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Absolutely Frank

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Zappa tribute band - The Band

Tal Wilkins (Guitar and Vocals)

I began playing guitar when I was about 16 Years old. A school friend taught me a few things and that’s where it all began.

The same guy also introduced Frank Zappa to me. I was very much into Jimi Hendrix at the time but when I heard Frank I was totally blown away. The first number he played for me was Yo Mama and I was sold immediately! Then he made a tape for me with different Zappa numbers on it. I loved it all except for some of the weird tiddly bits in between here and there. After a short while I discovered I was enjoying the weird tiddly bits the most and that’s when I couldn’t be saved anymore. From then on I have been totally hooked on Frank’s music.

I do have more musical interests of course. I absolutely love Blues and have concentrated my guitar playing on that for many years, figuring out song’s like Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Texas Flood note for note. Actually I like all styles of music, as long as it’s really “good”.

There has been a long period where I didn’t play much at all. I had moved to Denmark for a couple of Years and when I came back to Holland I became friends with Mark Horton who asked me if I wanted to join his band “Purple Void”. We played music written by him and had a lot of fun. When the bass player decided to pack his bags and leave for Ireland the band lay dormant for a while.

After more than a Year Mark came to me and said: “I’m planning to start playing the music of Frank Zappa with the band, what do you think”? I said: “you are totally bonkers, man”! Well, we did and the band was called Zappatika. It was just great to be playing this music! We played at Zappanale Festival and met Ike Willis there, who joined us on stage. About a year later we did a small tour with Ike in Holland and England. Then we did another tour with Ike and Jeff Hollie (the sax player on Joe’s Garage), Going From Holland to Paris and then to England, where we played at the MOO-AH! Festival in Corby and finished in Liverpool.

Now I have formed a new Frank Zappa tribute band!

Be prepared to see us out there!

Rien van Rijn (Guitar & Backing Vocals)

I picked up the guitar somewhere in the late 60's, note-for-note copying solo's of Peter Green and Eric Clapton. Used an old record player for that and ruined a lot of records that way!

Early 70's a friend came by my house with a somewhat obscure record called "Overnite Sensation". From that moment I was hooked on to the music of Frank Zappa.

I have played in a modern jazz band. We played Brecker Brothers, Steps Ahead, that kinda stuff. Frankly speaking, that level of playing was a bit too far fetched for me. Basically I like playing blues the most.

Naturally I was quite thrilled when I got the invitation from Tal to join this new band.

Hope to CU all soon!

To be Absolutely Frank, we are proud to be the Band!

Menno Gramberg (Drums & Backing Vocals

I started playing the drums when I was 16 Years old and have plyed in many different bands, playing reggae, Dutch, rock, experimental noise, etc.

Besides the drums I play bass guitar, guitar and do backing vocals. I also write music and I love to draw.

I first learned about Frank Zappa watching a documentary about him on TV which they broadcast shortly after his death. I must have been around 19 Years old. It made quite an impression! I was playing experimental music at the time in a band called Primus but this was unlike anything I had ever heard. Shortly thereafter I bought “You can’t do that on stage anymore vol 1” and was a bit dissapointed to begin with. I just didn’t get it! A lot of talking, short extremely fast rhythmic passages and strage notes. Until, one evening while enjoying a certain type medicinal cigarette, I heard Big Swifty and… HOLY SHIT!!! That struck like a bomb and the Yellow Snow after that finished me off.

Eureka!!! I was instantly turned into one ofe the real Zappa freaks and have been a devoted fan ever since.

Can you imagine what it feels like to start drumming this music?

Gerard Albertsboer (Bass Guitar)

I’ve known Zappa’s music since I was 12 and have been a fan ever since! What really appeals to me in his music is its “differentness”, virtuosity and uniqueness.

Before Absolutely Frank I have played in Bluegammut, Facelift and Vloerbedekking (FZ: “You’ll never hear vloerbedekking again….)

Eltjo Cleton (Keyboards & vocals)

Although I started with classical piano lessons (which I hated) my instrument of choice became the guitar.

The piano lessons did come in handy in all kinds of bands and during my years at the conservatory of Rotterdam, where I studied to become a music teacher.

It was through the music of Steve Vai that I really became interested in Frank Zappa. Being a guitar teacher, you can hardly ignore Steve.

Playing the music of Frank Zappa on the keyboards is a completely new challenge for me but it’s very inspiring and lots of fun!

Marieke Sytema (Vocals & Percussion)

I started playing music and writing my own songs at the age of 7. By the time I was 16 I was already singing, writing, playing a little piano, a little guitar, a little bass… A few years later I was studying pop, rock and jazz singing. At the age of 20 I started singing classical music as my main subject on my study to become a teacher’s assistant and primary school music teacher and conductor, which lead to my current study at the conservatory of music.

I’ve always listened to a variety of artists and genre’s. To go short: I never had a talent for specializing on one instrument or musical style. I’m a bit of everything.

A few old hippies from my hometown in Fryslân gave me a bunch of Zappa albums to listen to when I was about 15 years old. From that moment I knew: Music is fun, I want to play fun music, I want to write fun music because it’s fun and I like having fun. Frank Zappa has inspired me a lot in my approach to playing and writing music. He’s one of the reasons I study composition at the conservatory. I believe that music is music, no matter what genre, origin or appearance. Serious music, weird music, ugly music, dumb music… it’s all noise and music is organised noise. Frank Zappa did a really great job organising noise. And I’m having a lot of fun with his noise, I’m very grateful for that!