Things get strange when famed Frank Zappa tribute Ugly Radio Rebellion take the stage at Kenny’s for their 300th performance, with legendary studio & touring guitarist for Frank Zappa, Ike Willis!
Ugly Radio Rebellion
About Ugly Radio Rebellion:
Ugly Radio Rebellion origins go back to a Detroit band known as Uncle Meat. In 2002, guitarist Scott Schroen felt inspired to start a project consisting of everyone and anyone capable of playing the music of Frank Zappa, a definite challenge.
An ad was placed in the local paper simply stating, “musicians wanted to perform the music of Frank Zappa”, and so ensued a few weekends of what was later dubbed, “Zappa Survivor”. Groups of musicians drilled selected pieces during rehearsal, and later everyone would vote on who they think should stay for the next round. The few that were left from the ‘survivor’ sessions ultimately became the lineup for the band Uncle Meat. The project performed FZ around the greater Detroit area until the last show on Frank’s birthday, December 2003. Eventually Uncle Meat was disbanded but Scott Schroen and bassist Preston Parish reformed the project as… Ugly Radio Rebellion.
URR played consistently in the Midwest and Southeast for more than 10 years and over 200 shows, The line-up changed over the years as many talented musicians came and went as they paid tribute to the music of Frank. Scott Schroen is the only member to have played every show since its beginning.
URR wants to thank the following past band members – Brian Casey, Dave Cheny, Dan Cowlin, Anthony East, John Garland, Travis Gates, Kerry Gluckman, Layla Hall, Danny Halperin, August Krueger, Michael Lauden, Vince Leblanc, Glenn Leonard, Keith Livermore, Dan Mocciolo, Preston Parish, Daniel Pashcal, Joey Spina, Andy Turpen and Andrew Walley.
The band took a hiatus after 2015 while Scott played as a solo act and was involved in other projects. But in late 2016, the band was reformed and reimagined as a larger ensemble of musicians from different areas of the country. Depending on the tour schedule and availability, it now consists of Scott Schroen on guitar and vocals, Scott McKay on bass or Dave Nolden on bass and vocals, Landon Ewers, Curt Perry or Thomas Lowe on drums. Ike Willis, Frank Zappa alumni, has performed in more than 100 shows over the years and remains part of the touring line-up to this day.
About Ike Willis:
Ike Willis (b. November 14, 1955) is an American singer and guitarist who was a regular sideman for Frank Zappa, First joining Zappa’s band for the fall 1978 tour and remaining in the band for several years. Ike did not tour with Zappa in 1981 and 1982 for personal reasons, but returned to touring with Zappa for his final two tours in 1984 (which Zappa intended at the time to be his final tour) and 1988. Ike currently tours with several Frank Zappa tribute bands including ZAPPATiKA, Ossi Duri, Project/Object, Pojama People and Ugly Radio Rebellion. He’s also performed several times with the Brazilian Zappa cover band, The Central Scrutinizer Band, The Muffin Men, and with the Italian band Elio e le Storie Tese. Additionally, he has appeared multiple times at the annual Zappanale festival in Bad Doberan, Germany.
Ike is most recognized for his involvement in Zappa records such as playing Joe in Joe’s Garage, providing vocals on Tinsel Town Rebellion, You Are What You Is, The Man from Utopia, and as the title character and narrator in Zappa’s off-Broadway-styled conceptual musical Thing-Fish.