Denny Walley

Frank Zappa kennt er bereits seit seiner Kindheit, als er mit Frank´s Bruder Bobby befreundet war und mit ihm ab und zu bei Band-Proben zuhörte. Auch die kleinen Don Van Vliet und Jim Sherwood kennt er seitdem. Seinen musikalischer Werdegang startete er Anfang der 70er bei Geronimo Black, der Frustformation der Ex-Mothers Jimmy Carl Black, Don Preston, Bunk Gardner und Ray Collins. Zeugnis dieser Zusammenarbeit ist das 72er Album Geronimo Black, das einzige der nur zweijährigen Existenz der Band. 2008 wurde noch eine downloadbare Zusammenstellung mit Demos, Studio- und Liveaufnahmen mit dem Titel Welcome Back angeboten.

1975 war er bei Frank Zappa und den Mothers der Gitarrist der Bongo-Fury-Tour. Sein Kumpel aus alten Zeiten Don Van Vliet, nun Captain Beefheart, war schwer von Denny´s Gesang und Gitarrenspiel beeindruckt und fragte ihn, ob er ihn auf den USA- und Europa-Tourneen begleiten wolle. Daraus entstand eine zweijährige Zusammenarbeit, von der leider nur wenig Tondokumente existieren. Lediglich der Track „Hoboism“ und die Originalaufnahmen zu „Bat Chain Puller“ bezeugen den Blues, den Denny in die Magic Band brachte.

Im Herbst 1978 und Frühjahr 1979 ging es dann noch zweimal mit Zappa auf Tour. Außerdem spielte er die Joe´s Garage-Trilogie und die Scheibe You Are What You Is mit ein und ist auf den Alben Tinseltown Rebellion und weiteren Live-Kompilationen Zappa´s zu hören.

Walley hat in all den Jahren nach Zappa´s viel zu frühem Tod stets weiter Musik gemacht. Dabei hat er nicht nur in den verschiedensten Formationen (u. a. mit Mats & Morgan) dessen Werke weiterleben lassen. 1997 erschien seine CD Spare Parts, auf der er neben Suicide Chump und Bamboozled By Love auch Titel anderer Interpreten spielt, die ihn beeinflussten. Diese CD gilt als eine der herausragenden Bluesveröffentlichungen.


Ike Willis

By the end of the 70's Zappa was looking for a second front man. It should be someone with talent and presence of a Napoleon Murphy Brock but on the other hand totally different. Anyway, he should take the substantial vocal parts Zappa wanted to restrain from.

The singer and guitarist met Frank Zappa in 1977 at a concert in the backstage area. Zappa engaged him and so he's been a band member since 1988, except the tours in 1981 and 1982. This was the time when such succinct albums as Joe´s Garage, Thing-Fish, Tinseltown Rebellion und You Are What You Is developed, with his expressive and unmistakable voice.

On Joe´s Garage he can „only“ be heard as singer, later then as guitarist, too. He can't say which song has impressed him most or which has been the most complicated one. They are all different and belong to such various categories so it's impossible for him to decide.

So Ike Willis is the one who's been for the longest time in Zappa's permanently changing line-ups. Ike had the impression that when they met Zappa had lost the fun, although he's been enormously productive. Fortunately that changed from album to album and Zappa got back to his motto  "The stupider it is, the better we like it!".


Denny Walley

He has been acquainted with Frank Zappa since childhood. Back then he was friends with Frank's brother Bobby and sometimes they listened to the band rehearsals. He has also known Don Van Vliet and Jim Sherwood since then. He started his own musical development in the early 70's at Geronimo Black, the formation of ex Mothers Jimmy Carl Black, Don Preston, Bunk Gardner and Ray Collins. Evidence of this collaboration, which existed for two years, is the only album Geronimo Black from 1972. In 2008 a compilation named Welcome Back with demos, studio and live recordings has been made available via download.

In 1975 he joined Frank Zappa and the Mothers as guitarist on the Bongo-Fury-Tour. His old mate Don Van Vliet, by now Captain Beefheart, was very impressed with Denny's singing and guitar play and so he asked him if he would like to accompany him on his tour in the US and Europe. This was the beginning of a two years lasting liaison, and unfortunately only very few material exists from this time. Merely the track „Hoboism“ and the original recordings of „Bat Chain Puller“ bear testimony to the Blues which Denny brought into the Magic Band.

In the fall of 1978 and spring of 1979 he toured again twice with Zappa. Furthermore he participated in the recordings of Joe´s Garage and You Are What You Is and he can be heard on the album Tinseltown Rebellion and other live compilations.

After Zappa's much too early death Walley continued to play music. With several formations (Mats & Morgan amongst others) he made Zappa's work living on. In 1997 his CD Spare Parts was published, and besides Suicide Chump and Bamboozled By Love he recorded also pieces from other interpreters which have had influence on him. This CD is considered an outstanding Blues release.


Patrice ‚Candy‘ Zappa

Patrice Zappa ist Frank Zappa's “little” sister. Her brother Karl always called her Candy because she was so sweet.

Already at the age of 13 she performed with her brother Frank and Ray Collins at the Pit. The Pit was a restaurant which her father had acquired somewhere between 1962 and 1963. It was located at Foothill Boulevard, Upland in California.

Later she performed the music from her brother Frank amongst others together with Nigey Lennon, the Ed Palermo Big Band and with Project/Object.

She has been invited as “Special Guest” to Zappanale #13, where the Zappa statue had been inaugurated together with a  lot of other international  guests.

2003 she published her book "My Brother Was A Mother".

2011 Candy published the album "To Be Perfectly Frank", which contains both Zappa compositions and miscellaneous audio comments.

She also has written the preface for the jubilee book „25 years of Zappanale“.

Interview by Andrew Greenaway:



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Zappanale #28

14. - 16.07.2017
The Torture stops in -284 days!
20. - 22.07.2018
The Torture stops in 87 days!