In the midst of all of the machinations, emails, phone calls, decisions, and other whoop-de-doo involved in making this Rochefort gig happen, something really wild happened. The point person for getting this “Roy Replacement” thing going is Napoleon Murphy Brock, who is one of the most recognizable frontmen ever to work with Zappa. If you have heard Roxy and Elsewhere, Bongo Fury, or YCDTOSA Volume 2, for example, you have heard his singing, sax playing, and comedic timing in full effect. He is a hard working guy (understatement alert), and you never know where he will turn up.
On Monday, as we were breathing a sigh of relief that the travel plans were going to be resolved, he mentioned that he was on the road and had just played a gig in… South-ing-something, in Connecticut… with the Ed Palermo Big Band… at some golf course or something….
He was in Southington, Connecticut last Friday, which is my hometown, and where I still live, and he played a wedding at the Aqua Turf, 5 minutes from my house. The Aqua Turf is one of the premier event sites in Connecticut, and the place is booked way out in advance. Think weddings, charity events, galas, and such. Apparently a lawyer with much FZ themed ink and a real lust for Zappa hired Ed Palermo Big Band to play his wedding, and Napoleon officiated the wedding ceremony, as well as playing with the EPBB. Which makes it probably the most badass concert ever to take place in Southington. being a private affair, I had no idea about it and neither did most anyone else… whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Two things spring to mind:
- It would have been good to know this ahead of time because we could have dome some actual communicating instead of rushed phone conversations with me at work and Napoleon in an airport somewhere. It is just the nature of bid-nezz that we were not exchanging a lot of details about our itineraries during phone calls about the travel issues surrounding Rochefort.
- and, the Aqua Turf thing is kinda hilarious because back in the day it was a “swim club” with a 9-hole chip and putt golf course. I had family with memberships there so I swam in the old concrete and sand “ceee-ment pond” and used to catch lunker bass in the golf course ponds! It was very much a redneck scene as far as I remember it. How the place became a major event destination is a tribute to the Calvanese family…. but I do miss the bass fishing.
BTW, if you are, or know of, who the FZ-mad lawyer is, drop me a line! Love to know the missing link to this story.