Roxy By Proxy: Gail Zappa Unveils Ridiculous Scheme For Distribution of Soundtrack To Holy Grail of Zappa Recordings

Ever since May we’ve been telling you about the movement on the DVD and soundtrack for Frank Zappa’s famed Roxy concerts in 1973. Zappa was backed by arguably the best band he’s played with, including keyboardist George Duke, Don Preston on synth, Ruth Underwood on percussion and Chester Thompson on drums for three shows at The Roxy on Dec. 8 – 10 that were shot in film by multiple cameras and multi-track recordings were made of the audio. Frank’s widow, Gail, has finally revealed details of the audio release of 75 minutes and 49 seconds of Roxy without the Elsewhere, yet we have a feeling Zappateers won’t be happy with the way it’s going down.

In order to raise ONE MILLION dollars to produce the video, Gail has unveiled a concept in which she wants “approximately 1,000 highly motivated, sensitive and discerning individuals” to sign up as distributors for the soundtrack. Her plan is that each of these Zappa fans will give the Zappa Family Trust $1,000 a piece to become distributors. Fans can recoup their money by selling CDs of the soundtrack. Here’s the email Gail Zappa sent out explaining the offer…

Subject:  THE ZAPPA PROJECT/OBJECT of your DREAMS!

Dear People of Earth who are interested in anything & everything concerning The Roxy Performances,

So you’ve always dreamt of being a music mogul and running your own record company, huh?  But you ask yourself, “How could I get a Real Record Deal?” “I mean,” you say to yourself, “I think I could do this as well as anyone – I have important opinions to share.”  Well here’s your chance to be part of Zappa Music Business History and become an AUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTOR of a Real (REAL!)  Live (LIVE!) Zappa Record.  One more time for the world:  Recorded by Zappa, Performed by Zappa, featuring some of your favorite Mothers, and Material, AND all under the Roof you’ve been waiting for:  The Roxy!  No ELSEWHERES about it.

What???  It’s True.  We here at Zappa Records are looking for a few good men and women – approximately 1,000 highly motivated, sensitive and discerning individuals – to sign up as Official Independent Distributors of a never-heretofore-released, thoroughly Authentic Zappa Master Recording.  And this is not just any thoroughly authentic Zappa Master Recording either.  No, this is the one many of you have been beyond craving.  Please sit down to read this part:  This is the Roxy – the Soundtrack – yes, it is the introductory Soundtrack, the Prequel if you will – the Project/Object of your Dreams.  76 unadulterated minutes of fabulous frenzy await you.  And the opportunity of a life-time:  Roxy By Proxy! Should it be determined that you become an Officially Licensed Authorized Zappa RBP Distributor, you can make as many copies of the record as you can possibly distribute – AND except for reporting to us your sales & customers (just like any other record distributor) and paying us the publishing, YOU keep the money. AND you get to collect royalties from what is sold at Barfko-Swill AND you will also be entitled to a special wholesale price available to the OLAZRBPDs (Officially Licensed Authorized Zappa ROXY BY PROXY Distributor) exclusively.

Apart from being Official Release #96 this is a Music Biz First.  How is that you might well ask:  We figured you might like to participate in the wonderment so we have devised a way to let you in behind the scenes of every Artist’s necessity – a music distribution deal – but in this case we’ve cut to the chase.  We need to get the record to you so why  shouldn’t you be part of the process?  You can help us help you by helping you help us.

So here’s the deal:  getsome.zappa.com for all the information and the ACTUAL LICENSE.

Thanks in advance for your Consideration.

xxx,

gz

The site in which you can purchase these $1,000 licenses has a full FAQ to answer some of the many questions this scenario presents. How many other artists have released archival audio and video without such a convoluted scheme? If this was 20 or even 10 years ago, we can see fans being able to recoup their investment but in this age of downloads can you really expect to sell many physical CDs? Not to mention, the FAQ makes it clear copies of the soundtrack will be sold through the Zappa website – so the Zappa Family Trust will compete with these “distributors.” Though, yes, apparently sales of the CD on the Zappa website will lead to “distributors”  getting paid royalties. Confused yet? Join the club.

Just when we thought we were closer than ever to a Frank Zappa Roxy DVD/Blu-Ray comes this ridiculous plan. We won’t hold our breath waiting to see the Holy Grail of Frank Zappa releases.

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32 thoughts on “Roxy By Proxy: Gail Zappa Unveils Ridiculous Scheme For Distribution of Soundtrack To Holy Grail of Zappa Recordings

  1. Jimmy Carl Black Reply

    All I wanna know is when do we get paid, is there any beer in this place and can you lend me a couple of bucks until the end of the week…

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