Ahmet Zappa Responds to Brother Dweezil’s Claims
The latest episode in a lengthy public dispute between Dweezil Zappa and his siblings over their father's trademark and the Zappa Family Trust has come in the form of a statement from Ahmet Zappa. It is addressed to "Dweezil and everyone else reading this."
The issue stems from Dweezil's tribute to his dad, Zappa Plays Zappa, which he was forced to change to Dweezil Zappa Plays Frank Zappa, and which he eventually called Dweezil Zappa Plays Whatever the F@%k He Wants – The Cease and Desist Tour.
“My last name is Zappa; my father was Frank Zappa,” Dweezil said last year, after learning that he could be fined $150,000 each time he played one of his dad's songs without permission. “But I am not allowed to use the name on its own. I’m not allowed to use a picture of him. I’m not allowed to use my own connection with him without some sort of deal to be struck.”
In the lengthy statement, Ahmet Zappa claims he felt compelled to speak up when he learned Dweezil had again reached out to fans for monetary support in the battle against his siblings. Ahmet points out the ethical problems of a man whose father gave him millions soliciting money from those are likely less well off.
He also counters Dweezil's claims in a Sept. 29 blog post, saying they are untrue, as is his assertion in an Oct. 3 blog post that his family has not responded to his own attempts to solve the matter. But the real crux of his message is to express to his brother that he'd prefer to settle these family matters privately, and even went so far as to "ask anyone reading this that enjoys speaking up on this family situation to encourage Dweezil to sit down with me once and for all."
"Let me start by saying, I would rather be sitting face to face with Dweezil and figuring things out privately and respectfully -- like I think families should do," Ahmet writes. "Frank would have wanted that. That fact has never changed on my end. I have repeatedly said my door is open. The truth is, before Dweezil ever decided to take our UNFINISHED family business public, I asked for a family meeting in February 2016 with our estate attorneys to discuss everything and Dweezil wanted his outside lawyer in attendance. We were fine with that, even though we were confused as to why he felt it necessary to bring an outside attorney. What was important to me was sitting down with my siblings, finding clarity, resolving outstanding issues and having a mutual understanding of our new roles since our mother passed."
Ahmet points to his own repeated attempts to contact his brother to settle the matter privately, but notes he's only been able to reach Dweezil's attorneys and assistants. His requests for direct contact have either been met with no response, or a negative one, he alleges. Meanwhile, a mediation date has been agreed to by all parties and set for early November.
"Your call, bro," Ahmet concludes. "I am here. You want to resolve everything sooner, I am here. Or you can keep writing blog posts, wasting time and money on lawyers. And then I'll see you in November."
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