Frank Zappa, the Hologram, Hits the Road

Frank Zappa -- in 3D hologram form, naturally -- joins Mothers of Invention alumni on the road in 2019

Frank Zappa Hologram Screenshot

You know what they say: Free your mind and the rest will follow. That's what the Zappa Family Trust is hoping fans of the legendary avant-garde musician will do on the upcoming "Bizarre World of Frank Zappa" hologram tour.

While plans were set in motion last year, the world got its first official glimpse of the Zappa hologram on Feb. 28, with the release of the tour's first promotional video.

"I’m a person who likes to do what he wants to do, whether people like it or not, and what I do is designed for people who like it, not for people who don't," the 3D caricature says. That's Zappa logic for ya.

Several Mothers of Invention alumni, including Ray White, Mike Keneally, Scott Thunes, Robert Martin and Joe "Vaultmeister" Travers, will be joining Frank onstage at the 17 U.S./U.K. tour dates. The Eyellusion-created hologram -- which, sure, looks kind of realistic but still suffers from that undeniable fake CGI glaze -- will be based on unreleased footage from the '70s, as well as "outrageous visuals that offer a striking view into his complex musical works," according to a press release.

Zappa is one of a select few iconic musicians to achieve holographic immortality, following in the footsteps of Ronnie James Dio, Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse (until tour plans were recently scrapped). According to Ahmet Zappa, Frank's son, he'd be all about it.

"As a futurist, and hologram enthusiast, Frank fearlessly broke through boundary after boundary as an artist and in honoring his indomitable spirit we're about to do it again, 25 years after his passing," Ahmet told Rolling Stone in 2018. "On a personal note, I feel like I am finishing something my father started years ago."

Unfortunately, the tour isn't scheduled to stop in America's Finest City -- a real bummer, since Zappa famously grew up in and around San Diego County. But here's to hoping that Frank, the friendly hologram, is up for playing more shows.

'The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa' 2019 Tour Dates

  • April 19: Port Chester, NY @ Capitol Theater
  • April 20: Rochester, NY @ Kodak Center Theater
  • April 22: Red Bank, NJ @ Count Basie
  • April 24: Long Island, NY @ Paramount Theatre
  • April 26: Boston, MA @ Shubert
  • April 28: Albany, NY @ The Palace Theatre
  • May 1: Wilkes Barre, PA @ Kirby Center
  • May 2: Collingswood, NJ @ Scottish Rite Auditorium
  • May 3: Baltimore, MD @ The Modell Lyric
  • May 9: Edinburgh, UK @ Playhouse
  • May 11: Gateshead, UK @ Sage
  • May 12: Manchester, UK @ Bridgewater Hall
  • May 13: Birmingham, UK @ Symphony Hall
  • May 14: London, UK @ The Palladium
  • May 16: Ostend, BE @ Kurssal
  • May 17: Amsterdam, NL @ Rai Theater
  • July 11-14: Cataluna, ES @ Doctor Music Festival

Dustin Lothspeich plays in Old Tiger, Diamond Lakes and Boy King, and runs his own music equipment-loving blog Gear and Loathing in San Diego. Follow his updates on Twitter or contact him directly.

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