“Dweezil Zappa is the only Zappa offspring that is the legacy of his father’s music in the truest sense of the word. As a guitar virtuoso, and as somebody who has spent his life mastering and continuing to try to master and put out into the world the music of Frank Zappa – he’s the guy. He’s the one with the talent and he’s the one being pressed.”
He did so because, as he told Marc Maron, “I’m a huge fan of the music, and I wanted his music to be heard by new generations – also the core fans that have been excited about it and supported it all these years.” That was Dweezil’s primary motivation for learning, rehearsing, and hiring world class musicians to perform the ofttimes complex and hard to master music of Frank Zappa.
What was her motivation for doing so? According to Dweezil, Gail Zappa trademarked the name Zappa Plays Zappa “Under the pretense that anyone with the last name Zappa could -if they wanted to- go out on tour and be Zappa Plays Zappa.”
“That aside, t was a contract that was created by my mother that required me to pay a thousand dollars a show every time I played the music of Frank Zappa and I was supposed to, at a certain point, get some of the money rebated back to me. I don’t know why the contract was written that way.”
Dweezil told Marc Maron that Gail also orchestrated a merchandise agreement that granted her a whopping 60 percent of all merchandise sales at Zappa Plays Zappa concerts, whether or not tee shirts and other merch bore the likeness or name of her late husband.
Does this odd behavior indicate Gail Zappa was mentally incapacitated? When Maron flat-out asked Dweezil if he saw Gail Zappa as mentally ill, Dweezil described the following mother-son exchange.
Zappa Plays Zappa was getting ready to tour, and Dweezil told Gail that dates and details needed to be added to the Zappa dot com website.
Dweezil noted that he recently resumed contact with his uncle after 35 years and found his autobiography, Growing Up Zappa, to be a cathartic and enlightening read. As if all this were not awful enough, it turns out that Gail Zappa lied to her kids when she told them their father had not left a will.
In response, Dweezil changed the name of his touring band to the cumbersome Dweezil Zappa Plays the Music of Frank Zappa.