Category Archives: Mission 9: Zappadan

Mission 9 Report: Zappa

Mission Report from RTS:

Sorry for the late post–I did indeed throw a Zappadan Party this year. Unfortunately, we got too consumed with drinking wine and drinking beer and whatnot to engage in any hardcore art.

However! After the party was over, and a suitable amount of time passed to let my head clear, I was inspired to draw this picture of Zappa in honor of Zappadan.

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Mission 9.5 Report: Secret Zappas

Submitted by Professor Plum:

I combined two missions and celebrated the holiday season with a Secret Zappa gift giving session. In this interactive performance piece, I delivered gifts to random strangers in a highly theatrical manner.

My first step was to visit a dollar store with ten bucks in my pocket and spend it on anything that caught my eye. My acquisitions:

– playing cards with assorted vegetables on reverse
– balance bird
– kazoo
– bunny-ears headband
– box of colored pencils
– solar-powered dancing flower toy

Words can’t describe the final object in full splendor so I’ve included a photo:

My hope was that the gifts would be cute enough to mitigate the sketchiness of their delivery. The lackluster wrapping job certainly didn’t add to my credibility.

The final challenge was becoming Sir Secret Zappa himself. I wore fuzzy snowflake pants and a tight vest, carried an electric guitar, donned dark glasses, and messed up my hair as much as I could. Unfortunately, Zappa’s wild black mane and bushy moustache were too much. My budget didn’t allow for a trip to the costume shop. However, authenticity was not my goal. I feel that I captured the Zappadan spirit which lives in all of our hearts and I hope that came across.

To distinguish myself as more than just another crazy guy in a strange outfit handing out suspicious parcels, I blasted “Peaches en Regalia” from a portable amplifier ducttaped to my back and shouted Merry Zappadan as I was distributing the gifts. I still probably came across as crazy, but it was glamorous and certainly cemented my identity as Zappa.

I distributed the gifts to unsuspecting café patrons. I entered the café in an oversized peacoat to disguise myself and quickly surveyed the scene. After selecting my targets, I revealed my identity and fired up the soundtrack. I was afraid of being tossed out or reaching the end of the song so I only gave myself three minutes to distribute the gifts and make my escape. It was a rush but I managed to unload all the goods. I gave the final gift to a barista on the way out.

The audience reaction was a mix of confusion and surprise but I think they appreciated it and I earned smiles and blushes from my targets. Everybody stopped what they were doing to watch and I noticed a few people taking photos or videos on their phones. I imagine it took a while for the shock to wear off and for the full impact of my performance to sink in, but I suspect that everybody was discussing it long after I left.

I didn’t want to ruin the moment by asking somebody to send me a photo so I don’t have much documentation of the performance. I had recruited a friend to film the episode but he bailed at the last minute and, since it was already the last day of Zappadan, I had to go solo. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun, and might try it again with a video crew. Zappadan is a long way off but some speculate that on February 2nd the prophet will stir from his annual hibernation to relieve himself in the yellow snow, take medication for his hibernal hangover, and search for his shadow which, according to rumor, exists only in the fourth dimension. Perhaps he’ll hand out a few presents while he’s at it!

Mission 9 Report: Zappa Penny and Other Year-End Miracles

This year, like every year, we at Art Art Revolution celebrated Zappadan (see Mission 9: Zappadan!)

Check back next week for some Zappa inspired art. For now, we’ll just mention some of the Zappadan miracles and Art Art Revolution events that occured this Zappadan season, including finding this Zappa penny at a Maryland rest stop.

If you aren’t familiar with Zappadan miracles, they are similar to Christmas miracles, but they happen during the Zappadan season (Dec 4th-Dec 21st) rather than on Christmas.

Besides finding the Zappa penny, I count this season’s personal Zappadan miracles as finding my lost watch (somehow, Zappa always seems to bring me back lost items) as well as surviving my last statistics class of grad school and also surviving visits to various relatives. Also, I produced a compelling Zappa poster for Mission 9: Zappadan! which I will post next week.

Most significantly, I ran into a friend of mine from grad school while on a train from Portland to Seattle. Pretty significant, since neither of us live in either city. Not only were we on the same train, we were in the same train car.

Our good friend Jonathan Nakatamo writes in to tell us that to Celebrate Zappadan he performed Vox Balaenae twice, began work on an epic song cycle called “Life Science”, watched the Star Wars Holiday Special and lived to tell the tale, and received 30 free Nantucket Nectars. Parrotchute reports that she found her lost bracelet, thanks to Zappa’s help. Do you have a Zappadan miracle to share? If so, let us know!

In other AAR news, we received several reports of the “Cher the Road” sign featured in this public art feature. We also have reports that the Georgetown Career Center is still enthusiastically advertising for Kaplan Test Prep.

Ok, that’s all for now, revolutionaries. Check back next week when we’ll start posting more mission reports, and will also post a new mission.

Mission 9: Zappadan!


Every year there is an 18 day celebration honoring the late great Frank Zappa. The celebration begins on December 4th, the anniversary of Zappa’s death, and ends on December 21, the anniversary of Zappa’s birth. The explanation is simple–these are the days of the year without Zappa, in which he had died but not yet been born. Therefore it is incumbent on us to keep his memory alive in these days.

Or, as blogger “Bluegal” says:

“I love Zappadan. It’s like, the days of the year between death and birth, the ethereal time when there was no Frank, so we must celebrate him to keep his spirit safe until his birthday again.

Or it’s just a great excuse for a party that has nothing to do with the greed and debt festival known as Christmas in America.

In any event, I think Frank would be proud.”

The first night of Zappadan is known as “Bummernacht” or “The Night of Bummer.” Because, you know, it was a bummer that Zappa died. This night is usually celebrated with the fiercest acts of partying and devotion to the memory of Zappa, and the designated night for insane events such as swimming in the Atlantic ocean at midnight off the coast of Rhode Island.

So, your artistic mission during Zappadan? Get some friends together and throw a party. Make a work of art together at this party that Zappa would be proud of. Record a musical jam together, write a group poem, or collaborate on a work on art. Any way you do it, make sure you do it during Zappadan!

Meanwhile, we will be starting a list of sites celebrating Zappadan, so stay tuned for that. The original place I saw reference of Zappadan was on The Aristocrats but someone please let us know if they can find the origin of the celebration!

Picture credit: Guys From Area 51