Gail Zappa daughter of a rocket scientist, wife of composer Frank Zappa, mother of Moon, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva Zappa. Writer, Art Director, Provocateur. Has changed a million diapers and a few minds — including her own. [Grammy winner: Gail and Frank Zappa, Art Directors, Best Recording Package - Boxed - 1995, CIVILIZATION, Phase III]

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Previously on gz sez...

December 9th, 2012

On Dec 2, 2012, at 12:39 PM, Dan Cullinan wrote:

Hi Gail,

I was reading that Frank worked with Bob Dylan in 1982 and Frank’s engineer Mark Pinske recorded the session. Would there be any possible release of this session?

From Dan

Do tell:  Source of this information?

Re: #7

November 3rd, 2012

On Nov 2, 2012, at 9:04 AM, Don Firth wrote:

On the remastered cd on the spines which album is number 7 it goes from 6 to 8 thanks

Yes. We know. And that album is coming out shortly. My first obligation was to rerelease the Original Masters in distribution with Warners. But that does not change the Original Official Discography that has always been up at My next obligation was to reMaster titles that were in critical condition. There are 22 of those at this time. The rest we may address as we consider HD & vinyl. In some cases, you never know, there may be 2 versions out there. But all of the information you are looking for is at

Re: Videos

October 29th, 2012

On Oct 28, 2012, at 5:18 PM, Darren Marshment wrote:


Is there a plan to release FZs video catalogue?

Darren Marshment

In the overall scheme of things, yes – it would be fair to say that somewhere in the many-pocketed overalls of destiny there are lurking videos, audio recordings, movies, objets d’art, and all sorts. A mere rip in the fabric of time (or time’s denim) and they shall be delivered. But, there is not a current focus on anything in particular at this moment save Roxy and . . . uh oh, the phone is ringing. Gotta go! Thanks for your question!


Re: Distortion

October 17th, 2012

On Oct 10, 2012, at 8:16 AM, IAN ENTWISTLE wrote:

Hi Zappa People,

Just wondering if the new 2012 overnite sensation is to be re-mastered again with the correct stereo image,i.e.left and right channels the right way round like the last cd from 1995,Discreet Vinyl and Barfkin Old Masters Vinyl versions,in order to complete my growing collection.

The new one I’ve just recieved has been mastered the wrong way round.Ive heard people complaining about distortion.However,I’ve noticed that you invariably get distortion when the channels are reversed.I’ve got about 30, 2012 analogue transfers and there all terrific.Keep up the good work.

Look forward to hearing from you URGENTLY !!!,obviously.

Many thanks and kind regards,


Hello Ian,

A coupla things: 1. I have it on excellent authority that distortion is not a function of switching stereo channels. 2. FZ is KNOWN to have switched stereo channels at will – his, I might add – and it is not our business to interfere or “correct” the sorts of things he does. 3. the distortion of Over-Nite Sensation has always been there, perhaps a bit more prominent along with other sonic information as a result of this new remaster which, according to the Vaultmeister, “reflects the original 1973 vinyl stereo image and sonics.”

Thanks for your kind attention,



Re: Joe’s Garage half-speed mastering?

September 27th, 2012

On Sep 25, 2012, at 10:32 PM, Paul wrote:

Hi Gail, were the new 2012 Joe’s Garage CD’s done at normal speed mastering? I read an old interview where Frank wasn’t happy with the sound of the half-speed mastering done for Joe’s Garage and it could be assumed that the previous CD releases were the half-speed versions.

I’m off to buy some more 2012 releases tomorrow, and just wanted to know the technical info about Joe’s Garage!



The answer is a resounding no. And none of our remasters (so far no vinyl except Hot Rats) are being considered for half-speed. The Vaultmeister did a little research for you: Half-Speed Mastering is a technique used when cutting a lacquer for vinyl releases only. Definition: Half-speed mastering slows the master tape and record lathe to 1/2 of their original speed to capture detail that might be missed if run at full speed. FZ’s quote from the internet:

ZAPPA: On the Joe’s Garage album, we used half-speed mastering on all three of those discs, and I’m not totally delighted with the results.
TOM MULHERN: Do you have any examples?

ZAPPA: Let me give you a very graphic one. We cut it at half-speed, and the stylus can carve very careful, perfect, little high-frequency wiggles on the record. That doesn’t mean when it’s turned into a stamper and goes onto that vinyl that those wiggles are necessarily going to be there. You may just be fooling yourself. You may hear it great coming off of a reference disc, but not off of a pressing. And that’s what I think happened with Joe’s Garage. It just didn’t carry through all the manufacturing process. Recently, I’ve cut some normal-speed refs on the Joe’s Garage album, and since the time of the original mastering there have been some advancements in normal-speed lathe technology. You can get more level on the record, and so forth. So the new refs sound fantastic. They have plenty of top end and plenty of bottom; they sound much more like the master tape than the half-speed version did.

So, according to this, the first L.P. release of Joe’s Garage in 1979 (Phonogram/Zappa Records) might have been mastered at half speed. But we think the later releases were the recut versions FZ is referring to above. On the other hand, half-speed mastering does not apply to mastering CDs, as in our current release which we advise on the package itself that the source used was the original master tapes, not half-speed mastered copies or any other copy or format for that matter.



“Music is the Best!”~fz

Re: New Releases

September 24th, 2012

On Sep 24, 2012, at 2:36 AM, Tom Coles wrote:

Morning All.

Great to see Franks albums being re-released. I have been a fan for forty years … since I was 13 years old. I have all of his albums, many on Vinyl as well as CD, Books, Guitar Magazines, I saw him live a few times here in the UK, I have most of Dweeziil’s albums, I have seen ZPZ numerous times etc … etc. No doubt I’ll buy some of the ‘new’ versions … for the odd remix or ‘additional track’.

I’m sure you must realise that most true fans already have most if not all of the Great Man’s work.

My question is a simple one … when will we see the release of previously unreleased material?

What happened to ‘live at the Roxy’ … both ZPZ and Franks ‘legendary’ performance(s)?

We’re all getting older and we need some new stuff now!

Best Wishes and Regards,


Tom Coles.



We know well that there are no ex-fans of Frank Zappa. But we also know there were the proverbial 60 + albums he released in his lifetime. We also know that we have released 56 titles (all of those 60) on iTunes and are releasing 12 a month on CD – for another total of 60. One of these will be #93. We will hit 100 albums shortly. Are you with us on that? Because the answer to your question of previously unreleased material tends to indicate that you’ve already missed out on more than 25 albums. And we are about to make an announcement regarding the Roxy material. Good timing!

Thank you sharing!


“Music is the Best!”~fz

Re: a comment

September 18th, 2012

On Sep 17, 2012, at 3:56 PM, Yusuf Malenky wrote:

I already have every Zappa cd release so I wasn’t planning on buying the new remixes. However, I decided to update Hot Rats since I only have the 1987 mix. WHOA! the new mix is SUCH a revelation I’m going to have to find money to update the catalogue! Thanks for revealing the music more fully.

Whoa!, yourself. You are so very welcome. Thanks so much for your comments but not all Titles were remastered. If you look on the album package on the back you will see exactly what the source is – so you can compare that to what you already have. Enjoy!!!

Re: roxy?

September 14th, 2012

On Sep 13, 2012, at 10:18 AM, Edwin Kool wrote:

I recollect an thrilling announcement earlier this year concerning Roxy and its release somewhat this year. After that my mailbox remained silent. That can have multiple causes but an update would be very much appreciated.

Thanx in advance so the speak.

From Holland with love

Edwin Kool

Today is my wedding anniversary and so I will tell you this: Stay tuned. The Real Frank Zappa Roxy Announcement will be yours not later than Moon’s birthday this year. And it is thrilling.

“Music is the Best!”~fz

Re: Question

September 14th, 2012

On Sep 14, 2012, at 5:10 AM, Nick Meyers wrote:

Hi Gail / Barfies,

Can you tell me the titles comprising the final batch of 12 original albums for release in November – presumably will include YCDTOSA vols. 3 through 6 and Yellow Shark?


Nick Meyers – huge UK Zappa fan since the late 70’s…yippee do

Ahhh. Tricky question. I see how you are. Out of a total of 56 actual Titles (considering some of the combined ones – Joe’s Garage and SU&PYG and LSO par example – you want to know how we are planning to get to 12 in November. Cheeky clever you are. Let me just confirm that for you Nick. That would be a yes on 12 – with fingers crossed. How we get there from here is a mystery so far but does include Mystery Disc. And YCDTOSA 3 – 6 and Yellow Shark and Playground Psychotics and The Lost Episodes with some Have I Offended Someone? on the side – and one or two surprises! Cross your fingers for me and we’ll get there together! (Did I mention Vinyl?)

Thanks Nick.

“Music is the Best!”~fz

Re: Congratulations

September 13th, 2012

Hello Sean. The content of your letter that I have addressed is in blue below. My comments are in red. Thanks for your good will.

“Music is the Best!”~fz

On Sep 11, 2012, at 6:34 PM, Sean wrote:

Hello Gail Zappa,

I’m writing about the recent victory over Ryko/Warner Bros.
Since no details were disclosed and some fans seem to want to know what the deal is, and some seem to feel it was appropriate to attack you in the past and still, I would like to offer some observations. If I get anything horribly wrong please correct me.

I have read in an interview from 1995 that the sale of the masters to Ryko was arranged prior to FZ’s death for an undisclosed amount. True.

At the time the estimate was 40 million. Speculation.

This was only for the masters and the license to distribute them. True.

All copyrights remained with you, as well as all publishing rights. Not True. It was a Sale of the Masters but nothing to do with the publishing.

It was always Frank Zappa’s intention that the digital distribution rights remained with the family. True.

This sale was finalized in 1994. Signed in 1994. True.

In 1997 Ryko began working with outside parties to increase the size and value of their Zappa catalogue, notably the release of “200 Motels” in a joint venture with MGM. Speculation.

Due to the relatively short existence of this title Speculation.

I have concluded that this was initially undertaken without your consent or input. True.

As you own the copyright on the name Frank Zappa. True.

you had leverage to stop the continued distribution. Speculation.

Ryko then proceeded to release a long list of unauthorized comilation disks, even though Speculation.

new content was still being provided to them such as “Lather,” True but not part of Sale

“Mystery Disc,” and “Have I Offended Someone?” True – part of Original Sale.

I do not know when the unauthorized digital distribution began, but I have heard it mentioned that download sales were not being properly reported to you and therefor exact amounts of royalties could not be determined. True.

This was the reason for the lawsuit. Speculation.

in undertaking without your consent the digital sales, you had a legitimate claim of Breach Of Contract. Whoa, whoa, “legitimate” has become an obscene term recently. Also Speculation.

In 2006 Ryko was taken over by Warner Bros. No comment.

You wound up having to fight them a second time and WON. Speculation.

You got back all distribution rights because Ryko now owned by Warner Bros. had violated the terms of the contract. Speculation.

Now here’s my question.
Do they still have their copies of the masters that were sold to Ryko in 1994? Their useless masters that they can do nothing with because they don’t own the rights? This I cannot answer but I can say that Warners currently are enjoying no further rights with respect to the FZ Masters sold to Ryko in 1994.

Congratulations on kicking Warner Bros. ass again. I have them and a few lawyers to thank for getting the Masters returned to us. The only asses in the picture besides democrats too lazy to vote are those who have been casting their ill-will towards me and my family for years.

XOXOXO, Sean. Thank you.