Last week Linda and I went to the Hard Rock Cafe to see Zappa Plays Zappa. We were both fans back in the day. I owned two consecutively released albums with which I was most familiar: Hot Rats and Waka-Jawaka. Dweezil Z. leads an outstanding band of musicians, and he’s been doing this gig playing his father’s music for at least a couple of years. There are a ton of concert clips on youtube.
We had modest seats in the balcony, but the sight lines and sound mix were very good. When they started up the show I sunk in my seat a little realizing that the avant-garde elements of Zappa’s music might get a little tedious for me. As the show proceeded I kept waiting for something familiar from my cherished albums, but it didn’t come. All the music sounded very Zappa-esque, and I recognized bits of songs here and there, particularly from Joe’s Garage. But I don’t think there was anything featured from Weasels Bit My Flesh either.
But, it did not get tedious for me, and the 2.5 hour set+encores went by pretty fast. Linda loved it, she was also a big John Mclaughlin fan and I had not realized before how similarly rooted are their musical styles. Ultimately, as the final encore, the band tossed off Willie and the Pimp from Hot Rats. But, regretably, no Peaches and Regalia. 😦
post script: The next day I was listening to the Peaches clip at home while waiting on some AC repair, and the service guy came in the house and recognized the song instantly. “Is that Zappa?” he said. He was a trumpet player in his youth and was sorry to hear he missed the concert the night before.