Dweezil Zappa upholds father's legacy
By David Lindquist
Published in the Indy Star - July 20, 2007
Frank Zappa left his mark on 20th-century pop culture in a variety of ways.
Before dying of prostate cancer at age 52 in 1993, Zappa composed avant-garde jazz pieces such as "Peaches en Regalia," performed devastating blues-rock solos on guitar, recorded novelty hits "Valley Girl" and "Dancin' Fool," and distinguished himself as a champion of free expression, decrying the Parents Music Resource Center.
With the Zappa Plays Zappa tour, which visits the Murat Egyptian Room Sunday, Zappa's older son, Dweezil, revisits the avant-garde compositions and extraordinary guitar work for three hours per night.
In a recent phone interview, Dweezil, 37, talked about the legacy of his father -- someone he's always referred to as "Frank."
Question: The breadth of Frank's work is staggering. Is it rewarding to be able to show several sides of that in one evening?
Answer: For me, it's really important to show what made Frank different as a musician and a composer. . . . I don't think people have enough respect for who he really was, because I don't think they understand it.
Q: A person can make their own crash course in his music and interviews today through something such as YouTube. Is that a good thing?
A: I think it's great to be able to access all this stuff and learn about people and their music. What isn't great is all the copyright issues that are being ignored...
Q: What about free expression in 2007? Do you think Frank would feel we're doing OK with that?
A: I think it's much easier for people to go ahead and reach people with things they say. Then again, you have mandate of being politically correct. I think he would definitely not pay attention to that. Not that he purposely went out of his way to offend people, but in this day and age anybody's offended by anything.
He never did anything that was easy. His whole career, people told him, "Nope, you can't do that. It's impossible." He not only did it, he did it on his own. He had to pay for it almost all the time. The point is that he had his own artistic drive and integrity, and he never faltered on that.