Dweezil Zappa

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Frank Zappa and Dweezil, 1980.

Dweezil Zappa (September 5, 1969) is Frank and Gail Zappa's second child and oldest son. He is the brother of Moon Zappa, Ahmet Zappa and Diva Zappa. Dweezil was named after one of Gail's toes. He was originally named IAN (after Ian Underwood) DONALD (after Don Van Vliet) CALVIN (after Cal Schenkel) EUCLID (after Euclid James Sherwood).

He is a musician having played guitar from an early age. Eddie Van Halen was a personal friend since the 1980s. In 2005 Dweezil married Lauren Knudsen.

Frank Zappa and Dweezil

Zappa dedicated Hot Rats to his one month old son Dweezil in the credits. Moon and Dweezil can be seen in the Dutch documentary Frank Zappa by Roelof Kiers.

Dweezil is a star in the One Size Fits All universe (1975).

Dweezil photographed the album cover of Zappa In New York (1977). He sang on the album Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention and played a guitar solo during Stevie's Spanking on Them Or Us (1984) and Whipping Post on Does Humor Belong In Music? (1986). Dweezil also played guitar on some tracks of You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 3. He provided barks on the track Waffenspiel on Civilization Phaze III (1994).

Zappa played a guest role on Miami Vice, because Dweezil liked to watch the series. Dweezil is also mentioned during A Few Moments With Brother A. West: "I ask you, Mr. Frank Zappa, what kind of man can name a child Moon Unit?".

Dweezil played lead guitar on Dirty Love and Chunga's Revenge on Zappa's Universe (1991) and during Chunga's Revenge and Bavarian Sunset on Trance-Fusion. He produced and wrote liner notes for Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa (with Spencer Chrislu) (1996).

He performed Rhythmatist on The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAA Birthday Bundle (2006) and The Deathless Horsie and Peaches En Regalia on The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAAAA Birthday Bundle (2010).

He organized the Zappa Plays Zappa tours.

Documentary appearances

Frank Zappa and Dweezil, 2008.

Dweezil was interviewed in BBC Television Tribute (1993), Ein Leben Als Extravaganza - Das Genie Frank Zappa (1994) and Frank Scheffer's documentaries Frank Zappa: The Present-Day Composer Refuses To Die (2000), Frank Zappa Phase II: The Big Note (2002) and Frank Zappa: Pioneer Of Future Music, parts 1 & 2 (2007), as well Cry Baby:The Pedal that Rocks the World.

Own recordings

Fred Zeppelin rehearsal (Dweezil on right)

As a 12 year old he was rehearsing in a band called Fred Zeppelin. Dweezil recorded solo albums, as well as collaborated with his brother Ahmet Zappa in group named "Z". Dweezil Zappa tied the Frank Zappa tribute band named "Zappa Plays Zappa" from 2006 on. He played on Diva Zappa's When the Ball Drops (1999).

Other appearances

He voiced the character Ajax in the animated TV series Duckman and presented a TV food show with his then girlfriend Lisa Loeb. Dweezil and Moon appeared in the film Behind The Seams, along with Soupy Sales.

Dweezil played The Last Sound Love Makes on Don Johnson's album Heartbeat (1986). He played on Love Emergency on the album Show Me (1987) by The Covergirls, Jingo on Just Visiting This Planet (1987) by Jellybean, Sleep Won't Come on Maria Vidal's eponymous 1987 album, Wipe Out on Wipe Out (1988) by The Fat Boys, Purple Haze on Winger's 1988 eponymous album, Under My Thumb on Leader Of The Banned (1990) by Sam Kinison, Pornograffiti (1990) by Extreme, Diva Fever on Break Like the Wind (1992) by Spinal Tap, Moscow Calling on Gorky Park II (1993) by Gorky Park, Chewing On CCrayons on Hairpick (1994) by Blues Saracino, English Channel on Guitarland (1994) by Tim Pierce, Dead Wrong (1997) by Carmine Appice, I Whish by Lisa Loeb's Anywhere But Here (1999), Peaches on California Screamin' (2000) by Dixie Dregs, Genius In France on Poodle Play (2003) by "Weird Al" Yankovic, Hungry Freaks, Daddy on My Weekly Reader (2015) by Nellie McKay.

He played on Heart Like A Gun (1989) by Fiona, Your LLast Orison (1992) by End Amen, Crazy Enough To Sing To You (1996) by Warren Demartini, Angelica (1997) by Angelica, In A Metal Mood - No More Mr. Nice Guy (1997) by Pat Boone, Bumblefoot: 9.11 (2001), Cake and Pie (2002) and Hello Lisa (2002) by Lisa Loeb, Todd Rundgren & His Friends (2002) by Todd Rundgren, Prince of Darkness (2005) by Ozzy Osbourne, Guitar Zeus: Conquering Heroes (2009) by Carmen Appice, Stardust (2010) by Thierry Deruelle, A Kiss Before You Go (2011) by Katzenjammer, Freak Guitar - the Smorgasbord (2013) by Mattias Eklundh, Morgan Ågren's Conundrum (2013), Who Gives a Funk (2016) by Oz Noy, Grand Architects Of The Universe (2017) by Carl King and Derek Smalls' Smalls Change (2018). He and Moon played on Fear Of A Punk Planet (1991)

He, Ahmet and Gail performed backing vocals on Black Tongue on Gene Simmons' album Asshole (2004).

Dweezil wrote one track on bbg elements (2002) by X-Ray Dog. He wrote the foreword to Co de Kloet's book Frank & Co.

Zappa about Dweezil

"When Dweezil was born, Gail decided to have 'natural childbirth.' At that time, the only hospital in Los Angeles that would allow this process to occur with a Dad in the delivery room was Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. When it was time for the Big Delivery, we experienced a slight delay -- we had to fill out a mass of papers before they'd let us in, riddled with irrelevant questions like: "What religion are you?" Gail looked at me and said, "What do we put?" I said, "Musician." That was the first thing that upset the admitting nurse. The second thing to spoil her afternoon was when she asked: "What are you going to name the child?" Gail said, "Dweezil." Gail's got a funny-looking little toe which had been the source of family amusement so often that it had acquired a 'technical name': it wasn't really a toe -- it was a "Dweezil." I thought then, and continue to think today, that Dweezil is a nice name. Fuck the nurse if she didn't like it. The nurse pleaded and pleaded with us not to name the child Dweezil. Labor pains and all, she was going to make Gail stand there unless we gave her another name to put on the form. I couldn't see letting Gail suffer just to argue the point, so I rattled off an assortment of first names of guys we knew: IAN (Underwood) DONALD (Van Vliet) CALVIN (Schenkel) EUCLID (James "Motorhead" Sherwood). As a result, Dweezil's original birth certificate name was Ian Donald Calvin Euclid Zappa. The nurse thought that was okay. In spite of this harrowing experience, we always called him Dweezil. He was five years old when he discovered the real names on his birth certificate. (I was in my mid-twenties when I found out! Up until the time I had to get a passport for the first European tour, I thought my name was Francis -- a name I had always hated. In order to get the passport, I had to present my birth certificate -- a mysterious document I had never seen before. My mother mailed it to me from California, and on it, much to my delight, was a name OTHER THAN FRANCIS -- well, it wasn't that good -- "Frank" isn't much of a bargain -- but I had thought for years, even printing it on album covers, that I was Francis Vincent Zappa Junior. How could I be such a fool?) Dweezil was very upset, and demanded that steps be taken to rectify this tragedy. We hired an attorney and had his name legally changed to Dweezil." - The Real Frank Zappa Book.

See also

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