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Zappanale 2007 – Day 1 – Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Filed under: Zappanale 2007 — bazbo @ 23:24
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Zappanale 2007 – Day 2 – Thursday, August 2, 2007

Filed under: Zappanale 2007 — bazbo @ 23:23
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Zappanale 2007 – Day 3 – Friday, August 3, 2007

Filed under: Zappanale 2007 — bazbo @ 23:22
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Zappanale 2007 – Day 4 – Saturday, August 4, 2007

Filed under: Zappanale 2007 — bazbo @ 23:21
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Zappanale 2007 – Day 5 – Sunday, August 5, 2007

Filed under: Zappanale 2007 — bazbo @ 23:20
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Zappanale 2007 – Day 6 – Monday, August 6, 2007

Filed under: Zappanale 2007 — bazbo @ 23:20
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Zappanale diary 2007

Filed under: Zappanale 2007 — bazbo @ 22:06

(For the reading pleasure of the Swedish visitors of this site, this diary is in English only.
There is some pictures in here too, but if you want to see the full reportage, watch

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Fellowship is getting larger and larger. Initially, in 2002, it consisted of three peoplez, last year we travelled with five and this year we’re a bunch of eight members. Four of them are from the southern part of Olanda, called Limburg, but that’s not their fault. They’ve survived last night’s barbecue and now we’re ready to go.
We leave our house in Apeldoorn at 07.15. After a long but comfortable journey by train we meet up with DOOT!-bassist Pete, their drummer Steve and his wife Maryann in Rostock. The inevitable Molli takes us to the camp site, where lots of Zappateers are present having a barbecue. It’s always so great to see them in real life.
It’s 16.30 now. We build up our tents and leave for the walk to Bad Doberan. The ‘Mein Kampf Theater’ hasn’t changed; even the lovely waitress is still the same, except for her having coloured her hair now. The traditional meal is spaghetti with tunafish and it’s delicious as ever. Outside it starts to rain heavily.
Most people have come to see the ‘Derailroaded’ movie about Wild Man Fisher. I have the dvd at home in my collection, so I don’t need to see it now. Later that night, Christophe Godin plays his guitar extravaganza on a small stage in the street. We’ve heard him play at Zappanale 2002 with Pierrejean Gaucher. Then they performed lovely almost-acoustic versions of Zappa material; now he gives us a heavy wall of guitarsound. Most of it is prerecorded, over which he plays his solos. Did someone say ‘Vai’? UniMuta likes it a lot and makes a recording of it. On top of that we get a performance by a group called Chen Unst and they give us their Beefheart Tribute Project. You know what? I like experimental stuff, and it’s great that some people do things like this, but I find it a hard time to listen to it. To me, most Beefheart material is already very abstract, and this tribute doesn’t give me much clues of recognition. To be specific: what a load of noise.
It’s really very special to be at this place. When I go to the bar to order some drinks for the kids, during the five minutes I have to wait, I have conversation with at least three different people. So many friends here, from the past years at Zappanale, or from the Zappateers festival in the UK last February. I even make lots of contacts in the bathroom.
It’s almost midnight when we take the walk home to the camping. Most of the rain has stopped, only some drizzling every now and then. Some FoolZ are trying to play some acoustic Zappa in the Zappateers tent, but it appears to be too dark. Oh well, bedtime then.

Billy Weasel Thijs John leaving for ZappanaleIn Molli after meeting dootArrival at festival groundsMoving to Bad DoberanLuuk ModifiedDog and Mike in the Mein Kampf TheaterCheers and bon appetit at the Mein Kampf Theaterbazbo dinner - spaghetti tunafishWarm up party - Christophe Godin

Friday, August 3, 2007

Damn, it’s Molli again that wakes me up. Well, off for a shower. Too late to catch Molli to Bad Doberan, so we have a walk. The sky is a bit grey and it’s quite windy, but at least we don’t have rain. Stadtbäckerei Molli Café still serves the best breakfast sandwiches and coffee. After that, we walk across the statue of Frank Zappa and the park, and then we take Molli back to the camp site. Zappanale may begin!
Don Preston’s Akashic Ensemble is this year’s opening act. Don starts off with synthesizer improvisation, and is soon accompanied by André Chalmondeley on guitar and guitarsynth, and his girlfriend Cheri on assorted electronics. They give us a very nice set, complete with versions of ‘Who Are The Brain Police?’ and ‘Help I’m A Rock’. My son is standing next to me and he’s really enjoying the show. Some moody improvlike piece especially moves me; it has nice flowing sitar sounds, builds up and Don’s playing a wonderful synth solo in it. Too abruptly it’s over.
Then it’s up to Monty and the Butchers from the UK to take the stage. We’ve seen and heard them at the Zappateers festival in Bradford-on-Avon earlier this year. Now they’ve learnt even more Zappa songs. It’s great to see how enthousiastic these youngsters perform those tunes. But to be honest, maybe I like their own material more. ‘Who the fuck are you, man?’ will stick to my ears for the next days.
During Christophe Godin & Mörglbl? we have a little break. It’s nice to hear heavy-sped-up guitar monsters, but it’s a bit too much in my ear. But from under the large tent it sounds fine.
In the Arf-shop I buy my copies of last year’s cd and dvd. Pete gives me the DOOT! ‘2007 Mega-Sampler’; it has my hand and rubber chicken on the cover! Wow, thankz, Pete!
Now let’s hear it for some Italians. I Virtuosi Dal Pianeto Talento play a fantastic set. Their lead singer looks a bit like Olandese gaysinger Gerard Joling, with his jacket and his make-up. Who cares? They perform with a large band that remembers me of the 1988 band. Napoleon Murphy Brock appears on stage to play a couple of tunes with them.
After some dinner –  horrible pizza’s this year! –  it’s time for some highschool Zappa. Project/Object is always great to listen to. Napoleon Murphy Brock, Don Preston and Dr. Dot are the special guests, the latter is featured in ‘Wet T-Shirt Night’. Too bad Ike Willis couldn’t make it. The official statement is that he missed his flight, but that isn’t satisfying most attendancees. Because of his absence we have to miss great versions of the Joe’s Garage material. Despite the lack of that stuff I’m very impressed by P/O. Andre is doing a terrific job, the young Eric Slick is very talented on drums and keyboard player Eric Svalgard sounds very fine.
Part of the Zappanale tradition is some spacy krautrock to close the Friday. It’s Trigon this year. Not bad, not bad. But I’m tired, and I try to find some rest in the Zappateers tent. It’s getting crowdy up there, so the only alternative is the bed.

Luuk Mike FZ ModifiedDog and bazbo in Bad DoberanFZ memorial statue in Bad DoberanMolli Mike Luuk and ModifiedDog in Bad DoberanDon Prestons Akashic EnsembleKeneallyfan Luuk ModifiedDog liking the Preston showDon Preston having fun performingIn the Zappateerstent: clockwise - Ivan Arto Hasi LudzNL PauluS BowTieDad and AGIMonty and the Butchers from UKChristophe Godin and MörglblI Virtuosi Dal Pianeta TalentoModifiedDog and Luuk enjoying the ItaliansItalian Gerard JolingNapoleon Murphy Brock special guest during I Virtuosi Dal Pianeto TalentoLuuk Modified Dog and MikeModifiedDog Mike Luuk and doot liking it a lotbazbo in the crowdProject Object featuring Napoleon Murphy Brock and Don PrestonTrigonacoustic FoolZ - Remco Wan Pedro LexMagdalena and Bald-Headed John

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Lots of Zappanale traditions. After a quick breakfast at the festival grounds, we jump onto Molli for a visit to the beach in Heiligendamm. Jelly and his son Daan are with us. We take a walk on the Heiligendamm boulevard and pier, and make the traditional pictures. It’s sunny and warm. The kids have their ice-cream and the parents their coffee and orange juice.
Back on the festival grounds, today’s opener is Chen Unst. For us, that’s a strange word for ‘lunchtime’. They perform their Beefheart tribute from their own mobile stage, and I have my ‘Ritterbrot’ stuffed with cheese and ham.
I buy the latest Muffin Men products at Uli Schäfer’s tent. On stage appears Team Zappa, a large band from Norway. No one has ever heard of them. Again, references to the 1988 band. There’s a cute looking singer in short hippie dress and a male singer with a fantastic voice. Napoleon can go home, Bobby Martin can stay home, and Ray White doesn’t need to tour with ZpZ anymore. This Norwegian guy can do ‘em all! Nice big band arrangements of all the classics, and yes, there was the third ‘Montana’ and the twelfth ‘Cosmik Debris’ this weekend. Despite that, Team Zappa are the REAL surprise of this year’s festival. They have so much fun onstage, and that energy is flowing into the audience. The band seems surprised at their own succes.
Octafish from Germany is next. This band has the difficult task to hold the audience’s attention after such a wonderful concert by Team Zappa. I like their calculated King Crimson-like music which they played four years ago. Even my family has fun hearing it. At the end the audience screams for an encore. I’m in front of the stage and shout for their interpretation of ‘Barbie Girl’. But sadly, no encores. The guitar player lifts his shoulders when he looks me in the eye. Too bad.
Ben Watson presents a quiz. He has tons of questions and the audience fill the answers on the special forms. I work together with Helen, but we both fill in a form for ourselves. The questions are similar to those we had on the Zappateers festival in UK in February. With Helen it’s good teamwork, and we’re definitely sure we’re going to win.
When Kimono Draggin’ starts playing, I understand it’s time for dinner. We watch the stage from under the big tent. “Isn’t that Steve onstage?” asks my wife. I look up from my plate of gyros with Bratkartoffeln. It’s him! I run towards the stage to make some pictures of Steve singing Beefheart’s ‘Electricity’. Steve is acting like a maniac, he sees me and shouts: “bazbo, throw me the rubber chicken!” What else can you do? It made it onto the stage again. Eventually, Pete arranges that I get my rubber friend back into my arms. Back under the tent I can enjoy the rest of the gyros.
Sex Without Nails Bros is supposed to be another highlight, but is kind of a disappointment to me. Their playing is ok-ish, but the vocals aren’t that good. It all sounds rather unrehearsed, just like they did four years ago. It takes courage to play most of the ‘Roxy’-album, and the band deserves a credit for that, but they don’t convince me. Napoleon joins them on a few tunes. Always good to see and hear him doing his dance steps and his goat-scream.
The day is closed by Space Debris, a trio that plays spacerock with loads of Hammond organ solos. Have I ever told you that I love Hammond organ solos? I’m having a good time with Billy, Sharleena and Kate in front of the stage. When the lights go out, it’s time for some sleep.

Luuk and Mike having breakfastready to get inside MolliHeiligendamm BahnhofHeiligendamm beach and the big hotelThe big hotel from the pier of HeiligendammModifiedDog Mike and Luuk transcribing the German icecream menu in HeiligendammLuuk sausage timeChen Unst - Captain Beefheart ProjectTeam Zappa from NorwayTeam Zappa with Norwegian GordonTeam Zappa - Heidi SolheimOctafish from GermanyMike and Luuk enjoying OctafishBowTieDad and HelenKimono DragginSteve Chilemni sax extravaganza during ´Electricity´Rubber chicken abuse on stageShe made it onto the stage again…Billy and KateSex Without Nails Bros from AustriaNotPedro au3 JELLY BengoFurytraditional Billy rubber chicken abuseSpace DebrisSpace Debris keyboardist Tom Kunkel playing Hammond organ solo

Billy & bazbo (picure: IdiotBastard aka Andrew Greenaway)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sunday starts off with Polytoxicomane Philharmonie. More spacerock, this time I have to think of Ozric Tentacles during some passages. Nice music for a starter.
Then the stage is filled with The Great Googly Moogly from Sweden. “Hit it, Anders!” Again, some 1988-sounding arrangements, but this band has chosen to play the older stuff from the late 60s and early 70s. Lots of ‘Roxy’ material. Instrumentally very impressive, but the vocals sound a bit weak. Nice percussion too. And yes, there’s another ‘Montana’ and ‘Cosmik Debris’. Even ‘Zomby Woof’ can be heard for the third time this weekend. It’s great to see a band having so much fun onstage.
What’s next? Oh no, it’s Jazzproject Hundehagen. I’m sure UniMuta will hear some irony in my remark. It’s my seventh Zappanale and the seventh time I hear this local guitar-orientated jazzrock band. There’s a guy in the audience wearing a shirt saying ‘Hateproject Hundekack’ and that sums it up. Of course they’re skilled musicians, but we heard them before, haven’t we? And by the way, when you’re near the Zappateers tent having an excellent beer with your friends, you can still hear their versions of the pieces you should never play: ‘Zoot Allures’, ‘Black Napkins’ and the absolutely forbidden ‘Watermelon In Easter Hay’. Suicide is also an option.
And suddenly there’s Harmonia Ensemble. What can we say? This is wonderful interpretations of Zappa music. Classically trained musicians on cello, piano, clarinet and percussion. The opening ‘Theme from Instrumental Music for Guitar and Low Budget Orchestra’, played just on piano and clarinet sets the tone: this is gorgeous. There’s a tear in my eye. The audience is stunned, as is the ensemble by the audience reaction. Also wonderful is the piano solo version of ‘What’s New In Baltimore’ and the almost symphonic ‘Son Of Mr. Green Genes’. The only disappointment comes from the fact that their repertoire is still the same as the material on their album ‘Harmonia meets Zappa’, that was released thirteen years ago. The final encore is ‘Theme from Lumpy Gravy’ and all German hands are clapping along.
Ben Watson on stage again. This time he announces the winners of the quiz. Helen gets the ninth position and she’s invited on stage to get her prize: some Beefheart cd. Billy is fourth and gets a ticket autographed by Mr. Zappa himself. The IdiotBastard gets second (if I remember well), but the first prize goes to new Zappateer jaromil from Italy.
Then it’s up to headliner Chad Wackerman to close this Zappanale. No Zappa music, but high level jazz rock. There’s Mike Miller on guitar and Doug Lunn on bass guitar. I think it’s great to see Chad drumming. He’s so relaxed. I don’t like the guitarist too much, but Doug Lunn is a fine bass player. The trouble with this kind of jazzrock is that after a short while all tunes sound alike. Nevertheless, we have fun in the audience.
This year’s Grand Finale isn’t disappointing. Andre Chalmondeley conducts the musicians into ‘I’m The Slime’ and other well known tunes. And then Zappanale is over.
It’s quiet on the festival ground too soon. We move over to the Zappateers tent where all our friends are. Andre shows up, as do most of The Great Googly Moogly. The group of friends gets larger and larger. And I’m getting tired and go to bed.

Polytoxicomane PhilharmonieThe Great Googly Moogly from SwedenGGM band leader AndersThe Great Googly Moogly farewellFestival ground during Jazzproject Hundelulxal ke unicrayonModifiedDog and SharleenaHarmonia EnsembleAlessandra GarosiOrio OdoriIdiotBastard won a prize in Ben Watsons quiz while Esther is a saintChad WackermanDoug LunnMike Miller - Chad Wackerman - Doug Lunnzymurgy and PauluSGrand FinaleZappanale is overprogrockfan and Gillianidiotbs and AGIYojimbo and idiotbsAGI sibbz unicrayonIvan and Nanook

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Monday is the real anti-climax of every Zappanale. We have a quick coffee on what is left of the festival ground. Then we break down our tents and catch Molli to Bad Doberan. In the Stadtbäckerei we have a good breakfast. Later, to kill some time, we move to the Mein Kampf Theater for some coffee. Project/Objects keyboardist Eric Svalgard joins us on our table, takes his laptop and starts working. We dare to ask him the real reason why Ike wasn’t here. “Ike has missed his flight,” is the answer from his mouth, but his eyes tell us something totally else. We understand that Ike has a problem. Well, let’s have another coffee. A bit later Napi shows up too. He has bought bananas.
But then it’s time to jump in the train to Rostock, where we meet up with Zappateer Ivan. The longest part of our journey is about to come. The train leaves at 14.30 and after a quick switch of trains in Hannover we arrive in Apeldoorn at 22.00. The very moment we entered Olanda it has started raining. When I open the front door of my house at 22.30 we’re all soaking wet.
We say goodbye to the Limburgian guys and then we’re alone. Time for some other tradition. I put on the dvd-player and we watch the retrospective dvd from Zappanale 2006.

Lex L Bronkowitz and sibbzWaiting for MolliMike ready to go on board of MolliHaving a drink at the Mein Kampf Theater
Apeldoorn, August 2007

Post script:
Thankz to my lovely family, ModifiedDog and Luuk, and to Mike for the company to Luuk.
Thankz to Billy, Weasel, John and Thijs for being nice Limburgian loonies to travel with. Special thankz to Billy again for being my Zappanale-buddy for years.
Also thankz to all Zappateers, especially Pete for being himself, and to the Arfies for organising another awesome festival. What the heck, let’s name a few great peoplez! StatusBaby, AGI, Nanook, BowTieDad, BengoFury, Yojimbo, unicrayon, Ivan, the aforementioned Pete, UniMuta, LudzNL, PauluS, au3, sibbz, Jelly&Daan, idiotbs/moi, Hasi, zymurgy, DrZurkon (thankz for the shirt again!), Arto, Ivan (“helemaal te woepie”), xal&ke, Dave&Magdalena, Steve, another Steve, Helen & friendz, progrockfan&Gilian, Lex, Wan, Pedro, Remco, Sharleena, Martin & kids, Reinier & Hennie, jang, the other Olandese guy I meet every year, the Keneallyfan, Kate, Bruno, Georg, Lex L. Bronkowitz, Andre Chalmondeley, Eric Svalgard, Monty and the Butchers (who the fuck are you, man?), Anders and the rest of The Great Googly Moogly, the sweet security lady that squeezed the rubber chicken everytime I passed the entrance, Thomas, Mick, Uli Schäfer, the Bremen couple & kids (what are their names? stupid me, I forgot), the guy from the Czechian Zappa fan club, Jim Cohen, the friendly ladies from the toilets, DebutantDaisy&friend, Zappo (dah! I bought NOTHING from you this year! Muhahaha!), all visitors of the Zappateers tent, and everyone else that I have met, but don’t know the name of.
See ya next year, please: BigTony&Abi, hidihi and Fish, and everyone else that couldn’t make it this time. We missed you. Thankz Paraffin-Lamp for the beautiful pin.
And I’m really looking forward to Zappanale #19 in 2008 and to hear the recordings AGI, sibbz, Ivan and Jelly made of this year’s bands!

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