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Zappa Plays Zappa

Dweezil Zappa can't stop talking about his late father. "Frank's music just needs to be heard," he says. Alongside brother Ahmet and several of Frank's former sidemen, Dweezil now re-creates his dad's music on the Zappa Plays Zappa tour, featuring material from the elder Zappa's mid-'70s heyday. "People tell me that the show made them feel like they were back in high school, like it was a time machine," Dweezil says. Since forming Zappa Plays Zappa last year, Dweezil has gone to great lengths to expose his father's compositions as a kind of panacea for the malaise infecting the current popular music scene. "Frank came in an era before all of the corporate madness became a part of the entertainment business," he says. "In my father's era, it was possible for an artist to do new and different things. That stopped happening when things were corporatized." Even Frank's "hits" like "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow," "Valley Girl," and "Dancing Fool" were contemptuous jabs at popular society. By fusing amazing instrumental dexterity with a truly perverted sense of humor, he remains a singular figure in American music. Dweezil, naturally, is his biggest cheerleader: "I don't have to say anything about Frank's music 'cause it speaks for itself."

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Darryl Smyers
Contact: Darryl Smyers

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