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Line-up for Frank Zappa hologram tour announced

By | Published on Tuesday 6 February 2018

Frank Zappa Hologram Tour

The line-up of artists involved in the upcoming touring Frank Zappa hologram show has been announced. And this time there’s no mention of Dweezil Zappa.

Longtime Zappa players Ray White, Mike Keneally, Scott Thunes, Robert Martin and Joe ‘Vaultmeister’ Travers will make up the permanent touring line-up. Meanwhile, occasional guests confirmed to be involved include Steve Vai, Warren Cuccurullo, Ian Underwood, Vinnie Colaiuta, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Arthur Barrow and Ed Mann.

Announcing the news at Pollstar Live, Zappa’s son Ahmet Zappa said: “As a futurist, and hologram enthusiast, Frank fearlessly broke through boundary after boundary as an artist and in honouring his indomitable spirit we’re about to do it again, 25 years after his passing. This mind-melting show we’re putting together celebrates the music, often surreal imagery and humour synonymous with Frank. We will be pushing the limits of what anyone has seen holographically on stage before in a live venue”.

He continued: “Circumstances, objects, places and subject matter from Frank’s songs and imagination will be brought to life for the first time on stage. We are anthropomorphizing Frank’s music, so his own hand drawn illustrations, classic imagery from his album artwork and characters from his songs can all interact and perform on stage. And let’s not forget, Frank himself will be rocking his fans, alongside his bandmates like nobody’s business”.

Last week it was rumoured that a Prince hologram would appear during Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl halftime show (in the end it was a 2D projection). This prompted a backlash – not least from Prince himself, who in an interview a decade ago called the idea of such things “the most demonic thing imaginable”.

No such posthumous complaints from Frank Zappa will be arising, insisted Ahmet, saying: “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’ to this subject. This is a love letter and a journey celebrating the genius artistry of Frank Zappa. On a personal note, I feel like I am finishing something my father started years ago”.

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 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’.

Meanwhile, the hologram-heavy Zappa show has been put together by Eyellusion – a company of which Ahmet Zappa is also EVP Business Development. The company recently completed a hologram-based tour featuring late rock singer Ronnie James Dio.