I’ve been on a Frank Zappa kick lately. Seems to happen around Christmas-time. I know that’s weird… I think it happens because a few years back, I asked for a boatload of Zappa stuff for Christmas, so I just fall into that rhythm around this time of year. That, or I a complete freak.
Maybe both. I’m not prepared to rule out both.
Zappa recorded a TON of music. Most of it is unbelievably profane…but also musically brilliant. You might not be able to find any musicians to rival Zappa’s band at any given time (if you don’t believe me, put the name “Terry Bozzio” into YouTube and watch him play his insanely giant drum kit sometime—he may be the only living rival to Neil Peart). Most of it was released within his lifetime, but some has come out since his death, too. From what I hear, there’s still some left in the vault, too. Apparently he continued recording right up until the end, knowing his time was short, and wanting to leave as much of a legacy as possible. So, to date, he has something like 50 studio records. 50! That does not include compilations, live-records, etc, etc. That’s 50 records of ORIGINAL material.
By way of comparison, if you count the New Year’s Eve thing I did (for free) online, I have four. If you throw in the Feldman Group records I’ve appeared on, that brings it up to nine. (Hmm…Mike has one more record than I do…have to fix that…) Incidentally, nine is also approximately the same number of Zappa’s studio records that I own. (Though I do also own a lot of live stuff and compilations, which extends my knowledge of his material significantly.)
Zappa died when he was 52. I am presently 30. I should probably get to work. But I’m very, very lazy.
Anyway…I was sitting at work yesterday, when out of the blue, my phone made the noise that tells me I got a text message. (It happens to be the sound of the communicators on the Original Series of Star Trek. Don’t judge me.) My brother sent me the following message: “Possible free tix for Dweezil Zappa on Wed. @ Pageant. Interested?” My reply: “YES!!!”
Dweezil is presently touring under the “Zappa Plays Zappa” moniker. He’s playing a bunch of Frank’s material—including all of “Apostrophe.'” on this tour. One of the great disappointments of my musical life is that I never got to see Frank Zappa live in concert. But—assuming his co-worker who’s giving us the tickets remembers to bring them—I’ll get to see the next best thing. And I’m very excited about that. Can’t express to you how excited I am about that. I think the closest I can come to explaining it is that I think of Zappa as the musical equivalent of Kurt Vonnegut. And we all know what Vonnegut’s books mean to me. (Seriously, if this guy don’t make with the tickets, I’ll…uhh…probably blog about it, I guess… That’s the best I got.)
Anyway… That should be pretty cool. And it’s bizarrely serendipitous, isn’t it? I mean…I’m not necessarily an expert on how God works, but I’m pretty sure He doesn’t purposely arrange for coincidences involving Frank Zappa very often. But then again, the people who are experts on how God works can’t seem to agree with each other anyway…and it is Christmastime. So what do I know?
Okay. That’ll do it. Just wanted to throw a few of those thoughts out there. For some reason.