Zappa plays Zappa Edinburgh June 18th 2009

Zappa plays Zappa Edinburgh Picturehouse June 18th 2009

Went to see (Dweezil) Zappa plays Zappa on Thursday night in Edinburgh. I figured it would be interesting to see how Dweezil lives up to his dad’s legend; all reports suggest that he does so very well and that the show is great. I knew it would bring back some memories; the first time I saw Frank Zappa live was at Edinburgh Playhouse in the mid-70s. We’re  only in it for the Money was played a lot in our house in the late 60s; it was one of my favourites albums at the time.

Drove up to Edinburgh at around 4 o’clock. The journey took longer than usual because of traffic; I got into the city at around 7pm. I’d planned to drive through Princess Street, but found it closed due to road works so took a diversion up the Royal Mile, round by the castle, and after a few twists and turns I found myself in Lothian Road and opposite the venue. The Picturehouse is a lovely old cinema which has been recently converted into a rock venue. When I got in all the seats upstairs have been taken (to my dismay, I really do need to sit down these days) so I find a spot close to the front of the stage downstairs. I buy a Suzie Creamcheese t shirt for Laura (have to explain who Suzie is) and make my way back to the front of the stage and wait for the band to come on. 

Dweezil and the band take the stage to a great reaction. “We finally made it to Scotland” he says to a great roar. A lot of people have waited a long time for this. Straight into Black Napkins; great guitar; Dweezil’s playing could well be his dad.  The band is great, great singer, and Sheila on sax, flute and keyboards is a star. The band is tight and plays the Zappa music exactly as meant.

Some of the set list was quite unfamiliar to me. I was hoping for more 60s Mothers material which is the stuff that I know well. But the 2.5 hours went over quickly; the music was great even though I was hearing some of the songs for the first time. To me it was worth going to see them play Peaches en Regalia and Willie the Pimp from Hot Rats alone.
 The place was packed with hard core Zappa fans (both old and young) and they gave Dweezil and the band a great reception.

At the end Dweezil and the band stayed at the front of the stage to shake hands and sign things. It was a bit of a crush, but I managed to get his autograph and a plectrum. The guy next to me was shouting (in a strong Scottish acent) “Dweezil, I’ve got your dad’s autograph and I need yours”. He turned to a young lad by us and said “I’m 56 you know and I saw his dad a few times”. There were several people telling him that his dad would be proud of him. Quite emotional to see really.

Drove back and got home around 1.30am. Very stiff the next morning and have to drag myself out of bed for work  (mental note; always get a seat if I can).

Setlist : Black Napkins-Magic Fingers-Wind up working in a Gas Station-Montana -Pygmy Twilite-Village of theSun-Echindas Arf-Outside Now-Bamboozled by Love-Inca Roads-King Kong (solos incl Careless Whisper on sax!) – Zombie woof -Encores Peaches En Regalia – Bobby Brown  (with music from the band and vocals by the crowd!) – Willy the Pimp


my ticket signed by Dweezil

my ticket signed by Dweezil

plectrum given to me by Dweezil

plectrum given to me by Dweezil


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by djnlsn on March 30, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    There was a big todo over Gail suing Zappanale as to unregistered use of his name and image. She lost in a German court. Frank, if anything, was a very astute businessman. He’d be supporting her 100% right now. I’m personal friends with Darrell and Geronimo, sons of Jimmy Carl Black. They’ve often expressed how bitter their father was towards Frank as he had ‘stolen’ numerous ideas concocted by the original Mothers and portrayed them as his own in later ventures for which they never received a mention. Que sera, sera.


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