1994 et sq.—Chronology Sources, Notes & Comments

The 1994 ZFT/Rykodisc Agreement

Christopher S. Harrison, "ZFT Zapped: District Court Rules Against Frank Zappa's Widow," Music Law Seminar, November 2, 2011

In 1994, ZFT entered into an agreement with Ryko (the "1994 Agreement"), pursuant to which Ryko paid $20 million for "certain rights in and to the actual versions and mixes of the sound recordings commercially released or exploited with the authority of Zappa prior to October 6, 1994." The 1994 Agreement did contain certain restrictions on Ryko's ability to exploit the masters; i.e., paragraph 12.11 of the 1994 Agreement provides that "[n]o remixes, edits, changes in technical standards or other changes will be made by Ryko to the Subject Masters which would impact the integrity of the work as embodied in 1610 or 16301 final version of each of the Subject Masters delivered."

"Zappa Update," On The Cover Songs, January 18, 2008

Upon Zappa's death in 1993, the Trust acquired all rights and interest in Zappa's sound recordings. The Trust and Rykodisc entered into an agreement in 1994 granting the label certain un-released recordings. After a certain period, Rykodisc had an option to exploit those recordings retained by the Trust but submitted to the label for exploitation. (If Rykodisc did not exercise its option, the Trust could seek 3rd party exploitation, but Rykodisc would have a matching right.) Rykodisc was also granted the rights to exploit album artwork and images for the sound recordings it acquired, but it was restricted from altering the artwork.

 

Joe Travers, The Vaultmeister

Joe Travers, interviewed by Andrew Greenaway, The Idiot Bastard, February 14, 2001

After Frank died, there needed to be someone to look after the vault. Mike Keneally did it for a brief moment, but didn't last long. Then eventually it was learned by the UMRK crew that I knew more about what was contained in those tapes then anyone there. Gail assigned me the job.

 

December 16, 1995—Vilnius, Lithuania

Reuters Television, December 16, 1995

Hundreds of fans gathered in the Lithuanian capital on Saturday (December 16) for the unveiling ceremony of a bust of American rock star Frank Zappa. [...]

Zappa had planned to visit Vilnius and was in correspondence with Saulius Paukstys, the head of the Vilnius Frank Zappa Fan Club. But he never made it to Lithuania because he died in 1994 from prostate cancer.

It was Paukstys' idea to erect a memorial to Zappa. He organised fund-raising events and concerts to pay for the bust.

Another driving force behind getting the bust in place was Vilnius gallery director Saulius Pilinkus. He countered criticism in the Russian press that erecting a memorial to a foreign rock star was a case of Lithuania selling out to the West.

[...] The 80cm high bust was cast in bronze by respected Vilnius sculptor Konstantinas Bogdanas who made his name casting images of Soviet leaders and Communist heroes.

[...] Joe Black, representative of Zappa's record label Rykodisc, said he was honoured to be part of the ceremony.

[...] At the opening ceremony the crowd chortled when the veil snagged on Zappa's wild hair. It was soon released, the band played on and fireworks were let off.

Adam B. Ellick, "Zappa Lives in Lithuania," Rolling Stone, March 29, 2002

Paukstys, thirty-seven, and his friends sought to spread their love of Zappa, who was all but unknown to Lithuania's 3 million citizens. But with no personal connection to the American legend, the club resorted to bluffing its way into the limelight by creating two bogus Zappa exhibits at a local art gallery. The first featured letters supposedly written by Zappa to his Lithuanian admirers. Widespread reaction in Vilnius inspired a second exhibit titled "Memorial Objects of Frank Zappa," featuring clocks, knives, pens and clothes claimed to have been owned by Zappa. But none of the items had traveled further than Paukstys' apartment.

The made-up exhibitions were a massive hit with the Lithuanian public, most of whom—due to the political situation—readily embraced anything American. When local journalists inquired about the exhibitions, Paukstys promptly fabricated his widely published story about his brush with Zappa.

"We just needed a story," says dry-humored, mild-mannered Paukstys. "We never saw Zappa, but nobody ever saw God, and they still go to church," says partner-in-crime Vytautas Kernagis, a respected Lithuania musician. "Lithuania is a nation of mythology, legends and fairy tales. Everything is mystified. People believe really quickly, and one of the myths is that independence is good for everyone, with no exceptions. That's why, in such an environment, the Zappa seeds were so successfully planted."

Paukstys tested the phenomenon's limits by proposing a Vilnius-based Zappa statue to the city council. He accumulated more than 300 signatures from bandwagon Zappa fans and offered to privately finance the project. The cash-strapped state deemed it absurd, but nonetheless approved the measure.

 

1998—zappa.com

Spencer Chrislu, alt.fan.frank-zappa, November 29, 1998

I just wanted to write and let you know that as of Thursday, November 19, 1998 I am no longer employed by the ZFT. I have accepted a position as mastering engineer at Precision Mastering in Hollywood and will be up and running in my new mastering room as of January 4. [I'm leaving] for personal, professional, and financial reasons. I don't really have the time or the patience to explain all of the reasoning behind this decision (nor do I want to be sued), but let's just say we parted on amicable terms.

[...] As some of you may already know, Dave Dondorf and myself have been the authors and administrators of the Zappa web site since its inception. Dave left the Zappa employ about 2 months ago and now that I have left, I believe Gail has turned the duties of the web site over to her brother, Jay Sloatman.

 

June, 2000—Holland Festival 2000

The Program

 
 

 

March 9, 2001—ZFT vs. Emusic

Jaan Uhelszki, "Zappa's Wife Sues Emusic," Rolling Stone, March 14, 2001

Frank Zappa's widow filed a copyright infringement suit against music download retailer Emusic on March 9th in a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Gail Zappa is seeking more than $5 million in damages for alleged copyright violation of thirty-seven of her late husband's songs.

The suit alleges that the Web retailer had unlawfully made Zappa songs available for sale on its site as far back as January 1, 1999. [...] Gail Zappa is seeking a permanent injunction against Emusic to prevent the company from making the songs available, as well as damages of $150,000 per infringement and attorney fees.

Emusic is currently offering only five Zappa recordings, all collaborations with composer John Cage, for $.99 per download. None of Frank Zappa's other material is currently available.

 

Extraordinary Teamwork

"ZFT Licenses Unreleased Zappa Music Under Extraordinary Teamwork," UPI, June 27, 2003

Gail Zappa, widow of the musical iconoclast Frank Zappa, has announced the launch of Extraordinary Teamwork, a limited concern that allows music producers and artists to license unreleased music by Frank Zappa.

"Those interested may license and incorporate the music into their own work, as long as Frank gets co-writing credit for the song or composition. There are other stipulations as well in the licensing agreement . . . These renewable licenses get Zappa music to the public who may not have otherwise heard his music," informs Gail Zappa.

"The first licensee in Gene Simmons [of KISS] who is using sections of a live performance—including Frank's vocals—into a work Gene is calling 'Black Tongue.' Other licensees at this time are George Clinton [of Parliament/Funkadelic], Steve Albini [producer for Nirvana and the Pixies], Brian Eno [producer for U2 and the Talking Heads], David Foster [producer for Whitney Houston and Celine Dion], and we are in negotiations with several others whom I am cannot discuss at this time."

Dweezil Zappa, interviewed by Andrew Greenaway, The Idiot Bastard, October 17, 2015

I've never heard of the phrase 'Extraordinary Teamwork' before. It was not something that was ever spoken to me about. [...] I never had anything to do with that press release or anything, so that's new to me.

 

2006—Warner & Ryko

"Warner Music Group Corp. Announces Acquisition of Ryko Corporation," Market Wire, March 24, 2006

Warner Music Group Corp. today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ryko Corporation, a leading independent, integrated music and entertainment company from an investment group led by JPMorgan Partners for $67.5 million.

[...] Ryko Distribution will work alongside WMG's Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA), the No. 1 distributor of independent music in the U.S.

[...] Ryko includes a recorded music label, Rykodisc [...]. Rykodisc will continue as a standalone label and will be able to draw upon the resources of WMG's leading labels, Warner Bros. and Atlantic, as well as Warner Music International in promoting its own roster.

[...] Ryko Corporation, Ryko Distribution and the Rykodisc label will continue to be headquartered in New York City. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory clearances. WMG does not expect the acquisition to be material to earnings in 2006.

 

2006—National Recording Registry

Josh Grossberg, "Jimi, Stevie, B.B. Preserved," E! Online, April 11, 2006

50 recordings have been selected to be added to the National Recording Registry, it was announced Tuesday.

Instituted by Congress through the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Library selects musical and spoken word recordings that are at least 10 years old and deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" for inclusion in the permanent collection.

[...] Leading the newcomers is the Jimi Hendrix Experience's 1967 psychedelic tour de force, Are You Experienced? [...].

[Stevie] Wonder made the cut for his 1976 double album, Songs in the Key of Life, which according to the Library, marked the apex of his career thanks to "impeccable musicianship." [...]

Also making the cut was Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention's 1968 masterpiece, We're Only in It for the Money, an avant garde "sound collage" that satirized both America's conservative establishment as well as the free-love radicals of the '60s.

The most recent recording selected is Sonic Youth's 1988 art-noise opus, Daydream Nation.

 

April 20, 2006—Jammy Awards

Jonathan Cohen, "Jammys Offer Eclectic Musical Mix," Billboard.com, April 21, 2006

Frank Zappa was posthumously presented with a lifetime achievement award, while his music was saluted via performances of "Inca Road" and "Florentine Pogen" by his son Dweezil and Zappa Band principal Napoleon Murphy Brock.

 

July 28, 2007—Frank Zappa Straße, Berlin, Germany

"Berlin to Name Street for Frank Zappa," Glide Magazine, April 24, 2007

The city of Berlin will bestow a unique honor on a unique figure in modern music on July 28th when a street is renamed in memory of American rock and roll legend Frank Zappa. In the Marzahn district of what was East Berlin, "Street Number 13" will be formally dedicated as "Frank-Zappa-strasse". The ceremony will take place at the ORWOhaus, a former photographic film plant on the street that is now home to a musicians' collective. It will be the first street in Germany named for a rock musician, and the first street in a world capital named for Frank Zappa.

The members of ORWOhaus themselves proposed the street naming. What motivated a group of young German musicians to honor an American musical icon? Andreas Otto, spokesperson for ORWOhaus, explains, "Frank Zappa was one of the best all-around musicians in the world, as a guitarist, composer, and band-leader. He was celebrated for his uncompromising pursuit of musical exploration and excellence, and also for his courage using his music and lyrics to make society see its faults and hypocrisies. He didn't do it just for media attention, it was part of his highly creative and unbending character. He stood up to his own government against politically-motivated censorship—he testified with great intelligence in the US Congress, and he refused to hold back his own outrageous sense of humor. We of ORWOhaus had our own battles trying to save an unused building and turn it into an active music center, and we decided that Zappa was a great example of how a musician can have an influence so far beyond the notes on a page. We hope Frank would be proud to have his name as an address for so many musicians."

"Berlin Names Street After Frank Zappa," Associated Press, July 30, 2007

Frank Zappa Straße
AP Photo Miguel Villagran

Frank-Zappa-Strasse or Frank Zappa Street—formerly Street 13—lies on the eastern outskirts of Berlin amid empty industrial buildings in what was communist East Germany.

The street is home to Orwo Haus, a former Communist-era film factory that now provides practice studios for more than 160 bands.

Musicians at Orwo Haus campaigned for two years to have the street's name changed. Eighteen bands, including the Frank Zappa cover band Sheik Yerbouti, celebrated the renaming this weekend with an all-night concert for more than 2,800 people.

 

August, 2008—ZFT vs. Zappanale

Sebastian Knauer, "Zappa v. Bach—The Legal Battle For Rock Legacy," Spiegel Online, August 21, 2008

It is a case about trademark rights and copyright—of Zappa songs, of Zappa products, and of the famous Zappa moustache, a slightly altered version of which the not-for-profit Zappanale uses in its promotional materials. The Düsseldorf legal practice of Reimann, Osterrieth, Köhler, Haft argues on behalf of the Zappa Family Trust that the Zappanale should not be allowed to use the Zappa name on any of the T-shirts or CD's sold at the festival. Indeed, the lawyers argue, the festival shouldn't be able to use the Zappa name at all.

[...] Early on in the proceedings, the defendants pointed out that the Zappa Family Trust trademark may not still be valid in Germany. The ZFT only sells its products online and buyers may only pay in US dollars. There is no ZFT office anywhere in Europe.

"That makes things interesting," says Zappanale spokesman Thomas Dippel. Dippel is also president of the Arf Society, which is intimately involved in organizing the Zappanale. He and his lawyers have now filed a counter-claim asking the court to declare the Zappa trademark to have expired, retroactive to August 1, 2007. If trademarks aren't used for five years, they are lost, and Zappanale argues that the Zappa Family Trust has not been using the trademark in Germany. Were the court to agree, Zappa's moustache would become the property of Zappanale. ZFT lawyers have responded by asking for another hearing, one which Gail Zappa herself might fly in for.

The two sides now have some six weeks to come up with an out-of-court settlement. And the Zappa Family Trust may be willing to compromise.

 

October, 2008—Schott Music

"What's New," zappa.com, October 31, 2008

We are pleased to announce that Schott Music is now the worldwide representative for Munchkin Music, Frank Zappa's orchestral and ensemble works for hire.

 

January, 2008-August, 2011—ZFT vs. Rykodisc

"Zappa Update," On The Cover Songs, January 18, 2008

The sole trustee of Frank Zappa's family trust (and Zappa's wife) filed suit in SDNY against Rykodisc for copyright and trademark infringement. [...] According to Plaintiff, Rykodisc breached the [1994] agreement by asserting it had acquired more rights than it did, licensing various recordings for digital and vinyl distribution—thereby diminishing the "integrity" (sound quality) of the recordings—, releasing masters it did not have the rights to, issuing misleading advertisements with regards to various compilations (e.g., "Best of..."), altering the artwork, and failing to pay mechanical royalties. Thus, in addition to breach of contract, Plaintiff brought numerous copyright and trademark claims, and a claim for accounting.

On each of its willful copyright infringement claims, the Trust seeks maximum statutory damages ($150,000).

 

Project X—Alan Clayson's Book Project

Alan Clayson, The Argosy, 2009

Unquestionably, the most remarkable situation of this kind in which I found myself was a nouvelle cuisine lunch in a restaurant off Covent Garden with Gail Zappa, widow of Frank, and Diva, their younger daughter. On an adjacent table sat Meera Syal and what looked like her parents.

A month earlier, I'd interviewed Gail on behalf of Record Collector, and then mailed her my Edgard Varese tome—for, insofar as Frank ever had a boyhood hero, it was this most adventurous of modern classical composers. Impressed, Gail suggested we meet when next she came to England—which was sooner than I might have expected when her eldest child Dweazil's Zappa Plays Zappa revue reached Europe in July.

Gail sorted out gratis tickets for me at the Bristol stop of Zappa Plays Zappa during the meal. She was absolutely charming—and over dessert and then a foray round nearby shops, we debated the feasibility of me penning a life of Frank. Before the week was out, I'd come up with a working title—Project X (after a piece on the sixth Zappa album, 1969's Uncle Meat), and started prodding the nerves of an array of interested publishers, who are, nevertheless, proceeding with majestic slowness.

In order to understand the magnitude of my rendezvous with Gail, you need to know that, on a second ever trip to the capital not under adult supervision, my fifteen-year-old self had been taken aback that an entire window of Oxford Street's vast HMV store bloomed with the splendour of the macabre sleeve of The Mothers Of Invention's maiden LP, 1966's Freak Out!. From listening to it in one of those isolation booths that such outlets had in those days, the impact of Zappa and his Mothers was to ripple across the next seven years of my life—and Project X might be the biography that I have been destined to write.

 

2012—ZFT vs. Ryko—Warner Agreement

Geoffrey Himes, "Frank Zappa—A Serious Man," Downbeat, May, 2013

Frank died on Dec. 4, 1993, and Gail completed the sale of the catalog to Ryko Records in 1994. For the next 18 years, the recordings were out of the family's control, and Gail wasn't happy with what happened. In her view, Ryko emphasized the novelty aspect of Frank's music at the expense of its more substantial elements. When Warner Bros. purchased Ryko, including the Zappa catalog, in 2006, Gail saw her chance. She filed a lawsuit to force a different handling of Frank's music. Coincidentally, Frank had filed a similar lawsuit against Warner Bros. in 1977, winning the rights to his music in 1982.

"My problem at this time was not with Warners," she explains. "They were just the party that purchased Ryko. I was very distressed by some positions taken by Ryko that [I believe] infringed on the rights of the artist. Every time you do something that redefines the artist, especially in a public forum, it's like another version of identity theft, and that distressed all of us in the family. We didn't think Frank was a pop star—never. When I got married, I knew the man I was marrying was a composer, not a pop star."

The negotiations took six years, but eventually the Zappa Family Trust reached a settlement with Warner Bros. As for the details, Gail will only say, "They made us the offer we couldn't refuse—for all the right reasons."

 

2012—UME/Universal Reissues

GZ Sez, zappa.com, June 12 & 21, 2012

The digital masters were all re-transferred by the Vaultmeister and about a third of the titles were reMastered from the original analog source.

None of the new releases are "sourced" from the Ryko releases and although many represent the digital masters mostly as you have come to understand them, many do not! Each package will identify the actual source so you will be able to plan your collection accordingly.

GZ Sez, zappa.com, August 25, 2012

When you purchase any of these (as many of you have already noticed) you too will note that each and every title advises the source and year of the Master, the name of the Engineer who did the Remastering, the original year of release of the title and how old FZ was when making the record.

The CD Reissues

Release dates, from Amazon.com (retrieved April 18, 2015)

July 31, 2012:
Freak Out!
Absolutely Free
We're Only In It For The Money
Lumpy Gravy
Cruising With Ruben & The Jets
Uncle Meat
Hot Rats
Burnt Weeny Sandwich
Weasels Ripped My Flesh
Chunga's Revenge
Fillmore East—June 1971

August 7, 2012:
Just Another Band From L.A.

August 28, 2012:
Waka/Jawaka
The Grand Wazoo
Over-Nite Sensation
Apostrophe (')
Roxy & Elsewhere
One Size Fits All
Bongo Fury
Zoot Allures
Zappa In New York
Studio Tan
Sleep Dirt
Sheik Yerbouti

September 25, 2012:
Orchestral Favorites
Joe's Garage Acts I, II & III
Tinsel Town Rebellion
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
You Are What You Is
Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch
The Man From Utopia
Baby Snakes
London Symphony Orchestra Vols. I & II
Boulez conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger
Them Or Us
Thing-Fish

October 30, 2012:
Francesco Zappa
Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
Does Humor Belong In Music?
Jazz From Hell
Guitar
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 1
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 2
Broadway The Hard Way
The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life
Make A Jazz Noise Here
Understanding America

November 19, 2012:
Mothermania
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 3
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 4
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 5
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 6
Playground Psychotics
Have I Offended Someone?
Mystery Disc

December 18, 2012:
Ahead Of Their Time
The Yellow Shark
The Lost Episodes
Läther
Finer Moments

Release dates, from Amazon.co.uk (retrieved April 18, 2015)

July 7, 2012:
Freak Out!
Absolutely Free
We're Only In It For The Money
Lumpy Gravy
Cruising With Ruben & The Jets
Uncle Meat
Hot Rats
Burnt Weeny Sandwich
Weasels Ripped My Flesh
Chunga's Revenge
Fillmore East—June 1971
Just Another Band From L.A.

September 4, 2012:
Them Or Us

September 24, 2012:
Waka/Jawaka
The Grand Wazoo
Over-Nite Sensation
Apostrophe (')
Roxy & Elsewhere
One Size Fits All
Bongo Fury
Zoot Allures
Zappa In New York
Studio Tan
Sleep Dirt
Sheik Yerbouti
Orchestral Favorites
Tinsel Town Rebellion
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
You Are What You Is
Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch
The Man From Utopia
Baby Snakes
London Symphony Orchestra Vols. I & II
Boulez conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger
Thing-Fish

October 8, 2012:
Joe's Garage Acts I, II & III

October 29, 2012:
Francesco Zappa
Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
Does Humor Belong In Music?
Jazz From Hell
Guitar
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 1
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 2
Broadway The Hard Way
The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life
Make A Jazz Noise Here

November 11, 2012:
Mothermania
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 4
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 5
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 6
Playground Psychotics
Ahead Of Their Time
The Lost Episodes
Have I Offended Someone?
Mystery Disc
Understanding America

November 26, 2012:
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 3

December 10, 2012:
The Yellow Shark

December 17, 2012:
Läther
Finer Moments

Release dates, from Amazon.de (retrieved April 18, 2015)

July 27, 2012:
Freak Out!
Absolutely Free
We're Only In It For The Money
Lumpy Gravy
Cruising With Ruben & The Jets
Uncle Meat
Hot Rats
Burnt Weeny Sandwich
Weasels Ripped My Flesh
Chunga's Revenge
Fillmore East—June 1971
Just Another Band From L.A.

August 28, 2012:
Waka/Jawaka
The Grand Wazoo
Over-Nite Sensation
Apostrophe (')
[Roxy & Elsewhere]
One Size Fits All
Bongo Fury
Zoot Allures
Zappa In New York
Studio Tan
Sleep Dirt

September 11, 2012:
Sheik Yerbouti

September 25, 2012:
Orchestral Favorites
Joe's Garage Acts I, II & III
Tinsel Town Rebellion
Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar
You Are What You Is
Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch
The Man From Utopia
Baby Snakes
London Symphony Orchestra Vols. I & II
Boulez conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger
Them Or Us
Thing-Fish

November 6, 2012:
Francesco Zappa
Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention
Does Humor Belong In Music?
Jazz From Hell
Guitar
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 1
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 2
Broadway The Hard Way
The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life
Make A Jazz Noise Here

November 20, 2012:
Mothermania

December 11, 2012:
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 3
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 4
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 5
You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 6
Playground Psychotics
Ahead Of Their Time
The Lost Episodes
Have I Offended Someone?
Mystery Disc
Understanding America

December 18, 2012:
The Yellow Shark
Läther
Finer Moments

Vinyl Reissues

Michael Fremer, "Uncle Meat—Frank Zappa's Soundtrack Album To A Movie He Correctly Predicted You Would Never See," Analog Planet, January 3, 2014

For all of the current Zappa reissues, when original tapes are in usable condition Chris Bellman is given them to cut but when they are not, Zappa vaultmeister Joe Travers produces the best cutting master from available sources.

 

July 4, 2013—"Help, I'm A Rock"/"Who Are The Brain Police?" 12" 45 rpm

Help, I'm A Rock

Mog, "Fielding Paints New Zappa Cover," The Velvet Onion, May 12, 2013

As all good [Mighty] Boosh fans will know, there are a number of connections between the boys and Frank Zappa. Well now there's another one!

Noel Fielding has painted the cover of a new 12" 45rpm (red vinyl) release of Zappa's "Help I'm a Rock" & "Who are the Brain Police?" [...]

Frank Zappa's image has featured a number of times in Noel Fielding's paintings, so it's pretty special to see a tie-up between the creative output of the two artists like this.

Rhys Blakely, "The immortal Frank Zappa: 'My husband was the HG Wells of rock'n'roll,'" The Times, July 30, 2013

[Gail Zappa is] still introducing new Zappa material into the world. In one room, copies of the latest gatefold LP (the cover art is by Noel Fielding of the Mighty Boosh) are spread out on the floor.

 

April 19, 2014—"Don't Eat The Yellow Snow"/"Down In De Dew" (7")

Don't Eat The Yellow Snow

"Universal Music Enterprises Announces Exclusive Record Store Day Releases from Nirvana, Soundgarden, Blue Note, Frank Zappa, Rick James and Public Enemy," StreetInsider.com, April 16, 2014

Frank Zappa: "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow" and "Down In De Dew" (7" single | Don't Eat The Yellow Snow FZ 1974 single edit reissue | Down In De Dew FZ 1973 Alternate Mix—Previously unreleased)

"This sizzles if you like Frank Zappa," Gayle Zappa says. Recorded in 1974, yet originally unreleased, "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow" and "Down In De Dew" are from the forthcoming 40th Anniversary Edition of Apostrophe (') and will be available for the first time on a 7" single.

 

July, 2015—Ahmet, ZFT, & UME

"Frank Zappa Has A New Home With Universal Music Enterprises For Long-Term, Global Licensing And Rights Management Agreement," Universal Music, July 29, 2015

The Zappa Family Trust has partnered with Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) for a long-term, global licensing agreement for Frank Zappa's entire recorded catalog, as well as rights management participation across the rest of the visionary cultural icon's creative canon. The partnership spans Frank Zappa's vast music and film Vault for new product releases, trademark licensing, film and theatrical production.

Kory Grow, "Frank Zappa's Family Plans Massive New Release Schedule," Rolling Stone, July 29, 2015

A new partnership between the Zappa Family Trust and Universal Music Enterprises will allow for new product releases, film and theatrical productions and trademark licensing. [...]

The new partnership spans Zappa's creative canon and includes a long-term, global licensing agreement for the artist's entire recorded catalog, as well as a rights-management agreement that covers everything else. Zappa's son, Ahmet—who will be taking over daily operations of the Zappa Family Trust from Frank's widow Gail—has been working closely with Universal Music Enterprise's President and CEO, Bruce Resnikoff, on the partnership.

 

September 11, 2015—Digital Releases

ZFT, September 17, 2015

Sixteen essential Frank Zappa albums are newly available for download purchase from all major digital music retailers worldwide, including studio, concert and audio documentary recordings originally released between 1999 and 2013.

[...]

FRANK ZAPPA digital albums (available now)

Frank Zappa—Everything Is Healing Nicely
Prequel to The Yellow Shark.
Official Release #69 (originally released December 1999)
Produced by Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa—FZ:OZ
(Live At Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, Australia 1976)
Live concert recorded on January 20, 1976. 27 tracks!
Official Release #70 (originally released August 16, 2002)
Produced by Frank Zappa
Compilation Produced by Dweezil Zappa

Frank Zappa—Imaginary Diseases
Liner notes by Steve Vai. 10 Piece Band! Live! Yes, for more than an hour & you'll still have over 22 left to do it again every day! Imagine that...!
Official Release #76 (originally released January 2006)
All Recordings Produced by Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa—The MOFO Project/Object
The Making Of Freak Out! An FZ Audio Documentary released in 2006 commemorating the 40th Anniversary of that certain release that united Mutations everywhere at once!
Official Release #78 (originally released December 5, 2006)
Music Composed, Arranged, Orchestrated & Conducted by Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa—Trance-Fusion
Trance-Fusion. It's about Time. It's about Music. It's about the Guitar.
Official Release #79 (originally released October 2006)
Produced by Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa—Buffalo
(Live At Buffalo Memorial Auditorium 1980)
Another scintillating sojourn in the tour itinerary of stages past. Live 1980 Frank Zappa concert. Replete& Complete. All you need is ears!
Official Release #80 (originally released April Fool's Day 2007)
Produced by Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa—The Dub Room Special!
Originally produced for vinyl by Frank Zappa. Liner notes by John Frusciante. Close your eyes and imagine how listening to an album used to be.
Official Release #81 (originally released August 24, 2007)
Produced by Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention/Hot Rats/Grand Wazoo—WAZOO
(Live At The Boston Music Hall 1972)
Unique and BIG BAND!!!
"A must-have for all Zappa fans."—Allmusic.com
Official Release #82 (originally released Halloween 2007)
Produced by Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa—One Shot Deal
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water . . . Makes its own sauce!
Official Release #83 (originally released Friday the 13th of June, 2008)
Produced by Frank Zappa
Compilation Produced by Gail Zappa & Joe Travers

Frank Zappa—Philly '76
(Live At Spectrum Theater, Philadelphia, PA 1976)
That's right. Another concert with stuff that happened on stage that's unforgettable. Happy Birthday to America then! Happy Musiclyexcitingday for you NOW!!
Official Release #86 (originally released December 15, 2009)
Produced by Frank Zappa
Compilation Produced by Gail Zappa & Joe Travers

Frank Zappa—Greasy Love Songs
Yum & Cheap Thrills together at last. Frank Zappa Audio Documentary Project/Object. Cruise again with Ruben & The Jets playing all your favorite greasy love songs.
Official Release #87 (originally released April 4, 2010)
Produced by Frank Zappa
Compilation Produced by Gail Zappa & Joe Travers

Frank Zappa—Congress Shall Make No Law . . .
Presenting: a very LARGE Public Service Announcement. Frank Zappa tells it like it is. And you still have the right to hear it. So far . . .
Official Release #88 (originally released September 19, 2010, 35 years after the Congressional Hearing)
Musics of the 10 commandments composed, performed, recorded by Frank Zappa
Produced by Frank Zappa
Program Assemblage by Gail Zappa with Joe Travers and a little help from Todd Yvega

Frank Zappa—Hammersmith Odeon
(Live At London's Hammersmith Odeon 1978)
Brilliant performances! 1978 LIVE in London. You are there!
Official Release #89 (originally released November 6, 2010)
Produced by Frank Zappa
Compilation Produced by Gail Zappa & Joe Travers

Frank Zappa—Feeding The Monkies At Ma Maison
Melty, Melty. Delicious. Nutritious. Icy Hot. Zappa at the Synclavier. Melt your ears with your own mad digital experience.
Official Release #90 (originally released September 22, 2011)
Produced/Composed/Arranged by Frank Zappa
Compilation Produced by Gail Zappa & Joe Travers

Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention—Carnegie Hall
(Live At Carnegie Hall 1971)
Carnegie Hall (Warts & All!!!). Your ticket to October 11, 1971—Two Full Shows! Jack your Lanterns!! Tricks & Treats!!!
Official Release #91 (originally released October 31, 2011)
Produced/Performed/Conducted by Frank Zappa
Compilation Produced by Gail Zappa & Joe Travers

Frank Zappa—A Token Of His Extreme (Soundtrack)
77 Magical Moments! Take it on the road. Play it for your mom. Stuff it in your turkey. Stick it in your ear. Frank did.
Official Release #97 (originally released November 25, 2013)
Produced, Composed & Arranged by Frank Zappa

 

October 7, 2015—Gail

"Gail Zappa," zappa.com, October 7, 2015

Gail Zappa, nee Adelaide Gail Sloatman, age 70, departed this earth peacefully at her home on Wednesday, October 7, 2015, surrounded by her children.

 

Future ZFT Projects

The Roxy Performances, 1973

Joe Travers & Alex Winter, "Who The F*@% Is Frank Zappa (Save The Vault, Tell The Story)," Kickstarter, April 9, 2016

Alex Winter: Will there ever be more stuff that comes out from all this unseen unheard Roxy four-night extravaganza?

Joe Travers: Absolutely. In fact, we're—I don't wanna blow—[...] But we're working on a complete performances package of the stuff in audio form. And then we will assess the video—the film that we didn't use in the main film for other projects in the future.

Alex Winter: Right. One of which we hope will be my film.

Joe Travers: That's right!

More "Project/Objects"

Joe Travers, "Who The F*@% Is Frank Zappa (Save The Vault, Tell The Story)," Kickstarter, April 9, 2016

Yes, there will be an Uncle Meat, and there will be a Hot Rats.

 

FZ's Orchestral Music

Sam Hyken and Jacomo Bairos, interviewed by Alicia Zuckerman, WLRN, January 12, 2017

AZ: There are some very, very specific requirements for performing Zappa music at all.

SH: Yeah, first it's very expensive just to even get the music over here. It's the most expensive music that we've come across in terms of music rental. They cost about between $2,000 and $3,000 just to get the sheet music here.

JB: Yeah it's a lot. But you know, when you get the score and you start looking at it, you start to understand it's like having genius on paper.

SH: Some of the actual requirements in playing the music are hilarious. Next to every single piece of Zappa you play they give you a logo of a mustache that has to be next to each piece. [...] For his program notes, you can only write "Frank Zappa" and his dates, and the biography is: "American composer." Nothing more nothing less . . . That's all we're allowed to put on there and we have to put it on there.

 

September, 2016—Lady Gaga purchases UMRK

Ryan Reed, "Hear Lady Gaga on Buying Frank Zappa's House, Super Bowl, 'Pussy Glue'," Rolling Stone, October 24, 2016

Lady Gaga gushed about purchasing Frank Zappa's old house, detailed the inspiration of new LP Joanne, revealed how she landed her Super Bowl Halftime Show gig and explained "pussy glue" in a revealing interview Monday on The Howard Stern Show.

In September, Gaga purchased Zappa's former Hollywood Hills home, which features two recording studios—including one which the experimental rock composer dubbed "Utility Muffin Research Kitchen." "The house is very special and magical," Gaga said. "His studio is in it, and I get to keep the [sound] board! You should have seen me while I was looking at the house. The realtors would be like, 'No pictures!' and I'm in there, photographing the compressors . . . The idea is to restore it and to help it to be in its best condition, but to kind of leave it the way that it is and hear the sound that comes out."

 

 

Research, compilation and maintenance by Román García Albertos
http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/
This page updated: 2017-11-02