Monday, February 11, 2008

Zappa'da ya face: Estate attacks tribute acts

It's something of a surprise to discover there's such a thriving Frank Zappa tribute scene that his widow feels the need to close it down.

Gail Zappa claims her worries are based around a cheapening of her Frank's memory by plodding pub acts doing his songs, and - more convincingly - that they're not coughing up the money for the estate. So, writs are flying - including one designed to close down Zappanale fan convention for breaching trademark law by using the word Zappa and, erm, an outline of a moustache.

We wish Gail luck with her campaign - after all, by refusing to allow grassroot fans the right to celebrate their hero, it's only going to be a matter of time before Zappa's name dies out. Perhaps she should also stop them playing his records on the radio.

The attempts to shutdown tribute acts, of course, does not extend to Dweezil Zappa's Zappa Plays Zappa tour. Hey, won't the mother's son be popular if there were no other tribute acts around?


Anonymous said...

Ha ha !!! Reminds me of the days I spent on the Isle of Skye, whiskey a plenty ehind the bar, and here was a couple of mikes set up for a performance, thinks, must be a couple givin us all that rural moozik stuffee...
But no!
Twas a lad and lass, (I got that bit right) No ye olde songs as expected but rather a whole chunk of Zappa. Knowing all the words I sung along with gusto.
The gortexed, climber beer swilling, beared farts didn't know what had hit them...
Oh and I remember, me singing and playing guitar and a drummer from New York doing "Lets make the water turn black" Guess that makes me a crim?

Woozy said...

Hey, fyi, I found a lot of awesome artists at There are tons of applications and some really amazing technology for fans and musicians. If you want to get a feel for the site, check out or The site even has exclusive live video streams of a bunch of concerts (Like a Haste the Day show at Blender Theater in NYC). You should check out the site while it’s still Beta (which means it’s free!)

Anonymous said...

Surely this is exactly the sort of thing the Performing Right Society (PRS) was set up to prevent?

Venue has PRS plays songs by Zappa, who as a songwriter will be PRS member...portion of venue's licence fee goes towards writers of songs performed in said venue...Zappa's estate gets money...everybody happy.

Anonymous said...

Solely on the money side of course...the "cheapening the name of Zappa" is a different matter altogether.

natalius lukas said...

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