This year marks two significant Zappa family milestones. It's the 40th anniversary of Frank Zappa and the Mothers' astounding 1974 live album Roxy & Elsewhere -- recorded mainly at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood over a three-night stand the previous December (the "elsewhere" were venues in Chicago and Edinboro, Pennsylvania).
It's also been 10 years since Zappa's eldest son, Dweezil, now 44, committed himself to holing up and learning his iconic father's famously extensive, complicated, oft-breathtaking oeuvre essentially note-for-note in order to play it live, keep it alive, introduce new people to the music of one of the 20th century's most important, vital (and weirdest and most hilarious) composers.
In 2006, two years after adopting his father's music as his new life's work, Dweezil hit the road with his new ensemble, Zappa Plays Zappa, to faithfully re-create those tunes. This year, the ever-mutating group is playing Roxy & Elsewhere in its entirety to celebrate the album's 40th anniversary, and adding a second set of Frank favorites and obscurities.
We caught up with Dweezil over the phone the other day from a tour stop in the Midwest...More »