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Author: Subject: Volkskrant Parool Handelsblad Trouw translations
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[*] posted on 18-12-2017 at 20:27

8-1-77 HVV
Ultra-brief Zoot review

8-1-77 Limburgsch Dagblad
Very positive Zoot review

13-1-77 Parool
Announces FZ concert on 5 Feb, in Jaap Edenhal Amsterdam

31-1-77 NVHN
Negative Zoot review

4-2-77 NVHN
FZ interview, translation of an interview by Peter J Boyer

5-2-77 HVV
Picture plus blurb of FZ and John Smothers

7-2-77 Telegraaf
Positive review of concert

7-2-77 NRC
Moderately positive review of concert

7-2-77 Parool
Positive concert review

7-2-77 Volkskrant
The same Elly de Waard who gave such a vile review people wrote in, has now written a glowing review of this concert!

Even in 1977, 200 Motels is still in cinema!

14-4-77 Telegraaf and Volkskrant
I'm not sure what to think about this Viva ad, that uses its Zappa interview to boost sales.
Anyway Zappa is quoted: "The Osmonds give you sugar. I give you sex."

(Looks like I'm going to have to read the Viva... :( )

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[*] posted on 18-12-2017 at 21:03

Amid the showings of 200 Motels, there's an announcement of a Zappa concert on 13-2.
The NRC of 10 Feb mentions the trouble with Warner Brothers.

14-2-78 Waarheid
Negative concert review

14-2-78 HVV
Bored review of the concert, mentions poor acoustics of Ahoy'

14-2-78 NRC
Positive review, lauding Adrian Belew and mentions it's another sell-out.

14-2-78 Parool
Bored review

15-2-78 Telegraaf
Positive review mentions Zappa's position towards Ahoy', mentions the forced break that he definitely didn't appreciate, and quotes:
"The managers of this horribe building, of which it was never intended that people'd make music in it, would have charged me 10,000 guilders if I hadn't agreed with the break. For the commercial at the start of the concert it was 200 dollars. Apparently they don't sell enough beer here."

15-2-78 Trouw
Negative review of the concert.

22-2-78 HVV
Column about the forced break. Spokesperson Jan Leupe is laconic, saying it's clearly printed in the contracts and it would only have costed him 5,500 guilders if he hadn't agreed.
Organizer Acket -Mojo says they're have been higher buy-out prices in Ahoy, and that they adapted the commercial contents to the audience. "Oh, and Mr Zappa is still left with enough money, don't worry."
A music critic however is very angry about this. "What if a painter who wants to show his work, is told at an exposition: "we like your painting but because of the space available we'll have to cut it in two and put both halves in a different room. If you don't like it, we'll have to charge you."

10-5-78 Parool
Unenthusiastic review of ZINY. This would've been a censored version.

There are stories of FZ playing a free concert at Paradiso Amsterdam, but I couldn't find any other records.

In August there are announcements of a pop festival with FZ as main draw, but by September it's cancelled. Interestingly, while Volkskrant knows by 2 September it's cancelled, Trouw announces the festival three days later.

Apparently Studio Tan cost 10,90 guilders.

30-9-78 Trouw
Negative review of Studio Tan hacks on FZ for not mentioning the players.

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[*] posted on 20-12-2017 at 13:38

Announcements of the upcoming FZ-concert on 27 February

3-2-79 Trouw
Negative and rude review of Sleep Dirt

7-2-79 Parool
Announcement of Sheik Yerbouti

12-2-79 Waarheid
Short review of Sleep Dirt mentioning Zappa's guitar skills

14-2-79 HVV
Article on Zappa's record company issues, the announcement of the concert and the announcement of Sheik Yerbouti, while en passant reviewing Sleep Dirt and Studio Tan.

28-2-79 HVV
Concert review plus interview, to be translated at a later time

28-2-79 NRC
Review, calls the concert controlled and mentions the skill of the other musicians.

28-2-79 Parool
Interview, to be translated later. Also an elated review a few pages further

1-3-79 Telegraaf
Calls the concert sleep-inducing.

1-3-79 Trouw
Have apparently gotten a different music to do FZ: this one calls the concert captivating.

1-3-79 Volkskrant
Now he's drowned in his own perfection?
Same reviewer as before, Elly de Waard

2-3-79 Waarheid
Interview, why didn't I translate this earlier? Coming up!

3-3-79 Trouw
Negative, uninterested review of Sheik

7-3-79 Parool
Glowing review of Sheik

9-3-79 NVHN
Positive review of Sheik, although reviewer says he's past his flourishing age.

9-3-79 Volkskrant
Glowing review of Sheik

17-3-79 Limburgsch Dagblad
Glowing review of Sheik

March 79: announcement of new Zappa album in pipeworks

14-4-79 Article about making radio, mentions "you can't make any money on Zappa"

9-6-79 Trouw
Makes a jab at Orchestral Favorites

13-6-79 Parool
Calls Orchestral Favorites a collector's item for the fans

16-6-79 Amigoe
Very positive review of Sheik

26-9-79 Parool
Glowing review of Joe's Garage Act 1

6-10-79 Telegraaf
Nina Hagen mentions in an interview she wants to make an opera with FZ

19-12-79 Parool
Glowing review of Joe's Garage Act 2+3

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[*] posted on 20-12-2017 at 19:41

28 Feb 1979
interview by Roelfien Sant'

...and Zappa goes on...

Frank Zappa was in the country for his annual Netherlands concert. A sympathetic, aging man, with a dated ponytail in the back of his neck, greying at the temples. Frank Zappa, master of underground-music, as we said in the sixties. A father of two with a luxury villa in a nice deserted area in California. He's 38.

Frank Zappa is late. He had to come from France with the bus he rented for this European tour. The fog was to blame. Fifteen minutes too late, he arrives with a Mercedes with a little bit built in it. A much too large car for Zappa's posture.
He has a press conference. His concert in the Rotterdam Ahoy hall is sold out, he doesn't need the publicity. Willingly he answers the questions from the specialized pop journalists, because that is part of his trade. He doesn't appear to enjoy it.
Specialists ask for specialized questions. Who played on his last album Sheik Yerbouti. Which guitars he used, which strings he hit in which song... in short, no questions about the man Zappa. The man who tours Europe at age 38. To spend hours in buses and perform for an audience with an age-wise average that could be his kids, in cold and uncomfortable theatres. He could stay home in paradise-like California and be at home with his wife and children?

That's not the kind of man Zappa is. On my question why he keeps going on, he says: "It's terribly annoying, such a tour. I've seen all those countries by now, I've made all those ourneys many times by now, I don't really make contact with the audience. What else can be expected from Ahoy?
My audience doesn't grow with me. The people who come to my concerts get younger in relation to me. That's normal. People who visited my concerts in the sixties, have gotten old. They have long beards, maybe they can't even walk anymore and would have to go to the Big Event in a wheelchair. They won't do that. They prefer to stay at home in an armchair. My records sound a lot better on their excellent stereo equipment than in that hall. I've made some very good live albums too. My audience does grow, that's true.
Music doesn't innovate itself. I change, and youg people like what I make now, or a year ago. That's why they buy my records. As for why they come to my show, that's something different. I think 50% come because they have nothing better to do. A Zappa concert beats watching TV or getting drunk in a bar. Pure entertainment. The rest came for the entertainment, liked it then and will be motivated to come next year. The older ones quit, but I explained that.

Somebody asks if it's true that the songs on his albums Studio Tan, Live Zappa In New York and Dirt Sleep, were intended for the LP Zoot Allures. Zappa, skinny, silk shirt under his woollen sweater, sipping coffee, sits up straight. A difficult question. He explains grumpily that he switched record companies, that his old record company publishes tapes with his music but without his permission, and without paying him or his musicians even one dime.
He made the tapes at his own expenses and never gave permission to publish them. A civil case against these practices have little avail in California, because they can take three to four years, and he can't wait for that. Nevertheless, he adds, "that company is doing its best to ruin my good name. Take the covers they put on the records. I've rarely seen anything that disgusting."
It's true that the tapes were made between 1974 and 1976, and that they were intended for Zoot Allures. Zoot Allures was published, and we didn't let out those tapes for nothing. Nothing funny about it.

Whether he's still influenced by jazz and classical music, and how does he feel about current rock & roll music?
Zappa: "Yes, who isn't influenced? Don't ever say I make new music. In the early twenties, some musicians sort of did what I do now. Nobody really makes original music. That's not what people attend my concerts for.
Although I really like it best, I don't play much guitar during this tour. The audience doesn't ask for it. The people come to hear songs they know, of which they know the words, so they can sing along. There's no place for experiments on stage. That's why I often sit next to the band on this tour to see how they do it, and they do it well.
The audience expects me to sing the familiarsongs. That's why they paid their money, so that's what I do. I'm not a flake. That's a word we use in California for people who don't do what you expect them to do. Like a guy who comes to fix the TV, who talks the talk and charges a lot for repairs - and repairs badly because the set blows up the next day. Or the man who fixes your burst waterpipe for a lot of money and ruins it to the extent you need all your pipes replaced. I sing about someone like that on Sheik Yerbouti.

Zappa is tired of the press conference. Someone who saw the concert in Brussels and criticizes Terry, replacer of legendary MOI-member Napoleon, is grilled. How dares he say that Terry sings worse than Napoleon, he's a lot better. You come with me, then you can tell him all that criticism yourself, Frank suggests.
The journalist agrees, but afterwards Zappa leaves the fancy Okura hotel with only his Irish bodyguard, who was rented in London just for this tour. He leaves us with saying that he still likes going on tour. "There are some nasty things, like all those press conferences with all the questions of journalists. But the performances are always great and we often have fun afterwards. It still beats a nine to five job."

*Article isn't too spiffy aside from the obvious snafus and the large reply of biting sarcasm that went completely unnoticed. Besides that, the author often starts out a phrase in 3rd person, only to turn it into a quote halfway.

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[*] posted on 20-12-2017 at 20:46

Het Vrije Volk of 28 Feb 1979 has this on the front page, by Louis du Moulin:

Frank Zappa the conductor. The American alround artist led his concert last night in the nigh sold out Ahoy more with his baton than with his guytar. In the regular way, with agitated and sometimes obscene (yes he still does those) and a handful of longer guitar solos, he didn't stand out in any way from his eight colleagues, with whom he formed an excellent and balanced band once again. Though there are officially no breaks in the programme, Zappa gave himself a couple by occasionally lighting a filter cigarette and pouring a cup of coffee. The same ritual - nip, tuck, nip, tuck - was performed repeatedly by the ex-Mothers-father during a conference, held in his Amsterdam hotel room the afternoon before. The first impression you get is that he's not too worried about anything. Not about his strife with WEA, the record company he's arguing with since he moved to CBS (the WEA-branch Warner Brothers recently published the album Sleep Dirts without Zappa's cooperation), not about the situation back home in LA (where a studio is built attached to his house in his absence) and not about his future (Zappa, 38 and greying at the temples is by now the nestor among pop musicians). Zappa on tour only lives for the tour. He doesn't exhaust himself in the day, lives at night, and takes all the inconveniences like interviews like they are. And is as friendly as possible on top of that.

By now I'm the oldest in the hall. It's just me who ages, my audience, at least the lion's share, has stayed the same age throughout the years. The ones who bought my early albums aren't in the public anymore. Why? Because they don't feel like being bothered by youngsters who do what they once did: shout and stand on each other's feet. Sitting at home in a comfy chair, playing a record and being left at all, that's all that generation from the sixties wants.

The strange thing is the early fans still buy my records. You could say my fandom is growing. But that's all I could say of my audience. Whether it's more progressive, more alternative than other audiences, I don't know. Their behaviour is a mystery to me.
Take Holland. All the times I've been here, the theatres were packed. Whether there were records out or not. Apparently with faithful fans. On the other hand, you can't say "you have to tor because there's a new album out, if you do it later no-one will come." You can't expect that a concert stimulates record sales. People either buy a record or they don't.
Chunga's Revence has been #1 on the album charts for some time in Thailand and Italy. We never had to do anything special for that. And in other places it didn't do that well.

For now I will continue with making music. I'd prefer it if I could concentrate on studio work and only perform when I like. It hasn't been financially possible the past few years. You have to make month long tours to keep it all solvable. There is a 50-50 ratio here: I'm on the road for about 6 months per year, the rest of the time I'm at home in LA.
The nasty thing about all that travelling is you can barely get any work done. I'm usually writing on the bus, if I'm not too puffed, but I rarely do anything with the ideas.

Just try to find a studio on the way.
I'm not tired of the concerts themselves, not by a long shot. What could be better than a direct contact with your audience? I am fed up with travelling though. Packing, unpacking, hop out of the hotel you only just warmed up to.
Another language you don't understand, different currency of which you don't know what to do with it... Well that's all right, it's still part of your work, but that searching at the borders gets worse every year. Passport. Empty your pockets. And your suitcases. Hold on. It makes me so tired.
This kind of surprises eat your spare time too. There you are thinking you change hotels and have dinner, and then you have to have another interview. It's the same thing with business meetings, they just drop inbetween too.
The other boys aren't as involved with that. They've hit the town, looking for the three mills you have here. Most of them are here for the first time and want to get to know Holland. I've forgotten all that. You can't do that by sightseeing for two days. There's no point to it. I'll just be going with them tonight, to see the infamous window women.

Sometimes the hours after a performance are the best hours of the day. Sometimes they're not, then everybody's exhausted and there's nothing to do. The moments on stage are always worth the trouble. For the few hours of fun you have with playing, you'll deal with all the humdrum of the day.
During a concert I try to replicate my LPs exactly. No more, no less. My experience is that people don't come for complicated things. They only want to recognize the music. Only with known songs can you see them think "we're enjoying ourselves".
That's why I don't do anything on stage that I don't do on the record. I conduct it, just like in the studio, and I only play my own solos.

I recompile my band every year now. In June I audition the vacancies, which are open for everybody. There's luckily a lot of talent, so I can keep on looking until I find the person I want. Last summer I tested twenty drummers before I found Vinny (Coliuntha). I was looking for a drummer who could read music. And those are even more scarce than guitarists who can do that.

Maybe I'll start filming again soon. At least when there's a goodoffer. A few months ago I thought I had a good offer. I was called by a Phonogram manager in West-Germany who said he was interested in a film. During the meeting in Hamburg it turned out he was only interested in the music. I would have to present 5 albums of film music before we could get on with it. Then I continued with my own 16mm. Until it was stolen on this tour.

I'm still fighting with Warner Brothers. They released some old tapes under the name "Sleep dirts". Nothing right about that. Originally the album was to be called Hot Rats 3. They deliberately didn't put on the names of authors and personnel because of the publication rights that would have to be paid.
I didn't receive any money for that LP. No royalties, no musician's salaries... All my investments they're harvesting now. And did you see the cover? Not my style is it?
Oh well, at least I'm not in as much trouble as your queen. She's a living commercial sacrifice.

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[*] posted on 21-12-2017 at 01:04

19-1-1980 Parool

"It's a music film, with some conversations and animations. No, there's not really a story, but it does have continuity, because if you use existing material and put it in the right order, you can get far."
This is how Zappa explains his new film Baby Snakes, after a song from his double album Sheik Yerbouti. Zappa was in our country for two days to direct our attention towards his brand new movie. It's unclear when the Dutch premiere is.
The Amsterdam cinema The Movies was rented for a private showing to a group of interested people, who keenly responded to the invitation. After all, a man like Zappa doesn't show a project like this every day. The "Leonard Bernstein of rock", as The New York Times called him once, was guest of honor himself, but that didn't stop him from working as host and doorman for all those present.
It's been nine years since the premiere of Zappa's first film. That was 200 Motels, a highly ambitious film, directed by Tony Palmer and starring Ringo Starr and the late Who-drummer Keith Moon. In it, Zappa gave a satirical perspective of the life of a rock group on the road, packed with dozens of verbal and visual jokes. That grand cinematic happening, for which the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was rented to aid Zappa on the film's soundtrack, didn't give Zappa the success he probably expected.

At the start of his career, he was considered to be a ridiculous avant-gardist, nowadays he is a celebrity. A status that considerably eases the realisation of such plans. And so a very friendly Zappa, whose sharp-cut visage is graced by a modern coupe, visits a few European cities to give curious journalists a sneak preview. He didn't produce and direct the film for nothing. It's quite a stretch*, I have to say, for Baby Snakes lasts almost 2 hours 45 minutes, although Zappa intends to shorten the film for European use.
That's not a bad idea, since there's no story in the film. The bulk is a cinematic report of a performance in New York, cut with animations and several conversations with group members and his body guard. The most impressive are the three-dimensional clay animations. They were made by Bruce Bickford, who uses these surreal monsters to provide a breathtaking spectacle.

Thefilm seens to me to be interesting for the true Zappa-fans, the people who would go to his concerts. Nor are companies in America eager to publish the film. It's said that at present Baby Snakes is only played in New York, but Zappa does his best to find a company to distribute the film more massively.

His visit was also intended to find a distributor here. The Movies was interested straight away, but at the moment it's uncertain when and where the film will be played here. Zappa-fans in this country will not be completely Baby Snakes-less, because in one of the upcoming showings of Veronica Totaal, scenes from the film will be showed on TV.

*Stretch has a more negative implication that the phrase "hele zit" that journalist Jim van Alphen uses.

By February a new Zappa album is announced.

Announcement of the May 24 concert. In Trouw, which has published some of his vilest reviews, he's called a musical genius.

27-5-1980 HVV
Elated review of the concert

27-5-1980 Trouw
Highly praising review of the concert

27-5-1980 Volkskrant
Glowing review of the concert

27-5-1980 Parool
Also glowing, but mentions the problem with the small amount of ticket booths in relation to 8000 fans, causing a lot of people to come in late.

Advertisements offering concert boots show up in the papers.

By June 1980 there are announcements for the ill-fated Holland Festival burnout that FZ described in TRFZB. It was to star not only the Residentie Orkest, but also Nederlands Blazers Ensemble (who almost worked on 200 Motels ten years earlier) and Louis Andriessen's ensemble Hoketus.
Announcements of this pop up in HVV (21-6), Parool (21-6, only mentions Hoketus), Volkskrant (21-6), Telegraaf (23-6, only mentions Hoketus).

15-7-1980 HVV
Announces that FZ will come to conduct at Holland Festival, that Residentie-Orkest will reserve three weeks to study the "hideously difficult" music, that Zappa'll bring his own rhythm secion, and that Nederlands Blazers Ensemble and Hoketus will also perform Zappa work. The orchestral music (two pieces of about 20 minutes each) will only be performed in Den Haag because of the long set-up time.

16-7-80 De Waarheid
Similar announcement, mentions FZ will play solo guitar with the orchestra, and reminds us that we're never sure that he'll show up.

8-1-81 Volkskrant
A little article about a book entitled Rock Stars In THeir Underpants, illustrated with the photo of FZ in his underpants.

11-3-81 HVV
The Holland Festival deal has fallen through over finances.

Also in Telegraaf (11-3), Trouw (12-3), NVHN (12-3), Volkskrant (12-3), Limburgsch Dagblad (13-3), NRC (13-3), Parool (13-3).
NVHN mentions that the musicians wanted a share in the LP profits.

9-4-81 Volkskrant
Roberta Alexander, a soprano, says FZ told her: "If you've had enough Richard Strauss, you can come dance with me."

23-4-81 NRC
Interview with Louis Andriessen, who had to hand in some ideas for the Holland Festival (which put him on the center display). One of the ideas he handed in was FZ with the Residentie Orkest.

13-5-81 Telegraaf
Announcement of upcoming releases TTR, YAWYI and SUAPYG

19-5-81 NRC
Interview with Holland Festival organizer Frans de Ruiter. He expresses regret that the concert didn't work out and cites the money issues. De Ruiter describes that Louis Andriessen went to FZ to ask him for a piece for Hoketus, and Zappa would do that if he could get some of his symphonic work performed.
He cites problems with FZ's manager, who was pushing up the expenses ever more. Over the period, they'd drawn up a 1,4 million guilder budget, mentions on every section there was a $20,000 "miscellaneous" post. And the next day the manager came round to say it should be 1,5 million guilders because he'd calculated there could be problems with the buses and all.

The music for Nederlands Blazers Ensemble was premiered at the festival though, premiering Envelopes. Reviews were praising.

Need to look for a Frizian music magazine entitled Muze.

29-12-81 Volkskrant
Interview with Nederlands Blazers Ensemble. Apparently because both NBE and Hoketus did some FZ on Holland Festival, the amount of subsidies NBE got was cut substantially.

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[*] posted on 21-12-2017 at 16:33

FZ's 82 tour isn't as widely announced as previous tours. The concert is May 15th.
Telegraaf calls him a musical alchemist.

Ahoy sold out again. Plus announcement of SATLTSADW.

17-5-82 HVV
Puts announcements of review on the cover.
Praising review of the concert, mentions three encores and the interruption to "stop throwing things on the stage".

17-5-82 NVHN
Positive review but reviewer is not too enthusiastic about FZ's soloing.

17-5-82 NRC
Very positive review

17-5-82 Trouw
Review mentions poor acoustics and Zappa commenting on them. Not too nice review.

17-5-82 Volkskrant
Again the reviewer lets him "drown in complexity"

17-5-82 Parool
"You come for a good time, we'll see what we can do to help you out."
Positive review of the concert

19-5-82 NRC interview, to be posted later

An 26 May 1982 ad in NRC for Vrij Nederland mentions an FZ interview.

5-6-82 Telegraaf
Moderately positive review of Ship

7-7-82 Waarheid
Fait divers about FZ quitting the Geneva concert (on YCDTOSA 5).

7-7-82 Telegraaf
Mention of FZ being on the cover of l'Uomo.

16-7-82 NRC
Injuries at Zappa concert in Palermo
Zeven cops got injured on Wednesday evening during a concert by American rock musician Frank Zappa in the Sicilian city of Palermo.
The trouble started when a small group of youngsters broke through a fence to get to the stage. When the police tried to push the group back, they threw bottles and rocks, that caused the injuries. They had to use tear gas to end the riot. Afterwards, the 10,000 concert visitors ran for the exits.
A second concert by Frank Zappa, who is of Sicilian extraction, has been cancelled.

January 1983:
Zappa is sued by concert agent Paul Acket, over the 1978 concert in The Hague that was cancelled. Zappa was informed about it too late and demanded his salary. Zappa was awarded 70,000 guilders, but Acket appealed. The announcement of the high court treatment of the case appears in all the papers: NRC, Volkskrant, Parool, Trouw, Waarheid, Amigoe...

10-6-83 Trouw
Zappa's had enough of performing in Europe, one article writes.

11-6-83 NVHN
A brief collection of Zappa in The Netherlands, basically a summary of interviews I'm translating here, but with some interesting additions:
Mentions that at the end of the 1979 concert, the audience went out to find it had snowed, and a snowball fight erupted.
Quotes from an interview with Elly de Waart in Vrij Nederland: "If the audience is in a funeral mood, you know you're in Rotterdam." After that a tirade against Dutch musicians from the same VN interview.

18-6-83 Volkskrant
Article about Valley Girls.

18-6-83 Volkskrant
Threeway review of TMFU, LSO 1 and Rare Meat.
Rare Meat is liked best, the other two, well...

8-7-83 Amigoe
Review of TMFO, mentions it's expensive and that there are weak tracks (Dangerous Kitchen and Jazz Discharge Party Hat) but is highly appreciative of the instrumentals

24-9-83 Telegraaf
Mentions conflict between record label Rhino and FZ.

15-10-1983 NVHN
Interview with Tom Waits, who once opened for FZ: "It was a disaster, a hall filled with college students with high foreheads yelling "far out" all the time."

29-10-83 Volkskrant
Mentions Zappa suing Warner Brothers for giving him incorrect sales data. The same case is mentioned in Telegraaf (5-11)

January 1984:
Announcements of Boulez's concert in France.

15-6-84 NRC
Conversation between composer Reinbert de Leeuw (one of the Hand and one of the three composers who was shown the initial score of 200 Motels) and composer Louis Ferron contains the following:

F: "Besides that I'd like contemporary music that has a broader appeal without getting populistic.
DL: The scale of music runs from Frank Zappa to Xenakis..."
F: "Zappa might approach that strange ideal I have, but I don't see enough of it,"
DL: "Perhaps that's because you know too little about music."

Announcements that Zappa will return to Ahoy', on 16 Sep, ticket prices are 25 guilders.

10-9-84 Volkskrant
Appreciative review of the concert in Forest National, Brussels
Mentions troubes with CBS. Mentions Napoleon Murphy Brock was fired because Zappa caught him using cocaine. Played songs like Chunga, Slime, TIny Lights, YAWYI, Mudd Club, Advance Romance, Muffin Man, Bobby Brown, Keep It Greasy, Honey Don't You Want A Man Like Me, He's So Gay, Camarillo Brillo, Cosmic Debris, Filthy Habits and Whippin Post.

14-9-84 NRC
Positive review of the Brussels concert

17-9-84 HVV
Caption under the review's picture reads: "Before Zappa's bodyguard John Smothers started to hunt photographer Rob Verhorst, this man (RV) managed to make this action-photo of the pop phenomenon.
Review mentions that FZ really didn't want to play Europe but he decided to because of record company trouble.
Excellent concert.

17-9-84 Parool
Positive review of the concert. Extra mention for Chad Wackerman's drum solo.

18-9-84 Waarheid
Positive review: "For the audience that didn't get its enthusiasm until the end, I think this was a memorable concert. At least for yours truly, one important facet was that Zappa was having so much fun he choked on his own jokes. Much to the entertainment of the audience and the other band members."

18-9-84 Trouw
Bored review.

Sept 84: 200 Motels in cinema again!

20-10-84 Article on FZ in NVHN, about his current projects with interview translations.

15-11-84 De Waarheid
Attempts to review Them Or Us "more of the same" and Perfect Stranger "out of our league as pop journalists."

30-11-84 Volkskrant
Negative review of Them Or Us

7-12-84 Amigoe
Positive review of Them Or Us

8-12-84 Telegraaf
Story and photographic evidence of Zappa signing a prosthetic leg.

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[*] posted on 21-12-2017 at 17:45

The Mothers' trial against Frank Zappa gets an article in HVV (9-2-85) and Telegraaf (5-3-85)

PMRC is given attention in Telegraaf (17-9-85), Aigoe (21-9-85), Volkskrant (21-9-85), Telegraaf (24-9-85), Volkskrant (5-10-85).

12-12-85 Limburgsch Dagblad
Announcement for the fan day in Eindhoven's Effenaar, organized by Guus Veldhuis. Veldhuis ran the fan day for almost 20 years.

Announcement of FZ meets MOP, in Telegraaf (18-12), Trouw (27-12), Parool (27-12), Volkskrant (28-12)

10-1-86 Leeuwarder Courant
Longer article on FZ and the PMRC.

18-1-86 HVV
Similar article to the one in Leeuwarder Courant

23-1-86 HVV
The same article they printed five days earlier.

24-1-86 Parool
Article about PMRC also mentions MOP.

5-2-86 Telegraaf
Announces that Zappa's discography will be released on CD.

8-2-86 Waarheid
Article about PMRC and MOP.

26-3-86 Telegraaf
Article on FZ preventing the powers-that-be to put a warning sticker on Does Humor Belong In Music?

12-4-86 HVV
Blurb on FZ as a drug dealer in Miami Vice

A horse with Zappa in its name is making this job unappealing.

The December 1986 issue of Vinyl has a Zappa interview.

22-12-86 NRC
Long article about the Zappa-day and Guus Veldhuis.

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[*] posted on 21-12-2017 at 18:36

Telegraaf 26-3-1986: by Jip Golsteijn

Frank Zappa fighting for the speechless
Rocker speaks in the senate

Zappa is back on the war path. This time, the 45-year-old Italian American is battling a new kind of censorship - using labels on the cover to order records into categories of "damaging effects". In his twenty-year-long career, Zappa has pulled quite a few tricks and has shown he doesn't have much respect for authority. This time he had a lecture in Senate.

Amsterdam/Los Angeles, Saturday

Frank Zappa was the first victim of the new conservative movement that grips his motherland.
"European Version," it says in big black letters on the red bordered yellow label on his last LP, Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention. In America it says "X", to signify the filthy or violent side of the record.

As one of the first American rockers to suffer that fate, Zappa battled institutes like "The Daughters Of The American Revolution" and the so-called "Moral Majority", usually televangelists, in the American Senate.
Zappa had prepared for an intellectual war, but the level of discussion was very disappointing. "Nobody seemed to have even a vague idea of how the music industry works, or even what rock & roll meant for American culture. By the way, I found one peculiar ally in Washington. Donny Osmond (Mormon, the good boy of rock n roll, one of the favourites of bourgeois America along with his brothers and sisters) said he was opposed to labelling records, because he'd doubtlessly be in the most innocent category and that would be a commercial death."

Zappa was realistic enough to understand that senators like Ernest Hollings of South Carolina ("if I could find a constitutional way to get rid of it, I would") or Paul Trible of Virginia ("artistic rape") wouldn't be convinced of his good intentions, but he hadn't expected to bounce off a wall of stupid arrogance as he left LA.
"I should have walked out laughing, but I was raised to respect the personal feelings of your biggest opponent and that you should only battle him based on arguments.
So I continued my work as spokesperson for the speechless, and waited with laughing until I got home. Although by that time it sounded quite nervously."
"If I have one reputation, it's that I fight back. I've permantly been involved in dozens of judicial procedures. I fight them all until the end, even for little money, because I have to live off music, and that's what obligates me to turn every tidbit into a principle."

Is it wishful thinking or does Frank Zappa still have a warm spot for The Netherlands?
"It's chilled considerably after all the misery I went through a few years ago with the Residentieorkest in The Hague. That wanted to take me hostage artistically by demanding royalties of the record we were going to make. They were already paid for the execution, so their demand was not in relation to reality, which they admitted by asking for payment under the table. *Shortly after we were booked for a festival in The Hague that fell through. So did the payment. I took the organizer to Dutch court, who agreed with me. I'm waiting for the verdict of the appeal court, five years later, but by now I'm used to that.
Accountants lawyers and second-hand car dealers have taken over the music industry. In the old days, even the gangsters who controlled the business loved music. They were wise enough to see that their future depended on the people who made music. Now it's quickly *stieken, cash in quickly, get out quickly. Now nobody wants to listen to your tape if you don't look good enough for MTV, and you quickly don't look good enough if you don't look like Prince or Billy Idol. I'm the last one who still battles that - the prettiest music is made by the ugliest people - but almost everybody adapts.
America as a nation has spent slightly over 200 years doing business, but they haven't been able to do anything with culture yet. You're the best if you sell the most. The industry hasn't yet found a way to buy Oscars - or else Spielberg had gotten some - but Grammies are for sale to the highest bidder. CBS spent a few million last year to get a handful for Toto, but now that that investment hasn't yielded results, the well-fed 30-somethings of that group are in the studio to ruin the records of young, enthusiastic newbies with their musical wallpaper.
I sued CBS myself because they'd consequently pay me no, or too little royalties on my overseas sales. They claim it's extremely hard to check them, because there aren't just civilised countries like The Netherlands that pays off its international debts and never allows a mouse in its exported beer, but also less civilised like the Philippines and uncivilised like the Soviet Union, where author's rights don't exist, because any creative talent belongs to the people.
But I'm convinced that, if CBS does business with them, such countries are more civilised than CBS lets its artists believed. That's why I want to see how civilised those countries are in CBS's books!"

"The only reason why rock & roll exists is its vitality. Rock & roll thirty years ago had barely any musical quality, but it was compensated by life foce. Black life force, mind you. And that's where the problem was. That couldn't be tolerated by society as a whole. Then the boys with the suits and the cigars came, and they knew what to do: find white guys who could sort of do what the black guys did, and if they start to look too much like black guys, then replace them with clean-cut white guys. That's how Otis Blackwell's work was made famous by Jerry Lee Lewis, and was he replaced by Fabian."

After his speech in Senate, Zappa continued it in his own way. He used the most extreme quotes from the hearing in the 12 minute piece Porn Wars.
"I wrote the song in the plane on the way home. I can write songs anywhere and everywhere. If somebody tells me an interesting story, it IS almost a song.

* Concert was to take place in 1978.
* Stieken is a typo but I'm not sure what Golsteijn intended here.

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[*] posted on 21-12-2017 at 23:56

NRC Handelsblad Wednesday May 19th 1982
By Peter Koops

Bitter musician Frank Zappa has had it with his comedian image
He who experiments, finds himself at a closed door.

The American singer, guitarist and composer Frank Zappa gave a concert on Saturday in a sold-out Ahoy-hall, where he could again prove his fame as one of the most versatile avant-garde pop musicians. Shortly after the performance, Peter Koops spoke with him.

Frank Zappa's excentricity and superior complatency can be experienced as a highly tiring, even unmanageable attitude. Those who see past that and accept his wondrous aberrations that show sharp senses, have kept the institute Zappa going for fifteen yeark In that period, he got more and more significance as a dry comic than as an earnest musician, and that starts to nab at him.
Which is why Zappa posed more as an orchestra leader and instrumentalist in the Rotterdam Ahoy last night, and kept his obscene puns and sharp humour to himself. Perhaps that's why Zappa is in this conversation, rather bitter, business-like and full of self-pity.

Does he think that with Shut Up And Play Your Guitar he got more acknowledgement as a guitarist?
FZ: "Not really. The reviews were positive, but the sales of Sheik Yerbouti, my best-selling album so far, wasn't made by a long shot. It's more of an underground-hit."
On the cover of Shut Up you hold it to the critics that they ignore your playing. Why?
"I've been in this business for seventeen years, and when I look at the paper mill that has been written about me, I have to conclude that the number of times people mention I also happen to play guitar, is neglectible.* People come up to me and ask me what instrument I play, and even IF I play an instrument. My wife was shopping on the LA market. She signs a check with my name, and the sales person looks at her and shouts: "Frank Zappa? The comedian?"

Did you change your onstage attitude in order to get rid of that image?
"No, we do a different show everywhere. What we did on Saturday was especially for a Dutch audience, because in my opinion they were always much more open towards my instrumental work. Every city has a different audience, I adapt myself to that. You know that there'll be a lot of noisy American soldiers in the Hamburg audience. Then I play more songs. When the audience behaves as if it visits a morgue, you know you're in Rotterdam."

The new song that was played at the Concert, We're Turning Again, may be seen as an ode to Jimmi Hendrix, but it more relates to the reactionary policy of American radio stations. They only play hits and cover versions of hits. The American radio is, according to him, in much worse shape than it was 20 years ago. This frustrates Zappa.

"If a society leaves the artistic reign to a bunch of accountants, then society is in big trouble. The American mass media are being obsessed by one sole desire, and that's to play safe. That *trader's mentality smashes the foundations the arts are baded on. The experimenters only find closed doors. Even for me, the chances of being heard are slim. America will turn back to the Middle Ages. The only thing missing is the Plague, but all in good time..."

Zappa is known for letting his musicians, even if he's been working with them for years, reaudition every time.
"That's true. Ike Willis for instance (worked on his last vinyl Drowning Witch - ed) can sing like an angel, but he's not a good instrumentalist. He knows my material very well, but for this band I needed musicians, who could play complicated material like Envelopes and Strictly Genteel. If you change only one element in the band, the entire feeling changes. A band is more than a group of musicians. It's a chemical connection, in which some people sometimes don't fit. Before I go on tour I want to be sure that everybody can get along, that they all have this click. The younger musicians I work with now were the best at the time of the auditions, so they got the job. Steve Vai could have gotten that job a lot earlier, but he was too young to tour. It would only have given us trouble."

Plastic fishing rod
Zappa tells a small anecdote about another singer who was recruited for the Drowning Witch record, Lisa Popeil. He's been annoyed by American TV commercials for years, and expecially by one company that makes plastic items. Kitchen gadgets mainly, but also a completely flimsy, retractable-to-pocket-size plastic fishing rod, the Pocket Fisherman.
"I couldn't stomach that thing anymore. So I was surprised when Lisa came to me at one of my auditions, Ed Mann, who knew my irritations, was introduced to me as "This is the daughter of the man who designed the Popeil Pocket Fisherman." Anyway, Lisa turned out to be enrolled in an opera education. Because she can't sing rock & roll, only a few songs, like Teenage Prostitute, were suitable for her voice. I'll save the rest for future LPs.

Youth is something that always occupies the mind of 41-year-old Zappa, but he denies this has become an obsession.
"By studying the behaviour of teenagers, you discover that many people who think they act like grown-ups, act really adolescent. In America, where acting young has become a lifestyle, it's even more obvious. When I use youth culture in my lyrics, people will understand better what I'm talking about. The more you talk about "serious" stuff, the less people are interested."

Why was your part in the Holland Festival cancelled?
"Because you can't trust Dutch businessmen. I was already tried once, because a Dutch concert promoter refused to pay me salary. The judge agreed with me, but I still haven't seen any money. For as far as the Residentieorkest is concerned, a sturdy and reliable organization I thought, it turned out that when the deal to perform with the orchestra had been sealed, the hurt ego of the musician's union had played up. The orchestra wanted a share in the author's rights of a possible recording. That to me was unheard of. There was no reason to assume that that record would even sell. Besides I would pay anything, from the recording costs to the musician's salary. When I make a deal, I keep my end, and when anybody changes that deal on such short notice and tries to force me, that's where I get out. Then I say "fuck you guys," get bent."

"You can act all nice with your wooden shoes and your Edam cheese, but I know you're just the same frauds as all the other nefarious businessmen. I've totally had it with the Dutch trading spirit and I hope they'll never perform any of my orchestral works in this country. Not with me and not without me. I'll tell you this: I'll have it put in my will that not a single Dutch orchestra gets permission to play my work, ever."
"Later, Envelopes was performed by the Nederlands Blazersensemble, but I had no trouble with that. I was just asked for some music. I fulfilled that request. I wasn't paid a thing. The woodwind ensemble played it and I understood it didn't go that well.* I just did my job and that was it. "
Zappa distances himself explicitly from the myths that surround him in the pop press. Still, giving interviewsis the only way for him to get word of his records around.
"But interviews are changed, cut short or altered in other ways, and often penned in a different language. Isn't it logical that they think I'm a maniac."

*A large quantities of the reviews I read and mention in this topic, mention Zappa's soloing.
*I'm not sure how to translate back the word "gruttersmentaliteit". The word "grutter" is a rather undignified sounding word for trader that implies the trader doesn't exactly have an open mind.
*Reviews on the performances of Envelopes were positive.

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[*] posted on 22-12-2017 at 01:19

Early 1987: The Festival Of Fools, that was to be held in Amsterdam and to feature FZ, is cancelled.

27-5-1987 Telegraaf
Announcement of Zappa's autobiography

26-8-87 Trouw
Apparently the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra intended to play Bogus Pomp by FZ on 4 Sep in De Doelen, but because of the "excessive rental price" and because the orchestra parts couldn't be delivered on time, the deal fell through.

4-9-87 HVV
Interview with Willem Wijnbergen mentions that the deal fell through because of Zappa's earlier experiences with the Residentieorkest.

4-9-87 Volkskrant
Gives a fuller account: after Zappa replied to the RPO request to play Bogus Pump with a two foot long telex in which Zappa outed his grievances, there could be negotiated through Gail.
Zappa asked for 1200 dollars in advance, three times as much as usual, and the orchestra couldn't cough it up.

14-10-87 Telegraaf
Blurb about the Libertarian Party wanting FZ for them in the presidential elections.

12-11-87 HVV
Lengthy article about Zappa's albums re-released on CD.

Jan 88: First announcements of FZ coming to NL for the 1988 concert

26-2-88 Trouw
About Zappa offering concert goers the opportunity to get registered to vote.

The concert date is set to May 3, many papers have a short announcement

4-3-88 Amigoe
Mentions FZ winning a Grammy for Jazz From Hell

10-3-88 HVV
Mentions there'll be an extra concert
Later NRC mentions this too.

20-4-88 Telegraaf
Announces Dweezil's My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama

22-4-88 NVHN
Moderately positive review of Dweezil's My Guitar...

3-5-88 Trouw
Article about FZ's career up to that point.

4-5-88 NVHN
Review I can't read for some reason

4-5-88 HVV
interview, comes later

4-5-88 NRC
Praising review of the concert

5-5-88 Trouw
Praises the concert, but sneers at the acoustics.

5-5-88 Volkskrant
Raving review of the 4-5 concert

6-5-88 Volkskrant
Press conference, to be translated later

7-5-88 Waarheid
Short report of the press conference and a positive review.
Mentions an unusally mild and friendly FZ, even the "normally stupid Veronica questions are only met with mild sarcasm."
"Do you still want to become president of the USA?"
"Not this week."

12-5-88 HVV
The same report that appeared on May 4th.

28-5-88 Amigoe
Report of the press conference with no new information.

16-9-89 Volkskrant
Moderately positive review of TRFZB

11-11-89 Waarheid
Elated review of TRFZB

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[*] posted on 22-12-2017 at 19:56

May 6 1988, Volkskrant, by Erik van den Berg

Frank Zappa For President...

Green tablecloth, glass of water to the left, flowers to the right, and above that a face that's mainly a bony hooked nose plus moustache. Frank Zappa has a press conference in Ahoy Tuesday night. In one hour, his band will play for over 7000 visitors in the Rotterdam sports hall, but the 47-year-old guitarist and composer looks informal and relaxed, as if he just happened to be nearby.
In a good mood, alert and sometimes lethally sarcastic, he answers the press's questions. There's plenty, since it's been a long time since the unruly phenomenon showed up here.
The level of discussion varies. There are detailed questions about equipment, author's rights and video plans, put up by muttering Zappalogists. But there's also the very present Maya Eksteen of Veronica (the host of Radio Romantica, a chattering programme about love, sex and romance) who beamingly fires her questions at the master. They're bounced back from behind the table, equally radiantly.

Why is a 47-year-old father still in the rock & roll business?
Zappa: Because I am trained for this business. I know how to do it now.
Does he still make ugly music?
Malicious grin: Yes.
For ugly people?
No, for everyone who wants to hear it.
The questioner remembers an old poster, Frank Zappa For President. How are things with the plans?
"Not this week."

Somebody else raises a burning question: does Zappa still play guitar? The gifted soloist seemed to be only interested in his Synclavier in the past few years. Zappa ("I quit playing guitar on 23 December 1984") reassures those present: the instrument has been taken out of the closet, at least for this tour. "I don't think people would buy a ticket to see me press a big red button with the word "Start" on it.
In the eighties, Zappa profiled himself as composer, partly because the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Pierre Boulez recorded his work. He doesn't see himself as a pop musician: "I am a composer who happens to work in the rock n roll business."
But he doesn't really belong in the classical corner either: "A serious composer would have never written a piece like Titties and Beer. That would be bad for his career."*
That Zappa is appreciative of Edgar Varèse's work is well-known. His low appreciation of minimal music is not a secret either, but how about his interest in other recently composed music from the United States?
"In the US all composer are minimal music composers these days. They all go mumumumumumumum. Zenakis? Another form of minimal music, as far as I'm concerned. I only like his composition for cello solo.
At least as provoking (and less debatable) is Zappa's political statements. In the programme book they sell at the concerts, he lurges at televangelists and their grip on American politics. He views the presidential candidates with equal scepsis: Jesse Jackson is a minus and a fraud, who lied that Martin Luther King died in his arms and so crawled over corpses* to make his career. And George Bush?
"George Bush was once a CIA member. You join a club like that for life. If you put Bush in the White House, you put the CIA in the White House."
At the hands of the Veronica-team, the political commenter changes into a regular pop star. At their request he mumbles an ad in the Veronica microphone: "This is Frank Zappa for Countdown..." After all he's trained for the rock n roll-business.

*At this point I wish FZ knew Mozart's Leck Mich Im Arsch for 6 voices, K231
*Dutch proverb, to go over corpses, over lijken gaan. Pushing things through without consideration of ethics.

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[*] posted on 22-12-2017 at 20:48

Het Vrije Volk, 4 May 1988, by Louis du Moulin

Music addiction is what keeps Frank Zappa in his trade

The maestro adds a new dimentsion to himself (and the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Ravel) in Ahoy, that's "not really made for his music."

ROTTERDAM - Saying and doing were two things for Frank Zappa last night. At the press conference right before his concert in Ahoy', the versatile American pop phenomenon let us know that he won't be using his synclavier, his favourite toy of late that makes all musicians surplus in the studio. Nevertheless, one hour later, overseen by his 11 band members, he went to work fiercely with this magic box. A joke, if not a little something to make amends with the dozens of journalists and Zappalogists who were allowed to attend this event.*
At the question spot, Zappa rarely displayed the form he always shows to his (7500) fans. The eagerness to start discussions was initially barely present with the 47-year-old Groucho Marx Of Rock, and when after twenty minutes he finally became more relaxed, the communication was interrupted by the tour manager. No spicy or sarcastic remarks towards, for instance, our queen, like he did in the past. He did quickly outline his view on the upcoming American presidential elections.
"Bush in the White House means the coming of CIA, his previous employer, which only has jobs for life. Michael Dukakis isn't right either, although he didn't do too badly as financial manager in Massachusetts. And Jesse Jackson? He's a fraud. After Martin Luther King was shot, he ran out on the street to yell "He died in my arms." Which couldn't be true, because he wasn't there. What an opportunist," says Frank Zappa, who let it be known not to be on the market for America's highest office. "Not this week anyway. When? I'll think hard about that next week."
A similar thought couldn't last too long, in view of another confession: "I can only go fifteen to twenty minutes without music." His fans - in The Netherlands they're almost all 20+ - don't have to fear for reduction of his enormous productivity.
"This is my job. I've been doing this for 23 years and I know exactly what to do."
Frank Zappa knows his value for rock history.
"My influence has mainly been that on the records I worked with techniques of which people who didn't go to music school, wouldn't know it was possible. You can say I've been more important to musicians than to the average audience that I could never really reach through radio and TV."

Regarding other present-day composers, Zappa thinks he's already one step ahead.
"Because I'm active in all styles, and that in rock business. I tour like a rock artist, play in rock halls like this indoor cycling course that wasn't made for my music."
The LA-based all-rounder is at ease with the label pop usician, because for almost a quarter century it has given him the desired complete artistic freedom. Which resulted in a catalog of around fifty quirky albums (many doubles among them), that by now have been rereleased on compact disk. There's not one colleague that could say the same.
Zappa has realized he will always be the main promotor of his own work. "Orchestras don't give a chance to new repertoire. It's as costly to pick it up as the well-known classical work. And for those guys that has the advantage that their performance will be compared to the ones that are known already. In short, it gives them something to talk about. People tend not to know what to say about new work. I wouldn't like it if I, as a composer, would have to receive such an insincere applause. That's why I'd rather not give out my music."
He on the other hand loves to delve in the archives of others. For this Broadway The Hard Way-tour it has meant variations on Beatles-classics (Norwegian Wood, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, I'm The Walrus), Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven and Ravel's Bolero. In his own words: "I added a new dimension to it. Why would the Beatles be so good nobody could touch their repertoire? Why can't anyone piss on their shoes? And Stairway To Heaven now has something it always needed: humour."
In spite of his urge to synclavierism, Zappa stays faithful to the guitar. His latest studio project (Frank Zappa: Guitar) indicated this, and the second half of the concert proved it: olenty of songs were given long, tough solos. "Back again" could also be said from the firm 5-man strong wind section.
Rotterdam got much more than any other stop with the 2,5 hour concert. On top of that, the cheerful Zappa promised more for tonight, when - as usual - the content will be completely different. The hinting towards tomorrow happened just a little too often to stay funny. In other words: tickets are still available.

*Author uses the word "audiëntie", which you would use for an official visit to the king or president.

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[*] posted on 23-12-2017 at 11:36

Apparently a January 1990 issue of Elsevier had an interview with FZ. In a magazine review by Trouw on 18 Jan 1990, he's quoted:
Q Does rock music still develop itself in your opinion?
A "You could say that a total collapse is a development. Rock 'n roll has mainly become a method for advertising sodas."

23-1-90 HVV
Photo of Havel meeting FZ

23-1-90 NvhN
Same photo

10-5-90 NVHN: apparently a police dog named Frank Zappa found a burglar at a department store.

19-5-90 Volkskrant
Article about FZ: meeting Havel, FZ coming to Neth in May 1990 to have a lecture at the International Music & Media Conference. Followed by a short bio and information about recent releases, and an announcement of the upcoming Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life.

2-6-90 Volkskrant
Report on the music conference: Zappa cancelled due to illness.

20-12-90 HVV
FZ on the front page and in a large article to announce the upcoming Co de Kloet radio show. Announcements are also in Parool, NVHN and NRC a day later.

21-12-90 HVV
Zappa on the plans to have a school named after him: "In light of the miserable state of education they'd be better off naming the school after Reagan."

NVHN of the same day also posts some fragments of the interview:
(about his efforts to get youngsters to register to vote:)
"In Philadelphia, Washington DC and Detroit the local politicians tried to keep us from registering. The Republican posers expected that only young Democrats would come to the concerts. I thought that was pathetic. These people don't want democracy, they want to maintain their own position."
About the Gulf crisis:
"It's an Arabian problem that must be solved by Arabs. But if there's a problem in the world, the American government pounces on it and sends up hundreds of thousands of American soldiers. They say they send them to save democracy, but that's not true. The only reason is oil. It's definitely not about democracy, since both Kuwait and Saudi-Arabia weren't democracies, but totalitary states."
If there's a war, Zappa expects more trouble for Americans than during Vietnam. "The US is not nearly as well-prepared. The weaponry they sent there isn't suitable for the task. It was for a war in Europe, for a war in low temperatures and with autobahnen and not for heat and sand. They have a special tank there, that uses 25 lites of fuel to a mile. I'd like to know how they keep that tank filled in the desert. There aren't any gas stations, like on the Autobahn."
He also outs his views on musical censorship in the US, tells about his encounter with the deceased conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein and talks about his colleagues and musical preferences.

Parool of this date also has a large article about the show:
Q If you were a journalist who had to interview president Bush, what would be your first question?
FZ: George, who do you think you are kidding?

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[*] posted on 23-12-2017 at 21:27

2-4-91 Volkskrant
Article about upcoming Beat The Boots

12-6-91 Telegraaf
Interview with Dweezil about Confessions. Translation on request.

17-8-91 Parool
Quotes FZ's greet to the people of The Netherlands:
"Fuck you, guys."

19-8-91 Parool
FZ mentioned in a Swedish interview he considered running for president in 1992. Warrants an article.

19-10-91 Volkskrant
Jan Hoet, artistic leader of Documenta (an contemporary art exhibition in Kassel, Germany), intended to ask FZ for a composition

26-10-91 Volkskrant
Brief article about TRFZB in its Dutch translation.

20-11-91 Telegraaf
Blurb about the prostate cancer outing.

4-12-91 Telegraaf
Blurb with pretty much the same text as the previous article.

12-12-91 NVHN
TV review quotes FZ from his Niehe interview that we are being educated by TV because we lack an education.

Note to self: get Groene Amsterdammer from December 1991...

20-3-92 Volkskrant
Interview with drummer Louis Moholo, who says FZ asked him to play with him.

3-4-92 Volkskrant
Review of Cucamonga Years

24-7-92 Volkskrant
Interested review of YCDTOSA vol 5 and 6

25-7-92 Parool
Article on Burroughs mentions Zappa's idea of writing Naked Lunch: The Musical?

29-7-92 Limburgsch dagblad
Interested review of YCDTOSA vol 5

19-8-92 Telegraaf
Article in the show section about Joey Ramone, Luther Campbell and FZ denouncing Al Gore as vice president candidate

28-8-92 Volkskrant
Announces True Story Of 200 Motels

11-9-92 Volkskrant
Announces Yellow Shark

21-9-92 Parool
Elated review of the Yellow Shark concerts

12-12-92 Parool
Review of Playground Psychotics as being for the fans.

31-3-93 Parool
Article about SM needing to be taken out of the taboo atmosphere, "say take the music videos by Madonna or Frank Zappa..."
I checked but there's no S&M in You Are What You Is.

24-4-93 Parool
Ahead Of Their Time review. Appreciative of Progress

5-11-93 Parool
Reviews Gray's Mother! The Real Frank Zappa Story, and Miles' Zappa In His Own Words

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[*] posted on 23-12-2017 at 22:05

Zappa's best reviews...

6-12-93 NRC Handelsblad
Front page with the covers from Freak Out, Hot Rats and Jazz From Hell

Deceased Frank Zappa (52) mastered rock and classical

AMSTERDAM, 6 Dec. Frank Zappa, who died on Saturday aged 52 in Los Angeles of prostate cancer, was a pop musician, composer, humorist and political activist. His points of view in many areas were always controversial. In his many qualities he made an unerasable mark on the rock & roll-age. Zappa was admired the most outside America. The Checkoslovakian president Vaclav Havel wanted to make him cultural ambassador, but the American secretary of foreign affairs put a halt to that.
The unique versatility of Zappa, who collaborated with "classical" contemporary composer Pierre Boulez, was apparent in some 50 LPs. They vary from psychedelic pop satire on his debut album Freak Out! by his band The Mothers Of Invention from 1966, to earnest orchestral works in collaboration with the German Ensemble Modern under the header The Yellow Shark.

Frank Vincent Zappa was at a young age interested in music by Varèse and Strawinsky. His love for drums and vocal doowop-music got him in touch with rock & toll. With his school buddy Don "Captain Beefheart" van Vliet he made his first recordings. He was a sound technician at B-films, in 1963 he was arrested for making pornographical sound recordings.
With The Mothers Of Invention, Zappa took part in the rise of hippie culture. But he also commented without sparing the rod. We're Only In It For The Money satirized the fashion flower power. Cruisin' with Ruben & The Jets was a perfect spoof of 50s rock & roll. The controversial popfilm 200 Motels got him in a legal conflict with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.
Besides obscure records by the GTO's (Girls Together Outrgeously), Zappa produced the legendary double album Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart, who'd sometimes sing his parts unaware through the phone.

(cont. page 8)

As a band leader, Frank Zappa became the patron of influential musicians like Lowell George, Adrian Belew, George Duke, Steve Vai. Recordings of the many tours Zappa did with ever changing line-ups, were ordered by him like a precice archivist to compile in recent years the 12-part series You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore.
After unsurpassable rock albums like Zoot Allures (1976) and You Are What You Is (1981) Zappa aimed more towards modern-classical compositions. A collaboration with Pierre Boulez resulted in the chamber music project The Perfect Stranger. In the autobiography The Real Frank Zappa Book, Zappa relates of his strife with the various classical orchestras he used, with varying results, to perform his complex compositions.

Satire slowly made way for earnest political commentary, when Zappa developed in the 80s into a high-level critic of all sorts of wrongs. One of them was the desire of the Parents Music Resource Centre to put warning stickers on records with violent or sexually explicit lyrics.
Frank Zappa was a versatile and unpredictable musician, who did not heed conventions or expectations. With his last Dutch concerts in May 1998 in Ahoy, Zappa and his brass wind dominated band impressed with a dixielandarrangement of Ravel's Bolero, along with humoristic variations on songs by The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.
Zappa saw his end coming and spent his final years on the CD-rereleases of his older work, that had grown into an imposing and colourful oeuvre in thirty years. On Saturday Zappa passed away, on Sunday he was buried in private circle, only then was the news of his death put forward.

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[*] posted on 23-12-2017 at 23:04

6-12-1993 Parool
Large article with big photo on the cover.

Musician Frank Zappa deceased
AMSTERDAM - The American rock musician Frank Zappa passed away on Saturday. In the pop music world he was known for his sharp and cynical view of western society. Besides that he was also a composer of serious music. Zappa, who suffered cancer for some time, was 52 years old.
Frank Zappa became known in the sixties as leader of the Mothers Of Invention. He was feared on his criticism of both the left and the right. The American establishment suffered it, but also the hippie movement was criticized by him. Later he battled feminists, various religious organizations and the Parents Music Resource Centre. This organization, led by Tipper Gore, the wife of current American vice-president Al Gore, pleaded for warning labels on records with controversial lyrics.
When Zappa announced in the early 90s he wanted to run for president as an independent candidate, it led to death threats.
Humour was an important part of Zappa's work, who recorded more than 50 albums. He was also known as a technically very accomplished guitarist and wrote compositions that were performed by orchestras led by, among others, Pierre Boulez and the Dutch Edo de Waart.
Two years ago, it became officially known that Zappa suffered prostate cancer. His activities didn't seem to come to a halt. In his home studio he continued working on new projects, and at the invitation of the Frankfurter Feste he collaborated last year with the German Ensemble Modern. The result, The Yellow Shark, was his most ambitious work.
Frank Zappa was buried yesterday in his home town Los Angeles. When he was asked last May on the Today-show how he wanted to be remembered, he replied: "That's not important. The people who worry about that, are people like Reagan and Bush. It doesn't matter to me."


Fighting the American establishment

AMSTERDAM - A TV-portrait as aired by the VPRO made him famous in The Netherlands in one blow in 1970. The emission led to a flood of angry letters and phone calls, questions in parliament and an official reprimand for the VPRO. The reason for all this stirring: an "obscene" scene in which Frank Zappa put a working vacuum cleaner on a naked lady's breast.*
And then there was that time there was this widely spread poster on which the musician was posing on the toilet. Frank Zappa shits on society* - the intention was clear to all. He regretted it a little later on. In a Dutch radio show he said in 1990: "Ninety percent of people know me from that 60s poster where I'm on the toilet, pants down. That's how I'll go down in history."
In America, the magazine Rolling Stone called him "the apostle of revolution." Together with his accompanying group the Mothers Of Invention, Zappa heavily criticised the American establishment, that he described as hypocritical and corrupt.
On his first LP Feak Out (1966), Zappa portrayed the American citizens as 'plastic people', controlled in all their actions by the 'brain police'. Later on he went even further: in his film 200 Motels he portrayed American society as one huge concentration camp. The members of the classical orchestra he used in the film, played their parts surrounded by barbed wire.
Zappa preached complete freedom, and that was grist to the mill for the hippie movement. But they too were bitten down by the incorrigible cynic. Zappa exposed with unhidden disdain the emptiness of the hippie world on the 1967 LP We're Only In It For The Money, with as cover a clever spoof on Beatles's Sergeant Pepper LP. Hippies were put down by Zappa, at the height of the 60s, as dumb, slow and empty.
He also caused great confusion on the progressive side with the album Cruising With Ruben And The Jets (1968), an album where Zappa baffled everyone with genuine doo wop and rock 'n roll. It was the music he grew up with as a descendant of Sicilian immigrants, but in progressice circles the greaseball music didn't do well. The added layers were missed by many.

After Ruben and the Jets, there was a change in Zappa's music. The humor and criticism on society was still present, but after that Zappa presented him more and more as a serious musician. On the LPs Hot Rats, Chunga's Revenge and Waka/Jawaka he started to experiment with jazz. Later he tried to make a name for himself as a composer of modern classical music. One of his biggest influences was the composer Edgar Varèse, besides the earlier mentioned rock 'n roll a favourite from his youth.
In the serious music field, Zappa briefly collaborated in 1970 with conductor Edo de Waart. who he presented in an interview with New Musical Express with a sense of humour as "world's newest teenage idol."
Less fortunate were Zappa's contributions to the Holland Festival. The Nederlands Blazers Ensemble and the Residentie Orkest were involved with a major project with the American's music, but there was an argument about financing. Angrily, Zappa retreated. He told Vrij Nederland a year later: "After my death, it'll be in my will that not a single Dutch orchestra may play my music, ever."
In the 80s Zappa profiled himself more and more as a guitarist. In 1981 Shut Up And Play Your Guitar was released, a completely instrumental album that was followed by albums with very apt titles: Shut Up 'n Play Your Guitar Some More and The Son Of Shut Up 'n Play Your Guitar. Some critics referred to it as technical show-off.
Zappa remained active politically. When in 1985 a committee of concerned parents pleaded for introducing a system of warning stickers for records with explicit lyrics, Zappa was one of the first American pop musicians to raise his fist. At a hearing in Congress he vented his opinion, avowedly but as always intelligently. Parts of his speech ended up on the album Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention.
Zappa's greatest adversary was Tipper Gore, the president of the parent's committee and wife of the current American vice president Al Gore. In Congress he trashed Mrs Gore's fear for the influence of pop songs on youngsters: "I once wrote a song about dental floss, but did anyone's teeth get any whiter from that?"

*Line implies that the entire apparatus was located there
*"heeft er schijt aan" is more along the lines of he couldn't care less. But with shit worked into it.

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[*] posted on 24-12-2017 at 15:22

7-12-93 Limburgsch Dagblad and NVHN
Also on front page

Frank Zappa passed away of cancer

LOS ANGELES - The rock singer and musician Frank Zappa passed away this weekend aged 52. Zappa suffered prostate cancer and has been buried in his home town Los Angeles.
He was primarily known for his satirical ad extravagant songs. His biggest successes were in the sixties with the band The Mothers Of Invention. His avantgarde music was called genial by some. Zappa published over fifty albums, among them bestsellers Freak Out and Hot Rats.

His sharp and raw lyrics were often socially and politically charged. Before Al Gore became vice president, his wife Tipper was once of Zappa's prime targets of mockery. Tipper campaigned to make pop music more civilized.

(page 2)

Frank Zappa was a creative and critical spirit
'Groucho Marx of rock' refused to become milder
by Louis du Moulin

HEERLEN - In Frank Zappa, America lost one of the most creative and critical spirits of the post-war era. Kicking down all that was sacred, that was his speciality, that he practiced in numerous disciplines. As lyricist, composer, band leader, producer, director and acore, the Baltimore son of Italian immigrants mocked American society mercilessly for years. Inbetween he was also the discoverer and strict patron of talent. There's a long list of adventurous musicians whose career got in gear thanks to Zappa.

Francis Vincent Zappa Jr., born December 21st 1940, first became famous in the mid sixties with his group The Mothers Of Invention. He - started at age 12 as drummer, but changed to guitar two years later - had been in numerous school bands and quite a few unsuccessful experiments. Like the never-realized film project "Captain Beefheart Meet The Grunt People", that gave his partner and childhood friend Don van Vliet his pseudonym.
With The Mothers Of Invention, born in 1964 from The Soul Giants, Frank Zappa set himself to a-melodic music, which he occasionally referred to as sound-maiming. As unchallenged leader he mixed rock, jazz and classical music, to which he sang satirical lyrics filled with social commentary. Initially he only reached a small, intellectual audience, but along the way - through the albums Hot Rats (1969), Chunga's Revenge (1970) and 200 Motels (1971) he'd get a broader audience. Which is why at one point in time people offered hundreds of guilders for an original copy of the Mothers Of Invention's debut album, Freak Out (1966).

Nothing was save from him. In 1967 Zappa killed two birds with one stone with the third others album 'We're Only In It For The Money', which heavily satirized both the blooming hippie culture and the capitalist side of pop music. Zappa never got along with the record companies - if there weren't conflicts about censorship, then there were conflicts about distribution and promotion. Eventually he founded his own label (Zappa Records) in 1988.
At that moment he could already look back at an enormous record production of more than forty albums, that were published under his own name since Waka/Jawaka (1972). Since then Zappa flooded the market with (re)releases of old and new creations, with as goal to finally get the money he believed he'd earned.
More or less as record company executive, he had an official meeting before his last concert in Ahoy (May 3 1988) for the Dutch press and plenty of Zappalogists. During that question time, he indicated he knew very well what his importance has been for present-day rock music. "My influence has been that on the record I used techniques, that people who didn't go to music school hadn't even considered to be possible. You could say that I've meant more to musicians than to the average audience that I could never reach well enough through radio and TV.
The 'Groucho Marx of Rock', who after he hit 40 would also occasionally go classical (with Pierre Boulez, London Symphony Orchestra) placed himself (then) over other present-day composers: "Because I'm one of the few who is active in all styles, and that in rock business. I tour as a rock artist and play in halls that aren't really made for my music, like this sports hall," said Zappa, who also claimed he "couldn't be more than 15 to 20 minutes without music. That's my call, and after all those years I finally know what to do."
Given this attitude, nobody thought it was strange that he continued to be active, after it became officially known in 1991 that he had cancer. Among the many projects he realized then, was a collaboration with the avant-garde Ensemble Modern, with which he gave a series of concerts in Germany and Austria under the header Yellow Shark. With the Czech author-president Vaclav Havel Zappa had plans for making a movie about his country.

Zappa didn't care how humanity would remember him after his death. "People who worry about being remembered are guys like Reagan and Bush. It doesn't matter to me," he confessed on television in May. Becoming milder was still strange to him. "These times ask for a baseball bat," said Zappa, who among others fiercely opposed Tipper Gore, wife of vice-president Al Gore, when she had a fierce campaign against unconventional lyrics on recordings.

Among the scarce hits Frank Zappa scored were Dancin' Fool - a satire on disco - and Valley Girl, in which his daughter Moon Unit took it out on spoiled Californian kids. Zappa won a Grammy in 1988. He stayed ahead of his son Dweezil, who's also a respected guitarist.

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[*] posted on 24-12-2017 at 19:26

7-12-93 Telegraaf
Sports FRANK ZAPPA DEAD on the front page. Let's go to page 14:

Rock-legend Zapa passed away

by Ron Peereboom Voller
Rock 'n roll-legend Frank Zappa passed away last Saturday of prostate cancer, aged 52. The singer, guitarist and composer passed away with his family by his side at home in Los Angeles, and was buried a day after in a private ceremony. Frank Zappa leaves an oeuvre of almost fifty records and was known for the shar satire of American society in his lyrics and broad musical knowledge.
Zappa is born on December 21st in Baltimore as son of a meteorologist, who researches toxic cases for the American army. He starts his musical career as drummer in the school band and in '56 as drummer to the R&B group The Ramblers in san Diego. It's not until the 60s when Zappa causes a stir, as the leader of experimental group The Mothers Of Invention. The innovative music and sharp but often humorous lyrics attract the attention of a small, socio-critical audience. One record after theother - whether or not solo - appears and slowly but surely, Zappa becomes one of the most important composers of popular music.

Although Zappa could rarely be heard on the radio, he had a large amount of permanent fans who worshipped their hero. Zappa's records were massively smuggled into communist Eastern Europe, and one of his fans and president of the Czech republic, Vaclav Havel, wanted to appoint him to the position of cultural ambassador. Something that was stopped by the American secretary of Culture...

Still, Zappa didn't just have followers. Because of his sharp lyrics he often got people up in arms, yet never apologized in public. Although politically Zappa leaned to the left, his texts attacked everybody. From human rights activist Jesse Jackson to Tipper Gore, the wife of vice president Al Gore, who wanted labels on record covers to warn against explicit lyrics.
Zappa stayed active to the end. Earlier this year he released a new album. Still, his deteriorating condition caused him to cancel concerts and to give up his plans to become president of the USA.

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[*] posted on 24-12-2017 at 23:18

7-12-93 Volkskrant
On the 6th FZ is mentioned in the opinion page as a result of a confusing review. On the 7th we don't just find the articles on FZ, but also two mourning ads, a full column and a half column one, posted by fans. An expensive exercise in fanhood if ever there was one.

Front page:
Zappa left for his final tour

The American guitarist and composer Frank Zappa (52) passed away on Saturday evening at home in Los Angeles. Yesterday he was given a private burial in his home town. Zappa suffered prostate cancer for some time. In 1992 he performed for the last time in Europe, when he performed parts of his last major project The Yellow Shark with the Ensemble Modern from Frankfurt.
'Zappa has left for his final tour,' was the Sunday night anouncement from his family members, among them both his sons Ahmet (19) and Dweezil (24) who followed their father's tracks as guitarists. Zappa's inheritance is, among others, thousands of hours of tape recordings and scores, that are stored in the studio under his home.
Frank Vincent Zappa was one of the most versatile minds in American pop music: as a virtuoso guitarist and composer he referred to both popular genres like rhythm & blues, doowop, jazz and rock 'n roll, as to 'serious', composed music by Edgard Varèse, Anton Webern and Stravinsky. Besides making over 50 LPs and CDs, he also made a number of films and videos.
In the sixties he led the formation The Mothers Of Invention, that was followe by many different line-ups. Strict music and personal discipline from his group was for him one condition for the performance of his often complex music.
In the eighties his compositions were recognized in the classical world. Conductors like Pierre Boulez, Kent Nagano and Edo de Waart performed his works The Nederlands Blazers Ensemble brought a few programmes with Zappa repertoire to the Holland Festival.
Frank Zappa's satirical lyrics, in which the excesses of American society were parodied, gave him a lot of enemies. He aimed his arrows to the hippie-ideals of the sixties, the corrupt televangelists and politicians, the commercialism of pop music and eventually everything that caught his sharp eye.
A prominent opponent was Tipper Gore, wife of the current American vice president Al Gore. As spokesperson of the Parents' Music Resource Centre she lobbied for applying warning labels to records with explicit lyrics. Zappa replied the criticism with a lamboyant response during a hearing at American Congress. In a 1998 interview he disagreed that he was too direct in his response: "These times ask for a baseball bat."

At the start of the 90s Zappa announced he wanted to run as independent candidate for presidency. He was on friendly terms with Czech president Vaclav Havel, who remembered him on Monday as "a friend of our new budding democracy and one of the first visitors here after the revolution."
To surpressed artists and youngsters in Eastern Europe Frank Zappa was a symbol of freedom of speech. After the tearing of the Iron Curtain he was received as a hero in Moscow, Budapest and Prague.

(pag 14)

Architect Zappa made the norm
The composer Frank Zappa, who died last Saturday, regarded himself as an architect who used notes like bricks. He used sources like doowop, big band jazz, Ravel and computer music. As a band leader he demanded discipline from his musicians, whom he guided to unbelievable performances. As a liberal selfmade man he put himself up as defender of freedom of speech.

With whom will Zappa be named in one breath? Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, John Lennon? Or Edgard Varèse, Igor Stravinsky and John Cage? Lenny Bruce? Herbert von Karajan?
Zappa belonged nowhere and everywhere. He passed away on Saturday, in his own home, after a three year battle with prostate cancer that was discovered much too late. He was buried two days ago in a private ceremony. He would have turned 53 on December 21st.
After 1966, the year he and his Mothers Of Invention released Freak Out!, the first double album in pop history, Frank Vincent Zappa became famous and infamous as pop musician, composer, film- and theatre maker, guitarist, social critic and comedian - not necessarily in that order. What he wanted to say to the world is recorded on over 50 CDs, a stream of releases he continued even when he was ill, and of which we still can't see the end. Besides a number of yet unpublished albums there have to be piles of tapes and scores in the Los Angeles basement - Zappa kept everything. There's no doubt Zappa told his wife and four children, fellow entrepreneurs in the family company, what to do with them.
A key theme in Zappa's life and work was conceptual continuity: the idea that all his sayings and creations have an underlying coherence. That was a good base to use absolutely everything in his stall, whether it was goofy fifties doowop-music, bigband-jazz, Ravel's Bolero or high-brow computer music. But at the same time his oeuvre moves in all directions, it's kept somewhat together by recurring referrals, quotations, jokes and Leitmotive. Zappa was his own editor. He turned a composition like The Black Page into both a "difficult" version for percussion solo as an "easy teenage" version with disco beat.
"Composing is an ordering process that is similar to architecture," he wrote in his autobiography, The Real Frank Zappa Book. "Except I happen to also use different material then notes. You can be a video-composer, a film-composer, a choreography-composer or a social engineering-composer - whatever. Give me something and I order it. That is what I do."
He was a constructivist. Illustrative of that is a video of an interview where Zappa à l'improviste devides the audience into groups, gives each group its own sound, and then starts to conduct the public flashingly. That's also how he worked with his musicians, from the first group that performed as The Mothers Of Invention to the German contemporary classical music Ensemble Modern on his most recent album, The Yellow Shark. He knew how to perform the discipline into the etreme. His later bands weren't just capable of performing his complex, capricious, instrumental pieces with merciless precision, they could also change style at any given moment within a song, from ska to reggae to ballroom to whatever. And always that one man was in charge - that one man with the rapid, flawless sense of timing and construction that creates such fascinating moments in his improvised guitar solos.
His authority was not to be discussed. He was the investor. He was the one who decided what happened, who decided where the musicians got a little bit of freedom and who tossed them out relentlessly when they used drugs.
The majority of Zappa's records is made from live recordings. The level of his concerts was as high as his studio recordings, and always had more tension because of the element of the unforseen. No performance was the same. On top of that, Zappa was always ahead from a technological point of view. Overdubs, multi-track technique, digitizing, he was always the first. With his derise to perfection, he posed a norm that even Pierre Boulez and his Ensemble Intercontemporain in their performances of his 'serious' music could barely make.
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, he dubbed the series of six double CDs that comprised his entire stage career. The title was a commentary on present-day megastars with their canned, pre-cooked, playback-lightshows, but also an homage to the literally priceless performances by his bands.
Whatever he was on the side, Zappa was in the first place a composer.
His introduction to the music of Edgard Varèse at the start of the 50s was his first essential musical experience, that with Johnny 'Guitar' Watson was the second. Zappa wanted to write music, and he wanted to perform that music as well as possible. If he hadn't grown up in an environment where the most bovious instruments were percussion and guitar, if he hadn't been in a childhood filled with moving house and only just passing school, so that playing in a band was the only way to realize his ambition, he might have become a composer of 'normal' music instead of that innovating rock musician, with his biting scabrous lyrics.
Zappa had a very cynical view of society - particularly the American. In the sixties he parodied the herd mentality, whether it was flower power hippies or joe average, the plastic people. Later sanctimonious politiciand and televisions became his victims.
Still Zappa, the liberal self-made-man, was an American. When the Parents' Music Resource Center, led by Tipper Gore, wife of the current vice president ...

(next paragraph unreadable because of the fold in the scan)

Five reactions to the passing of Frank Zappa:

Frits Boer, child psychiatrist, worked for the magazine Hitweek in the 60s:
In 1966 I travelled the United States, where I wanted to do interviews for Hitweek with Ike and Tina Turner, The Beach Boys and The Mamas And The Papas. At a local TV-station in Los Angeles I saw a performance by Frank Zappa, a strange character who reminded me of Johnny The Selfkicker. I was impressed, visited him at his home and flew back to The Netherlands with a copy of his first album Freak Out! under my arm.
It got caught immediately, with Willem de Ridder and other Hitweek-editors, and with the then progressive discjockeys. They played his music so often, that Verve/MGM released his debut album here a lot earlier than in other European countries. Without me, Freak Out! would have gotten there, but it definitely sped things up.
I cherish the albums Zappa signed for me, but I rarely listen to his music now. It started to bore me, all that épater le bourgeois. But those early things remain grand. He didn't just break the standard song form of intro, bit inbetween and end, but also used jazz and contemporary composed music. A true form innovator.

Hans Vandenburg, Gruppo Sportivo guitarist:
I always thought he was one of the greatest guitar soloists, as big as Jimi Hendrix. There are very fast guitarists who can play anything, but Zappa was good because you noticed him. Just like Chet Baker, who didn't have a good singing voice is still one of the best singers I know of.
I wouldn't call him a rock guitarist. That word reminds one of a person with pointy boots and painted eyes. Zappa had something more important: spontaneity, the guts to try something on the spot. He could play "searchingly" beautifully, as if he had traced something. Almost a jazz guitarist, that's what he was for me.
I'm not as attracted by his electronic work, just like his eternal commentary on what's wrong in society. He was a bit of a nag.

Hens Otter, clarinet player, former member of the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble:
When the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble had toured the USA with Kees van Kooten and Wim de Bie* we performed an adapted version of his Music For Electric Violin And Low Budget Orchestra, in which I played Jean-Luc Ponty's violin party on lyricon (a wind-synthesizer).
Zappa heard a recording of it, and he apparently liked it a lot. At least he tried to get me on tour with him, but it never worked out. I played with him for three days in the studio, and I expect it may be on a CD some day.
With the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble we later did a few Zappa-shows, among others at Holland Festival. A piece like The Grand Wazoo was a revelation. Unrestrained dixieland, but in a complex bebop-way, and with authentic blues situations where you really need to pay attention to make it to the end in one piece. For wind players his music is very tricky, it's always written from the guitar.
He wasn't a pop composer, he was a real composer, Duke Ellington-size - at least, bigger than Steve Reich. His humour was the best, Spike Jones, but short. I once played his guitar solo Black Napkins on lyricon, which was very difficult.* I got a brief postcard back: 'Very well.'

Wim de Bie, tv-maker and author:
We're Only In It For The Money, his third album from 1968, that hit hard. I was part of a group that reported the great cultural revolution of the 60s for a radio show, we all very much believed in that revolution. Then that album came, where Zappa blew a lot of air into all those ideals with his lyrics and music. It wasn't cabaret-ish, cabaret is a horrible genre anyway, but sharp satire. A type of satire that was aimed both outward and inward, meaning he also satirized himself. A pure provocation.
That album was sobering, but also very inspiring for me. It was that sharp, acceptable form of satire that had nothing to do with the square cabaret, to use that term, but that came from the great American tradition of Lenny Bruce and others.
For me he will always be connected to the albums Freak Out!, Absolutely Free and We're Only In It For The Money. Back then I often used fragments as jingle in the radio show. ... Yes, it was called Uitlaat - I thought people would've forgotten that name by now. After those first three records I never really followed him, but he always kept my sympathy. I think I'll buy his last record, The Yellow Shark.

Vaclav Havel, president of the Czech republic:
The news of Frank Zappa's death has struck me deeply for two reasons. Above all he was a man who contributed to the shaping of a sentiment of a generation, the generation I belong to. The second reason is more personal: I knew Frank Zappa; Frank was a friend of our new budding democracy and one of the first visitors here after the revolution. And although he wasn't a kind of embassador of Czechoslovakia, like many people wrote, he was a friend to our country.

*Dutch comedians at the time
*uses the expression "hondsmoeilijk", dog difficult. Possible malaproper, we only have the phrase hondsmoe or dog tired.

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