Gail Zappa can be heard on "Lumpy Gravy".
Gail Zappa is in charge of the ZFT, releasing Zappa stuff.
September 1995, Allan Handelman interviewed via conference call Gail Zappa,
Mike Keneally, Warren Cucurullo, and Jon Nelson. Subjects include current
events, The kids, band members expierences. The Marine Band, Hendrix, The Net,
Zappa sites, the Meridian Arts Ensemble, connections to Frank, and more. Phone
call questions are taken in this panel discussion.
Friday, November 5, 2010, Gail Zappa took part in a Q&A session at the "Frank Zappa At The Roundhouse" celebration of Frank Zappa’s music in London, UK..
zappa: lumpy gravy
(1967, lp, usa, verve)
|dweezil zappa: havin' a bad day (1)
(1986, lp, usa, barking pumpkin records st 74204) - feat. thunes, wackerman, moon & ahmet, produced by fz
|frank zappa: mystery disc
(1998, cd, usa, ryko)
|frank zappa: quaudiophiliac
(2004, dvda, usa, dts entertainment 69286-01125-9-9) - executive production
|gene simmons: ***hole
(2004, cd, eu, sanctuary sancd145) - feat.ahmet, dweezil, frank, gail & moon zappa - track co-written by fz
|various artists: the
frank zappa aaafnraa birthday bundle
(2006, itunes, -) - feat. frank, moon, dweezil, ahmet & diva zappa
|frank zappa: one shot deal
(2008, cd, usa, zappa records)
|frank zappa: congress shall make no law...
(2010, cd, usa, zappa records zr20011)
(2010, 3cd, usa, vaulternative records 20101)
penguin in bondage - the little known history of the mothers of
(2011, download, usa, zappa records)
|frank zappa & the mothers of
invention: carnegie hall
(2011, 4cd, usa, vaulternative records)
road tapes - kerrisdale arena, vancouver bc, 25 august 1968
(2012, cd, usa, vaulternative records)
(2012, 2cd, usa, zappa records)
|frank zappa: finer
(2012, cd, usa, zappa records)
frank zappa -
200 motels the suites
(2015, 2cd, usa, zappa records zr0019)
the crux of the biscuit
radio shows, panels, discussion, ...
|The picture on the right shows Robert Plant, Gail Zappa
and Mick Zeuner before the Zappa Plays Zappa concert in
London on 2006/06/02.
Picture taken by Diva Zappa. Thank you, Mick, for sending it in.
Zappa's widow protects his legacy
Gail Zappa, that means making sure that her late husband 'has the last word in
terms of anybody's idea of who he is. And his actual last word is his music.'
Lynell George, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
devised the slipknot contract clause "into perpetuity" hadn't
conceived a Gail Zappa. She's made it her job to parse the music industry's
dense legalese, close contractual loopholes and, most significantly, end what
she sees as its iron grip on an artist's past, present and future.
me say it in the simplest way," she lays it out, her full hand on the
table, "My job is to make sure that Frank Zappa has the last word in terms
of anybody's idea of who he is. And his actual last word is his music."
that end, Gail Zappa has become a vocal advocate for artists' rights. The wife
of the late musician-composer Frank Zappa, she has been keeping watch over not
just her husband's image and brand but his legacy. Despite what people might
think, her dogged efforts are not about erecting razor-wire around all things
Zappa but protecting his memory.
Yes, she knows all about the finger-pointing and the grousing, the battles with the record labels about who owns what; the fury and frustration of fans who are unable to download the most famous and seminal works of the Zappa canon. The Zappa Family Trust is in the middle of a dust-up with Rykodisc; Gail Zappa is suing Rykodisc over "copyright infringements including digital rights."
not the first time the Zappas have been in a legal dance: In 1977, Frank Zappa
filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. Records and his former manager citing
artistic grievances and questioning certain "creative accounting
practices," Gail says. After an out-of-court settlement was reached in
1982, the rights to his master recordings reverted to him, a lucrative boon.
marks the 15th anniversary of Frank Zappa's passing, but interest in him and the
work continues only to grow. "No two of Frank's shows were ever the same,
which is one of the reasons he was one of the most heavily bootlegged
artists," Gail explains.
into that interest, in the last few years, the Zappa Family Trust has begun to
release rarities from the Zappa vault. Frank was an obsessive chronicler,
recording both audio and video (in every conceivable format) of his process.
Gail has established two labels -- reconstituting Zappa and launching
Vaulternative -- to showcase that material, which includes band rehearsals from
the '60s and live footage selected by Gail with the assist of Vaultmeister Joe
Travers. This summer, they've issued on DVD the concert film "The Torture
Never Stops" in Frank Zappa's original edit and "One Shot Deal,"
a previously unreleased compilation of guitar-focused music. Reissues of Zappa's
first solo album, 1967's "Lumpy Gravy," and the following year's
"We're Only In It for the Money" are in the offing. Coinciding with
all of this is the very first staging of his 1979 rock opera, "Joe's
Garage," at Hollywood's that, loosely speaking, chronicles the travails of
an imaginary guitarist named Joe. Gail gave the first-time greenlight.
the front-of-house mixer," Gail Zappa says, settling into a soft chair near
Travers, just to the right of an old console setup in what was most recently
Frank's editing room in their Laurel Canyon home. Gail usually makes herself
available only for the nuts-and-bolts sound bite related to a release, "but
it's not often that I can get into the grommets and widgets and explain what's
behind all of this."
position hasn't always made her popular -- she's butted heads at times with
everyone from record execs and label lawyers to fan boards and tribute bands.
"I can't go out and be the rebuttal witness every minute because I just end
up looking like the screaming shrew that I'm getting the reputation for
she has her reasons, and they're rooted in a promise: "My job is to make
sure that everything is as clean as you can get it. . . . I don't want anybody
standing between the audience and what Frank's intention as a composer was and
still is. [W]hat I've discovered in the process . . . comes down to one simple
thing. Because everybody wants to remake his image. And they can . . . Well,
they can all pound salt!"
years gone, and Frank Zappa still casts a long shadow. Gail, like Travers, often
speaks of him in present tense. And though, on this late-summer afternoon, no
one occupies Frank's old console chair, there are all sorts of winking reminders
salted about everywhere. Gold records and old album covers. A "Nixon for
Governor" poster hangs on a far door. Scores of "Zappa" license
plates, gifts from fans from across the country, frame the old console, and
photographs, tucked into unexpected places, have a fun-house effect: the eyes
seem to follow you. It's not a spirit that hovers but an ethos; standards to be
upheld. Gail Zappa is not custodian of a ghost but of a force that still has
power to prod and provoke.
watch keeps her busy. There are the cover bands to police, and there is even the
historical narrative of Frank's band The Mothers to keep close tabs on. It can
be all over the map -- tribute bands asserting that they are "embodying the
spirit of Frank Zappa," an old band member claiming collaborator status.
"Do you remember 'Police Woman'? Pepper?" Gail Zappa asks.
"That's me. The ultimate Sgt. Pepper."
of the front-burner issues has been the digital music rights for the work that
makes up Frank Zappa's primary catalog. Many recording artists have expressed
their distaste for digital sound, arguing that when their work is compressed
into MP3 files, it can seem flat and thin. What the public might not know, Gail
says, "is that it was Frank's concept to limit [the sale] to a format so
that it was accurately represented, that being 16-bit technology -- CDs. He
didn't want it compressed. So we're currently in a lawsuit over this
at stake here is intent: "iTunes has been from the get-go massively
compressed. That's fine perhaps if you're Britney Spears . . . but it's not fine
for Frank Zappa's music, and he was interested in protecting that." A
spokesperson for Rykodisc parent Warner Music had no comment.
LABEL Frank Zappa an iconoclast would only be rounding the corner of the
neighborhood where he and his imagination reside. There's so much stirring at
every turn and busy intersection: glances of doo-wop, blues, faux-psychedelia.
His music couldn't be fenced-in in terms of genre. In fact, much of it is an
amalgam of styles -- embracing, say, heavy artillery guitar-rock with nods to
composers Igor Stravinsky or Edgard Varèse -- that reflected his citizen-of-the
and antic, prescient and political and vamped-up in tricky time signatures,
Zappa was of his time -- as a commentator and a critic -- and light years ahead
of it. "Frank often said," Gail says, "that his job was to go
'out there' and come back . . . and tell you what I found out.'"
of the idea behind opening the vaults was to chart those travels and to give
audiences an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at the composer's process. As
Vaultmeister, Travers isn't just cataloging the contents, but, he says
"also investigating the possibilities." Since 1995, Travers, the
drummer for a band led by Frank's son Dweezil, Zappa Plays Zappa, has been
sifting through the assets; a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling audio/video and
all-manner of miscellany magic library.
every silver film canister, tape box or VHS shell is marked in Frank Zappa's own
hand, "it doesn't mean that you'll find what you think in there," says
Travers, so there is a fair amount of mind-reading and extrapolating. There is
basically every kind of format that music was archived on from the '50s to the
'70s, and Travers has about 40% of it cataloged both on hard drive and CD.
works closely with Gail, submitting ideas for releases. Ultimately, she has the
final word. "I kind of look at the progression of the releases, like if
we've released a record from a band in 1976, I don't want to stay in that realm.
I want to jump around and try to cover different areas. . . . I try to
prioritize a lot of things that Frank didn't," Travers says. "There is
an album. . . called 'Wazzoo,' which is a 20-piece band that Frank only did
eight shows with but never released anything from. But we just did."
Zappa label is dedicated to work wholly produced by Frank Zappa, while
Vaulternative highlights old sessions, rehearsals, sonic threads long stored
away. The Zappa Family Trust has about 40 projects in the works, Gail says.
could easily put out five to eight projects a year and can do that for the next
few years." That would make Zappa almost as prolific as he was when he was
ago my husband said, 'Sell everything and get out of this horrible business.'
Did I listen? No. I tried. I really tried. But I realized early on that I have
to defend his right to have been here in the first place," Gail says.
all of this, every choice, weighs heavy. "The best thing that I can hope is
to . . . keep windows open to be able to discover the music. If [people] get to
the original recordings, and even Zappa Plays Zappa and other groups that
respect the intent of the composer then that music is going to be with them for
the rest of their lives.
is not a causal relationship," she says. "So that's the reason, the
whole motivation for what I do what I do. Because I owe it to Frank and what I
feel about his music. When it's said and done, I still work for that guy."
46 of Le Dispositif is a trailer from "Ritual of Pope
Decapitation", a documentary about the L.A. freaks in the early
Up for auction at Julien's Auctions "Icons & Idols: Rock n' Roll 2016
Featuring Property From The Estate of Frank & Gail Zappa", November 4, 2016.
A drawing by Frank and Gail Zappa created with crayon, ink, and applied images on paper. At the top it is dated "FZ 28 MAR 70" and at the bottom "GZ - 3 OCT 71."
13 by 8 1/2 inches