Responses to last week’s announcement from the Zappa Family Trust (ZFT) of a forthcoming Frank Zappa Back On The Road: The Hologram Tour continue to file in. Guitarist Adrian Belew was mentioned as a participant in the ZFT’s press release, but Belew has decided not to participate in the tour. The same is true of Denny Walley.
“Here are my final thoughts on the entire Zappa affair: respectfully count me out,” reads the opening of Adrian’s note on Facebook. “I will not be playing Zappa music in the foreseeable future in any situation. This whole thing is far too caustic and divisive.”
Belew continued on, “I will say I have always admired Dweezil for playing his father’s music and playing it so damn perfectly. I remember time spent with young Moon and how much I really liked her. Recently I met [Frank’s daughter and one of two ZFT principals] Diva for the first time (she works on Billy Bob Thornton’s tour) and she was very nice to me. though I have yet to meet [Frank’s son and the other ZFT principal] Ahmet in person, he too has been nice to me. Earlier this year he asked me to write liner notes for the upcoming Zappa Halloween box set and he treated me respectfully.” Adrian worked with Frank in 1977 and 1978 and was part of the band featured in the forthcoming Halloween 77 box set Belew mentioned.
“I do know one thing: Frank loved his family,” Adrian added. “I have many positive creative things to do. I hope you all will enjoy them. none of them will have anything to do with the current Zappa universe, but I will always revere and love Frank.”
Denny Walley wrote, “I feel Frank Zappa’s presence every time I pick up my guitar. I see him with both eyes closed. I stood on stage with flesh & blood Frank Zappa. No hollow gram for me. I’m good” in a since-deleted post as per Pollstar. Walley contributed to a number of FZ albums and played in Frank’s band for a few stints in the ’70s.
Ahmet Zappa issued the following statement to Pollstar of behalf of the ZFT, “I respect that Denny and Adrian had a change of heart since we last spoke, but my hope is that once they see the artistry of the technology, how it honors my father and provides an incredible Zappa experience, they’ll change their minds – they’re the best and the door is always open for them to come back.” More collaborators and the dates will be announced soon according to Ahmet.
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