Last night, Frank Zappa appeared to me in a dream as an angel of light. Well that’s not exactly true. I DID just wake up at 9:13 AM from a dream that Zappa was in. And he WAS beaming out light so much so that I had trouble seeing anything around us. It was at the Vic theater, behind the FOH soundboard mix position. He was watching the opening band and commenting softly to himself, musings that I could not pick up. I interrupted his moment by gingerly telling him I was never that into his band, but that recently my friend Tony had turned me on to Zappa with some recordings like “Willie the Wimp” and the “Roxy” shows. Frank seemed amused at my candor and smiled wryly with a “better late than never” look on his iconic face. Anyway I continued, given that scenario, what should I listen to next to get further into his formidably vast canon? Frank said that people seemed to like “Apostrophe”. I wouldn’t say he said it dis missively but there IS a moment when an artist can no longer relate to a piece he/she did so long ago and so many spins ago. Moving on and backpedalling slightly, I told him that I had trouble getting into Zappa probably because he was playing beyond me, out of my musical listening ken. He said, “or maybe we were playing BELOW your ken” as he cocked an eyebrow comically. His point was, as I took it, that we don’t know how others listen or hear. We began talking about the notion that there are probably Mozarts out there in the world who don’t know their gift. Who don’t know that the way they hear music is different or remarkable. We talked about how many masterpieces go unwritten. Wow. At this point in the dream we were back stage so the show must have been over. He shook my hand and nodded and backed out the room into an open door that was flooding with light from the other side.
I just woke up and wrote this dream down. It’s 9:38 AM. I am putting on my only Zappa vinyl “Apostrophe” which I bought but never listened to. And I am hit with renewed excitement to get WIRE started so we can reach some kids/adults who may have gifts they never dreamed of.