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Author: Subject: Volkskrant Parool Handelsblad Trouw translations
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[*] posted on 25-12-2017 at 00:33

Parool publishes a photo of Jimmy Carl Black performing with the Grandmothers. He was in Amsterdam when he heard.

7-12-93 Parool front page column mentions Zappa and the enormous amount of attention his death was given: "as if the pope died".

7-12-93 Trouw
Scored an interview with Jimmy Carl Black
Translations later

8-12-93 Nederlands Dagblad
Even the strongly reformed Christian newspaper has a small article devoted to Zappa.

8-12-93 Volkskrant
Review of the Grandmothers, mentions they started off with a minute of chaos to remember FZ.

Elsevier, VN and HP manage to squeeze in a FZ memorial.

9-12-93 Volkskrant
Letter sent in by Duke Burgerhof: Zappa is not dead, he just smells funny.

10-12-93 NRC
Roel Bentz van den Berg writes a less friendly obituary I don't intend to translate.

11-12-93 Parool
highly positive review of Yellow Shark

11-12-93 Parool
Column about FZ by Frommé.

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[*] posted on 25-12-2017 at 23:17

7-12-93 Trouw
Front page has photo of Jimmy Carl Black

Zappa was way ahead of our time
by Peter van Deutekom
Happily humming, the owner of music cafe Parker's observes the publicity surrounding the members of the band, The Grandmothers, before their performance. It's tragic, of course, that Frank Zappa passed away, but it's good for attention.

The phone was off the hook all afternoon, and the bar will be packed tonight, that's clear. It's a pity that the Grandmothers, continuation of Zappa's original band Mothers of Invention, are only in Amsterdam for 1 show on Monday night. It would've been great if they could have taped on a few more nights, guaranteed sell-outs. But well, there are other performances scheduled, and a breech of contract costs money.
"Hi, you're Jimmy Carl Black, the Indian of the group?" The paraphrase from the casual phrase on the LP We're Only In It For The Money puts a big grin on the face of the man it's said to. He, Jimmy Carl Black, offspring of the Cheyenne-tribe, and Mother from the very first line-up on, heard this morning upon arrival in Amsterdam of the passing in LA of rock musician and Mother's father.
Oh, shocked, not really. Zappa had been seriously ill for a few years, it was a matter of time. And besides they hadn't had contact for years, after the Mothers split in '69 he did play with Zappa, but later he went his own way. He met Zappa three years ago, but that wasn't fun, it was during the court case on the royalties of the record sales. Very little was left of that for the members of the former Mothers, who were already trying to cause a stir as the Grandmothers, with the 'of invention' modestly added in brackets. And from today, that'll work. One man's meat is another man's poison.
Not a bad word about musician Frank Zappa from Jimmy Carl Black. A genius, indeed. "He never did any concessions from a commercial point of view, he was was ahead of our time," he says, "he could combine all types of music, jazz, blues, rock, classical. Avant garde, that's what it was, ar. 'Ugly' is what they called their music in the US, and that's what the image of the Mothers was, especially of Zappa.

(cont. page 2)

And that's why in hypocritical and conservative America their music never got a head start. "We were always better received in Europe, people there have a better sense of art.
In the years of the Mothers, and after that, in Zappa-s line-up with Turtles-singers Flo and Eddy, they did have a cult following in the US. "We did fill stadiums," Black says, "but our records never got on the radio, only at student's stations." The Mothers were a typical East Coast group, "that's where we were received the best, we were big in New York, and in the Mid-West, particularly Minnesota."

The drummer has to go to work again, for a TV recording. "Mother People" rings out through Parker's, a song from "We're only in it..." very Mothers of Invention, one has to say. And that's how it should be, the five-man-band ony plays old Mothers repertoire. The Grandmothers: besides three members of Zappa's Mothers - Jimmy Carl Black, keyboard player and co-founder Don Preston and winds Bunk Gardner - arethe Italian Sandro Oliva, of Sicily, where Zappa's parents came from, and bassist Ener Bladezipper. Actually his name is René Mesritz, and he's from Amsterdam. But he's lived in the US for five years, where he's played together with Jimmy and joined the Grandmothers last summer. And if you turn René around and loosely translate Mesritz, you get Ener Bladezipper, that's why.

A little while later, inbetween takes, a lot of memories ofZappa from long-time members Black and Preston. Mainly personal ones, and the relation between the Mothers and their leader wasn't always that warm. "Frank estranged himself from the group," the drummer says. "He was very autoritary at times, a bit of an arrogant intellectual. On tour he'd always stay in a different hotel. Anyway, we got all the pussies."
But the image of Zappa as a provoking fury, a prijsneuker* surrounded by hordes of groupies, somebody who did everything God forbade, that's not right at all. Even John Lennon, who wasn't easily frightened himself, once had that opinion. The ex-Beatle expected a horde of naked ladies and tables filled with drugs. Zappa turned out to be the civil intelligence himself.
"An indestructible image," Jimmy Carl Black says. "The story went that he had eaten shit on stage as an act. It would have happened in 1972, and you were there, they told me. The Mothers didn't exist anymore and we weren't performing together. No, Frank was really quite conservative, not in a political or musicalsense, quite the opposite, but in his private life, he lived very soberly and healthily.
A family man, that's how Don Preston knew him, with a conservative lifestyle. Never using drugs or anything like that, and never emotionally attached to anyone. With him too there was some sentiment of animosity towards the person Frank Zappa, but nothing but respect and praise for the phenomenon. He met Frank in 1961, then a cleanshaved, short cut nerd, you could say a yup avant la lettre, an intellectual, very high brow. Three years later Zappa was at his door, a long-haired weirdo with savage looks. They should make some music together, they decided, innovating, and that's how the Mothers of Invention came to be. Frank knew how to sell the shocking savage image well, brilliant. Frank Zappa a genius? In a sense, thinks Preston, but he did make many mistakes. Disbanding the Mothers in 1969 for instance, for the group, that was like family, it hit like a divorce, a death. "If he'd kept the group together, like the Greatful Dead or The Stones, we could've earned a fortune," says Preston.
Those golden ages come now, hopes Jimmy Carl Black. "Frank looks down on us now," says the Indian Of The Group, and he points upwards, "and I can hear him say up there: "go for it boys, it's all yours now."

*Literally translates to price fucker, could refer to a womaniser or a prostitute

Sarcastic guitarist went on his final tour
by Koos Schwartz

AMSTERDAM - Frank Zappa has left on Saturday morning for his final tour.' This was the brief explanation with thich the family of the guitarist, composer and entrepreneur announced his passing. A strange explanation? No, Frank Zappa (52) could have written it himself.

Irony, or better yet: sarcasm; it was one of Francis Vincent Zappa jr. 's trademarks. In his music career, that spanned over 30 years and produced over 50 (!) albums, Zappa, whose parents came from Sicily, spared nothing and no-one.

It started in the sixties, when he got famous with one of the first double albums in the world (Freak Out) and the hippie movement started to embrace the non-conformist. Zappa hit back straight away, and on one of his following records he heckled the emptiness of hippie culture. The example straight away why Zappa never got the popularity that another sociocritic from that era, Bob Dylan (also maker of that other early double LP: Blonde on Blonde) received. Zappa was not at all interested in herd mentality and scores of screaming admirers. Not even if they happen to be young and selling records. If they behave brainlessly, they can be reprimanded.

At the moment the world goes mad for Sgt Pepper's by the Beatles, Zappa parodies this record with We're Only In It For The Money. The cover shows Zappa and his band in a beyond extravagant attire.
After the hippies and the Beatles, many victims would follow. The disco-trend had barely started, or Zappa has already trashed the phenomenon (Dancin' Fool). The American middle class, the record industry and politicians are often on the receiving end. The sexual moral is a pleasant subject. On posters he presents his posterior above a toilet seat.

Sex plays a major part in his oeuvre. When he's asked in a TV-interview if he isn't too preoccupied with sex, he pulls a porn mag with pictures of a bondage-act from behind his back. "My songs are a mirror of the age. Strange things happen. Look around you," Zappa says, and for one time he sounds curiously earnest.
Censorship is another subject he's worried about, In 1985 he heckles the "bored Washington housevices" who aim fo a law that means records with spicy lyrics are given a special warning label. Among those housewives is Tipper Gore, wife of current vice-president Al Gore. Zappa even appears before a senate commission that investigates the subject. "Masturbation isn't illegal. Why should it be illegal to sing about it? " says Zappa. And: "I once wrote a song about dental floss, but did you think anyone's teeth got cleaner from it?"
Around the same time there are American citizens who are worried about records with devilish lyrics. Those lyrics could only be heard if the vinyl was played backwards. Zappa wouldn't be Zappa if he didn't put a backwards played song on an album.

It isn't just his tendency to drown everything and anyone in sarcasm that stops Zappa from reaching a large audience. His music is not very accessible. In the sixties he even called his music "sound maiming". He's fascinated by high-schoolrock from the fifties, but also by rock, jazz, classical and modern varieties (Varèse, Strawinsky) of that, which he keeps mixing through each other in different forms.

According to music critics, that's where his main influence is. Style changes are frequent. One year there's a reasonably accessible record, the next year (1981) he comes with Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar, a box wih three records with nothing but guitar solo's. To Zappa's own amazement the box sells reasonably well.
Zappa's performances were often a spectacle. In his wild years he sprays litres of whipped cream into the audience. Later this changes. Zappa conducts more than he plays. He's often with his back to the audience: the ever rational perfectionist demands the utmost from his band members and wants them to play exactly what he has in his head.

His last performance is the premiere of the classical composition The Yellow Shark in September 1992 in the Old Opera of Frankfurt. By then Zappa is already scarred by the prostate cancer that would eventually kill him. Zappa was no stranger to classical music temples. By the late 60s his first (of course controversial) performance was in the Concertgebouw, a major event in the day.
Guitarist, conductor and entrepreneur. To get around nasty and expensive managers, Zappa founds several companies, led by his wife Gail.He does well. When the Iron Curtain falls, he goes to Eastern Europe a lot.
"Czechoslovakia is the trial model. Here, leaders have come up who believe you can govern from an ethical standpoint. They are artists and people with culture. That's different from what we know: second-hand car dealers, lawyers of evil cases and rented economers," says an earnest Zappa in 1990.
The Czech president Havel is one of his fans. He wants to give Zappa, by then a devoted capitalist, the position of special trade representative. That never happens. According to Zappa, the then secretary of foreign affairs, James Baker, whose wife once had to deal with Zappa's sarcasm, is to blame. Baker would have flown to Czechoslovakia in a hurry and told Havel: "It's either the US government, or Zappa. Both is impossible."
Whether Zappa was serious in this case, the story doesn't relate.

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[*] posted on 26-12-2017 at 01:14

15-1-94 NVHN
Zappa is not dead,
he just smells funny
by Fred van Garderen

No more Stink Foot, no more Plastic People and no more Billy The Mountain. On December 4th last year, a void was ripped in the concertcircuit that can never be filled again. "Frank Zappa has departed on his final tour." The Head Mother had died of an old man's disease. Never to the Ahoy' Rotterdam anymore. Over, over are those days.
What remains is a gigantic amount of compositions (1200) of which a limited amount has been released on around 70 albums, here and there a video and a film; a few posters, a few books. But that's it. The Zappa fun will have to be lived at home now. Cocooning: a living room filled with colourful sounds, a head filled with spiritual thoughts, and drinking coffee until the body quivers, because that's how the maestro did it.
A naïve thought, as we find a month later. Because after watching Zappa's Universe everything becomes clear. Frank Zappa wasn't the same as Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan or The Rolling Stones. Zappa was Zappa. A personality, that's true, but also a composer. Somebody who wrote musc. For others too. Like Mozart, Varèse and Ravel did. Zappa is not dead, he just smells funny.
The video is filled with 90 minutes of total theatre. The music is Zappa's, but other people play it. A band together with an orchestra. Plus two vocal groups and a number of soloists. They sing and play the revised works. And give a flaming concert.
The true Zappa-fan knows what it means when the speaker announces "the was I see it Berry, this should be a very dynamite show. You don't have to be a Zappa-fan to enjoy Elvis Has Just Left The Building (to climb up the heavenly stairs)". It even seems like a beautiful form of self-mockery, if it weren't for the fact that Zappa was still alive at the time of recording.

Zappa's Universe was recorded in 1991 in the New York City At The Ritz Theatre on the occasion of the 25-year jubilee of the artist Zappa. A colourful choice from Zappa's work is scheduled. From the sensitive "The Idiot Bastard Son" to the compositional highlight Echidna's Arf and from the satirical Fembot In A Wet T-shirt (soloist Dale Bozzio sings about her Big Wet Ones) to the church-critical Heavenly Bank Account (there's a great difference between kneeling down and bending over)
The 6-man band is well obeying the sheet music. Former Zappa bassist Scott Thunes remembers his licks, drummer Morgan Agren reminds us of Terry Bozzio and Mats Oberk plays the keys like a computer keyboard. Singer/guitarist Mike Keneally has the thankless task of filling in for Zappa. He does his best. Besides him, ex-Mother Steve Vai and Zappa's son Dweezil solo in Dirty Love, and the gentlemen musicians of the Orchestra Of Our Time freak out to the composition Waka Jawaka. The quartet The Persuaders adds brown voices and the other quarted Rockapella just voices. At the end a thank you from Dweezil and before that a Tia Maria-poem recited by Dale Bozzio: "Information is not knowledge, / Knowledge is not wisdom, / wisdom is not beauty,/ beauty is not love,/ love is not music,/ music and Frank Zappa are the best."

26-2-94 Parool
A hero with two little slaves, by Theodor Holmann

Bought a Frank Zappa record during the sale: Hot Rats. The record was released when I was sixteen, the year I interviewed Zappa.
Frank Zappa was our hero, even though I didn't understand his music. I did understand that he pulled a lot of legs in a superior way - and that's what appealed to us.
Zappa gave a concert in Amsterdam, and through talking with fathers of friends who worked for the Concertgebouw, we could talk to him afterwards. Back then, Zappa was performing with the two boys from the Turtles, who had a hit with the song Happy Together. Which was the song with which Zappa opened the concert.
My friend Pieter and I were there after the concert with a Telefunken tape recorder, that weighed about 19 kilos, and a shopping bag with wires, old-style microphones and plugs, waiting in front of Zappa's dressing room. Nervous as hell. After an hour, the door of the dressing room went open and we were allowed in.
I was impressed immediately. There He was. God himself was smoking a cigarette.
"Hi guys," said Zappa, "I'll give you ten minutes."
"What does he say?" asks friend Peter.
"I don't know," I replied, "did he say something?"
We smiled and nodded.
"Theo," said friend Pieter, "tell him we need to hook up the tape recorder and ask him where we can find an outlet."
"Ask him yourself, idiot," I said, "I don't know how to day that."
Pieter opened his tape recorder and I said: "Is a bandrecorder, because we... eh... we... eh... dinges..."
"I can see that. You probably stole that from the Germans in World War Two," said Zappa.
"What does he say?" asked Pieter.
"I don't know. Something about the Germans in World War Two," I said.
Zappa thought what we did was amusing, I think. He said something to his band members and they al burst into laughter.
"Stopcontect," said Pieter all of a sudden, "I need stopcontect, to get tension."
Zappa pointed at Pieter's nostrils, and everybody laughed and so did we. But we weren't out of trouble.
Anyway, cut a long story short, after fifteen minutes the tape was recording.
"You ask the first question," said friend Pieter.
"Me? Why me? You'd ask the first question," I said.
But anyway, I wasn't that dicky and so I read our first question: "Mr Zappa, what do you want to say with your songs?"
Zappa told us an extensive story, of which I didn't understand a word.
"What does he say?" asked Pieter.
"What do I know. Ask him yourself godverdomme {god damn it}
"Godverdomm," Zappa repeated, and with a wide grin he started to say something of which I didn't understand a word.
And suddenly I saw the index finger of friend Pieter moving towards the stop button and turning off the tape.
"What do you do now, idiot?" I asked.
"Listening back if everything is on the bandrecorder", said Pieter, and wound back straight away.
"Well guys, you have to piss off now, come on, or I'll kick your ass."
"What does he say?" asked Pieter.
"What do I know, I think he wets himself laughing because you act like an idiot."
"Look, he's doing it," said Pieter happily when he heard our voices. But Zappa went to the door, still laughing by the way, and said, a little less cheerful: "Come on boys, get out of here."
"What does he say?" asked Pieter.
"That we have to leave, I think."
Fifteen minutes later we were out back on the Van Baerlestraat.
"What was he saying back there?" asked Pieter.
"What do I know."
Thus my career in journalism started, and now Frank is dead and I still don't know what he said.
It was a strange time by the way. A day later we went to Paradiso, back then the only spot where you could smoke hash and weed without being watched. I met school teachers there who'd smoked "too much" (we used the phrase a lot back then), I saw chicks I could madly fall in love with if they'd clap their eyes on me (chicks, another word you can't use anymore) and usually the shows you'd see in Paradiso were "too mad" (another expression you don't hear anymore).
We smoked a little pirate (you didn't use the word joint) and suddenly I saw Zappa sitting there, drinking. I think, but I'm not sure, he was there with conductor Edo de Waart. On the other side of Zappa were the two ex-Turtles, up close looking even fatter than they were on stage the day before. Peter and I walked past Zappa a couple of times, hoping he'd recognize us, and I'll be damned, he called us. He unfolded a piece of paper that said "Tante Cor, Nieuwmarkt."
"Do you know where that is?" asked Zappa.
I didn't know, but nodded yes, and so did Pieter. We were quite stoned by then. But who was Tante Cor?
"Perhaps a brothel or a whore," said Pieter. I shaked my head, barely noticeable. "They don't call themselves tante {aunt}, or they'd have to be old whores {ouwehoeren = talking about nothing extensively}. I didn't want to make a pun, but I didn't notice I had made one untl Pieter laughed.
Zappa asked if we could take him and his friends to Tante Cor on the Nieuwmarkt.
"We want to drink something there." And I think he said it was "the hottest place in town." I understood it must be a café.
We took off, with Zappa and the other boys. Silently, because we didn't know what to say. We walked and walked, Leidseplein, Nieuwezijds, through to Nieuwmarkt, past the whores and keeping silent, and if our eyes happened to meet we laughed, but no more than that. And by some coincidence I saw, on the Nieuwmarkt we'd already walked once, the name "Tante Cor" on a sign board.
"Here it is!" I said happily.
"Thank you, boys," said Zappa. He grabbed a handfulof dollars from his back pocket and gave us five each.
"Buy yourself a joint."
And then they went in.
We didn't dare to come with them, because we weren't invited.

25-2-94 NRC Extensive review of the MOJO magazine with a picture of the Zappa toilet mural.

19-3-94 Telegraaf
Interview with Chynna Phillips. She mentioned she didn't like her flower child name, and whenever her mother got tired of her whining about it, she'd take the phone and say: "Shall I ask if you can stay over at the Zappa family for a while?" I understood that hint, because the Zappa kids, who were school mates, had names like Dweezil and Moon Unit. That was still a bit worse."

7-5-94 Volkskrant
Article about a planetoid named after FZ.
A short and not entirely factual blurb about the asteroid appears later in Telegraaf.
25-7 articles on asteroid in Nieuwsblad Van Friesland and Leeuwarder Courant, Volkskrant, and Trouw.

TRFZB hit the Book Top 20 in August 1994.

17-9-94 Parool
Huge review of Watson's Poodle Play book, calls it confusing and semi-intellectual name dropping.

14-10-94 Telegraaf
Interview with Terry Bozzio

24-12-94 NRC
Article about CP3

29-12-94 Parool
Highly impressed review of CP3, mentions the entire album will be aired again on a commercial classical channel at 17:45.

6-1-95 Volkskrant
Impressed review of CP3 and Harmonia Meets Zappa

23-6-95 Volkskrant
Long article by Gijsbert Kramer about the Rykodisk re-releases

August 1995: Vilnius statue is erected: articles in Parool and Trouw.

CP3 was played in full on Dutch radio, from 10PM to 1AM.

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