Son slams hologram concept, potential participant bails out
By Gary Graff
September 27, 2017
Frank Zappa’s oldest son, and fellow guitarist, is speaking out in the wake of news about a Zappa hologram tour for next year. Dweezil Zappa has been estranged from the Zappa Family Trust, run by his younger siblings Ahmet and Diva Zappa, and has posted a new message online updating the status of the feud as well as his thoughts about the proposed hologram concerts.
He writes at www.dweezilzappa.com that he’s “never been contacted by the (ZFT)” about the proposed hologram tour even though his name has been linked with it and says that: “I am not interested in participating in anything with an artificial version of my Father on stage. Let’s be realistic, it’s not exactly Frank Zappa that will be on stage.”
Zappa also used the message to address the “ongoing legal dispute” with his siblings, which forced him to change the name of his long-running Zappa Plays Zappa shows. In the lengthy Trademark Battle Update, he details having to pay the ZFT to license the Zappa name and how the ZFT issued a cease and desist letter for the Zappa Plays Zappa name in 2016. He accuses his siblings of “exploiting their new roles as trustees of the ZFT” in a number of ways, which Dweezil details throughout the message.
Dweezil also reveals that a crowdfunding campaign for him to record new music has surpassed its goal and is heading towards doubling the amount of money he hoped to raise. He will be touring Europe during October and has dates in New Zealand and Australia scheduled for February.
In other Zappa hologram news, former sideman Adrian Belew — now working with King Crimson, Gizmodrone and the Celebrating David Bowie tour — has posted a Facebook message saying “count me out” of being part of the hologram tour though he did consider it and initially gave Ahmet Zappa permission to link his name to it. Belew writes that, “I will not be playing Zappa music in the foreseeable future in any situation. This whole thing is far too caustic and divisive…still, I jump at any chance I can to praise and honor Frank.”