Bourne's Montreal: Zappa, Meet Zappa
August 7, 2014. Posted by Michael Bourne.
I first encountered Dweezil Zappa, who played FIJM at Montreal’s Metropole this year, in the womb.
I met his father, Frank Zappa, on the 4th of July, 1969, in Indianapolis at a Holiday Inn. I was interviewing Frank for a cover story in Down Beat. Frank's wife Gail was great with child. Dweezil.
I was nuts about Frank's uniquely jazzy/rocky/funny theatrical music, and I hung with The Mothers of Invention variously on the road from '69 into the 80's.
I'd never heard Dweezil playing his father's classics until Montreal, and I was singing along from the jump. "Call Any Vegetable." "Suzy Creamcheese." Mostly songs from the early Mothers albums and some of the best of Frank's satiric ("I Am The Slime," about television) and surreal ("Montana," about dental floss) classics.
Dweezil's band was loudly orchestrated, almost as if the living albums with the volume turned up, and all in the band are virtuosic enough to whip it out — especially singer and saxophonist Scheila Gonzalez, whose animated presence on stage reminded me of Frank's sexy (and very musical) Ruth Underwood.
Except that he didn't play extended concerto-like improvs, Dweezil's guitar chops sounded very like his dad's.
I missed every other gig that night. "Zappa Plays Zappa" was so cool I was flooded with great memories — and the contact high with all the other older Zappaholics in the crowd was quite bulbous.
© 2014 WBGO
Note: These comment boards are available to the general public. Statements expressed in the comment boards do not necessarily reflect WBGO's views. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them. For more information, please read our Terms of Service.