Thursday, December 15, 2011

Leaving ZPZ...

For almost six years now I've been living a dream. A dream beyond a dream, in fact, because I never truly thought I could play Zappa music for a living, let alone play with Frank Zappa through the magic of technology. The joy I felt for this amazing opportunity was evident in my playing every night, and seeing the many thousands of people across the world who were equally affected by this music was a huge inspiration in itself.
But after living the same dream for so many nights in a row, I started noticing some cracks in the facade. Instead of focusing on all the things that were right with our performances, I began to dwell on all the little things that were slightly less than perfect. It's come to the point where I can't ignore those things enough to enjoy myself during the shows like I once did, so it's time for me to leave the gig I said I'd never leave, as much as it might break my heart to do so.
Sharing the stage with the musicians in this band, both past and present, has improved my own musicality in ways I can't even comprehend. As proud as I am of our Grammy winning first recording, I almost can't stand to listen to it now because I know I'm a much, much better player now than I was when we first started, and that we're a much better band. Whether its the soloing concepts I picked up from Billy, Jamie, Scheila, or Steve, the harmonic ideas of Aaron or Chris, the stage presence and showmanship of Ben, Ray, or Napoleon, or the advanced rhythmic concepts of Joe or Terry, I feel like I've gotten an education that no school could offer. In addition to all that, I also feel like I'm part of a new family, and I thank all those musicians as well as our amazing crew for their part in that.
To Dweezil, Gail, Frank, and the rest of the Zappa family I express my deepest gratitude for taking a chance on me and allowing this dream beyond a dream to become a reality. Because of touring with this band I've been able to see parts of this world I never thought I would, experience different cultures, and best of all, meet the love of my life. I have no doubt that the band will continue to kick butt for many years to come.
Finally, to the fans all across the world, I say thank you for living this dream with me.

12 comments:

beej said...

The four times I was privileged to see you preform with zpz were great. A Learning experience for a Novice Bass player from a Bass player in a huge band such as Zappa. There's no doubt in my mind the success you will achieve with any other group of your choice. Thank you for being a great performer and inspiration.
Beej

Richard Drakes said...

Loved watching you and listening to you for 10 shows with ZPZ. The very first time was at Manchester UK in 2009, and the band opened with Apostrophe.
Absolutely blown away and have enjoyed hearing you grow along with the band Pete.
Good luck with your future projects.

PAULB said...

Thanks for all the music Pete! you rock!

George said...

From one bassist to another, you are a true inspiration...plus you have good hair! Keep your music groovin', maing!

j_ay said...

Keep us updated on what you're working on. Good lukc!

j_ay said...

(fingers too quick): LUCK!

tehvoyeur said...

IS there a chance that there will be an Uncle Funkle reunion tour? Perhaps a date at the Flint Park "Oasis" Gazebo?

Unknown said...

I loved watching you play from the very start -- and it has been remarkable to watch all of progress as musicians through FZ's music. Most of all it was a real privilege to get to know you (we are both Westchesterites) and hang out with you last summer in Big Indian. I absolutely adore your music in Gryphon Labs and hope that you will continue and grow that (just listened to both albums yesterday while driving from DC to NYC). The very best of luck to you in the next stage of our journey!

Collin said...

Best of luck in the future Pete!
Saw your (and our) first ZPZ show in Amsterdam 5yrs ago and just about everey show in the Netherlands since.
Loved your bass playing and especially the way in which you can (or perhaps... could) really get into the moment.
Thumbs up for everything you're embarking upon now, and hope to see you/hear you again sometime.

El Mastah said...

Bonjour Pete...
Sorry to hear about you leaving ZPZ, it has been great hearing you play for all 17 ZPZ concerts I attended in France, UK and the USA (and also watching your human metronome body!).
It has also been a treat meeting you and attending your classes at Dweezilla 1 and 2 and I will certainly miss this next summer.
But this is your decision and I just hope it leads you to great new adventures I'll have a chance to witness in a near future.
Keep on rockin'...
Thierry the Frenchie...

Steve Chase said...

Thanks for the great shows Pete. I had the privilege of seeing you play a number of times, and you have been integral to that band, imho. We'll miss you and your incredible energy, big time.

I'll be wearing my Gryphon Labs t- shirt as much as I can to honor your playing.

Niko said...

I'm pretty bummed to see this. I loved watching you play with ZPZ and was looking forward to learning something from you at Dweezilla this summer. Hopefully you tour with another project that plays Denver in the future. Hint...