I took this picture of Frank Zappa at The Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh in 1974. He was a musical genius but by the time he died in 1993 was also a political activist. Throughout 1988 he had voter registration booths at his concerts.He even considered running for president of the United States as an independent.
I can’t help but wonder what he would say about today’s climate of partisan politics and religious fervor. As an activist and atheist his voice is missed in the national debate but his music lives on.
I have my comercial store with Red Bubble. Last year Red Bubble removed some of my work of Jerry Garcia saying the Garcia Family Trust had complained. I argued that I took the photographs of Jerry Garcia in a Public Venue and the ticket only restricted video recordings. I was protected by copyright law. Red Bubble intervened on my behalf and they agreed to allow my images to remain on the site for printed work but not for merchandise. Copyright law protects my original photography but doesn’t give me the right to manufacture t-shirts with my image. Only the original image is protected.
Now the Zappa Family Trust has filed a complaint and I expect a similar outcome. However so far they have only complained about two images and one t-shirt. They have not yet removed my best selling t shirt. So follow the link below to order your Zappa Hope T-Shirt today. It may not be around much longer.
The original shot for this creation was taken during the Apostrophe Tour on May 6, 1973 at Pittsburgh’s Syria Mosque licking <a href="http://clicking here.” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>here.
I only saw Zappa play once. It was at the Syria Mosque in 1974 with Sal Valquez, Jean Luc Ponty and the Tower of Power Horns. Truly one of the best shows I ever saw. I miss Zappa and still listen to his music and that of his son.
Th first concert I ever photographed was Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band. They played at the Syria Mosque on October 15, 1972. Security was a lot loser back then I was able to get back stage and take a series of images from the wings before I got booted.
I miss those days and fondly remember the Captain standing next to me while the band played. He looked over at me and we exchanged nods and then he made his big entrance in that blue cape. It is a fond memory and I still listen to his music. Rock on Captain, we miss you brother.
I have edited this image using a new set of tools and like this version better is has more clarity and contrast.
I recently realized that a couple of years ago I offered for sale on my commercial site a t-shirt that said Frank Zappa at the Syria Masque. I sold a number of these T-Shirts and although not my best seller I was pleased that some people liked it. Recently it was pointed out to me that I had misspelled Syria Mosque. Not wanting to remove my previous item from sale, I created a new one with a different image and the correct venue.
I was reviewing my statistics on my commercial site yesterday. I have sold more prints than t-shirts but have made more money from apparel than from prints. This T-Shirt of Jon Luc Ponty is my second largest selling T-Shirt after Zappa Hope and you can purchase it here. Saw him play with RTF a couple of years ago and he hasn’t lost a lick.