I just interviewed Dweezil Zappa to advance the Zappa Plays Zappa tour stop at the House of Blues June 11. Preparation for it led me to think about the role Zappa played in my musical development. As technical and musicianly as it was, I wonder if its idiosyncratic confrontation of the mainstream held open the door to punk rock for me.
As for Zappa Plays Zappa, the new two-DVD set is well-meant and well-performed, but it lacks a center. The the times I saw him, the smut jokes, absurdity, modern classical touches and guitar heroics were all expressions of a very distinctive personality. Its absence leaves the songs to stand as songs and little more.