Sheik Yerbouti at the Frank Zappa 70th celebrations at the Roundhouse, November 2010

Posted: 16th August 2010

Dweezil Zappa
Dweezil Zappa

The life and times of one of the most influential and formidable guitarists of the 21st-century, will be celebrated at the Camden Roundhouse in November with a selection of gigs, films, discos and talks, designed to appraise the man on what would have been his 70th birthday.

For over 30 years, Frank Zappa defied definition with much of his output either as a soloist or with his early band, The Mothers Of Invention. In short, you either loved his technical rock and fusion guitar-work or you just didn't get it although most people have a Zappa album they don't mind listening to. I'm not a Zappa fan but I do like "Jazz From Hell", "Guitar" and "Hot Rats", three choices I am reliable told are as far apart from each other as you could wish to get.

The planned events at the Roundhouse run from 5th to 7th November and begins with a free exhibition of Zappa artefacts including films, posters and a general "facsimile of Zappa's brain" - blimey, that IS going to be pretty intense! Also on the 5th only, there is a conversation and discussion between Frank's second wife Gail, Ali N Askin (Zappa's assistant) and two of his trusted musicians, Frank Filipetti and Todd Yvega - tickets are £5.

Other big musical attractions include the London Contemporary Orchestra performing "Yellow Shark" on the 5th (£10 - £25), Zappa Plays Zappa and The Mighty Boosh Band hooking up in mutual respect for a 'face-off' between Dweezil Zappa and Noel Fielding/Julian Barrett on the 6th (£30 - £35) and the London Sinfonietta performing the UK premiere of Zappa's classical work, "The Adventures Of Greggery Peccary" and much more on the 7th (£10 - £30).

There is also a "Zappa Disco Mash-Up" on 5th - 7th featuring back-to-back Zappa 'hits' for free (in and around the venue) and a "Zappa Film Festival" on 6th and 7th which will feature 10 presentations concerning or starring Zappa, including "200 Motels" and "Uncle Meat", interspersed with loads of unseen footage, some in HD and surround-sound. Each film day costs £10 with 5 films per day - how cool is that?

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