The embittered state of the Zappa community at this moment in history, and the rift with the ZFT has me pining for a simpler time – when Frank was in charge, making music and the wars were with the tyrannical record companies, not between the fans and the Zappa family, of all things.
Reading about the various Frank-celebrating musical endeavors that are in peril because of letters like Barry at KUR got is heartbreaking. Musicians go and learn wonderful Frank music, take the trouble to play it live for an eager public and are made to feel like war criminals, intentionally or not, for this wholesome activity.
There's a case to be made that Gail ought to deal with the fans as allies, and personally rather than through attorneys and impersonal letters. Because that's what we are, really. Doing so would be a more fitting and effective way to accomplish the ZFT's intellectual property protection issues. And not piss everyone off so dang much.
But you know what? Just as the present-day composer refuses to die, The Year of the Freak is imminent. What I get out of that is, no matter what, we still have the great music and no one can wreck our relationship with it.
So, for the Dec. 28, 2007 Zappa's Grubby Chamber, the last show of the year, I'm just going to spin a bunch of meat-and-potatoes great FZ tunes willy nilly over the air, with only the rhyme and reason Frank imbued into them.
As we end another broadcast year, it's back to being about the Zappa music rather than the politics of Zappa music.