MDR television. Jenny and I made damn sure we were not going to take part in this truly absurd venture, in part because we had no business being there- being non- combatents; and in part it meant the bathroom was free. I did take some photos of everybody trying to be natural at the breakfast table while being interviewed with large video cameras and boom microphones- hey I guess it happens every day......

Then Mike and I grabbed a lift to his guitar clinic in Schwerin, travelling through the flat beautiful East German countryside to an Industrial Museum which had a temporary but very extensive Ibanez guitars exhibit. After a Iraqi lunch- nice bread- Mike started off with an acoustic set. He had asked for a request of me before hand- L¹il but I gradually came to the view a 'Desired Effect' would be lovely which took Mike by surprise especially as it is in an alternative tuning (how was I supposed to know that?). Then he switched to electric. The place was packed- all the chairs were taken and people were standing and sitting all around.  A beer was part of entrance fee- very civilised.
Very few people seemed to know Mike¹s music- some were there for the Vai connection- an attempt to get people to sing along to the chorus of 'Montana' resulted in a very low volume and tuneless Welshman being the only one to sing along. But they were prepared to listen and they clearly loved what they heard. They were also initially shy to ask questions,that changed to the extent that one 'rock On' roller' in the audience complained about the amount of talking and got and ironic
dedication to Rosemary Girl for his comments and the clear annoyance of Pingu the clinic organiser.

This being an Ibanez related event, Mike demonstrated on an Ibanez guitar how to play part of the Attitude Song by Steve Vai (the vibrato bar harmonics bit-if that makes any sense) and explained the challenges faced by him playing Steve¹s music with shorter fingers than Vai.

It was a fun time and people were impressed. We then had to move fast to get back for Sheik Yerbouti¹s set which Mike was guesting. When we reached Zappanale, Mike got immediately called on stage to jam with the Muffin Men- lured by the offer of playing a Gibson SG and then onto the Sheik Yerbouti band to finalise arrangements. The Shiek Yerbouti band
was another full sounding band with a great horn section and a very good singer. They did a great version of Bamboozled By Love with Mike, with quotes from Whole Lotta Love and the guitar solo of Stairway to Heaven. 
Lots of fun.

Jenny, Jaan and I wandered out in the Festival grounds, with the sun eating down. Two semi clad men were outstretched on the ground burning in the sun. So Jenny started rubbing sun block on their faces and arms as they gradually returned to consciousness. There are worse ways you can wake up.

I was backstage for most of Dr Dark¹s set which was dedicated to such amazing accurate Beefheart covers, you feared for the man¹s voice.
Walking around to the front of stage I found he was dressed exactly like the Good Captain on the back cover of Trout Mask Replica. Just a little bit scary...... and we spent a fair amount of time hanging out with the man afterwards.

Next up was Sex Without Nails Bros¹s musical production of Joe¹s Garage, which divided people¹s opinions dramatically. Schroeder was put off by the two introductions in German- which he felt were patronising and arrogant and also delivered in a pretty awful Austrian dialect. I think its fair to say his low opinion was shared by Jaan, Jenny and myself. 
Mike on the other hand really enjoyed the staging and the whole performance. Indeed he was heard remonstrating with Ben Watson backstage on the performance. Jaan then also asked Ben what he had against Finland which got a frosty response...... Ben Watson looks exactly like what you¹d expect a Socialist Workers Party intellectual- jacket, coloured
shirt and glasses- even the body language conformed to cliché. Oddly enough, Ben and I got on fine, because we both hate London with a passion...

Saturday ended up with a nod to the locals- Nina Hagen and Band were meant to headline, but she pulled out the night before with a ³skin complaint² (make of that what you will), so Philip Boa, a popular German new-wavish act was brought in at the last moment and went down a storm with the Germans there- quite a few had come just to see him- Bad Doberan not being on the regular concert circuit.

After some confusion we got back to the country house and unwound gradually in the open air preparing ourselves for sleep and the big day up ahead.

Sunday began with another open air breakfast- no complaints here- around half eleven and then for Mike and Jaan with another rehearsal session in the garden. Leaving Jenny to further sleep off the previous night¹s indulgences we arrived at the racetrack for Ike Willis and Stu Grimshaw¹s performance ³Der Fremde²- a musical performance with band and string quartet. It was lovely to hear Ike¹s voice in a different context than Zappa lyrics, and his Dick Van Dyke-esqe accent made a change from Thing Fish.  The music hit the spot and I really need to hear n album of this music.

I suppose the fact that we had caught Ike¹s performance despite arriving late to the Zappanale site should have alerted us to the fact that things were behind schedule, but that kind of slipped us by...

Next up was an undoubted highlight of the weekend, The Paul Green School of rock Music- 23 kids and young adults aged 12-17 playing Zappa music.
There seemed to be three different ensembles with guitarists, bassist, percussionists, keyboard players and horn sections. Just like a teacher,Paul Green counted in the songs and ensured each group of children and young adults were on stage at the right time. If you wanted to quibble, some of the performances reflected technique over taste, but the sight of a 12 year playing Vai type solos on a guitar three quarters his size, or a 15 year old girl belting out ³Keep It Greasy² or the sheer verve these folks were playing this complex music was joyful. As the young musicians came off the stage each one of them was applauded by each of the four ex Zappa musicians and many of the other bands backstage.

I had met some of the parents backstage over the weekend. They were as excited as the kids (although it must be said I saw none of the parents trying to score dope, unlike some of the older children) to be in Germany- for most it was their first time in Europe and gushing about the friendliness of all the musicians and how wonderful the audience was and... and.... It was great to see these suburban ³soccer moms² take in the whole event.

Next up was a repeat performance by Sex Without Nails Bros, this time performing without a play and sounding so much the better for it, and with Napoleon Murphy Brock (who had also sung and played with the Paul Green Schoolkids). The highlight for me was sitting in the shade out front with Jaan and Jenny and her Chinese meal listening to Uncle Remus. 
Halfway through the set we decamped backstage to prepare for the upcoming performance. I was shooting the video stage right for the band and I was getting ever so slightly nervous. Jaan replaced all the batteries in his pedals to ensure they would work, I fiddled around with video equipment, Jenny decided she was so nervous she¹d go out up front.

It was a glorious  summer festival early evening, with sunlight streaming on the stage. After a brief and very public soundcheck, Jim Cohen introduced the band and they went into ³My Dilemma². The setlist has been worked upon over the weekend, Jaan and Schroeder wanted the comfort of a set list to diverge from (no-one was really expecting the setlist to be precisely adhered to, but they wanted to have an idea where the Zappa songs were coming up). My Dilemma was chosen as the opener as it was a song the band were confident about, rather than opening with ³You Probably Wondering Why I¹m Here² which appealed to everybody¹s sense of humour. My Dilemma, of course, includes a bass solo, which Mike improvised a keyboard part around- no playing safe just because it was a large audience.

Mike did a short off the cuff speech on Frank in his life and on the weekend, and then it was into the  first FZ song of the night with ³You Probably Wondering Why I¹m Here², played at aggressive speed. Following that, the song pretty much played at every European show this year- ³We¹ll Be Right Back² with Mike taking a guitar solo on the catwalk on the stage to the crowd¹s delight. Backwards Deb was introduced as a ³rock song² and this time Jaan and Mike went on the catwalk in true big rock show fashion- the crowd responded accordingly and you could see what was going to happen next- they got carried away grandstanding to the crowd and Mike had to run back to the microphone to sing the next verse- hey it made me grin from ear to ear....

The band wanted to avoid the traditional Zappanale issue- that is by the end of the weekend you¹ve heard 7 different takes on ³Stick It Out², so they wanted to do songs which could be played well by a 3 piece and were rarely performed. So ³Cucamonga² came up next to the crowd¹s surprise and delight and Ike wandered on stage (as he is wont to do at Zappanale- no invitation necessary it seems) to add backing vocals. Ike stayed on stage playing pretty inaudible keyboards to ³Day of the Cow².

After ³Day of the Cow², things turned weird- Ike decided to stay on stage and continue to play keyboards. Now Ike has many strengths as a musician, he¹s an amazing vocalist, he¹¹s developed as a guitarist since the Zappa band days, but he can¹t improvise sensitively on keyboards to save his life, especially on a delicate song like ³5 Legs² which he clearly didn¹t know, and the song just died, which saddened me no end.
This band had always played the song beautifully on stage- it was the turning point at the first gig in Helsinki when the band came together- but here in Bad Doberan Mike just had to abandon it and move into an aggressive solo and then into a medley of four Frank Zappa songs OSleeping in a Jar>  Time is Money> Wind Up Working in a Gas Station> Yo Mama (the latter with particularly lovely backing vocals from Ike- who was still on stage at the keyboard- and Jaan, when he worked out his new harmony part). The songs were approached aggressively to recover from the uncertainty that 5 Legs had caused.

Ike left the stage after Mike decided to deviate from the set and play at the keyboards for 2 unrehearsed songs- ³Joe²- an audience request; and ³I Was Not Ready for You² which mutated into a prog jam with hysterical mock prog narration.

And then things got frustrating strange again. The stage manager announced to Mike¹s surprise that he had five minutes left. Mike consulted with Jim Cohen who advised him, that the only way to have the grand finale jam session was to wrap the concert up with the next song. The previous nights concerts had gone on past 1 am, but there was a strict curfew of 10pm for Sunday night and the concert organisers had failled to ensure that the previous  bands sets had been  kept to schedule or trimmed to accommodate the headliners. Mike had written out a set for 1 and half hours (which was nearer 2 hours long in truth) and no he had to make an immediate decision which song was to bring the set to an abrupt end. Mike choose Skull Bubbles and invited Gabe, a young (and some might say ³cute²) American up on stage to ³fuck some shit up². 
Gabe had demonstrated his skills at scratching without a DJ deck the night before to a few of us. In all honesty I had been unimpressed, but damnit on stage during Skull Bubbles, Gabe starting off with ³I hear you¹ve been having trouble with pigs and ponies² and scratching away vocally entertained me and everybody else present mightily.

Mike was keen for the jam session to take place, asking for Paul Green, Eugene Chadbourne and others to come up on stage. While people were setting up, Mike went into ³Taster² which ended the set proper.

I had real mixed feelings: after the 4 FZ songs, the set list looked like this originally:

Father¹s Day (chosen because lyrically it was about acceptance following some judgemental FZ songs)
What Happened Next
Skull Bubbles
Top of Stove Melting
Inca Discharge (Inca Roads with about 3 minutes of ³The Jazz Discharge Party Hats²)
But that didn¹t happen.

The end jam session - based around ³Black Napkins² and a blues song was as chaotic as event as you would expect - the stage filled up with musicians and Mike acted as MC for the soloists. Jaan got replaced as bassist by one of the older Paul Green school females who more than held her own and much dancing took place.

After the finale, we met up surrounded by people such as the Muffin Men raving about the performance and with the exception of Mike (who always concentrates on making the best of whatever happens on stage and whether you communicate with the audience or not), people felt a little deflated, I felt a bit disconnected from it all- the performance¹s
potential wasn¹t achieved and yet people loved it. 

Then we had a few drinks and unwound- people had been admiring Jaan¹s bass and he allowed people to have a go at playing it. Sami (the luthier, guitarist and composer)¹s contact details were spread around.

Then we had a few more drinks.....

We had fun backstage and eventually made our way back to Wolfhard¹s where Jaan and I greeted the dawn with some mad photos and went to sleep in the sun¹s rays, it felt so good to be alive.....

I surfaced for breakfast at midday joining Ike Willis around the breakfast table. Ike was supposed to be on a plane bound for Prague, but according to Ike the lift failled to arrive.  Luckily the gig in Prague was scheduled for the next day and a delighted fan gave him a lift to Berlin. Once he left, a number of people remarked how difficult it could be to wake Ike and how reliable the people that were supposed to pick him up at 6am were.

Schroeder and Carsten arrived partly to say good-bye before the long journey back to Freiburg and also to collect the gig money. Others began to wake up for a lazy sunny day in the back garden. Loose plans to wander down to the beach were gently abandoned in favour of gentle conversation and laughter in the sun. Mike surprised us all by having a short go on the trampoline, to much merriment from all present. Napoleon Murphy Brock told us stories

Schroeder and Carsten left at around 4, keeping the goodbyes as short as possible. Napoleon departed giving us all a hug and then it was time for dinner. Jaan, Jenny and I went into Bad Doberan for an Italian meal with Zappo, a character in the world of German Zappa fans and dealers. He showed his photos of Mike and Napoleon¹s concert in Sweden, talked about
the weekend and Zappa and general, but was otherwise was fairly quiet due to tiredness.

We wandered over to Kamp Theatre, met the singer for Dr Dark in search of the rest of his band and then went back to the house for a barbecue.
We got talking with one of Wolfhard¹s daughters (whose name eludes me- sorry) about her taste in music, played Radiohead, Tim Buckley on the stereo, and watched Jaan and Jenny trampoline to the sound of ³Song 2² by Blur.

It was an early night for me as I was travelling back home early in the morning, so I was packing at 2.30 am. One bonus of the trip home was that Jenny was off to Dublin visiting a friend via Stansted Airport, so I had company for most of the way.

Waking Jaan with the magic word Jenny taught me (and which must remain a secret for now), Jenny and I quickly said goodbye to Jaan. The thought of waking Jaan up by rubbing sun-block on his face occurred to me, but there are better ways to wake up and I decided against it...

After a quick breakfast, Jenny and I were given a lift to the train station, by our friends the Zappanale organisers. We arrived in good time, then realised we were standing on the wrong platform two minutes before the train was due to depart, so rucksacks on our backs we raced for the train.

The train journey involving 2 changes was commendably efficient with one exception. As we found out it was possible to make a two hour journey for a mere 3.50 euros, which might explain why the German state is bankrupt. The journey was a mixture of sleep, gossip, song quotes and making silly jokes about the martial music played before each station announcement. We certainly got some stares from some of the Germans on board.

We arrived at Lubeck, had a drink and soup at Turkish bar, whose staff were convinced I was totally henpecked by Jenny- hey I¹m not proud- and then we took the bus to the Airport. Lubeck Airport is small and totally devoid of effective air-conditioning. This called for more drinks.......

Finally we got on board and I noticed the amorous couple from my flight out were two rows in front of us. They both seemed rather tired and the woman rested her head on his lap- well in fact all you could see was this mass of long blonde hair over his crotch....

Jenny spotted some Barbie items for sale in the Ryanair catalogue which she just had to have, so we burst into the chorus of ³Barbie Girl² to celebrate. The man in the row in front of us turned around and asked ³Octafish?². Turns out he had been at Zappanale and the older couple next to him were from Bad Doberan. Small world after all.

We arrived in Stansted to rainclouds and Jenny and I parted after Customs- long goodbyes add nothing to the experience.

The train journeys back home to Cardiff passed without real incident- it was of course raining when I got home, which told me the weekend away was the right thing to do.




reduced price - reduced price - reduced price - reduced price - reduced price - reduced price - 

If you click on Ralph Morris, you'll not only get his connection with Frank Zappa, but you'll also see that he is the owner of a painting by Frank Zappa.

Mister Morris is selling his painting and asked me to put this ad up.

For Sale:

Painting "Horny" by Frank Zappa
  • 5 ft-4 inches by 24 inches, oil on rigid pressboard
  • signed and dated 1961

(Picture on the right.)

As mister Morris said: "any serious offer will be considered."

You can contact Ralph Morris at:



ok, so i went to the "brosella jazz" festival in brussels to see jambanglejambangle would be performing some zappa pieces combined with some james bond themes. (more on this a bit further).  to my surprise, or actually to my wife's surprise ('cause she 'd noticed it), we saw a poster that rang a couple of zappa-bells.
about five minutes later, we had learned that geert's alter ego is called b'wana dik, that he likes to play zappa stuff and that the poster also was the cover of his first album.
  • b'wana dik: zappologies
        (2002, nl, cd, private release 0493)
    • subtitled "recycled music for low budget consumers", this album needs your attention.
      all the compositions on this album were arranged by geert tiersma and that shows.  his lead guitar carrries the songs.  this means that a lot of the songs are 'simplified' a bit, but with the advantage that the result sounds very relaxed.
      for those of you who want to hear what one can do with zappa's music this is an essential release. and they sure sound like they're having a lot of fun playing it.
      contact: call +.31.(0)40.21 29 934

  • b'wana dik and the excentrifugal forz: music from the other side of the fence
        (????, nl, cdr, private release)
    •  recorded live in a pub somewhere in the neighbourhood of eindhoven in the netherlands, b'wana dik and the excentrifugal force kick ass.  sure, they play classics like 'my guitar wants to kill your mama' and 'more trouble every day', but they also do 'the dangerous kitchen' and 'treacherous cretins' !!
      the tracks featured on this cdr-release are not their "zappologies" album, so this is a very nice addition to the above mentioned album.
      i just got to see them live.
      contact: call +.31.(0)40.21 29 934



  • the magic band: back to the front
        (2003, cd, uk, atprcd 7)
    • february 2003, gary lucas, denny walley, mark boston and john french started rehearsing for a couple of magic band reunion concerts.
      a couple of months later, in april, they played two gigs in the u.k., one of which was broadcast on british radio.
      goosebumps, my dear friends, goosebums.
      and here is the album. buy it! this is essential stuff. this is the real thing. 




  • spanish fly's: hoover
        (1993, k7, czech, black point bp-0015)
    • czech band spanish fly's recorded and released frank zappa's 'bobby brown' on casette.

next time:

  • zoot horn rollo contributed to an album by i.o.f.r. (the institute of formal research) in 1997
  • frank zappa and mike keneally can be heard (sampled) on an album by the laughin lunatics called "the water suite"
  • michael braunstein
  • september 1, 2003, zjakki willems will broadcast an interview with the magic band on belgian national radio vrt1.
  • Friday 28 November, Manchester, UK
    Psappha plays Zappa
    Conducted by Nicholas Kok
    An evening of music by the world-renowned Frank Zappa performed by Psappha's 26-strong ensemble. The concert will include works from the Yellow Shark Album alongside arrangements new to the UK from the Frank Zappa estate.
    Sponsored by the Arts Council England





  • frank zappa: the lost solos
        (2003, 3cd-bootleg, ger, moustache's magic music mmm 03-24/25/26)
    • i still haven't given up the hope that the zappa family trust will, eventually, release some more (or at least one) guitar album(s).
      i understand that they only support 'classical' performances and releases (that's the way it looks to me), but they also have to understand that a lot of people are waiting for another plain zappa album.  and, no, i do not mean some high-tech dvd-audio or a limited and way-to-expensive album. no no no.  we just want to hear more music.  look at the (grateful) dead, look at phish.  they are releasing concert recordings from their vaults. at least one every couple of months, with a couple of distribution centra (one in the u.s., one in yurrip, ...).  and it works!  those fans don't need bootlegs to satisfy their needs.  and the albums sell, so everyone is satisfied.  maybe the zappa family trust needs to talk with a dead head, or with a phish phreak?
      anyway, the zappa family trust is not releasing too much and the bootleggers know this, so here's another one:
      "the lost solos". 76 guitar solos, cut out of various concert recordings and pasted on three discs.
      i shouldn't say any positive things about bootlegs, but it's a nice collection and it looks digipacking fabulous as well.

      additional info: hans-peter schmidt



well, for starters: there is no official zappa video dvd released as of yet.

a couple of newsletters ago, i told you about the "baby snakes" dvd-bootleg set (obviously taken from the vhs-tapes), and now the same bootlegger brings you:

  • frank zappa: does humor belong in music?
        (2003, dvd, ??, room entertainment room 101023)
    • contrary to the "baby snakes" one, this dvd had a better source: the japanese laser disc version.
      well, you should know the video, so here is a bootleg dvd version.

last month , i learned that the "does humor" video was also bootlegged in eastern yurrip somewhere.  i haven't seen the actual dvd, but i'm pretty convinced that this is just the beginning.  recordable dvds (with all the official zappa releases, tv shows and much more) are offered for sale everywhere.  i don't doubt that these will be transferred to factury pressed video dvds soon.

now, if anyone could only tell the zappa family trust one thing about this matter, it should be "please release the zappa videos on video dvd before they are all counterfeited.  zappa fans really want these videos and they would prefer to buy them from you."




A Zappa festival will take place in Bordeaux in September.

info: Manu

just take a look at these bands:

Thursday september 11, 2003 
Les Polissons play Zappa (Bordeaux)
La Campagnie des Musiques à Ouïr play Beefheart 
Zappaventure (Eysines-Izon)

Friday september 12, 2003
Children of Invention (Nice)
Andy Emler (Paris) solo piano
Nasal Retentive Orchestra (Poitiers) plays "Tales of Brave Flegmar", a theatrical piece based on Zappa’s oeuvre

Saturday september 13, 2003
Graphiose Band (Bordeaux)
Gary Lucas (USA) plays Beefheart (co-production Musiques de Nuit Diffusion) solo guitar
Zapping Buzzband (Suisse)

September 11 - 13: expo & video
August 19 - September 15: at the library: all the zappa album covers

Saturday September 13, 2003
at 12:00h : book signing by Christophe Delbroucke and Guy Darol, who both published books on Zappa

music is the best, peace,

-- peter van laarhoven