PHOTO: Gary Miller | Getty Images
Dweezil Zappa has been very busy lately. In his cover feature for the March 2016 issue of Guitar Player, the guitarist talks to us about the 10-year anniversary of his Zappa Plays Zappa shows, his new solo album and his Dweezilla boot camps. You can currently find the issue (shown right) on newsstands, and it is also available at our online store.
This past Thursday, March 10, Dweezil also appeared on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast, where he spoke on a number of topics. As Maron notes, high standards were set for Dweezil when he was very young. His father, Frank, made more than 80 albums in his lifetime, which provided Dweezil with a lot of influences but created some roadblocks, too. Dweezil tells Marc that his own musical journey not only made him a better artist—it also brought him closer to his late father.
1 . Even though Dweezil practices eight hours a day, his fingers do not get callused. As a result, he rarely plays acoustic guitar and only owns two acoustics. “If I take a shower too soon before a show, the skin will rip right off my fingers,” he explains. Maron feels Zappa’s fingers and incredulously calls it his “cross to bear as a guitar player.”
2. Eddie Van Halen, wearing his Women and Children First jumpsuit, came to visit the Zappa household when Dweezil was 12 years old and taught him to play “Mean Street” and “Eruption.”
3. Dweezil spent two years completely relearning guitar before launching his Zappa Plays Zappa ensemble. (Actually, we already knew this from Guitar Player’s 2006 cover feature on Dweezil.)
4. Frank Zappa began covering the Allman Brothers song “Whipping Post” after a fan in Helsinki, Finland, requested it. The band didn’t know the tune, but Frank insisted that they learn it so the next time someone requested it they could play it.
5. Frank famously had a recording studio built in their house, and he ran it like a serious business. When he was making records, there was a time clock and the musicians he hired had to clock in and out when they came to play. If they couldn’t keep up with the rigors of Frank’s music, he would say, “Window or aisle? How would you like to return home?”
6. Eighty records! Frank Zappa recorded 80 records!
Hear the full interview by clicking here.