Zappa cover band Ugly Radio Rebellion perform at Martyrs' in August.
What We Say
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 300 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, Dan Mocciolo, Dave Nolden, 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. It now consists of Scott Schroen on guitar and vocals; Keith Livermore on vocals, keyboards, saxophone, trombone and flute; Scott McKay on bass. The band is fortunate to have three drummers from different areas of the country to perform with depending on the tour schedule – Landon Ewers, Drew Littell and Thomas Lowe. Ike Wills, Frank Zappa alumni, has performed in more than 100 shows over the years and remains part of the touring line-up to this day.