March 16, 2016

ZAPPATiKA + Craig Twister Steward: rehearsing for the European tour

ZAPPATiKA and Craig Twister Steward ran through three sets during a dress rehearsal for the European Spring tour @ QBUS in Leiden, The Netherlands. They have worked up 35+ songs. every night. Singer/guitarist Zap Mcinnes explains: "'We've got eight shows in England and the Zappateers are attending multiple shows, and they don't want to hear the same set every night. Depending on if were are having a support act the shows wil run for 2.5 or 3 hours". Changes that you will hear Crew Slut, Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?, City of Tiny Lites, Broken Hearts are for Assholes, I'm the Slime, The Torture Never Stops, Bamboozled By Love, More Trouble Everyday, Black Napkins, Outside Now, Andy, Catholic Girls, Lucille, Apostrophe and much, much more. They may even throw in Hendrix' Are You Experienced?

Frank Zappa alumni Ike Willis, who had missed his flight from the States, and sax player Jeff Hollie, were not a present at the rehearsal, but harmonica (and sometimes) guitar player Craig Twister Steward was there, sharing stories about landing the job with Frank. During their 1972 tour The Mothers walked into a bar called Caesar's Palace in Wichita, KS, where Steward was performing with the blues band Bliss. Frank liked his playing and wanted to sit in. He invited him to audition for the 1973 touring band.

When Steward arrived in LA he was in awe of the FZ's band - George Duke, Ian Underwood, Ruth Underwood, Jean Luc Ponty. The first song was King Kong. Steward "That's in 5/4 and I was at a loss. I'm a blues player! Where is 'the one'? That stuff was way over my head. So I left and got some more practicing done. Five years later I called Frank and played him some stuff over the phone. He paid for the airfare for me and my wife and I joined him for the Joe's Garage albums". Steward's harmonica can also be heard on You Are What You Is and The Man From Utopia. Being a member of a touring band was not entirely his cup of tea and Steward went back to Wichita to become the City Arborist. He always kept in touch with the Zappa's and various band members. "Frank could have picked any other harmonica player, so I asked him: 'Why me?'. To which he replied 'Because I like the way you string your notes together'".

The ZAPPATiKA tour with Ike Willis, Jeff Hollie and Craig Twister Steward kicks off on March 17 in Osnabruck.

Live dates:

There will be a special EP-CD available at all the shows at the merch table, as well as many other goodies (T-shirts and such).

» ZAPPATiKA on Facebook

HCTF review of The Pony Suite.

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