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Zappa, Dweezil (5th September 1969-Present)

He is a singer, composer, musician and actor born Ian Donald Calvin Euclid Zappa in Hollywood, California, as the second child of the legendary singer-songwriter Frank Zappa and the businesswoman Adelaide Gail Sloatman.   His name was officially changed to Dweezil when he was five years old as his parents had not been allowed to register him under that name originally at the hospital.  The name had previously been the nickname bestowed on his mother’s little toe by his father.

His life in the entertainment industry during the 1980s saw him working as singer and musician and recording several albums as a solo artist.  He also appeared as an actor in the movies The Running Man, Pretty in Pink and Jack Frost as a VJ on television’s MTV when he was just 17.  His job at MTV proved to be short-lived though because he decided to be less than complimentary to the channel when he appeared on The Howard Stern Show.  Also when he was 17 he appeared as a band member on Don Johnson’s “Heartbeat” video.

He was just as busy during the 1990s when he appeared with Cindy Williams and his sister Moon Unit in the sitcom Normal Life and was heard regularly in the animated television series Duckman as the voice of Ajax Duckman. He later starred with his brother Ahmet in the TV show Happy Hour and later the two of them performed together in the band called Z.

As a composer he has written music for The Ben Stiller Show, On the Spot, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and The Jamie Kennedy Experience and has been recording the 75 minute “What the Hell Was I thinking?” since the 1990s which features somewhere in the region of 35 acclaimed guitarists that include Brian May, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Johnson and Angus Young.

In the 2000s he toured, performed and wrote songs with his then girlfriend, Lisa Loeb, and in 2004 the two of them hosted Dweezil and Lisa which was a cookery show aired on Food Network.  In 2005 he married the stylist Laura Knudsen and they had their daughters Zola Frank and Ceylon Indira in 2006 and 2008 respectively.  They later began divorce proceedings in 2010.

Wanting to bring the music of his father to a new audience he put together a young band for the Zappa Plays Zappa tour which has run annually from 2006.  He invited guest musicians that previously performed with Frank Zappa that included Terry Bozzio, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Ray White and Steve Vai.  He also established the annual Dweezilla Music Boot Camp masterclass

Winning a Grammy Award when he was just 18, some of the many albums he has appeared on include his own My Mother is a Space Cadet, Havin’ a Bad Day, the chart-topping My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama, Confessions, Automatic and Go With What You Know as well as Extreme II: Pornograffiti by Extreme, Cake and Pie by Lisa Loeb, Prince of Darkness by Ossy Osbourne, Todd Rundgren & His Friends by Todd Rundgren, ***Hole by Gene Simmons, Fear of a Punk Planet by The Vandals, Poodle Hat by Weird Al Yankovic, Shampoo for Pets by Z, Them or Us by Frank Zappa and Return of the Son Of… by Zappa Plays Zappa.

In 2009 he won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental with Zappa Plays Zappa for “Peaches en Regalia” and dedicated it to his father.

In 2016 he toured to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his father’s Freak Out!