.....and here's another side of the story.....
Here's the reply from Dweezil on his blog; think what you will:
Soap Opera: AKA Lengthy Blog about stupid stuff...
I recently read an amusing tale about an incident that supposedly took place stage side during one of our shows. The author of this highly exaggerated tale is André Cholmondeley. He would like you to believe he was physically attacked. More on that later...
Perhaps it is his dream come true that I would take a moment of my time to write a few sentences that publicly address him. It's a one shot deal - You're welcome.
Here you go...
Dateline - Los Angeles California:
The following are actual private e-mails between me and Adrian Belew. (I apologize to Adrian in advance if this causes him any aggravation.)
I would not normally be inclined to use private information in this way but it perfectly illustrates the details of the "non event" that follows.
Dweezil Zappa writes to Adrian Belew - (e-mail addresses have been removed.)
On June 20, 2008, at 1:42 am, dweezil wrote:
I hope this e-mail finds you doing well. I have noticed that you will be playing before us at 2 upcoming shows. I would like to extend an invitation to you to sit in with us if you like during our set. We are playing "Tiny Lites" and "Flakes" either of those 2 songs could make for a good surprise cameo.
Please let me know if you would be interested.
On June 30, 2008 12:04 pm, Adrian wrote:
please excuse my late reply.
I've always had a secret desire to show up for a concert with no guitar and no cases full of gear, just a harmonica in my back pocket.
my idea of a cool cameo would be to come out in the middle of flakes harmonica in hand, sing the sad bob dylan part, and exit stage right, hopefully to applause.
what do you think?
ps: I greatly admire and respect what you are doing for your father's legacy.
no one deserves it more than he and I've heard you do it exceptionally well.
After this first electronic exchange I was informed that Adrian was employing André Cholmondeley as his guitar tech. André's propensity for spreading misinformation and negativity has earned him a reputation. A reputation for being obnoxious and creating conflicts.
Since those personality traits hold no appeal for me I decided to write back to Adrian with a request.
On June 30, 2008, at 11:43 pm, dweezil wrote:
Nice to hear from you. Your idea sounds fun and easy.
I think people will appreciate it. They may even decide to clap a little bit... It happens sometimes.
We usually play Flakes midway through the show. I can say, "Take it away Bob or Adrian" whichever you prefer and you can enter to Ray's microphone.
Just let us know day of show if you're up for it and we'll do it.
On a different topic - perhaps an awkward one - I have been informed that you are working with Andre from Project Object. He is likely your friend as well as your employee so you may not enjoy what is to follow.
Whether you are aware of it or not he has instigated a lot of unpleasant things on our website forum and has made many transgressions musical and otherwise regarding Frank over the years. It would be my preference that he politely remove himself from my view before, during and after our set. For me
the phrase persona non grata is applicable in this case.
I can understand if you feel awkward relaying this and I can even understand if you choose not to accept my invitation to join us on stage as a result.
The fact of the matter is he knows what he has done and it should come as no surprise that I wouldn't appreciate him being anywhere near me now or in the future.
I apologize for having to bring this to your attention.
I thank both of you for your consideration and cooperation on this matter in advance.
A politely worded simple request. Here's Adrian's response.
On July 1, 2008, at 9:05 am, Adrian wrote:
please introduce me any way you like.
what key is flakes?
I'll bring the appropriate harmonica.
it's true andre works for me now.
I will make certain he is persona non grata as best I can.
as I told gail, I try always to honor frank, his memory, and his music. he remains a towering inspiration to me. I loved him too, and I could never repay him for what he did for me.
I take responsibility for my own actions, never for the actions of others.
I've have heard bits of the rhetoric surrounding project object (after the fact) but remain apart from it all.
should you or your family have any problem with anything I might ever do, please let me know.
see you onstage.
That was July 1st. Whether or not Adrian decided to convey my request to Andre I do not know for sure. But it is safe to assume by his e-mail that he had every intention of doing so.
It is also clear by his e-mail that he is aware of the existing circumstances that could warrant such a request.
Dateline - Ottawa July 5th:
Showtime for Zappa Plays Zappa. Dave Tobias is mixing our in ear monitor mix and is dealing with a keyboard that has lost phantom power. Andre saunters up and tries to make himself at home in Dave's work area. Why would he attempt to do this? Surely he has been told that it would be polite to stay away by his friend and employer Adrian Belew. One must ask, "Why not go enjoy the show from the audience or anywhere else... just be polite and respect a simple request?" Besides, who willingly wants to be in a place where they know they are not welcome?
Dave stops Andre and relays the message that he is not supposed to be there. No touching, pushing or spitting occurred. Loud talking happened, that's it. There was a concert going on and Dave had in ear monitors in his ears. At no point was anyone instructed to be rude to Andre in fact just the opposite is true. Andre even mentioned in his own blog about how nice everyone was earlier in the day. He even mentioned Dave Tobias. Everyone believed that Andre knew about the request and was willing to co-operate and watch the show from a different vantage point later on.
Apparently Adrian must not have made it clear to him that he was not welcome in the stage area. Or maybe he did and Andre decided to ignore the request? In any case, Dave Tobias was a little surprised to see Andre in his work area given all of the back story. He most likely assumed Andre was informed of the request to politely be elsewhere and that he was just trying to be obnoxious again - which is why I originally requested he politely remove himself in the first place.
That's end of the story. Probable miscommunication from Employer to employee. End result stupid drama.
The show the next night had no incident whatsoever. Andre still temerariously snuck himself to the side of the stage though. It's just his way. He can't help himself.
Contrary to his report where claims he locked eyes with me at some point during the show, I'm here to tell you that it never took place. He'd know if I locked eyes with him. "What an imagination"
Here's a paragraph dedicated solely to Andre. To me, if you really have respect for my Father and his music you have an asinine way of showing it. By repeatedly insulting Frank's family and ignoring copyright laws related to his music you have proven the exact opposite of respect. Your obsequious fawning over "alumni" and your precious associations you have with them are embarrassingly shallow. Your attempts to draw attention to yourself as some sort of soldier fighting the good fight for Frank's music reveal what you really are - a depressing epigone starving for recognition.
One last thing, for me to care at all about what you say or do would mean that I have some sort of respect for you or your opinion.
Sadly, I have neither.
End of 15 minutes...
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Correcting The Record......
-Of course Dweezil is entitled to his opinion, and much of his blog is just that. I will try to address the falsehoods.
1. Sorry, Dweezil.....despite what you think --"My dream come true" wouldn't be seeing you spell my name right (thanks!) - it would be for you and your family to leave me alone forever. Folks - I have a stack of lawsuit threats from the ZFT that will eventually be publicized after further counsel. It's been a stupid, long journey, one that actually results in much laughter for us in Project/Object as we tour around enjoying the performing of Frank Zappa's music, something we'll do for as long as we feel like it. We prefer to honor FRANK'S LAST WISH.... wherein he asked musicians AND non-musicians to "PLAY MY MUSIC." And it's funny how you repeatedly say You "could care less about me" etc...yet you write 20 paragraphs!!!!
At least I am brutally honest -- I am often fascinated with the dark energy you guys keep unleashing on fans, alumni and others who cross your path. Watching what pushes Gail's button, seeing what will make her freak out and post in some weird, cryptic response to a puzzled fan....And writing intensely about it exorcises it from my soul.
Then a few months later Gail freaks out on someone or sues them, and I feel the need to jump right in again. You're right - I'm hopeless!! last time - was when she went after that site for playing 30-year old cassette tapes of your Dad's music!!! Wasn't that a riot! Hundreds of people weighed in their disgust - again- with her behavior and clear disdain for the fans. I love how she has made you all those new fans in Germany by SUING THE ZAPPANALE... pissing off countless EU fans forever, If you are to believe their angry posts. But -- that's all for another book.
2. Dweezil wrote/blogged:
"The following are actual private e-mails between me and Adrian Belew. (I apologize to Adrian in advance if this causes him any aggravation.) I would not normally be inclined to use private information in this way but it perfectly illustrates the details of the "non event" that follows."
Wow -- how very unprofessional. And... upping the ante, huh?? I have chosen to never publish incredibly damaging emails from people very very close to Dweezil, close by profession and blood. His mother always has a big bunch of legalese in HER emails threatening legal action if HER emails are re-distributed....
...Yet, He sees fit to publish someone's private email to him...without asking first. That's some deep shit folk -- but are you surprised? And BTW -- I will for the sake of clarity consider Gail's actions identical/tantamount to Dweezil's, since he, his tour, and his work are pretty much controlled and owned as a corporate entity by her.
3. Dweezil then wrote:
"After this first electronic exchange I was informed that Adrian was employing André Cholmondeley as his guitar tech. André's propensity for spreading misinformation and negativity has earned him a reputation. A reputation for being obnoxious and creating conflicts. Since those personality traits hold no appeal for me I decided to write back to Adrian with a request."
Well -- first the funny part -- to see Dweezil Z. write "... personality traits (being obnoxious and creating conflicts) hold no appeal for me" is one of the funniest things I've ever seen...Wow. Do I even have to respond?? With a tour manager like he has (note the several stories cropping up about how she, Mary Jo, EXACTLY fits that description....) Whatever. Check Dr Dot's blog for Mary Jo's horrible, unprofessional and rude conduct at a ZPZ show in Germany. Then -- check the record for such conduct from me.
Anyway - the FACTS are as follows:
Adrian - who I spoke to minutes ago - has this to say, precisely: "..When I received the 2nd email -- After thinking about it, I was incensed - I thought Who is he (Dweezil) to tell me where my crew should be. I need André there at my show - how does he expect him to not be there after as well -- with the gear breakdown, etc."
He also reiterates what he told me right after the SCREAMING and PUSHING that his monitor guy delivered.
Adrian did not tell me, and instructed others not to, so as to not distract or upset me when I had a very busy, difficult job to do at our festival.
FACT: I WAS COMPLETELY UNAWARE OF DWEEZIL's silly, immature, and out-of-place "persona non grata" request.
I will say this-- I regret now that I chose THAT particular part of the stage to check out the show from. In hindsight -- I should have went to the rear part of stage left-- where local crew people were gathered and I would have been lost in a small crowd. Without thinking -- I ran up the stairs of the nearest vantage point from our trailer -- the monitor area. No 'wacky, evil plot' was in place. Just a random place to watch the show.
I mostly place the blame on Dweezil, of course, for such a questionable request. But - Dave Tobias/monitor guy -- real drag, Dave, that you couldn’t have just been an adult and asked me to leave.
More Dweezil Ephemera ("Bold/Quoted text"):
" [Andre'..]..has made many transgressions musical and otherwise regarding Frank over the years"
I'd love to see these listed, Dweezil. Go for it. I dare you. Would some of those transgressions be.......helping to bridge the gap between the early '90s and when you FINALLY discovered you could actually get a gig, by playing your dad's music??? Was it when I helped get a lot of alumni BACK on the road?? Was it all the times I plugged ZFT CD releases to people who had no idea of them ...'cos you guys weren't advertising well?
"It is also clear by his e-mail that he (Adrian Belew) is aware of the existing circumstances that could warrant such a request."
No-- what Adrian said (read it folks) was - he was aware of BITS OF THE RHETORIC. Huge difference. Adrian is all about the music. His music, first and foremost. He appreciates what Frank did for him, but he doesn't wade into the muck, and I never drag him into stuff.
Then the crux of the biscuit:
"...Showtime for Zappa Plays Zappa. Dave Tobias is mixing our in ear monitor mix and is dealing with a keyboard that has lost phantom power. Andre saunters up and tries to make himself at home in Dave's work area. Why would he attempt to do this? Surely he has been told that it would be polite to stay away by his friend and employer Adrian Belew. One must ask, "Why not go enjoy the show from the audience or anywhere else... just be polite and respect a simple request?" Besides, who willingly wants to be in a place where they know they are not welcome?"
So here are a couple things:
-Having worked and played countless festivals -- I know that with a laminate, you can watch from WHEREVER as long as it isn't interfering with crew activity, sightlines, space, or ACTUALLY on the stage. And even that is allowed by some bands. Take a look at ANY festival -- the sidestage is usually crowded with other crew people, techs, friends, press, etc. So that's just dumb.
Again - IF I HAD BEEN told -- MOST OF ALL BY DAVE/MONITOR GUY HIMSELF -- who was all nice and chatty with me just 2 hours earlier during OUR SHOW…then I wouldn't have come up there.
-Dweezil says definitively -- all of a sudden -- that "Surely he (Andre') has been told."
No, Dweezil, get it thru your head. I wasn't aware of your wishes, and I know YOU were explained this fact by several of your staff/crew, who it was made clear to. Some of them apologized for not telling me -- so I know the truth is known in your camp.
"Besides, who willingly wants to be in a place where they know they are not welcome?"
Try again, Pal. The fact is YOU were the ONLY person there who made me feel not welcome. Well, OK, let's include Dave and the next night, Tour Manager Mary Jo. I like how you ignored her getting physical with me the next night. Otherwise - EVERY LAST PERSON on your crew/bandstand was OK with my presence. Deal with it.
Here's where the LIE'S SO BIG kicks in, folks:
"...Dave stops Andre and relays the message that he is not supposed to be there. No touching, pushing or spitting occurred."
Outright, complete, utter LIE. And there are witnesses – but, of course, on this one point....we are descending into he said/she said. Dave was SCREAMING at me, and NO WAY can he blame the in-ear monitors. He spat in my face the whole time as he screamed 2-3 inches from me. When I say spit -- I mean the kind of obnoxious 'spittle' that happens when someone is right in your face, yelling. Dave is outright LYING if he now denies this. If he did nothing wrong ---Why did he apologize, and then apologize AGAIN the next day. We shook hands. There are countless witness to all this, both days.
I mentioned Dave being cool earlier in the day, to explain my shock that he was suddenly pushing, shoving me backwards on the little monitor stage area.
"Apparently Adrian must not have made it clear to him that he was not welcome in the stage area"
Well -- that's.....Completely true !! No one told me - Not Adrian - for reasons listed above -- BUT WORST OF ALL -- NOT YOUR GUITAR TECHS -- NO ONE IN YOUR CREW, NOT DAVE...NO ONE. Dave had every right to say, after we were rapping about amps and laptops, "hey, man --- this kinda sucks, but you can't be around here later on. Dweezil has requested we make sure you NOT be onstage. Don't be around when we start."
I would not have been surprised at all, really. But I would have KNOWN IN ADVANCE!! Really lame that all these ZPZ crew/tech/band people came up and said Hi and didn't tell me.
And -- you won't hear from Any ZPZ or ZFT people...because they are contractually required to NOT TALK ABOUT the ZFT
. Can you find anyone who does speak about their time in the tank?? It's a scary, control-freak little world in there.
DWEEZIL: "The show the next night had no incident whatsoever. Andre still temerariously snuck himself to the side of the stage though. It's just his way. He can't help himself."
Funny stuff. "Snuck On"...?? Jeez. Try harder, pal.
Folks -- it was a festival with scores of bands -- I had a laminate on that guaranteed me access to ANY STAGE at ANY TIME throughout the fest. That's how it works in the REAL WORLD, Dweezil. Maybe when you have your OWN band you may learn this. Remember how that band "Z" ended, folks?? Lots of fun stories there about how people are treated by Mr. Dweezil Zappa. Go check the facts on how people were removed from THAT organization. Horrible.
So -- after packing the Belew Band gear in to our van -- I came up to stage left, to hear some of my fave music -- trying to STAY OUT OF DWEEZIL'S SIGHT, and actually honor the requests of the crew guys, all of whom, again, were really cool. I feel sorry for them, that's all. But -- one day, one by one, they will not be working in the Gulag -- and you will only hear MORE stories. Mark my words.
DWEEZIL: Contrary to his report where claims he locked eyes with me at some point during the show, I'm here to tell you that it never took place. He'd know if I locked eyes with him. "What an imagination"
Dweez...! I thought we had a connection bro.... c'mon I KNOW you did...I was feelin' all fuzzy....Didn't you feel something....anything??? I feel so cheap....
Seriously tho' - I'm willing to conclude I was mistaken. But -- It sure looked like he was looking RIGHT AT ME. See -- I don't believe half of what Dweezil says, based on the last couple years of watching how ZFT deals with agreed-upon money deals, DVD payments and the like.. Anyway --Like I said -- I tried to stay far out of his view - I was back FURTHER than the percussion and drum riser line, way back on stage left. Doesn't this guy realize if I were TRYING TO PISS HIM OFF I would have insisted on standing on stage right near his tech so he could see me?? Or going out to the front row or photo pit?? All places I was legally allowed to be?? Crazy fucking delusions of grandeur.
Finallly -- addressing his personal paragraph to me ( How neat!! He cares!! Sigh.....!!)
- I Don't need your "respect", pal. Never did, Never will. Not yours, or anyone in the ZFT. And neither does a fan favorite like Ike Willis, who is appalled at your behavior in all this. He can't wait to get on the road again -- despite your mom going after him every time he tries to play a gig. (Everyone -- please check the facts about the HORRIBLE crap Gail pulled on URR when they tried to tour around December 21 2007. Embarrassing. My fave part was GAIL --GOING AFTER THE BEER COMPANY that does the Zappa beer -- 'cos the owner dared donate some cases of beer to the shows!!! How petty and psycho is THAT?? Wanna deny that, Dweezil?? Wanna explain it?? A matter of Public record. Folks -- just check the history. I sleep at night 'cos volumes of examples of fucked up behavior back up my side of this sordid mess, which I can't wait to be away from, really. But I don't like lies being published.
-I don't insult Frank's "family". The close family members of Frank's that I speak with regularly say they have not seen or spoken or heard from you, Dweezil, or any of you....for AGES, since we are spilling ugly personal info. I wonder why that is. Any thoughts?? I have some, and many facts to go with those thoughts. But -- those are for a later book, believe me. Interesting, huh, folks.
- My band, and ALL the other bands Gail wastes Frank’s hard-earned money suing, stays within the LAW when playing Zappa music. Ask yourself -- could we all do it YEAR AFTER YEAR, if they didn't?? More Crazy talk. And -- a funny aside -- ZPZ does the "Owner of a lonely heart" vamp for the solo in "Bamboozled" . OK fine. Are you guys paying Royalties to YES for each performance?? Every night?? Did the festival have publisher paperwork done -indicating that you were doing a cover?? What was the COMPOSER'S INTENT for that YES song??? Hmmmm. See how silly and baseless such a line of attack is? And why it GOES NOWHERE???
- I don’t "fawn" over alumni --- But --I truly love the ones I have been blessed to become good friends with. It's called LOYALTY, Dweezil - LOOK IT UP.
See- I UNDERSTAND that the fans LOVE the alumni. The fans-- unlike you, it seems -- understand that your dad hired VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE -- who not only had talent,..... but that indescribable certain something else. So many of them brought PERSONALITY to the works..... and THAT's what sets us apart. I am unafraid to celebrate the ALUMNI, and unashamed in gushing over them, that's right. I love 'em !!! They are what MAKES the sound of so many Zappa classics, and that's why he brought certain people back so many times.... It' cool - you just have a different perspective. It's OK.
Where's the LEAD SINGER from the first tour?? Why didn't he come back??? What happened there? Maybe if you guys start making money again -- you can offer him enough to come back, I dunno. But -- funny how you can’t get ANYONE who will really sell more tickets. I LOVE Ray White -- another guy who played several times with Project/Object.......before your band. But -- with all due respect -- he doesn't sell you more tickets, does he?? Not insulting Ray at all -- but fans of him are ALREADY COMING TO YOUR SHOW. And I will continue to talk to more alumni and collect horrific stories about how you and Gail have treated them. And you know that's true. I bet you just convince yourself THEY'RE ALL CRAZY.
Basically --your show is JUST ANOTHER ZAPPA COVER BAND. One with a bigger budget than most, but......to me a band like The Grandmothers is FAR more exciting....'cos the HISTORY is there. just my opinion. They still remember when you came to see them -- stood with your arms folded at HARD ROCK CAFE in LA, and were too rude to come back and say hi. To guys whom HELPED MAKE YER DAD'S EARLY CAREER. But -- that would require respect. Remember that night??
Dr Dot has re-posted your great quote about alumni. Remember that? The problem is - while you say you have no use for them - YOU NEED THEM if you EVER hope to turn around the horrible ticket-sales slide you are experiencing. Good luck!!
-I don't need attention. My life is plenty busy and fine, thank you. I DO have an unhealthy obsession with getting the facts into the public record. NONE of this would have happened if your scared crew had simply told me to stay away. So -- I lay the blame mostly there. BTW - I was offered MUCH support from a lot of your crew after the lame-ass attack. Good luck with them. They know the deal.
PS -- the most obnoxious part of this was Dweezil's inappropriate choice to post Adrian Belew's PRIVATE EMAIL without consent. Lame. Good thing that wasn't the OTHER way around -- the incredibly litigious "Zappas" would probably sue.
To wit -- here is what Gail (at least in 2005) adds to her emails. It's standard boilerplate privacy request, but, like most protocol, the "Zappa" "Family" feels they are above such nonsense as treating people the way THEY want to be treated.
copyright 2005 Zappa Family Trust.
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail transmission, e-mail address and any documents, files or previous e-mail messages attached to it may contain confidential information that is legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, or a person responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of any of the information contained in or attached to this transmission is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If you have received this transmission in error, please immediately notify the sender. Please destroy the original transmission and its attachments without reading or saving in any manner. Thank you.
So - in closing -- have a Good Day, all. I will continue to try to do my job well, and will continue to tour with various bands I play in -- including PROJECT/OBJECT -- Playing the great music of FRANK ZAPPA...and the (OFTEN SUED-BY-GAIL Mothers) anyway, anytime and whenever I choose, and with whom I choose. I will continue to stay fully within the law in doing so -- and I will continue to enjoy meeting great, fellow FRANK ZAPPA FANS.
Hmm. maybe we call our next tour ZAPPA FANS PLAY ZAPPA?? What do you think? Any votes out there?? or PERSONA NON GRATA?? I know it will be great fun -- and all are welcome. Stand by very very soon for dates and special alumni participation.