Thursday, November 13, 2008

Life is very sh Part III

since I'm on this train of thought, I would like to clear up one more thing.
a few months back I was asked by dweezil zappa to join the zappa plays zappa
show in canada for an onstage performance of flakes, the dylan imitation.
in an email to me dweezil also asked that I make certain
andre cholmondeley, my tour manager and guitar tech,
would be persona non grata.
in other words dweezil did not want to see andre at the show.
there is an ongoing battle between the zappa family and andre.

I told dweezil I would try my best to insure he would not see andre.
but I put it off and put it off and I want to make this clear:
I did not say anything to andre.
andre had no idea that he should keep out of dweezil's sight.

why did I not keep my word to dweezil?
andre is a valued member of my crew and a friend.
I know how much he loves frank's music.
I could not bring myself to hurt andre's feeling.

naturally, the worst happened.
andre was banished from watching the show
by one of the zappa crew members
and things got a bit ugly.

I want to apologize to both andre and dweezil.
I should have told andre or should never have
given my word in the first place.

on a happier note:
when I walked onstage to sit in with zappa plays zappa
armed with only a harmonica and my pitiful dylan voice,
I suddenly felt transported back to my time onstage with frank.
dweezil so resembles his father in looks and in voice
that I had to do a double take to be sure where I was.

it was a very special moment for me
which brought back a flood of memories.

I miss frank.


  1. Hi Adrian - I'm a big fan, loved you in Baby Snakes and on 'Young Lions'.

    This all sounds like a big misunderstanding. Sorry you guys had to go through it.

  2. man sounds like the young zappas need to do head check. i am glad you did not play the dumb game,

  3. one last thing what did frank say, shut up and play your guitar

  4. que mal che, venite a vivir a bs As, nadie te va a joder

  5. The Zappa family seems to have ongoing problems with all sorts of people, events, bands and maybe even crustaceans for all I know. Sorry to hear you got caught up with it.
    But happy to see that you have a blog.

  6. Andre is an amazing person and if you think about it, He kept the ball rolling for ZPZ to actually work more and get more gigs, (while "Z" was down, Andre loving the music, started something i never thought i would see, the amazing Ike Willis playing in small bars, playing the music we all loved...) dont worry about it... he is hoping really in the long run maybe you and Dweez can make some real music together again...

    Speaking with George Duke last fall, he said ZPZ offered him ALOT of money to do the tour, but he felt, the humor was all gone and that's all he wanted to do.

    Cheer up Adrian, you have quite the resume.

    Go see Phil Lesh, would love to see you play with him! Hell, John Scofield played amazing in his band!!!!

  7. Mmmmm.... it must be all the applause/adulation (dare I say "fetishism") that causes so many problems....

    Of ALL your incredible talents Ade, this has to be the one that I admire so very much -

    You've never let it get to your head....
    You've never forgotten who you are....
    You've never lost sight of the music, and those who love to hear you play it your way!

    To watch you live onstage - and be totally rocked and moved by what you do, and how you do it, is a complete honour!

    Good luck with your trip to Australia - I so wish I could be there to experience it myself. Next time, maybe you could include a date in Perth, Western Australia, so that my kids can experience the True Blue BELEW!

  8. Adrian,

    It is so hard to control how other people relate to each other. I hope you and Andre can turn this experience into art.


    Famous Jonny Mambo

  9. It is shameful what the Zappa family has done to the various FZ tribute bands out there.They have kept Franks music alive.I doubt that Frank would have wanted the family to stamp out all these bands the way that they have attempted to.Not everyone can afford $100 or more to see Zappa Plays Zappa.And what about all those years prior to ZPZ's existence?It was the only way to enjoy Franks music live.

    I have owned a CD shop for the last 20 years,and whenever a Frank tribute band would play locally I would sell a bunch of Zappa CD's.This of course means that the Zappa family actually makes money off these tribute bands playing.They should leave these bands alone,and enjoy the cash that is generated by their gigs.

  10. well-welcome back to blog-world---you've been missed--my comment---is about all three--of these recent posts--1st---mitch---yes he will be missed---robin and i were to go to the recent--"experience hendrix"--shows-but our
    "phillies" took precedent--with them going to the world series.2nd----yes--your other two topics-i personally feel THE WORLD--EVERYONE
    needs to revisit a lifestyle of PEACE-LOVE-
    AND TOGETHERNESS--ego's abound-attitudes ablaze
    we-(humans)can be downright inconsiderate--obnoxious among other things.
    the nin song "hurt"-rings in my ear--that whatever we do to ourselves-others---in our time walking this planet-and when we're done/gone--all that's left is that perverbial
    pile of dirt.maybe i've seen too much of deaths
    this year-(my mom-mitch-buddy-good friend sam d'amico)--too many drummers---true we are here
    only as long as "supposed to be"--so sometimes
    this stuff that we harp on-these demands that we make of each other,well maybe WE need to
    retool our minds to better thoughts,nicer ways
    of getting points across to each other--basically--like that famous man said a few years ago--"why can't we all get along"-(rodney king)-ha-----anyway----we-slicks-
    love andrian belew-the belew crews-actually
    love isn't a "four letter word" to me--it's
    something i work hard to get across to people--
    because--"love is all you need"---now listen to that recording or "word"--then try "it" out
    PEACE-LOVE TO ALL--GARY--"slickdaddy"-

  11. I just saw NIN in Florida and Trent whipped out the Parker Fly Model guitar in black. Being a fan of Adrian Belew I recognised it immediately. I was jealous, I really want to try playing one of these. They look nice.
    They were playing songs from Ghosts I-IV and I thought to myself, were's Adrian? Jolly good show it was though. As to respect of the topic maybe in the future people can learn to exsist peacefully... until then I will not hold my breath. Drama is contagious.

  12. petey twofinger here , what a bad year this has been !

    personally we lost my wifes father , my step father and i suffered a serious back injury , resulting in the loss of employment . loss , injury , financial rock bottom , more loss , bad news , more bad news . i cant even make music ! truely scary times . 20 years ago i had a really bad year , your music REALLY changed the way i looked at ALOT of things , i owe you , and feel great admiration for that .
    my prayers and best wishs go out to all who have suffered , things are going to get better soon , i can feel it .

    r.i.p. jimmy carl black .

  13. A decision was made to re-visit my Zappa collection. It makes me happy to also remember his genius. It is unfortunate this incident had to happen. I hope these people work out their differences. These kinds of things are very uncomfortable.
    Joe Horizon

  14. I don't know, Mr. Belew? Was it worth hurting your friend Andre for a few moments in the limelight with Dweezil? I will not be attending any ZPZ shows no matter what the price. I've seen the real thing (Frank) and both Andre's and Ed Palermo's band. That's good enough for me.

  15. Great story and great blog. Been a fan for years!

  16. I won't be giving DZ any of my $$$.
    I would see Project Object, but Gail's Drooling Midrange Attorneys killed off the Boston show.

  17. I had a strange run in with Dweezil once.

    I tuned tambourines for a Foghat tour. We played a 2 day festival with ZPZ, and they were on stage in the middle of their set on the 2nd day. I was standing offstage watching. Dweezil started playing a solo and I said to the lighting rig guy "Wow, thats almost good".

    Dweezil stops playing immediately. The rest of the band stops. Dweezil is staring at me. I said quietly "there is no WAY he heard me". Dweezil drops his guitar and starts running for me. I took off for the front of the stage and jumped to the ground. Dweezil follows, leaping onto my back. He depanted me and started shoving a Crate amplifier in my rectum.

    "This is outrageous" I yelled.
    "I don't care" he said laughing maniacally. Unfortunately he got the amp all the way in before Gibby Haynes wandered by and clocked Dweezil in the head with a Parcheesi board game.

    Project Object shows on the other hand are much safer. Except the time Andre dented my cervix with a mike stand. Pretty sure that was unintentional though.

    Be good Adrian.

  18. "You know you can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself"

  19. Once again this strange and obnoxious Andre Cholmondeley inserts himself center stage in another drama queen moment for all to see. It is so predictable to see he and his trolls (all 2 of them) posting here for more drama and attention.

    This issue has never been Frank's wife or Dweezil's actions, it's been the trite antics of those (musicians and collectors/downloaders alike) who refuse to honor the legal guidelines set by the Zappa Family Estate.

    It's too bad Adrian got caught in the middle. Both Dweezil and Cholmondeley need to grow up, especially DZ who should know better than to even acknowledge a strange glory hound like Andre.

    What a mess.

  20. Anyone who has spent ANY amount of time with Andre would know better than to use the term "drama queen" as a descriptor. The guy is about the least dramatic, least fussy, artist I have ever spent time with. If you read the post by Adrian then you know that Andre walked into a wasp's nest of bad juju without any way of knowing it. Everyone else knew what the deal was. I'd be pretty freaked out too. The ZPZ folks assume that Andre is being belligerent, and Andre assumes that the ZPZ crew has gone mad as a hatter. You don't need to be a genius to see how this could not end well.

    My sincere hope is that ZFT decides that coexistence is the best way forward, and that they recognize that the very few bands that make an effort to play the music of FZ are either benign or beneficial. Just like any other kind of music, the greatest benefit to al parties comes from having it performed by a wide range of musicians in a wide range of contexts. I believe that Zappa gave crucial exposure to the 20th century composers that influenced him, and there are plenty of 21st century performers that want to do the same for Frank's legacy. Stravinsky probably moved a few more platters thanks to FZ, ZFT moves more product thanks to the efforts of the very same bands that they harass... that's how it works.

    I've been to a few P/O shows, and at three of them I have helped newly exposed fans make lists of FZ albums that might be up their alley. They buy FZ music.

  21. Gosh, you'd never know he wasn't a drama queen if it wasn't for all of his pissing and moaning all over the interwebs.

    Queen Andre needs to seek mental health and cure his obsession over the Zappa family.

  22. It must take a lot of nerver to come to this site, and post crap about Adrian's employees. It reflects on Adrian. Talk about no class.
    I wish the ZFT people would please leave him alone already? What did Adrian do to deserve this?

  23. Why didn't Adrian tell Andre about the conditions of Adrian's invitation to perform with Dweezil Zappa? Why didn't Adrian either comply with Dweezil's conditions or decline Dweezil's invitation?

    Why didn't Adrian resolve this conflict before "naturally, the worst happened"?

    Because resolving the conflict would have possibly prevented Adrian from getting onstage and fetishizing his memory of Frank Zappa - "it was a very special moment for me
    which brought back a flood of memories" - which was the goal.

    You can do whatever you want, as long as you pick up the tab - in this case it looks like Andre picked up Adrian's tab on this one. I guess that's what a valued member of your crew is for....

  24. please let it be and move on.
    I have moved on.
    andre has moved.
    and I bet dweezil has moved on too.


  25. Sorry Adrian, but clearly Andre hasn't "moved on" as he continues to piss and moan about it all over the web. Time to rein your boy in.

  26. Anonymous posts are chickenshit

  27. And all through this nonsense< I am sure that Frank is smoking a cigarette and drinking black coffee and laughing his ass off. "Dumb All Over, Yes We Are"

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