Banned From Utopia Tour Highlights

  Photo Credit  ©Steinegg Live - Armin,Indio

In June of 1994, six months after Frank Zappa’s death, the promoters of the Jazz Open Festival in Stuttgart, Germany, contacted former members of Zappa's various touring bands, and asked if they would perform a tribute concert to commemorate Frank’s life and unique, prolific outpouring of creativity that had such a profound impact on the world of music. Though the loss of their friend and mentor was still fresh, the band was thrilled about the idea of bringing Zappa's music live to the stage once again.

Many hours of intense rehearsals...

Many hours of intense rehearsals were held in both Los Angeles and Stuttgart. It was a powerhouse ensemble, including players whose history with Zappa ranged from the early '70's right up through the '88 band, which was Zappa's final live touring band.Banned From Utopia Spring Tour 2014

In July 1994, the Band From Utopia, as they were now called, headlined the Jazz Open Festival in Stuttgart, to highly enthusiastic response. The concert was recorded on 32 track mobile digital and also filmed for broadcast on German television. The result was a live release, Music of Frank Zappa, which was released on Muffin in 1995. The same year, the group released Band From Utopia, Vol. 1, an album which featured Zappa songs such as Mother People, Chunga's Revenge and Pound For A Brown.

Maintaining the integrity of the original work while adding its own input, Band From Utopia toured throughout Europe and North America, including performances with the Seattle Symphony. In 1995, the group released Band From Utopia, Vol. 2 on Muffin. The group also released So Yuh Don't Like Modern Art, an album featuring Frank Zappa instrumentals as well as five original songs.

Banned From UtopiaPhoto Credit René van der Voorden Photography

Applause and cheers rang out from the audience in instant recognition...

Applause and cheers rang out from the audience in instant recognition as the Banned performed fan favorites like “Inca Roads,” “Black Page,” “Montana” and “Zomby Woof,” in more than a two hour set incorporating a well balanced blend of Zappa music that ranged from fiercely challenging material to fun, singable melodies.

Comments like the following were offered by those happy fans that saw one or more shows: "Brilliant. Extraordinary. Entertaining. All of these words fit, but none are enough. Even together they do not begin to describe the experience Banned From Utopia delivered. All the musicians were top notch, featuring vocals from two of the most powerful voices that ever toured with Zappa, Ray White and Robert (Bobby) Martin. Solos, in particular from Albert Wing, who  practically brought down the roof."

Banned From Utopia is vital living proof that Frank Zappa's compositional efforts and unconstrained inventiveness will not soon be forgotten. All these years later, it's the only band performing Frank's music that boasts such a wealth of musicians who actually knBanned From Utopia  Chad Wackerman Arthur Barrowow what it was like to perform with Frank, night after night, year after year.

Banned From Utopia will be on tour to commemorate Frank's life and music. Their goal is to keep the spontaneous, adventurous spirit of Frank's music alive, and to create a vehicle for ongoing creativity.

Photo Credit

For upcoming tour dates and for ticket and event info click here:   Robert (Bobby) Martin Facebook Fan Page

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