I found it coincidental that news broke on Monday about a Frank Zappa hologram experience. The announcement seemed designed to build on the hype surrounding Justin Timberlake’s tribute to Prince at the Superbowl. The rumor mill speculated that half-time would involve a Prince hologram concert appearance, which did not materialize.
In 1974, Frank Zappa transformed his Los Angeles rehearsal space into a sound stage and cranked out a passionate, trademark performance seen only by the camera operators in the room who captured every last bizarrely beautiful moment. This footage, locked away in the Zappa vaults for 44 years, will serve as the basis for what will be the world’s most ambitious hologram tour to date, blending live footage of Frank with outrageous visuals that offer a striking view into his complex musical works. Dates for “The Bizarre World Of Frank Zappa” performances will be announced in the coming months.
According to Ahmet Zappa, EVP of business development for Eyellusion and co-trustee of the Zappa Family Trust, “My father and I actively discussed 3D and holography and it was a concept he actively engaged in. He actually devoted half a chapter of his The Real Frank Zappa Book (1990) to this subject.”
When plans for the hologram show were initially announced last year, Ahmet Zappa “hinted” that his more musical siblings Moon Unit and Dweezil could be involved. However, Dweezil Zappa expressed surprise at his name being mentioned and at the existence of a hologram show at all. He then used the announcement to draw attention to his ongoing legal battle with the Zappa Family Trust over his ‘Zappa Plays Zappa’ show.
Not sharing his brother’s certainty that Frank would have been delighted by the show, Dweezil also began selling t-shirts emblazoned ‘No fake Frank’.
I know that it has been one of my regrets to never see Frank Zappa in concert. I am torn about attending if the concert is available near me. I have been an active supporter of Dweezil’s right to use the Zappa name in his shows. I have seen Zappa Plays Zappa with my son twice in concert including their début in NY City.
I truly hope that a fair legal resolve can be arrived at for all the Zappa surviving children.