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August 22, 2007

ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA @ The Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley, CA 8.20.07

0820072016a_5I'm sure you remember what the late Frank Zappa named his son, don't you?   Dweezil.   Dweezil Zappa.    And don't forget about Dweezil's sister, Moon Unit!   (Brother Ahmet and sister Diva's names aren't nearly as ... memorable!)

But WOW ... who cares if he has a goofy name ... Dweezil Zappa is an awesome guitar player, and I have so much admiration for what he's doing.

Dweezil was taught to play guitar by a member of his father's band in the early 1980's, "guitar god" Steve Vai.   Dweezil is an INCREDIBLY TALENTED musician.    He can play the hell out of that guitar!

He's had a successful career not involved with his father's music -- he was an MTV DJ, he's appeared in movies ("Pretty in Pink" comes to mind), he's played in bands, and has composed music.   


Dweezil has put together an incredibly talented band which includes Aaron Arntz (keyboards & trumpet); Scheila Gonzalez (saxophone, flute, keyboards & vocals); Pete Griffin (bass); Billy Hulting (percussion); Jamie Kime (guitar); Joe Travers (drums & vocals); and Ray White, formerly a member of his father's band, on guitar and vocals.    



Ray White -- WOW -- what a performer!

Perhaps Dweezil doesn't have the "stage presence" his late father had ... but he does have his father's musical talent.   (And fortunately for Dweezil, he apparently got his mother's LOOKS!!    He is adorable!)

And he's doing something very important by keeping his father's music alive!    When Jerry Garcia died, the Dead Heads were "lost" to some extent, but they could still enjoy the music they loved, performed by The Dead, The Other Ones, Phil Lesh & Friends, Bobby Weir & Rat Dog, the incredible Dark Star Orchestra, and a multitude of very good cover bands.     Zappa fans haven't had the pleasure of seeing his music performed so authentically and so beautifully.   But last night in Berkeley, California, a whole lot of Frank Zappa Fans were experiencing nirvana, with Dweezil and band getting one standing ovation after another.   


One song, which was extremely memorable, and I thought especially touching, was performed with Dweezil and band playing the music -- note for note -- along with larger-than-life Frank Zappa, on video on a large screen above their heads.




(As you can tell, I couldn't get enough of this image!)

Some of the music I LOVED ... some of it I thought was very strange ... but I nevertheless appreciated the incredible talent of these musicians, and I walked away with a real appreciation of Frank Zappa's musical legacy.  (What was I doing?   How did I miss so much music in the '70s and '80s??)

I think Dweezil Zappa should be extremely proud of what he's doing.


Thank you, Dweezil, for sharing your father's music with us!  I'm pretty sure he would be VERY proud of you.


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I'm sorry I missed this. Sounds like it was a great show!

Ron  MacKenzie

Thank for the Zappa review. I've known he was making music but didn't know if he was any good. Thanks to your review, I'll catch him the next chance I get.

The Hair

Lesely, I so wanted to go see this but you knon it was on a Tuesday or something like that and more than 2 hours from home:( I'm glad you got to see it. BTW Dweezil played guitar on the last couple of albums of his dad's because Frank had quit playing guitar.

The Hair


miss cody's boyfriend loves zappa!!!! wonder if he made it to this show too!

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When I was in my late teens a friend of mine, an elite athlete, gave me the most profound yet simple advice that changed the way I would view myself forever. He told me "You yourself have to think you're great because no one else is going to tell you that you are."

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For instance, if you hold a senior level role in your company, the bar is already set very high for you

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