January 29, 2019

Frank Zappa returns to the stage as a hologram for UK tour

By Lucy Ingham

Legendary musician Frank Zappa is set to become the latest performer to be brought back to life onstage through the use of a hologram, as part of a touring stage show that will see the Frank Zappa hologram perform onstage with former bandmates.

Forming a central part of The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa tour, the Frank Zappa hologram will be based on previously unseen performance footage from 1974.

Touring in the UK in May this year, the performance is the latest in a series of celebrity hologram productions from Eyellusion.

Previously, the company has reincarnated Dio’s Ronnie James, and in 2018 attracted $2m seed funding from Thomas Dolan, board member of Madison Square Garden Company.

Frank Zappa hologram concept “actively engaged in” by musician

Some celebrity holograms have attracted controversy in the past, such as the planned Prince hologram, which was scrapped from Justin Timberlake’s 2018 Super Bowl performance after it emerged that the late singer was vehemently opposed to the technology.

However, according to Ahmet Zappa, Frank Zappa’s son, his view on holograms was quite different.

“My father and I actively discussed 3D and ‘holography’ and it was a concept he actively engaged in,” explained Ahmet Zappa, EVP of business development for Eyellusion and co-trustee of the Zappa Family Trust.

“He actually devoted half a chapter of his The Real Frank Zappa Book to this subject. This is a love letter and a journey celebrating the genius artistry of Frank Zappa. On a personal note, I feel like I am finishing something my father started years ago.

“As a futurist, and hologram enthusiast, Frank fearlessly broke through boundary after boundary as an artist and in honouring his indomitable spirit, we’re about to do it again, 25 years after his passing.”

The UK Bizarre World of Frank Zappa tour will begin in Edinburgh on 9 May, and will include dates in Gateshead, Manchester, Birmingham and London.