Zappa Widow Sues Zappa Fest

Gail Zappa, that is
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2008 1:03 PM CDT
Frank Zappa and son Dweezil play together in this archival photo. Some theorize that the Zappa trust is trying to ensure that only Dweezil can play his late dad's music.   (Archive Photos)
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(Newser) – Frank Zappa may have once called the Zappanale “amazing,” but now his widow is taking the music festival to court, Der Spiegel reports. Gail Zappa is seeking $236,000 in damages over the sale of T-shirts bearing a cartoon version of Frank’s face. The case cuts to the heart of Zappa’s image, pitting Zappa the freedom-loving rebel against Zappa the exacting musician.

The Zappanale began in communist East Germany, with Zappa cover bands risking much to gather and perform. Now, the fest is much bigger, but organizers say it’s not profitable, and the lawsuit would shut it down. “Zappa his whole life long was for artistic freedom,” argues the Arf society’s president. But Gail says she’s protecting Frank’s music. “That’s my job. I have no choice.”