Icon and enigma Frank Zappa departed from this earth just shy of his 53rd birthday. He left behind a treasure chest full of recordings, political accomplishments like testifying before Congress in opposition to censorship, and a style that will never be duplicated. But his greatest legacy is Dweezil.
Dweezil honors his father by faithfully and meticulously recreating the music, intent, and stage persona of the Mothers of Invention, introducing a whole new audience to Frank Zappa. It was a packed house on a Saturday night at the Variety Playhouse in Little Five Points. As I waited in line on Euclid Avenue I had to smile at this diverse group of concertgoers. I think Frank would have found the diversity ironically humorous, maybe even subject matter for future lyrics. The band opened by playing One Size Fits All in its entirety to commemorate the 40th anniversary of that masterpiece. Some argue that it was Frank’s best. On stage we saw a six-piece but it was more like a twenty-piece, with each musician commanding multiple instruments. Just like his father, Dweezil surrounds himself with only the finest musicians. They were tight, seamless, and accurate to the original. Then they mesmerized us for two and a half hours with deep cuts from the Zappa catalog, followed by a four song encore of crowd favorites. I didn’t want it to end, but I know I will return if they do. After the show Dweezil came out to the merchandise area to mingle and sign stuff. I was content to shake his hand and thank him for his dedication. Dweezil was genuine, humble, and appreciative. You did good, Frank. Until the next concert, it’s time for my boot heels to be wanderin’.