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Thread: Dweezil Zappa

  1. #1
    Good Enough Ian Sane's Avatar
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    Default Dweezil Zappa

    Anyone know what is happening with this album? Has it been canned?
    Will it ever see the light of day?


    DWEEZIL ZAPPA

    "WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?"

    The long awaited instrumental album is nearing completion. This is the album that features over 30 guest guitarists on one continuous 75 minute piece of music spanning infinite stylistic backgrounds. All different types of rock, jazz, country, classical, ethnic musics and acoustic experiments morphed together in an audio movie environment. Dweezil plans to finish the record in early 1996 and expects to release it by September.


    WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?
    HOW IT ALL STARTED...
    About 6 or 7 years ago I envisioned recording a guitar instrumental that challenged the boundaries of the instrument itself. After messing around with the idea a little bit I got started. That was 4 years ago... It was an ambitious concept. I wanted to use guitars to recreate the sounds of voices, violins, cellos, pianos, keyboards, horns and other stuff. Of course I wanted to do this without any type of synthesizer of any kind. Just guitars and standard guitar equiptment. I wanted to experiment with different textures and different types of music - jazz, country, classical, various popular music as well as ethnic music and anything else that came to mind. I wanted to do all of this while still remaining in the rock context. I wanted it to have the same aggressive nature as my favorite rock records. Besides that I wanted it to be one continuous piece of music.

    In the beginning I thought I could put everything I wanted in there in about 15 minutes. That soon changed to 22 minutes. "22" became the working title. Then one day I timed the project as it existed and it was over 22 minutes... Needless to say that title no longer worked. I thought silently to myself, "What The Hell Was I Thinking?" That became the new title.

    The time limitation became a non issue. The piece grew and grew. It seemed now that ultimate goal of this record was to make one song last the entire length of the CD. I also wanted to include guest guitar players. I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if I could get some of my favorite players on this record". All of the sudden the project took on a new personality. By including some of my favorite players I was able accomplish two very important things. (Important to me of course). First, I was able to hear my favorite players outside the context of their music. This has long been a fascination of mine. I wondered if I changed the background, would they still sound the same? The results of this experiment have proven to be quite interesting. (You'll have to hear the record for yourself...)

    The second important thing was that during the recording sessions of my favorite guitar players I was able to see up close and in great detail the equiptment that they use to get their sounds. (A sort of sneaky dream come true). I was curious to see if their playing transcended their gear or if their gear was the key to their sound. Out of all of the guests who played on the record there was not a single player who depended solely on his equiptment for his tone. All the best players have finger tone. That's where their personality is... that and of course their phrasing, not to mention their talent. They could play with no gain and sound great. One other related aspect of this concept was the mental state of each player during recording.

    I was curious about the guitarist's thought process or lack of thought process during playing. It was very interesting, there were so many variables. Some players were very spontaneous and had no fear of the red recording light while others were stifled by it and felt more comfortable working something out ahead of time. One hugely famous guitar player who is on the record told me he only plays out of joy or sadness. He would literally play 3 or 4 notes and take a break, perhaps to wait and see which emotion was going to inspire him. A few other players displayed a bizarre tendency to grind their teeth and sing along with what they were playing. I say sing but it actually sounded more like grunts. These "grunts" were audible because of the recording set up used for these guitarists. You see they were in rooms seperate from their amplifiers, wearing headphones to hear themselves. They were completely unaware of the sound they were creating with their bodies. It was pretty funny since what they sang or "grunted" only followed phrasing, not pitch. It was this almost anthropological study that made the project so much fun and kept me interested during it's long and arduous recording schedule.

    The next greatest task is to keep the listener's attention during the lengthy instrumental. Who knows if I will accomplish this? I've tried to morph things together and alter the background arrangements as often as possible to keep the piece moving. The best part about the project is that I've got a few friends helping me out. You might have heard of some of these guys:


    Edward Van Halen
    Brian May
    Eric Johnson
    Joe Walsh
    Steve Vai
    Warren De Martini
    Steve Morse
    Albert Lee
    Steve Lukather
    Al Di Meola
    Angus and Malcolm Young
    Yngwie Malmsteen
    Brian Setzer
    Michael Hedges
    Blues Saraceno
    Eric Gales
    Shawn Lane
    Tim Pierce

    There's a whole bunch more excellent players on there. Some you might have heard of and some you'll be hearing for the first time. If you like guitar you will like this record... At least I hope you folks will like it... I don't think anyone has ever been foolish enough to attempt a project of this nature. What The Hell Was I Thinking has certainly lived up to it's name...

    Here's a link to where I found the info... http://www.musicforpets.com/hell.html

    I'm sure this would be an interesting CD if it is ever released.

  2. #2
    5150 StevieD's Avatar
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    This is all from a dweezil message board, I put it in Chronological order, Most recently from last month....

    The ever-elusive "What the hell was I thinking?" album has been indefinitely
    canned. Much of it is done, but I think I read that Dweezil accidentally
    goofed up the tapes so that they're not real useable. I guess it was a
    learning experience for him. I don't think the album will ever see the
    light of day. Or if it does it will leak out like his version of "Stayin'
    Alive" with Ozzy on vocals.


    In more recent interviews with Dweezil in Sound on Sound this year, DZ claims to finally be finishing up WTHWIT. Over the last few years, Dweezil has completely re-done the Zappa studio and now has the technology to fix the problems on What the Hell.... So don't count it out yet!



    Ok Ok I forgot to tell you guys about "What the Hell Was I Thinking". Dweezil is going to be going to Europe soon to record Jimmy Paige and someone else( I can't be expected to remember everything can I) and he is converting the whole thing to surround sound. He hopes to have the whole thing done by the end of the year. He is really excited about it and says it is sounding really good.
    I think that is all I forgot but if I remember anything else I will let you know.


    If WTHWIT is gonna be in surround sound, it's gonna have to come out on either the SACD or DVD-Audio format to get the 5.1 experience. I'm hoping DVD-A, since that's the system I bought when the ZFT released Frank Zappa's Halloween DVD-A, and the follow up QuAUDIOPHILIAc. That said, SACD seems to be doing a little better in the market, so it could go that way too. I'm willing to bet that it'll sound killer in 5.1 though!
    =\//-/=

  3. #3
    Good Enough Ian Sane's Avatar
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    Hey Stevie, thanks for the info.

    Sure sounds like it'll be a hell of an album if it's ever released.

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    5150 StevieD's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've been looking forward to it for many years now.
    =\//-/=

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    Default Dweezil Zappa on Marc Maron this week

    Dweezil Zappa is the guest on Thursday's "WTF with Marc Maron." I haven't listened to it yet but it seems certain there will be some Eddie Van Halen talk. I'll give this a listen tonight.

    Link to the show.

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    Good Enough Ian Sane's Avatar
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    What's going on with that album he was working on featuring EVH, Angus & Malcolm Young, Brian May, etc.?
    “And what we have at our fingertips is arguably one of the greatest high tenor voices ever – that was in Michael Anthony. In our tiny little corner of the universe, that voice is as identifiable as the high voice in Earth, Wind & Fire, as identifiable as the high voice in the Beach Boys. Van Halen is an indelicate house blend of both – that’s intentionally. So I would always look forward to that reunion.” - David Lee Roth

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    Default Dweezil Zappa NY Times piece

    The recent story in the New York Times, in regards to Dweezil & the Zappa estate,
    really stunned me.

    Apparently, Gail Zappa excluded both Dweezil & Moon from the Trustees, and appointed the
    younger siblings Ahmet & Diva with full control.

    Dweezil is no longer allowed to perform under the name, Zappa plays Zappa.
    He is also not allowed to offer merchandise with his father's likeness or promote
    the obvious connection to Frank.

    Dweezil was also charge large sums of money by his own mother, Gail, to
    use the "Zappa plays Zappa" name, while she was living.

    Talk about cold.

    Now his brother & former bandmate, Ahmet, has taken complete control, denying
    even the use of the name.

    They now only speak through lawyers.

    No one has dedicated themselves more to Frank's cause then Dweezil.
    The amount of work & appreciation he has put in is staggering.
    Obviously, Frank himself did not want any of this to happen, as he made it clear
    before his death, he did not want Gail to control his music.

    This gives a summary of the NY Times piece:
    http://www.inquisitr.com/3046259/gai...franks-legacy/

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    Never ceases to amaze me how fucked up the American music industry is.

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    Your own family!

    Ahmet and Dweezil used to be so close.
    I had both Z albums (AZ/DZ).

    Dweezil, a monster musician in his own right, basically re-learned the guitar
    to accomplish the task of performing his father's music in exact detail.
    It's not like he was learning the AC/DC catalogue, he was mastering extremely intricate,
    difficult compositions.

    And now he's stripped of the right to feature the name he's utilized for ten years?

    And why did Gail purposely exclude the two oldest (and most connected) siblings
    to the Zappa Trust?

    I knew Gail was not liked by various Zappa tribute bands, yet i had no idea she
    used the same strong-arm tactics on her own kid!

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    If he didn't want her controlling it.... why did she? Dweezil and Moon are more outspoken. I'm sure they pissed her off somehow.

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    Baluchitherium thismusicsux's Avatar
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    wow crazy.

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    That is fucked up.... Fucking money... I glad I dont have a great amount of it.

    Dweezil should just go out and call his tours "Dweezil Plays Frank" although he might get a few dopey Sinatra fans rocking up...
    If you have nothing nice to say about Eddie Van Halen, you're at the right website. - Me (A few years ago)

    "People take Van Halen much more seriously than we do" - David Lee Roth (1980's)

    "I don't sit on the end of your bed while you're trying to make a living" - David Lee Roth (1988)

    "For some reason people love to complain about everything. The internet has made it easy for people to do that. Shut the fuck up and get a life, or show me how good you can do it."- Edward Van Halen

    "A lot of people ask me which Van Halen singer was better. You can't compare them. It's like asking which guitarist is better. Nobody is better than anybody. Every player is their own person."-Edward Van Halen

    "I do like Eddie Van Halen as a player. He gets it right quite often." -Paul McCartney

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    Eruption CalFB's Avatar
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    I read something a few days ago about this. Apparently Ahmet is saying it's nothing against the Dweeze, just a legal obligation. It's your fucking brother FFS and he's been doing this for years.

    If you're a Zappa fan and haven't seen the ZpZ show, you must do it. Dweezil and the revolving band of brilliance are amazing and they pay huge respect to Frank. The night I saw them, Steve Vai and Brett Garsed were guest players. It was an incredible musical experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalFB View Post
    I read something a few days ago about this. Apparently Ahmet is saying it's nothing against the Dweeze, just a legal obligation. It's your fucking brother FFS and he's been doing this for years.

    If you're a Zappa fan and haven't seen the ZpZ show, you must do it. Dweezil and the revolving band of brilliance are amazing and they pay huge respect to Frank. The night I saw them, Steve Vai and Brett Garsed were guest players. It was an incredible musical experience.
    I have a pro shot dvd of ZpZ, where Steve Vai is there too. Can't even imagine seeing that in person at a small venue. Incredible musicians!

    Wondering if Vai has commented on the recent clusterf*ck ^^^?
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

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    That's sad. Frank seemed above the petty BS while he was alive, and now his estate looks full of it.

 

 

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